Cover Reveal: Daughter of Aithne

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I’m delighted to announce that Daughter of Aithne will be released this spring in Kindle and print editions!

Cover art and design for this third and final installment of The Silver Web is by Thomas Vandenberg, who also did the covers for the first two books in the series, Eolyn and Sword of Shadows.  The image shows Princess Briana’s first encounter with a snow tiger, under the careful watch of her mother, Eolyn, High Maga and Queen of Moisehén. If you look closely, you just might see a nervous squirrel in the background!

The novel is now available for pre-order on Kindle. This is the climactic finale to The Silver Web, which chronicles Eolyn’s life-long struggle to restore women’s magic to her people. Will she succeed? You’ll have to purchase the book to find out!

Synopsis

Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn is arrested for treason. While power-hungry nobles dismantle her life’s work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Plagued by enemies old and new, Eolyn must fight her own sisters in magic if she hopes to secure her son’s throne.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the whims of a scheming uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert control over her own fate even as she joins the battle to defend her daughter’s inheritance.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes…with a romantic thread.” -Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn, Book One of The Silver Web

“Lush, evocative descriptions carry readers through an unforgettable journey.” –Kirkus Reviews review of Sword of Shadows, Book Two of The Silver Web.

Cover art and design by Thomas Vandenberg.

Available now for pre-order on Kindle!

Blackout and Recovery

lake-of-the-ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks State Park in winter time.

Whoosh!!

And just like that, the month of January is gone.

When I stay away from the internet for extended periods of time, it’s usually because I have a lot going on in my non-virtual life – most of it good – and this month has been no exception.

In addition to kicking off the spring semester with a satisfying roster of classes, I’ve been to two very interesting meetings inside of a month: the bee workshop I mentioned in my last post, and more recently, the annual meetings of the Missouri Natural Resources Conference.

The other thing that’s sucked up my time, in a not-so-pleasant fashion, is the political situation of our beloved nation. For me, keeping track of the news has been like watching a thousand fires light up across a dry landscape. Every. Single. Day. If only I had more water…

But I don’t want to talk about any of that today.

The question most on my mind of late is whether it’s possible for the heart to heal – truly heal – after suffering bitter disappointment. Do we get stronger from the fall, as so many claim, or do we just learn to cover up one pit before tumbling unwittingly into another? Does the promise of new love bring joy or just distraction? Are joy and distraction essentially the same thing, twin pills that merely lessen the pain without ever erasing its source?

Over past month, I’ve engaged in a conscientious effort to let go of the past and better embrace the future. At times, the effort feel good and right, exciting, even. At other times,  I just want to crawl back into my shell and tell everyone to go away.

I harbor a deep desire to laugh and be lighthearted again, to play in the sun like I remember doing, back in a time when I had faith in people – or, rather, a certain person and a particular vision of my future.

But just as desire for levity succeeds in asserting itself, I have a dream or memory; I see a place we used to enjoy or hear a voice that reminds me of him. I wake up and realize today is a date that was important for us as a couple, and my heart goes tumbling back into that pit.

The demon I battle is an irrational fear, but not of being alone. On the contrary, I find a lot of safety and comfort in the thought of being alone. No situation meets my expectations with such satisfying precision as being alone.

What I do fear is this: Being together and then being alone. I fear love followed by separation, whether by choice or circumstance or some combination of both. Having suffered through that agony once, I don’t ever want to face the possibility again.

Yet I must face it, if I ever want to love. And for better or worse, I am a creature driven toward love. In a way, it’s the cruelest of miracles, this situation I find myself in; a desire that beats me down with memories even as it pushes me forward with hope.

I don’t know where all this will lead. All I know is that for the first time in a long time, I’m searching for one more bright plain. A picturesque mountain. A verdant forest. A city of elves, even.

All of Middle Earth is not orcs and caverns, after all. There’s the Shire and Rivendel and Rohan. There’s the Emerald City…

Oops. Sorry! That’s another story. But it still works. Love can’t be all tornadoes and flying monkeys and fake wizards. Once in a while there are ruby slippers and a dance down the yellow brick road. Sweet dreams in fields of poppies. A scarecrow with a brain.

A tin man with a heart.

A lion who has found his courage.