by D. Lieber
GENRE: Fantasy Romance
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Retreating underground to escape a devastating ice age, humans build a new society. When magic is discovered and harnessed for survival, the citizens of Terrenus establish theories and principles of how to use it.
Kai Stephenson is determined to prove magical principles aren’t set in stone. Having lost her younger brother in a tragic accident, she will ensure such accidents never harm anyone else. She enrolls at the most elite university to gain the knowledge she needs to achieve her goal. Overconfident that living as a boy at an all-boys university will only be a minor inconvenience, Kai is convinced her classmates will never discover that she’s a woman. After all, women aren’t capable of higher forms of magic, and her boyish figure certainly doesn’t hurt her disguise.
Hiding her true identity becomes a problem when her new friends start to awaken her repressed sexuality.
When I exited the bathroom, Flynn had a hot cup of cocoa waiting for me. Handing me the cup, he wrapped me in a blanket and sat me down on a desk chair. He sat on the floor, leaning back against my legs. I sipped my cocoa and absently stroked his dark hair away from his forehead. The ends curled around my fingers like soft rings.
“Won’t the finishing school contact your family when you don’t show?”
“Patti told them I wasn’t coming. Like Capital University, it is publicly funded, so there isn’t tuition to send back. They will just think I changed my mind.”
He made a noise of acknowledgement. “Why did you choose Capital University and not a less conspicuous school?”
“Why did you?” I asked. “It’s the best, I knew I would find the information I need here, and Sei is an alumnus, so he could easily get me in.”
“Well, I’m glad you chose to come here,” he whispered.
We sat silently for a while. I continued to sip cocoa and stroke his hair. He laid his head back, looking at me upside-down. His brown eyes, usually sparkling with mischief, were intense and serious.
“I can’t imagine ever forgetting or ignoring you, Kai,” he whispered.
My hand stilled on his hair as he held me with his eyes. I put the cocoa on my desk, feeling too warm to finish it. Licking my lips, I whispered, “Thank you, Flynn.”
Tension built as our eyes remained locked. His gaze was strong and demanding. I bent my head toward him. No thoughts. No plan. No idea what I was doing. I sighed and my eyelids fluttered.
Q & A with D. Lieber
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I believe everything a person reads influences his or her work, whether consciously or not. Conjuring Zephyr was more influenced by anime and Korean television than any books I read. However, Anne Bishop is the author that most influenced my love for fantasy romance.
Tell us something you hate doing. Why?
I hate calling for pizza. I was so happy when pizza places stared having apps so I could order online. If I am being so lazy that I’m not going to cook, I don’t want to interact with anyone from the outside world. Of course that makes it sound like I’m an introvert. Most authors are. Actually, I’m an extrovert. The interesting thing about extroverts is: while we love to be around people, once we’re done, stay away.
Share a funny incident in your life.
This is a difficult question. So many funny things happen in my life. My family loves to tell the story of what they call the flying dragon kick. Growing up, my younger brother, TJ, and I fought as close siblings usually do. Sometimes, it would get physical. When I was in high school, I took martial arts classes at the same time as he was on the wresting team. Our fights were pretty good training when I look back on them. I could win as long as I was quick. But if he got his hands on me, it was over. I don’t know what we were fighting about on this particular occasion, but it turned physical. I went to side kick him, but misjudged the distance, and ended up falling. My mom said it looked like Wile E. Coyote before he falls off the cliff. Apparently, I seemed to hang there for a moment before the ground catch me. Gravity won that day.
What's your pet peeve?
I have quite a few. One pet peeve is when people misuse good and well, along with many other grammar and punctuation rules. That’s to be expected from writers and editors though. But what really gets under my skin is when people chew loudly and with their mouths open. TJ used to smack his lips so loud while chewing his cereal at six in the morning. I knew he did it just to irritate me, but it always worked. Little brothers are so good at pressing our buttons, aren’t they?
Have you ever had one character you wanted to go one way with but after the book was done the character was totally different?
My characters always surprise me. I start by giving them archetype traits and maybe little background stories, but they always do things that are unexpected. The scene in Conjuring Zephyr where Reid opens up to Kai and tells her why he and Flynn usually keep to themselves threw me for a loop. I hadn’t planned on them having such a tragedy in their pasts. Ryn and Des’ relationship was a surprise as well. But, I think Kai surprised me most of all. With her personality being a combination of determined feminism and deep empathy, she acted a lot differently than I expected her to act. She’s determined to debunk the system itself. But when it comes to actual people, she usually understands where they’re coming from. Therefore, she can’t judge them too harshly, so it causes her to get tossed around by the current quite a bit.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.
She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise) and cat (Yin).