In a medieval world at war, the vampires who call themselves djinn protect the people of the House of the Rose from Crusader and Saracen alike. More importantly, the djinni search for the new incarnations of the House's ancient souls to return their memories of previous lifetimes.
One of the djinni, Menelaos, is robbed of his powers when he is injured during the massacre of Beziers by Crusaders in AD 1209. In the aftermath, he fights to heal so he can resume his duties. He must prove to himself that he deserves to live after failing to save his charges and his beloved djinn wife.
While on a difficult mission for the House, he encounters a young Crusader knight who may be his wife, reborn. Determined to reunite with his beloved, Menelaos embarks on an obsessive quest for the young knight, hoping to redeem himself by returning a lost soul to the House.
But his efforts lead him to dangerous questions: What secret agenda is the eldest of the djinni pursuing? Why was one djinn cursed and cast out millennia ago? And will the answers to these questions free the djinni from an invisible tyranny, or destroy everything Menelaos loves?
An Awe-Struck ReleaseComing Soon...
Michaela August is a writing team composed of two Northern California authors, Marian Gibbons and Karin Welss. Despite living 90 miles apart, they've been collaborating for years, using telephones and the Internet.
Marian, a native of Northern California, lives in the wine country with her multi-talented husband (who after many years has gotten used to hearing, "Honey, do we have some wall space left for another bookcase?") As well as being able to make plum jam and chocolate chip cookies, she is a member of Romance Writers of America, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Karin was born in Montreal, Canada. She grew up in California and has traveled extensively in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia (including a stint in Sydney for two-and-a-half years, first as a university exchange student and then while working for a well-known software company). Besides traveling, Karin's other great interests are anime, baking, reading, history, and archaeology. Family members accuse her of writing historical fiction as an excuse to buy books and do research! Karin currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is owned by a small but very bossy parrot. She pays for the birdseed by working as a technical writer.
"This was a fabulous story that really brought to life the authorís images of the Crusades. The atrocities that occurred were heart-rending. Ms. August has created multi-faceted characters that you love and feel for. This story does transcend genders and has souls that are reborn in different-sex bodies. All in all, it was a richly told story. Thank you, Ms. August, I look forward to the rest of the series."Serena -- Fallen Angel Reviews
"Michaela August's new medieval vampire saga, Glass Souls, is the perfect example of what makes E-publishing such a boon to both writers and readers of creative fiction. Skillfully encompassing elements and conventions from the historical novel, the gothic thriller, and the paranormal romance, this story doesn't fit neatly into any of these mainstream genre categories, but faithful readers of any of them are likely to enjoy it very much. Meticulously researched and wildly imaginative, it creates a layered world for its vampire/djinni characters that is both shocking and plausible? Anne Rice meets Marion Zimmer Bradley. I found it completely engrossing, with a cliffhanger ending that made me shriek out loud for the next book in the series."Lucy Blue -- author of 'My Demon's Kiss'
"Glass Souls, by Michaela August, is the first volume of the House of Rose fantasy series. It is a lengthy novel that is set in medieval times and interweaves the supernatural powers of vampires with the violence of the Crusades...it was hard to put down...I highly recommend Glass Souls to those who enjoy tales of vampires and the times of the Crusaders."Robin Thomas -- MyShelf Reviews
"As a reviewer, I really do not even know where to start explaining this story, the plot is so intricate, overlapping and complex, nothing I say is going to do it justice...This is not a story about good and evil, right and wrong or even black and white with grays in between. Oh no, this story is a full rainbow of possibilities."Sarah Silversmith -- TheRomanceReadersConnection
"In this epic first book of the House of the Rose, August is as confident in imagination and detail as Laurell K. Hamilton, and as emotionally rich as Marion Zimmer Bradley. "Glass Souls" deserves a wide readership. It's a romantic fantasy novel of distinction--well-told, meticulously researched, and emotionally satisfying."LYNN CODDINGTON -- ROMANCING THE TOME, Sunday Contra Costa Times Newspaper
"... Her fabulous craftsmanship is nearly invisible to the reader, delivering a smooth, wholly enveloping read. In Glass Souls, she presents an innovative, and totally absorbing concept of vampires among us."Jacqueline Lichtenberg -- ReReadable Books column at Simegen.com, September 2005
"Imaginative and intricate, Glass Souls creates a literally full-bodied world of interesting characters and topics."Carole Genz -- All About Romance
"How much do you remember of your dreams?" Sir Dominic had a seducer's voice. He might be the Devil reading his inmost desires.
Roland shuddered. For his soul's sake, he should not answer.
After a while, Sir Dominic said in a normal tone, as if nothing untoward had happened: "You and Sir Michel have treated me most courteously, even at a cost to yourselves. I owe you a debt of honor."
Curiosity won out over caution. "You owe us nothing," Roland lied politely, hoping with every fiber of his being for a generous gift of gold.
"I disagree. I could not help but overhear earlier that you were seeking a liege lord."
Roland was balanced on the knife-edge of desire and caution. He found himself wanting to trust the Saracen knight, yet..."My lord de Sens--" he began.
"--is very angry with you." Sir Dominic gave a short laugh. "You would be wasted on de Sens, Sir Roland, were he wise enough to see your worth."
Roland gave an unhappy sigh.
"When this is over, and my ransom paid, I invite you and Sir Michel to come serve my lady Sharibet, and be lords of the House of the Rose."
"A lord?" Roland tried for incredulity as a voice in his head eagerly chanted yes yes yes.
"A rich and powerful lord," Sir Dominic answered. "The House of the Rose seeks more Protectors, and my lady Sharibet is beautiful and generous. You will want for nothing."
A thousand thoughts raced through Roland's mind. Uppermost were his earlier words to Michel: Any liege is better than no liege.
Even a Saracen? Even if it meant he would be apostate for breaking his Crusading oath?
Sixteen bezants and three silver deniers stood between them and utter penury. If de Sens kept his word and paid out shares to a pair of landless knights who had roused his ire.
"That is a very generous offer, Sir Dominic." Roland's hands were trembling as he uncorked the waterskin and took a deep swig of the flat, leathery water. He felt curiously light.
"Will you accept it?"
A deep shiver moved through Roland. He wiped his mouth and stared, wide-eyed, at the dark shape of his prisoner. Could he really do it?
"Y-yes. Yes. I will." He took a deep breath, and felt an inexplicable sense of joy and relief.
Heavy footsteps sounded outside, and the light from Gui de Tancarville's crude papyrus-reed torch leapt over the ruined walls.
"We must speak again, Sir Roland," Sir Dominic said neutrally, but a smile flickered in the corners of his mouth.
"Off you go, Sir Roland. My turn now." said Sir Gui. He spat at Sir Dominic's feet, watching to see if he would flinch. When he didn't, the large knight said, "I say we cut his balls off and send 'em to that Saracen bitch. Getting her paramour back in pieces will make her pay up quick."
"I will remember your courtesy, Sir Gui." Sir Dominic's flat gray stare, like the uncanny attention of a half-submerged crocodile, never wavered from the knight's face.