Of Silver and Beasts (Goddess Wars #1)
by Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: April 19th 2013
In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.
When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.
Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.
New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
Of Darkness and Crowns (Goddess Wars #2)
by Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: September 1, 2013
The moon goddess has taken up residency within Prince Caben, darkening his mind and soul. Now he hunts the very women he sacrificed his life to save, his conflicting desires for love and power raging a battle within him. Kaliope possesses the key to setting Bale free, and Caben will stop at nothing to see his goddess restored. Even if that means destroying the kingdom he’s sworn to protect, and the infuriating woman who torments his thoughts.
Kaliope, now the leader to the newly formed Nactue Guard, has vowed to save Caben. But with a traitor lurking among her people, and powers she’s unable to fully control, Kaliope’s mission becomes shrouded with doubt. Her new role as watcher over Caben’s kingdom brings a burden she’s unable to bear alone, and appointing the right person in charge of the prince’s affairs has turned a kingdom against the Nactue leader. Saving her stubborn, willful prince from the darkness overtaking him will be the battle of her life, and she needs people she can trust by her side. But bad blood between members of the Nactue obscure Kaliope’s journey, while her feelings for Caben cloud her judgment.
When the time comes to do what she must to destroy the goddess of chaos, will she be able to if it means losing Caben forever?
Book two of the Goddess Wars is told in dual point of view from Kaliope and Caben. New Adult Dark Fantasy, intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
I block her blow and come at her from above, forcing her to deflect my attacks at an awkward angle for her petite stature. My smile spreads. “We can dance like this all night, but I’d rather our time be spent more usefully.” I lunge and slash, making it tiring for her to defend herself. “Take me to the goddess relic, and I’ll let you and your empress live…for the time being.” I grunt as she snakes a cheap shot to my wrist.
She’s not amused by the slight damage she’s inflicted. Rather, as her gaze traps my broken skin, she looks mortified. Everything I’ve waited for is falling apart. I can’t have her die at the end of my sword while mourning the loss of her prince. She needs anger. Wrath. Disgust.
Those are the emotions that will drive her to face me full-on and not hold back.
I could end this now—slice her open and turn my back on her forever. Find the relic easily for myself and what else I came here for and then be gone. But something inside me refuses to accept a simple defeat. Not from the woman who has tormented my thoughts with weakness and regret.
She’s the last thing in this world that threatens my power. And I refuse to destroy her in this state, only to have her haunt me from the grave. I need a worthy foe—a vicious opponent—to defeat.
Not a heartbroken girl.
“This won’t do.” I growl as I back her against the wall, my swings becoming sloppy with my rage. As if she knows what she’s doing to me, she smiles. The first one I’ve seen in so long…and she’s beautiful. Heart stopping. It infuriates me.
I shout and thrust my sword, knocking hers aside as I move into her personal space. Realization washes over her face, and she quickly brings up her arm to guard against my fist. I stop short, my balled hand an inch from her cheek.
My breaths are hot and quick as they leave my mouth in heavy puffs. My gaze flicks over Kal’s shocked face, her trembling lips. And my fingers uncurl. I press closer and trace my fingertips along her soft skin…
With a jerk of my head, I hush the dark goddess’s voice. Then I seize Kal’s wrist and slam the back of her hand against the stone wall. She’s as stubborn as ever, keeping a tight grip on her weapon. I knock her arm against the wall again. And again, until she releases a cry and her sword clatters to the floor.
I drop my own and grab the arm still held up as a shield, then pin both her wrists to the wall. “Look at me,” I order, my tone giving away my frustration. Impatience grips my nerves, and I drop one hand to grasp her face, forcing her eyes to meet mine.
As she drinks me in hungrily, like she’s only just now truly seeing me, something stirs beneath my skin. The white power crackles over my hands, healing the wound on my wrist, and Kal’s eyes widen.
The last time she encountered my power, when she was trapped by the glowing tentacles, she suffered tremendous pain, I’m sure. And though something inside me is screaming to unleash that power on her now, I rein it in. I don’t want our dance to end so soon.
As the power recedes, leaving my skin unblemished, I caress her face. Run my palm and fingers along her soft flesh. Down her jawline. All the while, her eyes hold me, ensnaring me. This is her power—her spell over me. It’s the reason why she must die.
I have to be free of her.
Yet, I can’t help wanting to inhale her, taste her, quench my thirst of her one last time. And maybe that will even spark the fury within her to fight. Bring the old Kal back, the one who would rather put a blade through a man’s heart than be victim to his charms.
Pushing my body against hers, I revel in the feel of her curves, and know that I’m lying to myself. It’s completely selfish what I’m craving, but the lie is all too tempting. Just like her.
I lower my head and place my lips to her neck, breathe her in. Then, trailing them along her slick skin, my tongue flicking out to taste the mix of sweetness and salt, I move next to her ear. Her breaths deepen, pressing her sultry chest to mine.
“Let me in, Kal,” I whisper, loving how my words cause her to shiver. “It’s what you want.”
Pulling back, I lock gazes with her. The desire in her eyes urges my lips to trap hers, and I move in. Wanting to caress them as much as the yearning demands to hurt them.
“Caben,” she says, low and breathy. I halt my descent. She bites down on her lip, and my arousal hardens painfully against my pants.
A slow smile curls her lips. “Fuck off.” Then she spits in my face.
About the Author
I always thought writers who talked about their muses as though they were people were being self-indulgent, using some of that artistic license that is one of the tools of the trade. In “On Writing” (yes, I go on about that book—I just re-read it over the break), Stephen King describes his muse as follows:
“He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you.” (The full quote is here.)
I’ve seen my stories take unexpected turns—but I thought it was just that, as you were writing, you saw better options.
Then two experiences changed my mind.
The first was when, more than halfway through drafting my previous novel, there was an entirely unplanned kiss between two characters. One of them did something a little bit clever that the other didn’t see coming, and the other, in an excess of exuberance, gave the first a hug that suddenly got all romantic.
This was particularly awkward given that the kissee had a significant other.
I knew the kisser was interested, of course. But I never in a million years thought he’d make the first move. SURPRISE!
The other instance was more recently. Some of you may recall me having a whinge about not knowing which novel idea I wanted to pursue next: the fantasy (fully plotted out) or the urban fantasy (no plot whatsoever). I’d decided on the fantasy; I borrowed books to do research, so I could start my world-building, and was all good to go. Excited, even.
Then, one day driving home from work, I had the basic plot structure for the urban fantasy land in my head like someone had dropped a load of bricks on the car. I lay up half that night thinking about it. I couldn’t let it go for days, walking around like I was sleepwalking (I probably was, given the laying up all night!).
It only stopped when I gave in and started the other manuscript instead.
My conclusion from all of this is that my muse, whoever she is, isn’t a bloke smoking cigars in a basement. I don’t know where she lives or what she looks like, but she wears combat boots (for stompin’ ideas into my recalcitrant head) and probably has a battered and super-trashy novel featuring a love triangle tucked under one arm.
Is your muse personified? Has he or she pulled stunts like this on you?
Now I’ve finished Book Two (the as-yet-unnamed sequel to “Isla’s Inheritance”) I’ve decided to write something different. I do intend to also write Book Three—the series was always envisaged as a trilogy—but, for several reasons I won’t bore you with, I thought a break might be a good idea.
My dilemma is I have two different story ideas.
One is a fantasy novel. I have the main characters, most of a plot, and the beginnings of a setting. I also have the resources available to research the rest of the setting. I think it could be awesome.
The other is an urban fantasy. I only have the main character. It’s a cool concept, and one that isn’t too overdone (I think! Or hope!). The plot would make or break the idea.
Common sense is telling me to write the fantasy novel, purely because it’s more developed. But urban fantasy is my favourite genre. And I am terrified of complex world-building. I’ve never done it before, and you can’t write a fantasy novel without it.
Terrified, I say!
I’m leaning toward the fantasy novel because it scares me more, and maybe that’s a good thing. I should challenge myself and not chicken out and write something similar to the two books I’ve done so far.
If you have any thoughts I’d be grateful, but this post is really a whinge because I hear that’s what blogs are for. 😉