Welcome to Kristen Taber's blog tour. I asked her why she writes fantasy, and this is what she said.
I’m having a hard time writing this blog post today. There’s an imp on my shoulder, tapping away at my earlobe with his fingernail. He snorts and I look over at him in time to catch the wrinkles on his small green face stretch from a grotesque smile. Then he’s gone. A slight pop shatters the silence before air fills the space where he sat. As soon as I look away again, I feel small fingers pulling strands of my hair. Attention would only continue to encourage him, so I try my best to ignore him in the same way I might ignore a tantrum-throwing child.
My cat isn’t helping my concentration much either. He brushes against my arm and tries to lie down on my keyboard. His body warms my chilled fingers, but I have work to do, so I move him. He pushes back against me, plops down again, and then hisses when I dump him onto the floor. I nudge him with my foot and he yowls, but finally leaves me in peace. As he runs from the room, his eyes glint fire, then he lashes his barbed tail behind him, scratching my leg.
Yes, barbed. I’m just glad he decided not to nip at me. Double rows of razor teeth are never pleasant.
And I’m back to my blog, debating on how to explain why I chose Fantasy as my genre, when in reality, I don’t think any author chooses the genres they write. The genres choose us. They hijack our lives, flooding our creativity with images we have no choice but to write down. It’s the only way we can maintain the illusion we’re controlling the craziness.
The imp snaps the rubber band holding my ponytail in place and I shoo him away with a negligent wave. Is he really there? I’m pretty sure he isn’t. Just as I’m equally as sure the tentacles I see reaching out of the DC storm drains and the red eyes of a Mardróch hidden in the dark alleys are my imagination. These things appear to me, figments of my overactive mind and I welcome them, cataloguing every detail for later use in a book or a short story—in the Fantasy genre, of course. It would have to be.
After all, I’m not sure an ogre would make the best lawyer in a crime drama, even if he did just walk past my window wearing a suit.
Aerenden Series (The Child Returns, The Gildonae Alliance and The Zeiihbu Master)
by Kristen Taber
Book One: The Child Returns
Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.
After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.
Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.
But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.
Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance
Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.
Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master
Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.
While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.
Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.
Excerpt Book 1: The Child Returns
THE WALLS fell in first. A flash of light and smoke came next. Or could it have been the other way around? It happened so fast, she could not remember. The air smelled funny, like when Papa put out the fire before bed. It filled her mouth and her nose. It stuffed her lungs and clogged her breathing. Then it turned thick and black so she could not see. She coughed. She tried to stand, to run, but her legs sagged beneath her. Tugging on a curtain, she pulled three times before she grew tired of toppling over, and crawled toward her bedroom. She called for her mama, but heard only the sound of distant screams through the smoke. None of them was Mama.
“Mama? Mama?” she cried again, feeling her way along the floor. Her fingers brushed a rug, soft and cool compared to the stone floor. A glowing fire consumed part of the room, heating the stone. It crept toward her. Fires hurt. Papa had told her she should not touch them. Sometimes she thought about trying to see if he was right, but she did not want to try with this one. It seemed angry. Its flames popped and snarled.
The couch began to glow, and then disappeared as the fire swept over it. It folded in half, crashing to the floor with a loud bang. She yelped. Tears stung her eyes and wet her cheeks. Her arms shook. Her legs trembled. She backed away, and found the table that usually stood in the middle of the living room. It must have toppled over too. It lay on its side next to a body that looked like Mama.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
Google +: plus.google.com/+KristenTaber
Buy Links for Book 1
Buy Links for Book 2
Kristen will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour as Grand Prize and an audiobook will be issued to 10 runnerup commenters so follow her tour and comment often. Use the rafflecopter to win the GC. You can find her schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/03/virtual-book-tour-aerenden-series-by.html