Monday, December 30, 2019

#

The Lizard Queen Series by H.L. Cherryholmes - Book Tour


The Lizard Queen Series - Abridged

300 years ago, in a nameless world, a prophecy passed unfulfilled. A secret society that formed to prevent its occurrence believed it was their doing, while the secret society created to ensure that the prophecy came to pass wasn’t certain it had been stopped at all. Eventually, the prophecy of Lacáruna, a female from another realm and the only being who can read the Lizard Queen’s language, fell into legend.  What no one realizes, however, is that Amy Darlidale is just a tad late.


The Lizard Queen Abridged
Book One
H.L. Cherryholmes

Genre: Fantasy

Date of Publication: 12/7/19

ISBN: 9781798589724
ASIN: B081593C32

Number of pages: 496
Word Count: 235,000

Cover Artist: Ryan Valle

Book Description:

Taking a break from a stressful workweek, Amy Darlidale, a recently divorced CEO, goes out for a morning jog, crosses paths with an orange lizard, and suddenly finds herself under a starless sky confronted by oddly marked and strangely colored people claiming she's there to rescue the world from evil’s grasp and expand it Along with the young companions who found her, Licha and Jandro, the swaggering Colonel Dack Sangcertigre—a member of the secret society sworn to protect her—leads Amy in search of a plan to fulfill the Promise of a New Morphósis, which will save them all.

Confronted with raving rulers, military machinations, and crafty clergy, Amy quickly realizes there is much more at stake than merely finding the prophecy. Fires rage, clans and townsfolk are massacred when leaders proclaim a great evil has returned. While Amy searches for and finds clues within the first of nine mythic journals regarding this world’s origins, she begins to see visions and receive messages from forces unknown.

Even as she tries to understand the extent of her power others have become aware of it as well. Soon a new group with its own mysterious agenda believes Amy may have another fated purpose and only she can save herself from their terrifying trap.




Excerpt
Book One:

 “I saw an orange lizard today.”

“Orange? That’s
an unusual color for a lizard isn’t it? I’ve seen red ones.” 

Amy Darlidale
looked at the wall just above her therapist’s head. She’d seen the family photo
dozens of times but had never given it much attention. This was the first time
she’d noticed the pendant his young daughter wore. Was it a circle within a
circle? It was difficult to make out from a distance. “Maybe your red lizard
mated with a yellow one and produced my orange lizard.”

John chuckled.
“Maybe. Where did you see it?”

“That’s the
interesting thing.” Amy stopped bouncing the leg she had crossed over the
other. “I saw it in my office. It ran across my desk.”

“You’re kidding.
How do you suppose a lizard—of any color—made it up to the twenty-seventh floor
of your office building?” 

“Maybe it
crawled through the pipes.” Amy glanced out the window and resumed bouncing her
leg.

Pen in hand,
John leaned back in his chair. “You seem rather distracted today.”

Amy’s gaze
drifted across John’s desk. When he started seeing her alone, he’d moved from
the couple’s area to the desk. She liked it better this way.

“That damned
lizard. I saw it first thing this morning, and I can’t get it out of my head.”
She uncrossed her legs. “I feel a bit silly for saying this, but it stopped and
looked at me.”

“There’s nothing
unusual about that. A deer-in-the-headlights response. Animals often
momentarily freeze when they think they’ve been caught.”

“Probably.” Amy
pictured the incident in her mind. “But that wasn’t what it seemed like at the
time.”

“What did it
seem like?”

She returned her
focus to the pendant on the girl’s neck in the family portrait. It was a circle
within a circle. “I swear it was looking at me.” She remembered how the small
creature had scrambled up a pile of reports centered at the far edge of the
desk and stopped there. “We sort of locked eyes for a moment. I had the oddest
feeling she had been waiting for me to notice her.”
“She?”

Amy looked at
the therapist. “What?”

“You said she
not it.”
“I did?”

“Yes. Why would
you assume it was female?”
“I don’t know.”

“Was there some
sort of marking that gave away its gender?”

“No, there
weren’t any markings. She was just orange. Bright orange like a…well, like an
orange. Her underside was slightly more yellow.”

“Okay, so you
and the lizard locked eyes. Then what?”

“Then she
blinked a few times and ran off my desk. I shouted for my assistant and we
looked in every corner and under every piece of furniture but never did find
it.”

“So what was it
about this incident that you can’t get out of your head? Not being able to find
it?”

That he would
assume what bothered her was the lizard’s disappearance didn’t surprise Amy in
the least. John was a marriage counselor, which was why she’d started seeing
him in the first place; unfortunately, despite the bi-weekly appointments for
nearly a year, she and her husband, Peter, hadn’t been able to work out their
problems and eventually divorced. Peter got the SUV and the boat; she got condo
in Palm Springs and John. They sold the house in Brentwood. One issue that had
brought the (then) couple to see a therapist was Amy’s inability to let things
go. Her husband said it bordered on obsessive. Amy believed she was just
determined. As it turned out, John tended to side with her husband on that
particular topic and even after the divorce John still thought it was something
Amy needed to work on. That’s when she started seeing him only once every other
month.

“No, it wasn’t
that I couldn’t find the lizard. Although, I will admit that was frustrating.
I’m guessing I can’t get it out of my head because, for some reason, it made me
think of my father.”

“What did it
remind you of?”

He seemed
anxious to hear her answer, which also came as no surprise; Amy seldom talked
about her childhood. Something else that annoyed her ex-husband.

“I suppose it
made me think about when he married my stepmother. A few months after their
wedding I became very ill. My father said that he found me unconscious and
rushed me to the hospital. I was in a coma for three days. The doctors never
found out what was wrong with me.” She paused to clear her throat. Talking
about her childhood always made her uncomfortable, mostly because she
remembered so little of it. “But to get back to your question, the way that the
lizard looked at me was exactly how my father was looking at me when I woke
from that coma. I remember opening my eyes and seeing my dad watching me as if
he were waiting for me to notice him. That’s what the lizard seemed to be
doing.”

John tapped his
pen on the notepad. “I find it interesting that the first thing you said it
reminded you of was when your father married your stepmother and not that you
were in a coma.”

Frowning, Amy
asked why he found it interesting.

“Why don’t you
tell me?” He smiled wryly.

Amy hated that
smile; John only used it when he knew how she would respond. “Maybe it’s
because I found my father marrying Alice more traumatic than being in a coma.”
She laughed.

“All right. So
seeing the orange lizard brought this all back to you. My question then is why
do you see it as a distraction?”

As she adjusted
her jacket, Amy wished she hadn’t brought up the lizard. She’d only done so
because she hadn’t had anything else to talk about and didn’t want to waste a
session. “I don’t really know. Seeing the lizard just brought out…a feeling, I
suppose.”
“What feeling?”


“If I knew,” she
said, mimicking his smile, “I’d be the therapist.”


The Lizard Queen Abridged


Book Two
H.L. Cherryholmes

Genre: Fantasy

Date of Publication: 12/7/19

ISBN: 9781798571132
ASIN: B08159BRTX

Number of pages: 594
Word Count: 279,000

Formats available: Paperback and Kindle

Cover Artist: Ryan Valle

Book Description:

It’s become increasingly clear that an all-out war is being waged by the Arañalianza, the alliance bent on making certain that the prophecy is never brought to pass, and their opposite, the Trotéjo, which is sworn to make certain it does. Although Amy Darlidale has passed tests of wits and endurance far beyond what she thought possible, she struggles for insight into the role she is presumably intended to play in this world.

Jolted by the sacrifices her protectors have had to make, she forges ahead while new relationships surface and new truths are revealed. Forced to rely on her own instincts, along with the limited knowledge she’s gained of this world in her quest, she must find a way to acquire the remaining Extiguos to piece together the prophecy.

Despite feeling constrained in her ability to combat otherworldly forces she cannot comprehend, she must now overcome a foe that poses an unimaginably sinister threat.

Amazon



Excerpt
Book Two:


Amy had expected
to be taken to some sort of a cell, as had happened too many times before, but
instead Quoia and she were taken from the cliff tower into another part of the
istanté enclave. Her mind continued to reel from the events that had occurred
in the past hour. After having been abducted in Últimojo, right under the noses
of her friends, and unceremoniously carted from one end of Rescatazo to
another, she’d thought her ordeal was coming to an end when the clan’s
spiritual leader revealed that she was a Trotéjo comrade. But no. Once again,
the irony of not heeding the mysterious message sent by an unknown source while
she had been out at sea wasn’t lost on her. You didn’t think it would be that
easy, did you? Actually, she had. Silly her.

All of this had
come about simply because she’d been curious as to what an adividria—an alleged
diviner of fortunes and dreams—actually did. She had been called one, which had
also occurred while she’d been out at sea on the Pen-Mai II, because someone
had assumed only a quimera capable of evocasado, this world’s version of magic,
would be able to read the Extiguos. Just outside of the Eyes of the Ultimate
Cathedral in Últimojo was a long row of tents commonly referred to as Charlatan
Shacks and she’d visited an adividria there. What followed led the adividria,
Nayel, to believe Amy was something her Ojor Mountain clan in northern
Rescatazo had been looking for. And because of that belief, Amy had been
rendered unconscious, snatched up, and dragged unwillingly up the river and
across the land only to learn that Nayel had been wrong and she wasn’t what the
istanté clan was looking for after all.

Now, instead of
becoming the clan’s newest spiritual leader, she was to be thrown to the wolves
(in this instance, to something called a vueltó) that outsiders had never
bested. Her only consolation was that her abductor and the current spiritual
leader-cum-Trotéjo comrade’s son, Quoia, was being tossed into the ring along
with her. The broad-shouldered, pale-skinned quimero hadn’t been very happy to
learn his fate any more than she had. In fact, he probably had been even more
stunned by the turn of events than she. Amy would have felt a bit of smug
satisfaction over that, if not for the staggering sense of dread crawling up
her legs.

The enormous,
ugly istanté guards with the muscular hunched shoulders silently led Quoia and
her to a room with a floor covered entirely in pillows except for a small path
along the edges. Adorning the walls were more than a dozen swords of varying
sizes. The room opened onto a large empty yard surrounded by high walls. The
guards left them and closed the door, locking it from the outside. Quoia
immediately scanned the weapons on the wall, as he circled the pillow-covered
floor. Light from the flickering lanterns shined off the perspiration dotting
the skin of his bald head. When Amy had first seen him—well, not the first
time, the first time she’d only caught a glimpse of him before he covered her
face with a rag soaked in something called cañart that had knocked her
out—she’d noted that their pale-peach skin-coloring was very similar. With his
square jaw and button nose, he could have passed for human, if not for the
small curved horns just above his temples. The tall quimero was body-builder
big with a neck as wide as his head. When he found a sword to his liking he
removed it from the wall and held it out.

“Take this. It
should be easy for you to handle.”

Amy stared at
the sword in silence.

“We call it a
cuchelgado. Ranjeros call it a sword.”

“I know what it
is and I don’t care what it’s called. What I don’t understand is why we’re
going to a circus. Actually, let me amend that. What I don’t understand is why
any of this is happening.” 

The Lizard Queen Abridged
Book Three
H.L. Cherryholmes

Genre: Fantasy

Date of Publication: 12/7/19

ISBN: 9781798130117
ASIN: B08157XT4V

Number of pages: 657
Word Count: 309,000

Formats available: Paperback and Kindle

Cover Artist: Ryan Valle

Book Description:

With all of the Extiguos now in their possession, Amy Darlidale and her companions feel they are close to discovering the truth, but that they are also running out of time.

This world seems on the verge of shrinking much faster than anyone anticipated when the surrounding nations gather for war against Pliada. The Trotéjo and the Arañalianza also plan to assemble before the mountain upon which La Reina’s castle sits, and stakes have never been higher. The quest to learn how Amy must bring about the New Morphósis has brought her full circle and the truth about her destiny as Lacáruna finally seems within reach.

But much blood continues to be shed as all sides race toward the inevitable conclusion of the journey. Amy must summon forces from deep within if she is to save this world—or is it too late?




Excerpt
Book Three:


Amy looked at
the blank pages and couldn’t believe her eyes. So she closed them. When she
opened them again, however, nothing had changed. The final Extiguo was no
longer visible to her.
“It’s gone.”

Dack was giving
out instructions as to which direction the others should face while Amy read
the last third of the Extiguo.

“It’s gone,” Amy
repeated.

Dack stopped and
looked at her. “What?”

“The words are
gone.” She held up the book with the pages facing outward, even though she knew
he wouldn’t see it as she did. To anyone native to this world, the symbols that
were the written language of La Reina were still stamped upon the pages. “I
can’t see any of the words.”

Dack, Licha,
Jandro, and Madu scrambled to gather around her. Sitting as she was on the
footboard of the carriage that had delivered goods to the hundreds of Trotéjo
hiding in Naclaquí didn’t make this easy, so she stood up. Licha pulled at
Amy’s arm until the book was low enough that she could see it.

“I don’t understand,”
the quimera with the alabaster-white skin said. “I thought that the words
didn’t disappear until you’ve read all of it.”

Flipping through
the book to be certain the pages were blank, Amy said, “They haven’t until
now.”

Madu peered over
her shoulder. “Why now? Why would they disappear on you like that now?”

Amy removed the
lupercas, the pince-nez reading glasses, from the bridge of her nose. No point
in keeping them on when there was nothing to read. “I don’t know why. It’s
never happened before.”

Jandro looked up
at her. His eyes were wide and seemed to be floating in the black pools that
were the ovals encircling them on his face. His blue-gray skin was almost
silver in the glow of the moonlight. “You’ve never gone so far into one of the
Extiguos and then stopped,” he said. “Could that be why?”

Frustrated, Amy
threw the paluz to the ground. “I don’t care what caused it. All that matters
is that I can no longer read it.” She looked at Dack. “What are we going to
do?”

He stared at the
green light of the paluz at his feet. “There doesn’t seem to be anything we can
do.”

“But we don’t
know how it ends.” Madu’s voice went up an octave.

“Yes we do,”
Jandro said. “La Reina creates the—”

“Not that!” Madu
said, his voice higher still. The tall, lanky quimero began to pace. “Not
what’s in the Translation, but what’s in the actual Extiguo. None of you seem
to comprehend that nearly all that Amy read so far is nowhere to be found in
its translation. For all we know, the Winged-One really did create the Morphósis
and La Reina became Lacáruna.”

“Control
yourself, Madu,” Dack said. “Hysterics are never constructive.”

“And I can
assure you I am not La Reina,” Amy added.

Madu closed his
mouth and drew in several breaths through his long nose. He ran his hands
through his thick, dark red hair a few times and slowly his shoulders relaxed.
“I didn’t mean that literally. I’m only conjecturing that anything is
possible.”

“We shouldn’t
have left.” Licha looked up at Dack, whom she stood beside. “We should have
remained in the building when you sent out the group disguised as us. Amy
should have kept reading.”

Jandro came
between them and, surprising everyone, shoved Licha back. “Stop being an idiot.
We couldn’t have stayed. You heard what Dack said. Whoever caused the explosion
could have sent someone to storm into Winfred’s room and what would we have
done then?”

“Enough.” Amy
put Winfred’s lupercas in a pocket and rubbed her eyes. “Instead of focusing on
what we don’t know, how about focusing on what we do. I was more than halfway
through the Extiguo. We have plenty of revelations to discuss and mull over.”

About the Author:

H.L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen Series, The Reminisce, Come Back for Me, and A Slight Touch was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but has spent most of his adult life in California. He has a BFA from University of New Mexico and a Master's degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in SoCal with his husband.






No comments:

Post a Comment