Tag Archives: Chosen of Azara

99 cent Science Fiction and Fantasy Sale

Sept. 3-4: 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, and even some multi-novel box sets! (selection varies by store)  Chosen of Azara is part of the sale, available at all the retailers, so if you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance to get this multi-generational tale of magic, adventure, and love for only 99 cents.

Also, The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu and Other Tales of Azara, a companion volume to Chosen of Azara, is only 99 cents right now (regular price will be $2.99). Available at the following stores:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | OmniLit |
DriveThruFiction | Smashwords

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Tales of Azara now available

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Taking a quick break from the Weird Western StoryBundle to announce that The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu and Other Tales of Azara is now available. This companion volume to Chosen of Azara contains the following stories:

  • The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu: The rise of Sajur vo Udrun from petty official’s son to High Priest of the Madrinan Empire.
  • Coming Home: In a last, desperate effort to save her life, young Juzeva arrives at Source Azara.
  • Turn the Heart: Torn between love and duty, Prince Idan must make a choice.
  • Comfort Enough: Several years after his deal with Azara, Sevry comes to terms with one of the sacrifices demanded by his new life.
  • Baby Steps: A widowed baron must find the courage to love again.
  • Mothers, Daughters, and Dreamers: All Lillia wants is for her mother to pay attention to her instead of to her dreams of a long-lost land.
  • The Man in the Woods: Lucie’s visions over the years of a mysterious man in the woods.
  • What A Man Has to Do: Estefan’s future father-in-law assigns him an almost impossible task.
  • Homecoming: Lillia struggles to come to terms with the truth of her mother’s life.

To give you a taste of what’s in this collection, I’ve posted “Coming Home” over in the Read Right Here section.

The regular price on this collection will be $2.99, but now through Sept. 5 you can get it for only 99 cents at the following stores:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | OmniLit |
DriveThruFiction | Smashwords

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Also, Chosen of Azara is only 99 cents through Sept. 5!

Amazon (all international sites) | Barnes & Noble
iTunes | Kobo | OmniLit | Smashwords | DriveThruFiction


New Cover for Chosen of Azara

So I said I’ve got some cool stuff coming up, and here’s the first one: A new cover for Chosen of Azara!

Here’s the ebook version:

And the full wraparound:

Like I said, it was a really tough decision to get a new cover for Chosen of Azara. Katt of Design by Katt did a fantastic job with the previous two covers, and she was wonderful to work with. I highly recommend her for beautiful photomanip covers. But with two more books coming out soon in the Estelend world, I wanted to tie all three of them together with similar cover styles that would also go with the cover of The Warrior and the Holy Man, another Estelend book. Matching all those covers would be really hard to do when working with photo-based covers, especially since it’s also really hard to find stock photos that work for my particular brand of romantic high fantasy. So I commissioned Mominur Rahman, who did the amazing covers for Daughter of the Wildings and the Warrior and Holy Man cover, to do the covers for the new Estelend books and also the new cover for Chosen. I think he did a wonderful job of capturing Sevry and Lucie, and Juzeva too, up there in the corner, and also in nailing the genre and the type of story. The previous covers will remain on display on the book page for Chosen; in the meantime I’ll also start getting the updated files uploaded. It might take a few days for them all to go live and for me to get all the images on the site updated.

Chosen will be going on promo for a few days early in September, and the collection of companion stories, The Brilliant Career of Sajur Golu and Other Tales of Azara, will be out in the next couple of weeks. So watch for those; to make sure you don’t miss out on these and other new releases and special offers, sign up for my email alerts.

Anyway, that’s cool thing #1. Cool thing #2 is coming up in just a few days, and I am so excited about this! I’m like a little kid on Christmas Eve; I can hardly wait. Stay tuned!


Happy New Year part 2: What’s coming in 2016

PictureSo the cold I thought was getting better when I wrote the post on Saturday got worse again yesterday, now today maybe it’s a little better again… *sigh* But at least I’m able to sit up and write instead of being sick in bed, so here’s a look ahead at my plans and goals for 2016:

For the Wildings, the conclusion of the Daughter of the Wildings series, is first up. It’s still going through major revisions, with some editing stages still ahead, but is progressing steadily. I still don’t want to give a release date, but will likely be in a couple of months. Now that things are settling down after the holidays and I’m not quite as sick as I was, I should start to be able to spend a little more time on it.After that, I’ll be returning to my Estelend word, the world of Chosen of Azara, The Warrior and the Holy Man, and “A Cure For Nel”. This world is built around the idea of physical features in the landscape (caves, springs, trees, water spouts, etc) that are Sources of magical power, and certain people are born with the ability to take in and use that power. The Source-Fixer (crappy working title) and Heir of Tanaris are both complete in first draft and will be my next two published novels, coming out this year (I hope; they both need a lot of work).

Along with getting these three novels ready for publication, I’ve committed to writing 1000 words of new prose every day, whether short stories, novels, or writing exercises that might turn into a story. Blog and forum posts do NOT count! My writing goal for the year is 250,000 words (allowing for Sundays off and other days when new writing just isn’t going to happen, like Christmas and travel days). I almost made it 300,000 words, but while I’m still developing the habit, I don’t want to overshoot myself. I may raise my goal to 300k later this year. It takes me about 30-45 minutes to write 1000 words, so it takes some portion of my 3-4 good working hours a day but not too much.

So, with writing 1000 words a day, that’s a lot of new stuff. A lot of it is going to be short stories. My plans for those vary – put them in collections for sale, post some of them here, use some of them for freebies for my email subscribers. This is an exciting new direction for me, having more work to release and to be able to give away. And it should help fill in the intervals between novel releases.

In the background, I’m also planning a follow-up series for Daughter of the Wildings. If you’ve read City of Mages, you might have noticed a whole new source of conflict mentioned in the book, which isn’t related to the main conflict of the Daughter of the Wildings series but which I want to explore more fully in another series. Of course, Silas and Lainie will still be the main characters 🙂 I’ve got the basic plot idea for the first book and I’m working on the overall story arc for the whole series, but can’t give any kind of timetable yet for when to expect it. Hopefully, if the prep work comes together, I can start putting my 1000 words a day towards that project later this year. As with DoW, my plan is to write the whole thing all the way through, so the whole thing is finished and readers won’t be left dangling for years wondering when (or if) the next book will ever be written. Should worse come to worst, if nothing else, I (or my heirs) can post any of it that remains unpublished online.

I’ve also got ideas for a couple of Silas and Lainie short stories 😀 and there are a lot of possibilities left open in the books to fill in with more stories.

And I’m still mulling over the sequel to Urdaisunia. The DoW follow-up gets priority, but it’s there in the background, humming along in the back of my mind.

And one of these days I’ll also get to revising my Very First Novel Ever and its sequel.

So I’ve got no shortage of stuff to work on; the main issue is prioritizing and managing my limited energy as best I can.

On the reading front, I’ve set my Goodreads reading challenge to 30 books for this year. (I realized that some of my 62 books last year are my own books that I added, but since I read each of them 5-6-7 times before publishing them, I suppose that counts 😛 ) One of my specific goals is to finish reading (or make significant progress on) the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, by Steven Erikson. I love these books; Wheel of Time and Song of Ice and Fire just didn’t do it for me but Malazan is amazing. And – bonus – the series is complete at 10 books. I’ve just started reading book 6, The Bonehunters; since these are massive books and very deep and heavy, it’s probably optimistic to expect to read 5 of them in a year. But I’m going to try. I’m also planning to get started on the Stormlight Archives series by Brandon Sanderson (another of my favorite authors). And Larry Correia is a new favorite, whose books I’ll be reading more of this year. But mostly, as the last few years, most of my reading will be indie authors. I’ll keep doing reading roundup posts to share my recommendations.

As for my health, I’ve taken the concept of “one little word” (where you pick a single word to use as your theme for the year) and selected “nourish” as my word. This year I’ll be taking baby steps to nourish myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most likely, I’m never going to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I can do things to help my body make the most of the health and energy it does have and increase them a little. And since a major factor in crashes and relapses is stress, finding ways to relieve/reduce stress and keep myself in better balance will reduce my crashes and increase my good, usable time and energy. Any success I have in this will hopefully manifest itself in greater writing productivity.

That’s my plans and goals for the new year; wishing you health, happiness, and progress on your own goals and dreams in 2016!

And now, back to work.


Weekend Sneak Peek 5/3: Chosen of Azara

Welcome to this weekend’s Sneak Peek! Today we’re going back to Chosen of Azara, as Princess Juzeva meets her new husband, the man she’s being married to for political purposes, for the first time (Ilvana is her mother, the queen):

Picture“And here is Idan, Crown Prince of the Madrinan Empire,” Ilvana said. She gestured towards the young man standing between the Emperor and his advisor. “Your future husband.” Prince Idan was tall and well-built, with red hair, a strong-boned, handsome face, and clear green eyes. His clothes and armor were less elaborate and more practical-looking than his father’s. Though he was young and handsome, his expression was grim.

This was the man she was to spend the rest of her life with, the man who would be the father of the children she had never planned to have. Fighting back a sudden urge to flee from the room, Juzeva curtsied to him.The Prince stepped forward and bowed to her, then spoke in formal, carefully-pronounced Savarunan. “My lady Juzeva, I know this duty is difficult for you, as it is for me. We are both forced to give up our own desires for the sake of peace between our lands. But I promise you that from now on I will look forward, not back, in the hope that we can be, if not happy, at least content with our destiny.”

Juzeva hadn’t expected such a courtly speech. The Prince had clearly spent a great deal of time practicing it, and Juzeva found herself moved by the effort. If nothing else, she would be married to a gentleman. She bowed her head to him, grateful for his courtesy and thoughtfulness. “I thank you, Prince Idan. I too will do my best to make our union a successful one.”

She watched the Prince take his place beside his father again. Her gaze slid past Sajur Golu’s face just as the priest was hiding a look of deep contempt. Another prickle of revulsion or fear, or both, crept up her spine.

“Let us be done with this, then,” Queen Ilvana said. She and Ezdar moved to a table which stood beneath the great middle window, where a scribe waited with the marriage and peace treaties. The scribe began reading the documents out loud. Juzeva didn’t bother to pay close attention; it made no difference whether or not she knew what they said. The terms had all been worked out already. She had had no say in them, and her opinion and consent had not been asked. The essence of the agreements was that, in exchange for a marriage-link to the Savaru royal family, which would bring with it a significant voice on the Queen’s Council and a healthy portion of the profits from Savaru’s rich fishing, farming, handcraft, and mining enterprises, the Madrinan Empire promised to not run its armies over the land. A bloodless defeat for Savaru, a quick and cheap victory for the Empire.



Chosen of Azara is available at:
Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | CreateSpace
Apple | Smashwords | OmniLit

For more Sneak Peeks, visit the Sneak Peek Sunday blog. #SPeekSunday on Twitter and Facebook.


Weekend Sneak Peek March 22-23: Chosen of Azara

Time for another weekend sneak peek. Here, in Chosen of Azara, Lucie finally meets the man of her dreams, and finds out he isn’t exactly what she expected:

Picture“Azara gave me her life, so that I would not die before my vow was fulfilled. I figure I’m close to four hundred years old.” He smiled again, a faint shadow of a grin that was quickly gone. “I’ve lost track of a few years here and there.”

Everything he was saying was pure nonsense. It had to be. Her fantasies of what it would be like to meet him crumbled away, leaving a hollow disappointment behind. Either he was playing a stupid, cruel joke on her—and there was nothing in his manner to suggest this, only absolute sincerity—or he was only a madman, a wandering beggar lost in dreams and tales of long ago and, for some reason, obsessed with her pendant.

If he was indeed mad, she realized, he might be dangerous if she refused to give him what he wanted. With a pang at giving up the gift her mother had given her, she unclasped the slender chain with the crystal vial from around her neck and held it out for him. “Here. If all you want is my pendant, you can have it. You don’t have to make up these stories to get me to give it to you. Just take it and leave.”

He took her hand in his, laid the crystal pendant on her palm, and gently closed her fingers around it. He held her closed hand for a moment—why did she have to like the feel of him holding her hand so much?—then released it. “That won’t work,” he said. “The power in that token can only be used by a daughter of Juzeva’s blood. I need you to come back to Savaru with me and use that power to restore Savaru to life.”

The outrageous request left her stunned—she wasn’t sure she could have possibly heard him correctly. “Excuse me?” she finally managed to say. “You want me to go away with you?”

“Yes.”


Chosen of Azara is available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Diesel
Smashwords | CreateSpace | All Romance eBooks

For more Sneak Peeks, visit the Sneak Peek Sunday blog. #SPeekSunday on Twitter and Facebook.


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: Chosen of Azara #2

Love & Magic Week continues with a peek at a magical moment from Chosen of Azara:

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After this, Sevry ignored everything else he saw, all his attention focused on watching for the girl to reappear. The next time he saw her, she looked like she was fifteen or sixteen years old. She was in the same place as before, crouching next to some plants by the path. She looked around at him, then stood, her hand going to the sparkling pendant she wore. She opened her mouth as though about to say something, then cocked her head, as though hearing someone calling her from a distance. As she turned to hurry away, she waved at him.

Again he sought for her, and again he saw her, standing on the hillside path, holding a wide, shallow basket with both hands, and facing him, almost as though she had expected to see him. She was fully grown now, perhaps twenty years old. Sevry noticed the neckline of her pale green dress first; he couldn’t help it, any man would have. The dress was cut low, exposing a generous amount of fair, full, lightly freckled bosom. Then, for the first time, Sevry saw the object that dangled from a fine silver chain around her neck, resting just above the cleft between her breasts: a small crystal vial, crafted in a style that had been lost when Savaru was destroyed.

Savarunan crystal. And, Sevry now realized, despite the red hair, green eyes, and softly rounded features, the young woman had a fine-boned Savarunan face. She could only be the granddaughter or great-granddaughter of Juzeva and the red-haired Madrinan prince.

Sevry stepped towards the young woman, and into nothingness.



Couple Interview: Sevry and Lucie

PictureNext up for Love & Magic Week: Get to know more about Sevry and Lucie from Chosen of Azara:

1. How did you meet?
Sevry: I had been searching for a very long time for a magical talisman that would help me restore my destroyed land, Savaru. I was carrying out the search through magical means that I’m not at liberty to describe when I saw her. We actually met in person some months later when I took refuge from a storm at her father’s house.
Lucie: He’s never told me exactly what he was doing when we saw each other by magic. I guess he can’t, or isn’t supposed to. And then it was a huge surprise when he showed up at my father’s house! I’d never imagined I’d really get to meet him in person.

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

L: He wasn’t wearing very many clothes – I don’t mean like that! [blushes] I mean, I noticed how many scars he has, and wondered how hard his life must have been, for him to have that many scars.
S: I noticed her hair, curls of fire and copper glowing in the sun. And I noticed that she was wearing the talisman I was looking for on a chain around her neck.
L: Now, dear, that isn’t all you noticed, is it?
S: [blushes] Well, um, I did also happen to notice that the neckline of her dress was fairly low-cut and that she had a fine figure… But the talisman. That was the important thing.

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

S: No. My options for my life were severely limited by the duty I’d been given, to find the talisman that would restore Savaru to life. Falling in love and marrying were not among those options.
L: I was engaged to someone else at the time, so, no.

4. What do you like best about the other person?
L:
He treats me with kindness and respect, and even though he’s had such a hard life he’s still determined to always do the right thing. And he’s very handsome and has a beautiful singing voice and tells wonderful stories from Savaru from long ago.
S: I love her voice, and how she sings the old songs from Savaru that she’s learned. And the way she makes me feel young and hopeful again. And her courage and gentleness.

5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)
L:
We both love music, so we like to sing together.
S: And she’s teaching me how to play the lute. I wanted to become a bard when I was a child, but the war prevented it. So now she’s helping my dream to finally come true.

6. How has the other person changed you?
S:
She made me feel loved, and gave me something to love and live for besides Savaru.
L: He helped me learn to see beyond myself and my own little world, and to have courage to do the right thing even when it’s hard.

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

S: Well, there’s the age difference. I’m considerably older than I look.
L: Although, when the difference is more than a few hundred years, I don’t think it really matters any more.
S: If the difference in our ages doesn’t bother her, it doesn’t bother me.
L: He also had a very hard life, and I had a very easy life up until I met him and things… happened. We saw the world in very different ways and our priorities were very different because of that. But I think what happened is he took the good things from his hard life and I took the good things from my easy life and we put them together to make our new life better. Does that make any sense?

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

S: We both love music.
L: And we both want to make Savaru a beautiful place to live again.

9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner’s family?
L:
My brothers didn’t like Sevry at first, because my fiance at the time was a good friend of theirs. But then Estefan showed his true colors, and my brothers realized that Sevry was much better for me. Now they like him very much. My father, he just wants me to be happy, so whatever makes me happy is fine with him. I think he thinks well of Sevry, too. As for my grandmama…
S: Lucie and I are actually distantly related, and her grandmother is my closest living relative. Lady Lillia didn’t think much of me at first, because I was trying to take Lucie away from her secure, comfortable life and the good marriage that was planned for her.
L: I think grandmama has finally come around, though. She lets Sevry call her “cousin.”

10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
S:
It was through magic that we were able to find each other across time and space.
L: [sighs] Isn’t that romantic?

11. What are your plans for the future?
S:
Raising our family, and restoring Savaru to the beautiful, prosperous land it once was.
L: And learning to play the lute.

12. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” How is this true for the two of you?
L:
We brought a dead land back to life, and now we’re working to give it a future. How awesome is that?
S: I was the last king of the old Savaru, and I’m the first king of the new Savaru. I couldn’t do it without my queen.


Love & Magic Sneak Peek: Chosen of Azara

Here’s a peek at a romantic moment in Chosen of Azara:

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“Lucie, you have to decide now. What will you do?” His voice was quiet but firm.

“I can’t go with you. Don’t you understand that? I’m to be married in six weeks!”

“If we traveled quickly, you could be back here by then.”

Lucie gave a despairing laugh. She was tired of trying to explain herself to him—and to herself. “And do you think Estefan would still want me then? He’s already jealous, and that was just because I was talking to you. What do you think he would do if I disappeared with you for a month and a half? A broken engagement would be the least of my problems!”

“Has he threatened you?” A dangerous edge entered his voice.

It would be too humiliating to admit that she was afraid of her own fiancé. “No, he’s just very angry. But don’t you see? If I leave with you, I would be cutting myself off from my family and friends, I would have no home to come back to, no one who cared about me. No one would want me. My life would be over.”

She tried to turn away, but Sevry caught her arm and she couldn’t pull free. “Lucie—”

“Don’t you understand what you’re asking of me? What I would have to give up? What I’d lose?”

“I know, Lucie. Believe me, I know what it’s like to lose everything.” She looked up at him, and caught her breath at the genuine sorrow and compassion on his face. “Fate, the gods, history, other people’s decisions can all leave our lives in ruins, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “I wish your family wouldn’t choose to deal so harshly with you. I wish their love and concern for you was more steadfast. If I could—” He stopped speaking and stepped closer to her. She was powerless to move away. His free hand brushed her cheek, as though he was trying to comfort her, then moved to the back of her head, tangling in her hair. He tilted her face up towards his, and his mouth pressed down on hers.


As part of Love & Magic Week, Chosen of Azara is on sale at a special low price through Feb. 16:
Amazon | Smashwords (coupon code ZU89J)

Sunday Sneak Peek 1/19: Chosen of Azara

PictureHere’s another of my occasional (and hopefully more regular!) Sunday Sneak Peeks. Today, in Chosen of Azara, Sajur Golu, the High Priest of the Madrinan Empire, is up to no good:

There was just one matter that Sajur Golu needed to look into before moving forward with his plans, and he had the opportunity to do so as soon as the meeting ended. Princess Juzeva was walking in an inner garden courtyard near the Council chambers while she waited for her husband, who had remained inside to speak to some of the other Councilors. Sajur Golu approached her, his face set in a careful smile. “Good day to you, Your Highness.”She responded with a slight, stiff nod. She was far too polite to ignore him as he suspected she wished to.

“I must say, Your Highness,” he said smoothly, “you are looking remarkably well, especially for a Chosen who has been away from her Source for over three months.”

The Princess made a slight, involuntary motion with her left hand, towards the crystal Source-token she wore on a chain around her neck, then stopped herself. Sajur Golu kept his expression polite, pleasant, and neutral. “Ah, to be young again. Such marvelous strength and resilience. Good day, Your Highness.”

He bowed slightly and walked away, satisfied with what he had learned. Her movement, though almost imperceptible to anyone without his highly developed powers of observation, had confirmed his suspicion that her Source-token held something more than the usual few months’ supply of Source-power. He would have to be sure to get the vial for himself and learn its secrets before he was finished with the Princess.


Chosen of Azara is available in ebook and paperback at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Sony | Diesel
Smashwords | CreateSpace | All Romance eBooks