The kan Ingan Archives was supposed to be a series of romances involving the same characters. Somewhere around Book 3, it turned into a family saga, in spite of my efforts. Family sagas are a lot of work because not only do you have to build a world, but you have to keep track of the characters' names and physical appearances, and also their ages, especially if each novel encompasses a number of years. With the kan Ingans, it wasn’t any different, or easier, because I was watching out for not just one family, but two, and they were so intertwined, it occasionally got ve-e-e-ry confusing.


In Sinner, the scene was set. Aric kan Ingan, the 20-year-old Crown Prince of Arcanis, falls in love with his uncle’s wife and gets exiled for his troubles. Not only because he loves the wrong woman, though his uncle never discovers that, but also because in doing so, he becomes vulnerable to the traitors plotting to overthrow the Throne. Aric discovers who they are, they retaliate by framing him as one of their leaders, and destroying the evidence proving his innocence. Now, the only way Aric can prove he isn’t a traitor is to admit his 10-year affair with Elizabeth Sheffield, a crime carrying with it a much harsher punishment than that for a rebel. One wonders how her husband, the assumingly astute ruler of an entire galaxy, could be so stupid as not to suspect something, but apparently he never does, though he's very quick to accuse his nephew of treason, so perhaps that's his unsubtle way of saying he did know what was going on without actually admitting it, thus saving himself a king-sized amount of embarrassment. Whatever the reason...Aric ends up banished….and leaves his home…for what he thinks is forever.



In Exile, the second book in the series, (which has just been released) the title tells the story. Aric is now in his early forties, an exile for ten years. He’s taken a vow of poverty, chastity, and personal privation, in the hopes the gods and his uncle will pardon him and let him return home, but now… Addicted to the two most powerful substances in the galaxy and accepting forgiveness isn’t going to happen, he takes a job as a lowly guard in a Terran mining outpost, a position he once would’ve laughed at when he was a noble. Little does Aric know it, but on that little world wait the two people who are going to become the most important in his life…a woman doctor with secrets of her own, and Elizabeth’s younger brother, Miles Sheffield…


It was fun building this world in the far future but definitely a lot of work. It’s a place where Earthpeople aren’t exactly considered the cream of the crop. Terrans are thought too explosive, licentious, and unstable by the rest of the galaxy. In fact, the planet has just come out of a 3000-year quarantine because of the way they received their first visitors from another planet. There are strict caste systems in place, and specific customs for each species. Coffee and Cigarettes are illegal because they contain caffeine and nicotine, the substances listed as #1 and #2 on the Federation Surgeon General’s List of Proscribes, and selling or using either can get you into so much trouble you don’t want to even think about it. Criminals have unionized, forming the Brotherhood of St. Dismas (the guardian saint of thieves) and they have their own stringent rules…and Exiles are more or less forced to take vows declaring them Non-Persons, people with no rights whatsoever, in danger of being seized and killed at any moment, and anyone who dares love—or marry—one shares that danger.


At the colony on Pyras, Aric’s now living an Exile’s dream of a steady job, and friends, but he’s also treading the line of danger..to his Vows and to his life…because there’s a certain chance he’s about to fall in love. Again.


EXCERPT:


In this section of town, the streets were jammed with people, well-to-do, well-fed, well-clothed people, and he paused a moment, determining which way to go, and then…


He saw her.


A young girl, standing on the street corner, arms piled high with packages, trying to keep a struggling, yapping ball of fluff from escaping from the bag slung over her arm…and failing. Leaping from its confinement, the little creature dashed into the street and under the feet of a sudden stampede of Scyllans crossing from one corner to another. “Poofy! Come back!”


Aric bent and scooped up the little dog who yipped a greeting and began to wag its nub of a tail as he carried it back to her. “I believe you lost this?” He smiled and held it out to her.


“Oh, thank you! I was so frightened.” She returned the smile so guilelessly, that for a moment, he forgot what he was. “I’m trying to get to my aunt’s carriage.“ She nodded toward a blue vehicle parked across the street, a liveried chauffeur sitting in the driver’s seat reading from a hand unit. “Poofy hates riding in my bag and was just looking for a chance to escape. Oh!”


A passing pedestrian bumped against her. A package flew from her grasp and Aric caught it in his free hand. A second body jostled him, and he stumbled slightly, the contact causing a cloud of dust to erupt from his cape and settle on the purity of her white gown.


“May I escort you across?”


At her murmured assent, he deposited Poofy in the bag, placed his arm across the slim shoulders, and stepped off the curb, guiding her through the others who surely would’ve trampled both her and the little animal. When they arrived at the carriage, the chauffeur hastily dropped the hand unit and sat up, starting to get out of the vehicle. She shook her head and he sat still as she tossed the packages inside, placed the now-content Poofy on the seat and turned to take the other parcel from Aric.


“Thank you again. It’s nice to meet a real gentleman. I really don’t think I could’ve gotten across that thoroughway without you. I didn’t realize the crowds were so thick today.” She held out her hand and, without thinking, Aric took it.


“Liset! What’s this?” The strident, high-pitched demand shattered the air.


Suddenly, Aric was staggering backward, arms protecting his face from the blows the blue-wigged, bejeweled woman was raining upon him with the small matron’s stick she carried. A few passersby looked and then turned away, finding amusing the sight of a giant cowering before the wrath of a woman half his size.


“Auntie, please! You’re hurting him!”


“I intend to.” Face red with exertion and anger, she gave Aric a final swat with the stick, striking him on his weak arm, and turned to the girl. “How dare he touch you! How dare he speak to you!”


“Poofy ran away. He brought him back. Why shouldn’t he speak to me, Auntie?”


“He’s an Exile, you stupid child!” The woman hissed. “Look at that mark on his forehead…his hair…his clothes! Can’t you see?”


Liset peered around her aunt, her innocent gaze stating she saw nothing.


Angry at the woman’s tone, Aric took a step toward her. His arm stung where she’d struck it.


“Stay back!” Raising the stick, the woman turned on him.


Aric stopped.


“Get in.” Seizing the girl by the arm, she pushed her into the carriage. “He actually touched you? Yes, I can see the mark of his filthy hand on your gown. Your poor mother must never know. When we get home, we’ll burn it!”


“But, Auntie—”


“Be quiet. You! Stand away!” she ordered Aric, and waved a hand at the chauffeur. “Take us out of here.”


The carriage sped away, its fender striking Aric’s hip as it rose into the air without the usual gradual ascent. He was knocked down, and for a moment, lay stunned on the pavement. People went around him, none offering to help or inquire if he were injured. As he got to his feet, leg throbbing painfully, he realized what hurt more was the damage to his last shred of pride and the sinking understanding that nothing had changed, and never would, .unless he was Pardoned.






Exile is available from Double Dragon Publishing. : http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-947-4

9 comments

  1. Mary Ricksen // April 5, 2012 at 1:36 PM  

    I love your muse! It's amazing the imagination you pour into your stories! Go Toni!

  2. Judy // April 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM  

    Great stories, Toni! Love how you've connected them into something big...

  3. Judy // April 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM  

    Great stories, Toni! Love how you've connected them into something big...

  4. Toni V.S. // April 5, 2012 at 3:01 PM  

    Thanks, Mary and Judy. Glad you liked the blog.

  5. Linda Acaster // April 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM  

    Hey, great intro, Toni. Loved the trailer. It's always fascinating to hear how a writer comes upon her stories.

  6. Nightingale // April 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM  

    This is going to be one awesome series.

  7. Josie // April 6, 2012 at 2:29 PM  

    Toni, this is absolutely amazing! What an incredible series!

  8. Mary Marvella // April 6, 2012 at 4:39 PM  

    Amazing! I think this series will be a winner! Go, Toni, Icy and Tony-paul!

  9. Marianne Stephens // April 7, 2012 at 3:41 AM  

    It's amazing how stories "take on a life of their own" and dictate how a series will progress. We have no choice but to follow what flows through our minds.
    Good luck with your series, and great video. Music is not overwhelming but intriguing to go along with your words.