Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall – Guest Post

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Release Date: May 21 , 2015

Genre:  FICTION / Romance / General / Science Fiction

ISBN e-book:    978-1-61213-369-0

Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and TWCS PH

~~GUEST POST~~
~~Outline the Inspiration and the Process of 
Building the World of Oceania~~

I guess the main inspiration for everything in Matronly Duties was the original idea that popped into my head. “What would the world have to be like for women to be in charge?” Everything seemed to blossom from there.
The first thing that came to mind was that some giant catastrophe would have to befall the earth.  That led me to the vast array of sites detailing the multitude of events that could wipe out life on Earth. I decided asteroid was the method that I was going to use.  Then of course there was how big would the asteroid be and would people be able to live on the surface. I can’t say for certain why I decided that humans would live underground but in hindsight I don’t think I would do anything different it made for a wonderful writing challenge and I loved the idea of my characters living in a time where technology wasn’t a humungous issue.
Once I decided on the underground societies that lead to a whole other round of questions and research. 
What resources could be maintained long term underground? 
How would they get a water supply?
What animals/ foods would have the most versatile usage?
All of these were things I had to consider.
Anyway I thought I’d share with you some images of my inspiration for various things in Matronly Duties.
The Carts (1)
The Carts (2)
Writing Implements
Howard’s Bike
The Catacombs
The Housing
The Farming (1)
The Farming (2)

I also wanted to share with you the map of Oceania I made so that I had a little idea of where everything was.


And finally here is Bethanie and Howard

Bethany and Howard
~~SUMMARY~~
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Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a new leader prepares to take her place at the head of the government. At least, that’s what she thinks.
Bethanie Greene’s life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, she’s spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.
Howard James’ life has been the polar opposite of Bethanie’s. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didn’t exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives. Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices of the government she is meant to lead.
But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.

ADD TO GOODREADS BOOK SHELF

~~EXCERPT~~

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My body shakes at the thought of what could have happened to me yet again. I’ve heard stories about the slums, and I have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.
“I was silly running away, I get it. I just couldn’t stay in your home any longer.”
Howard sighs. “Just because my parents raised us with traditionalist values doesn’t mean we are anything like the Trads. You accused us of being a drain on society, but you don’t even know us.”
“You’re right, I don’t. But you don’t know me either. If you did, you would understand why it’s hard for me to understand your way of life. It goes against every law, moral, and convention I’ve been taught. So I can’t be sorry for what I said, even if I’m sorry I ran out of the house.”
Howard takes a deep breath, then exhales long and slow. The expression on his face looks a bit like pity but with a dash of guilt mixed in. “Look, maybe I’ve judged you unfairly based on preconceived notions, but—”
A loud bang echoes outside. Howard glances at me with a panicked look on his face, and then pulls me off the crate onto the floor behind. I sit up, and turn to yell at him, but male voices outside keep my mouth closed. I instead huddle closer to Howard as he puts his hand around my shoulders. He pulls me in until I’m tucked against him.
“Did you see where she went?” a man’s voice asks.
“Nah, she just vanished.” The voice of this one sounds young.
“Damn, the boss isn’t going to be pleased about this.”
The crunch of shoes against pavement indicates they are on the move again. The sounds trail off until they’re no longer audible. I sigh in relief, all the tension fleeing my body.
“Are you okay?’ Howard asks, rubbing my shoulder.
I glance up, only then noticing how little space is between us. His blue eyes have flecks of grey in them, and there’s a smattering of freckles covering his nose and cheeks. His warm breath tickles my cheek almost like a caress, and his jaw has the barest hint of a five o’clock shadow. He really is captivating.
“I’m fine,” I eventually say, the words a mere whisper.
The butterflies in my stomach return with a vengeance. Howard licks his lips as they turn up ever so slightly in a smile.
“Good.”
I can’t stop the sigh that slips past my own lips. Howard leans forward a little, then moves closer still until his mouth is pressed against mine. I don’t dare move. A zing of something, I’m not sure whether it’s pleasure or fear, shoots through me. His lips are soft and wet, and the sensation is unlike anything I’ve felt before. I can’t even decide if I want him to continue or stop. When he pulls away though, a feeling of disappointment bubbles up inside me.
My first kiss.
Goosebumps cover me from head to toe, and unbidden, my fingers move to my lips. Glancing at Howard, he stares at me for a minute, then moves to sit further away.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
I shrug. “It’s okay.”
Howard frowns and then looks across the room.
Part of Matron training is learning not to form close relationships. It doesn’t mean it never happens. I’ve heard the odd story here and there from the other women, and I realise that’s probably what Gail was trying to tell me at breakfast the other day. But in all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I had real physical contact with anyone, above all with a man.
We sit in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. Tension rolls off Howard in waves.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Come on,” Howard whispers. “We need to get to the house before those guys come back.”
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~

Melissa Kendall
Melissa Kendall is an almost forty-year-old mother of two from Perth, Western Australia, the second-most isolated capital city in the world. Predominantly a stay-at-home mum, she works a few hours a week as a software support consultant. She has always loved to read and write, and spent most of her teens writing poetry and short stories. Over the years, daily life got in the way and she lost the passion for it, but after the birth of her first child, Melissa discovered e-books and her interest in writing rekindled. She is now the author of two published short stories. Matronly Duties is her first full-length novel.
~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~

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