The author: Helena Aman
I grew up in a town called Fort Lonesome, in a little wooden house in the middle of an orange grove in central Florida. I didn't like to read much when I was very young. I preferred, instead, to go on "adventures." I didn't really fall in love with books until I read The Chronicles of Narnia. As I grew up, I became lost in Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Mitchell and Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I dabbled in poetry and, later, songwriting. I studied music in college, and went on to teach music and world history and English. I was just living my life, trying to figure out what on earth I was supposed to do with my unquenchable desire to create something beautiful. Then, unexpectedly, I found out that I was expecting a baby, and my husband and I moved to Nashville for a fresh start. It was after my son was born, when I was physically exhausted but very much in need of mental stimulation, that an old scrap of a manuscript showed up, and the setting and characters for SHILOH started to capture me. It wouldn't let me go, and it was such a wonderful creative outlet that I persevered through draft after draft until I was happy with the finished product.
The book: SHILOH
Amos was born a thousand years after Evander led his clan in search of the legendary Sun and disappeared from all knowledge. Evander was called a madman for seeking a world beyond the Shadow, but there are some who still believe, Amos among them. He has special power over fire, and he seems to fear nothing. But when his world falls apart, the fear takes hold, and Amos becomes a pawn in the hand of darkness. It takes Orin, the master blacksmith, Simeon, the Dreamer, and Isolde, the fiery woman with the mighty destiny, to draw Amos back. Together, they set out to find the path of escape from the Shadow.
SHILOH The novel is set in a world of darkness, a world obscured by the Shadow. The story centers around Amos, who is born with special power over fire, and his family. They're considered mad because they tell stories about a time before the Shadow fell and a world beyond the darkness. But Amos is confident, fearless, until tragedy strikes and he is left with questions he cannot answer. SHILOH tells the story of Amos's crisis of belief, of his betrayal, and of the people who draw him back.
Why should we pick up SHILOH?
You should pick up Shiloh because you will fall in love with the characters, and because the world of Shiloh is alive and rich, full of songs and legends and wolves and dragons, and beautiful and terrible creatures. You should pick up Shiloh because the struggles of the characters, their fear and despair and hope, will resonate with you regardless of your system of beliefs or your current circumstances. And you should pick up Shiloh because it's published by a tiny little independent press, and it's rather fun to stick it to the big, bad mega-publishers. ;)
Megan Whalen Turner -If you have not read the Queen's Thief series, please stop whatever you're doing and get right on that. Do NOT pause until you've finished The King of Attolia and fallen madly in love with Eugenides. Trust me on this.-
Hmm...I'm looking forward to Sarah J. Maas's Crown of Midnight.
Fave book series?
I've mentioned several already, but I'll throw in the Harry Potter series, because, for pity's sake...how can you not love it?
Debut YA author we should check out?
My friend Kelly Lynne just published a MG/YA novel called Celestina Silvenfare. It's your classic fantasy, with witches and castles and giants and such, and it's a lot of fun.