My two Color Mage novels have been reissued with great new covers, and are now available on Amazon!
These are the same complex, character-driven fantasy novels about Callo and Kirian, fleeing from the wrath of a Collared Lord into even greater danger. Now published by Hydra Publications and re-issued with new covers. They’re also available in ebook versions.
The Color Mage books, now published by Hydra Publications, will be receiving new covers and titles. The new versions will be available soon on Amazon. Here’s an advance look at the new cover images for the books!
I’m delighted to be a guest this week on Lorna Suzuki’s blog, “All Kinds of Writing”. Lorna asked some interesting questions about my writing process and about the two Color Mage novels. Check out the interview here!
Loconeal Publishing — the publisher of Color Mage and Sword of Jashan — has now become an imprint of Hydra Publications. Hydra features science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Hydra also has other imprints that feature mystery, thrillers and romance.
I’m excited to become a Hydra Publications author! Here’s a link to Hydra’s main page, where you can check out recent posts from this multi-genre publisher, or click on the “Authors” tab to discover some of Hydra’s talented writers.
My short story, “Daughter of the Righ”, has been reprinted in the January-March issue of the web-based magazine Lorelei Signal. This online magazine is dedicated to publishing fantasy stories about complex female characters.
“Daughter of the Righ” is set in the same world as my Color Mage novels — but about 20 years earlier, so no spoilers! In the story, young Hira Noh must escape a betrothal to the Collared Lord who killed her best friend — an event in her early life that eventually led to her becoming the strong, unusual character she is in Sword of Jashan.
I had a wonderful time at the Yellow Springs Book Fair, until we got rained out pretty late in the day. Most of the booksellers had tables of used books (children’s, cookbooks, science fiction, even a Girl Scout Brownie handbook from a LONG TIME AGO that brought back memories), but there were a few authors there as well.
The event was held on the grounds of the Mills Lawn Elementary School. I loved their beautiful sign:
Before the end of the day, I left signed copies of Color Mage and Sword of Jashan at a local bookstore. They’re available at Epic Books on Xenia Street in Yellow Springs. Here’s a link to the store Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/epicbookshop/
I haven’t done this for a while, so I thought I’d blog an excerpt from Sword of Jashan. This section is from Chapter One, immediately after young Ander is wounded by unknown attackers on a night patrol with his father, Lord Zelan of Northgard.
Sword of Jashan Excerpt (by Anne Marie Lutz)
The old Hunter walked over to offer an arm for Ander’s support. With a nod of thanks, Ander accepted. He felt shaky, either from the effects of the wound or from his use of color magery, he did not know.
What kind of heir would he be to the legendary Sharpeyes, King Martan, strong in arm and in his magery, if he couldn’t weather what his stepfather said was a scratch? With this thought, Ander mounted his mare and urged her on.
The fallen Hunters and the dead attackers lay sprawled across the trail. He clenched his jaw tight against the onset of tears as he thought of the fallen Innes. He knew Lord Zelan would send men back from Littleseed to bring back the honored bodies of the dead Hunters, and to bury the attackers somewhere in the woods. He slumped in the saddle, afraid in spite of what his stepfather had said. After a few moments he began to feel lightheaded.
The trees thinned out. The farmland belonging to Littleseed stretched out dark and lush with the summer’s crops before them. Beyond the fields was the village itself, just a few huts and a central guesthouse visible in the black night only because of the candlelight in their windows. Ander followed Zelan toward the low building in the middle of the village. As they approached, a woman of middle years walked out from one of the huts closest to the guesthouse. She held a lamp.
“Is it Lord Zelan, then?” she asked, holding the lamp to illuminate their faces. “And five others?”
“One of us is wounded, Morem,” Lord Zelan said. “My son.”
Morem peered back through the darkness at Ander. She did not smile, and Ander thought her unwelcoming. Then she said, “My lord, we will make room in the guesthouse.”
Ander slid off his mare and was grateful when someone led her away to be cared for. Hon Kirian led the way into the guesthouse and pointed toward one of the cots that lined the walls. “Sit there,” she said. “This wound needs cleaned better than I could do in the woods.”
“Thank you, Hon Kirian.”
The thin man, Chiss, had gone out as soon as they arrived and now brought in a tub of warm water. Kirian dipped a clean cloth in the tub as Ander pulled his tunic away from the wound. He shivered as the water touched his side. Averting his eyes from what Kirian was doing, he watched the newcomers to distract himself.
Ander knew of Lord Callo ran Alkiran. He was actually his distant kin — the bastard nephew of King Martan, born of Martan’s sister, Sira Joah, by some unknown father. A bastard righ was rare; usually any such complications of righ affairs were disposed of, so as not to weaken the bloodlines and the precious mage talent. This one had been allowed to live, and not only that but had been raised in the palace, under the King’s distant supervision. Ander had met Callo back in Sugetre; the man was almost thirty and had paid little attention to Ander, but Ander remembered the man’s amber eyes and the impression of his almost unbreakable control.
Lord Callo was in some kind of disgrace, Ander thought. He had disappeared from Seagard without leave, and the King had declared his estate forfeit. Now he was here, in tiny Littleseed of all places, by this Kirian’s word on his way to see Lord Zelan.
Kirian put away the wet cloth. “It’s not so bad. It’s done bleeding, and seems to be a clean wound. But see where it is, across the ribs? If it had been deeper, it would’ve been serious. You had a close call. I don’t have the proper herbs with me, so you’ll need treatment from Hon Jesel in the morning, at Northgard.”
“Who sent those men?” Ander asked.
His stepfather replied. “I think they were Sword of Jashan. They wore gray, and no badge. One of them rode off when the color magery was loosed. Did they come through here?”
“We’ve seen no one else,” Morem replied. “But we have your prisoner locked up in the root cellar. A couple of our boys are watching to make sure he doesn’t escape.”
“I’ll see him in the morning,” Zelan growled. “Get out of him whatever he knows. The rebels have an encampment somewhere nearby — I’ve begun to hear rumors.”
Callo grimaced in distaste. “No need, Lord Zelan. We can find out what we need by other means.” He glanced over to where the narrow-faced man worked on the packs. “Chiss, let us go and see if we can identify the rest of those men, before any of their friends return for the bodies.”
Chiss handed Lord Callo his sheathed sword and sword-belt.
Before he left, Zelan gestured to his remaining Hunter. “Go with them. Take a couple of men from the village to help you bring back our own.”
The Healer paused and glanced over at the group as they walked outside. Ander told her, “My father does not trust Lord Callo. He wants witnesses.”
“He does not know us. But I can assure you that Lord Callo had nothing to do with the attack on you.”
Ander winced and pulled away. The Healer was wrapping the wound, and it hurt. She looked up at him with an apology, her eyes smiling. He gave back a tentative smile. She was young, maybe in her mid-twenties; her face was slightly round, her skin fresh and clear, and her eyes a soft brown. He looked down at her hands as they finished their work, admiring their grace.
She stood. “Now, do you want some mellweed?”
“No. There’s hardly any pain.”
“If you change your mind in the night, send someone for me. I will be on the other side of the guesthouse with one of Morem’s daughters. Just behind that door, see?”
“Will I sleep in here?” he asked, looking around. With Lord Callo, whom I do not trust? he wanted to add.
“Don’t worry. You’ll be perfectly safe.” She took her leave and headed for the other side of the guesthouse. In the center of the room, his stepfather stood eating bread and drinking ale, talking to Morem.
One of the village women brought Ander bread and fruit. Ander thanked her and settled back on the cot, exhausted. His side did ache, but he wanted no mellweed. He wanted to wait until Lord Callo and the others had returned, to find out who had dared try to kill him. A sense of foreboding hung over him, as if his life was about to change in unpleasant ways.
He awakened sometime in the night. Booted feet echoed on the wooden guesthouse floor. Lord Callo and the others who had gone out to investigate the attackers had returned. A single lamp was still lit. Ander watched through sleepy eyes as the men took ale and bread from the table and began to report their findings. There seemed to be some disagreement; he heard Zelan’s low voice, tense with disbelief, although the men tried to keep their voices low to avoid waking the sleepers.
Lord Zelan stepped back from the others, shaking his head. Ander heard the words “King’s man” and all at once was awake, eyes wide, feeling as if the world had shifted beneath him. He drew a blanket around him and sat up to watch the others argue. Apparently, Lord Callo did not think the attackers were with the rebel group Sword of Jashan. Lord Callo thought the King his uncle had sent men to murder him.
I’ll be posting a new story in three segments, beginning tomorrow. Daughter of the Righ is set in the world of Color Mage and Sword of Jashan.
If you’ve read Sword of Jashan, you know the character of Hira Noh during her middle years. Daughter of the Righ explores what happened to Hira when she was a very young woman, and set her on the path to her role in the novel. It’s an old-fashioned tale that isn’t so old-fashioned in the end.
The story is readable with no previous knowledge of the world of Righar. And there are no spoilers for the novels.
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3. Don’t forget to scroll through the book cover images to find some new favorite authors! Sword of Jashan is the first cover in the fourth row.
If you’ve been wanting to discover some new authors, this is a good opportunity. Also, I’d appreciate your support! And entering the raffle gives you a chance at winning the new Kindle Fire or one of the four Amazon gift cards.
A little more about the world of Color Mage and Sword of Jashan:
Kirian graduated from the Healer’s College. Here’s a little more about the school that saved Kirian’s life.
The Healer’s College is located in Sugetre, the capital city of Righar. It’s a treasured institution, teaching an advanced form of healing that depends upon the use of natural herbs and medicines. College-trained Healers never use amulets or other false magery in their work.
The Healer’s College has a close association with the noble righ — Kirian believes, too close. Second and third sons of the righ frequently study at the College, and sometimes end up after graduation posted at their own family estates as a sort of private Healer.
Healer Jesel, who is posted to Lord Zelan’s estate, said, “The College means well, but its healing is often diverted to those who can afford it, it is true.”
The founder of the College was a rich man, a brilliant righ with a hunger for knowledge, but he was far from the best of men. A late-life conversion to the worship of the Unknown God drove him to decree that the Healer’s College take on a charity student every five years. It is not known whether his charity affected the way he was treated in the afterlife.
So it was that when Kirian was ten, a man wearing Healer’s insignia swept into the filthy streets where she ran wild.
Clearly unwilling to wander around the slums of Sugetre, he planted himself at the bar at Mik’s tavern and grabbed Kirian when she ran in to deliver a message. She squirmed, but he kept a tight hold on her shoulder as he told her why he was there.
“This is a rare opportunity,” he told her, looking down at her from the bar stool. He took a sip of his beer and made a face. Kirian could have told him not to drink Mik’s sour beer.
She didn’t like his clammy grip or his disagreeable tone, but everyone in the slums revered the College and was grateful for the free clinic it provided every sennight. And she knew she was on borrowed time running messages for Mik; as soon as she grew a little older, she would be forced into servitude or prostitution. So she agreed. It would get her off the streets.
The Healer told her to get her things and come with him. He shoved the yellow beer away and threw a few coins on the bar. He never asked for her parents’ permission, and indeed Kirian had none any more. She wondered if he knew this, or if he just didn’t care.
Many years later, Kirian had become one of the finest Healers of the College. She was sent to Seagard Castle to work with old Healer Ruthan.