Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast ~ Excerpt & Author A&Q

The debut novel in an epic new YA series by
#1 New York Times bestselling author P.C. CAST!

Early Praise for MOON CHOSEN:

"While many fantasy series style themselves as epic, this one may actually be worthy of the description. Fantasy lovers who are fans of Cinda Williams Chima's "Seven Realms" novels will fall in love with Mari and Nik." – School Library Journal

“Cast’s spectacular new series kicks off with a unique tale suitable for fans of fantasy both young and old. Earth has completely changed, and the author grants readers a chance to use their imagination as the engaging storyline rapidly unfolds.” – Romantic Times, 4 stars!

Cast's fans should find much to be pleased with in this new venture” – Kirkus

engaging characters and a fast-paced narrative” – Publishers Weekly

By #1 New York Times bestselling author

St. Martin's Griffin Hardcover
On Sale: November 1, 2016
Hardcover: 978-1-250-10072-6 / $18.99 USD
eBook: 978-1-250-10074-0 / $9.99 USD

P.C. CAST is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the blockbuster House of Night series, co-written with her daughter Kristin Cast. With more than 20 million copies in print in over 40 countries, Cast’s novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath.  Furthermore, The House of Night series reached number one on the U.S., German, and UK bestseller lists, and remained a fixture on The New York Times Children’s Series bestseller list for over 160 weeks.

This Fall,  P.C. CAST brings us her much-anticipated new epic fantasy set in a world where humans, their animal allies, and the earth itself has been drastically changed -- in MOON CHOSEN, on sale from St. Martin’s Griffin October 18, 2016.

Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now, darkness is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By forming a tumultuous alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and obliterate the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

With a fantastic storyline, fascinating protagonist, and swoon-worthy love story, MOON CHOSEN is sure to hit all the sweet spots readers love.


CREDIT: From Moon Chosen by PC Cast. Copyright © 2016 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin. 

Mari braced herself, and as she had so many times before, felt her mother stiffen while energy surged through Leda and into Mari, sizzling through her palm, down her arm to swirl around and around inside her, growing in power with each second that passed.  Mari’s heartbeat began to hammer and her breathing suddenly increased until she was panting as hard as was the pup.  In her arms, Rigel whined uncertainly.
“Focus.”  Her mother’s voice was only a whisper, but Mari could feel it through her whole body.  “You can do this.  The power is not yours to keep – your body is merely its channel.  Borrow serenity from the image of the Earth Mother.  Though you may be surrounded by chaos or sickness or injuries, find the true you within. Release that which belongs to the world –fears, worry, sadness, so that the silver stream may wash unimpeded through you. It is a waterfall at night. Rigel is the basin that must hold it.”
Mari stared at the beautiful image of the Earth Mother that Leda pruned and cared for so lovingly.  But, as always, the figure was only foliage and art to Mari.  She couldn’t feel the divine presence her mother revered.  She could not find her true self – her center.  “Mama, I c-can’t.  It’s s-so c-cold.  It- it hurts.” Mari stuttered through chattering teeth.
“Only because the healing power is not meant for you.  Release the fears of your body, Mari.  Focus!  Find your grounding and become a channel for the moon’s energy.  Tonight you must succeed.  If you do not, your Rigel will surely die.”
Her mother’s words exploded through Mari’s body.  “No!  He can’t die.  I won’t let him.”  She gritted her teeth against the cold and tried to focus past the pain – to release the cacophony of emotions that swirled through her body unimpeded – and to be the channel for the moonfall of water.  Yet, still the power was a whirlpool within her.  It terrified Mari and threatened to suck her down to drown in its freezing depths. 
This was when she usually failed.  This was when she dropped her mother’s hand and allowed sickness to claim her so that she vomited, dry heaving misery and moonlight while Leda stroked her back, consoling her with calm, loving words that reminded Mari there would be a next time – she would do better the next time.
But there was no next time for Rigel, and Mari refused to lose him.  Think!  Focus!
“Mari, slow your breathing.  Calm your heart.  This is no longer practice.  You either heal Rigel, or fail and he dies from shock and blood loss.  This is your reality.”
“That’s it, Mama!  I need to make this my reality!”  Mari squeezed her eyes closed.  Could that be the answer?  Could it really be that simple?  Mari imagined that she was in their burrow, alone, sitting at her desk preparing to create a sketch.  Her gulping breath slowed.  Her hammering heart quieted.  Mari found her grounding as she envisioned a blank sheet of paper.  On that paper her imagination began to quickly, easily, sketch an image of herself, sitting crossed-legged with Rigel spread across her lap.  From above her silver light cascaded into her lifted palm, washing through her body in a glistening wave to spout from her other palm, which was pressed against the pup’s bloody chest.  Eyes still tightly shut Mari worked on the scene, creating a picture of Rigel’s body that was washed clean of blood by the liquid light, leaving behind wounds that were neatly closed and already healing.
Suddenly the cold tide within Mari was controllable.  Instead of drowning her, it used her as a conduit, passing through her harmlessly as she let go of the energy.  I’m doing it!  I’m doing it!  And just that quickly her concentration shattered.  The picture she’d been creating disappeared along with the tide of power within her.
“No!  No!  Get it back!  I was doing it – it was working,” Mari gasped, gripping her mother’s hand like a lifeline.
“It’s too late.  The sun is fully risen.  Even with your help I cannot call the moon back to me,” Leda knelt beside Mari, gently disentangling her daughter’s hand from hers.  “But it was enough.  You did it, sweet girl.  I knew you could.  Praise the Earth Mother and the blessed Moon!  You have saved him.”
Feeling dizzy and disconnected, Mari looked down at Rigel.  The pup wagged his tail animatedly and sat up, licking her face.  Even though she felt light-headed, she laughed weakly and put her arms around him.  He nested there, curled against her body and, sending her waves of contentment, Rigel fell sound to sleep in her arms. With a trembling hand, Mari brushed aside the blood-matted fur on his chest.  What had only moments before been deep, seeping, whip-like lacerations were now pink lines of newly joined flesh that had ceased bleeding.
“I knew it was true.  You do have my powers and more.” 


P.C. CAST is the #1 New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling author of the House of Night Series and a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.  With more than 20 million copies in print in over 40 countries, her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath. 

Ms. Cast was born in the Midwest, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology.  After high school she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. After her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time.  Ms. Cast lives in Oregon surrounded by beloved cats, dogs, horses, and family.

Author Q&A with P.C. Cast

What 3 words would you use to describe your book?


Writing a fantasy book seems like such a daunting task. How did you plan out the world?

It is a daunting task, indeed! Well, the inspiration for the plot came from the bond between my amazing personal protection dog, an Eastern European German Shepherd named Badger, and me. He’s my hero, my Warrior, and my confidant. He loves me unconditionally and would give his life for me.

Then a move to the northwest (Portland, OR), lit my imagination on fire. This part of the world is so incredibly beautiful! So, I had my setting and my basic plot inspiration. Then I called one of my best friends, Christine Zika, who was the editor for my Goddess Summoning Series. She and I had an old fashioned brainstorming session, and from that I wrote a loose outline. I did a lot of research about the NW (including fabulous hikes!), and of course I asked for my dad’s help with creating the biology of my post apocalypse world - and then dove in!

What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, etc?)

My tread desk! Yep, I walk and write at the same time (it’s actually awesome and easy – google it!). I write in silence. Well, except for four dogs and a Maine Coon cat who tend to either sleep like the dead or create chaos. I brew a big pot of either green tea or herbal tea and get to work surrounded by my fur babies, research books, crystals, and infused candles made specially for me by the wonderful Sage Goddess (you can find her on Etsy).

I'm intrigued by the idea of a totally different world with animal allies and Earth Walkers. Where did you get your ideas for this book?

Thank you for asking! The idea of animal allies and the bonds formed between animals, at first specifically canines and humans, was inspired by my bond with my working dog, Badger. I had something scary happen in my life about four years ago, and I decided to invest in a personal protection canine. I’ve always had a menagerie of dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc., etc., but I had no experience with working dogs or German Shepherds. They delivered Badger, my personal protection canine, and the moment he and I met we had an immediate connection. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and was so profound that I knew it must be the foundation for a new adventure – for me and for my readers! I, of course, had to include other fabulous canine familiars, as well as a variety of felines, equines, and many other surprises.

The physical setting was inspired by my move to the northwest. The beauty and wildness of the landscape surrounding me set my imagination on fire, and as usual, I turned to my brilliant father who helped me extrapolate what might happen to our world if it had survived a series of massive solar flares that changed the atmosphere, topography, flora and fauna – as well as humans. Then I added a big dose of goddess magick!

What was the last book you read that you just couldn't put down?

SCARLET RAIN by my talented daughter, Kristin Cast. The book rocks! But that’s not why I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t put it down because she based the mom character in the book on me and what happens to “me” in that books is…well…you’ll have to read it to see!
Do you have a favorite place to write?

Yes! My home has three floors, and I’ve turned the bottom floor into my writing office. I love it so much! I’ve filled it with books and art, crystals and candles. My dogs have beds surrounding my treaddesk (I always write while I walk) and my cat has a cat condo she perches in (when she’s not terrorizing the dogs). All is right in the world when I’m down there, focused and creating worlds and adventures and magick!

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Well, I destroy all of Portland’s bridges, so I had to do lots of research about how they were built so that I could properly tear them down! My father taught biology for about half a century, so being sure my ecosystems work is imbedded into my DNA. This series merges biology and fantasy, which means I have to be sure the biological foundation of my world is solid so that it can remain believable when I add fantasy.

I also had to do quite a bit of research about treehouses for the Tribe of the Trees. I even went to Washington state and stayed in a treehouse B&B (it was fantastic!).

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

From another author – Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series. From my own books – ClanFinan from the Partholon series: DIVINE BY MISTAKE, DIVINE BY CHOICE, and DIVINE BY BLOOD.

Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

Absolutely! I’m a proud supporter of Bitch Media, a non-profit, reader funded platform for feminist ideology. I also support Tulsa Street Cats and various other animal and vegan charities.
What’s up next for you?

Finishing SUN WARRIOR, book two in this series. Also, Kristin and I are going to begin a new YA series called THE DYSASTERS, which we’re super excited about! The first two books will be released spring and summer of 2018. And hard at work on a 10th anniversary House of Night surprise for our fabulous fans!


Twitter or Facebook?

Favorite Superhero? Wonder Woman and Superman – I love them equally.

Favorite TV show? Currently Outlander

Sweet or Salty? Salty

Any Phobias? Birds and big things under the water – like the bottoms of ships. (shudder)

Song you can’t get enough of right now? Buffalo Springfield’s For What it’s Worth

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
WONDER WOMAN!! But, it’s not out until 2017 (it was the first movie I thought of).

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

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