Monday, August 4, 2014

Aerenden Series by Kristen Taber Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Aerenden Series (The Child Returns, The Gildonae Alliance and The Zeiihbu Master)
by Kristen Taber



Book One: The Child Returns

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.

Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance

Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.

Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master

Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.



Excerpt One:
THE WALLS fell in first. A flash of light and smoke came next. Or could it have been the other way around? It happened so fast, she could not remember. The air smelled funny, like when Papa put out the fire before bed. It filled her mouth and her nose. It stuffed her lungs and clogged her breathing. Then it turned thick and black so she could not see. She coughed. She tried to stand, to run, but her legs sagged beneath her. Tugging on a curtain, she pulled three times before she grew tired of toppling over, and crawled toward her bedroom. She called for her mama, but heard only the sound of distant screams through the smoke. None of them was Mama.

“Mama? Mama?” she cried again, feeling her way along the floor. Her fingers brushed a rug, soft and cool compared to the stone floor. A glowing fire consumed part of the room, heating the stone. It crept toward her. Fires hurt. Papa had told her she should not touch them. Sometimes she thought about trying to see if he was right, but she did not want to try with this one. It seemed angry. Its flames popped and snarled.

The couch began to glow, and then disappeared as the fire swept over it. It folded in half, crashing to the floor with a loud bang. She yelped. Tears stung her eyes and wet her cheeks. Her arms shook. Her legs trembled. She backed away, and found the table that usually stood in the middle of the living room. It must have toppled over too. It lay on its side next to a body that looked like Mama.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Bangor, Maine, not far from Stephen King. Half-way through my junior year of high school, I moved to Central Florida, where I lived for 15 years before moving to the suburbs of Washington D.C. I’ve also lived in Southern California, so I guess you can say I’ve had my fair share of experiences with different areas of the United States. Witnessing and living in such varying cultures has been a fascinating experience; it’s definitely shaped me and the way I write about cultures in my books. It doesn’t take a huge geographical change to alter what matters to people and how their priorities are formed.

Tell us your latest news?
My third book in the Ærenden series, The Zeiihbu Master, released March 25th to a wonderful reader reception. I also attended my first Book Festival on April 5th at the University of Central Florida where I sat on a fantasy panel and met a lot of amazing fans and some truly awe-inspiring authors. I definitely don’t want that festival to be my last. On the writing front, I’m finishing my first Contemporary Romance novel and working on the fourth book in the Ærenden series. I can’t wait to share what happens next. There are so many surprises coming up in the war, including an attack on the castle in an attempt to reclaim it from Garon. I’m excited!

When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since Kindergarten (well, before, but I technically couldn’t write then). Mostly, I invented plays for my friends to act out or wrote short stories for class assignments or because I was bored and couldn’t find anything on TV. As I grew older, my focus moved to novels. I developed ideas in several genres over the years, but discarded writing as frivolous until I came face-to-face with my own mortality. Within three months, I was diagnosed with two brain aneurysms and cancer. Although I survived without any lasting effects, it rattled me. I started assessing what truly mattered in my life and came to the conclusion writing remained my true passion. I decided to follow my dream and began writing novels again, which is how I wound up releasing my fantasy series.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Technically, I realize anyone who writes (blogs, books, poetry, etc.) is a writer by definition, but somewhere in the back of my head, I don’t feel like I can claim that title. Perhaps my “wow, I can’t believe I’m a writer” moment will come soon. As I sell more books and talk to fans who love my stories, I feel more like I’m accomplishing something worthwhile, but I can’t help thinking of myself as a fellow reader and lover of books who also happens to tell stories. For now, I’m happy with that classification. Maybe I’ll always feel that way. Or maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and decide I finally meet that unknown definition. Who knows? Either way, it’s a fantastic adventure and I love it.

What inspired you to write your first book?
The first full manuscript I wrote is called Her Song, which is the second book in my unreleased Contemporary Romance series. While I was falling asleep one night, I dreamed about a woman and a man arguing. At the end of the argument, they had broken up, both still deeply in love with each other and I had to know why they felt the need to be apart and what their deeper stories meant. The next day, I wrote out the scene. Then another one popped into my head and a third. It took me about three weeks to learn everything they had to tell me and a lot longer to realize other characters in the book had stories to tell (which is how it wound up as a series), but that’s how it all started in a nutshell.

What would you like my readers to know?
Writing isn’t simply about making a living for me and my characters aren’t just about the stories I share with whoever wants to read them. Writing is a passion; my characters are real. Because of that, I love building relationships with readers and hearing about how they react to my books. Love certain characters or hate them? I honestly want to know. I’ve made some truly wonderful friends as a result of my books and reading in general, so feel free to reach out to me. Let me know what you think. Start a dialogue. Have fun. Reading is an amazing equalizer, the perfect escape, and it’s always what this journey is about.



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Buy Links for Book 1



Buy Links for Book 2




  1. Thank you for the interesting interview.

  2. thank you for the chance to win

  3. I have enjoyed the tour and can't wait to read the book.

    1. Thank you for following along with the tour, Rita! I hope you enjoy the series :).

  4. Thank you for hosting, Deal Sharing Aunt :). I appreciate you taking part in both legs of my tour!