The hands of Big Ben have ticked past the midnight hour in the UK — where April 5 has been release day for The Gathering of the Lost — so that means the giveaways have closed and its time for a result!
(Drum Roll!) And the winners are:
- Starcryer: for the 1 x signed, complete "Helen Lowe" book set comprising Thornspell, The Heir of Night and The Gathering of the Lost (Starcryer, you will need to get in touch so I can send you the set: email me on contact[at]helenlowe[dot]info)
- Donna S and KayaH: each get 1 of the 2 x signed copies of The Gathering of the Lost, The Wall of Night Book Two (I have both your details so will be in touch.)
Also, if you missed out here on the Supernatural Underground there are currently giveaway opportunities on my own blog, here (as well as a draw to give your name to a character in the forthcoming third book in the series) on Civilian Reader, here, and forthcoming (on April 9) on ismellsheep The full Blog Tour schedule is here and I will be doing giveaways on several of the other stops; I'll update on my blog once I know what's happening with each scheduled stop.
And wait there's more: one very stop on the Tour is going to be right here on the Supernatural Underground again on April 16, when I'll be doing an "in-character" interview with the wonderful Kim Falconer. I am very much looking forward to it!
Note: If I have not heard from any winner by Tuesday April 10 (to allow for Easter) then I will re-draw that particular giveaway.
Yes, "The Gathering of the Lost" (The Wall of Night Book Two) is here at last! Tuesday 27 was release day in the USA, Australia and New Zealand--and there's a fabulous Release Day post on the Harper Voyager site which you can check out here. And it's not a long wait now until the book is out in the UK as well—just four days away on Thursday 5.
So of course I'm in the middle of the full on Blog Tour, visiting friends and fellow authors around the web and chatting about many things, including different aspects of the book. And what better to talk about on the Supernatural Underground than romance in The Gathering of the Lost.
Because Malian and Kalan, the two central characters from the first book, The Heir of Night, aren't kids anymore. They are five years older and so of course romance is going to be there in the story, especially as they are hanging out with other young people — and at least part of their adventures take place in the land of Emer, which even has a tradition of "springtime love":
"A springtime love, Kalan thought now. It was one of the oldest traditions in the knightly history of Emer, with a cycle of songs composed around both the tradition and some of the more famous lovers."
Why springtime love? Well in the story it's because of the nature of the society, where young people are brought up together and so of course there is love and romance — but they all know marriage is about political alliances and wealth and land, so such romances can usually never come to anything. But it's also springtime love because romance is not only an inescapable part of the fabric of life, but also brings that bubble of joy and delight, not unlike the first hint of springtime in the air — however fleeting that moment may prove to be.
" ... springtime love meant transience, coming into bloom and then gone again with the spring flowers. And already it was Midsummer ..."
And of course this is epic fantasy so there has to be an element of the star-crossed and the doomed to its swag bag of romantic love. But there are also beginnings ...
"The light brightened, growing stronger as the maelstrom fell away and she rose through impenetrable white mist. Unexpectedly, she smelled jasmine, as dizzyingly sweet as when she first stepped into the temple grounds. The mist thinned and trees appeared, their trunks a smooth dappling of light and shade. Somewhere in the distance, a nightingale was singing its moonlit song.
The nightingale, Malian knew, was one of the enduring motifs of Emerian springtime love. She wanted to smile, but already her bare feet were touching grass and the mist had grown fine as a veil, with only a single drift, like smoke, crossing the crescent of the blue moon overhead. A second moon, three-quarters full and green as winter twilight, shone lower toward the horizon ...
as well as endings:
... The nightingale, which had been quiet for some time, was singing again and now the old Derai sorrow was all she heard of its song: Kerem the Dark Handed and Emeriath; Xeria’s grief for Tasian; Yorindesarinen dying alone, her body hacked and riven, with the Chaos Worm’s venom racking her veins."
“Helen Lowe’s Wall of Night series has the potential to become a classic, right up there with the likes of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire . . . . Anyone who loves to read fantastic fiction from a true talent should read this series.” — SF Site
“Helen Lowe’s writing moves from strength to strength. Powerful story lines, memorable characters and a vividly imagined world make The Gathering of the Lost a strong follow-up to The Heir of Night.” – Juliet Marillier
“Helen Lowe writes wonderful stories, yes, but her work also speaks with lyricism to deeper questions of how we treat each other. With lovely prose that brings vivid life to her characters, she creates a universe with people we care about. This is an author with a gift for fantasy.” — Nebula Award-winning author Catherine Asaro
And To Celebrate I am Giving Away —
2 x signed copies of The Gathering of the Lost, The Wall of Night Book Two
1 x signed complete "Helen Lowe" book set comprising Thornspell, The Heir of Night and The Gathering of the Lost
the giveaways to be drawn by Random Number Integer and posted here on UK Release Day, April 5
Don't forget to check back here (on this post) to see if you've won!
(And by the way there will be other giveaways on my own blog on the 5th — including the opportunity to enter the draw to give your name to a character in Daughter of Blood, The Wall of Night Book Three.)