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Gains and Losses

I know, I know. I promised to bother you only twice a month, and only one week has passed since the last post (thanks for all the feedback, by the way).

So, now what gives? I hear you ask.

The answer is my news is time sensitive. It can’t wait until the next scheduled iteration on October 23. (I can feel hearts beating wildly now as your anticipation grows – what can it be?)

By now, all you faithful, energetic, committed readers of The Ravenstones have finished Volume 3 (Olwen and Eisa) and – for many months now – have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Volume 4. Today (in this off week), I’m here to tell you that Gains and Losses is in process of being published. The eBook version will be released on October 20 (available for pre-order for those who can’t wait). The print version is already available. Both via the usual source here.

Here’s the terrific cover, in case you’ve not noticed it on The Ravenstones website, once again ably drawn by Kari Rust.

And here’s how Gains and Losses is being described in the Amazon listing:

“The epic saga of The Ravenstones enters uncharted waters. What started as a search for missing friends has, for our two principal heroes, Eirwen, the lonely polar bear, and Fridis, the determined Eider duck, evolved into an incredible quest. Nothing less than wrestling with matters of life and death, struggling to keep faith, solving the mystery of the ages, coping with intrigue and deceit, and leading stalwart armies into battle. Underpinning everything is the need to unravel the origins of the magic gemstones.

“The alliances in Aeronbed and Vigmar have shifted, the battle lines redrawn. Old enemies become friends of convenience; former confederates are now being hunted down. Can the advocates for peace be trusted? Can bears and lions become true allies? Can old prejudices be overcome? Is true reconciliation possible?

“Eirwen and Fridis have been reunited, but their lives are filled with conflict and challenge. The polar bear leads Heimborn against the clans’ former panther overlords but he needs the help of the wolf pack to bolster his efforts. For some, it’s an unwelcome decision; as a result, dangerous foes are soon to be found in places other than the enemy camp.

“Fridis is determined to unearth the truth about the Ravenstones, starting with her former bodyguard, Raicho. But first, the peregrine falcon must be located and Fridis answer to her own mistakes in judgment.

“Adarix, the wolf leader, has thrown in his lot with Eirwen, abandoning the pack’s longstanding ambitions. Not all his followers agree; and doubts begin to plague the mind of his older brother Ammarich. The lioness Olwen seeks to rejoin her kin in their northern sanctuary, bringing about a rupture with her friend and confidant, Eisa. The panther chooses to stay with Eirwen and support the bears’ rebellion. But rejecting his family turns out to be the easy part – he must prove himself to Eirwen and the suspicious clan chiefs — or die.

“The enemy remains formidable and on the hunt. The fox Vulpé, pursuing the ambitions of Empress Dona Morana, rises to the occasion. Now it’s the Ravenstones he’s after. The elusive panther General Parthanyx takes advantage of the new pact with Vigmar to thwart Heimborn’s plans.

“In Volume 4 of The Ravenstones our heroes face new and different trials, both as individuals and together. The stakes get even higher, the risks more audacious and the threat to survival even graver. Confronting the mysteries of Manaris, seeking harmony amongst former enemies, finding solace in a feast, discovering kinfolk in unlikely ways, overcoming the worst that winter can bring and trying to comprehend the power of the magic gemstones brings both incredible gains and painful losses.”

I could have said so much more, noting some of the activities of my secondary, supporting cast of characters (of which there are many), both villains and heroes. Indeed, there’s a lot going on in Volume 4 – this is the longest book yet (in fact, the longest of the whole series). But sometimes it’s better to say less and leave the surprises for readers to find.

I’ve said it elsewhere – in my professional career, no single activity has been so challenging or so pleasurable. I hope you’ll find the reading of it equally satisfying. Thanks to all of you for following my posts and for trying out the series.

And don’t forget, if you love – or only like – Gains and Losses or any of the others in The Ravenstones series, reviews on Amazon are always a huge help (via this direct link). Thanks so much.

Finally, having thrown in this odd week’s post, we will revert to a regular two week break. So look for the next post on October 30. Happy reading!