Monday, April 1, 2013

Divergent Paths by Holly Barbo; Spotlight and Excerpt

A virulent disease sweeps through the Sawblen Province. The source is unknown. As hundreds fall victim, the healers race to contain it and find a cure before it engulfs the realm, but a would-be healer complicates the situation by concocting dangerous drugs.

While the officials are distracted, a counterfeiter takes advantage of the events. Credentials and money are faked, putting several lives in peril and resulting in deaths.

The Great One's council and sage population hurry to track down the sources of the trouble and right the multiple crises before anyone else falls prey to the events. Rare natives of the planet have important information to impart if the sages can decipher their cryptic message.

Genre: Science fiction, fantasy
Release Date: August 28, 2012

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Chert was the first of the two older women to see something, like a breeze rippling through the grass. Without making a sound she touched Mossel's hand and nodded toward the movement. They couldn't believe their eyes when the fabled Lyrix stepped out of the grass and walked up to Ree. The young woman reached out and stroked the ruff at the side of the wildcat's face and just for a moment laid her cheek against it as one hand touched the cat's ear. Pulling back and sitting on the sand, she faced the women. "This is Raow. He is a Lyrix. It is he who surprised Catri and me that sunny day in the field near Mineral Springs. Lyrix choose who they allow to see them, and they haven't been seen for countless generations. I am humbled and honored that he has chosen to be my friend."
Turning to the Lyrix, Ree began the introductions. She gestured to the small woman with the long braid. "Raow, this is Chert. She is the Master Healer of Yerra. She has gone over my documentation and will speak for me with the Guild Master Healer. She needed to confirm my story, since to take my word alone could prove dangerous for many innocent lives. It's why we have verification and standards within each guild."
Chert made a bow to the Lyrix. Eclaire adjusted her grip on the woman's shoulder so as to not tumble off. Raow nodded to her before he turned his golden eyes to the other woman. Ree held out her hand toward Mossel and said, "Raow, this is Mayor Mossel. She is the leader of the Founder City, Yerra. I have known her all my life. She, too, believed me, but because it is her responsibility to help safeguard her people, she also needed to verify my story."
Mossel bowed, and then sank to her knees to look straight into the intelligent, tawny eyes. "I understand how rare it is for you to meet with humans. Chert and I will speak for Ree with her guild. This should limit your contact with us. I am honored."
Chert nodded and made a noise in her throat but seemed unable to speak, "That you allow us to meet you. That you would hold this young woman in such esteem as to make yourself known to her and, guide and befriend her is a blessing for all of us."
Raow looked at Ree and the other two women. He made a sound in the back of his throat that started like a growl. "RRrre," he looked over at the young woman and tipped his head at her before he looked at Mossel and made the sound again, followed by a pause, while he readjusted his mouth. With effort and a few pauses he uttered, "Lllik Fffam-Llee."
Ree smiled. She was so proud that Raow had made an effort to communicate. She looked over at Mossel who was awestruck before glancing up at Chert, whose expression was incredulous.
Mossel pulled her wits together with effort, then slid her gaze to a smiling Ree and back into the bright eyes of the enigmatic creature before her. "Ree's like family. You said, 'Ree's like family.'" And tears started to run down her face. She turned to Ree, her face glowing. "You have a most wonderful friend and you're blessed to have this phenomenal being as your guide." She turned to Raow, "We are honored. Thank you for befriending this young woman and for allowing us to meet you." She bowed again, as did Chert. Ree put her head alongside Raow's face again and stroked his ear in farewell. The Lyrix made a purring sound deep in his throat. He turned and within a heartbeat, melted into the grass and the shadows.
Ree stood and looked for a long moment toward where the cat had disappeared, then turned and helped Mayor Mossel to her feet. In silence, the three turned back toward the city. It wasn't until they were leaving the harbor area and approaching the tent ward with its soft illumination that Mayor Mossel wiped the tears from her face. It was Chert who spoke, though. She reached up with her hand so Eclaire could step off her shoulder. She held her hand high, allowing the raven to fly into the trees. "Ree, I will never, ever, for as long as I live, forget these last couple of hours." Pulling herself together, she turned to the business at hand. "We need to vaccinate the first half of the caregivers tonight. If those of us who are vaccinated are just inconvenienced by a low localized fever, we will do the rest tomorrow."
Mayor Mossel turned to the young woman and gave her a hug, whispering, "Thank you, Ree."

Published by Paper Crane Books

Holly Barbo's world is shaped by her love of her family, the beauty of the natural world in Northwest Washington State and an irrepressible creative drive.

Living where the scenery is incredible with a rich abundance of wildlife "is so special and soothing that it feels like a quiet kind of magic," according to Barbo. She is drawn to creating stories where there is just a bit of something unworldly, perhaps it is magic or psychic skills. Her stories are mostly in non-urban settings and usually have some focus on nature, building a discordant drama inside the peaceful frame.

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Be sure to follow along to read interviews, excerpts, guest posts, giveaways, and a couple of reviews!

April 1 — Excerpt @ Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
April 2 — Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
April 3 — Guest Post @ KY Bunnies Blog
April 4 — Interview @ Read 2 Review
April 5 — Excerpt @ Turner’s Antics
April 6 — Guest Post @ Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf
April 7 — Interview @ I Am A Reader, Not a Writer
April 8 — Excerpt @ Mistress of the Dark Path
April 9 — Excerpt @ Jessie’s Book Place
April 10 — Spotlight @ Lost to Books
April 11 — Guest Post and exclusive giveaway @ Books a la Mode
April 12 — Guest Post @ Beauty in Ruins
April 13 — Guest Post @ PanDragon Dan
April 14 — Interview @ Ch’kara Silverwolf: Crafter of Magikal Worlds 
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Amanda Jones said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

Diamond Cronen said...

Thanks for hosting! U have so many great giveaways on ur site! I'm so happy I'm a new follower :)

Dee @