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Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for OF THE DIVINE by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, a fantasy available now from William Morrow/Harper Voyager.

Amelia will be awarding a limited edition print copy of the book *U.S. only* to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at the bottom of the post.



Of The Divine
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

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GENRE:   FICTION/Fantasy

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BLURB:

Henna is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Order of Napthol, and her runes ’s runes tell her that the future of Kavet is balanced on the edge of the knife. The treaties between Kavet and the dragon-like race known as the Osei have become intolerable. The time has come for the royal house to magically challenge Osei dominion. Prince Verte, Henna' lover, is to serve as the nexus for the powerful but dangerous spell, with Naples--an untested young sorcerer from the Order of Napthol--a volatile but critical support to its creation.

Amid these plans, Dahlia Indathrone’s arrival in the city shouldn’t matter. She has no magic and no royal lineage, and yet, Henna immediately knows Dahlia is important. She just can’t see why. 

As their lives intertwine, the four will learn that they are pawns in a larger game, one played by the forces of the Abyss and of the Numen—the infernal and the divine. 

A game no mortal can ever hope to win.


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AUTHOR INTERVIEW:


1. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Depending on who you ask, the Mancer Trilogy is dark fantasy, or gay fantasy-romance. It is not erotica, much to the disappointment of one of my beta readers, but the romance sub-plots are certainly a key part of the series, especially in books 1 and 3.

I would recommend Mancer for readers who enjoy character-driven fantasy or urban fantasy. It has some aspects of epic fantasy, but is not a good match for people expecting what I consider setting-driven works like Lord of the Rings. One of the jokes I made to friends when I first set out to write Mancer was that I would set it on an island and lock down the harbor for winter, because I refused to let my characters go on the traditional epic fantasy quest.

They, of course, opened a rift to the Abyss… oops. So there is some questing, but much of the trilogy takes place in the capital city of Kavet, where the characters must find a way to survive, and find acceptance, in a society where anything related to sorcery is misunderstood and persecuted.


2. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular design?

One thing I’ve enjoyed about working with Harper Voyager is the level of involvement I have with cover design. All the final work is done by a team far more qualified than I am, but before the initial design meeting my editor asks me what thoughts I have in mind. I confer with my beta readers, pour through the stock resources HV uses, and look for pictures that represent what I see in my head when I think of the book.

The team doesn’t necessarily use the exact images I choose, and of course they don’t choose all of them--I usually pick at least a dozen, and it be ridiculous to cram them all into one image--but it means the team has a jumping-off point that’s based on the story and images from it I consider critical. After the design team comes up with some idea, they usually share three semi-finalists that my agent and I choose among.

It’s a fun process. Personally, I enjoy searching through the stock libraries until an image jumps out at me and I go, “Yes! That!”

Of course, sometimes I then read the description and go, “No, not that.” The cover of Of the Divine is supposed to represent the citadel where the high arbiters of the Numini rule. The first image I settled on that I absolutely loved turned out to be a famous mosque, and I didn’t feel right using someone’s religious building on my cover to represent a fictional location.


3. If you could change ONE thing about your book, what would it be?  Why?

Of the Divine is the second book in a trilogy, and it goes back to tell the story of what led up to events in the first book, Of the Abyss. As often happens, the story changed quite a bit during revisions, which can sometimes cause problems with continuity.

In this case, there’s a line at the very end of Mancer 1 (I think I can share here without it being too spoilery, since it won’t make sense out of context) where a character says, “We invited that family to dinner, not to move in.” Once Mancer 2 was fully edited, it was no longer the entire family invited (just one person) and it wasn’t really just dinner… but by that point, Of the Abyss had been fully revised and published, so I couldn’t go back to change it. I can make it work well enough that it makes sense in Mancer 3, but I wish I could just go back and change the line a little.

That’s the danger of writing a series, and especially writing a prequel.

4. Where did your love of reading/storytelling/writing/etc. come from?

My family is full of big readers, and I’ve always been an avid storyteller just looking for an audience. I feel like the two are closely twined, too; I love reading stories, so it seemed natural to try to write them, and the more I write, the more I enjoy reading.

It wasn’t until I was a parent myself that I really understood my mother’s comments about modeling. Before I was able to read entirely on my own, my parents read to me, and then my older sister did. When I was growing up, there were always people reading around me. My parents and older sister always had books beside their beds (not to mention stashed everywhere else in the house, like next to the bathtub and on the back porch and everywhere someone might sit down). My parents never told me I needed to read, or kept 20-minutes-a-night logs. It was just what you did.

I went outside and played with friends, played computer games, made crafts, attempted science experiments, and in general did whatever crossed my mind-- but whatever else I did, reading and writing were always a part of it.

5. What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

It would be hard to define strangest. For my 2014 NaNo, a futuristic sci-fi, I did a lot of research on the effects of zero gravity on poultry (every blog post I write seems to mention poultry…), fish, plants, oh and of course people. I was amused to discover just how many odd things we have sent into outer space to test. I also learned a lot about aquaponics and hydroponics (and what the difference between them is), and how to make deadly poison out of potatoes.

For Mancer, other than the inevitable research about various types of ducks that no blog post would be complete without mentioning, the oddest research I did was probably when I was editing and came across a line that described something as being like, “the viscous black oil that flowed beneath the surface of the world.” Castra (the world where Mancer takes place) is less than four thousand years old. It was created whole-cloth. I had to look up how long it takes natural oil deposits to form, because I suspected (and I was right) that it couldn't exist in a world so young.

6. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I love hearing from readers, would-be readers, and other writers, though I’ll admit I go through patches where I’m so frantic I am terrible at replying to messages. I have a website where I keep a blog (www.atwaterrhodes.com), a Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/DenOfShadows), a Twitter (@AtwaterRhodes), and an Instagram. Of those three, Twitter is probably the best way to actually reach me. Facebook is the worst— I see things people post there, but I always seem to lose messages.


7. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Talk about it! Recommend the books and authors you love to people you know, either in person or online. Writing reviews on places like Goodreads and Amazon is also helpful.

Readers often hesitate to chat with or engage writers (or in the case of social media, to tag them) because they worry about bothering us. Trust me, it’s no bother! Like I said before, I love hearing from my readers. I love your questions; the ones readers preface with “this is probably a stupid question, but…” often turn out to be the best, since they tend to be the seemingly-silly questions that ask about some minutia of the world or characters or story that,  we authors usually have to limit our discussion of because not everyone wants that level of detail. And, in case making the author happy doesn’t seem like enough, those conversations— at conventions or signings, or on places like Twitter or Facebook— also give others who might not have known about the book a chance to learn a little and hopefully raise their curiosity.


8. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

My greatest piece of advice for writers trying to get published is to ask around—a lot— and do a lot of research before you move ahead. Publishing can be an anxious, emotionally painful and exhausting process, and there are unfortunately many supposed publishers that are happy to take advantage of people who are desperate for a “yes.”

Be prepared for rejection and revision. I often meet writers who say they want to publish but aren’t really ready for it. They dismiss or are offended by anyone who tries to offer feedback, or aren’t willing to share their work with friends or family members to ask for feedback. If you can’t bring yourself to say, “Thank you. Can you tell me what made you feel that way?” when someone tells you the beloved novel you’ve been working on for ten years sucks, you’re not ready to publish.

This doesn’t mean you must accept every suggestion you receive, but you must be willing to hear it, so you can try to understand what it’s based on, and fix what problems exist. As an example, I was once told that the main antagonist in one of my novels “complicated the plot” and should be cut. I didn’t cut her, but I also didn’t ignore the advice. I realized my editor felt that way because the antagonist’s role in the problem wasn’t clear enough, which made her seem unnecessary. I fixed the problem not by cutting the character, but by making her more prominent.


Is there anything else you would like to say?

Thank you for having me! I look forward to seeing you all on Twitter.

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EXCERPT:

“You cannot live your life as a slave to those who have gone before,” Verte replied. “You need to let the living and dead alike move on.”

Wenge glared up at him. Verte paused, keeping his stance and expression neutral as he raised magical shields against a possible attack.

“You don’t know where the dead go,” Wenge accused. “We talk of the realms beyond, of the Abyss and the Numen, but no one really knows for sure what happens once our shades pass out of the mortal realm. What if we just go screaming into the void? What if—”

Verte took the man’s frail, trembling hand in his own. He wished he could use his magic to urge him to keep moving, but Wenge’s decision whether to demand a trial or to take the brand willingly needed to be made without magical coercion.

“Even the royal house, with all our strength and training and resources, does not practice death sorcery. Maleficence or not,” Verte said, hoping the words would pierce the man’s sudden anxiety, “if you continue to let your power use you this way, it will kill you before the year is out. Of that I am certain.”

Wenge’s body sagged. He waved a hand next to his face as if to chase away a buzzing fly—or in this case, a whispering spirit. He flinched at whatever the ghost said, then muttered, “I do not know what to be without it.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha’ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail.

Buy link:


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GIVEAWAY

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes will be awarding a limited edition print copy of the book *U.S. only* to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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