Summoned by Susan Leigh Noble Guest Post and International $15 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!
Posted by Krystal Larson at 4:00 PM Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.
Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.
On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago. During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.
The cold surrounded her, chilling her bones. She woke slowly, rubbing the sand from her eyes. Only a thin sliver of light from the narrow window barely illuminated the small room. Lina sat up, her boots scraping across the stone floor. Where was she? She glanced around; her fingers reaching out to brush the damp stonewall. She wrinkled her nose at the musty odor. A scratching sound came from the far corner of the small room. She thought of rats and quickly pulled her feet back onto the narrow cot.
As her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, she saw the door on the other side of the cell. She pushed the thoughts of rats out of her mind and stood up. The room spun. She grasped the wall. Her body felt weird as if it was not fully hers. She vaguely remembered a man knocking her to the ground and the sweet smell of the cloth over her face. She had a faint memory of being thrown on the back of a horse and being forced to drink something with a strange aftertaste.
She leaned against the wall until the room stopped moving and then hesitantly, Lina shuffled toward the door, her arms outstretched until she felt the cold metal door. She pushed and pulled at the handle but the door did not budge.
“Tosh?” she called. Her voice echoed in the stone cell. She pounded on the door. “Val? Anyone?” She pounded on the door again but no sounds came from the other side. “Tosh? Tosh where are you?”
There was no answer. She glanced around the tiny room. It was bare save the cot. She edged away from the dark corner where she had heard the scratching. The lone window was too high for her to reach, and even if she could, it was barely a slit. Her only exit was the door. But even as she turned to consider it, she knew that her Elemental powers couldn’t help her. Maybe if the door had been wood, then she could burn her way out, but not metal. She would incinerate herself before the door would begin to melt. The walls were made of thick stone. There was nothing she could do. Wearily, she climbed back onto the cot. Cold and hungry, she curled into a ball. She wondered where her friends were and if they had survived the battle.
Often times the first thing that makes a reader choose a book is the cover. The cover needs to entice the reader to pick it up - or in the case of an e-book, click on the link - to read the book description. I had a fairly specific idea about what I wanted on my front cover for Summoned. I wanted the things that would make me pick up this book, which means it needed to have a dragon, a cat and some hint of magic. Well, my cover designer did get me two out of those three items - the cat just didn’t make it. It wasn’t like I wanted a cat on the cover only to entice cat lovers. One of my main characters is a cat. But even without a cat, I really love the cover and have received numerous positive comments on it.
I knew when I started planning the cover that I wanted an image of my main character, Lina, using her Elemental power. In Summoned, she primarily uses fire so when I found artwork of a woman holding out her hand in the perfect manner and position, it was easy to decide to have her holding a fireball in her palm. To link all three books of the trilogy together, I decided to make the covers similar - mainly just change which Elemental power Lina is holding in her hand and the title color. So the cover for the second book, Quietus, uses the same artwork but a different font color and has Lina suspending a large ball of water over her hand. The cover of the third book will feature her holding a miniature twister.
Of course just as important as the cover art is the title of the novel. You want a title the represents your story, is memorable and distinct and there are not a lot of other books out there with that same title. For me choosing the titles for Summoned and Quietus were actually quite easy.
While I was writing Summoned, I actually called it The Elemental because that is who Lina is. But as I wrote the story, I realized I would need more than one book to tell Lina’s complete story. So I decided to write it as a trilogy and changed The Elemental to the name of the trilogy. Of course then I had to rename me first novel. In the book, Lina is overwhelmed by a mystical compulsion to travel north as if someone is summoning her. So the title Summoned just made perfect sense. The second book in the trilogy was also easy to name. Quietus is the name of the creature in which Lina battles. I am currently working on the final book in the trilogy but haven’t been able to decide on a title. But whatever I choose I hope it too will intrigue the potential reader to read the description and of course buy the book.
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 threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.
She loves to hear from readers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Leigh-Noble/200225396700412
Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLeighNoble
Author website: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/susan-leigh-noble.html
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