Today’s Featured Author – Susan Leigh Noble

Today, I am featuring myself as my featured author. I have done this in the past when I have had an author flake out and not turn in their author interview or book excerpt. This time that isn’t the case. I just failed to fill this spot, but don’t worry, I have the rest of July filled up. August isn’t so lucky so if you are an author (self published or traditionally published, any genre) and would like to be featured on my blog in August or beyond, I urge you to contact me.

Typically when I have been the Featured Author, I have done book excerpts but today I have decided to answer some of my author interview questions. If you would like to take a look at my books, click here to find links to book excerpts from all four of my full-length novels and my short story.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I wear many hats. I am a blogger on this website where I post four times a week. I am a fantasy author with four full-length novel and a short story published. I am currently working on another fantasy full-length novel due out in 2018.

I am a mother to two children – Lexie and Jase. I am an officer on the Parent-Teacher Associations for both their schools. I am also a wife and animal wrangler (we have 3 cats and 2 dogs). My husband and I have been married for twenty-two years. I do the bookkeeping for his small law firm. I am sure I am forgetting something else that I do but as you can see, I am one busy lady!

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Maine. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around quite a bit until I was twelve when we settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I attended high school and college in New Mexico before marrying my husband and moving to Texas. We have lived in Lubbock, Brownsville and finally now San Antonio where we have lived for the past fifteen years. I feel pretty confident that we will be calling San Antonio home for many, many more years.

Do you write full-time? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

As you can see from above, I certainly am not a full-time author. I am busy so I have to squeeze in writing when I can. That might mean I spend an hour (or just a few minutes) here or there. It means sometimes I am writing at home and sometimes I am using my iPad while I am taking the kids to their activities.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I typically do what is called headlight outlining. That is where you plan out a few moves ahead at a time. This allows for greater flexibility than outlining the whole novel but doesn’t leave me directionless. It saves me from staring at a blank page and also cuts down on rewriting in subsequent drafts which can happen if you write without planning.

Why did you choose to write fantasy novels?

I love magic and dragons so it just seemed natural to pick a genre that incorporates those two elements.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes, I have just completed the first draft of my next book Blood Bond. It is a story about a man (Soren) whose life changes drastically when he meets a dragon (Dex) and becomes “linked” to him. I came up with the idea for the book because I like dragons. In fact, all of my books so far have contained a dragon. The dragons were really a big part of The Elemental trilogy, and I wanted to write another book where dragons played a crucial part of the story. In this one, man and dragon have broken off all communication until an approaching army threatens both which forces them to work together again.

Please tell us about your current release.

My last release, The Heir to Alexandria, begins with Alista, a young woman searching for her parents who abandoned her at birth. She is a bit naive and trusting but also harbors magic that she has kept secret. It is this magic that leads her to be chosen to be tested as the possible heir to the powerful Alexandria family who was murdered many years ago. There is a rumor that the youngest daughter survived and it is her descendants that the Kings are searching for. While the Kings believe the heir will restore peace to their troubled kingdoms, there are others who will do anything to stop the testing and possible return of the heir to Alexandria.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I do most of my writing in my office. Sometime if I want a change of pace, I bring out my laptop and write either on my bed or the couch. With my busy life, I can write anywhere.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I have a black belt in Aikido.

Book Blurb

Believed the descendants of the Gods themselves,
The Alexandria line ensured peace,
Until they were brutally murdered.
But rumor spread a maid escaped with the youngest daughter.

Now as the world rushes toward a period of unrest, the nations’ Kings continue their 200-year-long-search for the Heir to Alexandria – the one person who can bring peace and stability through divine power.

Alista has her own search – for the parents who abandoned her as a baby years ago. When her only lead proves to be a dead end, she heads to the capital with a reluctant escort. Grayson is just following his aunt’s order, but he would rather be on one of his solitary scouting missions for the Landra Guard. However, when Alista unintentionally curses a guard in front of the King’s court, everything changes for both of them.

Now forced to travel to Covington for testing, danger lurks at every turn as a secret society strives to prevent the return of the Alexandria line. Are Alista’s visions of the future enough to save herself and those traveling with her?

About the Author 

Susan  Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also had to throw in a telepathic cat to the mix in her The Elemental trilogy as her short story, The Search, which features Tosh, one of the main characters from the trilogy. She published a stand-alone novel, The Heir to Alexandria, 2015, and just finished the first draft of her latest book, Blood Bond.

In addition to writing, Susan spends her days taking care of her two children, three cats, two dogs and husband in San Antonio, Texas.

You can purchase her books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and anywhere e-books are sold.

Today’s Featured Author: Susan Leigh Noble #excerpt

Sigh. Yes, it is another Friday, and again I have had an author flake out on me. I went over 2 years with that never happening. Now of late, I have had it happen quite often. I don’t know if it is because I am not following up with authors as diligently as I have in the past or they are just flaky (or busy) authors. When this happened in February, I ran something from my latest novel. Last month, I just posted asking for authors to sign up. (If you are an author and would like to be featured, click here.)

This time I decided to offer excerpts of my novels as my Friday Feature. These have all been on my blog before but thought new readers might enjoy them.

SummonedFINALMy first novel was Summoned: Book 1 of The Elemental. It came out August 2011. The Elemental series begins with Lina being drawn from her home by an unknown magic. She is compelled to go North and travels with an odd assortment of allies, each with their own agenda. This excerpt takes place after Lina is kidnapped. While Tosh doesn’t appear in this excerpt, I thought it might be helpful to let you know that he is Lina’s telepathic “cat.”

Escape from Stern Prison Excerpt 

QuietusFINALThe second book in the series is Quietus: Book 2 of The Elemental. Lina has now been joined by other Elementals, people who can control the elements. Lina is the strongest of the Elementals and agrees to train the others. This excerpt takes place when the Elementals first encounter something destroying the Land.

Destruction of the Land Excerpt

DestinyFINALThe conclusion on Lina’s story takes place in Destiny: Book 3 of The Elemental. The Elementals thought they saved the Land in Quietus, but danger still lurked. As they race to find an ancient magical scepter that may help restore the Land, it is stolen. In this excerpt, the opposition make their own plans for the scepter.

The opposition makes their plans Excerpt

The SearchIn between writing Quietus and Destiny, I wrote a short story, The Search, about Tosh, Lina’s telepathic “cat.” The adventure takes place before The Elemental series. This excerpt is the opening scene of The Search.

The chase Excerpt

(The Search is free everywhere but Amazon where it is 99 cents. The other buy links are included on the Excerpt page but wanted to offer the Amazon link here.)

HeirAlexandria_ebookcoverAnd my latest book, The Heir to Alexandria, came out this past January. It is a stand alone fantasy novel about a woman who is searching for her parents. Because she shows traces of unknown magic, she is ordered to be tested as the Heir to the Alexandria family in hopes that she may be the one destined to restore peace to the world. As she is escorted to be tested, she is abducted by a crazed man. This excerpt is where Grayson, her assigned protector, finds her at the man’s cabin.

Cabin Escape Excerpt

I hope you have enjoyed these excerpts from my books. And again, if you are an author and want to be featured, please contact me. (I have no problem featuring authors a second or third time as long as you are promoting a different book – preferably your latest one.)

 

Q is for Quietus #AtoZchallenge

QjpgOn the A to Z challenge, the letter of the day is Q. My first thought was to write about the second book in my trilogy, Quietus.

When trying to come up with a nemesis in for this book, I developed a small purple insect that devoured anything in its path. I was looking for a name for my creation which would be the bane of the Land. Thanks to a thesaurus I found the word Quietus which means something that eliminates or kills. Perfect, I thought. But I failed to look up the pronunciation of the word and assumed it was quiet us (kwahy-it-uhs).

QuietusFINALFrom Quietus:

“Yeah. Some storeowner I guess started it. Some out-of-towner described the area to him and how quiet it seemed. Hence, he called it Quietus. Or as he said ‘One that will quiet us all.’ Anyway the name has caught on.”

Of course later I found out that it is pronounced – kwahy-ee-tuhs.

Regardless of how it is pronounced, I thought the title was unique. But a quick check on Amazon shows that at least dozen other books with quietus in the title. Go figure.

Announcing #NewRelease – DESTINY by Susan Leigh Noble

Today I usually write about publishing or marketing, but instead I want to take this time to announce the release of Destiny: Book 3 of The Elemental.

Destiny is the conclusion to my The Elemental trilogy. You can purchase it for $.2.99 at Amazon, Smashwords and wherever e-books are sold. For a limited time, get Summoned (Book 1) and Quietus (Book 2) for only 99 cents.

Destiny: Book Description

Destroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.

But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that they believe will lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen.  Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.

Destiny: Excerpt

Prologue

He ran a soft cloth over the crystal-like blade. The sword was the finest he had ever crafted. He had infused it with magic he had never done before. Powerful magic that he hoped would be enough. But the future was so unclear; there were too many variables to plan for every contingency.

Ever since Elden had the vision of the Land in despair, the rest of the Order of the Guardians had done what they could to ensure what he saw would not happen. At first when Elias, Elden’s brother, had come to him, Barton hadn’t believed Elden had seen the future. However, he and the other members were able to use a spell to share Elden’s vision. In it, the Land became a barren, desolate wasteland. It had glittered with the traces of magic. Barton had been shocked. How could a Learner have allowed this to happen?

He shook his head as he thought about it. As impossible as it was to believe, he had seen it and knew it clearly would come to pass if they did nothing. The Order had spent many hours discussing it, and now they had their plan: a plan they hoped would save the Land from this destruction. There were so many things that could go wrong. If any part of the plan failed, then the Elden’s vision might become reality.

Barton ran through the checklist in his head: Thane had already sent a vision to Lars, the Last Elemental; Kiana had contacted the dragons; and Reed had worked on the spell that would be cast when all the preparations were in place. It was the spell that would be the end of the Learners; it would suppress their desire to Learn magic.

In case the spell failed to work, they had scattered hints in their journals of how to reverse the magic. Now with the sword crafted, and the spell that would allow Elias to pass on the message already infused into the blade, he had one more thing to do.

“Barton, it is late,” Rena said, her hands running across his shoulders.

He hadn’t heard her come in. “Not yet,” he said as he turned to look at her. His hands instantly went to caress her swollen abdomen. He could feel the baby moved inside her. His son, he thought, his son who would pass the sword on down through his line.

“Barton Lonce, it can wait until morning.”

He shook his head. “I have one more thing to do,” he said as he turned back to the table. He picked up the quill as Rena sighed. She kissed his cheek. He heard her soft footsteps as she crossed the room. She closed the door softly behind her.

He began to write: The barrier must be lifted. Any magic done on the Land can only be reversed with magic. Use the tool provided. The two that are separate must be together in order to work. Only after the magic is removed can The Elemental become one with the Land. For this is the only way to stop the destruction and return the Land to its former glory.

Barton took the paper and folded it in half and then in half again. He slipped it into a small pocket on the inside cover of his journal. Then with a whisper, he sealed it up. Now he only hoped it would reach his descendent when the peril the Land would face had come to pass.

QUIETUS – Destruction to the Land excerpt

The following is an except from my fantasy novel, Quietus: Book Two of The Elemental. I hope you enjoy it. And if you are an author and would like to post an excerpt or guest blog on my site, please contact me through the “About Me” section.

It took them three more days to reach eastern Zena. The tall, lush green grass blew in the breeze. Small, agile birds darted out of the Grasslands, flying high and then diving at the insects that lived on the wild flowers. The birds scattered at the sight of the dragons, chattering angrily. Lina looked at the pink, yellow, blue and purple flowers that stood out among the green grass. She could make out creatures native to the Land from the Lope, a creature the size of a horse but with horns, to the small grass hare. The Land seemed so peaceful. Everything was as it should be. This was how she remembered her homeland. Lina smiled, her eyes trying to take in all the sights in the fading daylight. How she had missed living here these past few months.

As the sun sunk lower in the sky, Lina began looking for this barren area, knowing that they must be getting closer. Her eyes swept over the Land. Finally, in the distance, she saw a darker area. It grew larger as they approached. Her eyes widened as she took in the large stretch of brown dirt which was growing even larger with every second as they advanced toward it.

“There it is!” she said silently to Tosh and Zoot. She glanced behind her, but Taylor and the others had already seen the area.

The stretch of land had to be at least a league wide. The dry brown dirt stood out in stark contrast to the thriving green grassland around it. Lina felt tears threatening to spill down her face as she looked at her beloved homeland. How could this happen, she thought.

Calm down, Lina, Tosh said. You need to be thinking clearly.

“But Tosh! Look at the Land! What has happened here?”

I do not know. We will find out soon enough.

Zoot began to circle closer, and Lina guessed that he planned to land on the dirt field. She could barely stand to look at the carcasses of the Grassland animals that lay in this barren area. Zoot had scarcely landed before she slid to the ground, her feet thudding on the dry dirt. She was unprepared for the void feeling. She had grown accustomed to the constant power the elements provide her and feeling them all around her. Now in this desolate, sterile place, she felt nothing, no welcoming energy from her surroundings. There was nothing to connect her with the Land. It was like suddenly going blind. Lina shuddered.

She barely noticed as Taylor, Tosh, Tell and Cash dismounted Zoot and moved next to her. Lina, still reeling from the absence of energy, looked around, her eyes full of tears. The ground was hard as if all moisture had been drained from it. Taylor kneeled down and picked up a handful of the dry dirt. Even the worms and insects were missing from the dusty soil. Lina involuntarily shook.

“There isn’t even part of the roots left,” Taylor said. He threw the dirt down in disgust.

“What could have caused this?” Lina asked her voice breaking as she felt overwhelming despair. She turned toward Mac, Kiana, Kline and Kemp. A mix of fear and panic showed in their faces. Lina didn’t know if they too felt the missing connection with the Land as she did. The Land felt so empty, so desolate. She did not think she would be able to handle this lack of connection.

“What…?”  Kiana began and then broke down crying.

“How?” Mac said a strange expression on his face. “How could this have happened?”

I think that is what we need to find out, Tosh commented from behind Lina.

She nodded. Tosh was right, she thought as she attempted to ignore the powerless void. But Lina didn’t know where to begin. She looked at Taylor for help, but his gaze remained on the dry soil.

It’s getting late, Tell said. Maybe we should wait until the morning when we are all fresh and ready to face this.

“I don’t think I will ever be ready to face this,” Lina said, shuddering at the thought of staying near this desolate place. “Tell, is right. Let’s find a place away from here to set up camp. We will start searching tomorrow for the cause of this.”

The other Elementals nodded in agreement and then climbed back on the black dragon. Zoot launched himself into the air. Lina stared at the ground, still shocked to see the change to the Grasslands. They settled down in the green grass half a league north of the affected area to set up their camp. But even as the sun finished setting, Lina couldn’t help but stare in the direction of the devastated Land and wonder what they would discover tomorrow.