The planet is dying, slowly being drained by an alien Dark, and only one last, desperate plan can save it.
Deep in another dimension, a disillusioned young singer is summoned as Lladrana's last hope. Uncertain of her future, unaware of her extraordinary magical talent, Jikata will be the sixth and final outsider--Exotique--to step through a dangerous portal of prophecy and magic. Survival will require her to forge closer friendships than she has ever known. The price of those bonds will threaten the very fate of Lladrana: a world where music holds the key to an ancient mystery--and six women will wage the ultimate battle against the forces of Dark.
Six Earth women must work together to defeat the evil that threatens the magical land of Lladrana in the fifth and final Summoning book (after 2008's Keepers of the Flame). Raine and Jikata are the last of the six Exotiques to be summoned to Lladrana, sailor and architect Raine to build and direct the warship that will lead an invasion force and lonely pop singer Jikata to cast the musical spell that will destroy the Dark. Compelled to stay in Lladrana until they complete the tasks they were summoned for, the women are drawn into the mission, finding friends and love along the way. Romance readers who prize charming fantasy settings and armored warriors as much as tangled love affairs will especially appreciate the action-packed happy ending. (Jan.)
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December 31, 2008
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Excerpt from Echoes in the Dark by Robin D. Owens
Ghost Hill Theater, Denver, ColoradoLate August, NightJikata was taking her last bow on stage and soaking in applause when her great-grandmother died. The odd thing was that Jikata actually felt Ishi Yamuri pass away in one of those increasing moments of hyperawareness. As if the old woman touched Jikata with her stubborn disapproval even as others yelled and clapped.The bond with her great-grandmother vanished. Ishi hadn't waited to see Jikata tomorrow, the date Ishi herself had insisted upon.Jikata had added her old hometown of Denver to her touring schedule because she'd sensed her great-grandmother's time was near, though she hadn't heard from the woman in years.Suddenly the applause, the only thing that had satisfied Jikata for a long time, rang hollow and empty. Like the rest of her life.Jikata lowered her head, closed her eyes against the lights made brighter by tears. Then she stepped back on the polished wooden stage and let the heavy maroon velvet curtains descend.The crowd whistled and clapped louder, but she had no more to give. This final event--the reopening of a newly renovated small Victorian theater--was the last in her tour. Fitting.Her career was skyrocketing. She neared the pinnacle of success for a pop singer, a female half-Japanese no less, and found herself alone and panting after the climb.Her life was tanking. Fans adored her. No one loved her. No man, no good friend female or male, no child. As her great-grandmother would have said, her soul was withering from lack of nourishment.Applause came from stage right and the philanthropist behind the renovation strode forward, beaming, accompanied by his wife. Jikata pasted a smile on her face, hoping that it might turn into the real thing since she usually enjoyed the company of Trenton Philbert III. He stopped clapping and held out a hand and she put hers in it. "Great job. Definitely the next star. I'm looking forward to that last zoom to the top." He squeezed her hand and let it go.The praise warmed her a little. "Thank you.""You did the inaugural event of the Ghost Hill Theater proud. Thanks again for agreeing to perform. We sold out." He glanced around, the backstage was still shiny with cleanliness and held the faint scent of wood stain. "This place should be good for another hundred years.""It's a lovely theater," Jikata said. Now. She could remember when it had been a ruin.He radiated satisfaction. Turning to his wife behind him, he said, "We have a gift for you. Darling?"Juliet Philbert stepped forward with a large fancy birdcage fashioned like the Taj Mahal. Jikata gritted her teeth...no, please, not a bird. Her great-grandmother had kept finches when Jikata had been younger. "I'm sorry," she said, "but I--"Then the bird opened its beak and pure liquid notes warbled out, like nothing Jikata had ever heard. As if it were more than song, a communication. The bird didn't look like any she'd seen before, either. All scarlet red, but with a fancy cockatoo comb of red, yellow and white. About the size of a cockatoo, also. It fixed a yellow eye on her and let loose another stream of notes. This time sounding a lot like the underlying melody of the last ballad she'd sung. Jikata blinked."Her name is Chasonette," Juliet said. "She's a Lladranan cockatoo and has the most beautiful birdsong in the world. She's quite rare, but I knew such a lady would be perfect for you. And Trent indulged me." She thrust the cage at Jikata, so she took it. It was lighter than she'd thought.Juliet tucked her hand into Trenton's elbow and he covered her fingers with his own, shaking his head as he looked down at his wife. "I always indulge you. The bane of my existence." He kissed her temple. "People say I'm going soft."Fast footsteps came from backstage and Juliet's assistant, Linda, who appeared distressed, hurried to them. Jikata remembered, and the small moment of normality shatt