Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"Aranya" by Marc Secchia

ON SALE for $0.99

(Shapeshifter Dragons Book 1)
by Marc Secchia

Aranya, the first book in the Shapeshifter Dragons series by Marc Secchia, is ON SALE for $0.99 for our Aussie friends only. You can get it for this special price on Amazon.com or Amazon AU during December. The author stops by to share an excerpt from the book. Also available: Shadow Dragon.

Chained to a rock and tossed off a cliff by her boyfriend, Aranya is executed for high treason against the Sylakian Empire. Falling a league into the deadly Cloudlands is not a fate she ever envisaged. But what if she did not die? What if she could spread her wings and fly?
Long ago, Dragons ruled the Island-World above the Cloudlands. But their Human slaves cast off the chains of Dragonish tyranny. Humans spread across the Islands in their flying Dragonships, colonising, building and warring. Now, the all-conquering Sylakians have defeated the last bastion of freedom–the Island-Kingdom of Immadia.
Evil has a new enemy. Aranya, Princess of Immadia. Dragon Shapeshifter.

Chapter 1: Exiled
Aranya observed the impending destruction of her kingdom.
Slow, curiously beautiful, backlit by the splendour of a perfect dawn over the endless cloudscapes hanging above and below her position on the battlements of Immadia castle’s highest tower, the approaching dots promised destruction nonetheless.
Inevitable, overwhelming destruction.
They looked like a line of children’s paper balloons hanging out there in the great void, balloons which the children lit and sent heavenward every Iridith Day, the day of the winter solstice–only these would soon loom much larger. Aranya had lost count over the sixty mark. So many! A full-scale invasion. A force the Kingdom of Immadia could not hope to withstand. Annihilation was assured, unless Aranya, Princess of Immadia, bound herself into exile in the land of the barbarous Sylakians, her one life in exchange for many.
Her quick ears caught a stealthy footstep on the stones behind her. She knew that tread. Her father had come.
“Sparky,” he said, using his favourite nickname for her, yet it rang through her being as a single dolorous note struck upon sorrow’s gong. “You shouldn’t be standing out here in the cold.”
“I don’t feel cold.”
The King’s hands settled a warm ralti-wool cloak upon her shoulders. “You never feel the cold, do you, Aranya? Just like your mother. Now, what’s so important it merits me leaping out of my warm bed to face the dawn?”
Aranya felt his hands hesitate before leaving her shoulders. Her tone softened. “Thank you for coming, Dad. I appreciate it more than you know.”
There was a lingering silence between them that spoke of years of misunderstandings, of clashes and remonstrations, of duty and pain and loss, but most of all, of a love held soul-deep. King Beran’s sigh, as he came to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his tall, sixteen summers-old daughter, spoke of all this and more.
At length, with a fluid gesture, Aranya directed her father’s gaze to the south-eastern horizon, to the line of dots traversing the vast, pockmarked face of the yellow moon called Iridith, just above the roiling, grey-green soup of the deathly Cloudlands. A soft gasp escaped her father’s lips.

Praise for the Book
"The actions sequences are unbelievably real, the characters so life-like they seem to spring off of every page, and the imagery and world building just phenomenal. At nearly every turn and page in the book I was astounded at the world that Mr. Secchia has created. It's a very lush, vibrant, REAL world. One that you can see, hear, and almost reach out and touch. I give Aranya a hearty and well-deserved five stars, and I can't wait to read more of this author's works." ~ bluecastlewaters
"Marc Sechhia’s Aranya is a rare fantasy treat. If you’re like me who constantly scoured the virtual bookshelves of Amazon just to find that one great book that will haunt me for days - and they come so far and few between - then you understand why I’m completely bawled over by a book like this. Fantasy fans will sink their teeth in March Secchia’s book - and I mean that in the most possible way. If you end up wildly recommending this book to like-minded friends after reading it, then don’t say I didn’t 'warn' you." ~ Meghan
"Anyone who enjoys reading about dragons will want to grab the first book in this series. Learn what it's like to become a shape-shifter dragon, experience flying, flaming, fighting, and protecting those you love. There's plenty of action for fantasy buffs, a love story for romance readers, and an exciting new world to explore for sci-fi nerds. I recommend this talented writer and look forward to more adventures." ~ Diane Rapp
"Anyone who is fascinated with dragons will surely enjoy Aranya by Marc Secchia. The first book in the fantasy adventure book series Shapeshifter Dragons, Aranya features sixteen-year-old Aranya, who is thrust into adventure and meets an array of characters to help her get through the challenges that follow. [...] Ignore the silliness that you think is dragons if you must, but you cannot overlook the well-written character and plot development of Aranya, and for that I applaud Secchia. Above anything else, Aranya is an outstanding first book in a series, and if its narrative is any indication of what to expect in the next book, the Shapeshifter Dragons series will be more than alright." ~ JB Lazarte
"You want fantasy? Here it is, in its purest form. You want dragons, danger and drama? You want heroes, heartache and hidden secrets? You want more? What about monsters, magic and military conflicts? How about some vicious villains, valiant adventurers and a very strange new world, to hate, admire and discover? Cheer on your heroine; laugh out loud at her, and then wipe that surreptitious tear from your eye. And when you finish this book, give a satisfied sigh and have a nice cup of tea like Oyda makes. Then fire up your computer and start figuring out how to get the next one, just like I'm doing." ~ D. B. Rose

About the Author
Marc Secchia is the author of over a dozen fantasy books including five rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. His latest book is Dragonlove, the second volume in his bestselling Dragonfriend series. Current works in progress? The Onyx Dragon to complete Pip's story in The Pygmy Dragon, and a standalone novel called Dragon Thief.
Marc is a South African-born author who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and four children, two dogs, a rabbit, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.
When he's not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there's nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.