Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday Promo- Susan Gourley
Susan Gourley writes YA fantasy and dabbles in fantasy romance. She has five fantasy romances already publishes under the pen name, Susan Kelley.
The Keepers of Sulbreth, is the first book in her YA fantasy series with the second book, Beyond the Gate, due for release in 2011.
Susan teaches high school and keeps tabs on her four children's activities. She's a member of RWA, Pennwriters, and her local RWA chapter, CPRW.
Why do you write fantasy YA?
I've always wanted to write fantasy. Some of the first books I feel in love with and kept on my shelf were fantasy books. I feel fortunate to be in the right spot as the YA market takes off and shows no sign of slowing down.
What is your strongest motivator for writing?
I enjoy writing and did it for years before I was published like so many other writers. The sense of accomplishment when I complete a manuscript never gets old. Reading reviews and hearing from readers always fires up my drive to stay at the keyboard and work on the next book.
What are you working on now?
I've completed my four book series, The Futhark Chronicles, and am working on a new YA fantasy series. This series delves into some darker parts of human nature and touches on the clash of cultures and religious believes. I'm not sure yet how many book this newest epic will stretch into but it will be three at least.
With elfin blood in his veins, talented swordsman Cage Stone is an indispensable half-breed with a special purpose. He must save Futhark from the monsters that detect growing evil in society and threaten to destroy the human race. Blessed with miraculous enhancements, Cage is the only man who can prevent the annihilation of the world. He is the chosen one—a savior in need of his soul mate to complete his mission.
Long ago, these precious elves created a powerful magic to imprison the demon beings. Now acciptors, cave boas, and gordragons have emerged from their sleepy cavern to torment their victims with malilcious relish. Before abandoning Futhark forever, the elves entrusted only a few Keepers of the Gate with the knowledge and ability to restore the supernatural spell that holds their enemies captive. With the passage of time, these fragile scales have weakened, putting humanity at risk.
Sabelline is a Keeper with a tremendous burden. She must renew the seals with a selected Marshal at her side. Only she can create the mystical union with Cage that will enable them to descend into the depths of hell and drive these horrid creatures back into oblivion. But will their mysterious, spiritual bond surpass the daunting obstacles on the way to Kingdom’s Gate in time to rescue Futhark from destruction?
Cage raced to meet the real demon, the first he’d ever seen in person. He passed through the misty fabrications that had chased the young woman and wondered at her pretend fear. What purpose? The Exarch had somehow created the illusions, but was she also responsible for these real demons?
It made no sense to him. Not that it mattered at the moment.
The creatures’ stench assailed his sensitive nose as he neared. Rotted meat and damp mold. The monsters glistened with layers of lizardlike scales instead of animal hide. Not something his sword could hope to pierce.
When the lead creature rumbled a mere step from him, Cage leaped to the side as high as he could. He slashed across the creature’s eyes with his sword as he flew a whisker’s distance out of the reach of its lethal teeth.
His ears rang as the demon bellowed. Cage landed lightly on his feet and swung his sword again, this time at the underbelly of the lumbering hellspawn. He swore as his blade slid across the thick scales doing little damage.
The monster stopped with much tearing of grass and dirt. It swung its massive head toward Cage. It gave him small satisfaction to see the red glow had gone from its eyes. He’d taken its sight, but what other senses might such a magical beast possess?
A loud clap akin to thunder shook the lawn. Cage fell backward as a wave of thick air slapped his chest. He couldn’t pull any breath into his lungs. Still, he rolled away from the invisible force and came to his feet with his sword ready.
Another loud clap reverberated through the cool night air. A bright flash stole his vision for a moment. Cage stumbled back from the battle. Who was attacking what?
The demon he’d blinded sank to its knees and screamed in vicious protest.
As his vision cleared, he saw the other beast fall to its side. A number of men and women approached the downed monsters with slow, cautious steps. Cage stood his ground with sword drawn. Shards of agony shot from the center of his chest as he tried to draw in a full breath.
“Are they dead?” the little lady, the Exarch, asked as she strode into the light.
“This one is, and the other is dying,” one of the women answered.
The Exarch stared at the monsters for a long time with narrowed eyes and a tight mouth. Then she lifted her gaze to Cage. “Are you injured?”
Cage lowered his sword. He knew there were no more demons abroad, but he wasn’t entirely sure all danger had passed. Damn, his chest hurt. He could barely see the tiny lady across the carcass of the beast. “The demon didn’t injure me.”
The Exarch raised a fine eyebrow, but Cage didn’t care what she thought of his tone. He hurt, and this little lady had started this dangerous havoc.
“Come with me,” she ordered Cage.
He held his ground for a moment. What had all this to do with the king’s tournament? Had this been the final contest, against such fearsome creatures? He took a step and gasped as it jarred his chest.
The Exarch paused and looked back at him. He followed, fighting back a wave of dizziness.
Somewhere behind him lurked a dark menace. It felt more distant and less focused than it had been right before the demons appeared, but it was real. And before him marched a little lady filled with secrets and capable of deception. And magic.
Cage rubbed his chest and followed her. The fear he hadn’t felt at the appearance of the hellspawn filled him now.
He wished he could pack up his womenfolk and flee Sulbreth, but the instincts that never failed him warned him he was ensnared in a trap from which he could not escape.