Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Grand Master's Mate (Grand Master's Trilogy, Book 3) by Aurora Springer

Release date: December 9, 2015
Subgenre: Science fantasy, science fiction romance

About Grand Master's Mate

Young empath, Violet Hunter, and her crafty Grand Master, Athanor Griffin, tackle the villains threatening civilization.

Their worst enemy, the Red Queen, rampages across the galaxy evading capture, while blocked portals restrict normal commerce among planets. Compounding their problems, half the Grand Masters on the Council fear Violet is the agent of their doom as her father foretold, and vow to eliminate her. To restore peace, Violet and Athanor embark on a hazardous quest for a weapon hidden by the ancient psychic masters on one of four planets. But, the weapon proves elusive, dangers lurk in the ancient sites, and new alliances forged with bizarre entities may not be sufficient to foil their enemies and save the galaxy.

Reminiscent of science fiction stories by Frank Herbert and Andre Norton, this rollercoaster adventure offers weird characters and deadly horrors balanced by lighthearted moments. Grand Master’s Mate is Book 3 of the Grand Master’s Trilogy.

Each book in this Trilogy can be read a a separate story with no cliffhanger at the end.



“Callama will bear you to the site,” the orange Bollerol said. Slipping off the platform, it inserted its spout into the water and vibrations rippled towards the ocean.

“You are honored,” Ravaleen said. “The Callama rides smoothly over the waves and descends with ease.”

Handing the survival suit to Violet, Athanor said, “We’ll don our submarine wear.” He climbed into his large suit, leaving the headpiece and the breathing tube uncoupled. Violet copied his actions and fastened the straps of the jet pack over her chest and shoulders. They chose weapons. Athanor clipped the sheath with his long dagger onto his belt and Violet holstered the harpoon over her shoulder. She sat on the edge of the platform to wait, trailing her fingers in the clear green water.

After a few minutes, a cool and cheery mind approached. Looking out towards the ocean, Violet gasped. A delicate sail of pale yellow swung into view, flying above an almond colored boat with brown stripes. When it drew closer, she saw the boat resembled a giant cockle shell. The thin central membrane of the sail protruded from the fleshy base of the marine mollusk. The huge half shells were taller than a man and the sail towered three times higher.

The shell boat steered into the pavilion and halted near Violet. The sail membrane folded down and the shell halves rocked in the gentle waves.

“Board the Callama,” Ravaleen said. “Bollerol will accompany you as a translator.” 

Thoughts wafted into Violet’s mind. “Wish, wash, ride on me. Three limbs, four limbs twice, and Bollerol five limbs.” The slow rhythms of Callama’s voice merged into the background swell of the sea. No wonder the translator did not recognize the shell animal’s speech.

Touching her fingers to the corrugated outer shell, Violet sent, “Callama, we have names. I’m Violet and the bigger four limbs is Griffin. Three limbs is called Threeleaf Amarylla.”  

Vil, Val, Violet speaks to Callama,” the shell animal hummed its reply.

“Excellent,” Athanor said, hearing the words through his psychic link with Violet. “We have a second translator.”

Raising her delicate hands in surprise, Ravaleen cried, “What do you mean? We cannot speak directly with the Callama.”

“Powered pawn speaks to animals,” Amarylla chimed.

“A splendid talent,” Ravaleen sang.

Radiating pride, Athanor growled, “Just so. My pawn is special.” He ruffled Violet’s hair and pulled her onto her feet. “Violet is the lightest. She can be the first to enter the Callama and test the boat’s stability.”

Grinning at him, Violet chirped, “Flashy! I’ve always wanted to sail over the seas.” 

Athanor tossed her into the Callama and she twisted agilely to land with one hand on the rim of the shell. Callama swayed under the impact and quickly steadied.

“Brightness, may I assist you?” Athanor held his hand to the flower Grand Master.

“No need.” Amarylla glided through the air into the half shell opposite Violet.

Athanor leaped off the platform in a short power-assisted flight and descended to stand beside Violet.

Finally, Bollerol whistled, “We venture forth into desolation, Meilai Ravaleen.” The tentacles wriggled over the rim of the shell, pulling the round body into the boat next to the three petals of Amarylla. 

Pumping water from a spout in its base, the great shell maneuvered out of the narrow inlet towards the open ocean. They sailed past a harbor with catamarans moored on the docks. Round huts with conical roofs clustered behind the docks.

The tall sail of Calluma unfurled and caught the wind. Their strange ship gathered speed, rocking up and down with the waves. The shell boat hummed a song, “Splish, splash, waves crash around Callama.”



About Aurora Springer:

Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved her life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven romances set in weird worlds described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.
Aurora has published science fiction romances in two series, two novellas and short stories. Her first series, Atrapako on Eden, describes the interactions of humans on the terraformed planet of Eden with scaled aliens from the hostile planet of Vkani. She has published two books in this series: The Lady is Blue and Dragons of Vkani. Her second series is Grand Master’s Trilogy. Book 1, Grand Master’s Pawn, Grand Master’s Game and Grand Master's Mate. Her short story, Gifts of Jangalore, is set in the Grand Masters’ Universe. Her standalone novellas are: A Tale of Two Colonies and Captured by the Hawk.

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