– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Raven Fire’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
I often get asked when I knew I was a writer; the answer is always. A writer is what I am, it’s in my soul. There have been times in my life when I couldn’t write, and times when my writing has been the only thing that kept me going. I think I always longed for something deeper from life, something more meaningful, and I found it in my imagination and in the music of words.
It was poetry which first caught my attention, and whilst my younger cousins called for ghost stories it was animals I first wrote of. I think I gravitated toward fantasy because of the freedom it gives, I could create my own worlds and decide my own rules. My Wind’s Children trilogy was born from an image that came to me whilst daydreaming, of a young man sitting alone below a bridge. I didn’t know who he was; it turns out neither did he, but we found out together.
I’m now working on my eleventh book and love writing more than ever, it’s an addiction, an obsession, but one I now share with my wonderful writing family. My beta readers, my editor, and you, my readers, having you with me on my journey means the world to me.
I write as much as I can around work, but I also try to squeeze in a ridiculous amount of hobbies! I’m a wildlife photographer and do a little archery. I paint, sculpt with clay, withies and driftwood, preferring to be outdoors if I can. I still have a love for the theatre, having started out in life studying backstage crafts, and a great love for language. I speak a little French, Romanian and Italian, ma non molto bene!
Thanks for reading this. If you read any of my books and love them, please come say hello and tell me, you’d be surprised at how much that means to an author.
Take care of yourself.
Is prophecy real; can Arridia and Joss defeat a god?
Evil never sleeps, and neither can the fire spirits who have guarded Kesta and her family so faithfully for more than fourteen years. United in a desire for peace, the four lands beneath the sky have enjoyed relative stability, but under the surface stirs unrest. Greed, ambition, disquiet, rebellion; and the ever-present threat of Geladan’s crazed god discovering she has been fooled.
Quiet Arridia is a Raven Scout, dedicated to the principles and hopes of her parents. When an opportunity presents itself to come home, she grasps it, longing to settle and find the love she has patiently waited for.
Fun-loving Joss is drawn to the court of Elden with all its colour, noise, and intrigue; but has he taken on more than a young man can survive?
Raven Fire is the final part of the breath-taking Fire-Walker saga.
If you could, would you dare to change the world?
This extract is taken from chapter two of Raven Fire, where you first get to know one of the younger characters who was born between books two and three of the Fire-Walker series.
A large man barrelled into her and Scarlett cursed, pulling her hood down lower and stepping into a muddy puddle to get out of the oaf’s way. She was tempted to reach for her narrow blade, but she didn’t want to draw attention to herself. As much as she feigned toughness, the docks always sent her heart racing. They were busy, loud, full of rough and mean-looking men.
A familiar voice spilled out of a tavern and she breathed a little easier. Her rapid, but small steps faltered as she drew close to the door. It was a common enough tune, but the notes of the lute accompanying the rich vocals were mesmerising, weaving intricately with extraordinary speed.
The doors flew open, and Scarlett staggered back with a gasp. A bearded man leered down at her; Scarlett ducked beneath his arm and scurried into the tavern. It was dark, only a little daylight seeping in through the small, dirty windows. Her fingers rose to her nose and she tried not to breathe in the awful stench of body odour, stale ale, and old vomit. The room was crowded, every table full, provocatively dressed women squeezing between the standing patrons to deliver more alcohol to the tables.
Nearly every eye was on the singer perched on a barrel at the end of the bar. His head was bent over his lute, his curly mop of brown hair hiding his face. She frowned at the undyed linen shirt he wore, and the plain labourer’s trousers. He didn’t look like a prince; he looked like a nobody. Scarlett shook her head slightly. That wasn’t quite right. Her brother almost glowed when he sang, just like Temerran the Bard.
The door behind her opened, and someone shoved past her, breaking into her momentary daydream. With a scowl, she made her way over to her brother, trying her best not to touch anyone.
‘Luce,’ she hissed.
Her brother’s fingers barely faltered as they caressed the strings of his instrument, but he glanced up, his brown eyes almost black in the tavern’s darkness. When his song ended, he slipped off the barrel, his lute held in his arms as carefully as a baby.
‘Scar, you shouldn’t be here.’
Their parents hated him calling her ‘Scar’. Only her brother and Joss still did so, if only in private. She rather liked it herself. It made her sound fierce.
‘Father’s looking for you, I couldn’t cover for you forever.’
Lucien closed his eyes and groaned.
Several of the tavern’s patrons had already started grumbling and shouting out for another song.
‘It’s kind of good news.’ Scarlett grinned. ‘Riddi’s home.’
Lucien straightened up, a smile forming on his own face. He waved a hand towards the tavern’s owner and pushed toward the exit, using his body to protect his precious instrument. Scarlett tugged her hood down lower again and tried to keep up with him, breathing in deeply as they reached the open street.
‘What did you tell Dad?’ Lucien asked.
‘Nothing.’ Scarlett winced. ‘Aiden the Page warned me, he’d just run a message from the pigeon loft. I was… well, I was taking your place with the master of arms.’
It wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last. Scarlett loved anything martial. Tactics, fighting, history, she absorbed it all like a starving thing. Her father indulged her to an extent, he’d even allowed her to train with Heara and Cassien, but no matter how hard she tried, he never took her seriously. Lucien hated it all. His love was music, books, and poetry. Despite their differences, Scarlett was closer to her brother than she was to her own twin sister. Eleanor was their mother’s shadow, and she obsessed over all things feminine. As much as Scarlett looked down on Eleanor’s pastimes, she did love her delicate sister, and Eleanor always covered for her, just as she herself did for Lucien.
‘Did you beat him?’ Lucien asked hopefully.
Scarlett screwed up her nose and shook her head. ‘Not yet. But with Riddi home, Father might let us spend time at Northold, so I’ll snag Merkis Tantony for a few more lessons.’
Lucien gave a bark of a laugh. The king of Elden wasn’t all that keen on Jorrun and Kesta’s influence on his children, but they knew full well what his intentions were for Lucien and Arridia. Jorrun had warned them all Bractius had designs on adding magical bloodlines to his royal one, and told them in no uncertain terms that they should decline any kind of arranged marriage. Arridia and Lucien loved each other dearly, but they’d grown up together like cousins. With an overprotective Mother, Scarlett had been late to rebel and join the circle of Northold friends; it hadn’t helped with her being the youngest, but Riddi had always treated her with patience and kindness when they met.
As they approached the castle gates, Scarlett’s feet faltered. The guards had stepped forward from their posts, standing tall to peer above the heads of those entering the grounds. As soon as they spotted Lucien, one of them hurried to meet them, making a hasty bow.
‘Your highness, your father is looking for you.’
Lucien swore. ‘All right, thanks. Hide this for me.’ He handed his lute to Scarlett, then taking a leather thong from his pocket, pulled his unruly mop of hair back into a tail. As he reached the castle gates, he broke into a run.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds