I love pretty book covers, so today I'm happy to welcome author Rabia Gale, here to show off the cover of her upcoming novel Flare (The Sunless World, Book 2). Take it away, Rabia!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!
I'm delighted to reveal the cover for my upcoming release, Flare, Book Two of The Sunless World, an epic fantasy series with a steampunk flavor.
[Kyra sez: Isn't that a fabulous cover!]
Rafe and Isabella are back
The mages of old saved their world, but left it in eternal darkness. Now it’s time to bring back the light.
After two years of training his magical gifts, Rafe returns home to a land wracked by war. Desperate states struggle to protect their resources of luminous quartz. Magic pulses and earthquakes devastate a world on the brink of extinction.
Rafe's old enemy Karzov has gathered a band of prodigies obedient to his will. He seeks the power of the ancient mages for an audacious and sinister purpose. It's up to Rafe and his ally, Isabella, to stop him—and undo the mistakes of the past to put their world right again.
Flare will be out in September 2016!
The Sunless World series
"Quartz: The Sunless World introduces a rich and credible backdrop to the adventures of her characters, with a deadly political mire underlying the bright colours of high society." - By Rite of Word Reviews
"This story is fast, fascinating and highly recommended." - Amazon.com review
The Sunless World series begins with Quartz (Book One) and Flux (A Sunless World Novel).
About the Author
I create weird worlds full of magic and machines, and write characters who are called on to be heroes. I'm fascinated by light and darkness, transformation, and things that fly. Giant squid and space dragons appear in my work—you have been warned!
A native of Pakistan, I now reside in Northern Virginia, where I read, write, doodle, avoid housework, and homeschool my children.
Find me online at:
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter
To get caught up on Reading Roundup posts, I'll do five books at a time for the Friday 5 feature. Although today I'm actually featuring six books, to take care of a couple of series. (Links go to Goodreads.) I'm not posting every book I read on these features, just the ones I especially enjoyed and am happy to recommend.
Hunted (Flash Gold Chronicles #2)
Peacemaker (Flash Gold Chronicles #3)
Claimed (Flash Gold Chronicles #4)
Liberty (Flash Gold Chronicles #5)
by Lindsay Buroker
The rest of the volumes in the Flash Gold steampunk series, set in an alternate version of the Yukon Gold Rush. Great characters, sinister bad guys, cool magic/steampunk technology, fun Kali/Cedar interaction, adventure, and blossoming romance. Quick but fun and satisfying reads.
Dust and Light (The Sanctuary Duet #1)
Ash and Silver (The Sanctuary Duet #2)
by Carol Berg
I adore Carol Berg's books, and the Lighthouse duology (Flesh and Spirit/Breath and Bone) are two of my favorite books ever, so I was delighted when I found out about these new novels set in the same world. I was a little disappointed that Valen, the rebellious ne'er-do-well drug-addicted but good-hearted protagonist of the Lighthouse books, wouldn't be in the new books (except in passing references to the infamous Cartamandua recondeur, or renegade), but the new characters and story made up for it. Lucian is another one of Ms. Berg's patented tortured young men; he's just lost his whole family, except his much-loved younger sister, in a terrible fire in the midst of a devastating civil war, and now his career as a magical portraitist for the Registry, the ruling body over the pureblood sorcerers, is being seriously sabotaged for reasons he can't begin to understand and that turn out to be extremely perilous not just to his career but to his sanity and even his survival.
Already familiar with the world, I slipped back into it in all its richly detailed, terrible glory. We get more information on the civil war that forms the backdrop of Flesh and Spirit/Breath and Bone and a look at what life is like for a non-renegade sorcerer. Lucian is a well-fleshed-out character who grows from his sheltered upbringing and upstanding, law-abiding character (except for an incident when he was severely chastised and disciplined for a brief love affair with an "ordinary" (non-magical) woman) to realizing how unfair, brutal, and ultimately corrupt sorcerous society and the Registry are. I enjoyed the other characters as well, especially Bastien, Lucian's new boss, the city coroner and cemetary manager.
Ash and Silver picks up with Lucien, now known as Greenshank, as a knight-in-training in the top-secret Knights of the Ashes, discovering his badass side as he trains to protect Navronne from evil. He finds himself the focus of two plots, one involving the disputed throne of Navronne (the object of the terrible civil war being fought the last several years), the other having to do with damage to the parallel world of the Danae and the fate of a massacred city. There's a lot going on, but it's all lots of fun, and as always beautifully written, and Lucien/Greenshank grows into a really unforgettable character. (full reviews: Dust and Light | Ash and Silver
I haven't done a character interview in a while, so here's one with Elspetya Lorentius from Daughter of the Wildings. I don't have a picture of her, so here are Silas and Lainie's first encounters with her in City of Mages:
1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
My name is Elspetya Lorentius. I chose that name myself to represent the life I aspired to among the highest levels of mage society. It is modeled after Island names, since mages of Island descent are the elite of the elite among mages.
2. How old are you?
It's bad manners to ask a woman her age. But I will admit to having achieved a certain maturity of years, and that I am old enough to have adult grandchildren.
3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
My father was a mage of high standing and considerable power. Unfortunately, my mother was a Plain servant girl, and because of the undesirable circumstances of my birth, I was raised and lived my earlier life as a Plain. I married a Plain man and had five children before my power developed when I was around thirty years old. Of course, I left my Plain life and family behind when I went to be trained as a mage, and ever since then I have taken my proper place in mage society. Shortly after I began training in magic, I entered into a close connection with a gentleman from the highest levels of mage society, a member of the Mage Council. Our connection is highly gratifying to both of us, though, for various reasons, we have never seen the need to marry.
4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
That's really none of your business, as well as being something I don't care to remember. My life before I was acknowledged as a mage means nothing to me.
5. What is your occupation?
At the moment, I am pursuing certain plans regarding the Wildings, the large, sparsely-settled region west of Granadaia. I am discontent with the Mage Council's hands-off approach to the Wildings and its resources, and have decided it is necessary to take control of the situation myself.
6. What are your best and worst qualities?
I am highly intelligent, and gifted in magic, and very focused on achieving my goals. I have the ability to organize and lead. I have a large number of men working for me on my current project, and none of them have ever objected to taking commands from a woman.
Some might say I am cold and selfish. But I see those as being merely offshoots of my drive and ambition. One cannot achieve great things if one is easily overcome by emotion and sentimentality.
7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
Ah. [smiles] My gentleman companion embodies all those qualities I require. He is intelligent, talented, and ambitious, and willing to place all of those at the service of my plans. As well, he is extremely wealthy and has placed a large portion of his funds at my disposal. He is also handsome, and has the vigor of a man one-third his age. And he is quite devoted to me, although from time to time circumstances have required him to keep his devotion a secret from society.
8. What is your favorite thing to do?
I wish to do everything I can to raise the wealth, status, and influence of mages in the world. I enjoy making plans to do so and carrying them out.
9. What is your greatest fear?
I've worked hard to secure my place in mage society. It has not been easy, as the bastard child of a Plain servant girl. My greatest fear is that something, whether it be foreign interference or Plains not keeping to their proper place, or any other catastrophe, will undermine all I've worked for, both my own position and the high status that mages enjoy in this world.
10. What is your most treasured possession?
[holds out her right hand to display a gold ring set with a deep purple stone] My mage ring. It represents everything I've hoped and worked for, the things I've achieved since leaving behind the degraded circumstances of my earlier life.
A couple of big sales going on right now:
July 2-3: This weekend, July 2-3, don't miss the big 99 cent Science Fiction and Fantasy Sale! This one includes all the big retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, and Smashwords. Tons of books are priced at 99 cents - science fiction, fantasy, sci fi/fantasy romance, dystopian, humor, and even some multi-novel box sets! (selection varies by store)
Urdaisunia is part of the sale, available at all the retailers, so if you haven't yet read this tale of war, forbidden love, and gods behaving badly in an ancient desert land, now's your chance to get it for only 99 cents.
July 1-31: It's the site-wide Summer/Winter Sale at Smashwords! Use coupon code SSW50 at checkout to get all my books 50% off (except for Cure for Nel and Mistress of the Mirror, which are free!). Lots of other books on sale too, at varying discounts.
A few suggestions from the 99 cent promo Amazon page (some of these are available at the other stores as well):
Sand & Storm, by Patty Jansen
Patty Jansen runs these promos for free, and she puts in a lot of hard work helping other authors. This is her newest fantasy novel.
The Dragon's Egg, by Pauline Ross
Pauline Ross's Brightmoon novels are always favorites of mine.
The Shadow and the Sun, by Monica Enderle Pierce
I don't know anything about the author or the book, but I'm a sucker for wizards in love.
Things Unseen, by C.J. Brightley
I'm involved in a top-secret (for now) project with C.J. Brightley and a number of other authors. I just read C.J.'s novel The King's Sword and enjoyed it quite a bit.
Hammer of the Gods (The Desolate Empire, book 3), by Christina Ochs
Christina is also involved in this project, and I recently read Rise of the Storm, book 1 in the Desolate Empire series based on the Thirty Years' War. Excellent historical fantasy. (You can also pick up books 1 and 2 for free or cheap right now!)
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