Title: Sleight of Spirit
Word Count: 126,000
Word Count: 126,000
Entry Nickname: God's Dead, Now What?
Genre: High Fantasy (#ownvoices LGBT and ADHD)
All worlds have Gods, and all worlds want Gods, or so Selene thinks. But then a fellow student entreats Selene to help his home of Arcadia. There have not been Gods on Arcadia in millennia. Now that world is falling apart, with holes ripping open the fabric of reality and threatening to swallow entire cities. Offered the chance to fix an entire plane and save millions of people from oblivion, Selene agrees to attempt the ritual which will bind Tenebris to Arcadia and revitalize the dying plane.
But Arcadia itself rejects Tenebris and the encounter drives Them insane. Selene finds her once gentle God flaying the souls from any living creature They encounter. Viciously cut off from the God they love so well, Tenebris’ followers die of suicide in droves. Selene must take responsibility for her role in the disaster and determine how to save Tenebris. But as she struggles through the despair of losing her friends, her faith, and her God, Selene learns that Arcadia’s history is longer than she knew, and sometimes, save means kill.
Sleight of Spirit is a high fantasy novel told from multiple viewpoints which will appeal to fans of Magic: The Gathering stories, Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series, and anime such as Fairy Tail.
The official color of the healers of the Arcane Institute was white. According to the head healer, white helped him know who was bleeding. Selene suppressed a smile. In her home country, white was the color of death. The first time she’d been to the hospital she jumped every time a healer came around a corner.
I remember those days. You were so frightened. Tenebris, the God she served, spoke directly to her mind. They were a constant, gentle presence at the back of her neck.
Selene smiled. I was still afraid of the marks. She glanced at the small tattoos on her inner forearm, carved deep to punish her for using dark magic. Now I hardly think about them.
Good. Tenebris said as Selene walked to the hospice area. As it should be.
Around her, magical ether wards shimmered if she looked for them. The wards were active throughout the Institute. They were usually a communication structure, able to alert students to classes, jobs, messages and even locate people if allowed.
In the hospital ward they did all of that, but added health alarms for heartbeats, bleeding, and fever. As she entered the brightly lit hospice, something scented the air with jasmine flowers. That was new and pleasant. Selene suspected she had Animere, the woman she was here to see, to thank. “Animere?” she called, knocking on the private door. “Did you do something to the wards?”
“You smell it?” Animere called back, and the door opened. “That’s great!”
Title: Following Shadows
Entry Nickname: No Heroes Here
Word Count: 93K
Genre: Adult Fantasy, OwnVoices
Kieron Lawson is a dashing hero on a quest to save the damsel in distress...in his dreams. In reality, he’s a socially awkward lord with a penchant for heroic fables and an aversion to touch. Determined to have an adventure, he makes a deal with his controlling father: in exchange for permission to travel across the Kingdom of Alros and compete in a royal tournament, which hasn’t been held in over a century, he’ll finally choose a bride.
Adventure begins before the tourney does. Chasing down a thief earns Kieron a private meeting with Princess Adelina, and when she slips into a deep sleep after being poisoned, he’s promised her hand in marriage if he can retrieve a cure from a forbidden wasteland.
But the fairytale falls apart when Kieron’s company abandons him, and the only person willing to guide him on his quest is the aforementioned thief, Eidolon—a man of masks and shadows, who inspires feelings Kieron doesn’t understand and can’t control. When Kieron’s temper and a cave-in derail the mission, he finds himself faced with a choice to be the hero and save the princess, or follow his feelings and save the thief.
FOLLOWING SHADOWS (93,000 words) is an #ownvoices adult fantasy novel with romantic overtones and strong series potential. Imagine a classic medieval fairytale, in the vein of Sleeping Beauty, except the charming prince is an asexual man on the Autism spectrum who falls for a male companion, instead of the princess he sets out to save.
Hollowness spread through Kieron Lawson’s chest as he stared out the lancet window. Lunch had not gone well, but he couldn’t imagine why. He’d done everything by the book.
“Must you keep doing this?” asked his father, Viscount Lawson, tapping his fingers against the table.
“Why do you assume I did anything?” Kieron kept his eyes on the horizon. Cumaro’s farmlands seemed to stretch on forever. By now, he’d all but memorized every golden wheat stalk and hay bale.
“Lady Voss left in tears.”
The viscount’s methodical drumming sounded like a ticking clock.
“I don’t know why.” Kieron shrugged, thumbing his cold metal tankard. As his etiquette text dictated, he’d nodded politely as the lady spoke. He’d even made eye contact once. “I didn’t say anything.”
“Yes, that’s exactly the trouble. She says you sat silently for the majority of the meeting, staring at the wall behind her. Then when you did say something, you called her by the wrong name.”
Kieron turned away from the window. “You mean her name isn’t Liza?”
The rhythmic tapping skipped a beat. “No. Her name is not Liza. We’ve known the Voss family for years. How do you not remember the girl’s name?” The drumming intensified. “And did you have to tell her you didn’t like her dress?”
Kieron cocked his head at his father’s squat frame and frowned. “She asked if I liked it, and I said no.”
He’d answered a question when asked. What else should he have done?