Ascard power can strengthen, heal and create. It also has great potential to destroy, enough to topple entire governments. Indigo’s country places strict limitations on the use of ascard so she must channel her talents into the healing arts or risk severe punishment. An orphan from a disgraced family, trapped by her father’s treason, Indigo struggles to reclaim her place in a society that has driven her into an abusive engagement.
Then a mysterious stranger from a neighboring country contacts her using ascard. He needs help escaping his prison so he can bring an end to his emperor's oppressive rule or die trying. His unshakable devotion to his cause and the passion hidden behind his cool arrogance move her to help him at the risk of being branded a traitor herself.
When the politics of society bring them together a second time, Indigo decides to use her growing powers to help him fight his war. If only she dared fight for her own future with such passion. Perhaps she can find the courage to do so by helping the man she has fallen for win his revolution. She might have exactly the power he needs to succeed.
Resolute, he turned and stepped between the pillars.
The sudden pressure on his lungs was welcome. If he understood the prison, he would return to his rooms in the stronghold, the place he was taken from.
His head spun and he stumbled. His knees struck hard on the pale marble floor of his bedchamber. He ended kneeling like a man at worship before the stand on which he kept his sword. The weapon waited there, a seamless blending of Lyran and Kudaness design tempered with ascard. The gentle curve of the blades razor edge glinted in the light, sharp and clean.
A slow smile spread across his lips and he laughed. When the laughter faded, he stood and grabbed the sword belt lying beside the weapon. He had to tighten it several notches past old wear marks. He gripped the pale wood hilt, delighting in the balanced weight of the lethal blade. It felt natural in his hand, an extension of his being. In a life full of frustration, the weapon was simple and pure. There was no doubt as to its purpose and no question of how it would serve him. If only people could be so simple.
He held his breath, listening to the song of the blade sliding into the sheath. It was exquisite. It sang of blood and vengeance.
He stroked the hilt, his gaze drifting to the door leading out of his chambers. “Shall we see who’s home?”
The Idea Factory
Every now and then, I worry that maybe my ideas will dry up and I’ll hit a point where I simply have no more stories to write. It’s a silly thought, given that my backlog of ideas could keep me busy for years to come. I still have it though. Then something triggers an idea and I remember how little it really takes to bring the muse to life.
Story triggers are everywhere.
For me, the most common story triggers come from my dreams. In looking at my current project list, at least seven of those books were inspired by my dreams. A brief scene is all it really takes. A vivid moment of fear, passion, or excitement. The pounding heartbeat. The chill of terror or the metallic taste of adrenaline on my tongue. Sometimes it’s not a scene, but character I meet in a dream that inspires me.
Another source of several ideas is music. Music is so full of mood and emotion that it can evoke fantastic imagery. I got one of my favorite ideas while listening to the song Lightning Crashes by Live. The premise of the book has almost nothing to do with that of the song, but the music and lyrics evoked images in my head that exploded into a full novel (possibly two or three when I’m done).
On rare occasions, something someone says or a picture I see will inspire an idea. I’ve also gotten ideas from locations, such as Newgrange in Ireland. In one unusual case, a character I created to insert in someone else’s world for some personal fan fiction ended up being so compelling that they eventually found a world of their own to inhabit.
Anytime that feeling of doom comes upon me, insisting that my ideas will dry up, all I really have to do is look at my backlog and remember where all of those ideas came from. Then I realize that there are more ideas waiting to be found than I will ever have enough time for.
Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12 (which is still tucked away in a briefcase in her office). Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she treated her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy left her with an abundance of free time to focus on making it her career.
Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her awesome husband, two sweet horses, three manipulative cats, and a crazy dog. She’s a wine and tea fanatic who loves sitting on the ocean in her kayak surrounded by open water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She also enjoys horseback riding, archery, PC gaming, dancing, good anime, etc. She studies Japanese and practices Iaido because she believes we should never stop learning.
The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter during the tour.