Hello! I’m Lou Hoffmann, and I’m so happy to be visiting Jackie’s blog today, excited to be kicking off a blog tour celebrating Ciarrah’s Light, the book I’ve got coming out in just four days on October 16th. Sometimes I wear another hat and use another name (Lou Sylvre) to write romance, and I love it, but the books that lie at the core of my heart as both reader and writer are fantasy, so this release is special to me.
Luccan, future Suth Chiell of the Ethran Sunlands, also known as Lucky, has reached the end of a months-long adventure and gained much. Now he wants nothing more than to relax and recover at home. His mother’s apparition has other ideas, and dark dreams drag Lucky farther and farther into unconsciousness until he’s nearly dead. With help from Lucky’s sentient obsidian blade, Ciarrah, he makes it back to the light, only to find his country is in deep distress, and it’s getting deeper.
The wizard Thurlock, Lucky’s dragon-kin uncle Han, and other friends help him muddle through as he becomes the channel for prophecy. War erupts in the Sunlands, and in a battle against wraiths created by the advanced science of a dying world, Lucky plays a key role. Physical weapons can’t stop the enemy, but Ciarrah’s light can, and only Lucky can wield it. With the help of his winged horse, his boyfriend, and Thurlock, Lucky sets out to prevent his mother’s shade from wreaking any more havoc. But will stopping her end the horrors facing his world?
Ciarrah’s Light is the third book in a series, The Sun Child Chronicles. Here’s the very short series blurb for a little background:
Cursed and exiled to Earth by a witch, Lucky has only his name, a pocketful of strange items, and the destiny to become the Sun Child and lead his home world, Ethra, through its darkest time. In an epic adventure full of dragons, shifters, talismans, magic, alien enemies, shifting time, and wars waged for survival, humanity’s only hope is one young man’s unquenchable strength, spirit, and heart.
Book one, Key of Behliseth takes place in a fictional valley in California, he finds out who he is supposed to be, and he’s headed home to his own world as the story concludes. Then in book two, Wraith Queen’s Veil back in Ethra—a world he doesn’t remember—his rebellious teen spirit kicks up and he takes off on what he thinks is an unsanctioned outing, but ends up being an epic quest. You can probably figure out that by the time book three starts, he’s learned a whole lot about himself and grown up quite a bit. He’s had some fights with swords and strange beings in the last year, but in Ciarrah’s Light, he gets his first taste of war, and it’s no fairy tale.
This isn’t the first fantasy series I’ve imagined, but it is the first one I actually am writing—I say ‘am writing’ because there are three more books to come in the series: Dragon’s Rise (written and edited and due out summer 2019), Kaynenh’s Triad (in process), and Suth Chiell’s Conquest (in planning). Protagonist Lucky has, as I mentioned learned a lot as this series continues, but so have I.
A universe such as the one in The Sun Child Chronicles is complicated, and it only gets more so if the characters (like mine always do) take things into their own hands. I planned the world, magic systems, and so forth, but I should have done a little more. For instance, I didn’t create a map for the series until after book 3. That will never happen again. Also, I didn’t start a “bible,” a record of all the names and places and creatures and special items that exist in the universe, until book four was written. I’ve got another series in the early stages now, and I will do things differently! We live and learn!
But speaking of that Sun Child Chronicles map, I want to share that with you! The simple black and white map will appear in the front of Ciarrah’s Light and each of the following books, but now I have a fabulous full color version created for me by artist Joe Bone. Beautiful, right? Well, it is to me. I love fantasy world maps, so even if this wasn’t my own, I’d be enchanted by it. Some frameable prints will be prizes for some special, event-specific giveaways coming up, including a launch party on release day (10/16) at Rainbow Gold Reviews Facebook.
I’d love to have everybody show up! I hope to post an excerpt and possibly a reading, maybe share some facts about the people in the stories, and generally have fun. I’m going to open the event at 5 PM Eastern (2 PM Pacific), and I’ll close for the last hour 10 to 11 Eastern (7 to 8 Pacific), but in between we’ve got Gus Li, J. Leigh Bailey, and Skye Alexander. Maybe there will be more, and there will definitely be prizes in addition to the map. Come and hang out with us!
If you can’t make it to the party, that’s okay, there will still be prizes to be had at some other events, including a blog tour and a couple of book signings (for those who might live in my neck of the Pacific Northwest woods). You can find a guide to all the Ciarrah’s Light release events here:
To wrap up today, here’s a brief excerpt from Ciarrah’s Light. This is not far from the beginning, and Han Shieth, the great warrior who happens to be Lucky’s uncle, is recovering from wounds he suffered fighting a black dragon in the closing pages of Wraith Queen’s Veil. Lucky has some wounds too, though they’re psychic ones and not necessarily the result of a fighting that beast.
Excerpt from Ciarrah’s Light by Lou Hoffmann
With Han’s assurance that he cared and would help, Lucky found he really did want to talk about his troubles. “It’s dreams,” he started, and he kept talking until he’d shared everything he could about them—when he’d had them, how they left him feeling, that he knew they were important but couldn’t remember any details about them. “Except one thing,” he concluded. “I remember my mother’s always there. And Han….” He paused for a moment, then finished in a near whisper. “She’s evil.”
The thought of it brought the burning pressure of tears to his eyes. He didn’t want to cry, and he held it back. Deliberately giving his emotions a mental slap.
Han reached out a comforting hand and laid it on Lucky’s shoulder, “I’m sorry, lad. That hurts. I can feel the pain in you.”
Grateful, Lucky sat quietly and gathered his scattered feelings while Han seemed deep in thought, chewing his lip as he often did.
After a moment, Lucky asked, “Your thoughts, Uncle?”
“Okay. Well, first and foremost, I truly hope Thurlock gets back from wherever the hell he is very soon. We need him. He, of course, would be the best one to help you with this. But in the meantime, I’ve got a couple pieces of advice. One, never be parted from the Key of Behliseth. Wear it to bed, in the bath, everywhere, no matter what. And then, what about the Black Blade, Luccan? Have you bound it to you—bound the magics, I mean? You know what I’m talking about? My brother, Lohen, told me about how he had to… I don’t know, swear some things, I guess. Like vows.”
“Uh, yeah, I do know. She told me—Ciarrah, that’s the Blade’s name. She worked with me on the mountain because I’m Lohen’s son—she said she could sense it in my blood—but she only did that because it was an emergency. She said we’d have to ‘complete our bond.’ You think I should try to do that now?”
“I do. That Blade, it’s the dark one, twin to the Amber that’s lost now—the one you had with you in Earth. But dark and light, a lot of people get that confused with evil and good. It’s not like that. I can’t pretend to be an expert on that Blade—I know the Amber far better, and frankly it is a less complicated talisman. But the Black Blade has a lot of power, and while it may not be exactly benign, in the right hands, it’s not evil. It seems it—or she, as you say—thinks your hands are the right ones. Not surprising, you know. The Key of Behliseth was crafted by Karrighan, the ancestor of all the Ol’Karrighs including Thurlock, your mother, and you. But the Twin Blades come down through the Drakhonic line—the family heritage you and I share. So the long and the short of it is, I think if you complete that bond, she might protect you while you sleep.”
Thank you for stopping by to read my ramblings, and thanks again to Jackie Keswick for hosting me. Happy reading everyone, and I hope to see you along the blog tour and event trail!
About Lou Hoffmann
Lou Hoffmann thinks of every individual as a uniquely faceted jewel, and she writes for readers of all ages and genders. She believes in love, believes in you, and believes in the magic of a good book.
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by Lou Hoffmann
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