Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

an impossible choice - The Tiger's Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember

"I have to admit that I had high expectations for this one ever since I heard about it, which was around the time that I had read Unicorn Tracks. In absolutely no ways did this one disappoint. In fact, it blew me away. The Tiger’s Watch was everything I was hoping for, with a genderfluid protagonist, found families, slowburn romance, and badass magic. And that’s not even going into Julia’s writing, which was beautiful." - Avery, Goodreads


Release Date: August 22nd, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

Road to Publication 

The Tiger’s Watch is my third published work! It seems a little bit surreal now, because 2016/2017 have been such whirlwind years for me. My first book was a young adult, fantasy novella called Unicorn Tracks. I published it with the same publisher as The Tiger’s Watch. 

Prior to getting published, I wrote five complete manuscripts that I trunked. Most of these were written more than a decade again now, in my teens and college years. I wrote voraciously as a teenager – novels, poetry, fan fiction, short stories – and pursued a minor in Creative Writing at university. But when I finished my undergraduate degree, I decided to go into academia instead of writing. I was offered a place at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to pursue a masters in Mediaeval Literature. I’d always been fascinated by the Middle Ages, both academically and as a setting for many of my early novel attempts. When I first began advanced study, I loved it. I completed my Masters with distinction, and was invited to start a PhD at St. Andrews. But while I was studying, I had no time to write creatively or read fiction. I had mountains of books to read for my classes, articles and conference preparation. My creative writing got pushed aside for several years. 

In my second year of my PhD, things started to go downhill. My mental health wasn’t good, and I was losing interest in my very narrow, specific topic. After struggling for a year, I made the decision to take a break and explore other career options. I started interning for Folio Literary Agency, reading manuscripts and submissions. During that internship, I started writing a middle grade novel. After six months, I decided that I wanted to work in the book industry and that academia wasn’t for me. I started querying my Middle Grade novel, but didn’t have any success with it. So, I started writing something very different – a YA fantasy, 1st person, about two girls falling in love while on safari. That book eventually became Unicorn Tracks. 

My process to publication with Unicorn Tracks still wasn’t smooth. I began querying it in late 2014, before the We Need Diverse Books campaign took off. I was literally told by several agents and small publishers, that f/f doesn’t sell. One publisher shockingly suggested that I might rewrite Unicorn Tracks to make the girls “buddies” instead of lovers. It was tempting to give up. Luckily, I eventually received a few offers of publication from two small presses who were willing to take a risk on an unusual book. 

Goodreads ** Amazon ** Google Play ** BAM ** Chapters ** Indies ** Barnes&Noble ** Kobo ** TBD ** iTunes
About the author:
Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She spends her days working in the book trade and her nights writing teen fantasy novels. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, PokemonGo and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black the cats currently run her life.

Julia is a polyamorous, bisexual writer. She regularly takes part in events for queer teens, including those organised by the Scottish Booktrust and LGBT Youth Scotland. A world traveler since childhood, she has now visited more than sixty countries. Her travels inspire the fantasy worlds she creates, though she populates them with magic and monsters.

Julia began her writing career at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest in Touch magazine. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, which also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns. Her second novel, The Seafarer’s Kiss will be released by Interlude Press in May 2017. The book was heavily influenced by Julia’s postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at The University of St. Andrews. It is now responsible for her total obsession with beluga whales.

In August 2017, her third novel and the start of her first series, Tiger's Watch, will come out with Harmony Ink Press. In writing Tiger's Watch, Julia has taken her love of cats to a new level.

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