The Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

For you fans of Daughter of Nothing and my Undermountain Saga, you should check out Tara Maya’s epic fantasy series The Unfinished Song. The first book (Initiate) is free, so read the excerpt and then hit up the links at the bottom of this post and start reading today!

Initiate Cover



Dindi can’t do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi’s clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.


Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don’t kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father’s wars and his mother’s curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her… assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.


Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

She hadn’t appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

“Join our circle, Dindi!” the fae voices gurgled under the water. “Dance with us forever!”

“No!” She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, “Dispel!” but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn’t be coming up again.

“Dispel!” It was a man’s voice.

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

“Better?” he asked.

She nodded. He was young–only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

“Good.” He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

Dindi’s hand touched skin–he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

“It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that,” he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. “What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?”


Tara’s blog

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Barnes and Noble




Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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It’s Here . . . Hardcover of DAUGHTER OF NOTHING

Get a copy of the HARDCOVER today at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powell’s Books | Chapters

Want a signed copy? Contact me!

Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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New Release: Daughter of Nothing — I’m pretty stoked about this one!

I am super excited to announce the release of my newest novel, DAUGHTER OF NOTHING.
Daughter of Nothing

Few people even know that the Scion School exists. Tucked away on a private Caribbean island, the school is host to thirty-six exceptionally gifted students, all orphans. They train and study every day to prepare themselves for an immense responsibility, to lead humankind back from the brink of extinction.

At least, that’s what they’ve been told.

Among the thirty-six is Jacey, 17, one of four Scions in the Eagle class. She is the favorite of the 93-year-old headmaster, Dr. Carlhagen. But when Jacey overhears a conversation between a strange visitor and one of the school’s first graduates, she learns a stunning fact about her future. One that Dr. Carlhagen has kept from all the Scions.

Following the cryptic clues given to her by the school’s AI professor, Jacey races to untangle the truth of who the Scions are, and what the headmaster really means when he says they are bound for a great destiny.

Get it now at these fine e-tailers.

Kobo (epub)
Apple iBookstore (coming soon)

Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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Worldcon 2013 Report

I’ll keep this short long.


Winter is coming

Winter is coming (And I’m the Frost Meister).


Second: Not only was this my first Worldcon, it was my first con of any kinds since I went to a Gencon sometime around 1989 (as best I can remember). I had no idea what to expect, except that there would be some people I knew (or knew of) in attendance.

As soon as I arrived, I spied George R.R. Martin sitting in the convention center lobby, holding court. He continued to hold court fairly regularly.

The programming was okay, but was heavy on panels that didn’t seem to have much purpose for fans or writers. The panels that related to indie publishing didn’t have the right panelists.

That said, people seemed engaged and to be enjoying themselves. I had expected the dealer room to have more vendors, but I wasn’t particularly looking to buy anything anyway. Especially books. I have so many unread books already, that one of my shelves recently collapsed. Truth.

Particularly interesting to me was sitting in on panels about the “new wave of SF” which began in the mid/late sixties. I knew nothing about this (having been born after the sixties). Panelists like Norman Spinrad and Kim Stanley Robinson (who knows everything about everything [and I don't mean that in nasty way]), were fascinating. I’ve added a bunch of stuff to my aforementioned infinite to-read list as a result.

I saw many famous (to SF and Fantasy fans, anyway) authors, and many up-and-comers. Perhaps the highlight of the con was the Hugh Howey meet-up at the hotel restaurant. He’s extraordinarily gracious, and a model for how to be a cool author. He’s like a triple crown role model: as a writer, as an indie publisher, and as a celebrity. Also, I met some really cool people there, all writers. Huge win.

On Sunday, I took a day off to visit my brother in Austin. I got to see his beautiful home and family and just rest for a while. Also got to experience the real deal Texas BBQ, where I at all the meat. Marbled brisket . . . mmmmmmm.

Finally, and not least, I met up with some friends, those I’ve met in person and those I only knew online. Had some great conversations! Writers are my people. I genuinely expect to see some of their names on the program in the future.

The Hugo awards ceremony happened while I was in Austin, so I didn’t watch it unfold. I pretty much knew who would win, since it’s kind of a popularity contest. That said, I was thrilled that Brandon Sanderson won for best novella and that the Writing Excuses team won for whatever category they were in. Best Related Work? Who cares?

One thing that is problematic with the Hugos is there is no YA SF category. This is obviously ridiculous, since it probably has greater readership than the stuff you find in the SF/F section of the bookstore. And of course, no indie category. I’m not holding my breath on that one.

The con has a serious age/diversity problem in my opinion. I saw a few more younger folks on the weekend days, but it just didn’t seem to attract much of the younger crowd. I suspect they were at Dragoncon, but what do I know? I’ll just mention again that they don’t have a YA SF hugo award, so you know . . .

So that’s it. Next year the con will be in London. I’ll be in Atlanta.


Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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Cover Reveal: Daughter of Nothing

I am thrilled to reveal the cover for my upcoming novel Daughter of Nothing. It features stunning artwork by Anna Dittmann.

The novel, which launches my new YA science fiction series The Scion Chronicles, will be out at the end of September/early October.

Dim the lights! And here we go . . .

Daughter of Nothing Cover

Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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