We’re so pleased to have author Lou Hoffmann joining us today on the tour for her newest release, Wraith Queen’s Veil, book two in The Sun Child Chronicles series. Enjoy Lou’s fun introduction to Han, and then be sure to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Lou Hoffmann’s Wraith Queen’s Veil tour: Come along with us to meet Han, the warrior badass
Hi! I’m Lou Hoffmann and I’m delighted to be back here on The Novel Approach. Thanks for inviting me, Lisa, and thanks all of you for being here.
You probably know the Sun Child Chronicles is classed as YA, as it should be, as the true hero of the tale is fifteen-year-old Lucky, or more properly Luccan Elieth Perdhro, Mannatha, the hereditary Suth Chiell (yes—that means Sun Child) of the Sunlands, in a world called Ethra. Be that as it may, the cast of characters includes a couple of fine grown up badasses, and I thought it might be fun for Lisa and I to have a little face time with the one who’s undeniably baddest of them all. All of you readers are invited to sit in as well.
Magically transporting everyone to Ethra to talk to Han… … … NOW!
Okay! I think we all made it safely! Now just a little tour to get you oriented, and then we’ll be meeting up with Han at his house—or, quarters, as he likes to call them, being a military man and all. First directly in front of us is the big house.
Sisterhold Manor: Lucky’s original home, one of two seats of power in the Sunlands, held by Lucky’s mother, the Lady Grace, Liliana, and her half-sister Rosishan. Described in key of Behliseth as having “neat, sunlit windows and varnished logs” and in Wraith Queen’s Veil as “a long, low building that must have been a stable stood a stately house of three stories, lined with a broad veranda and studded with shuttered dormers.”
Just behind Sisterhold Manor, you can see the Oakridge, a granite outcropping along an upland, a place where some very important things have happened—for instance, here is where Lucky was given is cardinal name, and where the wizard Thurlock went to gather light into bottles for the battle with Isa in her tower in Black Creek Ravine, back in California. In addition, it’s rather pretty with those tall oaks dark against sky and the glassy bits of mica in the granite sparking in the sunlight?
Over there, on the hill to the east of the on the manor house sits on, is Thurlock’s tower. It is very nearly identical to the tower he had in Earth, although it isn’t attached to a ramshackle farmhouse here in Ethra—it’s just ramshackle all on its own. I for one think Thurlock should seriously consider a remodel—or at least some basic upkeep.
That long low building is the stables, and back behind it some military barracks. As you can see a number of small shops and homes cluster not far off farther to the east and south, between the road to Nedhra City and the Altiron River. Out beyond that are the apple orchards and the kitchen gardens, and across the river, farms and fields.
Closer in, see that small, isolated looking building with the moon symbol on the door? They call that the Night House, which Thurlock describes as “a place where the dead are mourned and prepared for either burial or the flames.” We’re actually heading past that (it’s traditional to keep silent as you pass, so let’s be respectful.) Head toward the start of the wild wood, there.…. What’s that? Oh no, don’t worry. I’ve heard tell of monsters and dragons in the Greenwood, too, but we’re not going into them. See the very neat little white house with the picket fence and clean-swept porch? That’s Han’s place.
Follow me inside. He should be expecting us.
“Whoa! Put the flippin’ sword down, Han, it’s just me, Lou Hoffmann.”
“You know, your author! Without whom you would not exist. I thought you were expecting me.”
“Hah! You do have an inflated idea of your own importance. And I was expecting you yesterday! You seem to have forgotten the whole ‘different time streams’ thing.”
I am glad he’s putting the sword down, however, Lisa, I’m kind of thinking you should try to keep your shoes out of sight. He’s usually even tempered, but if he takes a notion, he might see those heels as weapons.”
“And the fact that I was not expecting you today, which explains my state of undress…”
Ooh. Right. Are you all taking this in. He’s wrapped in a towel, and he’s all… damp. Must have just stepped out of the bath. That golden brown skin, glistening, those muscles, all that long, wet, dripping chestnut hair….
“… as well as why I have company!”
There is indeed another person in the house. A shorter, slender man with blonde hair…. “Oh! That must be Tennehk!”
“Got it on the first guess.”
“Your… friend. Um, with—”
“Look, I already had that conversation with Luccan.”
“Yes, I remember that, Han….”
… Lucky was feeling left out and lonely that day, and he went to see his uncle, hoping to work things out…
As Lucky drew near, he let relief settle over him, seeing that Han was at home. Lucky stood back under the canopy made by two trees and watched, waiting for Han to finish what he was doing. He had come out to his porch with his hand on the shoulder of a much smaller man. The two of them walked across the porch, and when they got to the top of the steps, they faced each other. Han smiled in a way Lucky hadn’t ever seen, and they both laughed about something. When the stranger turned to leave, Han leaned in and kissed his lips and then his cheek.
Han turned around and stepped toward his door, but instead of going in, he slid down the wall to sit on his wooden porch. His back rested against the wall, his eyes had closed, and autumn sun slunk under the roof to light his face. Lucky hadn’t forgotten how distant Han had become, but he had faith that his uncle loved him, that he would help Lucky even if he was angry. And if anyone would understand, if anyone could tell him what was going on with his mother, if anyone might help him past the pain, it would be Han. And, even though Han wasn’t smiling now, he’d smiled talking to the stranger. Probably in a good mood.
But as Lucky reached the gate and strode up the walk to the foot of the steps, his stomach dropped. Because Han didn’t speak—in words or thoughts. He didn’t open his eyes, didn’t even twitch a muscle. He wasn’t sleeping, and even if he had been, Lucky wouldn’t have been able to sneak up on him. Han could read his thoughts from miles away!
But Han sat stock-still.
Lucky’s smile faded. He nodded, turned on his heel, and began to walk away before Han spoke.
An unpleasant feeling bubbled up inside as Lucky turned again to face Han, but he tried to keep his voice calm. “That’s what I’m wondering,” he said. “What. But I’d rather start with why. Why don’t you want to talk to me?”
Han still hadn’t moved or opened his eyes. “Not in the mood to talk.”
As if Lucky’s temper had been switched to full power, calm disappeared, and he practically spat out his next words. “You were sure having a nice time talking to that blond-headed dude!”
Han opened his eyes then, but nothing else in his expression changed. “Tennehk.”
“The blond ‘dude’ has a name. It’s Tennehk. And there’s a great deal of difference between bidding good day to Tennehk and talking to you.”
“Who is he?”
Han’s face betrayed annoyance now, but he kept his tone flat. “A friend.”
“With benefits!” Lucky threw that out as if it was an accusation of evil.
Han’s mouth dropped open, and then he laughed. “Exactly,” he said. “Is that a problem for you? Why is it even your business?”
“You’re in love with him?”
“He’s a friend I’ve known for a long time.” Han rarely showed true temper, but he fixed a look on Lucky now that clearly dared him to ask one more question.
Lucky didn’t even know why he was asking these questions. It wasn’t like Han’s friend could change anything between Lucky and his uncle, and naturally the benefits had nothing to do with him. This isn’t what I want to talk to him about! Despite that, and despite Han’s unspoken warning, he asked, “Are you in love with someone else?”
“Damn, Luccan! Maybe, maybe not. Doesn’t matter. I wanted the company of my friend—‘with benefits’—and I spent some time with him. That’s all I’m going to say on the subject of my love life, or ‘benefit’ life, as the case may be.”
Crap. He’s really pissed. If I ever had any hope of having a good conversation with him, I started off all wrong. Plus I’m acting like a six-year-old.
“Yes I am, you did, and you are.” Han had heard Lucky’s thoughts, since they were about him, and Lucky hadn’t shielded them, so he’d answered in kind.
“I’m sorry,” Lucky said.
“Accepted,” Han responded, but his face had returned to the cold expression.
“Can we talk?”
“What is my mom mad about, for starters?”
“I don’t know that she is.” Han didn’t offer another word of explanation.
“She acts… weird.”
That wasn’t an answer, and Lucky’s breath started to come faster as frustration gripped him. “Well, tell me this, then. Why are you ignoring me?”
Han sat still and breathed long enough for Lucky to get a little scared. Do I really want the answer?
Han crossed his muscular brown arms over his chest. Deadly calm and quiet, he said, “Not everything is about you, Luccan.”
He might as well have punched Lucky in the gut.
I have to admit, I’m disturbed by the way Han is leaning against his kitchen table, his hair flopping forward to cover his face, looking more bedraggled now than sexy. He almost looks defeated, but this is Han, so that just isn’t possible, is it?
“Are you all right? I’m sorry, I—”
“I’ll be fine. It’s just that every time I think about that conversation, I get angry with myself all over again.”
“You shouldn’t blame yourself, Han!”
Uh-oh. Lisa! He’s seen your shoes! Yeah, I appreciate you tucking your feet back under the chair in an effort to hide those lethal stilettos, but I fear it’s too late!
“That’s true, isn’t it, Lou? I’m not the one who created that awful moment. I didn’t say those hurtful words to my nephew, whom I love and treasure, of my own volition. No, the blame lies squarely with you!
“Okay, well, Han Shieth, I think my bunch here needs to head back Earthward. So, hey, maybe I’ll catch you at a better time for the interview, right?”
Everybody, right now, run for the wizard’s tower, and don’t look back!
All right then. I’m assuming you’re all back safely. Thanks for accompanying me today. You were awesome for not abandoning me back there. Seriously, I don’t think Han would ever hurt me, but you know, he’s the kind of guy you don’t want to tempt too far. Agreed?
Hey, here’s a link to my blog tour schedule. I hope to see you again, and I promise it’s going to be a little safer from here on out. No, really!
For more adventures, you can follow the Wraith Queen’s Veil blog tour HERE
By the way, you can get one or both of The Sun Child Chronicles books 35% off with discount code SUNCHILD2 at Harmony Ink and Dreamspinner stores. Offer is good through 10/20/16.
And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Four prizes, and you can enter more than once!
Thank you again for being with me today! (And don’t worry. If Han comes after anyone, it will be me.)
About the Book
When Lucky arrives in Ethra, the world of his birth and destiny, he expects a joyful reunion, but the first thing he notices when he reaches the Sisterhold—his home—is something false behind his mother’s smile. In a matter of weeks, the Sisterhold becomes agitated with worries and war plans. People he trusts—like the wizard Thurlock—frequently can’t be found. His mother seems angry, especially with Lucky. Even Han Shieth, the warrior uncle he has come to rely on and love above all others, maintains a sullen silence toward him.
When Lucky’s resentment builds to the breaking point, his bad decisions put him and his friends, L’Aria and Zhevi, in unthinkable danger. Han arrives to help, but he can’t claim invulnerability to the hazards and evils that threaten at every turn. Events launch Lucky, alone, on a quest for he knows not what, but every step brings him closer to his identity and full strength. Self-knowledge, trust, and strength lead to smarter choices, but even his best efforts might not render his world truly safe, now or for the future.
About the Author
Lou Hoffmann has carried on her love affair with books for decades, yet she hasn’t even made a dent in the list of books she’d love to read—at least partly because the list keeps growing. She reads factual things—books about physics and history and fractal chaos, but when she wants truth, she looks for it in quality fiction. She loves all sorts of wonderful things: music and silence, laughter and tears, youth and age, sunshine and storms, forests and fields, flora and fauna, rivers and seas. Even good movies and popcorn! Those things help her breathe, and everyone she knows helps her write. (Special mention goes to (1) George the Lady Cat and (2) readers.) Proud to be a bisexual, biracial woman, Lou considers every person a treasure not to be taken for granted. In her life, she’s seen the world’s willingness to embrace differences change, change back, and change again in dozens of ways, but she has great hope for the world the youth of today will create. She writes for readers who find themselves anywhere on the spectrums of age and gender, aiming to create characters that live not only in their stories, but always in your imagination and your heart.