I love to read. After I update my Goodreads account for the last few months, I suspect I’ll be approaching the 100 book mark for the year.
Adult romances are one genre I’ll read on occasion. Keep on reading to learn more about The Helios Chronicles, see my thoughts on the first full novel, an interview with the author, and check out the giveaway.
Use this Table of Contents to find everything quickly:
- 1 About The Helios Chronicles
- 2 My Thoughts on The Helios Chronicles
- 3 About The Author of The Helios Chronicles
- 4 Interview with the Author of The Helios Chronicles
- 5 Giveaway for The Helios Chronicles
- 6 Purchase The Helios Chronicles on Amazon
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About The Helios Chronicles
The Helios Chronicles is a contemporary romance series that follows the lives of Andrew ‘Helios’ Harrison and Madison Ellis as they fight for their happily ever after in a world that seems determined to tear them apart. It is only through their love for one another, that we are able to see that we are more than the mistakes we’ve made, more than the labels placed upon us and more than even what we believe we are worth. Can their love survive the life he had before her or will the consequences of his past prove too much to bear. Read the Helios Chronicles to find out!
The Helios Chronicles is a five book series. It includes three full length novels, one prequel novella and one epilogue novella. Please note that this is an adult romance and as such there will be some graphic language and situations that are clearly not suitable for younger audiences.
The Helios Chronicles: Helios Beginnings
In the prequel novella, Helios Beginnings, we will explore Helios’ life before he becomes Helios, beginning with his time in Detroit, through his difficult life on the streets and subsequent incarceration and ending in Bakersfield with the arrival of Madison Ellis, the woman that would forever change the way he saw the world.
Helios Beginnings: https://www.books2read.com/u/mZw89D
The Helios Chronicles: Helios Awakened
In Book 1, Helios Awakened, Madison moves from New York City to the California desert to care for her ailing grandmother but she never expected that she would meet the man of her dreams while there, a man that would set her heart, body and soul on fire.
However, this man comes with a price, a heavy price. Is she willing to pay it?
The Helios Chronicles: Helios Exposed
In Book 2, Helios Exposed, we will find out whether or not Andrew and Madison can survive a life in New York City, where they find that things aren’t as simple as they hoped they would be.
They soon discover that there are just as many enemies back east as there were on the west coast. When everything begins to crumble around them will their love be enough to hold them together?
The Helios Chronicles: Helios Renewed
Unfortunately, things are set in motion that force them back to New York where they find themselves fighting for not only their lives but their freedom as well, against old enemies in a battle that will test them in more ways than one. Can their love stop the forces that are trying to tear them apart or will they be destroyed in the process?
Can their love stop the forces that are trying to tear them apart or will they be destroyed in the process?
My Thoughts on The Helios Chronicles
So far, I have only read Helios Beginnings, the first full-length novel of the series.
I enjoy reading a lot of different genres, including adult romances. My only criteria for those steamier novels is that they include more than just a lot of sex scenes!
The Helios Chronicles does include quite a bit of sex for the main characters. However, it isn’t all encompassing for the novel. And, the author isn’t writing out a step by step account of what they are doing. Rather, the amount seemed about on par for many couples in the ‘honeymoon’ stage of a relationship where they just want to be together all the time.
There are several ‘hot topics’ included in this first novel. Sex is expected given the adult romance genre. But, there’s also drug use, sex offenders, bullying, hate crimes, and a gay relationship.
Madison has relationship issues with pretty much everyone, including her mother. It is out of spite for her mother that she initially goes to California to care for her estranged grandmother. It isn’t until she meets Andrew, Callie and P at a beach party that she realizes how isolated from others she truly was.
Andrew is the poster child for what a bad boy could be. He never had a truly loving family life as a child and then found himself on the streets. He doesn’t know how to relate to others beyond his primal impulses which often end up getting him in trouble. Hence his time in jail and a main thread for this particular as he faces incarceration for fighting while on parole.
While this isn’t one of my favorite adult romance reads, it is decently written and provides a well laid out plot for the story.
About The Author of The Helios Chronicles
Author T.M. Witko lives on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation with her children. They are accompanied by their many animals, which includes an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix named Bella, a couple of ornery cats (Edward and Lil Bit) and their horses, Eagle Bear and Wild Spirit. She and her family enjoy attending wacipis, participating in tribal ceremonies, and living a quiet life without the hustle and bustle of the cities.
Ms. Witko is a licensed clinical psychologist, a full time writer/editor and one of the co-founders of Winyan Press, LLC, an independent publishing house geared at helping female writers find their voice. She is a multi-genre author who writes Young Adult Fiction, Crime/Suspense Stories, Adult Romances, and Native American Fiction.
Her writing style combines her knowledge of psychological principles with an understanding that things are never as simple as black or white, right or wrong, but that life is a beautiful combination of both. This is most evident in her series the Helios Chronicles which looks at the effects of our past on the future we wish to have.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACTS
Helios Chronicles Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheHeliosChronicles
Interview with the Author of The Helios Chronicles
There are several hot topics in the Helios series (sex offenders, rape, gay couples.) How did you decide to include them into the characters and story line?
It’s probably going to sound odd, but a few of these difficult ideas were things I had been contemplating for quite some time.
The sex offender thing had come up for a couple of reasons. In my family, I found myself in the hard position of trying to consolidate this whole issue in my head. On the one hand, I had a family member on the registry. While I wasn’t that close to him, I did see how that changed everything in his life.
The other piece was by another family member, a young girl, who was a bit wild at times, she got drunk and had actually told someone she was 18 when in reality she was only 14. That young man took a plea, and while he didn’t go to jail, he was mandated to be on the registry for a certain amount of time. So these situations made me question the importance of the registry and how some end up on there. Don’t get me wrong, I know the registry serves a valuable purpose, but, there are definitely those on there that shouldn’t be. So, when I started writing this story, I wondered how people would respond to someone like Andrew, would it matter? How does one live their life with that stigma without giving up?
So these situations made me question the importance of the registry and how some end up on there. Don’t get me wrong, I know the registry serves a valuable purpose, but, there are definitely those on there that shouldn’t be. So, when I started writing this story, I wondered how people would respond to someone like Andrew, would it matter? How does one live their life with that stigma without giving up?
I think the concept of rape is something that as a woman, I always feel a need to talk about in some way. In society, we normalize it, blame the victim, and often times, the perpetrator gets off scot free. I wanted to explore those aspects as well because the more we see the effects the better. And in this story I have several different responses to rape in general, which I thought allowed for some good talking points.
Now, when I started writing this story, it was way before marriage equality was a thing. I remember when I was in graduate school, having long talks with some of my gay friends about coming out, and what they went through on a daily basis. I really connected with it, having been the girl my best friend came out too, and seeing how his family responded to it. Having been a teenager in the 80’s I distinctly remember the discrimination & hate that people went through when AIDS hit.
Then later with the amount of hate crimes that plagued the country and the heartbreak at what happened to Matthew Sheppard. It was something that I felt I wanted to explore. With Elias and Liam, we have a normal, everyday couple. Two fathers who adore their son. Two fathers who work and take care of their family. Two fathers who have been together for ages and have their ups and downs. I wanted to have people SEE them as equal.
I noticed that all the main characters who are in love seem to call each other ‘baby’? As that’s not a term of endearment I hear from my friends and family, I’m curious if it was one you heard in your life? If not, why have them all use that term?
Yes, I think it is just something in my world. I have always been called ‘baby’ and have always called my partners ‘baby’. I do realize I probably overused the word in Helios Awakened and minimized it in the two books that followed.
When did you know that you wanted to truly write and be published?
I have always wanted to be a writer. The creator had other plans for me and directed me to psychology instead. But, I always knew one day I would come back to it. When I got divorced six years ago, I found solace in writing. It was then that I started to consider publishing, although I didn’t actually do it until several years later.
When I got divorced six years ago, I found solace in writing. It was then that I started to consider publishing, although I didn’t actually do it until several years later.
In author interviews I’ve read, there is often mention of other authors who’ve come before them who inspired. Do you have any authors who have inspired you to pursue this particular ‘dream’ of becoming an author?
Several authors have inspired me to write, Maya Angelou, Ernest Hemingway, and Johnathan Kellerman, to name a few.
With Maya, I always looked at her life and the things she went through and saw myself in her, saw that ability to rise above my circumstances. With Hemingway, I could relate to him in ways that probably make no sense, but having suffered from depression most of my life and
With Hemingway, I could relate to him in ways that probably make no sense, but having suffered from depression most of my life and having used alcohol to self-medicate, I felt there was something that connected us. And, honestly, that angst with him drew me in. He saw the world the way I saw it, as a teenager. Obviously, not now…LOL. Johnathan Kellerman was the first contemporary writer I really connected to. After all, he was living my dream. He was a child psychologist in Los Angeles, writing fiction. I wanted to be him! I’ve never had an author mentor me per se, but I have had a lot of support from the indie author community and find that I can turn to them for questions and concerns, and sometimes just to vent.
Johnathan Kellerman was the first contemporary writer I really connected to. After all, he was living my dream. He was a child psychologist in Los Angeles, writing fiction. I wanted to be him! I’ve never had an author mentor me per se, but I have had a lot of support from the indie author community and find that I can turn to them for questions and concerns, and sometimes just to vent.
Can you share with us the last 3 books you’ve read? Was there a favorite that you’d highly recommend in them?
Not, gonna lie, I am a literature hound. I love the old stuff. Hemingway, Hawthorne, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, etc. They are always my go to. Part of the reason I love them so much is that you have to work for it. In a society where everything is spoon-fed to us, I like the challenge of trying to ‘figure it out’. Of course, because I work with children and adolescents, I tend to read a lot of young adult fiction as well. You’d be amazed how quickly I can connect to a kid by talking about Harry Potter or Twilight or Shadowhunters. The last books I read however, not counting books I have edited, are James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, and Cassandra Clare’s The Bane Chronicles. All wonderful books, that oddly enough, are now movies or television shows.
Of course, because I work with children and adolescents, I tend to read a lot of young adult fiction as well. You’d be amazed how quickly I can connect to a kid by talking about Harry Potter or Twilight or Shadowhunters. The last books I read however, not counting books I have edited, are James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, and Cassandra Clare’s The Bane Chronicles. All wonderful books, that oddly enough, are now movies or television shows.
When planning a new book, how do you go about planning for it? Do you have a method you use, or is each one different?
I think generally I spend months simply thinking about the book. Imagining the life of the characters, what their personality quirks are and how I want them to grow. Whether it’s a romance or a suspense or young adult, it doesn’t matter. I think a character should grow in some way throughout the course of a book. Whether that is through self-discovery or understanding their weaknesses or simply allowing themselves to care about someone or something. Growth is important to me. So I’m usually trying to think about what kind of things would help my characters grow, whether good or bad.
I think a character should grow in some way throughout the course of a book. Whether that is through self-discovery or understanding their weaknesses or simply allowing themselves to care about someone or something. Growth is important to me. So I’m usually trying to think about what kind of things would help my characters grow, whether good or bad.
I am inherently a planner, in all aspects of my life, so I definitely plot things out, then start making a timeline of events, and then start mapping out the chapters. After I have done all that, I start to actually write. Usually, once I start writing it goes very quickly because I know where I want my characters to go. Sometimes, they take me in a different direction but usually that’s a good thing.
Do you have a certain writing space, somewhere you go *just* to write your books? An office, a lake cabin, a hotel? What do you love about that space? How does it inspire you?
Oh man, I wish. No, I usually end up writing wherever I can. Headphones tend to be my best friend…LOL.
I am actually working on a writing room. So hopefully that will make it easier for me to write. My ideal nook would have a desk, and several book shelves and a large dry erase board so that I can plot easier. I’m a visual person when it comes to timelines so I like to see it and play with it.
Many thanks to Ms. Witko for taking the time to share sure thorough answers to my questions. I always appreciate learning from authors.
Giveaway for The Helios Chronicles
Enter to win a paperback set, $25 Amazon GC, and swag
Purchase The Helios Chronicles on Amazon