Shanna and the Raven: An Imbolc story is available in paperback and for Kindle readers
The first story in the Children's Wheel of the Year series was published on January 8. The paperback edition is absolutely gorgeous with Julie Freel's pastel illustrations. Here are some photos of the book. Here are some pictures sent by an avid reader. Thank you, Ember!
Intuition is calling.
How do you know when the signs of nature and the whispers of your heart are true?
Here is a story for Pagan, Wiccan and earth-centered families to share the wonder of the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is a time for hearth fires and candlelight, the season for protection, healing, intuition and the first seeds of hope. Join us for a story of courage.
A strange man talks to seven-year-old Rye one day at the bus stop. His sister, ten-year-old Shanna, doesn't feel good about it, but she has no real idea why. Nightmares and even a beady-eyed raven dog Shanna´s footsteps and their mother is suddenly out of work. As the celebration of Imbolc nears, Shanna wishes for some magic that will help dispel the troubles.
If your kids like The American Girl series or The Magic Tree House series and you want to share adventure stories with them that feature earth-centered and Pagan holidays and ideas, this series is just the ticket.
Path of the Outcast (Book Five of The Kyrennei Series) is out
The fifth book in the Kyrennei Series will be out on Kindle on Friday, soon to be followed by other formats. Pre-orders are cheaper than the published book, so order your copy now and it will come to your Kindle automatically on Friday, Oct. 30.
This is said to be the best of the series yet. It begins at the darkest hour after the attack on Cameron Farm and yet there is always the seed of hope. Wyatt, Owen and Shep are loose. Yes, you get to find out what happened to Kai Linden at the end of Code of the Outcast. You also get to reconnect with some of your favorite characters from earlier books. See the dedicated Path of the Betrayer page for a full book description and an excerpt.
A little spot of laughter: Bestselling author steve DeWinter yacks on fantasy and dystopia with Kyrennei Series author Arie Farnam
I have been interviewed by Steve DeWinter on his online talkshow. It was a delightful discussion with a lot of laughs and it resulted in one of the best concise tellings of the complex premise of The Kyrennei Series. If you are a Kyrennei Series fan yet you have trouble explaining it to friends (as I've heard tends to happen), here is a good thing to share that will do the work for you. And if you would like to get into the fantasy world that looks eerily like your own world, take a peek here.
The Soul and the Seed (Book 1 of the Kyrennei Series) is going to FantasyCon
A young woman who doesn’t fit into the cliques…
Half-forgotten legends becoming reality…
A doctor with haunted eyes and too much truth…
An underground Pagan movement that has silently kept the faith for a thousand years…
And the obsession of those who rule our world by controlling heart and minds.
This is a story of your modern world. On the surface, it looks just as it does to you outside this book, except here greed is a living force with a desire to perpetuate itself.
Today's democracy is the facade of a corporate-backed power cult that demands uniformity and hegemony. The Addin can usurp your will and turn you against your friends and family.
Very few know this and fewer yet have the courage to fight back.
A young doctor code-named Kenyen fights with a small band of international outlaws. His mission is to infiltrate the Addin labs where those who carry the genetic code of an ancient non-human race are being studied... and exterminated. Their crime is their immunity to mind control.
Kenyen is barely keeping his cover, when a young girl who can see to a person’s soul disrupts his plan and brings unimagined hope.
One day Aranka Miko was a high school student navigating the dreary world of English class and broken friendships. The next, she's a prisoner, a reviled mutant and not even considered human.
Can one girl hold “the seed,” the first flicker of hope in a millennium? Can she even survive one more day in the labs? Can Kenyen forgive himself for the horrors he's forced to participate in?
No matter. Your world will never be the same again.
Code of the Outcast (Book 4 of the Kyrennei Series) is out!
Code of the Outcast, the long-awaited next installment in the series, is live on Amazon. This book departs a bit from the first three, focusing on new characters, but it is more of the desperate adventure in the world ruled by the Addin. The series is best if read in order. If you're new to it and looking for a gripping read, try The Soul and the Seed.
Please don't be shy and drop a review of Code of the Outcast on Amazon. Reviews matter. They don't need to be long or convoluted, but they're a big part of what keeps your favorite authors writing.
Here's the story
When a masked gunman barges into a university acoustic-dynamics class and abducts Maya Gardener, she knows she has to fight for her life. But her supposed rescuers may want her dead, and the kidnapper insists that the world as Maya knows it is a lie.
It’s present-day America and society is as dysfunctional as always. Democracy and even the “freedom to shop” is a sham. A powerful elite wields clandestine control over human will to maintain hegemony in every aspect of modern life.
It’s been that way for a thousand years, but today there are finally a handful of people who might possess the power to resist and to shield others… if they only knew how. Maya isn’t a fighter by nature, but the random chance of genetics chose her and now she’ll have to learn to help herself and others.
She was always an outsider—trapped in the borderlands between races, cultures and families. Now she’s hunted through the biting cold of a Wisconsin winter, and the only thing that holds her body and soul together is her love for Kai Linden, the fierce-eyed musician and comp-sci major who claims there is one place she truly belongs. Read more.
The new Kyrennei Series logo
Over the next few weeks I'll be replacing the logo on everything. Supposedly readers can get an updated version of the ebooks from Amazon, if you'd like one with the prettier cover. If you have any trouble, drop me a line and I'll send it to you.
How a book fits a reader and hope comes from despair
One of the early reviewers wrote, “This is the ideal book!”
And that’s wonderful. I wrote my books partly because I was frustrated with trends in modern fiction. I wanted to write a story I could love wholeheartedly. I’m glad it’s ideal to someone besides just me.
But I know my books aren't for everyone.
No book is ideal for everyone. Some readers like physical action. Others prefer wrenching emotions. Some can’t stand the internal tension but are fine with violence. Some insist on sex scenes. Others can do without the details. And that’s not even about genre. Some books are harshly literary and others are more cozy.
Yet, almost all books are described in a very similar way. Action! Drama! Intensity! Guy in pursuit! Girl in despair! Snappy prose! No one is going to advertise a book by saying it ISN’T intelligent or suspenseful, no matter what the genre. The cover blurbs all read the same.
I have written a lot of descriptions of my books, but I have yet to hit on one that conveys the heart and soul of The Kyrennei Series, so that the readers who will love it can find it easily. When asked in person, I always find myself apologizing because there is violence in my books… some really bad violence. And I’m afraid that either the mention of violence or the apology itself turns away a lot of the readers who might love the books.
Let’s get this straight. I don’t like violence. I never have. There are a lot of action/adventure or thriller books that I don't enjoy as a reader and I wouldn’t write one the way 80 percent of them are written. The violence isn’t where the suspense is. In my view, violent scenes should be short, brutal and avoided by both reasonable characters and writers alike.
But there are times when you can’t avoid it. The story must be told. And The Kyrennei Series is a hard and desperate story. It’s fiction—even fantasy—on the literal plane. And yet there is a deeper level of reality where this story is true. And that truth has to be told. Even when it’s hard.
Another reader recently told me that my books are like The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s a great book and it’s nice to be favorably compared to awesome authors. But then I realized that The Road is categorized as literary fiction, not popular dystopia. I've been categorizing my books with things like The Hunger Games, not with literary fiction.
And how in the world is The Soul and the Seed like The Road anyway?
Both are dystopian. True.
But they are in wildly different settings. The Road is in a grim, future in a destroyed world where people resort to cannibalism to survive. The Soul and the Seed is set solidly in the present. The dystopia is inherent in today’s socially harsh and physically unsustainable society… with one fatal twist that isn’t even apparent on the surface.
The similarity is more in the way that violence, despair and heart are dealt with. Much of the violence in popular urban fantasy and dystopia is “justified” and almost enjoyable to read.
And the violence in my books isn’t fun. It’s all too real.
Why read it then? To the readers of books like The Road or The Soul and the Seed, it’s partly the authentic spirit of the people that keeps you glued to the page. That and the burning questions we carry inside whether we read or not.
How do we live with despair? How do you go on through anything, no matter how terrible and gut-wrenching? These are the questions. And they are answered in bits and pieces. In the gentleness of a person forced to fight, in the common fear of the strong and the weak alike, in the fact that you still seek life and even comfort amid horrific circumstances.
What is hope? If you don’t have the darkness--real darkness--true and desperate, how can you have an authentic story about hope?
I wanted to write about these things, but I wanted to do it in a gripping story without the tiniest whiff of moralistic preaching. I am as much a seeker as the reader. The story is there to sweep you away to another reality while simultaneously making you question your own world, to terrify you and help you feel deeply.
And it may just help you find hope. Or not. Depending. But it will grip you and make you fall in love with characters who are as real as old friends.
Let me put it technically. The Soul and the Seed has three or four incidents of violence in it, depending on if you count hearing violence at a distance or not. That’s not a peaceful book. But it isn’t that much violence when compared to a book like The Hunger Games, which is (after the first third) essentially a sequence of violent incidents.
And yet readers who have read both The Hunger Games and The Soul and the Seed will often say the latter is scarier and more intense. People who can read about teenagers slaughtering each other in The Hunger Games, sometimes find The Kyrennei Series to be “too much.”
And that's how it goes. a writer can't please everyone. If I want the reader to feel hope deeply, I have to make the reader feel pain deeply as well.
The only problem is with telling readers that. I want to give fair warning about the violence in the series. And yet violence isn’t at the core of the story. Many readers who find modern fiction too violent will actually like The Soul and the Seed better than The Hunger Games precisely because of this. If I write a description focusing on the violence and harsh action in the story, that doesn’t give its core.
Sometimes a thing is described best by saying what it is not. I liked the idea of The Hunger Games up until the middle of the first book. But then the violence became mechanical. The emotion slid into melodrama, even though it didn't need to. By the third book the violence read like the description of a video game. It wasn’t painful to read. It was a game. And many readers like that. Not everything must be painful. But if you want authentic hope, you have to face down despair.
And that is what The Kyrennei Series does. It goes for real hope. Hope that doesn’t pull any punches. And it is wrenching to get there.
If you think you might like my books or have read one of them but not the rest, I have a special offer going. Join my hearth-side email circle, where readers get an occasional email with links to my blog posts plus a sort of virtual cup of tea. And you get a free ebook. Here's how:
- Subscribe to my hearth-side email circle here.
- Then look at the books under the Arie's Books tab at the top of the page and pick the book you want. (It's highly recommended that you read the books in order and the first book is The Soul and the Seed. But if you've already read the first book, here's your chance to get the second for free. )
- Next go to my contact page and send me a message. Include your email address, your preferred ebook format (Mobi, Epub or PDF) and which book you would like. Presto! You'll have it in your inbox soon.
Note: If you are already subscribed to the Hearth-side Email Circle, you can also get a free book. Reply to the latest By the Hearth email and let me know which one you want.
Help choose a character from the Kyrennei Series to be interviewed
Have you read the first three books of the Kyrennei Series and do you want to read more about these characters? Book 4 is on its way, but it deals with a new set of characters in the same world. I'm celebrating the conclusion of the first draft of Book 4 with a little treat for readers. I will interview a character and you can help choose which one and what I should ask.
As usual, I don't always know what these characters are going to say and do myself. They have taken on a life of their own and I'm excited to see what might come out of a character interview.
A huge THANK YOU! to everyone who came to the Kyrennei Series launch party in La Grande on Nov. 8. People came from as far away as Seattle to celebrate and revel in books. We had a blast. Thanks to those who also cheered the party on from a distance.
My brother Skye dressed up as The Soul and the Seed (Book 1) was a fun addition. Little kids running all over the place and the gathering of old friends made for a simulation of a crowded J. Company compound just for added atmosphere.
My heartfelt thanks goes to Annie Eskelin of the Art Center at the Old Library for her on-going support and cooperation on this and other events.
The Taken and the Free (The Kyrennei Series Book Three) is now available in multiple formats including Kindle, Nook, Apple ITunes and more. The paperback should be available on Amazon by the end of today.
You can find The Soul and the Seed (Book 1) in all formats HERE.
Get The Fear and the Solace (Book 2) in all formats HERE.
All formats of The Taken and the Free (Book 3) are listed HERE.
Published: Book 3 of The Kyrennei Series is out!
What if the price of freedom is too high?
Aranka Miko has been captured by the Addin agent known as Bradley who is obsessed with subduing her will. Because they can´t control her, Aranka faces death at the hands of the Addin, which is the real power in today's world.
Rick and Jace of J. Company dive into the the intrigues of Addin-controlled political and social elites in a desperate attempt to rescue Aranka. Not only has she become the symbol of the underground resistance against Addin oppression, she is also their friend and the beloved of Rick's brother Kenyen. But what chance do even two hardened fighters have against a power that controls the largest governments, military forces and corporations on earth? Their only attainable goal may be to help her die before Addin leaders give Bradley free rein to torture her.
The question is unavoidable. Can the Kyrennei be broken to the will of the Addin? Unlike humans, Aranka can resist the Addin, but at what cost? Much more is at stake than the life of one girl. Yet to Kenyen her life is all that truly matters. And when that is lost, what is left to fight for?
The Taken and the Free is Book 3 of The Kyrennei Series and the final book in the initial trilogy. The books are meant to be read in order. For earlier parts of the story see The Soul and the Seed (Book 1) and The Fear and the Solace (Book 2).
The Fear and the Solace (Book 2 of The Kyrennei Series is out in paperback!
And it's beautiful!
Get your copies of Kyrennei paperbacks here.
And there are more digital formats!s
The Fear and the Solace (The Kyrennei Series Book Two) is on Amazon!
The Fear and the Solace continues the story of Aranka and J. Company begun in The Soul and the Seed.
Aranka Miko, the girl who carried the hope of resistance against Addin mind control, is lost and assumed to be dead. Despair has always dogged at the heels of those in the desperate fight against the Addin, but now that they've tasted hope, the return of darkness is all the more bitter.
Twenty-two-year-old Cho is the temporary commander of the J. Company compound in Montana when disaster strikes. The scouting team in Portland, Oregon has been ambushed on the 205 bridge. If they're captured, their souls will be usurped by Addin control. Then Cho will be on her own in this secret world war that can never be won. At least two of her closest friends are dead, the man she loves is at the epicenter of the danger and the one who carries the first hope in a thousand years is lost, almost certainly killed in a rain of bullets.
Hope is a fragile thing and fear is constant companion. It's the twenty-first century, right now, in America and everything looks just fine on the surface. But a clandestine force controls the highest seats of power and will stop at nothing to stamp out resistance. The ancient Meikan people, like Cho, have lived in terror of the Addin for generations, and those who dare to stand up to its power are shunned as outlaws by their own people. Then a mere girl fulfilled an almost forgotten prophecy and hope briefly flowered in unlikely places. But does a giant even notice the crushing of a single flower? One girl is easy enough to kill.
To celebrate, the Kindle edition of The Soul and the Seed will be on sale for $2.99 as a special favor to my readers and to readers of The Fussy Librarian until Oct. 9, 2014
Help make more books possible! Review these books.
Eternal thanks to my fantastic reviewers!
The Paperback is Here! classic book lovers rejoice!
At last, after many trials and tribulations the paperback of The Soul and the Seed is available on Amazon. My thanks to all the classic book lovers who stuck with me in the meantime. I hope you'll agree that it was worth a little waiting. The book is beautiful - the cover and the chapter headings, everything. I am so impressed with the CreateSpace printers. And, yes, it has that delicious new book smell!
Author interview: Welcome to my worlds and characters with Kyra Halland
Kyra Halland, the author of dark-edged tales of fantasy, heroism and romance, interviewed me as the Goodreads featured author last week. Thank you, Kyra, for a wonderful discussion and generous post. For the full-color version and more author interviews, see Kyra's blog HERE.
This is the transcript of the discussion from Halland's website:
Author Spotlight: Arie Farnam
Introducing Arie Farnam, author of the dystopian fantasy Kyrennei series:
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm originally from a remote rural area in Eastern Oregon. I grew up in a family with somewhat alternative values and an earth-based spiritual bent. I also grew up legally blind. Those two influences collided to give me an education in being an outsider as a teenager. Later, I traveled extensively in about 35 countries, worked as a newspaper correspondent in places like Kosovo, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, produced documentary films and generally had a very interesting journalistic career. Now, I live in the Czech Republic with my husband and my two small children. I suppose I am still sort of an outsider, because I'm a foreigner and visually impaired and I often hold minority views. But I've made peace with that. And hence my books, which partly deal with issues of social exclusion and inclusion.
2. When did you start writing, and why?
I was taught to type by a wonderful teacher when I was in sixth grade. That opened up a whole new world to me. I've never been all that good at expressing myself orally and handwriting was always difficult. Typing was like freedom. My imagination and expression ran wild. I have basically written something every since. Sometimes it’s fiction, sometimes newspaper articles, sometimes just very long letters but I have never had to make myself write or suffered from writers block. If there weren't other necessary and fun things to do in life, I would write all the time.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
One thing I really love about writing fiction is the feedback from readers. Non-fiction is good too but fiction is really fun to share. Everyone I've heard from has been intensely gripped my series and has fallen in love with the characters. When readers tell me that they meant to just read for a bit and then ended up staying up half the night and wandering around at work the next day daydreaming about my characters, all I can say is, "Yeah, I know. Isn't it bizarre? I had the same problem while writing it."
Right now, I'm finishing up a series that is something between contemporary dystopia and a fantasy thriller. It's my first serious work of fiction. I've had the ideas and characters and much of the plot since I was a teenager but I always dismissed it as being "too out-there", "too-intense" or "too" something else. I was embarrassed to let my fantasies loose on the world. I tried to write all kinds of other fiction and was never satisfied. For a long time, I thought that I must just be a non-fiction writer. But then about a year ago, I decided to try writing this story down, even though I never expected to show it to anyone. I was emboldened partly by recent trends in the dystopia genre, which showed me that my story isn't beyond the pale.
When I started writing it, I was shocked by what happened. I was gripped by what seemed like a "writer's fever." I literally wrote for three months straight. I couldn't stop. I couldn't sleep. I could barely keep the rest of my life together. In three months, I wrote the rough drafts of three novels. I've spent the last few months learning about the new shape of the publishing world, deciding to go independent, creating a website, learning graphic design, editing, editing, editing and seeking out editors and finally publishing and marketing the books. Despite my worries at the beginning, the first book has a five-star average on Amazon.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
Okay, the series is called The Kyrennei Series.
Book One is The Soul and the Seed. It's out as an ebook and will be out in paperback within the next few days.
Book Two is The Fear and the Solace. That will be published as an ebook in early October.
The third book, The Taken and the Free, should be launched at a series party on November 8 if all goes well.
I'm also reworking my narrative non-fiction book Border Crossing Lessons. It is sort of a memoir, sort of just a story about incredible people I met and harrowing adventures I had as a shoestring journalist and traveler in my early twenties. That will be out in 2015.
5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
The Kyrennei Series is about a fantasy world that outwardly looks exactly like the real world. The difference is that so many of the problems of today's world that we have a hard time explaining are explained - everything from inter-ethnic wars to high school cliques, as well as political parties, the military industrial complex and corruption. In essence, it's a whopping good conspiracy theory and it holds water disturbingly well.
There is a clandestine force which usurps the wills and desires of individuals, making them fervent disciples of a secret cult of power. A certain portion of the population - including many politicians, business leaders and socialites - are part of what is called the Addin Association.
The Addin is in essence a manifestation of the human desire for power over others. Humans cannot resist the Addin. If the Addin wants an individual, they take them and there is nothing the individual can do about it. Some people can put it off a little longer than others, but in the end, no human can stand up to it. And once taken by the Addin, you desire more power for the Addin and you can take others under its control as well, except that the Addin doesn't want everyone to have that kind of power and thus only strategic individuals are usually "taken."
As usually happens in nature, the world started out with something to balance the Addin. There was a race of non-human people, a parallel species to Homo sapiens and those people, known as Kyrennei, could not be controlled by the Addin without their consent. In ancient times, some humans wanted to remain free of the Addin and they asked the Kyrennei for help. The Kyrennei allied themselves with some of these humans and thus came into direct conflict with the Addin. In around 300 CE, the Addin decided that the Kyrennei were a threat to their power and thus began a particularly bloody period of history, during which the Addin tried to exterminate the Kyrennei. By around 700 CE they had succeeded, given that the Kyrennei were not very numerous.
But Kyrennei mystics put in place two important things before they were wiped out. First, they equipped their human allies with a strange sign made up of very subtle gestures, which would disappear from their memory if they were taken by the Addin. Thus, their allies, now called Meikans, would always know who among them was taken by the Addin and who was free. The Meikans, being human, were more able than the Kyrennei to hide and some of them still survive today, hiding from the Addin in the general population and passing down through the generations their special sign, their quiet resistance to the Addin and a secret international Pagan religion.
Secondly, the Kyrennei mystics attempted to hide their DNA, through the use of what appeared to be magic, scattered in dormant genes among humans. There was a prophecy that some day the bits and pieces would come together and the Kyrennei would return. But in the twenty-first century few, even among Meikans, actually believe in such things. True, myths and legends about non-human people with pointy ears and slight stature still abound in many disconnected parts of the world, mystifying folklorists from Ireland to Vietnam, but they're only old legends after all.
Or are they?
That is the world that the Kyrennei Series opens on. I hope to someday write more books, beyond the initial trilogy, including historical books about how the modern situation came to be.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Aranka is "semi-normal" sixteen-year-old girl. She's a bit awkward and more athletic than most. She doesn't pay enough attention to fashion or social cliques, so she's not real popular in high school but she has a couple good friends. Then, some doctors come to her school to administer a surprise blood test and they claim she's sick with a terrible super virus. Aranka and several other kids are shut away in a quarantine and wake up imprisoned in cages in a warehouse. Aranka doesn’t know the Addin, which holds true power in the world, exists any more than your average kid in twenty-first century America does. And when a young doctor tells her that she is belongs to an extinct non-human race called the Kyrennei, she's pretty sure he's delusional. But after a strange illness and gene therapy, she does now have pointed ears and her body has changed in other ways... and the people keeping her in a cage are killing others who look like her.
Kenyen is the young doctor who tries to tell Aranka about the harsh realities of their world. He's an undercover agent for an international group of outlaws who actively resist the Addin. The leaders of the resistance have prepared him for this ever since he was a kid, including putting him through medical school. The modern study of genetics has given the Addin access to the dormant Kyrennei genes hidden deep within the human genome and they have decided to force the Kyrennei to return on their own terms, so that they can easily eradicate those who defy their power. Kenyen's mission is to infiltrate the Addin laboratories and participate in killing Kyrennei at first. Then once the scheme has picked up speed, he is supposed to use his inside position to spearhead a raid by resistance fighters that should free a great number of Kyrennei. The problem with that plan - other than the fact that it’s insanely dangerous to try to infiltrate a group that can control your will in an instant if they ever find out you're not really one of them - is that he's a doctor and he has to help kill innocent kids. And it's destroying him.
Beyond Aranka and Kenyen, the main characters are the members of J. Company, a diverse group of resistance fighters. There's Thanh, the young Vietnamese Meikan outlaw who narrates a good part of the first two books in the series. He's just an incredibly awesome character and whenever I was stuck for a voice, I settled on him. Then there's Jace, the Australian mastermind of J. Company. Jace's second in command is a tough-as-nails, middle-aged Russian lesbian named Dasha. There's also Cho, a Japanese medical student who’s in love with Thanh; Rick, Kenyen's Arab foster brother; Kwasi, an East African musician and mechanic; and Radek, a Czech cartographer with a suspicious streak.
The primary bad guy isn't actually the boss of all the Addin. One problem with the whole Addin puzzle is that there isn't really a boss. The Addin isn't just the people controlled by it and can’t be that easily destroyed. But one Addin figure does stand out, at least for Aranka and Kenyen, because he's the kind of guy who really hates it when someone small and weak stands up to him or makes him look less than invincible. And this guy Bradley becomes obsessed with torturing Kyrennei prisoners, particularly Aranka, because they resist his domination without even trying.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
Many of the locations in the book are real, so you can read it and have fun navigating with the characters on GoogleEarth.
The Pagan religion of the Meikans is fictional but similar Pagan belief systems now make up the fastest growing religion in the United States.
The Soul and the Seed is available at Amazon.
At last! Here it is...
Cover reveal: The Fear and the Solace (Book two of the Kyrennei Series)
What if you had to fight a war you knew you could never win?
Twenty-two-year-old Cho is the temporary commander of the J. Company compound in Montana when disaster strikes. The scouting team in Portland, Oregon has been ambushed on the 205 bridge. If they're captured, their souls will be usurped by the malevolent Addin Association. Then Cho will be on her own in a secret world war that cannot be won. At least two of her closest friends are dead, the man she loves is at the epicenter of the peril and the one who carries the first hope in a thousand years is lost, almost certainly killed in a rain of bullets.
Hope is a fragile thing and fear is constant companion. It's the twenty-first century, right now, in America and everything looks just fine on the surface. But a clandestine force controls the highest seats of power and will stop at nothing to stamp out resistance. Meikans, like Cho, have lived in terror of the Addin for generations and those who dare to stand up to its power are shunned as outlaws by their own people. Then a mere girl fulfilled an almost forgotten prophecy and hope briefly flowered in unlikely places. But does a giant even notice the crushing of a single flower? One girl is easy enough to kill.
Just across the river and a world away, a six-year-old finds a stranger sleeping in her garden-shed playhouse. The stranger looks like a creature out of fantasy and she's frightened and hungry. Hope is a funny thing. Somehow it isn't as easy to kill as one might think.
The Fear and the Solace will be published in the first days of October 2014. Reviewers and bloggers please apply for a free advance copy using the email form HERE.
Big News: The Fear and the Solace (Book Two of the Kyrennei Series) is almost ready
The Fear and the Solace should be published in the first days of October 2014. The book is currently with the final copyeditor and the cover is being polished.
That is good news for eager readers because it means...
Here is your sample chapter!
Just to wet your appetite, you can download a PDF of the first chapter of The Fear and the Solace here. Guess who narrates this time! What happened to Aranka? Will J. Company survive?
The Soul and the Seed is now available on Amazon
Amazon did a nice, speedy job. The Soul and the Seed is now published and you can download it to read on a Kindle or a free Kindle app.
If you don't have a Kindle, click HERE for easy, safe links to the free Kindle app.
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The Fire That Wouldn't Die
When I was sixteen, a man walked into my imagination and wouldn't go away. He was a young doctor with desperate eyes and gentle hands. I knew little about the wide world at the time. I lived in an isolated rural town in Eastern Oregon. But over the years, I imagined a far-reaching story around this man and the girl he came to love - a girl who was not exactly like me but who I could understand. She could be as real as anyone I knew.
For years I was afraid of my fantasy people - the strange, intense doctor and the girl who carried the seed of hope in a world without hope. And the pain involved was more than they or I could bear. I never told anyone about them.
For more than twenty years, the story and the characters persisted, even when I tried to banish them, Their story grew as I became a journalist and learned about the inner workings of international politics. Then one day last fall, I decided that the story came for a reason. Perhaps it is a reflection of something important about the modern world. But maybe it is just a damn good story that needs to be told.
I wrote it in one amazing winter. I can't hardly say I wrote it alone. I love writing and yet this was writing like nothing I ever knew before. The story is alive. The people are ready to walk out of the computer and take up residence in the living room. Now I'm working on a way to publish it.
It's a lie. Doctors say sixteen year-old Aranka Miko is sick. Then they say she's evil. They imprison her in a sinister warehouse, where her body changes to resemble a creature out of fantasy. Her fellow prisoners are killed, one by one. It's only a matter of time before it is her turn.
This too is a lie. You look around and the world seems the same, mundane and sometimes unfair but just as it always was. That's an illusion. A massive force controls the wills of the powerful, whether in high school cliques or in international politics. Those who won't conform must be crushed to preserve the appearance of free will.
There are those who fight back, but they are pitifully few. Kenyen, a young doctor, knows the truth. World governments would call him a spy and a terrorist.
All he wants is to save one life. In the process he uncovers "the Seed," the first flicker of hope in a thousand years.
Let me ask you something. Why are some people popular and others are not?
Well, you might say that the popular people look great, are nice to everyone, wear the right clothes, know how to talk, have the right friends, have money... But stop and think a minute. Who says what looks "great"? Who decides what the right clothes are? What decides who gets the right friends? We all know people who are downright mean who are popular. Looks and wealth may matter some but not enough to explain it. We all know good-hearted, good-looking people who are social outsiders. Why?
The Soul and the Seed is a story about our world, just as it appears today, except that there is a reason why some people have power and others don't.
This is the first book in the Kyrennei Trilogy, a contemporary dystopian series with a fantasy twist. The second book in the trilogy The Fear and the Solace and the third book The Taken and the Free will follow shortly.
The Soul and the Seed Free sample chapter
The first book in The Kyrennei Series will be published within just a couple of weeks. Here's a little preview. You can read the first sample chapters in PDF form for free. Please share with your friends. If you like this, sign up for email updates and discount deals on this book.
Note: I've made the font big in the PDF for those who want to read this on a tablet. If you are using a desktop computer, you might want to zoom out a bit.
The Cover of The Soul and the Seed Revealed
At last, the cover.... drum-roll. That took some doing. Thank you, Martina Fabianova, for playing model. Many thanks to Ember Farnam, Steve Cronjé, Pavel Černý and others for invaluable technical assistance.