Forbidden Things: Book One – Dissident
by Nikki McCormack
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Ascard power can strengthen, heal and create. It also has great potential to destroy, enough to topple entire governments. Indigo’s country places strict limitations on the use of ascard so she must channel her talents into the healing arts or risk severe punishment. An orphan from a disgraced family, trapped by her father’s treason, Indigo struggles to reclaim her place in a society that has driven her into an abusive engagement.
Then a mysterious stranger from a neighboring country contacts her using ascard. He needs help escaping his prison so he can bring an end to his emperor’s oppressive rule or die trying. His unshakable devotion to his cause and the passion hidden behind his cool arrogance move her to help him at the risk of being branded a traitor herself.
When the politics of society bring them together a second time, Indigo decides to use her growing powers to help him fight his war. If only she dared fight for her own future with such passion. Perhaps she can find the courage to do so by helping the man she has fallen for win his revolution. She might have exactly the power he needs to succeed.
Resolute, he turned and stepped between the pillars.
The sudden pressure on his lungs was welcome. If he understood the prison, he would return to his rooms in the stronghold, the place he was taken from.
His head spun and he stumbled. His knees struck hard on the pale marble floor of his bedchamber. He ended kneeling like a man at worship before the stand on which he kept his sword. The weapon waited there, a seamless blending of Lyran and Kudaness design tempered with ascard. The gentle curve of the blades razor edge glinted in the light, sharp and clean.
A slow smile spread across his lips and he laughed. When the laughter faded, he stood and grabbed the sword belt lying beside the weapon. He had to tighten it several notches past old wear marks. He gripped the pale wood hilt, delighting in the balanced weight of the lethal blade. It felt natural in his hand, an extension of his being. In a life full of frustration, the weapon was simple and pure. There was no doubt as to its purpose and no question of how it would serve him. If only people could be so simple.
He held his breath, listening to the song of the blade sliding into the sheath. It was exquisite. It sang of blood and vengeance.
He stroked the hilt, his gaze drifting to the door leading out of his chambers. “Shall we see who’s home?”
The Gathering of Likeminded Crazy People
Spending time around people who share your passion for writing and understand its many ups and downs is invaluable. Joining a critique or writing group can be one of the easiest ways to find those people.
If your goal is finding a group to give you feedback on your writing, you need to be willing to give others feedback on their work in return. Finding a good critique group can be challenging. There are certain personalities that can sabotage a good group. There are fragile flowers who ask for feedback then, like a cat grown bored of a petting, will turn on you suddenly when the feedback you give isn’t limited to gushing praise. There are also those who want feedback on their work, but don’t really want to return the favor. Outside of those issues, there are also the challenges of people in those groups tending to write and read different genres, which can lead to skewed feedback. That said, a well-functioning critique group can do amazing things for your writing. You just have to be willing to hunt until you find the right one.
Don’t despair if you can’t find a critique group that suites you. You always have the option of nurturing your own group of beta readers and saving group time for the thing you love most, writing. This is the route I have taken. I have my beta readers who critique my work (some of the most fantastic people I could ever ask for), then I have my writing group. My writing group gets together once a week and writes for at least four hours. When writing time is over, we go have a bite to eat and a drink and talk about writing or whatever else tickles our fancy at the time. We rarely talk about our own plots or story elements as we have our beta readers to do that with. Having that focused time, where everyone around me is also writing, drives me to accomplish more in those four hours than I do any other day of the week.
Try a few different types of groups and find one that works for you. Writing can be a lonely craft. The important thing, in my opinion, is to find people who you can relate to who help you be the writer you want to be. When you find those people, stick with them.
Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12 (which is still tucked away in a briefcase in her office). Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she treated her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy left her with an abundance of free time to focus on making it her career.
Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her awesome husband, two sweet horses, three manipulative cats, and a crazy dog. She’s a wine and tea fanatic who loves sitting on the ocean in her kayak surrounded by open water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She also enjoys horseback riding, archery, PC gaming, dancing, good anime, etc. She studies Japanese and practices Iaido because she believes we should never stop learning.
Twitter handle: @Author_NikkiMc
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NikkiMcCormack
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7437256.Nikki_McCormack
Amazon author page URL: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-McCormack/e/B00N3A8JBQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Barnes & Noble Author URL: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/nikki-mccormack
Elysium Palace: http://www.elysiumpalace.com/dissident
The author will award a $50 Amazon/B&N gift card to one randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.