1. Tell us your name and a little about yourself.
My name’s Kazari. I grew up with my parents and two little brothers, in a tiny town called Athos. My family are leather workers, and I’m pretty good at leather carving myself. Unfortunately, Mum and Dad weren’t happy about me choosing to serve the Lady, so home hasn’t been great lately. I really wish they’d send me a letter.
2. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Well, I’m a tad short. But I’ve got great hair! It’s super curly! It was actually really amazing when it was long. Actually, I still think it’s pretty good even now it’s so short.
3. Where do you live? Tell us about your home.
Athos is really tiny. It’s quite a long way from Chester, the major town in our region, but I don’t mind that. I like being outdoors, and my best friend has a farm, which is great!
4. Who is your best friend?
Dari’s my best friend. Her family have a sheep property, and one day she’s going to run it. She’s a lot taller than me, with blonde hair. We’ve been friends our whole lives, and we love to do everything together. She’s been great while things have been a bit…wobbly at home.
5. Who is your role model?
I was going to say Mum, but she and I aren’t really getting on right now. But then I thought about the Abbot. We of the Order call her Ailani - it’s sort of a friendly title, if you like. She’s just amazing. I saw her fight a Greater Gorgone not long ago - and she just…she was incredible! She didn’t flinch, or hesitate, or anything. She just fought, and she was so fast, and she’s so wise too. I suppose that’s why she’s the Abbot, but she was a Hunter too - well, she still is, really - and she just knows so much. I really, really, really, want to be as good as she is.
6. Tell us about your family.
There are five people in my immediate family. Mum, Dad, me, (I’m the eldest), then Jaden and PIddy, my little brothers. I miss them all. Jaden managed to sneak away when I went to the Choosing, so at least I got a last hug from him, but I haven’t heard from Mum and Dad at all, so I don’t know if they’ll ever want to see me again. They - well, more Mum - didn’t want me to go…
7. Do you have a job?
I suppose being a Servant of the Lady is a job. I was helping with leather carving at home, but now I’m a Hunter in the Order - well, I’m training to be a Hunter - there’s so much to learn, and I’m really new at it all, but it’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. I’m training to keep Albatar safe from any Gorgones. They’re like pure evil, and they hate us.
8. Do you have any hobbies or passions?
I still like to carve leather, actually. I haven’t done any for a while, because I’ve been so busy learning to be a Hunter. Maybe I’ll be able to get back into it when things calm down a bit. Javon told me she still draws, and contributes to the bestiaries, and I’m not too bad at sketching, either, so once I’m a bit better at fighting, I might be able to do that too.
9. Do you have any special skills?
Well, there are my Gifts from the Lady. But I don’t know that I’m meant to make them public right now. I mean, it’s Order stuff, and not widely known. Actually, I don’t think I was meant to even mention Gifts - just forget that I said that, please.
10. What are you most worried about?
I’m super worried that I won’t be a good enough Hunter. I mean, I’m still trying to get fit and learn all the Hunter katas. (I nearly threw up last week at the end of a run.) And Gorgones are super scary, and evil, and I’m just a beginner right now. It’s been pretty terrifying already, to be honest. I think I’ll just have to train harder, and there’s so much to learn.
11. Who would you call your enemy?
Definitely the Gorgones. I’ve…um…had to face a few already, and they’re really, really, awful. It’s not just the tentacles, or the barbs, or the venom, it’s the stuff that they sort of transmit somehow. Hatred, fear - they just hammer you with it. That one that came over the Abbey…nope! I don’t think I’ll go there right now, and I don’t want to scare you too much. You’ve made me shiver all over with that question!
12. What is your favourite food?
I’m pretty fond of cake, actually. Any kind of cake. Preferably with cream. Lots of cream! Mmmmmm….
13. What is the one thing you want most in your life?
I want my family to stay safe. But also, I want to understand the Lady so much more. I know that’s actually two things, but they’re sort of linked. If I can be a really good Hunter, then I can keep my family safe, and to be a good Hunter, I have to understand how to deepen my understanding of the Lady, and walk in her paths. So it’s really the one thing, you know?
First book in The Albatar Chronicles series, 203 pages.
Link for the book on Hague Publishing website https://www.shop.haguepublishing.com/product/amethyst-pledge-ebook/
Link for the book on Amazon
When Kazari answers the Lady’s call to serve, she never expects to take the amethyst of the Hunter, one of the select few who defend Albatar from the gorgones – demons brought from Beyond by the Second King. After all, at fifteen, she’s short and stocky, and not made of the stuff of legends. But the Lady, (she who created Albatar as a sanctuary for the faithful following the Gorgone War) has other ideas. And now rumours of gorgone attacks herald another war.
As a Hunter, a group whose exploits are legend within Albatar, Kazari is expected to play her part in the coming war. But as young and untrained as she is, and despite the gifts the Lady has given her, how can she live up to the legends of the past?
When gorgones attack the Abbey and threaten her family, Kazari doesn’t have a choice. And with Albatar under attack, even the Hunters’ gifts may not be enough to defeat the evil that threatens them all.
About the author
Originally from Western Australia, Leonie now lives in NSW in the Upper Hunter. She is the author of the highly rating Frontier Trilogy, published by Hague Publishing, and works part time as a physiotherapist. Amethyst Pledge, is the first in a new series – The Albatar Chronicles. Book 2, Dark Days, has just been released (May 20, 2020). In a past life, Leonie was a volunteer firefighter and SES member and once trekked almost six hundred kilometres with eight camels and several other human beings. She is married with two adult children, two dogs and three cats, one of whom frequently handicaps her ability to use a laptop computer.
Author’s social mediahttps://leonierogers.me/
Publisher’s social mediahttp://haguepublishing.com/