It has been quite a week for me. I finally created a Facebook page to feature my writing, which you can check out here. Plus, I joined Goodreads and set up my author page there. But for me the best part was finally releasing a new cover to Born of Water!
I was never content with the original and messing around with it wasn’t improving the impact in the least. I wanted something that would say it was a fantasy novel featuring characters that could control the elements, that there was a battle brewing, and that was also eye catching. I think this one does it all, plus it is going to look so great next the sequel’s cover which is in the works.
Work on Rule of Fire, Born of Water‘s sequel, is going along swimmingly. I’m two thirds of the way through writing the manuscript and still hoping for a release sometime this spring. Date to be announced, of course.
Well with all the accomplishments this week, I decided I had to celebrate. So, I’m offering Born of Water for FREE at Smashwords and 99 cents at Amazon (since they don’t do a free coupon, boo!). Go to Born of Water‘s page at Smashwords and use the coupon code EA63Z from today until Saturday the 26th and you can pick up a copy with the new cover for free! Now if you don’t know, Smashwords offer multiple formats including Kindle. But if you just have to buy from Amazon (and earn me some pocket change), you can find go to Born of Water‘s page at Amazon.
And because I really am in such a good mood and so happy with my writing progress, below is an excerpt from Rule of Fire. It is a section from early in the novel and gives voice to someone we never got to know well in Born of Water (and if you read it, you might be wondering what became of him). I’ve been really having fun getting into his twisted little head in Rule of Fire. Enjoy!
Rule of Fire
There were no other senses, only patterns of shimmering light in reds and golds. A shadow formed in the center. A figure leaned over him. He blinked. A woman, her face framed by long hair, came into focus. Nirine had returned to torment him. Panicked, clawing his fingers into the ground below, he tried to push himself away from her.
“High Priest Sinika do you understand me? Can you hear me? You are free.”
The touch on his wet skin was gentle. Her green eyes were broad with concern, green not brown. A man stood behind her smelling of water, his white robes wet from the knee down. Fine brows drawn, the woman turned away.
“Misshal, go get Dahal. Quickly!”
Once again, Sinika’s world faded to darkness.
It took Sinika a moment to realize he was staring at a bright square. Finally conscious, his mind registered that he was watching sunlight shine outside a tent door. He was out of the drowned Temple.
His arms did not support him as he tried to sit up. He struggled a moment before gentle hands lifted his shoulders, resting him against the support of piled pillows. A glass was pressed to his lips, water flooding his mouth.
Sinika coughed, spitting out the vile liquid tasting of murk and dark. The glass was gone. Steady hands radiating a comforting warmth held him still until his weak fighting stopped. Energy filling him, Sinika focused and found before him a face he knew.
“Dahal,” he whispered hoarsely.
Dahal nodded. A smile touched with relief stretched his lips across his russet skin. He held up the glass again. Sinika turned his head like an obstinate child.
“No, wine.” Dahal’s black brows drew together, but he nodded. The wine Dahal brought to him was watered down, but it tasted more of grapes and sunlight than a mud puddle. He let the disobedience go. As the sun set, Sinika drifted off again in sleep.
The world was sunlit ghosts for days. Dahal would give him bits of food whenever he was awake, but there was no sense of time. The only difference in day came from the angle of light hitting the tent door. He tried to not wake at night. When he did, it brought a sweat that chilled him in the desert darkness. The tent walls moved like a wall of water, like his prison in the Temple. There were moments where Sinika thought the tent and Dahal were illusions born of his desperation. Then Dahal would come, calming him to sleep with a touch.
Sinika did not know how long it had been when he could finally sit up on his own. He looked around the cloth walls that sheltered him, wondering how he had mistaken them for the Temple. Sand was scattered across the cloth covering on the floor, a brass brassiere stood in the corner near a small ring of blocks and a chest. The tent had been set up for days at least.
Dahal entered, hurrying over when he saw Sinika awake. Sinika brushed his hands away. “Who is here? Who did Timpada send?”
Dahal stepped back. He nodded once before leaving again. He brought the woman with him when he returned. She wore a loose wrap to keep off the desert sun. The cloth glinted yellow with flowing lines woven into it. Wide green eyes jumped from Sinika to Dahal before she approached, pulling up a folding stool to place next to his bed.
“Dahal said you were much improved. I am so relieved, High Priest.”
“Said?” Sinika asked, a lift to his eyebrow.
“A manner of speech,” she said, blushing. “I am not very familiar with the Inner Council’s healer, forgive me.”
Sinika watched her a moment. Fair skinned, light brown hair, and green eyes, she was not familiar to him but her colored robes marked her as more than an acolyte.
“You are a Priestess from the Order of Air.”
“Yes, I am Felya. High Priestess Timpada sent myself and Acolyte Misshal from the Order of Water to help you as you instructed.” Felya’s amazement had worn off. She sat up straighter as she spoke of the honor High Priestess Timpada had given her.
“It worked well then?”
Felya reached to the table next to Sinika, pouring him a glass of water. He took it rigidly, not bothering to sip it before setting it down.
“Yes, I could easily sense the pockets of air trapped in the Temple. There were many, but only a few large enough to hold a person.” She glanced away a moment, drinking from her own glass before continuing. “It took Misshal some practice to thicken the water around the air bubble enough so that anything trapped inside did not fall through. We lost everything the first attempt.”
Sinika could hear his pulse thundering in his ears. For a moment his vision was blocked by the image of the tomb of dark water, faint sunlight filtering down from far above and growing more dim as he sank into the black weight. Anger curled his hands as he refocused on Felya, pale and frozen before him.
“We were sure,” she said quickly. “Absolutely certain that you were not in that one. We chose a small air bubble first to practice with.” Surprisingly, her eyes were sincere. Sinika almost laughed. The earnest look reminded him of a deceitless child fresh to Solaire. That in turn recalled a memory of the first time he had met Nirine. The amusement evaporated on his lips.
Sinika reached out and picked up his glass of water. Over it, he regarded Felya again. “How long ago was that, when you brought me to the surface?”
“Four days. The High Priestess thinks you were trapped . . . down there for a week and a half. We were not sure you would be alive at all.”
Sinika felt a smile as dry as tinder grass touch his lips. “But yet you tried anyway. And succeeded, I thank you.”
Felya nodded, swallowing hard. “You are tired, I’m sure. I will bid you good rest, High Priest Sinika.”
He did not even notice her leave, his thoughts turning toward the one desire that was in his breast now that he had light and freedom once again.