Today. I am so excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy. Though this is an adult title, older teens will love the spunky, fun and dieselpunk twist on history that this story offers. Today, Karen stops by with an exclusive guest post and a unique way for you to meet the characters from Shadows of Asphodel.
Meet the Characters
So you want to meet Ardis and Wendel? Well, if you take a little trip to 1913 Vienna you might catch them both while they aren’t on the run from the law.
You walk into the café and glance around, not sure what to look for. You want to find a mercenary and a necromancer. That much you know is true. But the descriptions were always vague, the eyewitnesses never quite sure of the details. Mostly because they were too busy running away from the blood and the bodies these two left behind.
You glance at the crumpled wanted poster in your hand. There isn’t a photo, just a description of a woman, only twenty-one, brown eyes, tawny brown hair. Half-Chinese, apparently, with the given name of Yu Lan. She goes by “Ardis” now, ever since “Yu Lan” killed a man in San Francisco. Rumor says it was self-defense. You don’t have a wanted poster for her companion, Wendel, but he has an even worse reputation.
The café isn’t too crowded, the conversation flowing at a low murmur. You spot a man sitting by a window. His black hair hangs past his shoulders, an unusual length for a man here. This must be Wendel. When you walk closer to him, he glances sideways at you. The sunlight slants through his pale green eyes. He has the kind of cheekbones that look like you could cut yourself on them. One of his hands rests on the table, and his fingers curl into a fist when he sees the wanted poster in your grip. You hastily stuff the poster into your pocket.
“Do you work here?” Wendel says. “I would love another cup of coffee.”
You shake your head. Judging by the sarcasm in his voice, Wendel knows you aren’t here to take his order. He has a hint of an accent. You heard he comes from Prussia. You even heard he’s a disinherited prince of Prussia, but who knows if that’s true. He looks enough like a gentleman that it’s hard to imagine his touch can reanimate the dead.
Behind you, a woman speaks with a definite American accent. “Wendel,” she says, “I couldn’t find any French newspapers. Though I’m not sure…” She trails off.
You turn around and find yourself face to face with Ardis. She narrows her eyes slightly, and her hand twitches toward a sword at her waist. It’s a unique sword, with a red tassel on the pommel and a sharkskin scabbard.
You hope you won’t have to become more familiar with her sword rather quickly.
“Excuse me,” you say. “Are you Ardis and Wendel? I have been looking for you.”
Ardis glances at Wendel, who tilts his head. He gives you a winning smile, though there’s obvious wariness in his eyes. At least he isn’t reaching for a weapon like Ardis.
“Please,” Wendel says. “Have a seat. It appears we have a lot to talk about.”
* * *
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About Shadows of Asphodel:
When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.
1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.
But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.
If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.
Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?
About the Author:
Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.