|The Writer's Voice|
Here's my entry (#157) for BURNT AMBER:
With two weeks left in her Istanbul exchange program, Sybil discovers that the tiny verse her biological parents tattooed on her hip is a link to some cryptic, djinn-channeling gypsies. Then she bumps into Haydon, who triggers her fiery energy with his touch - the same djinn energy the gypsies warned to keep secret.
Sybil delves into djinn lore until a fanatical priest tosses her and Haydon into the chauvinistic clutches of the djinn world. She strives to find her place in the djinn scheme, while determining if Haydon’s real motivation is her crown. In the process, she’s pulled into a power struggle with her father’s rival, Konstantin, and faced with a choice: marry Konstantin’s son for a slim chance at regaining her humanity, or face a future cut off from both worlds forever.
BURNT AMBER is a 66,000 word novel inspired by the tale of 12th century Crusader castle, Kızkalesi, and the life of Zabel, the queen of Armenian Cilicia. The story should appeal to fans of DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE.
The human shape is a ghost,
Made of distraction and pain.
A familiar, nasty feeling coiled up like a ball of hot barbed wire in my stomach. I took a deep breath, held it for three counts, and released. The sensation inched back down to almost bearable.
Anna glanced over at me, concerned. “Something wrong, Sybil? You look a little pale.”
“I’m fine.” I lifted my chin and forced a smile to prove it. “Twisted my ankle on the uneven sidewalk.”
Uneven was a generous word for the narrow streets of old Istanbul. The pavement in front of each building was a different level than the neighbor’s, and in the dark it made a plausible excuse for me to steal a minute and rest. I balanced myself against a defunct streetlamp, bending down to adjust the strap on my glittery bronze sandal. “We’re not really dressed for this adventure.”
The light flickered on above us, setting Anna’s platinum hair aglow like a beacon for street urchins. She fussed with the hem of her shirtdress in a futile attempt to cover her long Scandinavian legs. “I agree. But it’s not everyday someone offers me a session with a genuine, Romani fortuneteller. We’re lucky Seyhan has the connections for it.”
“Hmm.” I detected the “genuine”, but my secret intuition insisted that visiting a gypsy psychic was the very last thing I should do, especially when the best of those was located in the depressed, back alley underworld of the Sulukule area.