Title: Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties
Author: Kellie Doherty
Genre: Queer Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Desert Palm Press
Misti Eildelmann is a Vagari—a race whose innate crafting ability is connected to the creatures of the world. She’s also a Moon Knight. Misti is fighting a banished one when he slips a pendant around her neck that saps her strength. The pendant is dangerous. Deadly even. It harnesses crafting in a way not seen before, so she sets off to find help. Old and new friends join her on this quest, including her longtime crush Dylori Clyofis and a villager named Arias Silverstone. The journey is risky—filled with frightening suncreatures, evil worshippers, and twisted betrayal. Misti is thankful to have friends on this path into the scorching light, but something much bigger is waiting for them in the sunshine. Her pendant is just a piece of the puzzle. Excerpt:
Pale white blood dripped down Misti Eildelmann’s curved short sword as she readied herself to meet her next attacker. Ignoring the shouts of the battle around her and her own frantically beating heart, Misti eyed the banished one. The overly bright pale blue eyes. The slight smirk on the woman’s face. The confidence in her expression frightened Misti, and she hesitated, the upward slash with her sword halting for a moment. The banished crafter snarled and leapt, knocking Misti’s blade aside with her staff and sending an aching jolt through Misti’s arm. The banished one reached out to grab her neck, eyes glowing white as her fingers dug into Misti’s skin.
In the span of a heartbeat, many thoughts tumbled through Misti’s mind. Blood crafting. Moon above, not now. Not yet. Her eyes. Her veins! Misti swept her gaze down the woman’s arm, and sure enough the banished ones’ veins had brightened to white, same as her glowing eyes, the color tracing the banished one’s blood and heading right for Misti. The sight of this woman’s crafting sent a spike of fear down Misti’s spine. Blood crafting was meant for healing of the body and the mind and the soul, but it could also be used to suck life-energy from a person. Suck the life-energy from me. Especially in this banished one’s hands. She latched onto the woman’s arm to try to wrench her away from her neck. It didn’t work.
The woman’s piercing gaze seemed to fill Misti’s vision as her crafting washed over Misti like cold water. She yelled as pain shuddered through her, eyes watering from shock. Try as she might, Misti couldn’t free herself from this woman’s grasp. Couldn’t lift her sword to save herself, or stop what little strength she possessed from draining away from her. Even after seasons of training to be a Moon Knight, she still wasn’t strong enough. Her vulnix bloodline didn’t give her strength, not like the wyvern or neades.
The woman moved closer, so close Misti could smell the dirt and sweat and salt clinging to her skin. Her watery vision skittered from the glowing in her eyes and focused instead on the thin line of white blood on the woman’s cheek, dripping down her near-translucent skin. As Misti grew weaker, the woman’s cut glowed, stitching itself up. She grabbed the back of Misti’s head, twisting her fingers into Misti’s long hair. Misti tried again to yank herself away, but couldn’t. Fear squeezed her lungs, blurring her vision and her mind.
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Kellie Doherty is an author from Eagle River, Alaska, who writes science fiction and fantasy. Living in Alaska gave her an appreciation for nature, a hankering for a good cup of tea, and a passion for all things below zero. During those dark winter nights, she kept herself busy by writing stories and creating characters. When she noticed a lack of queer characters in science fiction and fantasy stories, she decided to create her own. Her first sci-fi book Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press in April 2016, and the sequel Losing Hold was published in April 2017. She's currently working on a five-book fantasy series, and the first book Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties launched on March 27, 2019. You can find out more on her website: kelliedoherty.com
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