Publication date: December 29th 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
It’s been three years since we failed Vicky, the child once known as Elizabeth Gray. Three years she’s lived as something not quite alive, but far from dead. Her path grows darker, even as she spreads light and hope through a tortured world. The Destroyer has come to claim her, and I can’t fail her again. I won’t. Elizabeth’s fate lies in the Burning Lands, and we will storm the gates.
It felt good, right even, to be stocking and straightening the shelves again. I pulled a snow globe, of all things, from the top shelf and frowned at the broken Gateway Arch inside. We’d need to return that to the supplier. I shook the glass orb and watched the silver pieces swirl around the cityscape, clicking and tumbling as they went. A vision flashed through my mind, a torrent of power unleashed by the Old Man and the Fae, sending entire cities into oblivion. I shivered and my knuckles whitened on the base of the globe. Falias had appeared in that maelstrom, before the souls had swarmed Vicky and before I had peeled them off her with my necromancy.Vicky.
I was sure Happy would have let me know if he’d learned anything new about Vicky, but I closed my eyes and pushed my aura out anyway. The experience didn’t give me a sense of travel like it used to. The slightest effort told me where the bear was.
“Have you heard anything?” I asked.
The panda raised his head and looked directly at me from his perch inside the birdcage. From Mike? His voice boomed in his panda form. I have not heard from the Smith in days.
“Do you think he’s okay?”
I can’t fully express the unnerving oddity of having a ghost panda laugh at you. Happy’s skull-rattling chuckle faded. He is a fire demon within the Burning Lands. I am certain he is well.
“How’s Vicky?” The question died on my lips and turned to a scream as golden light blinded me.
Damian! Damian, answer me!
The bear’s voice cut through the storm of screams and terror in my head for only a moment, and then chaos reigned. Gold turned to ash, and ash to darkness, as a monstrosity that could not be real blasted my mind. Hunched and looming, with long, silver teeth. Its entire body squirmed and writhed, promising death to all who dared near it.
Light swallowed the awful vision. The nightmare of a thousand dying souls replaced it. The fire, the loss, the light. I didn’t know if it was flames or tears that burned my face, but it felt like my skull was coming apart at the seams. And then the vision was gone. Only darkness remained.
Eric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve loved reading since I was very young. Filling out those little maps the library used to hand out as a “reading challenge” was one of my favorite summer activities between school years. At some point in time, I’m not sure when exactly, I would to wonder as I read ‘Wouldn’t it have been neat if they’d done this, or a character had this ability, or if the rules of the world were just a little bit different?’ It eventually led me to write stories and that led me to write my own books.
If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be?
Foster. He seems to be super popular. ;)
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed making up stories. I had some fantastic teachers in high school that always urged me to pursue writing. I wasn’t really into the idea at the time, as I was still convinced I’d be a rock star. Let me tell you how well that worked out … ;) It wasn’t until about 2005 when I realized I really wanted to sit down and write an entire novel.
What books have most influenced your life?
I will always owe thanks to Robert Asprin for his Myth Adventures series. They are such a wonderful blend of humor and adventure that I loved when I was a kid. Northworld by David Drake single handedly turned me into a huge fan of military science fiction.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Right now, at this moment, my favorite author is Neil Gaiman. What has always struck me about his work, ever since The Sandman, is the flow of the story and the flow of the prose. Everything is clean and the visuals are stunning.
What book are you reading now?
I recently finished the Scorched series by Mari Mancusi and Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman. Completely loved them both. Before that was Hit and Follow Me Boy by Delilah S. Dawson. If you haven’t read her work, it’s a must! I’m currently reading The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.
What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks?
Yes! That’s probably my collector mentality coming through a bit. :) I love the wonderful convenience and portability of ebooks. Of course, I also buy the hardcover releases of all my favorite authors, or paperbacks if they aren’t available in hardcover.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like them to know how much I appreciate them taking the time to read these books. Being able to share these stories with other people who enjoy them has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.