Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Promo & Tour: Of the Divine by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Title: Of the Divine
Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Genre/Age: Fantasy/Adult
Series: Mancer (Book Two)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
SynopsisHenna is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Order of Napthol, and her runes ’s runes tell her that the future of Kavet is balanced on the edge of the knife. The treaties between Kavet and the dragon-like race known as the Osei have become intolerable. The time has come for the royal house to magically challenge Osei dominion. Prince Verte, Henna' lover, is to serve as the nexus for the powerful but dangerous spell, with Naples--an untested young sorcerer from the Order of Napthol--a volatile but critical support to its creation.

Amid these plans, Dahlia Indathrone’s arrival in the city shouldn’t matter. She has no magic and no royal lineage, and yet, Henna immediately knows Dahlia is important. She just can’t see why. 

As their lives intertwine, the four will learn that they are pawns in a larger game, one played by the forces of the Abyss and of the Numen—the infernal and the divine. 

A game no mortal can ever hope to win.

“You cannot live your life as a slave to those who have gone before,” Verte replied. “You need to let the living and dead alike move on.”

Wenge glared up at him. Verte paused, keeping his stance and expression neutral as he raised magical shields against a possible attack.

“You don’t know where the dead go,” Wenge accused. “We talk of the realms beyond, of the Abyss and the Numen, but no one really knows for sure what happens once our shades pass out of the mortal realm. What if we just go screaming into the void? What if—”

Verte took the man’s frail, trembling hand in his own. He wished he could use his magic to urge him to keep moving, but Wenge’s decision whether to demand a trial or to take the brand willingly needed to be made without magical coercion.

“Even the royal house, with all our strength and training and resources, does not practice death sorcery. Maleficence or not,” Verte said, hoping the words would pierce the man’s sudden anxiety, “if you continue to let your power use you this way, it will kill you before the year is out. Of that I am certain.”

Wenge’s body sagged. He waved a hand next to his face as if to chase away a buzzing fly—or in this case, a whispering spirit. He flinched at whatever the ghost said, then muttered, “I do not know what to be without it.”

Five Favorite Movie Scenes
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Note from Dawn: Images added by me!

Oh dear. I have a 3-year-old. Ask me a question like this, and suddenly I can’t remember a single movie with a rating above PG that I’ve ever watched in my life. So, the following aren’t necessarily my favorite scenes of all time-- once I send this in, I’ll probably remember a dozen better ones I should have said-- but this is what first comes to mind.

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  1. The Stand
I’ll start with a long-time favorite. There’s a scene in The Stand (1994 miniseries based on the novel by Stephen King) where, after the plague kills 99.9% of the population, the survivors get together and hold their first town council-- their first attempt to reform government. One of the characters suggests singing the National Anthem. After a few awkward seconds of silence, one woman stands up and starts to sing… then others join her… until slowly the whole group joins in.

I remember trying to explain to friends in high school why I liked this scene so much, and failing utterly. I consider myself a deeply patriotic person (though I’ve come to realize that what I call patriotism and what other people call patriotism often aren’t the same), but it isn’t so much the song itself that makes the scene so memorable to me, but the power of voices coming together to represent an ideal and a concept. Don’t get me wrong-- even in the movie, and more so in the book, it’s acknowledged that the government created the plague, and maybe government isn’t always for the best-- but the song is used to represent the positive aspects of this society, and how people can join together to create it. It represents hope, to me. Our society is broken, but there’s hope to make it better.

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2. Enchanted

Okay, that’s as serious as I’m going to get today. This is actually the scene that came to mind immediately when I read the prompt: the moment when Giselle goes to clean the apartment, and starts singing to summon all the adorable animals to help her, and rats, pigeons, flies and cockroaches all come scurrying to help. It’s funny, since I’m actually quite phobic of cockroaches in real life, but the image of them coming out of the drain and synchronizing as they sing a “Happy Working Song” and scrub the tub always gives me a chuckle.

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3. Wonder Woman

For a recent one, the scene on the boat with Diana and Steve talking about the role of men in society cracked me up. I recently learned that most of it was improvised. This is a newer movie, so I don’t want to spoil it too much, so I’ll just say it was one of my favorite recent scenes (... also one of the few non-animated movies I’ve watched recently, but I don’t think that’s the reason I loved it.)

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4. The Burbs

For another way-back Wednesday, there’s the 1989 movie about the suburbs, and the paranoia and obsessions intrinsic to such a place. I’m not sure I would call this a great (or even good) movie, but it will forever hold a sentimental place in my heart because of the way it satirizes the kind of community where I grew up: small town suburbia, where everyone is in each other’s business and everyone feels they should have a say in what everyone else does. I’m not sure what I would pull out as the best scene, but the one that comes to mind first is near the end, when Ray kind of snaps and starts ranting about how their neighbors aren’t the weird, crazy ones-- it’s them (him and his friends).

Growing up, I was never sure if we were the “weird house” or not. On my current street, where I own a home, I sometimes I still wonder.

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5. Warm Bodies

Apparently, my favorite movies mostly have to do with the moment that made me laugh. In case you missed it, Warm Bodies is a zombie romantic comedy. What none of the advertisements mentioned was that it is also a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet… with zombies.

Now, I’m a Shakespeare nerd. I actually didn’t pick up one the main characters’ names (R and Julie), so I think it was when R comes up to Julie’s balcony at night that I finally caught on and laughed out loud in the theater.

In conclusion…

So, there’s a snapshot of my mind: humor, zombies, patriotism, suburbia, Shakespeare, and singing, dancing, cleaning vermin. You know, that’s a pretty good summary!

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha’ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail.


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