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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author J. Scott Coatsworth to Stories That Make You Smile. Scott is here today celebrating the release of the epic conclusion to The Oberon Cycle series. Pull up a chair and join Scott as he tells us about his process in writing this fabulous series! 🌟
Ithani by J. Scott Coatsworth
Time is running out…will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split the world?
Series: The Oberon Cycle (book 3)
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska
Release Date: February 19, 2019
Length: Novel / 97,000 words / 341 pages (Kindle)
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M, Romance, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Gay, Lesbian, Future, Quest, Wingfic
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Time is running out.
After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani–the aliens who broke the world–have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.
The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.
Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the power to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….
Oberon is one of the natural wonders of the Universe – a half planet that shouldn’t exist, at least according to the laws of nature.
Oberon is also a nest of secrets. The Skythane – the first human colonists of Oberon – keep some of them, and so do the “landers” who work for OberCorp, the company that is exploiting the planet for its natural resources.
Now Oberon is in danger. A solar flare threatens to end most life on the planet, but an ancient prophecy leads Quince, Xander, Jameson and a small group of landers and skythane on an epic quest to save the planet – and unravel its secrets along the way.
Other challenges await on the horizon, for the world, and its inhabitants. Will they find the answers they need, and their way to each other, in time?
Venin stood under the dome of the chapel, the waters of the Orn rushing past the small island to crash over the edge of the crater rim, where they fell a thousand meters to the broken city of Errian below.
The Erriani chapel was different from what he was used to back home. The Gaelani chapel in Gaelan had sat at the top of a tall pillar of stone, open to the night sky, a wide space of grass and trees that intertwined in a natural dome through which moonlight filtered down to make dappled shadows on the ground.
This chapel, instead, was a wonder of streaming sunlight, the columns a polished eggshell marble with glimmering seams of gold. Red creeper vines climbed up the columns, festooned with clusters of yellow flowers that gave off a sweet scent.
Both were bright and airy, but the Erriani chapel lay under a dome supported by fluted marble columns, a painted arch of daytime sky and the rose-colored sun blazing overhead.
The last time he’d gone to chapel had been with Tazim, before his untimely death.
Long before the troubles that roiled the world now.
Something drew him back. A need to reconnect with his past. To bridge the gap between then and now, between who he was and who he had become. Taz would have liked this place.
The chapel here had survived the attack, while much of Errian had not. The city below was a jumble of broken corrinder, the multistory plants that were the main building stock for the city. They would grow again, but the sight of the city’s beautiful white towers laid low struck him to the core.
So had Gaelan looked, after the flood.
Venin turned back to the chapel and unlaced his boots, baring his muscular calves before he approached the fountain that splashed at its center. The cool flagstone beneath his feet sent a shiver up his spine, and green moss filled the gaps between the stones.
Some builder whose name was lost to time had tapped into the river itself to make the fountain run, and the water leapt into the air with a manic energy around the golden statue of Erro, before falling back down to the pool.
Venin knelt at the fountain’s edge on one of the well-worn pads, laid his hands in the shallow water, and let his wings rest over himself, making a private place to pray.
Erro and Gael, spare us from danger and lift us up into the sky with your powerful wings. He gave Erro deference, being that this was his chapel, but he hoped Gael would hear him too. The god of his own people had been known to intervene in mortal affairs before, and if what Quince had told them about these ithani was true, they would need all the help they could get.
Venin’s wings warmed.
He looked up in astonishment to see the statue of Erro giving off an intense golden glow. His mouth dropped open, and he stood and stared at its beautiful male curves and muscles. Maybe the gods were answering him.
Venin reached up and touched the statue’s outstretched hand. The shock knocked him backward onto his ass, and he hit the ground hard, slamming into one of the marble columns.
Venin groaned, stunned, and reached back to feel his wings and spine. He seemed to be in one piece.
Taz would have laughed his ass off at the whole thing.
After a moment he sat up cautiously. He wrapped his arms around his legs and stared up at the statue, his chin on his knees.
The glow was gone.
Did I imagine it? He stood and felt the back of his head. A lump was already forming there. That’s gonna leave a mark.
Something had changed. Venin didn’t know what yet, but he was sure of that much.
He pulled his boots back on and laced them up. With one last suspicious glare at the statue, he turned and stepped out of the chapel, taking a deep breath of the moisture-laden air.
Then he leapt into the sky to soar down to the broken city.
☆ Guest Post ☆
Ithani represents a new “coming of age” for me as an author. It marks the first trilogy I have completed (though the Liminal Sky trilogy is close on its heels, and will come to its conclusion about six months after the Oberon Cycle).
Flying the story into the hangar was a daunting task. I went into Skythane, the first book in the series, with a basic outline of what was going to happen across the three books of the trilogy. As my model, I used James P. Hogan’s Giants series, which are amazing plot-wise. The stories are told like science fiction mysteries, starting with a big one. How did a man in a space suit end up on the moon fifty thousand years ago? In each of the succeeding books, another layer of the onion is peeled back, and by the end you’ve fallen through a rabbit hole to a marvelous place literally light-years away from where you started.
There’s an old saying about best laid plans, and another about the universe laughing at you as you make them.
As a writer, your story often surprises you. Characters don’t always go where you tell them or do what you want them to do, and unexpected plot twists and turns can take your whole story train and turn it away from your planned ending toward something else.
Like Timbuktu. Or cheese.
And so I arrived at the doorstep of book three with the unenviable task of gathering all those pretty little plot threads from the first two books, sorting them out, and bringing each one to a meaningful conclusion.
Many authors write their trilogies all at once these days, and then publish them over a short time frame—what I call the Netflixing of fiction. That idea has never appealed to me. I like having some waiting time between books—both as an author and as a reader—to build anticipation and to spread the enjoyment of the work out over time. I also like the space it gives me between books to truly let my imagination wander. The one advantage this model does have, however, is the fact that you can monkey with books one and two while you’re wrapping up book three. If you realize something back in chapter thirteen of book one is really messing with your ending, you can fix it before anyone is the wiser.
That’s not the case when the first two books are already out wandering the world—it’s too late for changes.
So for Ithani, I had to account for every word, every sentence, and every half-baked idea I had put into Skythane and Lander.
The good news? I think it really works.
Ithani also gave me a chance to take you where you’ve never been before. In Skythane, you got a feel for Erro in its two parts, Oberon and Titania. In Lander, you got to see the skythane world up close.
In Ithani, I take you someplace entirely new. Several places, in fact. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Devotees of my Liminal Sky series might also find a thing or two here to like. *grin*
Will I go back to Erro one of these days? I honestly don’t know. The story (for now) feels complete, and I’m happy to leave it where it is.
But I learned a long time ago to never say never. There may be more stories to be told between the landers, skythane and ithani.
For now, I hope you enjoy the epic conclusion to Xander and Jameson’s tale.
Meet the Author
Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.
He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.
His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.
A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction reflecting their own reality.
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4 thoughts on “BLOG TOUR – GUEST POST – Ithani (Oberon Cycle 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth – #Excerpt #Giveaway #GuestPost”
Oooh, the three covers are really beautiful side-by-side like that! 🙂
Aren’t they? I loved the first book, and plan to read the rest of the series, too.