ANOTHER book giveaway!
(UPDATE! The giveaway is over. Thanks to the eleventy jillion of you who grabbed a copy, I hope you love it. And remember, both The Sand Prince and its sequel, The Heron Prince, are free to read right now on Kindle Unlimited.)
Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was some sort of magical portal..a Door, if you will, something you could walk through and find yourself in a completely different world? One where it wasn’t even 2016?
SIGN ME UP!
There’s an element of optimistic escapism in most fantasy, even if the world you escape to turns out to be worse than the one you left. (Hey, even if you’re been mauled by ice zombies, maybe in that world Bowie is still there! WORTH IT.) In my novel, The Sand Prince, it’s possible to travel between the human world of Mistra, and the demon homeworld of Eriis. Possible, but extremely difficult, and since the war, forbidden.
Naturally, I send someone through.
When I was working on The Sand Prince it began as a sort of fairy tale about a young woman who is kidnapped by a demon. But because I can’t leave things alone, I kept asking; who is he? Why would he do this? What about her, why doesn’t she run off? And before long I had two worlds, war, betrayal, politics, hate, sex, magic and even love.
I knew Rhuun, my hero, would sometimes act in a less-than-heroic fashion, and Lelet, my heroine wouldn’t need much rescuing. But I didn’t know how much they would change and grow, and I didn’t know I’d also be meeting their friends and families and lovers (and ex-lovers.) I didn’t know that Rhuun can’t tell a joke, or that Lelet is trying to quit smoking. I didn’t know the story would branch out in every direction, until I also had to write about both of their families, and the secret war that shaped the worlds they now live in.
In this excerpt, my hero, the wayward demon Prince Rhuun (who is calling himself Moth for REASONS), is trying to make his way among the humans. The human woman Lelet is trying to figure him out.
Moth—now hatless—squinted through the trees. “It’s getting dark. We’ll stop here.” He climbed down from the front of the cart, warily approaching the horse.
She folded her arms and glared at the back of his head. She was hungry, and while having an adventure seemed like an exciting idea, being carted through an empty forest in a dirty cart—there was a distinct smell of garbage—was both boring and a little scary. The only way to get her captor, whatever he was, to talk to her was to provoke him. He was certainly good looking enough to be interesting, but he sat there like a stone, he didn’t pay her any attention at all. And this whole being a demon thing, the thing with his eyes, well, there had to be some trick to it she wasn’t seeing. Now she was in a mood—a Low Snit. And this person—Moth of all things, honestly, what sort of a name was that?—wanted to stop.
“What’s the difference?” she said. “You’re just going to slit my throat and eat my flesh.”
“You might as well be rested when I do.”
“Was that a joke? Are we joking about murdering me now?” Low Snit was quickly escalating.
“I am not going to murder you,” he replied. “I am also not going to eat your flesh, skin you, cut off your hair, cut off your feet . . . what else was it you said before? Oh, I’m not going to make a necklace of your eyeballs. You are very imaginative, though. You should write a book.”
Did he actually think this was funny? He was doing something with the horse, which turned into a slow motion ballet of him trying to tie the leads to a tree and the horse pulling just ever so slightly far enough away to prevent it. She stalked up behind him and grabbed the leads away and secured the animal, which calmed down when he moved away from it.
“I am so glad you can see the humor in dragging me off in the night and throwing me in a filthy wagon. Or did you not do that, either?” she snapped.
He looked up from fiddling with a collection of rocks. He was making a pile, like a small pyramid, with bigger stones at the bottom. “I am to deliver you. That’s all.”
She knew he wouldn’t say where or to whom, having asked more than twice. “What are you doing? With those rocks?” she asked, more out of frustration with his behavior than actual curiosity. After all, how many different things could you do with rocks?
“It will be cold tonight. I’m going to light them,” he told her. Unsatisfied with their formation, he carefully rearranged several near the top. As he did, the form collapsed. He again said something that sounded like rush toe or rich tea, and started over.
She barked a laugh. “Light them? Do you think they’re made of wood?”
“There isn’t much wood where I come from.” This time the pile seemed to be the right size and shape, and he sat back on his heels and brushed the dirt off his hands.
“On the other side of The Door,” she said, hoping to catch him in a lie. But he was sticking with the demon thing and said, “Well, obviously we don’t call it that.”
She put her fists on her hips. “What do you call it?”
He looked back at the rocks, did something with his hands, and they began to glow. “It’s called Eriis. We call it home.”