I don’t often do Boosting the Signal posts for books that have been released via traditional publishing–but for Joshua Palmatier, I’m making an exception! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Joshua a couple of times, and more importantly, I’ve had the pleasure of reading his book Well of Sorrows. (You can find my review of same here.) The problem? Not enough people have had the same pleasure. When Well of Sorrows was released, his publisher had, due to prior sales numbers, asked him to release the book under a pen name, Benjamin Tate. Now that series has a new home at Baen, and the first two books of the series have been re-released under the Joshua Palmatier name. If they sell well enough, Baen will release Book 3. And I’m here to tell you: if you like epic fantasy, give this series a look. Joshua’s here today to introduce you to his character Colin! And stand by–a post is coming for Book 2, Leaves of Flame, too!
I wanted to thank Angela Korra’ti for the chance to signal boost my novel WELL OF SORROWS here at the blog. This is an epic fantasy series, with the sequel called LEAVES OF FLAME (also available now) and the third book, BREATH OF HEAVEN, written but not yet released. Here’s a little scene featuring Colin, the main character, and what’s motivating him at the beginning of WELL OF SORROWS. If it piques your interest, then check out the books, available from Baen in ebook format, and on the Kindle and Nook. Hope you enjoy!
Colin chucked a rock at the chunk of driftwood bobbing in the ocean waves along the strand near Portstown. It missed, plopping into the waves shushing onto the pebble beach. He reached for another, but heard Karen calling, “Colin?” from behind him.
He waved and she headed toward him, the breeze coming off the water flinging her hair behind her. He couldn’t help but smile as she settled down onto the salt-bleached log beside him, grabbing her own handful of stones.
“Have you heard?” she asked, excitement threading through her voice as she threw her first rock. “They’re going to send everyone in Lean-to out onto the plains to form a new settlement! My father’s already packing up our things. What little we have.”
“I know. My father’s the one they want to lead the expedition.” He should be more excited. They’d traveled across the Arduon Ocean to the New World, leaving Andover and the brewing Feud between the Families behind, only to discover that the feud had already spread to the newly discovered continent. The land of freedom and opportunity had been anything but, the age-old prejudices alive and thriving here.
The new expedition would give Colin’s family—and all of those in Lean-to—the chance to escape it all, to head into the unexplored plains to the west in their covered wagons and create a new beginning for themselves, one without the Families looming over them. Some of the Portstown representatives would be with them, of course, and the trading company that was funding the settlement, but it wouldn’t be like living in Portstown.
If you could call it living.
And he’d be rid of the governor’s bastard son, Walter. Colin rolled his shoulders, still aching from his stint at the pillory. His skin felt tight from the sunburn, pulsing with its own heat, but the pain was fading.
Karen lobbed another stone and they both heard it knock hard into the wood. She cried out in delight, leaping up and dancing in the sand before dropping back down beside him in laughter. It faded into gasps, then settled into steady breathing as they both stared out over the dark water sparkling with sunlight.
“Maybe this is what my father needs,” Karen finally said, her previous exuberance tainted with faint sorrow. “You know, to get over my mother’s and sister’s deaths on the ship.”
He twined his fingers in hers. “It will help. I’m certain of it.”
She smiled and squeezed his hand, then abruptly stood, pulling him up after her. She was taller than he was, and half the time he didn’t know what to say to her, but it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered except getting her, her father, and his mother and father away from this gods-forsaken town and its bitter governor. Even if it meant heading onto the plains, where anything could be waiting for them.
“There’s so much we need to do,” Karen said, dragging him toward the blade-grass that lined the beach, toward the ramshackle Lean-to built by the refugees from Andover that the governor wanted nothing to do with. “So much to plan, to pack.”
She pulled him up the dune and stood tall at the top, staring out over the rumpled land that spread out to the horizon, her face lit from within by a desperate hope. Colin saw that hope and felt his chest filling with a hard determination. This was their chance. This was what they’d been waiting for. The governor had tried to beat it out of them, had tried to force them to leave Portstown, but they’d held on. And now…
Now he’d been forced to give them what they wanted. And there, at the top of that dune, Colin vowed to himself that he’d do everything he could to keep Karen and his own family safe, that he’d protect them as they forged out onto those plains and started fresh. He’d protect them no matter what.
Even with his life.