Welcome to my tour stop for Restless Earth and Blessing Sky by Emily Mah! This is a YA/NA high fantasy series. This is book 1 and 2 of The Sky Chariots Saga. The tour runs July 20 - 31 with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
For over a thousand years, the Tanoa have relied on their Earth Shamen to bring rich harvests, temper stone tools and weapons, and imbue pottery with strength like metal. Now, though, the bloodline has dwindled to one Shaman, Tuwa, who is trapped high in the mountains, holding bedrock together to prevent a volcanic eruption while the rest of her people flee to safety. The only way to save the village is for her to sacrifice herself and buy them the time they need to evacuate.But her grandson, Ahote, refuses to abandon her to die. Rather than do as she asks—marry and bear daughters who might inherit her gift—he sets out to find the one person who might be able to save Tuwa’s life.Kasha is a Tanoa girl in who lives in Solace, a city of the pale-skinned Andalanos. If the Engineers Guild ever discovers her gender or race, they could order her execution—for in violation of the King’s law, Master Engineer Seamus trained Kasha as his apprentice. She is a genius in all things mechanical and earned her master certification when only fourteen years old. Since Seamus’s death, she has been discreetly working his job as the City Engineer.She knows there is no machine or technology that can save Tuwa. In order to complete this task, Kasha must invent a vehicle unlike anything the world has ever seen, and risk exposure and death in the process.
Master Engineer Kasha lives in hiding. As a Tanoa and a woman, she has no legal right to her title, and risks expulsion or even execution if the Guild discovers her identity. For over a year she has served as the City Engineer of the Andalano city of Solace, home to the Winged Riders and their pegasus mounts.Now, though, her people need her. The last of their Earth Shamen is trapped in the mountains, holding back a volcanic eruption so that the rest of her people can escape. It is a job for only the greatest of all engineers, and that happens to be Kasha.But when her kinsman, Ahote, breaks the most sacred law of the Winged Riders, an alliance with him means certain death. Kasha must work alone to solve the most difficult engineering problem of all time before the summer months are done and winter comes to claim the life of the Shaman and the hope of her people.
Emily writes as both Emily Mah (for science fiction and fantasy) and E.M. Tippetts (for chick lit). Her short stories have appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, The Black Gate, and anthologies like The Dragon and the Stars, Shanghai Steam, and The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth. Her E.M. Tippetts novels have been on the Amazon Top 100 numerous times, and her novel, Someone Else's Fairytale was semi-finalist for the Best Indie Book of the Year - Kindle Book Review, and a runner up in Romance for the Best of the Independent Book Awards - eFestival of Words. She is a graduate of the Clarion West Writer's Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy and Viable Paradise Writers Workshop, and she often teaches the unit on self-publishing at the Taos Toolbox Writers Workshop.When she is not writing or chasing small children, she manages E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, her company which offers formatting, cover design, and editing services to authors and publishers.
Website | Facebook | Twitter @EmilyMah | YouTube
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Bits and pieces of the story have come to me over the past several years, but what inspired me to create a fantasy setting based on the American Southwest (where I grew up and still live) was my best friend’s PhD dissertation. It was on recent language shift for the Navajo – and yes, my friend and I are both geeks who talk about this kind of thing. Or… she puts up with me trying to talk about it. She’s very patient.
The heart of her dissertation was about some of the ways the Navajo have changed since the arrival of Europeans. That made me decide to set my book in a world with a Native American-esque culture and a European Medieval culture living side-by-side – to begin with at least. Once some catastrophes happen, they’ll need to figure out how to work together. I plan for this to go a little more smoothly than it did in American history, but only a little.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
I tried to have two, equally balanced main characters, but my writers group, and everyone else who’s read the manuscripts, has latched onto Kasha. She’s a Tanoa (based on the Tanoan-speaking tribes here in New Mexico) girl of only fifteen. In this world, women and Tanoa are not permitted to be apprentices, but she is a child prodigy engineer.
The City Engineer of Wingmount, where she lives, took her on, trained her up, and got her all the way to a Master Engineer without letting the Guild know either her gender or her race, so if they find out who she is, she’ll be executed.
When the City Engineer dies, he puts in her name as his replacement, so here she is, working this important job while living in hiding. Every day she worries about her cover being blown, and every day she does fantastic work, better than people can get anywhere else.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. That’s always how it is with me. Titles I usually get help with after the novel is done!
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There’s a scene where Kasha teaches all the young Tanoa children how to make fire balloons. That one was fun to right. After that point in the book, the skies over the city are full of fire balloons every night. It’s a visual illustration of way Kasha is changing her world.
5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
You have to understand that Restless Earth is my tenth published novel, so the lessons were smaller than they might have been with my earlier works. I learned again how essential description and effective exposition are to fantasy. People often read it to be immersed in a whole other world.
6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Everything! It was designed and illustrated by Raya Golden and she just nailed it. I love how these covers convey that these are fantasy novels (what with the flying horses on them and all) but at the same time, not the typical Tolkeinian fantasy. The people have dark skin, and the colors are that of the deserts of the Southwest
7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2015?
I’m releasing five books this year, so I can’t really pick one. I love them all!
8. What was your favorite book in 2014?
That is a very hard choice to make, but I’ll say Something More than Night by Ian Tregillis. I’m not sure it was my favorite, but it was a favorite. I highly recommend it. Ian’s just brilliant.
9. What’s up next for you?
The third Sky Chariots novel will be out in September and then my next chick lit novel (written as E.M. Tippetts) should be out in October.
10. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Just a thank you for having me! I appreciate it ☺
Three (3) winners will receive signed ebooks of Restless Earth and Blessing Sky by Emily Mah
Ends Aug. 5th
prizing provided by the author, hosts are not responsible in any way.
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.