Blog Tour: Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer ~ Excerpt

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Beneath the Haunting Sea

Hardcover400 pages
Expected publication: January 9th 2018 
by Page Street


Sixteen-year-old Talia was born to a life of certainty and luxury, destined to become Empress of half the world. But when an ambitious rival seizes power, she and her mother are banished to a nowhere province on the far edge of the Northern Sea.

It is here, in the drafty halls of the Ruen-Dahr, that Talia discovers family secrets, a melancholy boy with a troubling vision of her future, and a relic that holds the power of an ancient Star. On these shores, the eerie melody of the sea is stronger than ever, revealing long-forgotten tales of the Goddess Rahn. The more dark truths that Talia unravels about the gods’ history—and her own—the more the waves call to her, and it may be her destiny to answer.

Excerpt # 8:

She was six or seven when her mother first told her the story of how the world was made. Her father had been in Eddenahr instead of at home in Irsa, so it was just the two of them.
It was winter, not cold enough for snow but cold enough to sit in front of the fire, wrapped in a blanket and sipping chocolate, rich and hot and sweet.
“In the beginning there wasn’t anything,” said her mother, sitting beside Talia. Her skirt pooled around her in a perfect circle of dark green silk. “No light, no trees, no world. Just darkness.”
Talia drank more chocolate and scooted closer, eyes wide, ears alert and listening.
“Then the One who was before everything, even the gods, shaped three Stars in the emptiness and set them swirling about a single point in the void. The Stars were the most powerful things in existence, because they were first, and closest to the One’s heart.”
The wind whistled outside of the windows. The fire popped, shooting hot embers out onto the stone floor. Talia watched them spark orange and then wink out, turning to ash.
“And in that point, as the Stars wheeled, the One who was before the gods made Endahr, the world. It was very beautiful, but it was empty, and so he made a Tree to fill it up, a huge white Tree formed from the dust of the Stars. He set it in the middle of Endahr, and it stretched its branches up to the heavens, but it still wasn’t enough.”
“What did he do then?” Talia whispered, the story pulsing sharp in her heart.
“He made the gods,” said her mother, a smile touching her lips. “Listen, and I will tell you their names:
“Tuer was first, lord of the mountain, the most powerful of all the gods, and their leader. Raiva came after—she was born in the light of the Stars and woke already singing. She was made lady of trees and green growing things.”
Talia squirmed happily and put her elbows down on her knees, forgetting about her chocolate.
“Huen was lord of the earth,” her mother went on, “and Caida the guardian of Stars and fire. Aigir was lord of the sea; Hahld his brother had charge of the rivers and streams. Ahdairon was the lady of the air—the birds obeyed her, and she dwelt with Mahl, lord of wind and thunder. Last of all was Uerc, lord of the beasts. He rode a great black horse and wandered all of Endahr, naming the animals, and speaking to them.”
Talia pictured the gods as her mother talked about them, beautiful and mysterious and strong. Raiva had silver hair, she imagined, and Tuer looked a great deal like her father. Huen was like the emperor, except he wore a brown coat, and Aigir and Hahld were vaguely green. Caida wore a gown made of fire, while Ahdairon had wings as bright as a parrot’s. Mahl was always frowning. Uerc had a jaguar for a pet. She couldn’t decide which one she liked best.
“The One who was before the gods charged them with the keeping of Endahr. He told them to guard it, to make it flourish and grow, and to guide and keep Mankind when they awoke. So they were called the Nine Guardians.”
“And did they guard Endahr?” asked Talia, tucking herself under her mother’s arm.
Her mother smiled and kissed the top of her head, pulling her tight. “For a time. The One created spirits to help them—beautiful beings a little less powerful than the gods, called the Servants. Raiva taught them how to sing.”
“Is that the end of the story?” Talia said sleepily, yawning and leaning her head against her mother’s chest.
“Almost. The gods and their Servants dwelled happily on Endahr, eating fruit from the Tree and living in the shade of its branches. Birds and animals flourished. The Tree grew strong, the Stars burned bright. All was well until Mankind awoke on Endahr.”
“But where did Mankind come from?”
“The One formed them from a Tree leaf and a spark of Starlight, then planted them in the earth until it was time for them to awake.”
Talia listened to her mother’s heartbeat, strong and steady beneath her ear. “What happened then?”
“Everything changed,” her mother said. “But that is another story.”
She fell asleep, then, in her mother’s lap by the fire, filled with warmth and peace and love. The gods from the stories danced behind her eyes, and she wasn’t afraid.

Excerpted from BENEATH THE HAUNTING SEA © Copyright 2018 by Joanna Ruth Meyer. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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About the Author:

Joanna Ruth Meyer hails from Mesa, Arizona, where she lives with her dear family, a rascally feline, and an enormous grand piano. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to convince her students that Bach is actually awesome, or plotting her escape from the desert. She loves good music, thick books, looseleaf tea, rainstorms, and staring out of windows. One day, she aspires to own an old Victorian house with creaky wooden floors and a tower (for writing in, of course!).