First-time novelist publishes fantasy tale set in Southwest Florida

Author Kristie Cook’s new book features a pair of teenaged, supernatural soulmates, and if you enjoyed the popular “Twilight” saga, the Punta Gorda resident believes there’s a chance you’ll also like “Promise.”

But unlike in the “Twilight” saga, don’t expect to meet vampires and werewolves on the pages of “Promise.” Cook’s “Soul Saver” series is all about angels and demons.

“They’re a match in heaven and in hell,” Cook said of her protagonists, Alexis and Tristan.

“Promise” will be available for sale on July 30, and is the first in what Cook expects to be a five- to seven-book series. The story is set in Southwest Florida, in a fictional town that Cook describes as being a composite of Naples, Cape Coral and Punta Gorda.

It’s Cook’s first novel, although she considers herself a lifelong writer; her previous writing experience includes time as a newspaper reporter and editor, as well as resume and cover letter writing. Currently, Cook is a Naples business owner and works primarily with the construction community. In that role, she continues to write, focusing more on communications-related writing, such as newsletters.

With her business partner, Chrissi Jackson, Cook formed Ang’dora Productions, a new publishing company, to release “Promise.” If the book is successful, Ang’dora will take on other authors, Cook said.

The idea for “Promise” began percolating when Cook’s three sons were younger and she read them the Harry Potter series. She remembers being “floored” by the stories and author J.K. Rowling’s abilities as a writer and storyteller, she said, and wondered if she could also create a fantasy tale.

However, she knew that she also wanted to do something different than young wizards.

“At the time, angels and demons weren’t done very much,” she said.

As she read more paranormal fiction, she decided she would also try to write a book. Her sons were also older, and she was able to devote more time to the project.

All at once, the plot for “Promise” began to form.

“It was kind of surreal, the way it all came to me,” Cook said.

She imagined Alexis, the heroine, who lives her teenage life dealing with a collection of unique personal “quirks,” and who is constantly trying to discover more about herself. She also imagined the hero Tristan, a handsome and perfect young man with a secret origin.

Like the “Twilight” saga, “Promise” includes supernatural and romantic elements. But Cook wants potential readers to know that, unlike Stephenie Meyer’s books, “Promise” is aimed at a more mature audience. The level of physical intimacy is more explicit than in the “Twilight” saga, and by the time the next book in the series is released, “Purpose,” Alexis will be several years older and confronting adult challenges.

Some of the book’s themes may also be too sophisticated for young audiences, Cook noted. The book has religious and Christian elements, and explores the salvation of the soul.

Still, Cook said, “Promise” isn’t meant to preach, but to entertain.

“It’s for the masses,” she said. “It’s for people who like to read this kind of stuff.”

“Promise” is $15.99 in paperback, and $5.99 for e-readers. Available online at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and www.ihavepromise.com. It can also be ordered at local bookstores.

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E-mail Elizabeth Kellar at liz@elizabethkellar.com.

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