Excerpt & Contest: Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine

Author Spotlight Long
pip_long hairBorn in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace-  GeistSpectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.

She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to Goodreads.com. The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on Goodreads.com. The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.

In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.

You can learn more about Philippa at http://www.pjballantine.com/, http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/, http://twitter.com/philippajane and Facebook.

Next up I have the final Book of the Order, Harbinger coming out in July. The sequel to Hunter and Fox, Kindred and Wings coming in August, and then in December the third book of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Dawn’s Early Light will be coming.
Here’s a teaser from Harbinger (the cover will be revealed at RtB on March 22nd):

Smoke blew  off the once-admired canals of the capital of the Empire of Arkaym. Several times the geistlord, who wore a coyote shape, had to backtrack as he found bridges broken before him and houses tumbled down everywhere. The Fensena sniffed at the bodies left to rot in the alleyways of Vermillion, but unlike a real coyote he did not pause to dine.

The fact that a five-foot-tall coyote was wandering the byways of the heart of the Empire in broad daylight would have been impossible to contemplate even just a few months before. Yet, here he was with the run of the place, and not a Deacon of the Order or a soldier of the Imperial Guard to give him pause. The Emperor of Arkaym had very little care for his capital, and had chosen instead to chase after the Princes who had risen in rebellion against him—and it turned out there were quite a few such princes

Papers rustled and blew past the coyote in the sharp wind. He caught one as it spun by him, his lightning fast paw pinning it to the ground. Through gleaming golden eyes the geistlord read—a skill he had taken pride in developing. It was the offer of a bounty; one on the head of Sorcha Faris. She was accused of sedition, treason and murder. More telling was the title they were giving her. “Arch Abbot of the outlawed Order” was written beneath the badly drawn picture of her. The Fensena had no love for the Deacons, but he knew what awaited him on the Otherside and had no desire to see this world burn.

As these dark thoughts filled him with dread, he moved on through the city and finally made it to the Bridge of Gilt. The canal that ran beneath it was clogged with all manner of dead and decaying things that made his nose twitch. Someone had tied offerings to one of the small gods on the railings; fruits, dead birds and something bloody and unidentifiable.

Still, the bridge was intact, and so he padded over it toward the Imperial Island. The coyote’s ears pricked forward as they traced running footsteps up ahead among the shops that lined the bridge. Though most merchants had long since abandoned their businesses for whatever safety they wrongly perceived elsewhere, a few brave held on. He could smell them huddled in their little shops, and hear them whispering.

A young woman was running along the bridge toward him, clutching something to her chest. The odor of fear was overpowering to the Fensena’s sharp senses.

It was a baby. She was cradling a baby to her chest as she ran. In the lowering light of sunset, her eyes were wide with terror. Finally, she saw the huge coyote standing in the middle of the bridge and skidded to a halt.


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28 thoughts on “Excerpt & Contest: Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine

  1. I think it would depend how sentient the cat is… If it’s like the Rossin, where it takes over and pushes away my own free will, I’d be worried most about hurting those I love. I’d rather have a cat that I am in harmony with – like Nalini Singh’s changelings!

    Thank you! I cannot wait for this book!!

  2. Maria D. says:

    I haven’t read this series by Philipa but it does sound really good – on the other hand I’ve been reading the series she co-writes with Tee and I love it and can’t wait for the third book to come out. I would love to win the Omnibus so that I can read all of the books (excerpt the newest of course). I had no idea Philipa has 5 cats…that’s a lot of cats….lol….and I can see why she would write about a “sentient” cat in her books:) Thanks for the great giveaway!

  3. Steph says:

    I already live with a zoo, what’s one more cat. Mostly with a cat that big, I think I would worry about cleaning such a big litter pan!

  4. Jess1 says:

    I’m new to this author’s books, but I really enjoy fantasy adventure stories such as Lord of the Rings. Each of her series sound very interesting, so I’ll be writing her name down to check them out further.
    As far as my concerns about living with a sentient cat creature, I would say that cats tend to be temperamental and not so easy going.

  5. Viki S. says:

    I’m a cat person so I’d give the cat space. We’d get along fine. Thanks.

  6. Mary Ellen Warren says:

    Just diving into Wrayth at this point, but love the series. Have Hunter and Fox but not started yet….so much to read, so little time!!!!
    Would you ever re-visit your Chasing the Bard/Digital Magic series? Absolutely loved them and would like to know where they went “afterward”…..

  7. erinf1 says:

    WOW! This author is very busy 🙂 This series sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing. As I don’t really know what a sentient cat like Rossn entails, I’d worry about treating it equally or fairly. Then again, if I’d be able to liter train it 🙂

  8. Anne says:

    I think that the author has major talent so create this series which is unique and special. What places have you travelled to and which is your favourite?

  9. Linda says:

    I’d be worried about being hurt or it hurting someone. Also wondering how to keep it fed!

    I’ve read Geist & love it! Can’t wait to read the rest in the series.

  10. Beth says:

    I love this series! Then again, I can’t think of anything Pip has written that I haven’t loved…

  11. Beth says:

    Oops, I read that the comment must be more meaningful in order for it to count. So let’s see… what would it be like to live with Rossen? I’m not a very good roommate in general, I really like living alone. But I live in a large house, so I guess we could each have our privacy. I think I would really enjoy conversations with him, though.

  12. Kimberly says:

    I have been a fan of Phillipa’s since I found her podcast novels back in 2007. I have enjoyed being a spectator and watching her career flourish. She really cares about her fans and has really connected with them via social media. Pip’s work is simply amazing.

  13. Katie says:

    I think I’d be most worried about the Rossin deciding that he really didn’t have a use for me any longer. As long as he a sentient cat of that nature has a reason for you to stick around, I think it would be rather amusing to have around. The Rossin is awfully intelligent, after all. Love the series so far and really looking forward to the next installment!

  14. Tabby Hart says:

    I think I’d be worried about it eating people but also I’d worry about if s/he decided to go on a journey where I’d end up and how on earth I’d get back! xD

    Thank you for this comp, I <3 Philippa's books.

  15. Susanne says:

    Hi Philippa!

    I just came around this contest and read that you are from New Zealand! What a wonderful country! I´ve been there many years ago and I hope to go there one day again. I am always searching for New Zealand authors and didn´t know that you are from there, although your “Books & Braun” books are on my pile of unread books.
    Sorry,I don´t know anything about Rossin, maybe I should change that.
    Lots of love to you from the other side of the world!

  16. Isabel says:

    Just curious what he would do to my furniture. On the other hand can always use him as a bed; warm and secure 🙂

  17. Yanet says:

    I suppose i’d worry about the discussions we’d have and at the same time love them.
    He is intelligent enough to be an awesome roomie and yet wild enough to make me worry about him.
    I’d love our adventures and quarrels about food habbits and ofcourse mayor hairballs XD..
    I suppose my biggest concern would how to balance my needs versus his…seeing as he is a sentient cat..But all in all i’d take it all and go for the ride of a lifetime 😀

    I must say this is an awesome series and I cant wait for more to come


  18. evening-green says:

    I’d be a bit afraid of being eaten alive I suppose. He could just decide to take a bite out of me, if so inclined.

  19. Chelsea B. says:

    Ohhh, I don’t know. I think I’m going to have to wait and read the series before I answer that question 😉
    Thanks for the fantastic givaway!

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