Cover Reveal: Child of Lies

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for my next novel, Child of Lies, the second book in The Scion Chronicles.

The cover features a portrait of Belle, created by the talented Anna Dittmann.

The book will be out July 2014. If you haven’t yet read book 1, Daughter of Nothing, what are you waiting for?

 

Child of Lies



Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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“Some Nobody Called Veronica Roth”

In a recent Facebook post, I made a joke by declaring that my book was ranked #2 in its categories behind “some nobody called Veronica Roth.” This was, of course, intentionally absurd. Among my writer friends, Veronica Roth is well known as the author of the enormously popular Divergent series. The first movie based on her books is coming out at the end of this month.

Anyway, when I wrote my post, I thought it was kind of hilarious because if anyone is a nobody author, I am.

Later, when I was reading through the comments on the post, I realized that through my grinning, faux self-aggrandizement, I had  revealed the unconscious belief that I am, in fact, a nobody.

True, my wife, daughter, siblings, and father wouldn’t think of me that way. My readers, many of whom have left glowing reviews of my books, wouldn’t think of me that way. In fact, one young reader recently wrote me a letter about Undermountain, telling me how much he loved the whole series. He even drew pictures of the characters in the margins.

“Your readers?” the voice in my head says, laughing. “Isn’t that a little grandiose? Next you’ll be calling them fans!” More laughing. “Who do you think you are? You’re certainly no Veronica Roth. You’re no Stephen King. You’re no J.K. Rowling.

Here’s the thing. Every burst of success I’ve had as an author (and it does come in bursts, it seems), I’ve found a way to invalidate. “Well, I did run that Bookbub ad, so it could have been anyone’s book they bought. Just happened to be me this time.” Or, “These sales don’t really count because I discounted that book  to $2.99 for a while.” Or, “Yeah, but I lucked out and got in with some great also-boughts on Amazon.” Or, in response to a good review, “I know they said that, but they didn’t want to say anything bad because we had such a nice email exchange.”

There are zillions of folks on the internet who take it upon themselves to delineate who counts as a professional author and who doesn’t. I’m quite aware that as an indie author, I’m on the doesn’t-count side for many of them.

The shock for me was discovering that I had drawn the line in the same place they had.

Then it dawned on me. The characters in my books  struggle with this exact same issue, and through their adventures they’ve been trying to teach me something. And it is this:

Someone has declared that you don’t matter. Someone has pushed you down. Someone has mocked you for your efforts. Someone has weighed you on a scale, and found you wanting. Someone has stacked the flimsy pages  your accomplishments next to the towering reams produced by greater minds and laughed out loud at the comparison.

These oppressors do not want to let you into the elite clique. And the worst offender, the one shouting the loudest, spittle flying from his or her lips . . .

. . . is you.

You do it because you’re afraid to accept this simple truth: your worth is intrinsic and it is infinite.

Why won’t you accept this power?

Because you’ve insulated yourself in the armor of self-deprecation. Take it off and you don’t get to apologize for showing up. You don’t get to make fun of yourself before someone else does. You don’t get to make sure everyone knows that you know you’re a nobody.

If you accept the responsibility that comes from your self-worth you’ll be utterly naked. You’ll stand exposed to the derision of the trolls, those poor, fearful souls who tear down others in order to build themselves up.

It’s scary, but you can survive it.

How else are you going to stake your claim among the pantheon of your heroes? Are you waiting for an invitation? Are you waiting to be chosen?


My novel was #1 in its categories, ahead of Veronica Roth, for a couple days.

It deserved to be there. I deserved to be there.

And I will be back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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

Below is an excerpt from Daughter of Nothing, book one of The Scion Chronicles.

Daughter of Nothing

But first, what is Daughter of Nothing about?

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.

Here’s the excerpt . . .

The girl waved for Jacey to stop, which was very strange. Belle had done so much to avoid Jacey that something had to be wrong if she was waving Jacey down. Maybe she had sprained an ankle or something.

Jacey almost kept going. But if Belle was truly injured . . .

She left the path, picking her way through the jagged rock and Turk’s Head cacti. “What’s wrong?”

Belle faced her, hands on her hips. The glove tucked in her waistband caught Jacey’s attention. And where was the glass object she’d been carrying?

Belle pointed at Jacey. “You’re what’s wrong.”

Jacey sagged. “Did you really wave me over just to insult me?”

Belle looked past Jacey.

She turned to find two boys from Vaughan’s Nine standing behind her. Horace, a tall, rail-thin boy who rarely spoke, and Kirk, his exact opposite, short, squat and thickly muscled.

They took position to block her way back to the main path.

“What’s going on?” Jacey demanded. The menace in Kirk’s eyes sent a chill over her skin.

Belle clasped her hands before her and strolled forward. “You asked Sensei the other day when you were going to be punished. And I know you were denied your virginity examination. At least I don’t think Wanda lied about that. I’d like to help you with at least one of these problems.”

Jacey’s blood froze and she backed away. The boys took hold of her arms.

“I figure we have a few options,” Belle said, stepping closer. She smiled, showing an even row of perfectly white teeth. Jacey had never seen Belle smile before, and it sent another shiver over her skin.

Belle stepped even closer, so that her shadow fell over Jacey. “Kirk could deliver the punishment. Blow for blow, the exact punishment Vaughan received.” She tapped Jacey’s ribs and the side of her head to show the spots the kicks would land.

“But no. That would break your ribs and skull. You might even end up in a coma.” She caressed Jacey’s forehead, face full of mock concern.

Belle’s fingers slid from Jacey’s temple down to the waistband of her running shorts. She pulled it down an inch on one side. “The virginity test . . . I’m afraid that’s not my area of expertise. Though I’m sure Kirk here might be willing to try.”

Jacey acted without thought. She may never have learned kung fu or muay thai, but she had studied ballet for years. She kicked, wildly. Belle threw up her arms, which absorbed most of Jacey’s attack. But the strike drove her back.

The boys still held Jacey in their steely grips. Horace swept her feet from under her, slamming her flat on her back. Jagged rocks bit into her flesh, forcing a cry from her lips.

Kirk swung a leg over her and in a second wrapped her in a jiu-jitsu submission hold. Jacey struggled to breathe. The blue sky overhead started to blacken.

“Don’t knock her out,” Belle said in a singsong voice that reminded Jacey of Mother Tyeesha. An evil version of Mother Tyeesha. “Without pain there is no punishment. Isn’t that right, Jacey?”

Belle held a jar. She brought it close so Jacey could see what was inside.

A shaddle spider. The tan arachnid was two inches long from the back legs to the probing front ones. Yellow markings, like slashes, crisscrossed its back.

* * *

Daughter of Nothing is available in eBook and Hardcover



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

DEADLY INITIATION

A DETERMINED GIRL…

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.

AN EXILED WARRIOR…

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.

EXCERPT

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?”

LINKS

Tara’s blog http://bit.ly/12dFdNy

Tara’s Twitter http://bit.ly/162sCtE

The Unfinished Song on Facebook http://on.fb.me/1400mMq

Amazon http://amzn.to/15ciwYc

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/13yM5Dr

Kobo http://bit.ly/1aFhg1P

iTunes http://bit.ly/1baddhN

Smashwords http://bit.ly/17zK8Xn

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
Contact Me | Buy My Books | Join My Email Newsletter

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
Contact Me | Buy My Books | Join My Email Newsletter