QSFer Nita Round has a new queer steampunk fantasy out, The Towers of the Earth Book 4: “A Touch of Ice.”
To have a future, they must face their past.
Magda, Ascara and Lucinda must draw upon the strength of their trinity to seek out the truths of the past that hold the key to their future.
They travel north, to Magda’s place of birth amongst the Oceanics. For Magda, this is an unwelcoming place, a reminder that she was banished and dealt a cruel fate. Named Stoner and landlocked, for an Oceanic this is a dishonour and a fate worse than death. To return to the float again would place her life, and those with her, at risk.
In the freezing waters of the far north, Magda finds herself defending her honour and birth right. She must succeed as their fate depends upon it. Failure is not an option, the costs are too high.
If you like a mash-up of steampunk and fantasy, with strong willed and quick-witted women, then you’ll love Nita Round’s imaginative series.
Will Magda allow the past to hold her back, or will she find her destiny? Click the Buy Now button at the top to enter Magda’s world today.
A Touch of Ice is the fourth book in the Towers of the Earth fantasy adventure series.
Magda Stoner, captain of the airship Verity, stood at the prow of the Oceanic ship, the Ketch-Meh, as they sailed north across the Oceania Grandia. The iron-grey waters filled Magda with a longing she had not thought she would ever feel. A longing for home.
After all these years, she was going to the Oceanic float of Frid’Het Kald. The place of her birth. She gripped the beam by the bow sprit and squeezed the oiled wood until her knuckles turned white. Thoughts of home belonged to the dreams of the child she had been, not the woman she had become. Frid’Het Kaldhad ceased to have any real meaning when they’d cast her out. When they’d taken away her name and called her Stoner.
If such a place existed, then it was with the fisherman who had pulled her out of the sea in Gypta. The man who had saved her, given her a home, a purpose, and a place in the world.
She had settled, for a while, at the palace at Port Ruth. That’s where she’d met her wife. But that, too, had been taken away. Then she had made her home on Verity. She had made a crew of people she cared for and trusted. Now they suffered because of her and because of the Trinity of Raven, Fire, and Ice. Were her crew safe now? Had they completed enough repairs to get Verity and the crew to shelter?
“Magda, are you all right?” Lucinda, the Raven in their trinity, asked.
“I’m fine.” Magda turned around and smiled when she saw Ascara and Lucinda approaching. They were dressed in the thick clothing she had provided for the trip.
“Magda,” Ascara said, “aren’t you cold?”
“No.” Magda smiled, but she pulled her service jacket a little closer. “But it is a little fresh this morning.”
“Fresh? Fresh? It’s bloody freezing,” Ascara said. “I’m wearing the clothing from the trunks, and I’m still cold.”
Magda looked at her with a critical eye. “You would be warmer if you wore all of the clothing I provided.”
“I am,” Ascara said.
“No, you have the jacket. But the trunk contains leggings and waterproof over-trousers. And the underlayers, along with the sweaters and coats, should keep you more than warm enough.”
“But they’re so bulky,” Ascara complained. “You could attach a gondola to me, and I’d look like a blimp.”
Magda laughed. “Maybe so, but at least you’d be warm. I suggest when you want to come out on deck, you wear the clothing, all the clothing, I’ve provided.”
“Bossy,” Ascara moaned.
“You’ll thank me when it gets really cold,” Magda said.
“That’s what I’m worried about,” Ascara said.
“And it will get cold. Especially when the winds are up.”
“Bloody hell,” Ascara groaned. A gust of wind blew across the deck, and even Magda shivered.
“Two days ago, we were aboard Verity,” Magda said.
Ascara stepped forward and gripped her shoulder. “They’ll be fine. They are safer without us, and the crew know what they need to do.”
Magda nodded. “You’re right, but it doesn’t feel good at all. Are we doing the right thing? Maybe we should go back.”
“No,” Lucinda said. “Going back would not help. We’re on this path now.”
“But did we make the right decision?” Magda asked.
“Yes,” Ascara answered, her voice and tone emphatic. “Someone wanted to make sure you didn’t go north, so that’s exactly where we should go.”
“Even though there is nothing but trouble ahead?” Magda asked.
“Trouble in front and trouble behind. It’s as though we are the heart of a storm,” Lucinda said.
Magda snorted. “A storm of shadows. And we are but a few.”
“It will be enough,” Ascara said. “There are us three and our crew.”
“A crew of four?” Magda asked.
“Crewman Smith, Officer Phipps, Engineer Raychan, and Crewman Barnes are a good team,” Ascara said. “And with us three, we’re invincible.”
“Captain,” said a male voice, “sorry to interrupt.”
“Trouble, Crewman Smith?”
“Sally—Officer Phipps would like to check issues of navigation with you,” he replied.
“Is there a problem?”
“Tell Officer Phipps she’s doing just fine. Tell her to maintain this course until I can speak with her.”
“Aye, Captain.” He saluted and left.
“Maybe we should go below and leave you to it,” Lucinda said. “I get the idea there is a problem that needs your attention.”
Nita has written all her life, whether short stories, games scenarios or novels. She loves to write about strong female characters, fantasy and speculative fiction.
When not working, she is an avid gamer, she escapes to any world, any format, any console, and any time. She also plays Role Play Games (AD&D, Werewolf, Cthulhu) and is sadistic enough to be the dungeon master whenever she can.
Other interests include: cemeteries, cooking (inherited from family of chefs), making damson gin and of course tasting it make sure it is fit for consumption.
Find out more about her on: https://www.nitaround.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NitaRoundBooks/