The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Autumn All over Again

June 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm (fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , )

No – it’s still not the season…although it’s not spring anymore either. What better way to welcome in summer but with another hearty dose of Autumn?

Seriously (well, only kind of) – this weekend is her **New Release Weekend!**

To celebrate Rule of Fire, book 2 in her epic fantasy series the Rise of the Fifth Order, she is having a sale! (If this were audio, there would be a booming echo here sale…sale…sale. If it were video, there would be a cute, surprised looking precocious child shot here – you’ll have to make do with a photo and your imagination)

Of course – this works better if said child isn’t being photo-bombed by a llama…damn llamas.

Born of Water, book 1, will be free on Smashwords from June 21 to 23, use coupon bode UZ46U. It will be reduced to 99 cents or its equivalent (regularly $2.99) on all Amazon sites: US, UK, DE, FR, ES, IT, JP, IN, CD, BR

Additionally, Rule of Fire will be only 99 cents as well at both Smashwords and Amazon for its release weekend June 21st to the 23rd (regularly $3.99)!

So here’s a reminder about what these books are all about:

Six friends stand alone against the combined Orders of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, protecting a girl whose forbidden abilities have condemn her to death. Now they are joined by a man who was once the Curse, the Church’s most powerful weapon and Ria’s greatest threat. Left with no name and no memory, the decision to aid this stranger will cost friendships and more as the group of friends journey north to seek a tribe of people lost to time amid an ancient war. The path home is riddled with dangers as the Church of Four Orders still seeks Ria and the former Water Priestess Nirine. For one High Priest, the desire for vengeance is personal.

Ria must unravel the mysteries of her power to find acceptance in a world where her abilities are considered a taint. Is the strange gift of magic an aberration that should be destroyed or something far more, related to the skills held by the Elementals who rule Myrrah?

The sequel to Born of Water, Rule of Fire is book 2 in the epic fantasy trilogy, the Rise of the Fifth Order. Return to the world of Myrrah ruled by the Church of Four Orders. Release is scheduled for June 21st!

Here’s a taste – but rather than offer you a peek at chapter 1, because that’s been done to death, let’s flip over to chapter 21 for a little life…

Chapter 21


“How is the training going,” Lavinia asked Beite. “Have you been able to call the other elements?”

Beite shrugged. “I can’t call fire, and water is difficult. But I’m sure I’ll figure it out.” Her voice was bored. Lavinia hid a smile.

For Beite to not be enthusiastic meant she was frustrated. Having a brother who was known as the most skilled of a gifted people was surely problematic enough for the young woman. Struggling to learn new abilities when she wanted to race ahead was bothering Beite more than she wanted to let on.

“Actually, no one has really been able to use all five like Darag. Cuileann can’t even change himself. He tried to become a bird yesterday and fell on his face,” Beite said with a giggle.

Lavinia relaxed the surprised look on her face. “Really? That seems…strange.”

“I don’t think so. From what you said, only Darag managed to master all five on the journey.”

Lavinia paused, resting against the wooden hoe in her hands. “Ria could as well and she is a Spirit Elemental like Darag, like the Kith. That is why we thought that was the key. A Spirit Elemental could use all the elements. Zhao and Niri weren’t able to. It just made sense.”

Beite tossed down her hoe and glared at the bare soil they had been preparing. It took a breath or two, but the ground split into a perfect line down the length of the garden. Beite smiled, fists against her hips.

“I’ve learned a few things though,” she said with a smile.

“I can see that,” Lavinia replied. “Keep that up and we’ll be done with this before afternoon.”

“Oh, then we can go for a walk. Drufforth maybe? Actually,” Beite said glancing sideways to Lavinia, “we could go now. Why don’t you leave this for Darag?” Beite gestured across the garden patch that was Darag’s, and now hers.

Lavinia’s cheeks filled with warmth. She concentrated very carefully on a pea vine that was pulling away from its woven trellis.

“He is busy teaching. It is the least I can do.” With a sigh, Lavinia sat in the dirt and looked at the vibrant garden, knowing none of its bounty really had anything to do with her. “I have to do something here.”

Beite sat down next to her, putting an arm around her sister-in-marriage. “You don’t need power to grow plants or tend a garden.”

“Hah,” Lavinia said, the sound coming out with a sniffle. “That is what I keep trying to tell myself. I never even kept more than a few herbs in Mirocyne.”

“I’ll help you learn,” Beite said, pulling Lavinia back to her feet. “And then this afternoon you can teach me more about learning to sail.”

Lavinia glanced askance at the young woman who, though she looked a few years younger than her, was really over twenty years older. Sometimes she showed it too. Beite picked up her hoe, ignoring the abilities she was born to in favor of hand labor, the only type Lavinia could do. Torn between crying and laughing, Lavinia opted for digging.

Beite changed course, running the skiff at an angle to the wind as she headed the long way across the bay. Lavinia sat with her elbows propped on the gunnel behind her. The small boat bobbed on the waves effortlessly. The wind that snapped the sail taut toyed gently with her hair. Lavinia, eyes closed, smiled in the sunlit afternoon.

“You are a good teacher,” Beite said from where she sat in the aft, hands working the lines to the boom.

Lavinia laughed. “And your brother is not?” Beite didn’t answer. Lavinia peeked at the young woman. She was frowning, a look so unlike Beite that Lavinia sat up. “What is wrong?”

There was the sheen of moisture in her eyes, which she rubbed away. “I just…it isn’t Darag. He is so patient. I just can’t do it,” she blurted out. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to.”

Lavinia eased the knot on her forehead with her thumb. “Which element?”


The boat creaked, sail luffing. Beite pulled in on the line, filling the sail again. They picked up speed over the smooth water.

“Niri can’t manage fire either. Well, she did once but she said it hurt. Is that it? Is it painful to call?”

“No, I can’t even manage a spark,” Beite said, her face turned toward the shore and away from Lavinia. “I’m afraid of it,” she whispered.

Lavinia took in the admission with a lungful of salt air. Birds wheeled overhead, calling down to them. Six months ago, Lavinia had barely left Mirocyne. She had not known any Elementals. Now, she was married to one and his sister was in tears over her abilities. Lavinia turned toward the girl.

“Because fire would burn the trees?”

Beite nodded, teeth worrying her lower lip.

“But you are also earth and you can control water you said.”

“Some,” Beite conceded.

“Wet earth – fire cannot burn that.”

“Yes, but if I concentrate on earth or water to protect myself, I cannot summon fire. Fire won’t burn in damp soil.” Weary frustration filled Beite’s voice.

Lavinia leaned forward and took her hand. “You need to be unburnable, but you need to leave a space outside of yourself where flame can live.”

Beite’s dark eyes widened a fraction. She sprung forward and embraced Lavinia.

“That is perfect,” Beite said.

Lavinia laughed, straightening herself as Beite let go. Beite had dropped the lines to the sail, spilling the wind and stalling the boat. She pulled the ropes until the boom swung back around, adjusting the small rudder until the boat fairly flew over the bay’s gentle water.

“See,” Beite said, a broad smile on her youthful face. “I told you that you were a great teacher.”

Darag found her later as the shadows lengthened. He did not say anything, but pulled her into a hug. Cheek against his chest, Lavinia felt his solid warmth against her. She always hated to let go.

“You’ve been to Drufforth,” Darag said in his deep voice, which always seemed to carry a laugh when he spoke to her.

“How do you know?” Lavinia asked with a smile.

“I can smell the salt water in your hair,” he told her, taking her hand. She had been heading upwards from the clearing to go to Suileag’s house. It was late enough, she’d hoped Darag would be there. Together now, they paused on the aerial paths, leaning on a low branch grown into a rail. Lus na Sithchaine spread out around them. Clutches of houses, nestled in branches, made solid shadows amid the massive trees, both below and above where they stood.

“I forget sometimes how amazing this place is,” she said, awed once again by her new home.

Darag traced her cheek, brushing back a lock of her dark hair. “I find other things more inspiring,” he said, eyes on her. Lavinia blushed, leaning her head against his shoulder.

“Bahl el’hah teyhl,” she told him. Settling against his side, she asked, “How were the lessons today?”

“No better than yesterday,” Darag answered with a frown. He put his arm around her, looking out at the shadows shifting in the wind. The first of the star bugs were lighting the night. “There is some reason I am missing that they cannot learn the other elements.”

“Not even Laith Lus and Shai Bannan?” Lavinia asked.

Darag shook his head. “They have watched but not participated. Laith Lus says he is too old to learn this now.” There was a turbulent undertone to Darag’s voice. She put a hand on his arm.

“It came so easily to Niri, Ria, and even Zhao. And Laireag could manage too before he left.”

“Yes, but he was an Air Elemental and didn’t know it. I’d think that was the answer, to be born to several elements, but…”

“But that wouldn’t explain Niri, Ria, and Zhao and then any Kith should be able to with ease.”

Darag sighed. “Exactly. I just cannot fathom what was different about Niri, Ria, and Zhao.”

“Hmm, we were on a journey that constantly involved risking our lives?”

Darag chuckled low in his chest the way she loved. His lips brushed the top of her forehead just below her hair. “I hope that is not what we are missing.”

“I’m not missing it at all,” she said, eyes half closed.


The question jolted her back to alertness. She looked up into the vibrant green eyes of her husband. “Of course? Why?”

“You are happy here?” he asked. His brows were bunched, lips trying to form words that seemed to only want to come in the Kith language. She put her fingers to his mouth.

“I am happy with you, so very happy. Don’t doubt that. You, we, need to be here. I understood that choice when I made it.”

He kissed her, leaving his forehead against hers a moment. “You always amaze me.”

“This from someone who can transform into a bird,” she teased, but squeezed his hand.

They started their walk again, heading upwards this time to their home far above. “Why were you in Drufforth?” he asked. “You are worried about them?”

“I am. It has been over two weeks,” Lavinia said with a frown, glancing back as if she could see through the forest all the way to Drufforth. Wishing she could see beyond to even the Island of Kailal to find her brother and Niri. “But no, I went to teach Beite how to sail. She is very frustrated, you know.”

“I know,” Darag said softly.

They had barely arrived to the quiet house Darag had crafted of living wood high in the treetops when the front door burst inwards.

“You were right!” Beite exclaimed. She raced past her startled brother and grabbed Lavinia’s hands. “I can do it now. You were right.”

“Do what?” Lavinia asked. Realization swept over her as she looked into Beite’s excited face. “Call fire? You called fire?”


“How?” Darag asked, coming over to join them.

“Lavinia came up with the idea when we were sailing. To be water and earth so the flame cannot hurt me, and to leave space for fire and air outside of me. It works.” Beite glanced between the two of them. “Oh here,” she said.

Beite stood still, closing her eyes. Darag’s eyes widened a fraction, his body tensing though nothing visible had happened. Lavinia knew the look. Beite was calling power in a way he had not seen her do before.

The young woman held out a hand. Fire sprouted from it as though burning from her palm, though it did not char. “See?”

“I’ve never seen it called like that before,” Lavinia said more than a little awed. “Ria always created stars or sparked it into the firepit, not…” She waved her hand toward the torch that danced on Beite’s palm.

Darag sat down at the table, watching his triumphant little sister. “You did this by…?”

“By staying centered on earth and water. I was afraid of the flames before,” Beite said, not meeting her brother’s eyes for a second. “So I tried to stay connected to earth and water, but I never left a space for fire. I have to keep a place open for the flames to exist or they…won’t.”

Lavinia sat next to her husband, Beite’s fire danced light and shadows across the room. The idea Beite described was confusing to Lavinia, but Darag tipped his head upward slowly. He understood. “That is what was different about Niri.”

“How do you mean?” Lavinia asked.

“She was trained to calm herself to touch water, so learning earth and air was not that difficult for her.”

“She never learned to call fire though, just like Zhao never could move earth,” Lavinia pointed out.

“She did once as did Zhao with earth. They could, but it hurt.”

“Because they didn’t leave it enough room,” Beite said. “The first time I tried, it fizzled out and hurt. You need to balance so much and be so still to get it right.”

“Let me guess, you’ve been doing this for hours now?” Lavinia asked.

Beite grinned. “I wanted to show you my best attempt.”

Her brother chuckled. “I bet Niri and Zhao could both learn, though there are bound to be problems with your opposite element.” Darag looked soberly at his little sister. “Don’t call air, not the first time, unless I am there. It is…difficult.”

Beite sobered, her smile disappearing with her flames. She nodded. “I won’t,” she answered, a hitch in her voice. She sat on Darag’s other side, nervous as a young girl again.

Lavinia remembered when Darag had first called air, the feeling he described of breaking apart while being compressed. It still frightened her to think she could have lost him in that moment when there had been nothing else around them than the rolling marsh while they trudged along on ponies, Ria and Niri laughing as they learned new skills, she and Ty teasing behind.

“Zhao was brought up to be still and centered,” Lavinia said, remembering what she had seen of Xiazhing. “And he taught himself to use his skills as well, so learning new ones wasn’t hard.”

“Everything in the Tiak culture is one of opposite forces. I think he may be very good with earth if he can break through whatever keeps him back from it,” Darag said.

“It doesn’t explain spirit though. No one who isn’t born a Spirit Elemental has been able to learn it.”

Beite shrugged. “Maybe you can’t unless you are born to it?”

“Or maybe you need to be able to use the other four before you can touch spirit?” Darag said. “We can find out maybe when Niri is back.”

Lavinia sighed, fidgeting in her chair. “I hope that is soon.”

Darag reached over and took her hand, kissing the curve of her little finger. “If not, I will go and find them.”

“Only if you turn into something big enough to take me along,” Lavinia said.

“Don’t think I’m not going too,” Beite said, sitting back in her chair and crossing her arms.

“So how do I get all of this amazing story?!!!” (and the story before it,) you may be asking yourself. Well, you can either go for the hyperlinks waaaay up top ^^^ or use these links below (in case anything gets screwed up):

And if this were video, this is where I’d have a shot of a dancing rodent or some other cutesy thing. Instead another photo and a request to use your imagination…

Argh!! – Damn llamas…


1 Comment

  1. weifarer said,

    Lol, I happen to like llamas…I wonder if I can squeeze one into the final book… Thanks so much for the post, Chantal! I knew you’d share this excerpt over the other too. You are awesome. 🙂

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