Special excerpt from fantasy novel Fire Above by C. H. MacLean

Today’s special feature is the fantasy novel, Fire Above, by C. H. MacLean.
During his virtual book tour, C. H. will be awarding a $30 Amazon
or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky winner. To be
entered for a chance to win, use the
form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his
other tour stops and enter there, too.
A bit
about the author:
To
young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They
gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw
them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the
librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read
that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great
restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly
abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going
back for more.
With
an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading
in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the
teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard.
“She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C.
H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get
caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps
and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But
toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors.
So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving
foolish fantasies for serious work.
Years
passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the
way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped
in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it
said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested.
The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.
So
one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere.
Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of
an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in
dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting.
“But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or
friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books,
life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.
C.
H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five pets, two kids, one spouse,
and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be
named, at least.
Blurb
about the novel:
I
love her so much, I’d risk anything.
She and I don’t have
names. We’re just slaves, after all. But our hearts don’t care, and we’re
lucky, we have a chance at a scrap of happiness in our terrible lives. My
father is the Queen’s pet.
But when my love
discovers the lords’ newest atrocity, she lashes out, does the unthinkable, and
attacks one of them. Her courage is heroic, but now they have stuffed her in
prison, getting ready to slaughter her.
With nothing to lose,
I dare to dream of a life far from the lords. I fight for our freedom, and
escape to the woods with my love. We can do no less than free all of our people
in the effort.
Our flight through
the woods is only the start of our journey. The lords’ flaming attacks, their
deception, the loss of so many of my people—I don’t know if I will survive, or
if I even want to. But for my love, I will do almost anything, even battle the
fire above.

Excerpt from Fire
Above
:
My father opened the small door and
his eyes lit up for a brief second. He must be alone. We were still in the
hall, though, so I said, “I live to serve.”
“I live to serve,” he said, moving
aside and ushering me in.
His office always looked the same.
Fireballs hovering in the corners cast flickering but bright light around the
small room. Baskets of tally sticks lined the room in an order only he
understood, stacks of the thin sheets of metal the lords used to hold language
on the one table in the room. No chair or decoration. Looking like a storage
closet, this room saw most of the information about the empire.
Inside, my father relaxed a hair. He
gave me a half-smile and put one hand on my shoulder. “Where were you?” he said
in low tones. “They need a runner to go to the far southeast village.”
“The lords wanted to collect a
package from oldest brother’s house,” I said. “They Called his youngest.”
“Already?” he said, his eyes
falling. All three of my grandsons, I heard him think. I thought I had more
time. He thought about telling me something else, something serious. Once again
I considered telling him I could hear his thoughts, so he might as well just
talk to me. Once again, I rejected the idea. My ability was close to magic, and
everyone knew only lords could use magic. I loved my father, but didn’t know
how he would react.
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9 thoughts on “Special excerpt from fantasy novel Fire Above by C. H. MacLean

  1. MomJane says:

    I remember deciding to read every book In the library. I was crushed when I realized that other people were checking them out and I was missing some of them. Loved the excerpt.

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