Sunday, July 7, 2013

Smoos the Aquatic Cat & Giveaway

On the Back Cover

Eleven year-old Ennara Gaern has a serious grudge against the dragon on her right hand.

Born with a mask that foretold her magical powers, she was marked at birth with the fiery tattoo that forced her to study the boring texts on magic, cover her arm for fear of being kidnapped, and worst of all, kept her from visiting the beautiful city of Dordonne. But her quiet life changes when one night she is attacked by a shadowy demon.

Tork, an old friend and wizard, is enlisted to help but he informs Frigg’s parents that she is her world’s only hope of finding the legendary Sword of Gisilifrid, which is needed to destroy the curse that is creating the demons.  

Frigg and Tork begin a perilous journey to the Sunken City, pitting them against dangerous oceans and pirates intent on claiming Frigg’s magic as their own. With only her friends at her side, including the intelligent, aquatic cat Smoos, Frigg must defeat monsters guarding the sword and servants of the Fallen Druid. When her world is covered in darkness, will she know how to dispel the curse?

Excerpt

“Is it true she is….” Gevin blushed. “I mean, you are… magic?”
Ennara fumbled the wand as she turned it in her fingers. She scooped it off the floor. Her stomach knotted and her cheeks burned. “Oh, um, I guess.”
She nervously twirled the wand again, this time accidentally tapping the case of trinkets. A lavender light shimmered across the panes, and behind them the objects began to twitch.
“Eeep!” Ennara jumped as the severed hand crawled toward her and tapped on the glass. A long finger uncurled and poked the case open. The appendage leapt from the shelf to the chest, then the floor, and scurried to the door.
Smoos crouched on the lower bunk, wiggled her haunches, and pounced on the hand. She shook it back and forth in the air. It grabbed the cat’s snout and flicked her hard on the nose. She dropped the hand and snorted, rubbing her muzzle with her paw. The hand scampered away and hid behind the girl’s legs.
“You seem to have a penchant for necromancy, young lady.” Tork flicked his curvy black wand at the case. “Merta perape.”
The hand and other charms returned to their lifeless state.

Early on while drafting Ennara and the Fallen Druid I started looking at online catalogs of monsters from Dungeons and Dragons that might fit with the environments where most of the story took place: namely, the ocean. I compiled a long list of strange creatures in my notes, and happened upon the marine cat.

In D&D lore, marine cats are slightly larger than a housecat and behave in every way similar to your average feline. They protect a ship by sounding the alarm when intruders come aboard. They breathe water and can magically pass through locked cabins. I kept the cat in my notes and as I wrote, I wondered how she might fit in to the story.

Ennara and her friends secured a voyage to the Sunken City with Captain Anaru, a merchant shipper who was an avid collector of magical trinkets for safe voyages. In the world of Lan, the seas were especially dangerous. The world was made up of islands and oceans with huge tidal waves and storms.  A rare species of marine cat seemed like an ideal pet for Anaru. She could protect the ship and his merchandise.

As I wrote more scenes with Smoos, it became apparent how active and important she was to the story. Smoos transformed from the lucky cat described by Dungeons and Dragons. She became an equal member of the team, yet kept her cat-like individuality. Highly intelligent, she understood every situation Ennara found herself in, and in some cases had her own ideas about how they should be remedied. Extremely loyal, she saved the group more than once.

Smoos became larger, too. From being slightly larger than a housecat, she grew to the size of a full-grown lion. She looked less like a kitty and more like a panther. She gained powerful muscles and sharp claws with which she could fight and pull large objects.

As a marine cat, she also gained a couple traits that distinguished her further from regular cats. She became able to speak with marine mammals, using that ability to convince porpoises to help the stranded group on the shores of Creagh Island. Her long tail grew thick and her paws webbed, helping her to swim powerfully and quickly. With her ability to breathe under water, she was no longer a simple cat with a luck charm.

Soon after being introduced to the story, Smoos quickly became a critical ally. She brought strength, wit, comfort, and comedy to many scenes. Smoos started out as one of Anaru’s many luck charms and ended up a major character of the novel. And isn’t that just like a cat?


Angela Myron is the author of the middle grade fantasy series Ennara, the upcoming paranormal mystery A Hair of the Dog that Bit Her, and a stack of technical manuals on everything from nonlinear editing to data encryption. She lives in Whittier, California, with her husband and their twins.

Learn about Angela Myron's stories at:
www.angelamyron.com | Facebook/AngelaMyron | Twitter@AngelaMyron | Goodreads/AngelaMyron

Want more? Buy the e-book or paperback of Ennara and the Fallen Druid now!
              
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Love the cover art? Get your own print, t-shirt, or coffee mug featuring Danil Shunkov's painting The Stand in the Darkness at Ennara Swag.

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2 comments:

Catherine Lee said...

As a cat lover, this sounds fun and interesting!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Angela Myron said...

Thanks Catherine! The cat was the funnest character to write.