A little while back we posted a poll to help us decide on a title for the next book in the Mirror World series. To all of you who voted, discussed ideas with us, and suggested new ones, thank you so much for your help. Murandy and I greatly appreciate it. Also, a big thank you to Luke Davis for his input and winning suggestion. You really hit the nail on the head.
And the title is….
Mirror’s Deceit is the third book in our Mirror World series, but it is also a prequel to Mirror’s Hope and Mirror’s Heart. (Gotta love time travel stories?) It is set in the parallel world that Mira and Hope discovered and focuses on the lives of their doubles.
Here’s the blurb:
Mirena Calanais is destined to change the world. Her rival has made a desperate flight to the past to stop her.
A gifted student of majik, Mirena is on the verge of graduating from a secret college that will give her a leg up in her political career, when her achievements are overshadowed by the arrival of a mysterious woman with an unknown agenda. Desperate to keep what she sees as her rightful place in the spotlight, Mirena goes to astounding lengths including taking it upon herself to pose as a double agent to investigate a rebel force plotting to destabilize the government. Unfortunately, her actions cost her the trust of those around her, so when she is proclaimed the Dark Avatar of the Destroyer, she finds she has nowhere to turn.
In a seeming utopia, Mirena is now a pariah with the force of Destroyer behind her and her once bright dreams have darkened, leaving her a threat not only to herself, but to those she cares about. Can she turn her life around, or will someone need to stop her before she goes too far?
Read an excerpt:
Stop fidgeting! Tendro had to remind himself for about the hundredth time. The application between his hands was beginning to show signs of wear. How much longer is this going to take? He asked himself again, looking around the semi-circular waiting room and absently re-counting how many people were still to go before him.
When he realized that number was zero, he felt a lump rise in his throat.
“Tendro Seynor?” The secretary called his name from behind a massive oak desk at the far end of the room. He stood, a little too quickly, and quickly tried to right himself so he didn’t appear as nervous as he felt. The secretary nodded at the sight of him. “Right this way, Tendro. The Panarch will see you now.”
He nodded and started forward. The only thing beyond the secretary’s desk was a round-topped solid wood door. It was unlabelled, but Tendro was fairly certain there wasn’t a person in the entire Capital city who didn’t know what lay beyond it; Terrence Lee’s office.
Tendro realized his palms were sweaty when they slipped on the door’s brass handle. It took him two tries to get the door open, but he did it. In the room, Terrence Lee, the most famous Panarch in recent history, sat calmly behind his somewhat cluttered desk, his eyes raised to meet Tendro’s and a friendly smile on his perfect features.
“What can I do for you, Tendro?”
“Uh…” Tendro was caught off guard by the Panarch’s casual use of his name. Get it together! he admonished himself. The secretary probably told him. It’s not like the Panarch has the time to learn the name of every single student at the Collegium!
Terrence Lee waited patiently for Tendro to speak, his open expression and kindly blue eyes showing no impatience, though there was no way he didn’t know about the long line of people waiting to see him in the lobby.
“Uh, yes, well…” Tendro cleared his throat. “I’m here to.. uh… drop off my application for the apprenticeship you advertised…”
His voice sounded lame to his own ears, but there was nothing he could do about that. Hopefully my essay and application will be strong enough to speak for itself. I’m just here to drop it off. If I get selected for an interview, I can worry about my speaking skills then.
Tendro held out the somewhat crumpled application, but Terrence Lee made no move to take it from him. Instead, the kind-yet-intimidating Panarch seemed to look Tendro up and down from his standard issue black Magi robes to his eyes and back again.
“So, what do you have to offer me, Tendro Seynor?” He finally said, his mouth quirking up only slightly on the left side.
“Uh…” Tendro was completely caught off guard by the question. Wait… is this my interview?!
Terrence Lee waited patiently, the small signs of amusement still evident.
“Lee,” the Panarch corrected him.
“Yes, well, Lee… I,” Tendro wracked his brain for something intelligent to say. “…I suppose what I can offer is… well, my eagerness to learn and um… my complete loyalty.”
“I see,” Lee said, frowning slightly now. “Is that all?”
Tendro felt the floor fall away beneath his feet. That’s it… he told himself. I’ve completely blown it. The Panarch probably thinks I’m a half-wit. He’ll never select me as his apprentice now, no matter how good my credentials.
“I’m a strong student, Sir,” Tendro swallowed and tried to regain his verbal footing. “I think my marks and my essay will speak for themselves.” He tried to hold out the crumpled piece of paper again. “I promise I will prove my worth if you select me for this program.”
Lee frowned. “It’s not a program, Tendro. I’m looking for someone to be my right hand man. There would be training involved, lots of it, but I’m looking for someone who has the confidence to aspire to be Panarch after me, or at least to stand in my place if it is ever needed. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that you have what it takes.”
Tendro hung his head, fighting back the tears of frustration that stung his eyes. After such brutally honest assessment of his lack of abilities, he didn’t want to chance further discrediting himself in his idol’s eyes. “I understand,” he managed. “I’m sorry for wasting your time…”
“To try is never a wasted effort,” Lee spoke softly. “You’ll find the role that suits you, Tendro. Of that I have no doubt.”
“Thank you, Sir – I mean, Lee.”
With that, Tendro saw himself out and didn’t look back at the kind blue eyes he knew to be watching him go.