Cover reveal, Uncategorized

Cover Reveal! Island of Glass by Ruth Nestvold

 

 

Ruth Nestvold’s YA Fantasy Novella is available for pre-order now – just $.99! It will debut on 10/28/2014.

Seventeen-year-old Chiara Dragoni is a master glassmaker of Venice, a position that is both a privilege — and a trap. For the glassmakers of Murano are forbidden to ever leave the islands of the Venetian lagoon.

When Chiara’s uncle is caught on the mainland and thrown into the dungeon of the Doge’s Palace, she must use all her talents, including magic, to help free him. But the gift she creates for the ruling prince of Venice has unintended consequences, and now Chiara must decide whether to give up everything  — and everyone  — she knows and loves in order to save her dream.

 Set in an alternate historical Venice with alchemists, witches and magic, the story uses familiar motifs from the beloved fairy tale “Cinderella” to tell a tale with a very different message.

Island of Glass is a Young Adult fantasy novella of approximately 25,000 words, or 100 pages. It is the first book in The Glassmakers Trilogy. 

Now available for pre-order for an introductory price of only 99c!

Excerpt 1:

The prince chuckled, placing the second slipper next to its mate on the gilded side table. “Most young women scheme for the opportunity to be alone with a prince of La Serenissima. Yet here you are, offered the chance, and you turn it down.”

Chiara didn’t know what to say. She could only hope that beneath his smiles and chuckles he wasn’t offended. Her plan to gain the prince’s favor was backfiring badly.

“Talented, beautiful, and unusual,” the prince continued. “And quite rich as well, I presume?”

She could tell from the heat of her cheeks that they must be flaming by now. She nodded mutely.

He raised one expertly plucked, aristocratic eyebrow. “And you want me to free your uncle.”

She almost heaved a sigh of relief at his change of subject. She hoped that was the end of his attempts to flirt with her; flirtation was not one of Chiara’s strong points. “The Fenice Glassworks cannot be run properly without Gianfranco Dragoni,” she said. “Surely the Council of Ten cannot wish for such a situation. The taxes we pay are an important source of revenue for Venice, after all.”

He didn’t answer, staring instead at the matching glass slippers. “I wonder if they would fit me. They look to be my size.” He glanced at her again with a suggestive smile. “As if you knew me intimately, my dear.”

Oh, no, she hoped he didn’t intend to actually try the slippers on! They were decorative, not meant to be worn. If they broke and cut his princely foot, he would probably throw her into the prison of the Doge’s palace right alongside Uncle Gian.

He sank into the nearest lavishly upholstered chair and snapped his fingers. “Remove my shoes,” he said to the servant who appeared at his side.

Chiara watched the proceedings, trying to remain composed, given her panic at what would most likely happen next.

Excerpt 2:

Chiara wiped her hands on her apron and lifted the goblet up to the light, inspecting her work critically. The fluted glass flared out like a lily beginning to bloom, and as hard as she tried, she could find no discoloring or bubbles. She breathed a sigh of relief: a nearly perfect piece. It would command a high price among the nobles of Venice and beyond.

The work of the Murano glassmakers was in great demand throughout the world. Their craftsmanship was the basis of their riches — and their curse. Out of fear that they might reveal trade secrets, the laws of La Serenissima decreed that members of the glassmaking families of Murano were never to leave the islands of their lagoon. Murano glass was more precious than gold, after all. Anyone who knew the recipe of the alchemists could make gold, but only the artisans of Murano could make glass so fine, one could nearly touch one’s fingers together on either side; cristallo without an imperfection or blemish, clear as the sky, with a sparkle to rival that of diamonds.

Author bio:

Ruth Nestvold’s short stories have appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov’s, F&SF, Baen’s Universe, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella “Looking Through Lace” won the “Premio Italia” award for best international work. Her novel Yseult appeared in German translation as Flamme und Harfe with Random House Germany and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. It is now available as an ebook in the original English.

Find Ruth Nestvold on the Internet:

Blog: https://ruthnestvold.wordpress.com

Web site: http://www.ruthnestvold.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ruth.Nestvold.Author

Twitter:  @Ruth_Nestvold

Cover reveal, Uncategorized, writing

Revive Us, Oh WIPpeteers!

Hello my friends! I have been absent for a long time now, either leaving on long road trips or heading down to San Diego for the pop culture explosion that is Comic Con or laboring on other projects that have somehow kept me from posting.

Today is the day of the week where I share a little snippet of my work in progress, thus, a WIPpet. It is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel. My WIPpet needs to have something to do with today’s date. And so, today’s snippet relies on WIPpet math – the sixth paragraph on page 8 (for 8/6/14). I’m revising this fantasy novel and it is giving me absolute FITS. I second guess myself so often and worry and fret and in general make myself a mess. Anyhow, I think I know the best path to take now, after much agita. Time will tell, I suppose.

Anyhow, in this scene young Lance has been drugged by some brigands but has managed to escape. He’s staggered through the wilderness until …

I don’t know how much time went by, at most possibly another day, for I vaguely remember night falling again. I remember nothing else, save one muddled instance: someone bending over me, a hand grasping my chin, and raising my head. A blurry face stared into mine. Vague alarm clawed at my mind, but I couldn’t seem to summon the energy to struggle. After a moment, I could no longer even keep my eyes open.

The world drifted away and I knew no more.

Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:

In other news, just last night I published another free short story collection (this one accessible to my non-American friends!) over this away:

Ruling Elite_small

Oh, dear, I just realized that I forgot to credit my cover artist – the indubitable Karri Klawiter. I’ll have to update the file. Anyhow, isn’t she fantastic? Here’s the blurb for the collection:

In The Ruling Elite and Other Stories by Xina Marie Uhl and Janet Loftis you’ll find a collection of short fiction that fuses fantasy with history and anthropology. Hidden within the pages are a slave-mercenary struggling to save the life of his mistress, a palace guard defending his city against the destroyer of prophecy, a wanderer who brings more than just past grief into the lives of four sisters, two men who go on a dangerous hunt to kill the witches destroying their village, an outcast trying to outwit the village oracle and get justice for her murdered mother, and a captain who discovers how high the cost is to return the dead to their rightful homes.

Available now for free at Smashwords