Mariah Hayes

Mariah Hayes

courtesy photo

Mariah Hayes had no intention of writing “Bloodlines” when the idea first crossed her mind in 2007. At the time, the 13-year-old was attending school in Augusta and “just wrote for fun whenever I felt like it.”

After graduating from Augusta High School, Mariah attended the University of Montana – Missoula, pursuing a degree in music education, but she never abandoned her love of reading and writing.

Mariah told the Sun Times that she comes from a long line of Montanans – her mother, Krystal, grew up in Ryegate and her father, Scott, grew up in Great Falls. Mariah has two younger siblings – a younger sister, Taylor, and a younger brother, Corey. “Growing up, we loved to play outside and go camping with family.”

“We grew up hunting and fishing. I participated in 4-H in Teton county; showing lambs, pigs, horses and enjoying indoor projects such as leatherworking and art,” Mariah said in an interview. The Hayes family attended the Augusta Community Church.

“I grew up in a musical family and with my dad, Scott, being an artist, I love art as well as music. I participated in art classes, choir, band, pep band, and any musical group I could. I also attended every creative writing and reading class I could in high school. My first published work was a poem titled, The Secrets of Time, entered in a Montana literary art magazine showcasing K-12 students.  

Mariah continued, “I always loved to read and grew up reading everything from Dr. Suess to Harry Potter. My favorite genres to read are fiction including Fantasy and Science Fiction. I would often stay up until the late hours, even on a school night, getting lost in a good book.

After graduating from College, Mariah finished the manuscript that would become “Bloodlines.”

"Bloodlines" Cover

"Bloodlines" Cover

“I sent the manuscript to my sister, Taylor, who was the first person to read and edit the story. We looked into some publishing companies, and after submitting my manuscript to Covenant Books, they made me an offer to publish.”

Mariah said inspiration for “Bloodline” came from her love of vampire and werewolf books and movies, including “Underworld,” “Van Helsing”, and “The Vampire Diaries.”  Additional inspiration came from “Lord of the Rings” and the video game “Skyrim.” She described her book, saying, “Bloodlines is a Young Adult Fantasy novel. It is the first in a series. I am currently writing the second one, and I have a couple more books planned in the series as well.”

Mariah currently lives in the Sun Valley area of Idaho with her boyfriend Tomasz Soltyka. Tomasz is form Gdynia, Poland. The pair met at the University of Montana while Tomasz played tennis for the Griz on a full-ride scholarship. He graduated with a degree in Management Information Systems.

When she’s not reading or writing, Mariah’s other interests include, fishing, hunting, spending time outdoors, singing, playing computer games, and playing musical instruments, like guitar and piano.

Of having her first book published, Mariah told the Sun Times, "I am really ecstatic and grateful to have my book published and out there. It is exciting because I like my novel and I know my sister and a few others like it, but to actually have a publishing company like it and be excited as well is something I never dreamed would happen."

So what advice does she have to offer to others? "Just don’t give up! If you have a great idea that you enjoy then stick with it. Write for yourself. Not everybody may like your novel and if so, that is OK. As long as you like the world you have created others will too."

Bloodlines came out from Covenant Books in April of 2019.

Latigo and Lace in Augusta will be hosting a book launch party for “Bloodlines” on Saturday, May 25th, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The party will include wine, punch and appetizers. Guests will be able to meet Mariah and hear her read from “Bloodlines.”

Mariah will be signing copies of her book at the launch party.

More information can be found at the Latigo & Lace website, www.latigoandlace.com, or by calling 562-3665. Latigo and Lace is located at 124 Main Street in Augusta.

This week, Mariah is returning to her Augusta roots, giving a presentation at Augusta High School on reading and writing and on Wednesday she attended the “horn hunt” on the game range.

Mariah provided a synopsis for “Bloodlines:”

Lydia Galatianti, queen of Galatia, is running for her life—the love of her life, King Richard, slain at the hands of his own mother. Hiding her swollen belly from her escort, her mission is to protect her unborn child, even if that means putting her trust in Serene, a strange and creepy old teller who may have an agenda of her own.

Seventeen years later, Nylina Galatianti, sole heir to the throne of Galatia, is beautiful, strong, and hardheaded, until an accident triggers a life-changing transformation within her. Learning the dark secrets about her bloodline, Nyla must come to terms with the future she now faces.

Who can Nyla confide in—Kaden, her best friend, who wrestles with his own tragic past, or Samuel, the head of the guard who seems to keep Nyla rooted to her humanity?

Her kingdom, Galatia, is on the brink of war with a threatening kingdom, Ridia, now allied with the vicious werewolf, Rothgar. Nyla must fight to control her dark urges when a group of refugees from Ridia offer their help. Are these mysterious newcomers who they seem, and can they be trusted?

Can Nyla learn to control herself, or will she reveal Galatia’s greatest secret, harming those she loves in the process?

This story was originally posted at fairfieldsuntimes.com