Monthly Archives: February 2014

Book Review: Sorcerer’s Duel

PictureSorcerer’s Duel (The Guardians, Book 2), by W.H. Cann (also see my author spotlight of W.H. Cann and my review of Path to Vengeance)

[I received a free copy of this book as a gift from the author.]

Sorcerer’s Duel picks up after the climactic battle at the end of Path to Vengeance. Grogaan and his team head for the Ladorran Republic to rest and put the pieces back together. While there, Grogaan’s developing relationship with Ellarna deepens, and they both begin training in magic to become Guardians. Then the destiny which Grogaan has seen in dreams and visions and has dreaded begins to unfold around him.

This book was a lot of fun. It’s space fantasy that owns its magic instead of trying to pass it off as pseudoscience. There are wizards good and evil, exciting space battles and shiny spaceships, interplanetary intrigue, and a good dose of romance. The first part dragged a bit; large sections, especially the diplomatic maneuvering after the evil Empire’s latest moves and Grogann and Ellarna’s magical training, are told in narrative summary. Which actually works pretty well for the training; I find long chunks of people just learning stuff to not be very interesting. But a few more specific scenes to show what they’re learning and how would have spiced up that section a bit.

Before long, though, Grogaan’s destiny starts to catch up with him, and that’s when the pace picks up and it’s non-stop to the end as Grogaan faces battles both external and internal, and Ellarna fights to save the man she loves. I really cared about what happened to the characters.

A fun read, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Especially recommended for fans of Star Wars or fans of epic fantasy who want to read something in a non-traditional fantasy setting.


Happily Ever After?

PictureHappy endings – boring and unrealistic? Or uplifting and fulfilling? Every once in a while I come across this discussion on one blog or forum or social media site or another. Sometimes I weigh in, sometimes I don’t, but it’s something I feel very strongly about – I love happy endings. I hate it when I’ve invested a lot of time and emotion in characters (and, where there’s a romance, in their relationship) only to have things turn out badly for them. If I wanted to read something depressing, I’d go read the newspaper. I feel this way about the books I read, and I especially feel this way about the books I write.

Three of the main complaints I’ve heard about happy endings are that happy endings aren’t realistic, a happy ending means the whole book is nothing more than fluff, and the story is boring if there isn’t the possibility that one (or more) of the main characters could die.

1. Happy endings aren’t realistic – this just isn’t true. Yes, there are lots of bad outcomes in real life, but there are also lots of good outcomes. It’s just that the bad ones get most of the attention. Also, I think it’s destructive to believe that happy endings aren’t realistic. If there are no such things as happy endings, then why should anyone even bother trying to make the world a better place or improve their own lives?

Now, I’ll admit that a perfect happy ending, where everything is bunnies and rainbows and unicorns and no one ever faces any more problems or challenges for the rest of their lives, isn’t realistic. Plus it would be boring. But, to me, a happy ending doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems still to be faced. True happiness comes in the face of challenges and trials. If you don’t know what sorrow and hardship are like, then how can you truly appreciate happiness?

2. A happy ending means the book is lightweight fluff – this just isn’t true, either. Like I said, happiness in more meaningful when you’ve had to come through trials and challenges. Therefore, my theory goes, the greater the problems the characters have to deal with, the happier the happy ending. I make my characters earn their happy endings. When you’ve followed the characters through a whole novel and all kinds of troubles and struggles and dangers, it feels even better to see them finally get their reward.

3. The story is boring without the possibility of the main character(s) dying – Life and death aren’t the only possibilities in fiction, or in life. Actually, from a narrative standpoint, death is boring (unless the possibility exists for the character to continue developing and making a difference after death). To me, the questions of “HOW are they going to survive?” and “How are they going to live on in the aftermath of everything that’s happened?” are far more interesting and filled with possibilities than “ARE they going to survive?”

The one criticism I’ve read of happy endings that I think is valid is that sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere and just be stuck on the end of the story without regard for plot, characters, world, or the expectations that have been set up in the story. But this is more a problem with the writer’s craft than with happy endings themselves. You can also have tragic endings that come out of nowhere and are just stuck on the end of the story without regard for plot, characters, world, or expectations.

Part of the craft of structuring a story is laying down the seeds of the ending from the very beginning. So, for example, you can have something that looks like a deus ex machina (god on a machine, from old operas based on Greek/Roman mythology where at the end, when it looked like everything was lost, a god would suddenly swoop down from “heaven” on a piece of stage machinery and fix everything) and have it come out of nowhere and have nothing to do with the story, or you can carefully plant the possibility of divine intervention and what the characters have to do to earn or invoke it. Whether the god saves everyone or destroys everyone, it doesn’t matter – the important thing is to build the foundation for it from the beginning of the story.

A lot of the “tacked-on” effect might also be due to the author’s outlook on life. If an author doesn’t believe happy endings are really possible but she feels obligated for marketing reasons to slap on a happy ending, it isn’t going to be sincere. A writer should be true to their own vision, but maybe, I’d gently suggest, a writer whose worldview precludes any possibility of happy endings would benefit not only her stories but herself by expanding her worldview to include more positive possibilities.

Also, I suppose it’s possible to write characters who don’t naturally gravitate to a happy ending, so that they have to be forced into it, but I guess I don’t write those kinds of characters. One of the common threads my characters have is that they want to take responsibility for their actions and be in charge of their own fate and be free to make their own decisions (even when they’re in situations where they feel like they aren’t in charge and don’t have that freedom; they still long for it), and they want to use this freedom and responsibility to make something good of their lives. Again, this might have a lot to do with the author’s own outlook on life. I believe in human freedom and agency and that no matter how bad things are, we always have the power to try, in some small way, to make something good of it, even if it’s only in our refusal to give up hope or to let our trials make us into someone less than we are.

I’ve said before, since my books are partly romance, where Happily Ever After is a given of the genre, it’s no spoiler to say that my books have happy endings. The questions isn’t “Do they make it through?” but “How do they make it through?” and “How do they go on with the rest of their lives?” The characters have to endure a lot to get to that happy ending, and sometimes it isn’t clear how things are going to work out, and there are always consequences from the events of the story – destroyed lands, consequences of their actions, lasting effects from the traumatic events of the story – to be dealt with in the future. The main thing is, they do make it, good overcomes evil and love triumphs over all, and my characters come to the end of the book facing the future and its challenges side by side and hand in hand. This is the payoff that I as a reader hope for when I read a book, and that I as an author like to give my readers.


Where Am I? What Am I Doing? Where Am I Going?

So I guess I pretty much blogged myself out during Love & Magic Week (which was tons of fun and I’m planning on doing it again next year, hopefully with some other authors as a group promotion or blog hop). Besides last week’s Author Spotlight, I haven’t been able to come up with anything to blog about. Mainly I was making a big push to finish the analysis phase of the Daughter of the Wildings revision and writing in major changes on Sarya’s Song. I finished both of those last week, so now I’m moving on to the next stages. Sarya’s Song is into the line editing stage, basically where I make sure the writing is nice and makes sense and correct any lingering mistakes. This will be followed by a couple of clean-up and proofreading passes, then Sarya’s Song will be ready for release. I’m going to say late in March; hopefully sooner. It looks like I’m mostly finished with all the doctor appointments and tests for now, and we’re on to just monitoring the condition to see what it does, so that will be a lot less disruption to my writing schedule. The problem isn’t just the time spent at doctor’s offices and down at the hospital getting all that stuff done; it’s also the stress and worrying, and the fatigue. Being out and about for 2 or 3 hours pretty much wipes me out, physically and mentally, for the whole day.

Like I did with The Lost Book of Anggird, Sarya’s Song will be released at a special low limited-time introductory price, so if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on that and other release news and special offers, sign up for my email alerts.

As for Daughter of the Wildings, it’s a bit harder to say when it’ll start being released. I was hoping to have the first book out in June, but that might not be realistic. So I’ll just say watch for the first book sometime this summer!

I’m also starting to think a little bit about what comes next. There are a lot of different directions I could go. I feel like it’s time to start writing more new words. I’d like to write more short stories, both standalones and stories related to my other books. There’s a set of stories giving some background to Chosen of Azara churning around in the Idea-O-Tron (aka my brain), and some for Urdaisunia. I’m also thinking more about my very first novel and its sequel, both of which are complete and I think would be pretty good after a thorough revision. And I have ideas and even partially-written chunks of more stories/novellas/novels set in the Estelend world. And I have an idea for a follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings I want to start planning. And and and…

Anyway, whatever I end up working on next, I’m having way too much fun. I love the freedom of being an independent author and being able to work on whatever I want, although sometimes my brain feels like this (credit goes to Kristine Kathryn Rusch for originally likening this to the writer’s brain on indie freedom):


Author Spotlight: Nicoline Evans

PictureToday I’m pleased to welcome fantasy author Nicoline Evans to the blog.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Nicoline and I love to invent new worlds for readers to get lost in. My goal while writing is to create a safe place for people to forget about the heavy things in their own lives, even if it is only for a few hours of the day.I graduated from Rutgers University – New Brunswick, NJ as a communications major. After taking every creative writing course they offered, I realized writing was my passion.Random things about me? I am a certified scuba diver, I revel in new adventures, and I believe in all things magical.

2. When did you start writing, and why?
I have been writing since I was in middle school. I have some fun short stories in my archives from those days. In high school, I kept a journal that documented my everyday activities (ridiculous, I know) and I had many notebooks full of poems. I continued writing through college, the daily journal stopped but the poetry continued (improving drastically, in my opinion). Writing down my thoughts in short, poetic prose helped me get through some of the hardest times in my life. At Rutgers University, I took as many of the creative writing courses that I could. After I graduated in 2009, I immediately began writing my first novel. “Haemans”, which is available now, is the second novel I wrote. The first is still in editing but should be available soon 🙂

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write fantasy novels. I enjoy taking real life issues or ideas and putting a whimsical spin on them. Sometimes it’s light, airy fantasy and sometimes it’s dark, twisted, and creepy. In all cases, I like to have a touch of darkness in them. It keeps the story real. It also is the style that’s most fun for me to write.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
“Haemans” is my debut release. It came out on February 3, 2014 and as of right now, it is a stand-alone book. After reading it you will see that there is room for a sequel, but that would come at a later date. I have another novel coming out in the forthcoming months. It is a completely separate story from “Haemans” but it is still a fantasy tale with epic world-building and adventure.

5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
Russia has a secret and it is the transformation of their people. Hooked on the newest craze brought to light by the reinstated royals, Russians are now known as haemans; morally unhinged addicts with super strength and speed. The rest of the world is clueless to this new development; it has been kept confined within the borders of Russia. The haemans are wicked, filling the country with depravity as they seize control over the culture. While the new royals reign over their loyal haemans, Russians who escaped this newest fad live hidden in the wilderness, away from the dangerous cities. These escapees live each day carrying the weight of loved ones lost and the mindset to survive.

Picture6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?

Sevrick Bykovsky – A non-haeman survivor. He will do all he can to save his fiancée, Arinadya, from the grips of haemanism. From his hiding place in the woods, he makes dangerous trips into the city to check-in on his love, hoping to convince her to see the error in her ways.Arinadya Tarasova – Haeman. Extremely strong female lead who takes pride in her new lifestyle. CEO of Arkline Advertising, Arinadya is a force to be reckoned with.  She is strong and ruthless. Over the years she has forcibly forgotten all about her life as a human.Mikhail Romanov – Newly titled prince of Russia. One of the three originators of haemanism. He is callous, cruel, and lethal. His manipulative style has coerced naïve and impressionable Russians into following his lead, dragging them down to his level of immorality.

Milena Romanov – Newly titled princess of Russia. Mikhail’s sister, and the only person he truly loves. Gorgeous in how she portrays her life as a royal haeman, Milena made this self-destructive lifestyle seem fashionable. She influenced the opinions of millions, putting a desirable light upon an addiction that would otherwise be deemed deplorable.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
This story is important to me, as the writer, because it is a reminder to everyone reading that anyone can come undone. No one is perfect and we all have moments of weakness. Some of us are still struggling through our darkest times while others may have a past that feels heavy. No matter the case, we all endure difficult moments that make us who we are today. Just because you have gone through a tremendously hard time, or are still going through it, does not mean you cannot rise above and move forward from it.

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
www.nicolineevans.com
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Haemans
By Nicoline Evans

Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Russia has undergone drastic changes. When descendants of the lost royals are discovered, they are thrust into the spotlight. They use their power to corrupt the population, turning those who succumb to their addiction into freakishly strong and morally unhinged individuals. These addicts are known as haemans. Those who escape this terrifying new culture must live hidden in the forested outskirts, far away from the danger that now engulfs the cities. HAEMANS follows the tragic love story between one escapee and one haeman.


Love & Magic sneak Peek: Bad Hunting

One last post for Love & Magic Week! Here’s a sneak peek, with some romance and magic, into Bad Hunting, Book 2 of Daughter of the Wildings (first draft) (this is in the aftermath of a harrowing battle, and something has happened that’s going to make things even worse for Lainie and Silas):

Picture “I’m sorry,” she wept. “You got yourself stuck with me, and now you’re in trouble–”

“Lainie, darlin’–”

“It’s all my fault. You had to–”

“Lainie, look at me.”

Sniffling, tears running, she looked across the shallow cave at Silas. Blue light danced in his left hand. “I’m a mage, Lainie. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.”

“But–”

“I could have sent for someone to come and take you back to Granadaia if I didn’t want to deal with you myself. I didn’t have to try to think of another way. I didn’t have to hang around Bitterbush Springs after we were done with Carden, trying to think of what to do with you and worrying about if you would be okay. And do you really think that your Pa could have forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do?”

“I…” She looked at the mage light in his hand. Sometimes she forgot exactly what and who he was–what and who she was dealing with. Even after a couple of months together, even knowing what she was capable of, the thought still frightened her. “No, I don’t think he could have.”

“I’m in this with you because I want to be. I wouldn’t have turned you over to the schools in Granadaia, to be chewed up and spit out or turned into something you’re not. And I wouldn’t have dishonored you in your father’s eyes–at least not any more than I already had–by taking you away with me unmarried.”

“Is that the only reason why you married me?” she asked, feeling very small and not sure she wanted to hear the answer. He might not have been forced to marry her against his will, but she also didn’t want it to only be out of a sense of obligation.

“Why do you think those other things mattered so much to me? I love you.”

He had said it many times before, but she had never been quite sure whether or not to let herself believe him. “Why?”

He gave a brief laugh. “Too many questions, darlin’. I’m starting to run out of answers. Why do I love you? Because… Because. I can’t not love you, that’s why.”


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: Sarya’s Song

Wrapping up Love & Magic Week with sneak peeks into two of my to-be-published works, Sarya’s Song and Daughter of the Wildings. First, here’s a look at Adan and Sarya’s complicated relationship from Sarya’s Song (please keep in mind this is still not the final draft!):

Picture As she tried to make her way through the press of people back to the door that led outside, the last voice she wanted to hear called out, “Sarya! Sarya dyr-Rusac!”

Panic drove her to push her way faster through the crowd, but Adan caught up to her and grabbed her arm. “Where have you been?” he asked. “Have you come back to stay?” There was an urgency in his voice as though his questions were a matter of life and death.

She tried jerk her arm away from him, but his fingers dug harder into her arm. “It’s none of your concern. I just need to speak to the Council of Masters about a bit of research I need to do, and then I’ll leave again.”

“You left without a word to me or anyone–”

“I didn’t realize I needed your permission to leave.” Around them, people were stopping to stare. Sarya tried again to pull herself free from Adan, but he refused to let her go.

“I didn’t know where you were or what had become of you. I didn’t even know if you were alive or dead!”

“What does it matter to you? You said yourself I don’t belong–”

“Damn it, Sarya!” He pulled her close to him and pressed his mouth to hers.

Sarya’s legs nearly went out from under her. His mouth was warm and hungry against hers; his upper lip and chin were scratchy with late-afternoon whiskers. She told herself she should push him away or something, anything but melting against him like she was doing while he kissed her as though he were starving and she was his banquet.


Guest Couple: Marden and Th’alia

Next up on Love & Magic Week, I’m happy to welcome Marden and Th’alia from The Shining Citadel by A.L. Butcher:

Picture 1. How did you meet?
Marden:
*Looks awkward.* Th’alia was my captive. I was an escort on a mission for the Order of Witch-Hunters. Those days seem long ago now, foolish, blind days.

2. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?
Th’alia:
I tried not to like him. I did not confess I liked him but I suppose he was different to the elven men I knew. He was actually quite handsome for a human.
Marden: Th’alia is clever, and there was something I found fascinating, her defiance probably.

3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?
Marden:
No, you must understand I was a Witch-Hunter, she was just an elf. The chance of us both surviving what we had to do was small. So much changed.
Th’alia: Of course not. I knew what he was. What I did I did to save my sister and my town.

4. What do you like best about the other person?
Marden:
She is clever. She does not pretend to be someone she is not. She is proud of her heritage.
Th’alia: Marden is brave. He gave up a great deal to be with me. I suppose I do not appreciate that often enough, to have to change one’s beliefs and one’s life cannot be easy.

5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)
Marden:
We do not actually have much in common, save a shared history and our son. I suppose we like to assist the people in Tremellic, our new home.
Th’alia: I like to read and keep the records of my people. Marden is still learning.

6. How has the other person changed you?
Marden:
In my old life I was cruel, foolish and unquestioning. I know that now. Th’alia and the other elves and mages have shown me the law is wrong, the beliefs of the Witch-Hunters are wrong. I never thought I could care for an elf, but elves are also people – they love, they hate, they cherish in the same way humans do.
Th’alia: I have a son now, and perhaps my views on humans is more flattering now.

7. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?
Marden:
There are many differences, I think the biggest is what now should be done to free the elves, Th’alia is unrealistic and she wants to simply tell all the elves what we have found, about the Citadel and Dii but I know this would be very dangerous.
Th’alia: He doesn’t listen to me, he thinks he is right when he isn’t.

8. What do the two of you have in common?
Marden:
Our son, our shared secrets.

9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?
Marden:
My family would disown me for settling with an elf. My father is very prejudiced and would not see Th’alia for the intelligent woman she is.  He would simply see an elf, a slave. He would undoubtedly ask me to choose.
Th’alia: My twin sister does not exactly approve but if I am happy she is happy. The rest of my family are dead.

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
Marden:
I am not magical, and until recently I believed magic is the cause of all which is ill in society but I now know that is a lie. I am learning about magic – Th’alia I believe is what is known as a scholar adept. She can remember what she has read far better than most, and she has an uncanny knack at languages.
Th’alia: Marden is learning, I am more familiar with magic as my sister is a mage.

11. What are your plans for the future?
Marden:
To raise our son with the best of human and elven characteristics. To protect Tremellic. To protect what we have learned.
Th’alia: To let the elves gain their freedom. To be avenged for Ilthendra.

12. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?
Marden:
Well together we are stronger, that is obvious. I do not know much about elves, or elven lore, Th’alia does.
Th’alia: Marden is a good warrior, he will fight when we need him to.


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: The Lost Book of Anggird #2

Love & Magic Week continues! Here’s a magic lesson with Roric and Perarre from The Lost Book of Anggird:

Picture

“All right, then. I’m ready,” Perarre said. “Let’s get this over with.”

He positioned himself behind her and took her hands in his. She was tense and trembling. “Breathe deeply and slowly,” he said, shaking her hands to loosen them up along with his own. “The most important thing is to not fight it. Be aware of it, the heat, the colors, the nature of fire, but don’t let it have power over you. Do you understand what I mean?”

“Yes,” she said uncertainly.

“Remember what I told you,” he said. He kept up a soothing murmur, reminding her of the things he had told her, trying to encourage both of them as he moved their hands towards the fire. Each time he felt the slightest hesitation or tension in her arms, he stopped and helped her relax again. “Would I be doing this with you if I thought you would get hurt?” he asked.

She looked up at him. “Oh, Roric, I’m sorry. This has to be even harder for you than it is for me.”

“It’s not as hard as it looks.” He hoped he sounded at least somewhat convincing. “Just let the warmth — not so hot as to burn, just warm — just let it flow around you… It helps a great deal if you close your eyes.”

She closed her eyes. Roric tried to make himself keep his own eyes open, but finally he couldn’t watch any longer. Keeping up his encouraging words, he slowly extended their arms, bringing their hands closer to the fire and then into the dancing energy and distant warmth of the flames themselves.


The Lost Book of Anggird is available at:
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All Romance eBooks

Couple Interview: Roric and Perarre

Welcome to another couple interview for Love & Magic Week: Roric and Perarre, from The Lost Book of Anggird.

Picture 1. How did you meet?
Perarre: We met when I interviewed for the position of translating old books for him. He didn’t want to hire me, for some silly reason, but I talked him into it.
Roric: I remember wondering, immediately after I engaged her for the position, if I hadn’t just made a terrible mistake. As it turns out, hiring her was probably the most intelligent thing I’ve ever done.

2. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?

P: His looks. He’s very handsome, in a slightly exotic way. And then I noticed that his reputation for being a sanctimonious prig seemed to be completely justified. Fortunately, he’s grown out of that.
R: I noticed that she was a woman, which I thought made her unsuitable for the position. Then I took note of her qualifications, and changed my mind. Male or female, I couldn’t have asked for a more highly-qualified and competent assistant.

3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?

R: No. I had no intention of ever entering into a romantic or carnal relationship with anyone.
P: [laughs] I was just hoping that we could work together without strangling each other. I had my sights set on foreign lands and exotic lovers once my work for him was over.

4. What do you like best about the other person?

P: There’s a very sweet and gentle side to him that he never used to show anyone. He had his reasons for that, and I felt very privileged that he finally opened up and let me see that side of him. He also has great integrity; he will do what’s right no matter how hard it is. He can be absolutely trusted to tell the truth and keep his word. And when he does decide to offer his love or friendship to someone, he is completely loyal. And he treats me with respect.
R: Her warm, straightforward nature, along with the fact that she forgives me so easily for my more difficult traits. And I have the greatest admiration for her intelligence.

5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)

R: In spite of a rather difficult beginning, we found that we work very well together on scholarly research.
P: We also like reading together. Roric has a fondness for the mythologies of different lands, and it’s fun to read out of collections of myths to each other. And also, yes, “the obvious.”

6. How has the other person changed you?

R: She got me to open up my heart to friendship and love, to start truly living instead of living only for my work and to protect myself.
P: All the things I once thought I wanted – traveling to exotic places and having love affairs with exotic men – started to seem shallow and meaningless. With Roric, I learned to want something bigger and deeper, something greater than my own immediate, self-centered desires.

7. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?

R: There’s quite a difference in our ages. I’m thirteen years older than Perarre. But that doesn’t seem to matter; we relate to each other very much on equal terms. And she was far more experienced in some things than I was when we first… when our relationship began.
P: There’s also the difference in our personalities. He’s very neat, fastidious, really, and reserved, and I’m… not. But I think the differences between us are less important than what we have together. We just seem to complement each other. And anyway, if we were both the same, it would be boring!

8. What do the two of you have in common?

[long silence]
P: Not much. But that’s ok.
R: We do share a dedication to scholarly work. We’ve also been through some unique and difficult experiences together. But mostly what we have in common is our feelings for each other.

9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?

P: My mother didn’t think much of Roric when she first met him, but he wasn’t at his best at the time, all things considered, and anyway, she was still pushing me to marry a man who was the last man in the world any girl would want to marry, so her judgment is pretty questionable. I’m much closer to my sister Samale and her family than I am to my mother, and Samale and her husband Luka like Roric very much. As for Roric’s family, his brother Khaian is a good man. The rest of them, well, with family like that, who needs enemies?
R: My father was horrified that I had married a woman of a different heritage from ours. On the other hand, my brother Khaian and his wives seem fond of Perarre. I quite like Samale and Luka; they are good, sensible people. Perarre’s mother, on the other hand, in my opinion, failed as a mother when she tried to force Perarre to marry a young man who was not only unsuited for Perarre but an entirely objectionable person.

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
R:
We met when I engaged Perarre to assist me in research concerning a difficulty with the magica, the magic power found in the Vorunne Dominion.
P: And then, the first year and a half of our relationship was spent trying to find the roots of the problem and correct it. We went through a lot of experiences, magical and non-magical, that really bonded us together.

11. What are your plans for the future?

R: Raising our children, of course. Also, due to the circumstances surrounding what happened to the magica, I’m considered the foremost expert on how to use magic as is currently exists. So there is no end of courses to teach, lectures to deliver, and books to write. I love my work, so this is a very exciting time.
P: There are also books to be translated, which have never been translated before, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to do this, and to keep working with Roric.

12. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?

P: Working together, we changed magic and the way the Vorunne Dominion is ruled. So there’s that.
R: As well, Perarre and I are both better, stronger people together than we are apart. And the two of us complement and complete each other.
P: [smiles at the toddler running around the room] The most important thing is that together, we made something that didn’t exist before – a new family.


Love & Magic Playlist

PictureFor Love & Magic Week, I’ve put together a playlist of songs for my story couples. Some of these are love songs, some are maybe not exactly love songs but they go well with the relationships. There’s a variety of artists and styles, from old-school Dire Straits to the symphonic metal of Myrath, from country-flavored John Doe to Social Distortion’s punk cover of “Ring of Fire.”  Whatever your listening pleasure, there should be something for everyone!

(by the way, I’m still experimenting with these embeddable/shareable Spotify playlists, so if anyone wants to drop me a line and let me know how it works, I’d appreciate it!)

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback copy of Urdaisunia, Chosen of Azara, or The Lost Book of Anggird!

Songs and couples they go with:

Eruz and Rashali, Urdaisunia:
-I Want You (Savage Garden)
-Silent Cries (Myrath)
-New Dawn (Visions of Atlantis)

Sevry and Lucie, Chosen of Azara:
-Possession (Sarah McLachlan)
-Truly Madly Deeply (Savage Garden)

Roric and Perarre, The Lost Book of Anggird:
-Damn I Wish I was Your Lover (Sophie B. Hawkins)
-Where Would You Like Them Left? (Blaqk Audio)
-Undisclosed Desires (Muse)
-(Silent Cries would also go here again)

Adan and Sarya, Sarya’s Song:
-The Golden State (John Doe)
-Another Heart Calls (All-American Rejects)

Silas and Lainie, Daughter of the Wildings:
-Ring of Fire (Social Distortion)
-Angel of Mercy (Dire Straits)
-Summertime (My Chemical Romance)

Link to playlist on Spotify