Mages’ Exile Sneak Peek

Um, okay. Finally back 😀 I’ve been busy, revising and editing Mages’ Exile, book 2 of Defenders of the Wildings, and writing the first draft of my next series, yet to be named, set in the Islands of the Wildings world, the home of Silas’s ancestors. I’ve also got a few more blog posts to write about our trip to Germany, which I’ll try to finish soon.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek into Mages’ Exile. (My newsletter subscribers got to see this first, and they’ll also get first look at the cover, a tiny snippet of which illustrates this post.) This scene shows why you don’t take the kiddos along on your fantasy quests if you can possibly help it, though if you’ve read Mages’ Home, you’ll know that Silas and Lainie didn’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. (Note: this is not the final version; still some edits to go.)


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Half-climbing, half-crawling, Silas left the winding path and headed straight up. Another measure and a half up, he pulled himself up onto a shelf cut into the slope, a good bit wider and longer than the ledge below. At the far side of the shelf, where the canyon wall rose again, five or six swordbeaks strutted in an agitated circle, spitting out curls of flame that hissed in the rain. In their midst, Garis sat on the ground, laughing and clapping his hands.

Silas’s heart skipped a beat and he stopped short. He suppressed an urge to run right over and pull Garis away from the swordbeaks; the last thing he wanted to do was upset the critters even more and provoke them into attacking. He held silent and motionless for a moment, observing the situation. It didn’t look like the swordbeaks had hurt Garis, but they were clearly unhappy at his presence. A dark cleft split the canyon wall behind where Garis was sitting. The swordbeaks’ den? No wonder the beasts were angry.

“Garis,” he said, fighting to keep his voice calm.

“Look, Pa, fire chickens!” Garis shouted. The swordbeaks chittered, flapped their tiny forearms, and breathed out more fire.

Fire chickens. Silas closed his eyes, overcome by one of those brief, unexpected moments of sympathy for his own parents. “Hold still, Garis. Don’t scare them.”

“They ain’t scared, Pa. They happy and dancing!”

Great gods, what was he going to do? Silas studied Garis and the surrounding flock of swordbeaks, trying to work out how to get the critters away from the boy, or the boy away from them, without provoking them. He could slip a shield between the beasts and encircle Garis with it, keeping a strand of power extended to pull Garis and the shield out with, through the ring of swordbeaks. But wielding that much power with that much precision and control, without hitting any of the swordbeaks, in this place of wild magic while he was still suffering the effects of that weapon, wouldn’t be easy.

Still, it was the best he could come up with. Ignoring the discomfort, he began to draw power, shaping in his mind the shield he meant to make.

 


Watch for Mages’ Exile, book 2 of Defenders of the Wildings, coming (hopefully) in January 2019! And in the meantime, stay tuned for the reveal of the amazing cover! To make sure you don’t miss out on the release, and for early cover reveals, sneak peeks, special offers, and more, sign up for my email newsletter.
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Mages’ Home Now Available!

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I’m pleased to announce that Mages’ Home, book 1 of Defenders of the Wildings, is now available at all major ebook stores (and a number of smaller stores) for $2.99 or the international equivalent.

Amazon.com
AU | CA | UK
Amazon International
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
iTunes | Kobo
Smashwords
DriveThruFiction
More Stores (This takes you to Books2Read, where you’ll find links to a number of other international stores)

You can read the prologue and first chapter here.

Defenders of the Wildings is the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings, and Mages’ Home catches up with Silas and Lainie some six years after the end of Daughter of the Wildings. They have a new home and the life they’ve dreamed of, and things are much better for mages in the Wildings now. But the Plain settlers aren’t the only ones who hate (or used to hate) mages, and when a company from across the western sea comes to town, trouble soon rears its ugly head again. Only Silas and Lainie have a lot more at stake now than their own lives.

Defenders of the Wildings tells a self-contained story, and can be enjoyed even if you haven’t read Daughter of the Wildings. (Though I hope you have, or will!) It’s a three book series, Mages’ Home to be followed by Mages’ Exile and Mages’ Uprising. It introduces a bunch of new characters I had fun writing, and gets us caught up with the characters from Daughter.

Defenders was originally 6 books, and I kept changing the order of books 1, 2, and 3 before I really got a handle on how the story went, then I combined them into 3 books. So there was a lot of work to do revising this series, and book 3 (formerly book 6) was nearly double in length by the time I finished the first big revision on it. It turned out to be a lot more epic in scope than I thought it would. But I think it’s all come together pretty well 🙂 The second revision of book 2 is proceeding apace. No promises on a release date, but I’m aiming for 3-4 months from now.

I’ve also started writing my next series, which is set in the Islands of the Wildings world, where Silas’s ancestors came from, in a time period well before the migration of Island mages to Granadaia. This will be a trilogy plus prequel. It’s still a long ways off; stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, I hope you’ll pick up Mages’ Home and enjoy starting this new adventure through the Wildings with Silas and Lainie.


Weekend special on Daughter of the Wildings Box Set!

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Sept. 20-24: This weekend only, the Daughter of the Wildings Books 1-3 box set is only $2.99! I rarely put this one on sale, so don’t miss this great price!

Amazon.com
AU | CA | UK
Amazon International
Barnes & Noble | Google Play
iTunes | Kobo
Smashwords | DriveThruFiction
More Stores


Mages’ Home Cover Reveal!

I’m down to the last few editing passes on Mages’ Home, Book 1 of Defenders of the Wildings, so it’s time to show off the cover!
And the full wraparound:
The artist who did the covers for Daughter of the Wildings unfortunately was not available to do these covers, so I commissioned Yuriko Matsuoko. I love her vision of a more mature Lainie and an older and (possibly) wiser Silas.

Here’s the blurb:

Once hated and hunted by mage hunters and Plain folk alike, former bounty hunters turned renegade mages Silas and Lainie Vendine finally have the life they dreamed of – a home and ranch of their own where they can live in peace and raise their family, and the liking and respect of their non-magical friends and neighbors.

When a new company from across the western sea comes to Prairie Wells, bringing marvelous new inventions, Silas and Lainie figure it only means more prosperous times ahead for them and the town – until an old and virulent hatred of mages rears its head.

As troubles stirred by unseen enemies divide the town, many of Silas and Lainie’s neighbors turn on them and danger strikes at the heart of their home and family. Silas and Lainie must find a way to protect everything they’ve worked for – their home, their land, their family, and the newfound peace and safety for mages in the Wildings – before it’s all destroyed.

Read the Prologue and Chapter 1 here (warning: contains mild spoilers for Daughter of the Wildings).

I’ve set a tentative release date of September 22. To make sure you don’t miss the release and the very limited-time introductory price (release weekend only!), sign up for my email newsletter. You’ll also get news about special offers, giveaways and book promotions, book recommendations, exclusive sneak peeks, and more, including a free copy of Tales of the Source-Breakers, a subscribers-only collection of prequel stories to Source-Breaker!


Travelogue Update

germany-dresden-frauenkirch-outsideI put the travelogue on hold while I finished up massive rewrites on a book, but now it’s back. Kyra’s Excellent Adventure Part 8: Dresden. http://www.kyrahalland.com/blog/kyras-excellent-adventure-part-8


Women of Spells and Space

Aug. 3-5: From the shadows of our world to worlds of magic to the outer reaches of space, you can get these heroines onto your ereader for 99c or free for a limited time in the Women of Spells and Space sale!
Aug. 1-31: Witches exploring magical realms. Space marines finding the edge of the galaxy. Do you love female protagonists in your science fiction and fantasy? No matter where they are, you can get these heroines onto your ereader for a limited time! Find your next unputdownable woman-led SFF today in the Women of Spells and Space giveaway on BookFunnel!
July 23-Aug. 13: Have you ever seen one of those commercials that go, “Our buyer goofed, and now we have to clear out all this overstock”? Well, that’s how I feel right now! I submitted three books for a sale at the Kobo store, hoping one would get accepted, and they took all three. So right now, for a limited time, three of my romantic epic fantasy novels are only 99 cents at all stores! My goof is your gain; here’s your chance to get caught up on some of my backlist for a bargain price 🙂
Urdaisunia | Chosen of Azara | Sarya’s Song

Book Bargains and Other News

Time for a quick break from the travelogue (which I’m posting on my main site; go here for the first post) to catch up with some news.

First of all, have you ever seen one of those commercials that go, “Our buyer goofed, and now we have to clear out all this overstock”? Well, that’s how I feel right now! I submitted three books for a sale at the Kobo store, hoping one would get accepted, and they took all three. So right now, for a limited time, three of my romantic epic fantasy novels are only 99 cents! (except at DriveThruFiction, which is having a different sale right now.) My goof is your gain; here’s your chance to get caught up on some of my backlist for a bargain price 🙂

Urdaisunia | Chosen of Azara | Sarya’s Song

http://sffbookbonanza.com/99c-books-jul-2018/

July 23-29: Looking for some 99 cent books? Check out the SFF Book Bonanza 99 cent sale! Books in a wide variety of science fiction and fantasy genres, 99 cents at Amazon.

July 1-31: It’s the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale! Most of my books are 50% off with the on-site coupon code (it’s right there on the book pages; just click “buy with coupon” and you’re good to go), including some books that I rarely/never discount otherwise. Some books will move in/out of the sale as they go off/on other promotions. Now’s your chance to stock up on my backlist!

And while you’re at Smashwords, here are some other authors to check out:

As for writing progress, I’m still working on edits on Book 1 of Defenders of the Wildings and revisions of Book 3. That’s been a lot of work; I’ve had to add some large chunks of new material to the book. On the plus side, I’ve added over 14,000 words to a draft that was way too short. I think we’ll be having a cover reveal for Book 1 here pretty soon. Watch for it! (p.s. my newsletter subscribers already got to see the cover!)

I also did a re-edit of Sarya’s Song in preparation for these promos. Nothing huge, tightened up the beginning and added a bit of polish to the rest, straightened out a few things that might not have been quite clear, stuff like that.

Watch my main site for the last few posts about my trip to Germany, coming soon!


Sale on Box Sets!

Ends May 28! Get 40% off the Daughter of the Wildings Books 1-3 and Love and Magic box sets at Kobo and Smashwords.

Kobo: Use coupon code 40MAY: Daughter of the Wildings Books 1-3
Love and Magic
Browse more box sets here!

Smashwords: Daughter of the Wildings Books 1-3 Use coupon code BC88R at checkout
Love and Magic Use coupon code DV59X at checkout


I’m Baaack, Or, Kyra’s Excellent Adventure, Part 1

In my last post, I mentioned I was about to do some traveling. Well, I’m back now, got back last week from an amazing 2 weeks of traveling around Germany. I’m exhausted, still a little jetlagged, and sick with the probably inevitable airplane cold I picked up on the way home, but it was wonderful and I’m excited to tell you about it. Since I’m an author and this is my blog for my readers, I’ll relate some of the experience to my writing, but mainly this is an excuse to get my journaling about the trip done, tell some fun stories, and show you some of my pictures 😀

To start with, let’s go back 100 years or more. My father’s father was born in Germany, in an area that later became part of East Germany. He and his parents emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1920s, but most of their relatives remained behind in Germany.

Fast forward some 50 years. My father had the opportunity to spend a year in Germany as a visiting professor, in the early 70s and then again in the late 70s. So growing up, I had the amazing experience of living in Germany twice for a year, as a child and then as a teenager.

Since then, my parents have returned a number of times to work, sightsee, and visit friends and relatives. I hadn’t been back; between one thing and another, mainly health issues and anxiety issues related to travel, I figured I would probably never go back. Then last year, my parents turned 80 and decided it was time to keep a promise they’d made to my youngest brother and take us kids back to Germany, along with our spouses. (Yes, my parents are amazing that way. I wish I had their energy. A few months before this trip, they went on a cruise to South America and Antarctica.)

When my parents told me and my husband about the plan, I was excited but also terrified. I’d been afraid of flying for 40 years. I could get on an airplane if I really had to, but I would be sick with fear and have nightmares for weeks before. –> Writing note: when I write a character who has to do something hard and terrifying and they do it anyway, this is part of where that comes from.

But I really wanted to go on this trip, and I wanted to look forward to it instead of dreading it, so I set about dealing with my fears through a variety of methods – spritual, behavioral-cognitive, educating myself about flying, getting myself accustomed to the idea of flying. One thing that really helped was on YouTube there are lots of videos posted by people who travel a lot, who take videos out the airplane window as the plane is taking off and landing. I watched a ton of these for exposure therapy. The fear didn’t completely go away, but I managed to reduce it quite a lot, to the point where I could manage it.

And I did it. I, along with my husband, got on an airplane and flew to Dallas, then got on a really big airplane in Dallas and flew to Frankfurt. My parents and my sister and her husband (B&M) were already there, and my youngest brother and his wife (R&C) arrived just as we did, and meeting them there was just amazing. The coolest family reunion ever. We collected the luggage and the rental cars and set off for Mainz, where my other brother and his wife (J&Y), who had come the night before from Australia, would meet us.

In Mainz, we went right to the center of town, where the cathedral is, and met J&Y there. My husband and I were starving, so we found an outdoors table at one of the restaurants surrounding the square and ordered schnitzel for lunch. In my mind, this was one of the consummate German experiences I remembered the best, eating at one of the tables that spill out from the restaurants and cafes onto the plazas. And it was as awesome as I remembered.

Once we weren’t starving any more, we went to take a look at the cathedral. I loved the medieval cathedrals the previous times we were in Germany, even to the point of educating myself about the different architectural styles and features, and when I stepped inside I was struck just as strongly as before by the enormous size, and the grandeur and majesty and age, of the cathedral. It was one of those moments when reality and what I remembered/hoped for matched up perfectly. It took my breath away and left me awestruck, and it was just as great to see my husband having the same reaction. –> Writing note: the Shrine in Sarya’s Song is modeled after the Romanesque cathedrals of Mainz and Worms.

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The cathedral in Mainz, Germany.
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Mainz Cathedral
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Doors, Mainz Cathedral
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Mainz Cathedral – Interior
Next time: Adventures along the Rhine, including fun with the GPS Navi.

Love and Magic coupon special

PictureMarch 22-26: On Kobo and Smashwords, get the Love and Magic box set (contains Urdaisunia, Chosen of Azara, and Sarya’s Song) for 40% off the regular price of $6.99!