Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#BLAST and #GIVEAWAY: Whispers of the Skyborne by SM Blooding


WhispersoftheskyborneThe world has changed. The Great Families are no longer in power. Queen Nix of the Hands of Tarot has been stripped of her title and incarcerated. The League of Cities has been formed to provide a new line of defense to the smaller tribal nations. Not without consequences, though. Another of the original Great Families has been destroyed. As the new leaders rise from the ashes, a new threat comes to light; something no one saw coming, something that had been lurking under the surface of their society for generations. The Skyborne. As they discover just how deep the Skyborne’s influences are, they realize the war they thought they’d been fighting . . . . . . wasn’t the real one.

Amazon / Whistling Book Press

Get book 1 and book 2 HERE

Read an Excerpt

I spun the wheel to seal the thick door behind me and stepped into a narrow hallway. A slight breeze ran along the walls. Doors lined either side. This was the heart of the Khayal Layal. Behind each door resided her engines, her heart, her soul. The wall abruptly ended on my left and muggy air hit me like an invisible screen. Vegetation in varying sizes and colors filled the large cavern. This was the Layal’s heart. The menagerie. Air jellies floated near the top, chittering to one another with clicks and squeaks, their jellyfish tails fluttering behind them. Three of them appeared to be playing chase. They were baby letharan, truth be told. Their bodies produced the gases that kept us afloat. In the Samma’s, we’d kept one in a harness, offering him protection in exchange for his service. We didn’t keep individuals in service long. They didn’t much enjoy being harnessed and they were poisonous, lethal when angered. However, here, we were able to protect them better and give them a better way of life. Baby letharan were delicate, their only defense being a toxic poison that seeped along their skin. As they matured to adolescents, as most of these had, they were able to produce an electric shock. In the air and in the ocean, they had many predators, sky cats being the fiercest. Few letharan survived into adulthood. Most that did were bonded to a tribal leader and a city was built within their tentacles. The older the letharan, the wiser they were. A valuable asset. I had bonded with an older adolescent, his longest tendrils touching the shallow pool of water lining the bottom, his medusa nearly touching the ceiling when he puffed his body up. As a letharan aged, they needed water more, for the nutrients mostly. He flared his hood and whoofed a puff of bitter-smelling air down on the younger jellies. They quieted, turning their belled hoods toward me. My lethara reached out a smaller tentacle and wrapped it around my bared neck. He was at the age where this simple touch wouldn’t kill me, but if he chose to, he could with ease. I nuzzled my face into his clammy, opalescent skin and smiled. I called up emotions of thanks, sending them through my hand. An answer met my heart, one of graciousness. I moved to break the embrace. A ping of curiosity zipped through me like electricity. Speaking letharan was difficult. They existed on a much higher level of consciousness than me. What was he curious about? He lowered himself and an intricate sense of tightening entered my mind. Tightening. Like…the pressure of descent. Oh. He was asking why we were descending. Right. I gathered my thoughts and sent them to him, relaying as much information about Ino City, about my sister possibly being in danger. I didn’t know how much of that he would get. Did he understand politics, or was that below him? How could he comprehend what I sent him? I barely did. His tentacles took on a red glow. I nodded and patted his skin. “Be careful. Keep the menagerie under control and the ship flying. We’re not losing anyone tonight.” He woofed again, his hood rippling along the edges as he rose. A dozen falcons resided in the high branches of the thicker vines of the mini-rainforest. They squawked, but not at me. Their little heads swiveled one way, then the next, puffs of smoke seeping through their beaks. They kept the ecosystem balanced, where my lethara kept it under control. I whistled and raised my right forearm, protected with a leather brace. A brace I never thought I’d wear. Every spring, as we entered our adulthood, we would venture to the craggy peaks where the spitfyre falcons roosted, and we’d take younglings. Back on our airships, we would bond with them and train them. I’d been imprisoned by Nix, Queen of Wands. I’d lost my opportunity to bond with one of them. But when my fleet had been destroyed, some of the falcons had fled unscathed. It was said, however, that once a falcon bonded to a human, they could not re-bond. I didn’t care. They had been in our world too long. I couldn’t release them to the wild. So, I kept the dozen or so that had survived, knowing I would never share the bond my father had, or my sister. One falcon separated from the rest, launching herself gracefully into the air, her serpentine tail rolling with her movement. With a deafening screech, she landed on my arm. Du’a. Somehow, we were bonding to one another. It didn’t make sense. There was no reason for it. It shouldn’t be happening, and yet? It was. She wrapped her serpentine tail around my shoulders, her claws digging into my leather jacket. A flash of emotion akin to curiosity hit me with a vision of blank fog. “We’re going to Ino City,” I told her. A picture of the great letharan city filled my mind with a tremble of danger. I nodded. “Exactly. I need you to stay here. Guard the menagerie. Keep them safe.” She let out a screech that made my left ear ring, fire belching from her beak. Another falcon answered, followed by the rest until the structural members of the belly of the Layal quaked. Visions assaulted me. The little blue creature that kept the toxins of the air jellies from poisoning the crew. The little gold ring creature that kept the area at the right temperature. The moss bugs. The stick walkers. I held up my free hand. “What are you telling me?” The visions stopped and a feeling overwhelmed me. Assured safety and protection. “Thank you.”

Meet the Author:

SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation. She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories. She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Find out more about her at:

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