Title: Zoysana’s Choice
Author: Gordon A. Long
Discovered as a child living alone in the forest and growing up an orphan of mixed parentage, but under the protection of the king’s youngest son, Zoe is appreciated for her own merit by everyone, from the royal family to the lowest kitchen wench. But her secure nest is shattered by conflict in the king’s family, and soon she will have to decide where her loyalties lie.
She flees to her former home in the mountains, where she finds many answers, but not to the questions she is asking.
Then she is offered the chance to visit Kyabra, the home of her grandfather, to learn about that ancient culture.
But all of these travels come to naught when she hears of war at home, and she returns to Petrella to be faced with a decision that could stop a war and change the lives of thousands, but only at the greatest personal cost.
This is the first published work of a 7-book saga of standalone novels tied together by characters and setting. Books 4 to 7 are sequential, and Books 1 to 3 happen 400 years earlier.
Most of the way through the town the armigerent was content to walk in the centre of the street, but once in a while he would notice something off to the side and wander that way. Each time, this caused consternation among the nearest bystanders, creating a minor stir in the normal flow of the crowd. At one point he veered close to a group of citizens and there was more movement than usual. A young child, separated from her mother, found herself confronted by the huge beast. Repeating the Kyabran equivalent of, “Doggie, doggie,” she toddled over to investigate. A rough spot in the roadway proved an obstacle for the tiny feet, and the baby was dumped in the dust. She sat there, deciding whether she was injured enough to cry or interested enough to get up and keep going. Patu solved her problem by strolling to her.
Seeing the huge nose conveniently near, the little girl grabbed two good handfuls of whiskers and hauled herself to her feet then stood there, unwilling to let go of such a convenient support. Patu stood also, wondering what to do. The child’s mother was in a similar quandary, but less placid about it. She had taken a step forward, but could not bring herself to approach closer. She wavered, almost in hysterics, but whether through inability or sufficient control, made no sound.
Finally the baby decided she was solid enough and let go, crowed and patted the huge, bristly nose. More “Doggie, doggie.” Patu decided that this was fun. He wagged his tail and presented his nose again for more patting. There was a distinct relaxing of breath among the bystanders. Pleased by her attention, he tried to nudge his head under her arm so she would scratch his ears. The nudge was too much for her precarious balance, and she sat down again, rather hard. She looked up with the beginning of a pout. The armigerent’s tail went down, and he glanced around with a guilty set to his ears. Several people laughed.
Zoe thought that this had gone on a little too long for the mother’s nerves, so she whistled softly. Patu delicately reached out and caught the girl’s coat near the collar and picked her up, turned her towards her mother and set her on her feet. Then he gently nudged her. The chubby legs churned in order to keep from falling and propelled their owner straight into her mother’s anxious arms. From that high vantage, the toddler squirmed around, pointing and calling her “doggie” refrain proudly. When the laughter subsided enough that she could be heard, Zoe kneed her horse forward and bowed in the saddle.
“If you don’t mind, madam, and your child has finished playing with my armigerent, could we go on now? We are holding up a lot of people.” She gestured to the rest of the procession, filling the road behind.
The mother, flustered by the quick flurry of emotions and the laughter of her friends, gave a quick curtsey and nodded, still clinging mutely to her daughter.
Zoe bowed again and instructed Patu to do likewise. Then she sent him on ahead and they continued through the town.
About the Author
Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He now spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, blogging and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.
Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he is not writing and publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table, and is a staff writer for
Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Zoysanas-Choice-Petrellan-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B01MQK4MS0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484335797&sr=8-1&keywords=zoysana%27s+choice
Interview with Gordon A. Long
Interview with Gordon A. Long
1. How did you come up with name of this book?
“Choice” was always going to be there, because the theme of the book is about an existential choice the main character has to make, one which will save her realm from warfare, but could destroy her. The real problem was the name, “Zoysana.” I always wanted to have a main character called Zoe. So I had to find an interesting name that shortened down to Zoe. I toyed with “Zonethrander,” but that sounded too specifically Punjabi, which had nothing to do with the story, so I messed around with it some more. Then I found out that a Hungarian friend of mine called “Sue” is actually named “Zsusanna,” so I pared that down a bit, and presto!
2. Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I usually read Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but I read pretty much anything. I used to read a lot more, before I started writing. I always had a pretty high pressure life, and sometimes when it all got too much for me I would go to the library and take out about five books and sit down and read them all in one weekend.
Now I get the same R&R from writing, so I read less. But then I started reviewing books on my blog, “Renaissance Writer,” so I have to read one book a week, come hell or high water. Now I read whatever people send me, but I prefer Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal. My wife is a big Detective Mystery fan, so every once in a while she recommends I read one of those.
3. Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
When I was a kid I could read a book with a riot going on, and I’d just shut it all out. I used to work, study, or mark papers with the radio or stereo on all the time. But I can’t write with music playing. I think it’s because the music appeals to the emotional part of my brain, and when I’m creating, I need all of that for the task at hand. Other noises don’t bother me.
4. If you could choose one of your books to be made into a movie, which would it be and why?
My “Sword Called Kitten?” books would make great digitally enhanced movies, because the main character is a sword with the soul of a cat, so she is speaking all the time to the other characters, who are normal humans. She also sometimes gives her humans a touch of the tips of her claws if they get out of line, which could be very funny. In the second book of that series, “Cat with Many Claws,” she gets saddled with helping to train a Healer’s Scalpel that has the soul of a puppy, and the “arguments” between the two of them would be great on screen.
5. Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Now, I really am glad you asked that question. When I started writing, there was no such thing as self-publishing. So I just started writing. After 15 years the self-pub revolution came along, and I had 8 books already in the can. Of the Petrellan Saga, for example, I had already written Zoysana’s Choice and the next two sequels. Then I jumped back 400 years in time to write the next three books, which became Books 1, 2, and 3 in the Saga. So at the moment I am finishing and publishing that whole series over the next three or four years.
Meanwhile, I started the World of Change series, which is at Book 5 right now, plus other independent projects. So the answer is that I always have at least three books on the table: one that I’m writing, one that I’m editing and one that I’m promoting.
It’s a good system, because there are always gaps, such as when a book is at the editor, when I just can’t write on that project, and it gives me something else to do.
It also solves writer’s block. If one book isn’t going well, I just switch to another one.
Book 7 of the Petrellan Saga, which will be called “Mother of the King,” is only about a quarter finished, but because it’s going to be the wrap-up of the whole Saga, every once in a while something in one of the earlier books will give me an idea, and I’ll jump ahead and write a chapter.
It’s a busy life.