Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Firelight of Maalda Blog Tour

Today I'm pleased to welcome Melissa Douthit to my blog today with her blog tour stop for The Firelight of Maalda-Book 2 in the  
Legend of the RaieChaelia. 
I've read both Prequels and am now working on Book 1. Stay tuned for the review of these.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy what you read here.

Excerpt from The Firelight of Maalda, chapter: The Secret of Portalis, pages 88-89:

       “It’s clever,” she remarked.
       “No, it’s scientific,” Aemis said expertly as he turned back to his workbench.
       Dekkar rolled his eyes.  “Ever since I explained that word to him, he keeps using it,” he whispered to Ben.
       Jeremiah snorted.  “You should feel special,” he said.  “Before this, everything was ‘ingenious.’”
       Chalice glanced over to see if Aemis had heard but he didn’t seem to be paying attention.  He was too engrossed in his work.  What a strange character, she thought.  She turned to Dekkar.  “What is scient … I don’t even know what he said.”
       “Scientific.  It is an adjective meant to describe something that is characterized by the methods and principles of science.”
       “Uh, okay … what is science?”  Chalice didn’t mean to sound rude but it was almost as if Dekkar was speaking a different language.
       “Science is a word our ancestors defined as the study of the structure and behavior of the physical world through observations and experiment,” he said and she cocked an eyebrow as to say: Huh?  “In other words, Chalice, it was their way understanding the world and how it worked, breaking it down into finite pieces, observing those pieces in experimentation and examining the results in terms of cause and effect.  By doing this, they believed they could control their surroundings, or become gods of their own world so to speak, and although their capacity for rational thought was exceptional, it limited their worldview.”

I’ve had several people ask me what the book’s blurb means: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic.

So, how does it unite the real with the fantastical?  Those who have read the first book, The Raie’Chaelia, have been calling the story an epic fantasy, or a high fantasy, comparing it to Jordan’s or Tolkien’s world, but it is neither.  It is not an epic fantasy but rather a futuristic fantasy set in this world.  This becomes apparent in The Firelight of Maalda, when Chalice and Jeremiah visit the Archive in the chapter called The Secret of Portalis.  The second book touches upon themes that are really related to our world and the problems in it.  These themes are the reason why I began writing the trilogy in the first place.  I wanted to see if it was possible to take the harsh realities of our world and juxtapose them with problems in a fantastical world.  I wondered: How would the heroine and hero react to problems and dangers that are real for us today?  How would it compare with their own problems in their world?  Would it be just as frightening?

How does it turn science into magic?  Throughout the book, the reader will hear echoes of modern science, or more accurately modern physics.  For those who have studied it, particularly the theories laid out by Albert Einstein and more recently, Edward Witten, they understand that modern physics has really gone beyond the circle of empirical science into the realms of philosophy and religion, even the fantastical, giving it a magical quality.  Therefore, it was easy to use the principles laid out by these theories as magic in the story.

But, in my humble opinion, this story is first and foremost a story of love, where the heroine has to choose between doing her duty for her people and following her heart.  The two main characters, Chalice and Jeremiah, knew each other as children.  When they meet again, they remember the friendship they shared as kids.  It begins to grow and blossom into something stronger throughout the first book, coming to fruition at the end.  In so many other YA stories I’ve read, a meet-cute is usually between two strangers who fall in love, but I wanted this one to be different.  The Vanishing, a prequel to book one, is particularly romantic because Jeremiah feels something deep down, something missing from his life that he describes as a hole in his chest, and then finally learns what it is when he sees her again.  That is, his heart remembers (The Vanishing, page 51):

            She studied him for a moment and then, suddenly, her face lit up in recognition. “Oh my gosh, no, I do remember!” she exclaimed. “Jeremiah?!” she asked and he nodded. “Jeremiah Maehbeck! How could I have forgotten?!”
            He smiled as she said the words and caught a twinkle of joy in her eye at seeing him again. Then he suddenly realized what had been missing in his life this whole time. After all these years, he finally understood the emptiness inside of him and realized what could fill it – the only thing that could fill it. It was her.

Contest for Free Kindle:
Enter a drawing and win a free Kindle by answering the following question:
What is Chalice’ internal struggle?
To answer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answer in Message field):
Contest ends March 10, 2012.  Winner will be announced March 11th on Melissa Douthit's Blog.

The Firelight of Maalda on Amazon and B&N:

Book One and the Prequels are free on Smashwords and Amazon:
Book One:


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