Uncommon World #1
April 4, 2017
Flights of Fantasy
September 4 - 11, 2017
Set in a lush, high-fantasy world inspired by ancient Mediterranean cultures, Waters of Salt and Sin is perfect for Game of Thrones and Sabaa Tahir fans.
When seventeen-year-old salt witch Kinneret learns of a lost island of silver, she sets out to find it, raise her status, and finally have a chance to wed Calev, the high-caste friend she secretly loves.
But when a madman enslaves her sister, Kinneret must make a deal with the local ruler: Find the island to secure the ruler’s place in history. In return, the woman’s fighting sailors will rescue Kinneret’s sister.
Using Salt Magic to navigate cursed waters, Kinneret and Calev struggle to hide their taboo, caste-breaking feelings, knowing if the ruler witnesses the attraction, she will cancel the agreement. But when Calev makes a terrible mistake, Kinneret must choose between the life of her only remaining family member and saving the boy she loves from a traitor’s death.
I stumbled upon this book sort of by accident. I saw it listed for free in one of the book bargain newsletters I subscribe to. I download a lot of freebies that way and I was feeling a little guilty because they sit there unread. So, after a wave of guilt, I pulled up my massive list of books and chose this one at random.
And boy was I glad I did!
This book has it all. Action and adventure; a kick-ass heroine; a sweet love interest; and so much more! Taking place in a fantasy world where slavery is still an accepted practice, Kinneret is in the lowest caste there is. She and her sister, Avi, man a boat with a grumpy man named Oron. When her sister is kidnapped by slavers while they are on a quest for treasure that would buy their way up to a higher caste – a caste high enough to marry Calev, the boy she loves – her mission becomes more difficult than ever.
Over the years since indie publishing has become a thing I’ve had a lot of negative experiences with poorly written and unedited books being put out for public consumption. Fortunately, that was not the case with Waters of Salt and Sin. I could not tell you the difference between this and a book published by one of the big NY publishers. The authors writing is compelling and interesting. Something was always happening in the story and I had a hard time putting it down. If there had been a cliffhanger ending I would have bought book 2 right away. Fortunately for me there wasn’t, but I do have the next book in this series on my TBR for when my obligated reading list shrinks a bit.
So, should you read it? Fans of YA fantasy will gobble up this adventure. Great characters, an interesting plot and world, and pretty much non-stop action.
The glimmering saltwater winked at me and I gave it a lazy smile.
“Soon,” I whispered before heading back down.
I was a great liar, but I didn’t rejoice in it. Lying was the skill of the desperate, something I intended to stop being as soon as possible.
I shook, my teeth grinding, and the bells of my sash jingling. My dreams were broken, cracked at mid-mast and beyond repair.
Silver. Loads of it. More than I could picture in a thousand of my low-caste, spit-on, calloused dreams. It would be raw. It could be cursed. But it would be ours.
I was in love with my best friend.
And he couldn’t know until I had the silver to buy my way to high-caste. Only then could he consider me.
“What’s this about?” Calev asked. “I’m all for avoiding harvest prep—it’s exactly as appealing as a hug from Aunt Y’hudit—but usually I know what kind of adventure you’re dragging me into.”
I ignored his all-too-common, close-minded view on the line between religion, magic, and science. To me, they were just different words for the same thing.
“You don’t know what it’s like to have people push in front of you. To be refused service at the market because of bells.”
To watch the boy you love be promised to a girl only because of her caste.
“I was raised in a roadside brothel by a mother who fancied traveling theatre players,” Oron said to Calev, his words whipping toward us as the wind rose even higher, and we sped forward. “I speak the tongue of the wicked and witty.”
“The amir might not like this. You must be quiet, and still.”
I nodded. “I’ll be as inactive as your mind.”
“What?” I echoed.
A ruthless amir grabbing for my silver.
My innocent sister twisting and screaming in the hands of a madman.
Salt Wraiths and legendary sea monsters.
I looked down at my hands, which suddenly didn’t seem as strong as they’d always been.
He was my luck, my heart, the blood in my veins, and somehow, some way, I would have him.
His first loyalty was to his people. Not to me. Not to the love sprouting between us.
My (Writing) Life
It’s the same thing I always say, it’s been too long between posts. I’ve been staying busy with a thousand things with my publishing job. I’m hoping things will slow down a little with the year coming to a close. Though we don’t aim to publish in December, there’s still plenty work going on in the background getting ready for January. But I’m still hoping the workload will slow at least a bit!
I’m officially DONE with edits on PEACE IN FLAMES! I’m going through a final proofing right now. I sent the book to my Kindle and I’ve got the device reading to me so that I can catch the little errors that my eyes may miss. I’m so excited to have her ready to go well before her release in February!
I had a glorious evening last night working on SUMMER OF PEACE. So much progress made. Unfortunately my heroine, JoJo, is mad at me today, so I’m a bit stuck. I know that sounds weird, but I swear, this character has taken on a life of her own. I always thought authors were crazy when they talked about “characters talking” to them. But alas, I’m one of the crazies now. JoJo is very loud, except today. Today I threw something at her that she’s having trouble processing.
Until next time….