I'd like to welcome today the hero from SIGN OF THE THRONE! Welcome, David! Let's start off easy. Tell me about yourself? What is your occupation? Why? What are your strengths & weaknesses?

Hello. My name is David Corbin. I just graduated from college with a degree in business and will soon be joining the London branch of my father’s firm, Corbin Industries. That’s the plan, but…I’m no longer sure I want to leave Newcastle Beach. I’ve met someone, and it’s made me rethink some things. I’ve realized that my biggest weakness is that I’ve allowed other people to direct my life. But I’m starting to question things, to rebel and try to find out what I want for myself.

So what is your family like? And how does your upbringing affect you now?

Don’t get me wrong. My parents are great, in spite of the pressure I feel to go along with their plan for my career. They adopted me as an infant, and I’m grateful for the wonderful life they’ve given me. I’m really close to my mom, Margaret Corbin. When I was away at college we used to talk on the phone almost every day. I admire my dad, Philip, for working so hard to build his company. He’s taught me a lot about how to be a leader. I hope I can live up to his expectations and follow the example he’s set for me.

I'm certain you will. What is your earliest childhood memory, David?

My earliest childhood memory? I don’t know—sometimes it’s hard to remember things. I remember something weird that happened, and I’m still not sure if it was real or just a nightmare. There was this monster in my room—some kind of black beast with red eyes. The memory is kind of foggy, but in the morning I found a silver seashell under my pillow. It wasn’t there when I went to sleep. Does that sound crazy?

Dreams can be weird. What tangible object would symbolize you?

Well, I guess the seashell might symbolize me since it’s so mysterious. I feel like there are things about my life I don’t understand, that are a mystery to me. Sometimes I’m not even sure my life is real—it feels like a dream. But some things feel more real than others—that seashell for instance, and Abby. I can’t explain it, but I feel a strong connection to her.

How did you two meet? And what was your first impression of Abby?

When I first saw Abby I had the strangest feeling we’d met before. It was like deja vu. Maybe it was just because I thought she was cute and I wanted to find a way to connect with her. She has the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. Maybe that’s why I feel this way.

What do you like about Abby, besides her eyes?

I like that she banters with me. She’s smart and easy to talk to—my sort-of girlfriend, Amelia, is also smart, but sometimes I feel like we don’t have that much in common. Plus, Amelia won’t go anywhere near my 1961 Harley. I like that Abby was adventurous enough to let me drive her home on my bike. I think we could have a lot of fun together.

So David, and here's where the questions get hard, what is it that you want out of life?

That’s the problem. I know what my parents want my life to be like, but I’ve never really thought about what I want my life to be like. I’m twenty-two years old. You would think I’d have thought about this before now, but I haven’t. Since I was a kid, the plan was always that I would go to college and then work for my dad’s company. It never occurred to me to want something different, until I met Abby. And I don’t know how she fits with this plan. Could a long-distance relationship with her even work?

Hmm...that's a toughie! Switching gears, tell us if life has ever handed you any major disappointments. 

No. And I’m starting to think maybe that’s not normal. I’ve never been sick, never gotten hurt, never wanted for anything. Aside from my bad dream, I can’t remember anything bad happening to me. But bad things do happen to people. All the time. So what makes me so special?

Ya know what? I wouldn't worry myself about it too much. Normal is WAY over-rated. Let's lighten this up a little bit. If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?

I’d probably be at the beach with friends, or working on my bike. Maybe I’d track down Abby and invite her to dinner.

Aside from Abby, tell me about your best friend.

It’s funny. I have a lot of friends from high school and college, but nobody I would consider a best friend. Can you be surrounded by people and still be alone? I feel like that sometimes, but I know I’m not totally alone. I’m probably closest to my mom and Moira Buchan, a friend of our family. They seem to know me better than anyone.

If you owned a CB radio what would your "handle" be? What would your heroine’s be?

Probably “Thrill-seeker” since I like driving fast and cage-diving with sharks. Or maybe “Shark-bait” since Abby thinks I’m crazy for doing that. I’d call Abby “Ocean Eyes” because her blue eyes change color depending on what she’s wearing, like how the color of the ocean changes with the weather.

What CD is in your CD player right now?

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash (London Calling).

That's one of my husband's favorites! Well, thank you for being so open, David. Now it's Abby's turn to be in the hot seat! Tell me about yourself, girl? What is your occupation? Your strengths and weaknesses?

Hey there. My name is Abby Brown. I’m a senior in high school and right now I have two jobs—working at the Guest Services Cabana by the pool at the Newcastle Beach Inn, and working as a babysitter for the Buchan family. I’m trying to save up for college. I would say my greatest strength is my determination. When I make up my mind to do something, I follow through, no matter the cost. I’m also really good at reading people—I can tell when people are lying. My biggest weakness is that I’m easily affected by emotional negativity. I find people with abrasive personalities draining, and I have to get away from them so I can recharge. That’s the tough thing about being introverted, but I’m slowly learning to deal with it.

What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

I think my family is pretty average. My dad is an accountant, and my mom teaches middle-school. I have a younger brother who annoys me, but who can also be a sweet kid. We’re not super exciting, but we love each other, and I know my family will always be there for me. My parents taught me to work hard to get what I want, so that’s what I’m trying to do.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Seems like I was always bringing home stray animals. I found a kitten once, and begged my parents to let me keep her. Unfortunately, my mom is allergic to pet dander, so it didn’t work out. But, my best friend Jon lives next door, and luckily, his mom said he could keep Cookie. At least I still had visitation rights. It seems like Jon is in almost all of my memories—we do everything together.

What tangible object would symbolize you? 

The queen of Cai Terenmare recently gave me a pendant in the shape of a silver nautilus. It’s an object of power called the Sign of the Throne. Apparently David has the other half. I’m hoping that if he sees my half of the pendant, it will jog his memory. Maybe then I can help him find his way home so he can become the person he’s meant to be, the Solas Beir of Cai Terenmare. The Sign of the Throne is a key to another world, and maybe it will be a key for me too, in unlocking my own destiny.

Describe David. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?

David Corbin…okay, I admit, I have a bit of a crush on Mr. Corbin. He’s easy on the eyes. It’s not just that though. It sounds crazy, but I dreamed about him before I met him in real life. I felt like we had a connection, and the queen confirmed that our paths are intertwined. That’s all well and good, but how am I supposed to tell David about all this? If I tell him he’s the heir to the throne in a magical parallel realm, he’s going to freak out and run away. What am I going to do?

Yeah. I think that would freak me out, too. Is there anything about David you would consider a flaw?

He can be a little cocky. That’s okay—I like the challenge of taking him down a notch. It seems like we always end up teasing each other when we talk, which makes me like him so much more. Never mind all this destiny stuff—we do have a real connection, and I wish I could find a way to have an actual relationship with him. But I can’t lose focus—what I want doesn’t matter. What matters is getting him home, because if I fail him, the Kruorumbrae will kill him. And if he dies, what will happen to Cai Terenmare? This is not just about me and David—there is an entire kingdom depending on us. If Tynan Tierney wins, Cai Terenmare will suffer. People I care about will die.

So, what is it that you want out of life?

Right now I just want to find a way to get David back to Cai Terenmare without him thinking I’m crazy. Worst case scenario I could kidnap him, but somehow I don’t think the Sign of the Throne will work if David doesn’t come with me willingly. Assuming I survive this, I can figure out what I want out of life later.

Has life handed you any major disappointments?

Sure—who hasn’t had major disappointments in their life? I was hoping to get a scholarship to go to college, and my grades are good, just not as good as the top students in my class. So, I’m working two jobs to save money, and my parents have been trying to help out as much as they can. But we’ve had to make sacrifices. I had to quit all of my extracurriculars to pick up more hours, and I really loved painting sets for Drama Club. I hoped I’d be able to afford a car, but that’s not going to happen. Even the hideous clunker our neighbor was selling was too much money and needed a new engine. On the bright side, I get to take a nice long walk to my jobs in Newcastle Beach, so exercise is not a problem. And another plus—if I manage to get David back to Cai Terenmare without getting mauled by a monster, college is going to be a cakewalk.

If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?

A free day is a rarity for me, so I’d want to make the most of it, spending time with my family or Jon, maybe hanging out at the beach. I’d love to spend the day with David, but I’m not sure he’d feel the same. We flirt with each other, but I don’t know what I would call our relationship just yet.

Okay, last question. What CD is in your CD player right now?

Sunset Empire by The Well-Meaning Sociopaths.

Never heard of them. Well, thank you for joining us today. And now let's find out more about your story.

About Sign of the Throne~

Abby is an ordinary girl haunted by dreams of an ivory castle, blood-thirsty monsters, and a striking stranger. Working as a babysitter for a family of mythology lovers in wealthy Newcastle Beach, California, she struggles to define herself among the elite class while trying to make sense of her strange visions. Upon meeting David, the doppelg√§nger of the mysterious young man in her dreams, Abby’s life is changed forever.

Encountering the queen of Cai Terenmare, a magical kingdom in a parallel world, Abby learns of an evil lord hell-bent on usurping the throne, the murder of Cai Terenmare’s king, the Solas Beir, and the kidnapping of the Solas Beir’s infant son.

As the kingdom struggles to endure, the queen shows Abby the full extent of her destiny. She must convince her mysterious crush, David, that he is the lost heir. While braving attacks from the dark lord’s sadistic minions, David must realize his true identity and return to Cai Terenmare to claim his throne before time runs out, lest the evil that was temporarily locked away be unleashed, threatening to destroy both the kingdom and all of humanity.

The Excerpt~

Abby spent the next evening babysitting for Cassandra and Riordan. She put the kids to bed and laid out her homework on the coffee table downstairs. She was immersed in her work when she realized—the house was quiet. Eerily quiet.

She was used to the familiar creaks and groans of the old house, and night ushered in the occasional chirp of a cricket or flutter of moth wings around the antique sconces lighting the room. Tonight she heard nothing—there was only dead silence. She felt a prickle at the back of her neck and realized she was shivering. The room had gone unnaturally cold, and she had the distinct sense that she was not alone.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a shadowy presence, someone standing still, watching her. She turned to look, but there was no one there. She felt a terrible unease twisting in her gut. Something was wrong.

Responding to her intuition, she got up and climbed the stairs to check on the children. Ciaran was snoring, perfectly at peace. He had wriggled out of his covers in his sleep. Abby tucked him back in.

Leaving his room, she walked down the hall to the twins’ room. The nightlight in the hallway began blinking erratically. She entered the room and froze. Perched monkey-like on the corner of Rowan’s crib was a shadowed figure the size of a small boy, leaning over the sleeping child. Sensing Abby, it turned its head, blood-red eyes meeting hers.

Abby gasped with horror as the creature leapt with unnatural agility from the crib and crouched like a spider high on the wall, staring down at her. Slowly, it smiled, revealing rows of pointed narrow teeth, sharp as razors. And then…it pounced.

Abby raised her arms to shield herself, scrunched her eyes shut, and screamed. But there was nothing. She heard a low chuckle behind her and saw the creature near the door. The shadow boy laughed and ran out. The smoky form changed into a large black house cat before disappearing through the hallway wall.

Abby ran to the twins’ light switch and turned on the lights. She checked to make sure Rowan and Siobhan were unharmed, and then hurried to Ciaran’s room, flicking on lights as she ran. Ciaran was still fast asleep—her scream had not disturbed him at all.

She jerked open his closet door and found his aluminum baseball bat. Then, scooping him and the quilt up from his bed, she ran back to Rowan and Siobhan’s room. She shut the door and nestled the five year old into a make-shift bed on the floor. Sitting against the dresser next to him, she hummed, trying to reassure herself. Armed with the bat and the adrenaline coursing through her body, she waited.

About Melissa Eskue Ousley~

Melissa Eskue Ousley is the author of The Solas Beir Trilogy. “Sign of the Throne,” the first book of this young adult fantasy series, will be released on September 14. She is currently working on the second and third novels in the trilogy, “The Rabbit and the Raven” and “The Sower Comes.”

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping roadkill off a molten desert highway to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona.

You can find Melissa here:

Melissa’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

You can buy SIGN OF THE THRONE here:

Sign of the Throne Amazon {Paperback} | Amazon {Kindle} | Redroom



  1. Good morning! I'd like to welcome Melissa, David, and Abby to M.J. Schiller, Author today! Thank you for being my guests and for your interesting and forthright answers to my interview questions.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sounds like an awesome book - Thanks for sharing MJ!!!

    1. Thanks YOU for stopping by! I love this cover--but then again, I'm a cat girl!

  4. Love the sound of this book and the cover is intriguing. Best of luck.

    1. Thanks for stopping in from the other side of the globe, Rowena! I appreciate it! I forgot to mention it earlier, Melissa, but I love the music in your trailer.


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