Gift of the Phoenix is a semifinalist in the speculative fiction category of Kindle Book Review’s Book of the Year Award!
Is it just me, or is that full of awesomeness?
If you haven’t checked out Gift of the Phoenix yet, now’s a great time to do so. It’ll give you something to do while we wait to see if the book advances to the finalist round.
Here’s an excerpt for you to enjoy:
The break in the trees offered a view of the Cliffs of the Realm which, some twenty miles south of here, reared into the sky. The rock surface gave the appearance of protrusions here and there but this was illusion. As if polished by a great hand, the Cliffs were smooth and harder than any known material. A reminder of powers greater than man and wizard alike.
Though drawn to this sight, Corren turned his attention to a cabin on the other side of the clearing: a structure so vine-covered it seemed just another outgrowth of the forest. He crossed the clearing and knocked on the front door. It was the second time he had knocked on the woman’s door that day. When she had answered that morning, he scarcely had the opportunity to speak before she pressed two coins into his hand and insisted he travel to Stonebridge to buy her a pot. For some reason she had been difficult to argue with, but he was prepared for that now. He was not going to be sent away again without answers.
This time she did not open the door. “Come in, Corren.”
He stepped inside. A bed ran along the wall to his right. Opposite him stood a loom in one corner, a rocking chair in the other, and between the two a wooden chest. The old woman sat to his left at a table under the only window. Crowded behind her was an alcove serving as kitchen with its stove, worktable and shelving. The only decoration hung above the chest, a tapestry so aged it looked ready to disintegrate… like the old woman who owned it.
“Where’s my pot?”
“I’ll get your pot later,” he said.
“Don’t bother,” she said, picking up a cup of tea. “I didn’t need it anyway.”
He looked at her in exasperation. She stirred her tea with a pewter spoon. From her neck hung a small horn of the same pewter, rimmed with red jewels, which she had worn when she came to the Tower too. He’d had enough. “Tell me what this stone is.”
She drank her tea, leaving only the dregs. He didn’t say a word lest it should remind her of a measure of barley she needed from Moran or Welton or some such place. His legs throbbed from a day’s walking and he fumed to know it had all been for a pot she didn’t even need. She set her cup on the table and looked at him. “You never made it to Stonebridge, did you?”