Archive for February, 2015

Across the Summer Sea

Across the Summer Sea Goodreads coverOne spring night under the scimitar moon, Princess Kelene of Numer and her mother frolic as mermaids in the ocean waves, unaware until it’s too late that her youngest brother has followed them–and drowned. When this tragedy plunges her mother into grief-stricken shock, Kelene sets out to find Dominic of Landers, the only healer in the known world who can perhaps help. Her voyage west leads her to confront the ghost of her father, a ruthless pirate–and the vagaries of her own heart.  Meanwhile, across the sea in Cormalen, trouble brews in a cauldron of court intrigue, scandal, and royal secrets. A most unsuitable suitor pursues Dominic’s sister: the immortal bird-girl Avreal, known for her stage dancing, her hot temper, her outrageous lack of convention–and the fiery, sometimes lethal power of her phoenix voice. But when past sins threaten the quietly budding romance between Princess Venessa and Wylan of Landers, not even Avreal’s song can quell the unrest. The repercussions could level the throne and all the Landers and King Segar have built over the last quarter century.

I’m excited to finally write this blog post and share the new book cover and description above.  The book will be out on March 21st, the vernal equinox.  As some of you know, Across the Summer Sea picks up three years after The Bird Children ends.  I had hoped to publish it this winter, but a few personal setbacks put me behind by a couple weeks.  Also I added another point of view character in this book, which means there are now five narrators telling the story.  It was a great challenge, especially as all five characters were in five different places at one point in the story, which meant I couldn’t rely on Character A relating a scene including Character B, but had to let Character B update me on where he was and what he was doing. 

Though I’m happy with how all the story threads tie together in the end, I’ve decided five POV characters is enough.  It took more pages and words to conclude the story in a satisfactory way than what I had anticipated, which is another reason for the slight delay.  Though I hope to leave readers eager for more, I refuse to end a book on a cliffhanger.  I generally view a fantasy series as a very long novel with several volumes.  Each volume/book should be a somewhat self-contained episode with its own storyline that ultimately contributes to the overall arc of the series.

Also, just like with Undene in Tapestry Lion, I had a character show up who threw a monkey wrench into my fine plans and plots, then ran away laughing maniacally as I attempted to clean up the mess.  Ultimately, of course, cleaning up messes in books can lead the mind to interesting new paths.  The Landers Saga would not be the same without Undene.  I blame my day job.  Not that Undene and this new character were inspired by anyone at the day job, just that a lot of filing and data entry allows the mind to wander and get into trouble.  I’ll leave it to readers to figure out who the new character is and what mischief he/she causes.   😉

© 2015 by Karen Nilsen

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