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It's the official book-birthday for Floodtide! I'm loving seeing all the mentions and recommendations washing through my social media. Such a difference from last time! (More thoughts on that, but not while I'm in the middle of celebrating.)

A brief reminder of logistics:

To celebrate the release of Floodtide, I've been picked as the Featured Author of the month at Bella Books. That means my entire backlist (hard copy and ebooks) is 30% off. So whether you're only just discovering Alpennia through Floodtide or if you meant to get caught up on the series before reading it, this is a great opportunity to fill in the gaps.

This is it: the final installment of the Floodtide teasers! Carefully selected to avoid any spoilers at all. As I've mentioned previously, for several of the novels I've "bookended" the stories with a pair of short passages in a different narrative style. As for Mother of Souls, the bookends for Floodtide echo each other in theme.

Review copies of Floodtide are now available for request on NetGalley. My publisher does the final approvals for review copies, based on reviewing history and online presence (i.e., not just people who want to get a free read), but if you consider yourself in that category and don't have your request approved, drop me a note and I'll see if I can make your case.

While the Alpennia series has focused largely on characters who have significant mystical talents, Floodtide gives us a larger window into how "ordinary" people experience the magic that pervades the world. I've made previous reference to the climax of a Great Mystery feeling like a shiver down your spine, and to how even those who don't have measurable mystical talent can contribute power to the working of a mystery.

Have you ever been on one of those road trips where you're driving all night and it feels like there's nothing left in the universe but you and the road? When time loses all meaning? When past and future merge into an endless now? Now imagine you're in a boat, moving through the flooded streets. That was the feeling I was aiming for in this passage.

When the world turns upside down, those who are thrown together can feel like all barriers and differences have been erased in the common struggle. At least, it can feel that way to those who don't worry as much about consequences once the crisis is past. I picked this scene because it illustrates Roz and Iuli's different takes on potential consequences. Iuli thinks she can make everything right once the crisis is over. Roz knows that some people are held to stricter standards of accountability than others.

One of the hazy images that came to me when I was first plotting Daughter of Mystery was a system of nearly forgotten catacombs under the city of Rotenek. I think the original image was in connection with Margerit and Barbara fleeing when the mystery guild was betrayed. That vision of the scene was discarded, but I kept a vague fondness for the idea of underground passages. The image merged eventually with the developing idea of the chanulezes and the thought that some of them had been covered over and nearly forgotten.

Quite some time ago, I pulled out the passages I wanted to use for the teaser series and set them up in a separate file. That way I didn't need to hunt around for something every week and there was no risk of messing with the master file by accident. But that means that for the last few months I've been setting up the teasers while looking at snippets of text in isolation. This past Saturday, I did the review of the final page proofs, which is as close as I've come so far to reading the final novel straight through.

Disasters aren't always sudden and extreme -- sometimes they creep up on you slowly, like the water rising along the steps of the plaiz one at a time. Sometimes disasters consist of tedious waiting as the news dribbles in from those who are harder hit. Sometimes disasters are mere inconveniences to be avoided until they ebb away again. Floodtide in Rotenek has always shown different faces to different people. In the previous Alpennia books, we've mostly seen the "inconvenience" side. Floodtide as a holiday excuse to leave the city.

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