beth_bernobich: red mushroom (passion play)
From the Tor-Forge blog:

Beth Bernobich's Allegiance, the latest in the River of Souls series, is due out on October 29. We're making it easy to get started with the series by releasing the first ebook, Passion Play, for only $2.99.
Sale ends August 4th.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (arrow)
First a brief summary of the man.

Lord Markus Khandarr first came to court when Baerne of Angersee was king. He was in his early forties at the time, but already an acknowledged master of magic. Not many people knew about his background, however, and Khandarr preferred it that way. He came from a poor family, and having earned a degree from Duenne's University, he worked his way up from minor mage, to minor functionary at court, finally receiving the courtesy title of Lord. From there, he gained the trust of the king's grandson, Armand of Angersee, and stepped into the role of King's Mage and Senior Councilor when that same young prince inherited the crown.

All that is backstory. It doesn't really tell us about Markus Khandarr the man.

So who is Markus Khandarr?

Read more... )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (arrow)
So who is Raul Kosenmark anyway?

Just as Ilse was once a minor character, Raul had an even smaller role. In the much earlier draft of Queen's Hunt, Valara Baussay escapes from Osterling with Galena as her guide. Ilse stays behind to confuse the trail, but she sends them to her friend and advisor Raul (no last name) in Tiralien. He provides them with disguises and some proper gear, and sends them on their way. Possibly some snark was involved.

But just as Ilse took over the series once I wrote Passion Play, Raul became much more than a bit player. He's an influential noble and major player in high stakes politics. To Ilse, he is also employer, teacher, friend, and lover.

Read more... )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (ballet dancers)
It's a Supernatural Solstice at Tynga's Reviews!

I'm on deck today, with a double-giveaway: the winner will receive signed copies of Passion Play and Queen's Hunt. For more details, plus an excerpt from Allegiance, go here:

http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2013/06/ss-giveaway-with-beth-bernobich.html
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Rose Fractal)
Magic, that rare and dangerous current, and yet the ordinary world was filled with reminders of its presence. Crushed grass, the tang of forests, the rich perfume of new blossomed wildflowers. Was it, as the old scholars insisted, only a matter of setting your gaze in the right direction? And if that were true, why were so many blind to it? (— Queen's Hunt)

When I set out to create the magic system for my River of Souls books, I wanted something different from the rules-and-regs kind of magic, where you memorized spells or gestures. Or the kind where you created magic through special ingredients or with magical implements such as wands. There's nothing wrong with the spellbook and potions kind of magic. I just wasn't interested in using that.

At the same time, I also didn't want magic to be an inborn quality, or gift. Nor did I want the magic to be a force inside the user, something you could run out of, like physical strength. Again, there are some nifty books with these magic systems, but I wanted something else.

So if it's not either of these, what is it, then? )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (celestial map)
Last week, I talked about the kingdoms and other lands of Erythandra and beyond. This week it's about Ilse's journey through those lands.

When we first meet Ilse, when she still calls herself Therez, she lives in her father's household in the city of Melnek. Melnek is a major port city on the eastern coast of Veraene, close to the border with Károví, so there's a constant flow of ships from other provinces and kingdoms. (And some less official overland connections with smugglers who travel the more dangerous mountains passes.) Her world is the wealthy merchant class, the talk mainly of ships and fees and contracts. Salt tang permeates the air, and the eastern horizon is the open sea.

Therez herself has never lived anywhere but Melnek, but she's heard stories of the larger world since childhood. Her father and grandparents came to Melnek from Duszranjo, an isolated province in western Károví. Her brother, Ehren, spent a year at the university in Duenne, in central Veraene. She too hopes to spend a year with relatives far, far away from her father's household.

So when she runs away, she aims for Duenne. )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (celestial map)
Or rather, kings and queens and the lands they rule.

As you know, dear reader, the River of Souls trilogy and its associated stories are epic fantasy, so there's a lot of talk about kingdoms and empires and political intrigue. I've written about Ilse and her own personal story in last week's post. This week, I wanted to cover more about the world she lives in.

Read more... )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (girl and balloon)
Near the beginning of Passion Play, Therez Zhalina runs away from home to avoid an unwanted marriage.

Now, this is not Therez being a spunky heroine. She understands that her duty to her family is to marry well, with an eye to forming alliances for the family business, just as her brother is expected to give up his studies at the university to assist their father. She had plans, yes, but they were small ones, and they fell well within the expectations of her family and class background. At most, she hoped to spend a year with relatives in Duenne, apart from her controlling father, but she still expected to marry and spend an ordinary life with husband, children, and the usual social obligations.

But then comes the evening of her father's Very Important Dinner Party )
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
Endings, the poet Tanja Duhr once wrote, were deceptive things. No story truly came to a final stop, no poem described the last of the last—they could not, not until the world and the gods and time had ceased to exist. An ending was a literary device. In truth, the end of one story, or one life, carried the seeds for the next.  —Allegiance, Chapter One

Yesterday, I finished reviewing the galley pages for Allegiance. The last step (for me, the author) before the book is printed and released. This book, too, is an ending, the last volume of Ilse's trilogy. I have other books planned for that world, but other than a short story or two, Allegiance is the last book about Ilse and Raul in this lifetime.

When I first started writing about the world of Erythandra—which was also when I first started writing anything—Ilse wasn't the main character. That would have been Valara, under a different name, and with a far different backstory. Lir's jewels played the same important role, as did Leos Dzavek (also under a different name). Everything else? Was different.

Read more... )
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
Galley pages for the paperback edition of Queen's Hunt just landed in my in-box.

Copyedits for Allegiance are due to arrive around February 21st.

Meanwhile, I am wrestling with my still-untitled novella. I'm pleased with the first third, and I will be pleased with the ending, once I've revised it. The middle section, however, is too workman-like in its prose, where the prose exists, and I suspect I'm missing the vital insight that will both add sparkle and give the plot that extra push.

Meanwhile, here is a link to the first-ever fanart for Passion Play. Color me delighted!
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (spouting whale)
The three winners for my double-giveaway contest are...

*drum roll*

Lexi (PRationality) (8 points!)
Francene (catalogermom) (5 points)
Cynthia (fairiesnest) (5 points)

Each of you will receive a signed copy each of Passion Play and Queen's Hunt. Please email me with the following information:

1. Name and mailing address
2. If you have any preferences for the inscription
3. If you prefer hardcover or paperback for Passion Play

(My email address is on my LJ user profile page.)

Congrats on winning! And thank you to everyone for participating!
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (sparkle kitties)
…until Queen's Hunt comes out.

As you might have noticed, I haven't done any promo. There's been the move, the house, the heat, the dayjob, the new Ilse & Raul story that tackled my brain…

But! My author copies should arrive soon, which means it's Double Giveaway Time!

Why is it called Double Giveaway? Because the winners (there will be three) each get signed copies of both Passion Play *and* Queen's Hunt.

How to enter:

Share this post on Facebook (+2 points)
Tweet about the contest (+2 points)
Post an entry on your own blog (+5 points)
>>> Add up your points and comment here (+1 point)

You can also just post a comment here (+1 point)

Who wins:

The three people with the most points. If there's a tie, random.org will pick the winners.

What you win:

1 signed copy of Passion Play
1 signed copy of Queen's Hunt

More Important Details:

The contest runs from today until Release Day, when I announce the winners
With Passion Play, you have your choice of hardcover or paperback
For Twitter and blogs, remember to link back to this entry
US/Canada only (sorry!)

ETA: Remember to post a comment here with your point total, and where you tweeted or posted, otherwise I can't tell who did what.

Book Day!

Apr. 24th, 2012 07:03 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (passion play mmp)
The paperback edition of my first novel, Passion Play, is now available from Tor Books!

Ilse Zhalina is the daughter of one of Melnek’s more prominent merchants. She has lived most of her life surrounded by the trappings of wealth and privilege. Many would consider hers a happy lot. But there are dark secrets, especially in the best of families. Ilse has learned that for a young woman of her beauty and social station, to be passive and silent is the best way to survive.

When Ilse finally meets the older man she is to marry, she realizes he is far crueler and more deadly than her father could ever be. Ilse chooses to run. This choice will change her life forever. And it will lead her to Raul Kosenmark, master of one of the land’s most notorious pleasure houses...and who is, as Ilse discovers, a puppetmaster of a different sort altogether.


Passion Play won the 2010 RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy, and was long-listed for the Tiptree Award. It is the first volume in my River of Souls series, and the paperback edition contains an except from the next book, Queen's Hunt. You can read the first two chapters of Passion Play here:

http://www.beth-bernobich.com/Books/PassionPlayExcerpt.html
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (squee!)
I've been so immersed in job and house issues, that I almost forgot to mention that the paperback version of Passion Play is coming out this month. (*pause for excited bouncing up and down*)



As you can see, this edition has a new cover, which matches the cover style for Queen's Hunt. It also has an excerpt from Queen's Hunt at the end, with Ilse showing off her new mad magic skillz.

The official release date is April 24th, and it's available now for pre-order from Amazon US, Amazon UK, not to mention all the other Amazons out there, B&N, Book Depository, and many more outlets.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (passion play)
I am currently reading the galleys for the paperback edition of PASSION PLAY. It's an interesting experience, because it's been so long since I last looked at the book, that I feel as though I'm reading someone else's novel.

And...I am actually enjoying it.

I'm also dismayed to find a number of mistakes. Not all that many, but any error is enough to make me wince. If by chance you noticed a typo or other error while reading, please send me an email to let me know.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (umbrella mushrooms)
...here are the new covers for Passion Play and Queen's Hunt:

Passion Play   Queen's Hunt

beth_bernobich: red mushroom (passion play)
Passion Play continues to get reviews here and there. Google alerts brought me this one today. Overall a good review, and their summary—"This story is more of a political fiction with a touch of romance on the side"—is pretty much what I intended when I sat down to write the book. Of course the reader and author don't always agree on what the book is about, even when the reader likes the book, but I'm extra pleased when it happens.

In other news, the new cover art for both Passion Play and Queen's Hunt are still in development. My editor said that she won't show me anything until they have the final version. I'm anxious to see what they come up with, but I have to agree that hearing *all* the details would probably make me even more anxious.
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
One year until Queen's Hunt is released

Eleven months until the paperback edition of Passion Play comes out

Three months and ten days until Fox & Phoenix is released

Approximately two months until I self-publish an e-version of "Pig, Crane, Fox," the short story F&P is based on

One month and three weeks until M starts his first year of college

And two more days until I start my new job
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (celestial map)
...so last week I picked up my RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy for Passion Play. It's a real award, solid and shiny and with a wicked point. I'm pretty sure I could use this as a weapon if I had to.

Tomorrow, I'm driving to Virginia to give a reading and to talk about writing at my old college, Randolph-Macon College. There will be lunch with students and dinner with professors. (I also get to visit my brother on the way down.)

And this morning, I woke up to the lovely news that Passion Play made the longlist for the British Fantasy Awards.

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