I don't get a chance to spotlight fantasy authors very often. It's not a concious choice; I just don't happen to run in circles with fantasy authors because it's never been a genre I've read much or desired to write in.
But when I went out to Kamilla Reid's website, I thought, "This is cool!" So you know I had to investigate. Kamilla's site is impressive. The color scheme and graphics are stunning and the home page has links to the book's (The Questory of Root Karbunklus) blog, the book's video trailer, and MySpace page. You can find out everything you need to know about Kamilla, the book, signings and other news. And most importantly, there's a link to purchase the book from Amazon.com. So, if you're an author looking to create a fabulous website, you might want to check out Kamilla's for ideas.
Now about the book, the most intimidating aspect of fantasy for me is the creation of worlds and creatures very different from our own. I asked Kamilla to tell us about one of the beasts from The Questory of Root Karbunkulus. She did a fabulous job! Make sure you read on to find out how you could win a free copy of The Questory of Root Karbunkulus.
Without further ado, here is Kamilla Reid:
My name’s Kamilla Reid and I’m the author of a teen fantasy series called “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus”. I’m here to talk about one of the creatures in my story. But first let me give you a brief idea of what the book’s about:
Young Root Karbunkulus gets an invitation to participate in 'the coolest scavenger hunt of all time'! Finally, her chance! She can escape the Aunts and prove once and for all there’s no stinkin’ “L” on her forehead! So what if she's up against hundreds of other kids. It can’t be worse than murder ball. The rules say teams of three. Okay, okay her appointed team mates, Lian and Dwyn are screws-in-the-temples annoying...but livable...and really no worse than Goatface Kor or Hilly Punyun who, forget the panties, has a tiara for each day of the week. More rules: Can't use magic on competitors. Doh! Oh well, at this point her magic is of the non-existent variety anyhow so…next! The first item up for grabs is the Miist of Kalliope, apparently some dead magician's elixir. No prob. But wait. Out of hundreds of teams, there are only six of these Miists to be found? Leaving only six teams left to go after the next item? Then five, four, three, two…woah...this could get ugly....hmmm...compete and win...or go back to exfoliating those hard, crusted entities called Auntie Octavia's feet?
Root Karbunkulus accepts the invitation. It will be a race of many, many hated things. But it will also be a contest of courage, friendship and the rising of soul. Within it Root will learn the terrifying truth behind the mysterious items. She will also discover, to her horror that she is not a player in an innocent kid’s race but a pawn in a vicious adult game.
So as Root and her teammates, Lian and Dwyn set off on their race to find the Miist of Kalliope, they arrive at the Deathyard in the Black Hills and end up chatting with a bunch of headstones. Before they know it, the sun has hotfooted it behind the mountains and night has snuck in one of its not very nice inhabitants, the Beast of Naskaw.
Root grabbed Lian’s arm and turned to ‘forget the whole thing’ but crashed instead head on into holy terror. The monster had been watching for sometime; its leer was frothed in saliva. The malignant eyes licked with bloody intent. Darkness, its very core, disgorged from this beast like steam.
Running was futile.
Root squeezed Lian’s hand and awaited the inevitable.
A whistle split the air and in fractions the black eyes were gone. Root’s ears trailed the beast to a small figure behind them barely lit in the bleak glare of a newly established moon.
“It’s Dwyn!” she shouted.
Lian swung the travel pack from his shoulders and frantically dug in. He pulled out a long tube. It was some sort of algae he’d found along the ocean. He closed his eyes, mouthed a few words then banged it down hard on a stone three, then one, then two times. Instantly the tube emitted a powerfully bright kaleidoscopic light from its end. He scanned it across the black until it captured the site. Root screamed. A demon titan-ed over Dwyn who was scrambling on the ground. The beast’s back hunched. Its hairless black hide glinted with a mesh of silver scarring. The long tail suddenly swung around to reveal a serpent’s head at its end. The snake thrust at Dwyn barely missing him. The monster roared and prepared for a final, deadly strike.
After a narrow escape the headstones direct the team to the Deathyard Keepers, but not before the serpentine tail of the black beast strikes sinking its baneful fangs deep into Root’s back. Lian and Dwyn manage to get her to the Keepers in time but it will be several days before she is fully recovered. During their stay they learn more about the Keepers, Martika and Alabiss who watch over the Deathyard, taking on both physical and ghostly form as needed. They also learn about the Beasts of Naskaw; how they were created to kill kids and can sense them from across an entire forest, which is probably what this one had done. When the kids ask who would do such a thing, they are merely told that the beasts “were created by evil in evil times.”
When the Beast strikes again the Keepers and an army of Eidolon (the ghosts of the headstones) give chase but part of the beast’s magic is being trackless, making it very difficult to capture. When they do eventually find the beast, to their surprise, it is dead!
Alabiss, now in solid form picked up a long stick.
“Stand back,” he cautioned and carefully opened the Beast’s mouth. A putrid steam seeped out with its long, black tongue.
“It’s gone,” noted Martika.
Alabiss explained her observation. “See its tongue? See the round hollow in its center?”
The kids inspected and confirmed the deep crater that sat in the middle of the Beast’s tongue.
“Normally in that hole, fastened by a fleshy sort of netting sits a Black Pearl. And whosoever takes the life of a Beast of Naskaw inherits that Black Pearl, which grants to them as many lives as the Beast took.”
“So, whoever killed the beast now has more than one life?” Root asked for everyone. “Indeed,” Alabiss nodded somberly, “if this Beast was as tenacious as I think it was, then I think its killer shall live for a very long time.”
So, there you have it, Beast of Naskaw 101. There are actually quite a few cool and strange and freaky creatures in “The Questory”, all of which are described on the book’s website. Readers can also check out the award winning book trailer there or pick up a copy of the book or just send me an email. I love getting emails and always get back to them all, usually via my blog.
For a chance to win a free copy of The Questory of Root Karbunkulus leave a comment on this blog between July 9th and July 11th. A winner will be chosen at random from everyone who comments during that time.
THE QUESTORY OF ROOT KARBUNKULUS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on July 7, 2008 and continue all month long. You can visit Kamilla's tour stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in July!
As a special promotion for all our authors on tour, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author with a recent release or a $25 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. One lucky winner per author will be announced at the virtual book tour blog on July 31!
This virtual book tour has been brought to you by: