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A. D. Pauli, Fantasy Writer

 

I like to write fantasy for adults, mostly of the sword and sorcery and epic varieties.

My latest project—which I’m querying right now—is Between Darkness and Light, an adventure where the truth of the past (and the nature of the gods) isn’t what it seems and the lines blur between good and evil:

Dark magic. Its power is undeniable, but its deadly volatility has made it a lost art. The person who can master dark magic is sure to be the most famous magician who ever lived. Becoming famous would solve a lot of problems for Áine—like winning her parents’ approval and making them forget that she rejected the future they arranged for her. And no one is more likely to be successful than the resourceful Áine. She’s not bad with a rapier, and she’s not shy about using ethically questionable methods to fund her journey.

But there’s a reason dark magic faded from the world. It injures—and often kills—the caster, as she discovers when she nearly dies casting a massive firestorm spell to save her friends from highwaymen.

Her spell catches the attention of Veldras, a man trapped between life and death for centuries in the service of a dark god. If he can find Áine, help her survive casting, and groom her to be the god’s perfect weapon, maybe, just maybe, he’ll finally win his freedom. He assists in the aftermath of her firestorm spell, and from there it’s a simple thing to beguile her with his knowledge of magic and secure his position as traveling companion and teacher.

Neither of them bargains on finding a talisman, a magical object that protects Áine from the damaging effects of her magic. It’s the answer Áine has been looking for, and for Veldras, it increases his chances of success. There’s only one problem—the god who created the talisman will readily destroy everyone and everything Áine cares about to get it back.

Áine doesn’t do well with authority, not even when the authorities are gods.