I’m at the Darkside DownUnder website today with a book review of one of my all-time favourites. I’ve just re-read A Princess of Mars prior to watching the Disney movie it inspired: John Carter. As a teenager I devoured the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series featuring the Earthman John Carter and his Martian princess Dejah Thoris, and you’ll be surprised at how romantic they are. Enjoy!
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Patrick O’Duffy has interviewed me on his blog today, about ebooks, fantastic romance, my influences and inspirations, and John Carter of Mars. Pop over and say Hi!
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Reviews are starting to come in and I thought I’d share some:
DESTINY OF THE LIGHT by Australian author Louise Cusack is book one of a three book trilogy.
It is a saga of forbidden love. Betrayal, honor and family. Talis is a noble hero. And Khatrene is a strong heroine who was brought up in our world but adapts to life on Ennae and all its magical powers.
Louise Cusack’s superb storytelling makes these characters stand out and the whole story is very visual. I’m looking forward to getting into the second book in this trilogy. As a reader what I love about these series is that though it depicts other fantasy worlds, you are not thrown out of the story by other world languages. The author explains this away by explaining that their mind adapts to our language for them to converse with an Earth being.
DESTINY OF THE LIGHT is an exciting, fantastic, tale which will grip you from the very first page and keep you flipping your ereader pages late into the night!
I adored this book. I read it when it was first released several years ago and was delighted when I was able to download it onto my Kindle and once again get swept away to the sepia world of Ennae, and fall in love with the hero, Talis. If you like fantasy romance this book is a must read. Louise Cusack weaves a seductive story of adventure, betrayal, honour and love and created characters who come alive on the pages. I’m so looking forward to returning to Ennae in book two and three of The Shadow Through Time trilogy. Destiny Of The Light is a captivating story from start to finish.
When I was thirteen and my girlfriends were reading Stephen King, Jacqueline Susann or Tolkien, I was deep into Edgar Rice Burroughs, unashamedly devouring book after book about the ‘clean-limbed fighting man from Virginia’, John Carter who was somehow on Mars (Barsoom) saving the princess and fighting alien creatures.
Not for the first time in my life, the ‘stranger in a strange land’ theme had captured my imagination and let it soar. To me these novels were the equivalent of Mills & Boon. I gorged on them, dreaming of hunky heroes who could leap amazingly into the air (low gravity) and of feisty, beautiful princesses who needed rescuing. My romantic fantasies have always thrived in an otherworld setting, and it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that, particularly as the new John Carter movie appears set to rekindle all those thrilling, goosebump moments. For those who haven’t seen the trailer yet, please indulge:
Writer are often unable to articulate where their inspiration comes from, but I can trace mine back through a thread of ‘stranger in a strange land’ stories that have enthralled me at critical moments in my life. John Carter’s experience of being thrust into Barsoom was pivotal, and it transported me into a visceral world of action, adventure and romance.
A few years later when the subtleties of characterisation became more important to me, I discovered Paul Atreides who had also been uprooted from all that was familiar and transplanted onto the barren planet Dune, immortalised in Frank Herbert’s Hugo and Nebula award winning series of novels. Paul Atreides was younger than John Carter, barely into adulthood, but as the son of the Duke Atreides, Paul’s young life had been consumed by training – in combat, leadership and strategy. He could fight, but he could also think, and when I first met Paul between the pages of a crisp new paperback, I was of an age where I’d realised that smart was most definitely sexy. So I fell in love all over again, and when Paul’s beloved Chani needed no rescuing and fought alongside him to overcome the evil Harkonnen threat, I was mesmerised as much by the world they were saving as the blossoming romance between them.
It should be no surprise then that Talis, the hero of my first published novel, would be a champion to the princess, a trained and talented fighter and a clever, insightful asset to the throne he served, not to mention a sensitive and honorable man. I adored him (and still do), but as an author, it’s such a thrill to discover that readers of Destiny of the Light have loved Talis as much as I do, if not more! And the re-release of my trilogy as eBooks has come at a time when warrior heroes are finding an appreciative audience in the movies, as well as among readers!
I’d love to hear what your favourite ‘otherworlds’ are (Pandora? Narnia? Alice’s Wonderland? Barsoom?) and what enchanted you most about them.
Do you like giveaway books? Fabulous food? A combination of both? Then head over to Cathryn Hein’s Friday Feast blog where I’ve shared the recipe for my famous King Island Pie, and am giving away an eBook copy of “Destiny of the Light”, the first novel of my Shadow Through Time trilogy. If you’d like to wallow in the decadence of some seriously delicious pie, and have the chance of winning a copy, I’ll see you there!
Today I’m doing a guest blog at Romance Book Haven, talking about how different it is to see my fantasy romance trilogy ePublished almost a decade after it was first print published by Simon & Schuster. Please pop in and say hi!
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On 15th February, (in two short weeks) my “Shadow Through Time” trilogy will be released as eBooks by Momentum Books, a division of Pan Macmillan, a full decade after the first book was released in print form by Simon & Schuster Australia. It’s taken time and patience, but I never gave up hope that these characters and their stories would one day find an International readership.
I’ve written a lot in the last decade, fallen in love with new characters and new settings, but my first love will always be the sepia kingdom of Ennae with its Forest of Desire where every fantasy is fulfilled, the royal Volcastle that sits atop an active volcano and the misty plains where the enigmatic plainsmen navigate using dolphin-like sonar.
As a writer who doesn’t plot, my process for creating these books was an act of faith, each day sitting in front of the computer ‘transcribing’ what the characters shared with me, seeing the world through their eyes, learning about it as they walked through it, meeting new characters as they did. I’ve never forgotten the thrill of discovering that world, of waking up at 4am each day and rolling out of bed, excited by the idea of what would happen next.
Alice in Wonderland had always been my favourite book (my dog-eared copy looks like this), and to me the Shadow Through Time series recreated the dark thrill of stepping into an otherworld, a very strange world as it turned out. I was greatly influenced by Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and the epic love story she’d created that transcended time. I wanted to create a love story that would not only transcend time but place, taking my heroine Catherine/Khatrene into another world and thrusting responsibility, and then destiny onto her young shoulders. I’m thrilled with the characters who stepped forward to inhabit the story, and more in love with her champion Talis than I can say!
I hope you enjoy these books, and when you read them I’d like you to imagine the hopelessly romantic four year old girl who first dreamed she was a princess cut off from her royal family and trapped in suburban Australia. That little girl ached to go home, and her longing for excitement and adventure was the catalyst that set this story on its path to publication…