Hello Readers! I’m pleased to share an excerpt and a guest post from the author as a part of blog tour for a A Noble’s Path: An Enchanted Isles Novel (Enchanted Path Series, Book 2) by I.L. Cruz, organized by Rachel Poli. Check more about this new Fantasy in this post.
A Noble’s Path: An Enchanted Isles Novel (Enchanted Path Series, Book 2) by I.L. Cruz
Publication Date: January 31st 2020
Publisher: Bosky Flame Press
Cover Artist: Jack Baker
Page Count: 236
ISBN (Digital): 9781732547131
ISBN (Print): 9781732547148
Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.
The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.
Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.
And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.
Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.
Dreaming of Mother Goose
I’ve been a writer for over five years and I thought the question I’d get the most was about inspiration. Surprisingly, most people don’t ask anything at all. Those that do ask questions usually want to know about genre and where to find the books. And it’s a shame because inspiration was the question I’d prepared for the most. My current series came to me while reading Mother Goose.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again
Everyone’s seen the picture. A large egg wearing pants teetering on a wall with fantasy medieval knights circling. But did you notice an egg is never mentioned? I saw something else. It was the start of story. I imagined a ridiculous man who falls from a great height and no one knows who or why it happened. It was a mystery and book one in my series.
Little Bo Peep
Has lost her sheep
And doesn’t know where to find them
Leave them alone
And they’ll come home
Wagging their tails behind them
The first time I heard that nursery rhyme, it was in a big picture book and the illustration was of a shepherdess wearing and a bonnet and petticoats with a crook calling for her sheep. Something about that picture seemed off to me. Bo Peep sounded like a crank to me. At least whoever she was talking to thought that. And somehow that impression stuck with me.
When it came time to write A Noble’s Path when it was still part of Mother Goose Mysteries (many drafts earlier), the question of where Bo Peep’s sheep had gone. More importantly, why hadn’t they believed that the sheep really had gone missing? A random thought became another book in a series.
If the question is ever asked, I’ll say inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Every experience or random thought has the potential to become a story.
The morning dew had given way to a chill humidity. The songbirds that hadn’t left for warmer climes started tuning up their whistles and calls. Snow would come early this year. After the usual stifling heat of the hidden market, it felt frigid in the open air. I pulled my coat closer, causing a rustle of Áliz’s list of KM. I had little time to memorize it, but keeping it on me was a great danger. The KM were no kinder to traitors than the hidden market was to theirs.
I reached for the list, but stopped myself when I heard a distinctive footfall behind me.
“Hey! What did the Empress want?” asked Jacque, calling the Jabberwocky by his personal nickname for her. He bounced on the balls of his feet, his lithe frame blocking my path.
“How did you know we talked?” I asked.
His near-perfect teeth shone in a mischievous grin. Jacque was one of the best fences I knew, able to reach out to wealthy clients because of his celebrity status as a stunt performer. It helped that he didn’t look like a criminal, with his handsome features. To them his smuggling activities were a sideline, but I knew smuggling was his priority. That acrobatics brought fame, not fortune—not that money was a problem for him anymore. Delaware Humphrey’s fortune looked good on him. Jacque had traded his patched clothes for custom made. Even for his night gig.
“How often does the Jabberwocky close the market? About as often as one of her smugglers get pinched to work for the enemy,” was his reply. “I knew the market going dark had to be about you.” He withdrew a miniature blaze burner from his coat pocket and it flared almost instantly. He didn’t flinch as his callused fingers caressed the flames.
“Are you waiting for applause? Yes, it was about me. Anyway, shouldn’t you be retrieving my egg stash?” I asked.
“Already done. You’ll see a nice little profit from that—not that you need it,” he said. Jacque was one of the few smugglers who knew I was the daughter of the second most powerful noble in Canto, right after the royal family. My mother’s title meant I never had to worry about money like most smugglers, but that didn’t mean I turned my nose up at extra cash. Funding rebels was expensive.
“I could say the same about you. Have you moved yet?” I asked. Jacque had come into a tidy sum after his half-brother, Delaware Humphrey, was killed.
“Not quite and don’t think I haven’t noticed you changed the subject. What did the Empress say?” He continued to fiddle with the mini blaze burner.
“I’m suspended until further notice,” I said, not wanting to tell him about my assignment of spying to redeem myself. The other smugglers at the hidden market had been making themselves scarce when I was around. Working with the KM wasn’t a way to endear myself with a bunch of mercenaries and thieves. Then it occurred to me that Jacque was still hanging around… Why?
I would never have suspected Jacque of spying on me but in that instant it occurred to me. Had he struck some deal with the Jabberwocky? I’d barely begun my covert operations and was already feeling paranoid.
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I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.
Find her on Twitter @ILCruzWrites
or her blog, Fairytale Feminista at https://fairytalefeminista.wordpress.com
And her website www.booksbyilcruz.com
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