Mindee Arnett
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Meet the Characters of Onyx & Ivory

Dear Readers,

We’re exactly one month away from the release of Onyx & Ivory, and today we’re taking an in-depth look at the characters, and even more specifically, the character trading cards! In case you haven’t heard, these cards, along with a free short story, are up for grabs in the preorder giveaway going on right now. Everyone gets the story and your chances of winning the cards are extremely high!

All the cards were designed by the amazing Jenny Zemanek of Seedlings Design Studio. But before we get into the details, a little about the cards themselves. The look and feel of the deck is inspired by the gaming cards played throughout the kingdom of Rime. Like our modern decks, Rime’s cards have 4 suites – Jars, Flutes, Stone, and Candles. There are also four “Shade” cards, which are outside of the four decks, and are often used as wildcards.

Kate Brighton is representing the Jars suit, hence the blue color and the water drops. Kate is the main character in Onyx & Ivory. She’s known throughout Rime as Traitor Kate. Her father tried to assassinate the high king three years ago, and she’s been living with that infamy ever since. But her infamy would be even worse if people knew the truth about her–she’s a wilder with an ability to communicate with animals. But wilder magic is outlawed in Rime (learn more here).

Next we have Corwin Tomane. He’s representing the Flutes card as indicated by the yellow and the wind symbols. Like Kate, Corwin is also the main character. His father is high king, and Kate is his ex. Which makes sense, considering her father tried to kill his. Corwin is known as the Errant Prince, because for the last few years no one has seen or heard of him. After his father nearly died, Corwin fled the kingdom to parts unknown. But now he’s back. Corwin also has an older brother, but in Rime the line of succession isn’t quite what you would expect.

Bonner is representing the Stones cards. His real name is Thomas, same as his father, but he prefers to be called Bonner. He’s a blacksmith and best friends with Kate. He’s also one of the few people who knows she’s a wilder. That’s because Bonner is one, too. He’s an earthist with a specific affinity for controlling metals. The skill comes in handy in his profession, and it’s also led him to develop a new weapon, one that will have a resounding impact across Rime once discovered.

Signe Leth is representing the Candles card as indicated by the red color and the flames. Signe works with Kate in the Relay, the royal courier service of Rime, and the two are best friends. Like Bonner, Signe knows about Kate’s magic. Signe is from the Esh Islands, a nation to the south of Rime. She loves to tell tall tales about her past, so many that her friends know very little about her background. Kate believes she was either a former circus performer or a thief. Either way, she’s always got Kate’s back.

Lastly, we have Raith, representing the Shade card. Like the card, he’s an enigmatic character. Raith is a magist, one of the sanctioned magic-users of Rime (learn more here). He is a member of the Blue Order, charged with the defense of Rime, especially from the nightdrakes that hunt anything human wandering around outside the cities after nightfall. All magists carry a mace, the head imbedded with magestones, all capable of holding a magical spell.

And there you have it. Each card will also have this lovely design on the back.

So, what do you think??? I would love to know which is your favorite, and be sure to spread the word about the preorder giveaway.

Musingly Yours,

Mindee

The Magic of Onyx & Ivory

Today, I’m so excited to reveal some of the details about the magic system in Onyx & Ivory. So excited I even created an online quiz to help you decide which type of magic you would have. You can find the quiz here and claim your magic badge–designed by Jenny Zemanek.

The Kingdom of Rime, where Onyx & Ivory takes place, is a land full of magic. In fact, the common belief among the people is that magic is unique to Rime, that it doesn’t exist in the other continents and islands of the world. There are two recognized divisions of magic, one legal and one outlawed: Magist and Wilder.

The primary difference between the two is that magist magic is passive while active is considered active. Magists are not able to just cast spells at will. Instead, they have to imbue ordinary objects with magical properties. They have to first implant the spell on the object, then once done they can use the magic as intended. Think of it like making fireworks. They have to be carefully constructed first and used later. Wilders on the hand can actively use magic at will. Their magic is tied into the elements, but they don’t have to create spells to use. More on this later, but first let’s delve deeper into magist magic.

MAGIST MAGIC

Magist magic is the magic of the kingdom. All magists are a part of the Mage League. They are trained at the League Academy and take a vow to obey League laws and serve the kingdom. The League is divided into 6 order houses with each house identified by a unique color worn by the magists. In addition, magists wear masks that identified their rank in the league. For example, a full-faced, white mask is worn by master magists. Journeyman on the other hand will wear a black mask that only covers the top part of their face while an apprentice will wear a black mask that covers one half of the face or the other. Here’s the breakdown of the order houses:

Blue Robes: Order of Defense. These magists are dedicated to protecting the cities from the threat of nightdrakes. They also guard travelers between the cities (again from nightdrakes), and if the kingdom is ever under attack, they will defend against Rime’s enemies as well.

Brown Robes: Order of the Low Arts. These magists are concerned with creating simple spells for ordinary use like fireless candles or illusion spells such as earrings designed to hide blemishes or rings that enhance beauty, and so on.

Green Robes: Order of Healing. This one is self-explanatory.

Red Robes: Order of Emotions. These magists create spells that can be used to manipulate, enhance, and alter emotional states. They can create potions that will cause joy, infatuation, courage, and so on. They can even create spells that will make a person temporarily stronger or faster.

White Robes: Order of the High Arts. These magists rarely create spells and spend most of their time studying magical theory and experimenting with complicated and sometimes highly dangerous spells.

Gold Robes: Order of Inquisition. This is the newest order of magists, formed only a few years before the book starts. Their sole purpose is to seek out those with wilder magic and eliminate any threat they might pose.

WILDER MAGIC

Wilders have the ability to manipulate the natural elements. They usually can only control one element, but they have unique affinities within that element, certain strengths and weaknesses.

Earthist can control any aspects of the earth. Some of the infinities include the ability to manipulate metal, rocks, making plants grow, and so on.

Hydrist can control water and other liquids, including blood.

Aerists can control the wind. Some have an infinity for controlling storms, lightning, and even magnetic fields.

Pyrists control fire. Some also have an infinity for controlling ash. They can mold it into whatever shape it was before it burned and if it had once been alive, they can imbue it with temporary life once more.

If you haven’t already, check out the quiz and claim your badge!

And don’t forgot to visit the official tumblr, especially the preorder giveaway

Musingly Yours,

Mindee

Onyx & Ivory Preorder Offer

Awesome news! Now until May 15, when you preorder Onyx & Ivory, you will receive Trial by Two, an exclusive digital short story. Not only that, but you will also be entered to win 1 of 50 prize packs. Details below.

Set before the events of Onyx & Ivory, Trial by Two tells the story of how Kate Brighton first came to work for the Relay, the royal courier service of Rime. It’s also about how she met her best friend, Signe Leth. Also, I should say that this story is about 30 pages, so longer than a typical short though not quite novella length. The cover art was by Jenny Zemanek at Seedlings Design Studio with cover design by Amanda Sharritt.

50 lucky winners, drawn randomly, will also receive 5 character cards, including this one featuring Kate. All the beautiful art was again done by Jenny Zemanek. The rest of the cards will be revealed as we get closer to release, so be sure to check back. Also, depending on how many entries there are, the number of prizes might increase. The giveaway is open Internationally. To enter, go here.

Musingly Yours,

Mindee

Blogger and Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway

This week I’m celebrating all the book bloggers and reviewers out there, and if you’re reading this, I’m betting that you’re one of them! Did you know that according to Forbes, an estimated 600 thousand to a million new books are published each year? That’s like between 1,604 to 2,740 a day. I don’t know about you, but my yearly reading goals never come close to that.

With so many books vying for readers’ attention, the importance of book bloggers and reviewers is immeasurable for helping get the word out to readers about which books to spend their time on and which to pass over. And most of these people do this purely out of the sheer joy and love of books. How great is that? How are great are they? I mean you!

That’s why I’ve decided to give my very last advanced copy of Onyx & Ivory to a book reviewer or blogger. But first, I want to take a moment to say thank you to two specific bloggers, Pila @ inlovewithhandmade.blogspot.com and Erin @ booklovingnut.com. Both of these lovely women were willing to read an early copy of Onyx & Ivory and to give me lovely blurbs for it. And when I say, early, what I mean is an unedited, no-cover, no-makeup, bed-head version of the book. As a matter of fact, it didn’t even have a title yet. To have their approval, even so early, meant the world to me. Here’s what they had to say:

Aren’t they lovely? Be sure to thank them for me if you see them online. And if you see them in person, they deserve a hug, or a fist bump.

The contest to win a signed arc of Onyx & Ivory is open until midnight EST on Thursday March 29. It’s open Internationally. Any person who regularly reviews books is permitted to enter. Good luck!
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The Relay of Onyx & Ivory

Dear Friends,

It’s March 15. Do you realize what this means? Onyx & Ivory is only 2 months away! That’s a short 8 weeks. I can hardly believe it. Considering I started work on this book way back in 2015, it feels like I’ve been waiting for it to come out forever. Of course, by the same turn, it also feels it went so fast. Strange how that works.

Today though, I’m excited to share with you a brand new swag item just revealed this week by my street team. This is the badge worn by riders of the Relay, including Kate Brighton, one of the main character of Onyx & Ivory. The badge was designed by the magnificent Jenny of Seedlings Design Studio. These will be going out into the world in sticker form one day soon. Isn’t is gorgeous?

In honor of this reveal, I want to tell you more about the inspiration behind the Relay, which is one of the core ideas that launched the whole story. The Relay is the royal courier service responsible for delivering the mail between the 12 city states of Rime. The job of relay riders is both dangerous and important. The moment darkness falls in Rime, the nightdrakes come out to hunt. These flightless dragons are vicious and will kill–and eat–any human they find, or any animal that’s been touched by a human. So cows, chickens, horses, every domesticated animal, must be brought within the city gates at night, which are warded by magic against drakes. People too, need to be behind the walls, of course.

At the beginning of the book, Kate is working as a Relay rider. In fact, in the opening chapter, she’s hurrying to get inside the closest city before the sun sets, a task made so much harder as her horse has suffered an injury. It’s not uncommon for Relay riders and their mounts to die on a journey between the city states. As anyone familiar with horses will tell you, they can be nearly as fragile as they are strong.

The first inspiration for the Relay comes from my romanticized affection for the American Pony Express, which ran for only two years between 1860-1861. My first introduction into the Pony Express came from the short lived TV show The Young Riders, which first aired back in 1989. I loved this show, thanks in no small part because of the character Lou, short for Louise. Lou had to pretend to be a man in order to join the Pony Express. There’s a little bit of her Kate, for sure. Of course, my other love for the show was that it involved horses. Oh, and it features a young Josh Brolin, playing the real-life Wild Bill Hickok. Seriously, this show is a gem.


(Image from IMDB. Lou is second from right)

The second inspiration for the Relay comes from the years I spent as a competitive trail rider. Although I now compete as an Eventer, as a kid I spent most of my time doing what’s called Competitive Trail Riding (CTR), a division of Endurance Riding. Although Endurance is a race over long distances, in CTR horses are judged on fitness. The rider+horse pair are required to complete a long distance trail ride within a set timeframe, and whoever has the fittest horse at the end wins. Along the way, horse are carefully monitored and evaluated for how well they’re holding up. Any horse that shows signs of fatigue or injury during a vet check isn’t allowed to go on. The distances typically range between 25 to 40 miles per day, with many competitions lasting two days, and some even longer. A 25 mile day might take between 5-6 hours to complete (riders are prevented from going any faster by the rules–come in too early and you’re penalized).


(My sister and I checking our watches during a competition)

I loved it. I still too. There’s nothing like spending that much time riding your horse. It’s a bonding experience. You get to know one another in a special way. It’s also both grueling and fun, and I’ve always appreciated the focus on keeping the horses sound and healthy. In a world plagued by nightdrakes, The Relay and its riders would need to be just as concerned on keeping their mounts fit, which comes through in the book. Also, the pace of these CTRs helped me determine the range between cities and the Relay towers.


(Notice all the stuff hanging from the saddle? Kate has to carry even more)

Of course, the Relay is only where things start in the book. For the moment Corwin reenters Kate’s life, any hopes of maintaining her normal life and normal job go out the window. Still, I had a blast writing these parts.

Thanks for tuning in, and be sure to come back often. I’ll be revealing a lot more swag items and fun tidbits and insights into Onyx & Ivory, including ways for you to get some of these swag items for yourself.

Musingly Yours,

Mindee

News and News

Dear Readers,

It’s February 15, which means we’re exactly 3 months away from release. Looking back, it’s truly hard to believe. I first conceived of the idea for Onyx & Ivory all the way back in 2012 as part of a world building exercise I did for a blog post. You can read the actual post here, if you’re interested. So much of the book has changed, not the least of which is the main character’s name. Originally, Kate was called Jane. I chose the name purely because I liked the title “Traitor Jane.” Thought it had a nice ring to it.

But then my sister pointed out that this was the title people used to refer to Jane Fonda back in the day when she was protesting the Vietnam War. This was way before my time, but once I realized it, I decided to change it to Kate. In the end, I think Kate is better. My other lead, Corwin, also went through a name change in the course of writing the book, but the reasons behind that one are best kept private–feel free to ask me in person, if you get the chance.

Speaking of in person, I have my first event of the year coming up in March 3 at NK-YA Fest located at the Erlanger Library in Kentucky. There are a bunch of awesome authors in attendance. Find out more here.

Audio Book News

That’s right, if you haven’t heard, there’s going to be an Onyx & Ivory audio edition! And the absolute best part is that the narrator is none other than Khristine Hvam. She is the reader for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. Not only do I love these books, but the audio versions are may favorite. In part, because Khristine reads them. I’m honored to have her.

 

Swag, Swag, and More Swag

Do you see that beautiful picture above? That piece of art inspired by the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series was done by the supremely talented Jenny of Seedlings Design Studio. I mention it here because I’ve been working with Jenny to design a bunch of Onyx & Ivory swag, some of which will be available in upcoming giveaways, including a preorder campaign. That’s right, if you’re already preordered Onyx & Ivory (you’re the best ever) be sure to save your receipts. Everyone who preorders will receive a brand new O&I short story. I use the term “short” loosely as it’s over 10k words. If you want to stay in the know with all the giveaways and swag reveals, be sure to tune into the official Onyx & Ivory tumblr page: https://onyxandivorybooks.tumblr.com.

Well, that’s it for now. In the meantime, happy reading, happy writing.

Musingly,

Mindee

The Genesis of Onyx & Ivory – WriteOnCon

If you haven’t heard, there’s a really awesome online writing conference going on right now called WriteOnCon. I’m a contributor again this year, with a podcast of story structure, and I’m also critiquing submission materials. If you’d like me to take a look at your query, let me know. Sign up here.

The really coolest thing about this conference though, at least for me, is that it’s the very same conference where I first came up the initial premise for Onyx & Ivory. Flash back to WriteOnCon 2012. It was my first time as a contributing author, and my topic was on world building. In order to write it effectively I decided to generate a new world as part of the exercise. That world ended up being the very same world (and main character) in Onyx & Ivory. Pretty cool, huh? I think so.

So cool, in fact, that I’ve decided to present that very same guest post here. This is the original post. I’ve made no updates, and as you can see a lot has changed from my initial idea to the final product, including Kate’s name. Nevertheless, this is where it all began. Enjoy!

World Building: Let Your Characters Be Your Guide 

In my experience, writers tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to world building: The Tolkien Types and Everybody Else. The Tolkien types are those brilliant people who will create entire mythologies and even languages for their fictional worlds. For them, the world comes first and the characters and story second. World building like this is a marvelous feat and one I greatly admire, but I’m afraid that if you are a Tolkien type, you might as well stop reading now. This post just isn’t for you.

For everybody else, our stories start with a character and/or situation and the world building develops out of it. If you want to get technical, this is the “bottom-up” strategy as described here [link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-down_and_bottom-up_design ]. While this is a perfectly acceptable approach to world building, it does involve a couple of pitfalls. The first major issue is that it can lead to inconsistencies and plot holes, the latter being especially true when we’re talking about the fantasy and sci-fi genres. The second issue is that the world building tends to be underdeveloped.

And really, both of these problems make sense for us bottom-uppers, right? I mean, we’re far more interested in the characters populating our story than the world it takes place in (while the opposite may be true for the Tolkien Types). No wonder our world building is weak. Also, the very idea of creating an entire world is daunting. It’s so BIG, so OUT THERE; it’s the forest we can never see.  I, for one, barely understand the world I live in, let alone the one I’m creating.

Fortunately, one effective solution for avoiding the world building blues of plot holes and underdevelopment is to focus even more on what we love best about the story—the characters populating the world. Crazy, you say? Nope, not at all. The characters—their back stories and especially their motivations—hold all the answers.

To demonstrate, I’m going to take you through some prewriting activities for a YA fantasy novel I would someday like to write. The following headers and questions will function as a world building worksheet.

Concept

What is the story about in its most general terms?

Right now, I picture this story as being Shadow and Bone meets the Pony Express—so high fantasy/steampunk-ish with an emphasis on horses and riding.

General Setting

What kind of world does this story place in? (Medieval Europe? Preindustrial? Futuristic? Try to be specific here, but don’t be afraid to change and modify as the story becomes clearer)

This story takes place in a world home to both humans and a race of vicious creatures known as the Mal’niveus. The Mal’niveus live in a vast network of tunnels beneath the ground, but they come out to the surface at night to hunt. In order to survive, the human population has built huge walled cities and barricaded the tunnels beneath the cities to keep the Mal’niveus out. As a result, the political structure of this world is similar to the city-state structure of Ancient Greece (something I’ll need to research later).

While many of the cities are self-sustaining, trade does exist between them, with goods being shipped via rivers or in large caravans, which I imagine might be protected by mages or sorcerers. For faster travel, the city-states rely on an independent guild known as The Riders (surely, I will come up with a more specific name later—even names play a part in world building). The Riders function the same as the Pony Express did in the American Old West (again something to research and draw on later).

Characters

Who is the main character and what is his/her primary motivation at the beginning of the novel?

·      16-year-old Jane lives on a small farm inside one of the city-states. Her primary motivation at the beginning is to become a Rider like her big brother, John. Riders are required to provide their own mount. But Jane’s horse is small and will have a hard time competing for one of the slots.

From these few brief sentences, the world is already taking shape. Although I don’t state it directly, there are ideas in here about class, social structure, and a number of other world building elements.

How much does Jane know about the bigger world she lives in?

·      Although she knows many things about the world, it’s primarily secondhand. She has experienced very little of the world beyond the farm. She has never seen a Mal’niveus before, and she knows only the very basics about the government that rules the city she lives in, as typical of a teenager.

Jane’s lack of experience and true knowledge about the Riders and the world at large is going to make it easy for me to include world building details naturally and without contrivance. There is so much that she is going to experience for the first time, same as the reader. Since she will most likely be the POV character, I should be able to convey much of the world through her eyes and reactions.

To break this down, consider that world building information is usually passed onto the reader in one of three ways:

1.     Description—what the world looks like, what the character sees, hears, smells, etc.

2.     Straight exposition—“this is how the world works” kind of statements. And yes, they will often be considered “telling” instead of “showing.”

3.     The POV Character’s interactions with the world and other characters, including dialogue and plot developments.

I will use all three types when writing this story. But when and how much will depend on my POV character, in this case, Jane. Description, naturally, should be used in every scene, although when Jane goes somewhere brand new for the first time, there will be a heavier emphasis on the description. When she’s at home, in her familiar world, the description will be lighter.

I will use straight exposition as sparingly as possible, but I will use it. Mostly, I will rely on it to convey the more unique ideas about this world, those which Jane already knows but which the reader doesn’t. For example, Jane already knows about the city-state structure of her world, the Mal’niveus, and the Riders, but these will be completely new to the reader. For some of these, I may use straightforward exposition, such as these example sentences:

Jane had never seen a Mal’niveus before, but she knew they lived deep underground, only emerging at night to hunt—deer, elk, humans, they didn’t care. Any fresh meat would do.

While it is possible that I could show all of these elements through a combination of #1 and #3, I will want to be careful about placing too much burden on the reader to figure things out for themselves. Sometimes it is okay and appropriate to give the readers “just the facts, ma’am.” If you leave too much up to the reader to guess at, they might grow frustrated with the story and put it down.

Primarily, however, I will rely on the POV character’s interactions with the world and with other characters to pass on world building information. Dialogue, of course, will be a key component. The trick here is to identify which characters know what and to use them effectively.

Identify supporting characters and their motivations, including forces of antagonism.

·      So far, the only supporting character I’ve identified is big brother John. And I don’t know his motivation in the story yet, other than to make sure his little sister doesn’t get hurt. But he does know a lot of about becoming a Rider. He will likely pass this information on to Jane.

·      The Mal’niveus are a force of antagonism, and they have already provided a main structural element to the world building by creating the necessity for the walled city-states.

I haven’t yet identified the main villain, but once I do I will need to explore his/her motivation extensively. What does the bad guy want? Why does he want it? How does he plan on getting it? Answers to these questions should both inform and be informed by the world at large. Think about it—only the perfect storm conditions of post World War I Germany could’ve produced a Hitler. The more we explore the villain’s motivation for his/her badness, the more these conditions will become apparent. Once they are apparent, put them into the story as much as you can and as much as makes sense.

Finally, my last bit of advice is to try and make the world building as fun for you as possible. If the writer is having fun playing in their world, the reader will, too.

Onyx & Ivory Street Team Sign-Ups

Dear friends, it’s January 15, and that means we’re exactly four months away from the release of Onyx & Ivory. I just can’t believe it. How did this happen? Oh wait, time flies, that’s how it happened.

O&I Street Team Sign-Ups

Speaking of time, as usual I’m running short on it, which means I’m only just now launching the official Onyx & Ivory Street Team. For those of you unfamiliar with street teams, basically you sign up to help promote the book, both online and around your town, and in return you receive exclusive content and prizes. If you already know what’s up, the sign up link is at the bottom of this email.

Some caveats. This is my very first time trying something like this, and as such I’ve no actual idea what I’m doing, but I promise to do my best. There will be a learning curve, though, so please keep that in mind. I’m also looking for anyone interested in captaining the team. Basically this person will be my go-to individual(s) for questions and suggestions about tasks and prizes and whatnot. If you’re interested, send me an email.

How it Works

  • There will be 12 tasks total. The first 2 will be two weeks apart starting Feb 11. Then starting Mar 11 there will be 1 task per week until release week.
  • A special newsletter will appear in your inbox providing the details of the assigned task (including how to get credit for it), the due date, and the exclusive content and/or prizes up for grabs.
  • For every task completed, you will be entered to win a major prize package at the the end of the launch.
  • To qualify for the big giveaway, you have to complete 10 out of 12 tasks, but you will receive points for every task, so doing them all will increase your chances off winning.
  • Depending on the number of sign-ups, there might be several big prizes at the end.
  • Everyone who completes 10 of the 12 tasks will receive a swag package, including bookmarks, book plates, and other goodies.
  • Open internationally.

Exclusive Content & Prizes

All of these are things I hope to offer, although I can’t promise everything will happen. There will also be more. Again, I’m learning as I go.

  • Advanced Readers Copies (most likely eArcs, but some of the giveaways will include physical arcs)
  • Interactive Map
  • Exclusive Badges
  • Dream Cast
  • Quizzes to determine your magic type
  • Previews of Book 2
  • Bookmarks + bookplates + other swag (including the original inspiration for the “moonbelts” in the story)

  • Trading Cards
  • Signed Copies of other books like these (candles, too!):

  • And some of my own books, of course.

Other Details

As I mentioned above, this is my first time doing this, and I want to say thanks ahead of time to any of you that sign up. It’s no secret that a lot of success for a book is based on how much buzz it generates, and a street team can go a long way to helping create that. It might not seem like it, but every mention helps.

Also, I promise to keep these tasks reasonable. I understand how valuable your time is. It’s the same for me. Some of you might not know that I work a full time day job in addition to the writing gig, which frankly, is also full-time. I also have two children young enough that they can’t be left home by themselves longer than an hour. Not to mention horses, dogs, and cats to take care of. So yeah, I get it. Every task will be designed to be doable even for someone with a hectic and crazy schedule.

Street Team Sign up

And finally, at last, you can sign up here. Just be signing up, you’ll be given access to the first five pages of Onyx & Ivory to read online.

Musingly Yours,

Mindee

Remembering Majyk Cover Reveal and Preorder

Today it’s my pleasure to help my friend Valia Lind reveal the cover for her next book, Remembering Majyk, And let me tell you, it’s gorgeous! But first, a little about the book. Here’s the blurb:

Calista Faulkner never believed in fairy tales…until she is thrust into one.

While attending a college party, she’s attacked by terrifying creatures straight out of a modern day Dr. Frankenstein’s handbook. Fleeing for her life, she discovers that her human memories are a lie and nothing is what it seems.
Calista becomes a target and her only chance of survival is to trust the mysterious Brendan Parnell. He seems to know all of her secrets, even those she doesn’t remember herself.

Together they must fight to protect the most important part of their inheritance, the Relic of Knowledge. Unfortunately, Calista has no memory of her magical life and no idea where she hid the relic. As her memories begin to resurface with bone crushing agony, Calista must face the facts: she is a Volshebnitsya of the High Realm of Skazka and it is her duty to stop the Glava, the masters of Shadowlands.

The world around them begins to falls apart. Plagued by storms that are destroying cities and torn by the sinister monsters of Russian lore. The secrets locked deep inside her mind are her destiny and her undoing. If both worlds are to survive, Calista and Brendan must face the darkness around them—and the darkness threatening from within.

And now for the cover!

You can add the book on goodreads here.

Also, there’s a special preorder going on. Up until the day of release, there’s a special price for the book of $1.99! So be sure to preorder now by going here.

Onyx & Ivory Advanced Copy Giveaway!

Christmas has come early, at least for me! These pretties arrived the day after Thanksgiving, and that means it’s time to give one away. I’m not sure how many of these will be available, so if you want a printed arc, now’s your chance. As always, the giveaway is easy to enter—the only requirement is that you add the book on Goodreads and mention the giveaway at least once on any social media platform. This giveaway is opened Internationally and runs until Wed December 6.

 

In case you need a reminder, here’s the scoop on the book out May 15, 2018, first in a planned dualogy.

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king of Rime. Cast out of the noble class, she now works for the royal courier service. Only those most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.

And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan mysteriously massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormane, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget, after he condemned her father to death. With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must uncover secrets, both past and present, to face this new threat of drakes who attack in the daylight and the darker menace behind them. 

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