THE SAND PRINCE:The Demon Door Book One by Kim Alexander ***Guest Post from the Author -- Giveaway***
The Sand Prince
The Demon Door Book 1
by Kim Alexander
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Two worlds. Bound by magic. Divided by a door.
On the barren, war-ravaged demon world of Eriis, the fierce queen Hellne fights to keep her people alive and her son Rhuun's heritage a secret.
On the green and gentle human world of Mistra, demons have faded into myth. Only a handful of old men and fanatical children still guard The Door between the worlds.
Different and shunned by his demon kin, Rhuun finds refuge in a book that tells of a human world of water and wonder. Forced by his mother's enemies to flee Eriis, he finds himself trapped on the other side of The Door in the very place he has read and dreamed about—Mistra.
Chained to the deadly whims of a child who guards The Door, Rhuun must balance serving and surviving, even at the risk of exposing his true identity. Riskiest of all is his task of kidnapping an infuriating young woman who is about to find out that the demons of Eriis are much, much more than just an old bedtime story.
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Guest Post by Kim Alexander
Stuff about the Book
What inspired you to write this book?
This series came to me in a vision--literally! I get most of my best ideas when I’m supposed to be sleeping. That seems to be when my creative mind comes out to play. And one night I got a very clear, almost filmic picture of two people sitting at a campfire. One was a young woman in a party dress, and the other was a beautiful young man with bright red eyes. I knew a few things right away: he had kidnapped her, but she wasn’t afraid of him. He felt terribly guilty about the abduction, and also, he wasn’t human. It was like my brain gave me a writing prompt! I couldn’t stop thinking about the two of them. Why would he do something he didn’t want to do? Why wouldn’t she be afraid? If he wasn’t human, what was he? And every answer led to another question.
When I sat down to write this book, the scene at the fire went in--you’ll find it just past the middle. I managed to answer all my own questions, and a bunch more about my main characters; Lelet va’Everly and Prince Rhuun of Eriis--their families, lovers, ex-lovers, friends, enemies, frenemies--a whole world. In fact, two whole worlds; the human city of Mistra and the demon realm of Eriis, the war that divided them and the love that may bring them back together.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
On the one hand, I love epic fantasy, and I find world building irresistible. On the other, I tend to skip over long, loving descriptions of battles, and I think using magic to solve your problems can serve as a crutch. I’m much more interested in the details--what does fashion tell us about where a person is in the social strata? How did their language evolve? What do they eat? In other words, the politics of the dinner table. For instance, I gave the demons of Eriis wings. How does that affect what their clothes look like? Or their houses? I also gave them some intrinsic magic. The next thing I had to do was come up with a compelling reason they wouldn’t all use it all the time. They are in the long process of recovering from a devastating war; what do they think of the humans, who locked them behind the mystical portal of The Door and nearly wiped them out? And what if the crown prince was quite unlike any of them? In fact, what if his mother the queen refuses to discuss his parentage, and he strongly resembled one of the enemy humans? And what if this young man becomes obsessed with the humans, the one thing he is forbidden from asking about? I guess it’s pretty clear the ‘what if/what then’ is what keeps me going!
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
I have a large cast of human and non-human characters, but I’ll stick to my main two. First we have Lelet. She’s from the human city of Mistra, and starts this story as a bored heiress--a long way from the fierce warrior she ultimately becomes. Mistran society is rigid--your birth order determines your role in life, and it’s taken very seriously. As a Fourth, her job is to be attractive and not embarrass the family. (She’s doing better at the former than the latter.) She fights with her siblings and dreams of adventure, and it appears in the form of my second main character.
Prince Rhuun of Eriis is a disappointment. He can’t perform even the simplest magic, hasn’t any wings at all, and is twice the size of everyone on Eriis. Even though he’s enormously ugly, at least he has red eyes. All he wants to do is drink and read. His favorite book--his prize possession--is a secret story of humans, an antique document hidden in his mother’s library. He thinks it’s a documentary. (It’s actually a bodice ripping romance novel*.) When Rhuun’s secret is revealed, he’s forced to flee for his life through The Door and try and make his way among the humans.
When they finally meet, Rhuun will find Lelet rude and arrogant--totally unlike the ladies in his beloved novel. Lelet thinks Rhuun is probably an escaped lunatic. But neither can deny the other is fascinating--maybe even irresistible. (I should take this opportunity to tell you this book has romance and comedy but it is NOT a romantic comedy!)
*I want to take a second to mention that I actually wrote this book. The Claiming of the Duke is a real (kind of dirty) book and you can read it! But you should read The Sand Prince first!)
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
One of my friends, who is a pretty fantastic journalist, read one of the early drafts and gave me a challenge: create a world without homophobia. And so I did. I have LGBTQ characters on both sides of The Door, but the demons of Eriis (although they are hardly without fault, being terrible gossips among other things) have no concept of homophobia. I also wanted to avoid the old trope of the hero’s best friend being secretly in love with him. Ilaan has no time for that nonsense! He became one of the most powerful and important characters in the book, and he’s certainly got most of the best jokes. (Rhuun can’t tell a joke to save his life.) This also gave me a chance to explore the creation myths of Eriis, and writing the fairy tales and myths of my invented culture was a pure delight.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The Sand Prince was my first novel, although it was far from the first thing I wrote. I was in the broadcasting business for approx. seven hundred years, and wrote reams of commercial copy, morning show jokes, afternoon banter, and most recently interviews and panel discussions with many hundreds of authors as co-producer of Sirius XM Book Radio. One thing about writing for the radio--it has to be brief. You have to boil everything down to the bones, get it out there, and move on. So when I sat down to write a book, I kind of went nuts. I had no limits, I could go on AS LONG AS I WANTED! But the habits of a lifetime, right? My first draft was almost completely dialogue. I had to learn how to slow down, look around. What are they standing on? What are they wearing? What is hanging on the walls? I had to give myself permission to examine the world I had built. And nearly 400,000 words and five books later, I did.
The Heron Prince
The Demon Door Book 2
The Demon Door can be opened...but the price is deadly.
Prince Rhuun has found acceptance among the humans on Mistra, something he could never have in the demon realm of Eriis, not even as heir to its throne. What's more, he has even found love with the prickly, passionate heiress, Lelet va'Everly.
The idyll can't last. The prince has enemies who are after more than his throne. They are out for his blood…which holds the key to unsealing The Door between the two worlds, and the demons want in. When Rhuun is lured into a trap on Eriis, Lelet has no choice but to turn to a motley group of exiles, children, and madmen to help save him.
Lelet soon discovers that, like all things, rescuing the prince comes with a price. The secrets in Rhuun's blood may be worth killing for, but are they worth dying for?
The Glass Girl
The Demon Door Book 3
The Demon Door Book 3
Love opens all doors…but betrayal locks them forever.
Newly blessed (or cursed) with wings and fire, Prince Rhuun of the demon realm of Eriis sees hope for his life on the human world of Mistra with his fierce human lover, Lelet va'Everley. She literally went to hell and back to save him, and she's not about to let anything—or anyone—ruin their perfect future.
All too soon, the claims of family, duty, and justice force Rhuun and Lelet to confront new griefs and old mistakes as they attempt to restore balance to the throne of Eriis. But, with every jealous rumor and each vengeful whisper, friends turn, family schemes, and forgotten enemies creep from the shadows.
Treachery in Eriis and betrayal in Mistra jeopardize what Rhuun and Lelet have fought so hard to build, threatening to tear apart the two lovers, their families, and even their worlds.
Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten rum-soaked years as a DJ in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband who tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.
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