Hi everybody! First off, I want to thank Jadette for so graciously hosting me on her blog today. Thanks Jadette! Mwah!
Today, I’m telling you about my latest novel, Convergence (Mother Earth book 3), released yesterday, December 13th, from Samhain Publishing. It’s interesting how I came to write this third installment in the Mother Earth series. In Mother Earth book 2, Shenandoah, Bear and Dragon traveled through the ruins of the ancient city of Char. As I was writing that book, it sort of came up that Char was unnaturally hot. I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened. You know those things flow from your brain and out your fingers onto the page sometimes. For me, they nearly always improve on whatever plan I’ve made for the plot :)
Anyway, after Shenandoah I had Char’s unusual heat already established. And I started thinking to myself, why would it be so hot there, with the heat confined to the Char ruins? It couldn’t be any kind of local weather phenomenon, so I figured the heat must be coming from underground. From there, it seemed like a natural leap to decide there must a live city hidden underneath Char, with a power system—in this case, geothermal—that gives off enough waste heat to cause the high temperature in Char.
I know, obvious, right? LOL. Okay, maybe not. But the idea of an underground city got hold of my brain and I had to use it. I’d already decided to write Lynx’s story for the third Mother Earth book—Lynx being Bear’s Pack Brother from Mother Earth book 1, Dragon’s Kiss, for those who don’t know. So the concept of the underground city became the seed from which the entire concept for Lynx’s book, Convergence, grew. I’d been mulling over a way to bring back Rabbit, the lost Pack Brother Bear talks about in the first two books, and having him pop up in a previously unknown, hidden city seemed perfect.
Thus Queen City and Convergence were born. Lynx and Rabbit were my protagonists. This seemed obvious to me. After that it was just a matter of finding out how Rabbit had gotten stuck in Queen City in the first place, and how Lynx was going to find him. That was the easy part of the brainstorming. The execution of those fabulous ideas? Not so much. LOL.
Writing this book was hard. Truthfully, though, I think it’s the best book I’ve ever written. I love it. I hope you guys will too :)
No one survives unchanged.
(Mother Earth, Book 3)
When the Carwin Tribe Pack lost Rabbit, a little bit of Lynx died along with his Brother. Their feelings went far beyond the Pack bond. The ensuing years have never erased his sorrow, only dulled the edges.
Kidnapped during a desperate mission to save Carwin, Lynx awakens to a completely foreign civilization where slaves and masters exist in a unique symbiotic relationship. And to a face he never expected to see again—Rabbit. Yet Lynx’s shock and joy are tempered by the changes in his lover.
The Pack’s strength lies in love, sex and a brotherhood forged from a lifetime of living and fighting side by side. Rabbit’s seeming acceptance of his lot as a slave makes Lynx wonder if he’s lost his soul mate forever…and if he can trust Rabbit with knowledge of his plan to escape.
As Lynx learns to navigate the complex hierarchies of Queen City, he begins to realize all is not as it seems. He finds he can’t simply take Rabbit and run, leaving an entire city to a grisly fate. Even if it costs him the one bond closest to his heart—the love he and Rabbit still share.
(Warning: This book contains Lynx-napping, futuristic farming, eavesdropping (minus the eaves), daring escapes, bloody battles, and Pack sex.)
They moved cautiously toward the ruined building east of the nest, with Lynx in the lead and Kitten in the rear. All three of them wriggled through a swaying curtain of ivy into a tiny open space fashioned partly from the ancient walls and partly from the weeds, trees and vines crowding all around.
“Be careful,” Fox whispered, scanning the landscape with narrowed eyes. “It’s too quiet around here.”
Lynx peered out through the tangle of greenery. Nothing stirred in the dusty heat outside, not even a rat. Not even a bug scuttling through the dirt, for that matter. He frowned. “Do you smell them?”
“No. Well, yes, but it’s residual.” Fox ran the hand not gripping his knife handle over the back of his neck. His dark skin gleamed with sweat in the heat. “I just don’t like the feel of the place, that’s all.”
“I’ll be careful. Don’t worry.” Lynx turned to Kitten. “Do you hear anything?”
Kitten shook his head. “No one’s around other than us, but Fox is right. It’s way too quiet. I don’t think they’re very far off. We need to hurry.”
Leaning as far through the ivy curtain as he dared, Lynx studied the ruins in every direction he could see. Heat-shimmer rose from the ground, breaking the line of the horizon into strange, wavering shapes. Nothing moved. Even the breeze from earlier had died, leaving the air thick, damp and dead.
The whole world felt tense. Breathless. Lynx didn’t like it any more than his Brothers did.
He flexed his fingers around his knife handle. “I’m going to make this fast. Stay alert. I’ll scream if I’m caught. If you hear that, don’t wait. Get out. Understand?”
After a moment, Fox nodded. Kitten wrinkled his nose but eventually nodded as well. Lynx clapped each of them on the shoulder, then ducked under the tangle of vegetation hiding the wide crack in the northern wall.
He ignored the dread that coiled in the pit of his stomach when he left his Brothers behind.
A minor wilderness of briars, young trees and tall grasses lay between Fox and Kitten’s hiding place and the nomads’ nest. It was easy enough to cross the space and slip through the gap in the eastern side of the old building without much chance of being spotted by anyone who happened to be watching.
The cavernous room beyond the opening wasn’t in much better shape than the space where he, Fox and Kitten had spent the previous night. Shade-dwelling weeds sprouted through a thick layer of dirt and splinters Lynx figured had once been a sturdy wooden floor. In the southwest corner, an oak tree sprouted straight up through a hole in the ceiling. Vines spilled through the opening and spread out to cover the walls and creep across the floor.
Glimpses of a tremendous window showed through the vegetation on the southern wall. A window Lynx and his Brothers hadn’t spotted while watching the nomads earlier, because it looked like brick from the outside. Lynx had never seen anything quite like it. He resisted the urge to go take a closer look. There wasn’t time for anything but his mission. Get in, look for signs of the nest, get out. He couldn’t allow himself to become distracted by one of Char’s little mysteries, no matter how interesting.
Jogging past the window, he scanned the western end of the south wall for the place where the nomads had entered. He found it after a few seconds, a narrow rectangular entry with a rusted metal door hanging crooked from one hinge. A trail of trampled grasses and footprints in the dirt led from the door to a spot on the northern side of the room where the ivy hung in a curtain too thick to be natural.
That had to be it.
Heart racing, Lynx crossed to the place where the tracks vanished behind the vines. He stood to one side, his knife in a battle-ready grip, held his breath and listened. Somewhere in the humid green dimness, an insect or small animal scuttled through the weeds. Beyond the veil of ivy, nothing moved.
Lynx let out his breath in a slow, silent stream. He took a moment to calm and center his mind, then crouched and peered through the straggling ends of the vines. He saw nothing but blackness. With a swift glance over his shoulder, he stood and slipped through the hanging greenery, his back to the wall and his knife ready in his hand.
At first, the darkness remained unrelieved, but he could feel the empty space around him. A large space, too large for a single, simple room. He waited. After a moment, his eyes caught a vague pale gold light flickering somewhere far off. It wasn’t much, but once his vision adjusted, the light grew strong enough for him to pick out a hallway that ran straight away from the wall for about ten or twelve paces then dove down a set of steep steps. The light—as well as the sense of a vast, open area—came from somewhere at the bottom.
Lynx stood there, chewing his bottom lip and thinking hard. The Great Mother Herself couldn’t talk him into going down those steps. The hallway led only in that direction, so the nomad gang had to have gone that way, and Lynx didn’t particularly want to fight them alone. But he needed to know whether a nest or a simple camp lay at the bottom of the stairs. The sooner, the better. He wanted to get back to his Brothers and get out of this place. Their time was short. He could feel it.
Moving with a silence born of a lifetime’s skill, Lynx eased a few paces down the hall toward the top of the stairs. As he drew closer, the faint light picked out words carved into the wall at the point where it began to slope down into the ground.
Words. Writing, at the top of what Lynx felt more surely with every passing second was the nest.
Excitement raced through Lynx’s blood, making his heart pound. Great Mother, the nomads can write.
He shook off the thought as soon as it struck him. The edges of the words looked dull and rounded, as if they’d been there for a long time. As if they’d been etched into the ancient wall by someone from the old world.
Lynx stared, wishing with all his heart Rabbit was still alive. He’d been one of the handful of Pack Brothers who could read. Lynx himself knew a few individual letters, thanks to Rabbit’s relentless attempts to teach him, but that was all. He’d never learned to tell one word from another.
He crouched and gazed down the steps as far as he could see. Nothing moved. He turned to peer over his shoulder. The muted, dappled sunlight from the room behind him remained undisturbed. As far as he could tell, nothing human stirred anywhere nearby except himself. He saw nothing, heard nothing.
Why, then, did the skin at his nape prickle and his shoulders grow tense? He didn’t understand it, but now wasn’t the time to start questioning his instincts. With one final, longing look at the letters on the wall—the first one was a “Q”, he felt certain—he hurried toward the tumble of ivy between himself and the exit.
He peered through a gap in the greenery. The room beyond lay empty, but something seemed wrong. The air felt brittle, as if some sound had disturbed it just seconds before and he’d missed it.
His knife at the ready and all his senses on alert, he slipped past the vines and into the tremendous room, keeping his back to the wall. Something stirred at the base of the tree. Lynx stilled. Focused. A second later he found it and cursed himself for an idiot. A nomad crouched in the weeds at the tree’s roots, staring out the window, one hand planted on the ground and the other curled around the handle of a long metal knife.
Buy link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/convergence-p-6562.html (it is up for pre-order now, btw)
My website: www.allyblue.com
My Twitter: www.twitter.com/PopessAllyBlue
My utterly silly bio: Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.