We’re so pleased to have author Lou Hoffman joining us today to celebrate the release of her YA Fantasy novel Ciarrah’s Light, from Harmony Ink Press. Lou is here to share some insight into the Sun Child Chronicles series as well as some teasers from the book, so enjoy and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end.
Hi! I’m Lou Hoffmann and I’m very happy to be here on The Novel Approach once again. Thanks for inviting me, Lisa, and thanks all of you readers for being here. I’m hoping you have some opinions or other comments when you’ve read through this post—it’s one of the ways you can enter the giveaway. Good prizes to be had, by the way. Enter as many times as you like! So let’s talk about Ciarrah’s Light, book 3 of The Sun Child Chronicles. It’s YA, but it’s a good read for all ages.
The hero of the Sun Child Chronicles is Lucky, aka Luccan Elieth Perdhro, Mannatha, destined to be Sun Child—Suth Chiell—of the Sunlands, a country in a world called Ethra. I talk about Lucky a lot, and yes, I’m going to talk about him here. He is growing up, as young people will. He turns 16 in this book, though oddly in his home world, 43 years have passed since his birth. That only make sense because of the time he spent in Earth, where time was flowing at quite a different rate. So he doesn’t look 43, and he doesn’t feel 43, he feels 16.
And Lucky’s in love, and he’s missing his boyfriend.
Lucky walked along the ridge toward the northern end. The ridge was bare of tall trees there except for the single oak that gave it its name. Probably the upthrust granite that formed most of the upland on this end, coupled with constant crosswinds sluicing down from the hills on all sides, kept all but the strongest of trees to a low, aromatic scrub. Once there had been more tall, broad trees, though, or at least one more. A long-ago fallen log made a perfect bench for someone who wanted to enjoy those breezes, take in the panoramic view, and be alone with his thoughts.
Lucky settled onto the log and looked out over the Behlvale, which stretched miles across, and many more miles long in both directions. It seemed vast, and the solitude of it peaceful. But after a few minutes of gratefully breathing air he didn’t have to share with anyone, he admitted that honestly, he didn’t want to be alone. He wanted to be with Rio.
Rio, the youngest of Stable Master Morrow’s seven sons, was the only real boyfriend Lucky had ever had, and he hoped it would stay that way. He was young, and who could know what would happen? He could have lots of boyfriends before it was all over. But he loved Rio—loved for real—and Rio loved him back, and Lucky didn’t want to move on. If keeping what he and Rio had meant missing him and being lonely, he was willing to do it.
That didn’t mean he had to like it, though. He remembered running his hands through Rio’s thick black curls, caressing his cheek with its maturing black beard, kissing him. He thought about looking into Rio’s eyes, putting an I love you into real words, walking with him and holding hands. When he imagined these things, he thought he felt an echoing ping against his heart, and he decided to believe Rio was thinking of him too.
He’s not the only one whose romance is moving along, though.
I’ll mention Zhevi in passing. He’s a bisexual young man a little older than Lucky, and at one point he contemplates the fabulous physique of Lucky’s uncle, Han Shieth, remembering an early crush he had on the man—and thinking how much Lucky resembles the older man. But Zhevi has tumbled deeply into infatuation—maybe love—with L’Aria Tira, the strange girl with River Song magic. She’s disappeared, and he can’t even think straight. But for some real trouble in love city, take a look at Han Shieth and Henry George. These two are destined for one another, though they are so taken with each other they don’t give a hoot about destiny. And in Ciarrah’s Light, Henry’s efforts to follow Han to Ethra finally pay out! They do have some sweet moments… Like this moment outside Han’s little house (or his ‘quarters’ as he likes to call them), when Henry has overheard a conversation.
“It’s a little disappointing,” Henry was saying, “to find out that even though I’ve come to a whole new world, there are still people who might hate me because they disapprove of whom I might love.”
Han held Henry’s gaze. Oddly, he couldn’t hear his thoughts at all, though he was pretty sure they were about him, and he’d heard them clearly when Henry was in condor form.
“Thurlock sent me to fetch you for dinner,” Henry said. “You ready?”
Han nodded. “Almost. Let me grab a shirt.”
Henry’s eyebrows went up and he gave Han an obvious once-over. “You look fine without it.”
An uncharacteristic blush heated Han’s neck and climbed onto his face. He was grateful it was likely too dark out for Henry to see it. “Thank you. Uh… I see someone provided you with some new clothes.”
“Yeah! Thurlock sort of conjured them up for me.” He struck a pose. “Whaddaya think? Not quite what I’m used to. This skirt… kilt—”
“We call it a khalta, here.”
“Okay. Anyway, it’s a little breezy, if you know what I mean.”
Han chuckled and gave a slight nod. “You wear it well,” he said and turned to go inside. Though not long ago, morose would have been a good word to describe his mood, when he left Henry waiting on his porch, he felt like smiling. Whistling a tune maybe. Even skipping. He did smile a little, but let the urge to do anything ridiculous pass, and stuck to business. He put on a shirt and tunic and gathered his hair in a tight braid, then checked the box on his desk where copies of reports his staff sergeant left in his headquarters office would appear by magic. He didn’t understand the magic, of course—it had been set up by Thurlock years ago—but he didn’t think it any stranger than the fax machines he’d seen in Earth, and the function was pretty much identical. He glanced through them, separated out the two he knew Thurlock would want to see as soon as possible, folded them, and stuck them in the pocket of his tunic.
He let the gentle smile settle back onto his face as he walked back out onto the porch. Henry was leaning against the rail at the bottom of the steps, looking away toward the manor where the last traces of daylight scattered like gold dust over the ground.
Han stepped down, took Henry’s arm without fanfare, and steered him toward the darkling path. “For the record,” he said, his voice low and his lips not all that far from Henry’s ear, “there’s no chance I’ll hate you for whom you might love.” After a few more steps he added, “Though I’ll admit, under certain circumstances, I could get a little jealous.”
But trouble arrives in the lovers’ paradise…
… because Henry is a brave soul. I won’t tell you about how that happens, because spoilers, but let’s just say Han has an overprotective streak. (And don’t worry—all is not lost! There are three more books to go, and besides, I just can’t bring myself to be that heartless.)
Of course, I need to say “read the book(s) to find out what happens in the love stories. Really though, the main story is epic fantasy, a tale of adventure, quest, and people of all ages growing into themselves. All of the books are on discount right now—book 1 (Key of Behliseth) is free, and book 2 (Wraith Queen’s Veil) and 3 (Ciarrah’s Light) are 30% off—so this is a great time to grab up the series!
But how about that giveaway! Read on to find out all the details, but 1st prize is $15 to spend on reading, and there’s three ways to enter. The most fun way to enter is to take the “I love fantasy world’s because…” poll, but you can also tweet a message, or comment on this post (or any other post in the blog tour.) You can make any comment at all, but I’d love it if you’d answer one of these questions: Do you have a favorite fantasy romance from a book or movie? How about two people from a fantasy book or movie whom you’d like to ship? Or, if you never, ever read or watch fantasy maybe just tell me why? I appreciate you stopping by to read, and I especially appreciate your comments—I’ll be by to respond!
If you want to follow the blog tour, here’s a link to all the Ciarrah’s Light release blog tour stops (and other events)
About the Book
Author: Lou Hoffmann
Title: Ciarrah’s Light
Series: The Sun Child Chronicles
Series book number: Three
Series type: True series, read in order
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover artist: Catt Ford
Length: Novel, 120k words approx
Genre, tropes, types: YA Fantasy (sci-fi elements, LGBTQ+ Characters include Gay Teen MC, limited romance elements, series is coming-of-age/meeting destiny)
Notes: Includes violence in fantasy setting, no sexual elements, MC age is 16
Keywords: fantasy, epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, dragon, magic, wizard, shifter, destiny, battle, YA, teen, LGBTQ+
Buy Links: Harmony Ink || Dreamspinner Press || Universal 3rd Party Links
Series description: Cursed and exiled to Earth by a witch, Lucky has only his name, a pocketful of strange items, and the destiny to become the Sun Child and lead his world through its darkest time. In an epic adventure full of dragons, shifters, talismans, magic, alien enemies, shifting time, and wars waged for survival, humanity’s only hope is one young man’s unquenchable strength, spirit, and heart.
Blurb: Luccan, future Suth Chiell of the Ethran Sunlands, also known as Lucky, has reached the end of a months-long adventure and gained much. Now he wants nothing more than to relax and recover at home. His mother’s apparition has other ideas, and dark dreams drag Lucky farther and farther into unconsciousness until he’s nearly dead. With help from Lucky’s sentient obsidian blade, Ciarrah, he makes it back to the light, only to find his country is in deep distress, and it’s getting deeper.
The wizard Thurlock, Lucky’s dragon-kin uncle Han, and other friends help him muddle through as he becomes the channel for prophecy. War erupts in the Sunlands, and in a battle against wraiths created by the advanced science of a dying world, Lucky plays a key role. Physical weapons can’t stop the enemy, but Ciarrah’s light can, and only Lucky can wield it. With the help of his winged horse, his boyfriend, and Thurlock, Lucky sets out to prevent his mother’s shade from wreaking any more havoc. But will stopping her end the horrors facing his world?
About the Author
Lou Hoffmann, a mother and grandmother now, has carried on her love affair with books for more than half a century, and she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman (of European and Native American descent), Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age, sexuality, and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.