Thursday, October 12, 2017

Of the Divine by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes will be awarding a limited edition print copy of the book *U.S. only* to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Things You May Not Know About Me

1. I was an absolutely amazing writer as a small child.

When I was four, a cousin wrote down one of my favorite stories to tell with the thought that she might help me publish it. Unfortunately, the teacher/friend of hers she brought it to said it was “too advanced” for the age group. Similarly, my first attempts to write— once I learned the basics of phonetic spelling—were amazing. My novel about intergalactic cats was composed in a pink journal with a gold heart-shaped lock (incidentally, this was also my first experience picking locks). Surely the very creative spelling and lack of knowledge of basic grammar, capitalization and punctuation was Emily Dickenson levels of brilliance. When I was eight, I graduated to working on a word processor, where my masterpiece was lost when I password-protected the file, but misspelled the password (dragon) so badly I locked myself out of the file, and lost it forever.

It is a pity these early works were misplaced. Given they have all been lost forever and no one will ever read them, I am quite confident saying they were the work of a true prodigy.

2. I was terrible as a writer on the school newspaper

In high school, I had a brief stint as a writer for the school newspaper. Unfortunately, writing the truth is not my strength.

I can write research papers, and I am reporting these facts honestly (well, mostly, I might have exaggerated when describing how wonderful my early writing was), but writing a news article about a true event seemed so boring. I ended up making up my article, which I think had something to do with Halloween, then resigning my position on the school newspaper.

3. Writing made me a honey snob

While doing world-building and research while editing the Mancer Trilogy, I decided one of Kavet’s major crops is buckwheat. This led me to research buckwheat, and eventually discover that buckwheat honey existed. Upon finding a jar of the stuff at the grocery store, I bought it.

I regret this move. It spoiled me for honey. I can’t stand clover honey any more, which is the commonly-available kind; it has to be at least wildflower honey.

I blame sorcery for this change of tastes.

4. I have a total brown thumb.

I come from a family of green thumbs, but I can’t keep a houseplant alive. I even kill cactuses.

The only houseplant I’ve kept alive lately is a carnivorous basil plant. As an experiment, I used a snip of fresh basil as the bait in a fly trap last summer. I set it in the window and ignored it for weeks. The sprig managed to sprout roots in the tiny quarter inch of water, and the whole thing has grown to fill the container. I figure it must get its nutrients from decaying flies. I’m going to name it Audra III.

5. I am truly phobic of cockroaches.

Several years ago, in Sanibel Island, Florida, I had a run in with a swarm of jellyfish. You would think this would make me phobic of jellyfish, but what I recall most vividly is sitting up all night, unable to sleep due to anxiety and the continued sharp zinging sensation on my skin, and watching the palmetto bugs scamper across the floor.

Apparently, my brain decided these things— pain, deep terror, and Florida’s horrific cockroaches— are intrinsically linked. Years later, I freeze up at the sight, or even the suggestion, of a cockroach.

The psychology-neurology nerd in me finds this mental association and phobia fascinating. The writer in me finds it good fodder for character development. The realist in me is a little worried about whether I would need to simply move out if I ever discovered a cockroach in my basement, or if burning the house down would suffice (yes, I’m joking. I could just burn all my stuff and hire an exterminator).

So now you know a few more little-known facts about me. Unless I made them all up, in which case I hope you were at least entertained.

Henna is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Order of Napthol, and her runes ’s runes tell her that the future of Kavet is balanced on the edge of the knife. The treaties between Kavet and the dragon-like race known as the Osei have become intolerable. The time has come for the royal house to magically challenge Osei dominion. Prince Verte, Henna' lover, is to serve as the nexus for the powerful but dangerous spell, with Naples--an untested young sorcerer from the Order of Napthol--a volatile but critical support to its creation.

Amid these plans, Dahlia Indathrone’s arrival in the city shouldn’t matter. She has no magic and no royal lineage, and yet, Henna immediately knows Dahlia is important. She just can’t see why.

As their lives intertwine, the four will learn that they are pawns in a larger game, one played by the forces of the Abyss and of the Numen—the infernal and the divine.

A game no mortal can ever hope to win.

Read an excerpt:

“You cannot live your life as a slave to those who have gone before,” Verte replied. “You need to let the living and dead alike move on.”

Wenge glared up at him. Verte paused, keeping his stance and expression neutral as he raised magical shields against a possible attack.

“You don’t know where the dead go,” Wenge accused. “We talk of the realms beyond, of the Abyss and the Numen, but no one really knows for sure what happens once our shades pass out of the mortal realm. What if we just go screaming into the void? What if—”

Verte took the man’s frail, trembling hand in his own. He wished he could use his magic to urge him to keep moving, but Wenge’s decision whether to demand a trial or to take the brand willingly needed to be made without magical coercion.

“Even the royal house, with all our strength and training and resources, does not practice death sorcery. Maleficence or not,” Verte said, hoping the words would pierce the man’s sudden anxiety, “if you continue to let your power use you this way, it will kill you before the year is out. Of that I am certain.”

Wenge’s body sagged. He waved a hand next to his face as if to chase away a buzzing fly—or in this case, a whispering spirit. He flinched at whatever the ghost said, then muttered, “I do not know what to be without it.”

About the Author:
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha’ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail.
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1 comment:

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