Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sharon Skinner - The Matriarch's Devise is featured at the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Sharon Skinner's New Book: The Matriarch's Devise. 

Sharon Skinner is an award-winning poet and author. She is the author of The Healer's Legacy and The Nelig Stones.

The Matriarch's Devise

The Healer's Trilogy Book 2

Author: Sharon Skinner

Barnes and Noble

“If we turn our backs on who we are, who knows what danger we ourselves may become?”

Orphaned by war, haunted by unknown origins, KIRA is a young woman with a secret. She can psychically communicate with certain animals.

Determined to discover the truth of her heritage, Kira resumes her journey following the events of The Healer's Legacy. Together with Milos, and accompanied by her loyal companions, Kelmir and Vaith, she sets sail for the strange land across the Faersent Sea.

But when she arrives in her mother’s homeland, what awaits her is not the welcoming arms of loving relatives, but a land filled with political strife, dark intrigue, and a family secret that could shatter everything.

Excerpt from The Matriarch's Devise

Opening pages:

Kira clutched the ship’s railing. The storm had descended on the ship without warning. Sailors scrambled to tighten lines, adjust sails and make fast anything that had come loose in the screaming winds. Froth-crested waves broke and crashed around them, hurling salt spray high overhead, lashing against a black sky. Vaith clung to her shoulder, his leathery wings folded in close to his body and the end of his long tail wrapped around the back of her neck. He gurgled deep in his throat. Kira sensed his longing for the sky, but this blowing gale would tumble a wyvern his size out of flight before he could get a wing’s length into the air. She stroked his smooth-scaled chest until he tucked his head against hers, talons clutching the padded shoulder of her leather vest.

The ship rolled as the steersman adjusted their heading, keeping the prow of the ship turned into the storm. Kira swayed, knees bending to keep her balance. The crossing had taken more than a full moon and her body had become accustomed to the rock and sway of the sea beneath her. Under normal conditions, she could cross the deck with the practiced gait of a weathered sailor, but now the wind blasted the ship from all directions and the sea roiled like a boiling cauldron. Her knuckles whitened against the wet wooden rail.

With a thrust of her arms, she pushed off toward the water barrel lashed tight to the mainmast. She ladled water into the bucket she carried, filling it only half full to keep the contents from sloshing out. After tamping the barrel’s lid back into place, she hauled the bucket down into the cargo hold. Trad and Zharik were corralled on one side and though Kira and Milos mucked it out daily, the place smelled like damp straw and stable.

The ship lurched and the horses whinnied and stamped. Vaith launched himself from Kira’s shoulder and landed awkwardly on a nearby beam.

“Ah, there you go,” Milos said. “I told you she’d be right back.” He spoke gently to calm the horses, both of which twitched and shivered, their nerves strained by the rocking of the ship. “I’ve worked his legs, but it isn’t enough.” He stopped massaging Trad’s forelegs, and glanced up at Kira. “They need real exercise.”

She braced herself against the heavy rolling of the ship by wrapping an arm around a nearby beam, as she held the bucket up to Trad’s muzzle. “We’ll have to go slowly when we reach shore. It will take days for them to regain their full strength after this long at sea.” Trad’s eyes were white, but he stuck his nose into the bucket and drank, even as water splashed over the sides of the pail.

“What did the captain say?” Milos stood and stretched, spreading his legs wide and gripping a length of rope that hung from the overhead to keep his balance.

Kira shrugged. “The same thing he says each time I ask.”

“It takes as long as it takes,” they said in unison and almost laughed despite the storm and their frustration at the long confinement they’d endured aboard the Sunfleet. The ship lurched again and Trad yanked his head from the bucket, knocking it into Kira, dousing the front of her. She gasped and reached out to calm the frightened horse. “You’d think Captain Salhker and Heresta were schooled from the same book,” Kira grumbled, giving Trad’s soft nose a pat. “There, now, Trad.”

“This weather’s turned more foul of a sudden, though.” Kira frowned. “Our fine captain says we’ve been swept north along the coast far beyond our intended landing.” She set down the bucket and swiped at her wet clothing. “They’ve battened down the hatches. All but this one.” She nodded up at the opening that led out onto the ship’s deck.

The crisscrossed covering that usually closed off the hold from above was little more than a grating to keep normal stock from escaping the hold, and had been left open as part of their negotiated accommodations for the voyage. Though, not without plenty of mutters and complaints. Most of the crew disliked the idea of a large hunting cat with free access to the decks. “I’ll be glad to be back on land again and no longer at the mercy of this fickle sea.” And this sour crew, she thought.

From the corner of the hold, Kelmir growled in agreement, his feline eyes glittering like amethysts in the dim light.

“Even Vaith is growing tired of fish,” Kira said, with a sigh, and above her the wyvern cocked his head.

Milos gave up trying to work Zharik’s forelegs. The big stallion had locked his muscles to keep his balance. “We’re lucky to be here at all,” he reminded her. “If not for you healing the Dock Master’s son—”

“And the emptying of your purse,” she chided.

Milos shrugged. “It was only money,” he said, standing and patting Zharik’s chest. “And spent for a good cause.” He reached out and pulled her close, and she leaned into him.

With a sudden lurch, the ship heaved hard to port. A shout rang out from above. Kira and Milos were tossed against the side of the hold. Vaith squawked, wings flapping. The groan of wood and the whipping of sails were drowned out by the roar of water and wind. The ship rolled back to starboard with a loud grinding of wet wood.

“What was that?” Milos clung to the wooden slats that served as a makeshift stable wall.

Kira wrapped her arm about an upright beam and put a hand up to stroke Vaith, wishing she could send him into the sky and see through his eyes. But she dared not risk him to the storm. Yet, with a smoothness that came from years of practice, her mind momentarily melded with his. She suddenly saw the hold’s interior with a new precision and her hearing heightened. “Rocks,” a lookout shouted. “Rocks ahead, Cap’n.”

“Put yer backs into it boys. Put yer backs into it!” the captain ordered in his raspy voice.

Kira snapped back into her own body. “Rocks,” she hissed. “And we’re headed right for them.”

Author Genre: Children's Books,Fantasy

Author's Blog: Livejournal
Twitter: @sharonskinner56
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

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Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Sharon holds a GPC, a BA in English, an MA in Creative Writing, and a poetic license. Her work has been published in a number of local, national and international publications. She previously served for eight years as the Executive Editor of Anthology magazine, a small press literary magazine published in Mesa, Arizona. Sharon is an active member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and serves as the Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI AZ.

Author's Book List
Mirabella & the Faded Phantom
“Something hissed and a wet chill wrapped around Mirabella’s wrist and crawled toward her shoulder. She whipped around and glimpsed the outline of someone sitting on the edge of her bed. But as she stared, the image faded to a blur.”

When twelve-year old Mirabella and her mother move into Great Aunt Clovinia’s old house, Mirabella discovers they aren’t the only ones living there. A mysterious faded specter haunts the place.

When the house is scheduled for demolition, Mirabella must unravel the mystery of the ghost’s identity, and free it from the old house before it’s too late..

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Nelig Stones - Volume 1
Stefani and Robbie aren’t friends. In fact, they can barely stand each other. But when they find themselves magically transported to a land where dragons rule and faeries carry swords, their only way back home is to work together and find the five magical talismans known as the Nelig Stones. But the dark dragon, Ashkell, and his villainous advisor Greenback, are also searching for the powerful Nelig Stones and plan to use their magic to usurp the Anorian throne and seize control of the realm. Through perilous adventure, and with the help of some unusual companions, Stefani and Robbie learn that things aren’t always what they seem, that inner strength and friendship are mighty powers that can stand against even the darkest magic, and that home, while not always perfect, might not be such a bad place after all.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Healer's Legacy
Orphaned by war, haunted by unknown origins, and chased by a warlord and his army of brutal soldiers. KIRA is a young woman with a secret. She can psychically communicate with animals. She is also on the run from her abusive mate Toril, the hero turned warlord, who led the country’s forces to victory against the outland raiders. Only that was before his love of power consumed him. Now, his only focus is on tracking down Kira and making her punishment an example of his power. But the quest for freedom isn’t the only struggle Kira faces. She must also come to terms with her past choices, whose echoes drive her present. And now, the future of the land and people she has come to love depends on the decisions she will be forced to make.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

In Case You Didn't Hear Me The First Time
A tremendous collection of poetry and prose from Sharon Skinner. Whether samples of poetry from over the last 15 years, a great story about traveling in the Indian Ocean in the Navy, or a fantastic story, this book is sure to give you a tremendous read, not to mention introduce you to this amazing, award winning author. Includes the award winning poems Another Grandmother Poem and The Dancer. Sharon Skinner is an award-winning poet who received her B.A. inEnglish from Ottawa University and her M.A. in Creative Writing from Prescott College.She is currently a board member for Anthology, Inc. and the AAGP(American Association of Grant Professionals), and is a Certified Grants Professional (GPC).

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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