Welcome to the next episode of our Flash Series designed to give the us time poor lovers of culture a taste of local brilliance, quickly and easily!
This gorgeous snippet from the just released novel Unbidden by local spec-fic author Shayla Morgansen. Unbidden is the third book in her Elm Stone Saga series that has reaped excellent reviews both in Australia and internationally.
Following immediately on from the ground-breaking events of Scarred, third book Unbidden kicks off with lead heroine Aristea feeling shaken but determined to improve as a sorcerer. An apprentice to the White Elm council, the elite sorcerers who govern most of the magical community, her skills have developed unnaturally fast since being bonded with council outlier, her master Renatus. They communicate with their minds; they share memories, and have even begun to share abilities and skills, and at times they wonder whether they are at risk of losing their individual identities to the melding process. When the council finds itself immobilised in political gridlock, the frustrated pair seek out other means of meeting their goals, now freshly and grimly aligned. But then Aristea is saddled with a shattering secret she can’t share with Renatus, and she makes a decision that will affect them both, and who they will grow to be.
With a firm belief that all good stories have either magic or spaceships, Shayla accredits this love of speculative fiction on the healthy mix of Star Wars, Stargate, Independence Day, Labyrinth and the eighties/nineties Disney movies she was raised on.
Addicted to the escapism that the genres offer, Shayla says she almost never indulges in anything else (and I can relate). This immersion in the genres is what makes her a pro. She says:
“That love of both sci-fi and fantasy – as well as a conflicting personality as both a sceptical perfectionist and a hippie creative – is what formulated the basis for the magic in The Elm Stone Saga. To be able to write it convincingly, it had to be a system with viable rules and predictable patterns, it’s own sort of science.I had to be able to believe in it, otherwise how can I ask a reader to suspend their belief?”
With three more books in the Elm Stone Saga Series to come and work on her Masters thesis, Shayla also intends on finding the time to branch out with some side projects. But for now, you can find signed editions of the first three books at Ouroborus Books or on her website, Elmstonesaga.com .
Aside from teaching a Year 1&2 class and studying for her Masters in Editing & Publishing, Aussie Shayla Morgansen is the author of YA urban fantasy series The Elm Stone Saga. Her first two books, Chosen and Scarred, released in 2014 and 2015 respectively, have sold internationally, reaping excellent reviews from readers of ‘older’ YA/New Adult and more contemporary fantasy. Shayla loves travel and languages – she tries to incorporate multilingual characters into her expansive magical world and to give them a voice in their own language. She worked in a New Age store while she completed her Undergraduate and these experiences have shaped the lore of The Elm Stone Saga, but she is also a purist sci-fi nut, and this has bled into the series in the way she has developed a realistic, almost scientific style of magic for her characters to wield and explore. Shayla has always wanted to visit Northern Ireland, where the books are based, and lives vicariously through her array of colourful, worldly characters.
You can follow Shayla’s blog; Six impossible things before breakfast, or connect with her on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Author. Teacher. Editor. Jedi.