Publisher: Bosky Flame Press
Author: I.L. Cruz
Cover Artist: Jack Baker
Page Count: 236
Word Count: 69,000
ISBN (Digital): 9781732547131
ISBN (Print): 9781732547148
Release Date: January 31, 2020
Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.
The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the
King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.
Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall ofthe royal house and losing Zavier forever.
And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.
Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself
Interview with I. L. Cruz
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’d always written at different points of my life, but it was a hobby. After I had my
daughter, I had an idea to change some of the stories I was reading her. Before I knew it, I had written an entire novel and I was telling my husband I wanted to pursue a writing career.
It’s great when the transitions happen so easily and the stories just flow.
- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My ideas come from so many places, but more often than not they’re spontaneous. I
once walked by a cemetery in the middle of a group of houses while on vacation in
Scotland. I wondered who would willingly live next to a cemetery and a story started to form in my mind. It became a novella, The Cemetery Circle.
- What does your family think of your writing?
In some ways my family was more supportive of my writing than I was. I’ve always been practical and the thought of being writer for a living sounded too ethereal and indulgent, despite being a voracious reader. When I told them I wanted to be a writer they all seemed to be relieved I finally came to that conclusion.
- Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Reader’s block sets in when I read too much of one genre. When that happens, I try
reading something outside my comfort zone. Sometimes I find something new and
- If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I have a BA in international relations and an MA in late medieval/early modern European history. I’d probably go back to school for my PhD and become a professor or work in a study abroad office.
- What’s your favorite underappreciated novel?
One of my favorite offbeat quirky novels is Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, which is a novel about the history of philosophy. It sounds really dry, but it’s not and somehow I consider it a fantasy novel, too.
- As a writer, what would you chose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I took one quiz that said I was a butterfly and another that said I was a grasshopper and I hate insects. If I had to choose my own, I’d pick honey badger. I once saw a special about them and the narrator said they take on poisonous snakes without fear. That’s what being an indie author feels like sometimes. Doing something slightly crazy and expecting to come out the other side.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
My main character usually comes to me complete with a name. Once I figure out where my story takes place I have Name Day, where I pull out my World of Baby Names book and make lists of all the names I think work with the environment I’m trying to create.
- What is your favorite childhood book?
When I was a kid I loved Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I memorized a bunch of the poems that I can still recite.
- Share one little known fact about yourself.
I like crazy food combinations. One of my favorites and most ridiculous is corned beef with plantains on a soft tortilla with melted cheese and sour cream. It sounds disgusting, but everyone I’ve let try it loves it!
I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.
If interested in following Cruz:
The morning dew had given way to a chill humidity. The songbirds that hadn’t left for
warmer climes started tuning up their whistles and calls. Snow would come early this year. After the usual stifling heat of the hidden market, it felt frigid in the open air. I pulled my coat closer, causing a rustle of Áliz’s list of KM. I had little time to memorize it, but keeping it on me was a great danger. The KM were no kinder to traitors than the hidden market was to theirs.
I reached for the list, but stopped myself when I heard a distinctive footfall behind me.
“Hey! What did the Empress want?” asked Jacque, calling the Jabberwocky by his
personal nickname for her. He bounced on the balls of his feet, his lithe frame blocking my path.
“How did you know we talked?” I asked.
His near-perfect teeth shone in a mischievous grin. Jacque was one of the best fences I
knew, able to reach out to wealthy clients because of his celebrity status as a stunt performer. It helped that he didn’t look like a criminal, with his handsome features. To them his smuggling activities were a sideline, but I knew smuggling was his priority. That acrobatics brought fame, not fortune—not that money was a problem for him anymore. Delaware Humphrey’s fortune looked good on him. Jacque had traded his patched clothes for custom made. Even for his night gig.
“How often does the Jabberwocky close the market? About as often as one of her
smugglers get pinched to work for the enemy,” was his reply. “I knew the market going dark had to be about you.” He withdrew a miniature blaze burner from his coat pocket and it flared almost instantly. He didn’t flinch as his callused fingers caressed the flames.
“Are you waiting for applause? Yes, it was about me. Anyway, shouldn’t you be
retrieving my egg stash?” I asked.
“Already done. You’ll see a nice little profit from that—not that you need it,” he said.
Jacque was one of the few smugglers who knew I was the daughter of the second most
powerful noble in Canto, right after the royal family. My mother’s title meant I never had to worry about money like most smugglers, but that didn’t mean I turned my nose up at extra cash. Funding rebels was expensive.
“I could say the same about you. Have you moved yet?” I asked. Jacque had come into
a tidy sum after his half-brother, Delaware Humphrey, was killed.
“Not quite and don’t think I haven’t noticed you changed the subject. What did the
Empress say?” He continued to fiddle with the mini blaze burner.
“I’m suspended until further notice,” I said, not wanting to tell him about my assignment of spying to redeem myself. The other smugglers at the hidden market had been making themselves scarce when I was around. Working with the KM wasn’t a way to endear myself with a bunch of mercenaries and thieves. Then it occurred to me that Jacque was still hanging around… Why?
I would never have suspected Jacque of spying on me but in that instant it occurred to
me. Had he struck some deal with the Jabberwocky? I’d barely begun my covert operations and was already feeling paranoid.
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