New Release

Read an excerpt of Uncharted!

Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred launches April 17th, 2017. We’re celebrating the release by hosting an online launch party, live Q and A, live reading, and giveaway on Facebook. You can RSVP here:https://www.facebook.com/events/345964425805281/

While you wait, here’s an excerpt from this upcoming fantasy/ romantic comedy:

Uncharted Cover

Noiseless on slippered feet, Meredith darted swiftly to the oversized double doors of the Celestial Chamber. She glanced once quickly over each shoulder to make sure she was still alone in the Great Hall before she gave the wide gilded handle a tug and felt the latch give way. With a grimace of effort, she pulled the heavy door open just enough to allow herself to squeeze into the chamber beyond.

Expecting darkness, moonlight dazzled her senses. The silvery light pooled in the middle of a wide and perfectly round central platform, serving to bring focus to the reason for this room’s existence: an ethereal-looking blue bowl lined with silver and filled with glittering water.

The Celestial Bowl beckoned to Meredith from its place on the solitary stone pedestal in the centre of the chamber. The sound of rushing water from the underground river that surfaced briefly in this room filled her ears as she let the heavy door fall quietly shut behind her.

I shouldn’t be in here, a small voice in the back of her mind reminded her, even as she took a step toward the glittering artifact. It’s only that I just can’t help but question if this life is for me. I want a family, a home…and a husband. I owe the Order for what they’ve done for me, but if I stay here and become a Priestess, I can’t have any of those things.

If I can just have a look at my destiny tonight, then maybe the path I should take will become clear. Besides, she countered the nagging sound of her conscience, if I wait until tomorrow’s ceremony to see my future, it will be too late to change it.

Her decision made, Meredith closed the distance between herself and the bowl with purpose, crossing the small, railless stone bridge spanning a gap over the rushing water beneath. As she neared the bowl, she kept her eyes fixated on the calm, reflective surface of the water within, not wanting to chance missing even the slightest bit of whatever vision it might grant her. Moonlight glinted off the silver interior of the bowl, making the room seem brighter than it actually was. As if in a trance, she lost herself in the beauty of the dancing light and that was when she saw it.

A man, no…only his torso, wearing a dark grey suit coat buttoned over his left breast. He stood with pride in his bearing, but beyond the grey coat and a single purple flower in his lapel the image cut off at the neck and didn’t show his face. Meredith leaned forward, trying to get a better angle.

The vision, if that’s what it was, continued and she saw herself from behind, unmistakeable with her lengthy waves of chocolate brown hair cascading over the hood of her light grey Priestess cloak. The vision of herself flung herself at this man and his arms reached up to hold her. Engrossed now, Meredith leaned directly over the bowl, determined to get a glimpse at the face of her mystery man when the image in the silver-lined water abruptly disappeared.

What? No! I wasn’t finished. I didn’t see his face!

Meredith stared into the reflective water without blinking, willing the vision to return or resume. The reflection of her own face stared back at her, but beyond it she thought she saw something else. Focusing on the anomaly, she realized it was a reflection of the bowl itself, seated as it was in real life atop its stone pedestal in the centre of the Celestial Chamber.

What does that mean?! she exclaimed in the silence of her own mind. How can the bowl show an image of itself? It doesn’t make any sense.

She looked back down at the bowl and its stubborn reflection of itself, then turned her head upwards to the moonlight as if to make sure it was still there when it dawned on her. Ugh, I put my head in the way! I interrupted the vision!

She tried several times to recreate the circumstances which brought her the cryptic glimpse of the future, but nothing she did seem to bring the bowl’s power back to life. I guess that’s it! Meredith threw her hands up in defeat. I should get out of here before I get caught.

Turning from where she stood on the small bridge that led from the pedestal’s platform to the double doors she’d come in by, Meredith made to sprint for the exit, only to smack bodily into a dark shadowy figure she hadn’t known was there until it was too late.

She let out an ‘oomph’ as the wind was knocked out of her and she was flung backwards a few steps.

Over the by now familiar sound of rushing water, Meredith noted a somewhat metallic clatter moments before her ankle rolled over something round at her feet. Set off balance, she stumbled and spent a few steps trying to right herself. She might have succeeded, too, if it wasn’t for the fact that she’d gotten too near to the edge of the narrow bridge. She cartwheeled her arms a few times, trying to right herself, screamed in hopes that whomever she’d run into would see her plight in time to catch her, and then unceremoniously went off the side of the stone bridge into the cold rushing water below.

(For the rest of the prologue, tune into our facebook launch party April 17th, 6pm EST: https://www.facebook.com/events/345964425805281/)

Up next: Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred

In anticipation of our 2017 releases, I wanted to interview each of the authors, but I’ve tried, and I simply can’t interview myself. So, instead let me just tell you a little bit about where I’m at now and what my upcoming new release is all about.

07bcdcc12df687f02e58c2def519f9a9There’s less than two months left until Uncharted is released into the world and I’m excited and nervous and experiencing all the other feelings that come with sending a labour of love out into the world.

Next month, on March 20th, we’ll reveal the cover right here on the blog. I can’t wait to show it to you. Sara Biddle, www.salizabeth.net, is the extremely talented digital artist behind the Mirror World series, Unintended and now, Uncharted. As always, she has gone above and beyond any expectations we had and created something truly lovely.

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Uncharted, in case you’re wondering, is a love story set in the multi-cultural historical/fantasy world of Ismera (the same as Unintended). In it, a woman named Meredith questions her future as a priestess of the Order of Saegard and runs away. On the night she leaves, a legendary artifact is stolen from the temple and she’s blamed for it. Suddenly a fugitive, Meredith stows away on a ship belonging to an off-duty naval officer and a ex-con man posing as his business partner. Together the three of them must evade the law while they work to clear Meredith’s name and track down what was stolen and why.

Uncharted will soon be available for pre-order and will launch on April 17th, 2017. We’re in the midst of planning what we’ll do to celebrate, so subscribe to this blog or our mailing list to be kept informed.

As you may or may not know, Murandy, my sister and co-conspirator… I mean, co-writer, is on maternity leave with her four-month old, but we’re still writing. We’re in the middle of this years’ #85K Challenge (that’s 85,000 words in 90 days) and we’re a little over halfway through two different projects. The first is the next installment in the Mirror Series, working title, Mirror’s Redemption. And the other is the much-anticipated sequel to our first novel ever written together, Neo Central.

1usWith a passion for media and sales, Murandy has a strong background in public relations and promotions as well as an education in Drama and Communications. Justine is an author herself and has worked in a multitude of industries, including publishing. She comes to Mirror World Publishing after acting as Producer and Business and Marketing Director for First Age Studios, a video game design company.

 

Interview with Owen Swain, Creator of the #tourdesketch Windsor Colouring Book

Owen Swain, a Windsor-based artist, is the creator and artist behind #tourdesketch Windsor, an adult colouring book featuring the sights of Windsor, Ontario. I’ve invited Owen to answer some questions for us, so we can get to know him and his seeing/drawing process.
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M|W: Other than drawing, what do you do in your spare time?
Time is flow. I enjoy: bicycling (really, really dislike driving a car), reading (fiction, nonfiction), listening to music, volunteering in my community and parish, meditation, hanging out with the Love of my life and our dogs. And when I am not drawing I am often to be found drawing or painting or, well, you get the idea.
M|W: What was your biggest obstacle in getting where you are today with your art?
Not fully believing in myself or say, not listening to my own narrative for my life. Everything belongs though and it all is a part of “now”.
M|W: What made you choose to feature Windsor in particular?
I’ve lived in Windsor since 1999 but only more recently have come alive to being alive “here” and discovered our city by bicycling and drawing on-location.
M|W: How long does a typical drawing, like the ones in the book, take you?
Roughly 57 years and 8 or 10 hours. It’s a largely different process from my usual on-location sketching in that I took my own photos, make sketch notes on site and then returned to the studio to work. They are less immediate than my usual methods for on-location drawing and more particular in trying to make them suitable for colouring in.
M|W: What’s your favorite part about drawing?
Seeing. I feel the most alive to myself and my environment when I am drawing. Getting to know a person, place, animal, tree, thing, etcetera by trying to truly observe the essence of the subject not merely rendering what I think I know about them/it.
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Owen Swain is a Windsor, Ontario illustrator and painter who works in a variety of media and styles and is interested in all manner of subjects while specializing in on location, observational drawing, sketching, mentoring and portraiture. He is never without a sketchbook.

Owen’s creative impetus is daily observational drawing that moves beyond looking to seeing, from thinking to being, and from mere drawing to discovering and developing one’s own mark. Owen believes that the Zen of what Frederick Franck coined as ‘seeing/drawing’ has transferable life skills for all.

He is the creator of #tourdesketch, an art-for-all monthly event that includes in-season slow-bicycling Sketchouts with a focus on local culture and heritage and during autumn and winter months, sketch meet-ups with instruction on ‘seeing/drawing’ as meditation as well as good fun drawing, tips, and sketchbook skills for the artist within each of us.

Owen moved to Windsor with his family in 1999 for what seemed a clear path and purpose. Things changed, life morphed, the path clouded and it wasn’t long before he felt discouraged, as though he was living someone else’s narrative for his life. He persisted in trying to make the detour make sense. However, at a critical point, Owen determined the best thing was to simply be more fully who he’d always been, to rediscover his first love and vocation as a person who makes art. To re-learn how to be, rather than to do. He got back on his bike and rode and rode and drew and drew and gradually he came to love Windsor, its people and his ‘new’ way of being.

Introducing Regan W. H. Macaulay and Mixter Twizzle!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve announced our upcoming 2017 titles one at a time. This week, we’re giving you a little sneak peak into 2018 by introducing our newest author, Regan W. H. Macaulay and her upcoming children’s picture book: Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast!

Regan, a Toronto-based writer, met us while we were at the Word on the Street Festival. She saw Nate Friedman’s The Coffee Monster, and thought (rightly so) that Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast would be a good fit for us. Here’s what Regan had to say about the star of her children’s book:

Mixter Twizzle is an odd, red, round-shaped, mischievous creature.  He lives in a hovel, beneath a rustic barn, underneath the chicken coop.  He’s a snoozing sneezer and a snoring barker; a peculiar sort that both annoys and pleases. 

The illustrations for Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast will be done by Regan’s husband, Kevin Risk. Here’s a sample of what you have to look forward to:

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We’re super-excited to watch this project come together and we hope you are as well. If you want to be kept informed of Regan and Kevin’s progress, and be the first to know when Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast will be available, please subscribe to this blog, or to our mailing list. Thanks for reading!

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Regan writes novels, short stories, children’s literature and scripts.  Writing is her passion, but she’s also a producer and director of theatre, film and television.  She is an animal enthusiast as well, which led her to become a certified canine (and feline) massage therapist.  Other books by Regan include picture storybooks Beverlee Beaz the Brown BurmeseSloth the Lazy Dragon and the novella adaptations of her feature film (available on iTunes and on DVD), Space Zombies! and her screenplay They Suck (both co-written with her husband, Kevin Risk).  Coming soon, two other picture storybooks:  Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far and Merry Myrrh: The Christmas Bat.

Introducing Sandra Unerman, author of Spellhaven

2017 is here and the Mirror World family is growing again! We’re extremely proud to be able to announce that UK author, Sandra Unerman will be joining us with her fantasy novel for adults, Spellhaven.

There were a number of quality submissions this year, but Sandra Unerman’s Spellhaven blew us away. The story opens in the years leading up to World War I, when a young English musician, Jane, is kidnapped and taken to an island city ruled by magicians, where she is required to help entertain the Unseen Spirits who keep the city going for a term of three years, or face prison for six.

The world in Sandra Unerman’s novel is richly detailed and we think it beautifully encompasses what we’re all about here at Mirror World; taking the reader on a journey to a far off place and bringing them back to the real world with a newfound knowledge or appreciation for what they seen and experienced.

But, you don’t just have to take my word for it. Spellhaven by Sandra Unerman is coming this Summer, August 17th, 2017. Subscribe to this blog, or to our newsletter to keep up with all the news regarding our new releases!

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Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in SF and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. In 2016, these included stories in Three Drops from a Cauldron, the Midwinter issue and  Aurora Wolf, the September issue, both available online. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.

My Writing Goals: 2017

I see a lot of people announcing their goals for 2017. I’m not sure I’m wired that way, but I do have several projects on the go (at all times) and even while super-busy with everything Mirror World, I always make time for writing projects and this year will be no exception.

You may remember that last year, Murandy and I participated in the #85K Writing Challenge with our upcoming release, Uncharted.. What is the #85K Writing Challenge? Well, you can find everything you need to know on the website 85K90.com, but essentially the goal is to write 85,000 words over 90 days. Last year, it took us from Jan 1st to mid-April to finish Uncharted, which came in at about 96,000 words.

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This year, things are a little different. Murandy is a new mom and has gone back to school to switch careers. We’re still writing together, but I know Murandy can’t dedicate as much time as before, so I’m participating in the #85K alone, but counting the words written across all the projects I’m currently working on.

So what are those projects? I’m glad you asked.

  1. While Uncharted is being edited by Robert Dowsett and the cover designed by the fabulous Sara Biddle, Murandy and I are going back to the Mirror World. Those of you who have read our Mirror World Series are no doubt eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series and we will not disappoint.
    Starting with Mirror’s Hope, and continuing with Mirror’s Heart, the next book in this dark fantasy romance series is as yet unnamed, but we’re hard at work. So for those of you who have questions unanswered from the first two books, like, who the heck is Abraxas?! And what’s the deal with Caralain? Just wait… it will all be made clear.ncbook
  2. The second book I’m working on concurrently is another eagerly awaited sequel, this one a young adult sci-fi/romance. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to write a sequel or revisit this world, but the fans have demanded it! (You know who you are.) That’s right, Neo Central 2: The Guild Wars is in the works. No promises yet on if or when it will be completed, but Murandy Damodred and another friend of ours (who is still working on her pen name) are having a blast with it and look forward to being able to share it with you. There are three of us co-writing this one, in the same way the original Neo Central was written all those years ago (2008, if you’re wondering)
  3. And in case I wasn’t busy enough with those two, I’ve got a smaller project of my own on the go. I’m constantly trying to master the short story or novella as I find it a challenge to write anything other than a novel (I know, I’m weird.) In this case, I’m working on a shorter story that will be a follow up to Uncharted. It’s called Unfinished, and takes place immediately after the novel. Murandy and I have plans to one day go back to these characters and write a sequel, but for now, this will have to tide me (and you) over.

And that’s it… for now, anyways! What are you working on? What are your goals? Do you think I’ll have any trouble with the #85K? Please leave your thoughts below and thanks for reading! 

Also in 2017: A Brand New Series!

So far, for our 2017 releases, we’ve announced the upcoming romantic comedy, Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred, which you can read all about here. We’ve also announced the third and final installment of Joshua Pantalleresco’s The Watcher series, The Wandering God. Which you can find here.

And now, we’re excited to let you know that Sharon Ledwith, author of The Last Timekeeper Time Travel Series, has a new series in the works for us!

Her teen psychic mystery series, The Mysterious Tales of Fairy Falls, is a planned five book series with each book focusing on a different psychic-powered character drawn to the mysterious northern Canadian town of Fairy Falls. The first in the series, Lost and Found, will be coming to Mirror World this summer!

The Blurb:

Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and Sharon Ledwith and pets #3struggling to cope with this freakish power, all the while trying to lead a normal life. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected…

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey – a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation – to find a new pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear…

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Sharon Ledwith is the author of the young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, among others. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Setting Sail into 2017

Our 2017 line-up has been chosen! Instead of giving them all to you in one post though, I’m going to introduce one upcoming title each week, introduce you to the author/creator, and tell you a little bit about what’s to come.

Up first, is Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett (me) and Murandy Damodred.

I’ve talked about this title on this blog before, but it’s now time to make the official announcement. Uncharted is expected to launch April 17, 2017!

Set in the world of Ismera, the same setting as Unintended, Uncharted is not a sequel, but an entirely new story, with a new set of lovable characters. Instead of lords and ladies, the story centers around Meredith, an apprentice Priestess of Saegard, Reginald Lawrence, a ship’s Captain, and Grey Rhodes, his business partner. Uncharted is still a romantic comedy in a fantasy/historical fiction kind of setting, so it has all the humour and adventure you’ve come to expect from Murandy and myself. We hope you have as much fun reading it as we did writing it.

Here’s the description:

There are no coincidences…

Fated to be a Priestess of Saegard, Meredith dreams of leading a normal life with a family and a home of her own, something she’ll never have if she swears her life to the Order.  A chance encounter with a stranger in the sacred Celestial Chamber sends her previously well-ordered life into a tailspin of adventure and mayhem as she is blamed for the theft of a legendary artifact. Now a fugitive, Meredith must join forces with Captain Reginald Lawrence, the son of the man who initially brought her to the Temple, and his enigmatic business partner,  the charming yet at times infuriating, Grey Rhodes, to find the Celestial Bowl and clear her name. From the cosmopolitan capital of Saegard to the coast of Ismera and back again, Meredith’s journey will reveal the true nature of her past, present, and ultimately, her future.

20160318_205621.jpgFrom obtaining a BA in Drama at the University of Windsor to becoming an entrepreneur in video game production and later, publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett’s unswerving ambition has always led her to pursue her dreams. Today she lives in Windsor, Ontario and is still writing and publishing fiction novels. When not focusing on growing her business, she enjoys role-playing with friends and developing new ideas to write about.Her previous works include, The Crimson Winter Trilogy, Neo Central, The Mirror World Series, and Unintended.

With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is studying to be a medical technician in Windsor, Ontario. She has co-written Neo Central, The Mirror World Series, and Unintended with her sister, Justine Alley Dowsett.
For more updates and insights into our 2017 publishing schedule, I encourage you to subscribe to this blog or check back often! Thanks for reading!

 

2016: A Year in Review

Well, I said we would publish 5 books in 2016. We actually published 6.

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Black Lightning Cover FinalIn May, we released Black Lightning by the exceptionally talented and award-winning
author, K.S. Jones.  We certainly love this middle grade adventure into another world, and hopefully you did too. If you haven’t read it, you can learn more about it here.

TNSCovertestwhitened copySoon after we brought you Elizabeth J.M. Walker’s hilarious teen vampire comedy This Night Sucks, which if you haven’t read it, you are certainly missing out.

In the summer we prepared for the rest of our releases, bringing you book three and book two respectively of Rita Monette’s Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series and Sharon Ledwith’s The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series. You can find both in our storelightertkdscoverwithfont

We launched our membership program, which you can learn
contrastSMSymore about here. We attended a host of local events and we also made it to Toronto for The Word on the Street Festival, which was a great new experience for us. Murandy had a baby and named him Hunter Creston. Creston, for a lovable character in our book, Unintended, for those of you who haven’t read it.

In the fall, David McLain and Felix Eddy ran a gofundme coverimagettrmcampaign for their illustrated novel, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum, which was a huge success and in November we launched the book in ebook, paperback and also in hardcover, which we had never done before.

On September 30th we announced our partnership with Sho Art Spirit and Performance, and held Worlds Collide Gala, where we introduced our new imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, run by Christian Laforet and Ben van Dongen.

coverfixsmall2016 brought the closure of a few local stores where Mirror World Books were sold, but we added some new ones, like Story Tellers Books on Ottawa St, and From the Heart (also on Ottawa St). And we took a chance on a local artist, Owen Swain, and together created an adult colouring book/ode to Windsor, #tourdesketch Windsor, which has been selling out all across the city since we launched it a week ago. Next week, on December 15th will be our final hoorah of 2016 as we host a book launch / open house christmas party for Owen Swain’s #tourdesketch Windsor Colouring Book at Sho Art Spirit and Performance 628 Monmouth Rd, in Windsor.

All in all, 2016 was a busy year, full of growth and trying new things. Stay tuned for our plans to make 2017 even bigger and better and for the announcement of our 2017 line up of new books!

Join us!

It was last year around this time that Murandy Damodred and I heard about the #85k challenge. The goal: write 85,000 from January 1st to March 31st. We didn’t decide to participate right away, but it just so happened that we were about ready to start writing Uncharted near the end of December, so we held off the few days and started the challenge with everyone else. We hit 85,000 words with two weeks to spare and spent the next month finishing off our novel. Now, a year later, we’re pleased to announce that Uncharted will be released in the spring of 2017!

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This year the challenge is happening again. Murandy and I will be participating (less intensely due to the birth of Murandy’s son) but we would like to invite any writers that read this blog to consider joining in. We found the challenge to be just difficult enough that you have to work for it, but not as overwhelming as other writing challenges, like Nanowrimo, for example. 85,000 breaks down to a little under 1000 words a day, which is completely reasonable, but requires dedication and consistency. Sign up here!

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In other news, we have a local launch party for Owen Swain’s adult colouring book #tourdesketch Windsor on December 15th at Sho Art Spirit and Performance, 628 Monmouth Rd, Windsor. It’s open house-style, so we encourage you to stop by and colour with us if you’re in the area between 1 and 9 pm. The official launch of the book is at 7pm and Owen Swain will be on hand throughout the day to sign copies. RSVP here.

Also, on December 10th, I will be at Bizarre Bazaar at Villains Beastro Pub from 8pm to 1am with the entire Mirror World collection available for sale. This is a unique venue to buy books and local crafts, so I encourage you to check it out if you happen to be within driving distance to downtown Windsor. RSVP here.

Bringing it back full circle, here’s the blurb about Uncharted by myself and Murandy Damodred:

There are no coincidences…

Fated to be a Priestess of Saegard, Meredith dreams of leading a normal life with a family and a home of her own, something she’ll never have if she swears her life to the Order.  A chance encounter with a stranger in the sacred Celestial Chamber sends her previously well-ordered life into a tailspin of adventure and mayhem as she is blamed for the theft of a legendary artifact. Now a fugitive, Meredith must join forces with Captain Reginald Lawrence, the son of the man who initially brought her to the Temple, and his enigmatic business partner,  the charming yet at times infuriating, Grey Rhodes, to find the Celestial Bowl and clear her name. From the cosmopolitan capital of Saegard to the coast of Ismera and back again, Meredith’s journey will reveal the true nature of her past, present, and ultimately, her future.