We were so excited to learn that fan favorite Alexis Morgan has a new series releasing next year that we immediately contacted the author. RT wanted to be the first to bring readers information about the fantasy/romance series River of the Damned along with a peek at the series starter, My Lady Mage, set to hit shelves next summer.
First, we've got to ask, is this a Paladin series spin-off or are you embarking on an all-new adventure?
This is a whole new adventure for me, one I’m really excited about. River of the Damned will be my first fantasy romance series, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The first story in the series, My Lady Mage, will be released by Signet Eclipse in July 2012.
My Lady Mage features a woman who can wake the damned, that's a pretty crazy power. Can you share a hint about how she controls it?
Lady Merewen’s family lands are under attack. Desperate to save her people and the horses that she loves, she invokes an ancient spell. At the edge of the river, she calls on the gods for help, asking that they send the Damned, five ancient warriors, to defend her people.
And what inspired you to give her this power?
I could just see these warriors sleeping beneath the cold chill of the river, awaiting their next calling. Only someone the gods deem worthy of their help will succeed. Lady Merewen has fought to protect her people, suffering at the hands of her greedy uncle. She knows that without some outside help, her people are at risk from those who wield the darkest of magic.
And let's talk looks — now I know you don't want to share too much, but if your heroine were an article of clothing, what would she be and why?
Lady Merewen would be a tunic made of sturdy cloth, one that is feminine in design but doesn’t get in the way of her carrying out her duties around her family’s keep.
Things aren't smooth sailing for your hero either, he's "an ancient warrior, avatar of the gods" — none of which sounds like an easy job. What's one unexpected perk of his gig?
Captain Gideon hasn’t aged a day in centuries and has more strength and stamina than a purely human man would. I think his coolest “perk” is that he has a personal avatar, a gyrfalcon named Scim, which he can call forth from his shield to fight at his side. When Scim is flying, Gideon can share his senses and see the world through the falcon’s eyes.
The story is set in a world full of dark magic (and, I can only assume, things that go bump in the night) so what's something that either your hero or your heroine is afraid of?
Gideon and Merewen fear the blood magic that can strike at a distance and without warning.
Is there a secondary character in the picture who might get his or her own story soon?
Gideon has four friends, who chose to join him as avatars of the gods: Kane, Murdoch, Duncan, and Averel. Each of them is a fierce warrior with his own personal avatar. After centuries of serving the gods, I think they all deserve a little happiness in their lives.
Let's talk about your Damned for a moment. Are these zombie-esque damned, or vampire damned; can we get three details about who these poor souls are?
The Damned are Gideon and his four friends, each a fierce warrior in his own right. Centuries ago, they were all cursed to sleep beneath the river until a worthy supplicant calls them forth to serve as their champions. The Damned walk in the world from the Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice, at which time they face the judgment of the gods again.
In your Paladins series you invite readers into an intricate world, but it's one that looks a lot like our own on the outside, can we expect the same from My Lady Mage, or will it have a more historical romance or fantasy genre feel?
My Lady Mage is definitely a fantasy romance. Gideon and his men are knights. The heroine lives in a stone keep surrounded by a wooden palisade. Magic is part of their world, but not something they are comfortable with because like any kind of power it can be abused.
Finally, if you had the mage powers of the heroine, what's one thing you would do with her abilities?
Lady Merewen’s primary gift is a special connection with the fabulous horses her clan has bred for centuries. I would love to ride across the grasslands of her world, sharing that special connection with the horses, seeing the world through their eyes.
Thank you Alexis Morgan! I know everyone at the RT offices is excited about your upcoming release. How about our readers? Are you intrigued by the My Lady Mage and the quintet of the damned? Let us know by leaving a comment below. And remember, we're covering paranormal fiction all month long! To get the latest Paranormal Month coverage and enter our giant Paranormal prize pack giveaway, click here!