Good morning! I’m so excited to have a cover reveal for THE SORCERESS OF SONG AND FLAME. In 2019 a friend posted one of those lists on Facebook where you choose the first letter of something and your friend’s name comes up. It was for a RPG game and the characters were things like Bard, Paladin, Rogue, Cleric, Monk, Barbarian, etc. The one for my name was Sorceress and my friend suggested we write stories for each. The idea was people from our everyday world were sucked into this fantasy world through a botched spell and suddenly they had the powers of the characters they became.
It was right around the time of NaNoWriMo 2020 when I finally got the bug to write the Sorceress’s story. Fortunately, the story ended right around 50K words, so I won NaNo, and I had a whole new novel to share. I called it a win because 2020 sucked for writing.
It took most of 2021 to get it edited, but it’s here now, available for Pre-Order, and it has a fantastic cover designed by Kris Norris. The best part? This is the first book I get to put a map image into the pages. I’m so excited for you to see where my characters go.
After you read the excerpt, make sure to check out the Release Day Giveaway going on for this title. Let’s get to the cover!
Matsuko Ishikawa, Audiologist and Newbie Sorceress
Being autistic, I’ve learned the patterns and rules of my world to make life easier. Everything I know is thrown into disarray when I find myself wearing long robes and setting fire to a wagon with blue flames… From my hands. I don’t know where I am… or how to control my new pyrotechnic talent. Throw in a guy who can turn into a dragon and a goddess-given quest, and I’m totally out of my depth. But if I complete the goddess’s task of finding a magical artifact, I can go home, which is the goal, right?
Arach Uzekamanzi, Third Born Prince of the Dragonkin
Being a 126-year-old dragon, there isn’t much that surprises me anymore, but Matsuko is completely new. And it’s pretty clear she’s not local. Accompanying her on a quest to find magical artifact seems like the best way learn more about her and stave off boredom. Now I just have to help Matsuko acquire the Song Stone, return it to the goddess’s temple, and get her home. But the more I learn about her, it becomes clear I’ll do just about anything to convince her to stay.
Arach unlocked the cell door and stepped out into the aisle.
He’s here because he needs a nap?
I gaped at him as he moved to my door and with a flick of his wrist, unlocked that, too.
“Are you coming?”
I scrambled to my feet, but still hesitated on the threshold. Could I just walk out? I’d torched some of the buildings and though it had been an accident, I’d still done it. But I didn’t know the rules and I didn’t want to see what they’d do to an Asian woman they felt was a threat.
Shooting looks either way down the aisle, I stepped out beside the man who’d become my impromptu friend.
“Excellent. Let’s be on our way. Hopefully, the guards will be gaming as is their wont and we’ll slip out without them seeing us.”
He gestured ahead and I followed him down the grimy hallway toward the front of the jail. The other prisoners watched us, though none of the made a move toward the aisle except the mean-looking unicorn. It tilted its head as I passed, like it considered me an intriguing snack, and I hurried my steps away.
Voices from the guards filtered to us from their wardroom and the scents of unwashed male bodies increased. Not that the jail smelled wonderful to begin with, but unwashed men plus the heat of a smoky fire made for a pungent combination. I swallowed hard against the stench as fear tried to crawl up my throat.
Quiet as a mouse, Matsuko.
I used to be very good at making myself small and quiet. But I’d grown and could shoot fire from my hands. That was distinctly not quiet.
Arach paused just before the light spilling into the hallway from the wardroom and placed a finger to his lips. I understood his suggestion and nodded as he moved to the wall farthest from the doorway to peer into the guards’ space. I don’t know what he saw, but he nodded to me and darted through the light to the other side without a sound. Then he motioned to me to copy his moves.
I bit my lip and shifted to the opposite wall, anxiousness ramping up in my chest. Would the guards see me? Would they turn and look just at the wrong time? My hands started to tingle and I glanced down. Blue sparks flickered over my fingers, and I clenched them into fists as I shot a helpless look at Arach. Nothing like setting off fireworks when going for stealth.
He grimaced and looked around like he was trying to figure out what to do. I tried to picture the serenity garden to calm myself down again.
They don’t know you’re here. They can’t see you. They can’t hear you. Calm down.
I took a deep breath and focused on letting the fearful energy slide away from me. Thankfully, it took the sparks with it and my hands stopped tingling. I blew my breath out and looked for Arach. He nodded and motioned me to come to him on the other side of the light. I gritted my teeth and pulled up my hood before I straightened my shoulders and skittered across the open space.
Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. I’m nothing but a flickering shadow in the firelight.
It seemed like as good a mantra as any, and miraculously, it worked. No one looked up at the wrong moment or sounded the alarm. We’d made it beyond the wardroom. But we still had to get past the BDSM Dom intake officer at the front of the jail. While he hadn’t been concerned with me, I didn’t want to test my random powers against him.
Again, Arach took the lead and peered around the edge of the counter near the door. I couldn’t see much, but he motioned to crouch down beside him.
“The hooded fool is nodding in his sleep. Not sure why he hasn’t found his bed yet, but he’s not awake. Stay crouched and I’ll get the door open, then you can slip out silently and we’ll be home free.”
“Okay. I understand. Do you think the door will be quiet enough?”
He grinned in the limited light. “We’ll find out, won’t we?”
When I gaped at his craziness, he added, “It’s all part of the challenge.”
I shook my head as he crawled away. Sweet glory, he’s totally insane.