Monday, April 13, 2015

Deborah Millitello on "Green Is the Color of Her Eyes So Blue" in GIFTS OF DARKOVER

On a wondrous planet of telepaths and swordsmen, nonhumans and ancient mysteries, a
technologically advanced, star-faring civilization comes into inevitable conflict with one that has pursued psychic gifts and turned away from weapons of mass destruction. Darkover offers many gifts, asked for and unexpected. Those who come here, ignorant of what they will find, discover gifts outside themselves and within themselves. The door to magic swings both ways, however, and many a visitor leaves the people he encounters equally transformed.

Gifts of Darkover will be released May 5, 2015, and is now available for pre-order.

Deborah Millitello on her story, "Green Is the Color of Her Eyes So Blue"

I read all the Darkover books and was fascinated by the mixture of fantasy and science fiction.  I especially liked the newest book, The Children of Kings, which started me wondering why the Dry Towners didn’t have the psychic power called laran.  What if one of them did have laran?  What if a Dry Towner had laran because she was different from everyone else?

That’s when I thought about my granddaughter Danielle.  She, her brother and sister, mother, aunt, and cousin all have a genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia.  They have no sweat glands so they can’t tolerate heat.  Their skin is extremely delicate, often cracking and raw on hands and feet.  Hair is brittle and breaks or falls out.  Fingernails and teeth are often deformed.

So what if a Dry Towner had a genetic condition like my granddaughter that let her use laran with the help of a special crystal, similar to the starstone?  What could she use it for?  Two things would be important in a desert land – water and food.  I chose quickly growing food as her ability, and she uses it to feed the poorest people in the Dry Town capital.

My newest book is The Water Girl, a YA fantasy adventure, released February 4, 2015 from Word Posse.  Seventeen-year-old Hamalah lives with her grandmother in a nomadic tribal society and is blessed by Myruh, the water spirit, with the ability to find water in the desert lands her people inhabit.  Led by Myruh to a cave, Hamalah discovers Crown Prince Dahoud, the son of her people’s chief enemy, who has been bound, beaten, and left for dead.  Together, they uncover a plot to kill the prince and his father and usurp the throne, a plot that reaches from a member of Hamalah’s own tribe to a powerful noble of the kingdom, a plot that will pit the elemental spirits and the people who follow them against each other.  Hamalah and Dahoud are drawn to each other despite the long history of hatred between their races, but they must gather forces who were once enemies and lead them in a fight to free her people and save the kingdom.  The Water Girl is available from Amazon in paperback or as ebook.

My next book, coming out in November 2015 from Word Posse, is a collection of short stories entitled Do Virgins Taste Better? and Other Strange Tales.  It will be available in paperback and ebook from Amazon.

Deborah Millitello published her first story in 1989 in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine. Since then her stories have appeared various magazines such as Dragon Magazine; Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, including the third-place Cauldron winner “Do Virgins Taste Better?”; Science Fiction Age; and anthologies such as Aladdin Master of the Lamp; Witch Fantastic; Sword and Sorceress; Tales of Talislanta, and Bruce Coville’s Book of Nightmares. Her first book, Thief’s Luck, a YA fantasy mystery, is out from Double Dragon Publishing, and a YA fantasy novel, The Water Girl, will be out in February 2015 from Word Posse. She spends her free time baking cookies, cakes, and pies, making gourmet jams such as strawberry lemonade jam, lemon blueberry jam, and tangerine marmalade, knitting & crocheting, and growing herbs, vegetables, berries & orchard fruit. A member of the Alternate Historians writers group, she lives in southern Illinois with her husband Carl (who has put up with her writing obsession for over forty years), has three children and nine grandchildren, one great-grand child on the way, and works at a doctor’s answering service as her day job.

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