Monday, October 16, 2017

Of The Divine by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from author Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, who shares how one of her hobbies affects her writing...

AAR: One of my hobbies that twines in an interesting way with my writing is my love of cooking— or just more generally my love of food.

When I was writing Cooper in Token of Darkness, I went on a baking kick. Did I need to experiment with making pastries and apple tarts to write the few scenes Cooper spent working in his uncle’s bakery? Absolutely not, but doing so gave me a yummy insight into my character.

After all, everyone eats, and what we eats tells a lot about us.  Does someone only eat chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and frozen broccoli? Or is their diet rich with stuffed grape leaves, kebabs and rice pilaf? Do they keep kosher, or do they survive on a steady diet of Mountain Dew and Doritos? Each combination tells us something new about a person (and by extension, a character). I find I often start craving the foods my characters talk about

During my last year’s NaNo novel, I randomly combined ingredients I knew were available in the area (I dedicate a lot of time to determining the agriculture and thus local foods available in areas) to create a made-up dish popular on one of their holidays. It ended up being a pink spread including soybeans and red beets, served either sweet (with honey) or savory (with garlic and onion).

Then, being me, I experimented with making it. Thankfully, I have a fabulous partner who tolerates my experiments, which is good because this is far from being the weirdest food experiment I’ve ever attempted. In the case, she not only ate with me but made suggestions on how to improve the fictional dish next time.

There are other, non-food experiments and adventures I’ve done as part of my writing. When writing Midnight Predator, I learned to pick locks and braid and use a bullwhip. My 2013 NaNo involved a mostly-subterranean complex built in a series of caves, and I ended up exploring Howe Caverns in New York. For the Mancer trilogy, I’ve spent time in Salem, whose maritime history is part of the inspiration for the capital city. In short, if there is a way I can experience something my characters do, I’ll go for it… but that isn’t always feasible or advisable, especially given some of the horrific things I put my characters through.

Generally speaking, food is safer. And (usually) tastier.


by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes





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.



The pride of Osei abruptly turned and dove. Serpentine bodies large enough to lift ships from the sea plummeted. They changed shape so close to the ground that the wind from their wings smacked the plaza like a hand, rattling or knocking over the light carts and tables the early morning merchants set up to display their wares. Henna squinted her eyes against the grit that smacked her face as the Osei landed with enough force to shatter their bodies had they been human.

People in the plaza scattered, scrambling away to hide in the shelter of surrounding buildings, but Henna couldn’t make her muscles move as the Osei queen looked around speculatively.

The creature had skin like liquid silver and eyes like barbed steel. As she crossed the plaza directly toward Henna’s frozen form, Henna recognized her. She was the only Osei queen who ever left her own territory to visit another Osei House.

The Queen of the First House, the Royal House of the Osei, was standing in the Kavet marketplace.

Henna felt all the blood drain from her face. Maybe farther. Was she bleeding onto the cobbles? Into the core of the earth?

“You know us,” the queen said. “That is convenient. You will inform the rulers of this land that we require their immediate presence.”

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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.




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