5 Dec 2015

Guest post by author Zen DiPietro

When asked me the story behind the Guardians of Terath series, I had to give it some real thought. Having now written three books, it’s interesting to think back to just before I wrote the first one.
I began blogging shortly after I started writing, and both things happened for the same reason. Book publishing follows trends and unfortunately, the kind of book I like to read can be hard to find.
I like books with female protagonists who aren’t overwhelmed with concerns for their looks or their relationships. I like female heroes to be just that. Heroes who happen to be women. I also like male characters who aren’t smirky, smug jerks. I like worlds without gender stereotypes and characters who are real people who aren’t afraid to be who they are.
I also like new ideas. Dystopian stories are very popular these days because stories of deprivation and struggle create opportunities for heroes and villains. The end of the world is an inherently dramatic thing. Yet people are adaptive, inventive creatures. What about the other end of the spectrum? What if a world were nearly utopian? If environmental stressors like food and housing weren’t a motivating factor in life? What problems would people have then? Because people will always have problems, hopes, and dreams.
All that led to the creation of Terath. It’s a world of abundance and opportunity where gender stereotypes don’t exist. And, oh yes, these people have their own challenges to overcome. Imagine a world where hardship was so rare that people were unprepared for it when it came. A world with no military for protection or high-tech weapons. How would they handle a threat?
This is the focus of the first book in the series, Seeking Sorrow. The second and third books, Facing Fortune and Breaking Bard (coming early 2016), go on to tell their own individual stories while carrying through some series-wide story arcs. There may be more yet in the series, if there’s a demand for them. I’d certainly like to see what else these characters get up to.
Slowly, there are starting to be more formidable female heroes. Putting my shoulder behind that movement and pushing is why I started writing. My blog, too, celebrates this sort of book with recommendations and interviews. It’s my great hope to write and promote fiction that creates opportunities. New ideas, new ways of thinking about characters, and representation of far more diversity in general. After all, it’s fiction. The imagination is the only limit.

Facing Fortune
A new manahi. A new military. A famous bard who suddenly resurfaces after a decade of hiding.
A lot of changes have taken place on Terath, and an ecological crisis has raised tensions to the breaking point. Kassimeigh and Arc must work with Luc and the scientists in the Capital to determine whether the discovery is a threat to the planet. Each discovery unspools more questions, as they question the nature of mana and what it means to Terath.
At the same time, they must try to calm an increasingly nervous population. Will and Izzy offer their help in that regard, but the newly-formed Guard has never been called into action before.
Meanwhile, Kassimeigh must deal with a shocking change in her own circumstances, which forces her to rethink her place in the world.
Life, death, mana, and chaos rival one another for supremacy. How can Kassimeigh help protect the world when she has no idea where she belongs in it?

Seeking Sorrow
An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable mana event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth, it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about mana, even as they learn to trust one another’s abilities. They must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same.
Even success comes at a price.

Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff on her website. Very active on Twitter: @ZenDiPietro, Pinterest and Facebook

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