I confess that my Facebook fans make my day sometimes! They are loyal, supportive, and participatory every time I introduce a new Phantom Island contest or activity. Not only did they avidly invite hundreds of people to “Become A Fan” of Krissi Dallas on Facebook (raising my fan base from the 600’s to currently at 825), but they have no qualms about sharing their opinions of the characters in Phantom Island – particularly the two heroes involved in Phantom’s love story.
I asked for 800 followers and agreed that when we reached 750, I would release a “juicy” quote from a character in the sequel. So I started asking for votes over which character the fans wanted to hear from. It was astounding how evenly divided people of all ages were over Caleb and Gabriel. Yes, I had votes for Whitnee, Amelia, Morgan, Abrianna… but not even close to what came in over my Hot Island Boy (Gabriel) and my Loyal Best Guy Friend (Caleb). My husband and I looked at each other as one vote would put Gabriel ahead and then another would come in for Caleb, and he said, “Wow. You really have created a believable love triangle here.”
(To which I say HOORAY for REAL love triangles… sometimes a love triangle boils down to the main character’s CHOICE. We don’t always have to set up the “bad guy” and the “good guy” in a love triangle because real life just isn’t like that. Love and choices go hand-in-hand and, in Phantom Island, I didn’t want it to be clearly defined who Whitnee should or shouldn’t be with. Just like a real person, she will have to figure that out for herself… both choices are probably good. But just like in real life, either choice will dictate what the future holds for her.)
ANYWAY… a juicy Caleb quote ended up winning by a few votes at the last minute, which left my Gabriel fans wanting more. So I started another contest: “Give Me A Gabriel Sneak Peek,” in which fans were encouraged to describe Gabriel to me in one word. After 20 suggestions, I would select my favorite word, find a way to use it in the sequel somewhere, and then release a juicy Gabriel sneak peek from the sequel.
Here were some of the suggestions (from both Gabriel and Caleb fans… you can tell which ones came from which… lol.)
Sexy (and all variations of this word, including “freaking sexy” and “sexy-licious”)
HOT (He is a Pyra, after all.)
After considering all of these… and there are a LOT up there that I REALLY like… I believe DEFIANT is my favorite, because it does seem to go with some of the themes in the sequel, Water. So, thank you, Ryan Neal, for suggesting that one! When you read the sequel and find the word “defiant” in some form to describe Gabriel, you can know that you contributed it! 🙂
And now… the long-awaited Gabriel Sneak Peek.. I’m a little nervous about sharing this one, but I think it works because it does not necessarily give away setting or plot. However, I love when the two worlds between the Island and the Mainland intersect culturally. This is one of those scenes. All I will tell you here is that Whitnee is trying to teach Gabriel the game, “Truth Or Dare.” (NOTE: All sneak peeks are subject to change before final publication, of course.)
I sighed, “Okay, Gabriel, truth or dare?”
“I choose truth.”
I thought for a moment. What did I want to know about Gabriel? Oh, so many things… but I decided to start out easy on him while he learned the game. “What’s your favorite color?”
“Pink.” He said without hesitation. That made me sit up a little more and stare at him skeptically.
“Pink?” I repeated. That couldn’t possibly be true. But a smile spread across his face as if I wasn’t in on a joke. That was when I glanced down at my dress… and remembered I had pink highlights in my hair. “You’re supposed to tell the truth!” I accused him.
“There is no way that pink is your favorite color—”
“Okay, then I will change it to… what is it that Mainlanders call it? Blonde?” His smile had turned wicked now.
“Stop it!” I was really trying not to smile at his attention. “I get your point. But if you’re not going to play by the rules—”
“I am being perfectly truthful, Whitnee. My favorite color is whatever you are wearing.”