Monday, February 29, 2016

New Release Celebration (& Giveaway): The Healer's Rune by Lauricia Matuska

And the lucky winner is...Leslie!! (Winner chosen via Rafflecopter.) Thank you so much to Lauricia and to all of you who stopped by and entered our giveaway! We hope to have more, so make sure to check back again :)

We're thrilled to have a special guest, Lauricia Matuska, visiting Lands Uncharted today to celebrate her new YA fantasy release, The Healer's Rune!

Three hundred years after a great war shattered the Council of Races, the warriors of Rüddan have all but eradicated their cousins, the faerie Aethel. In so doing, they decimated the Dryht sages and enslaved mortal Humanity. Now a voice rises above the chaos and calls her people to rebel. Young Sabine, one of the Human slaves, must learn to overcome centuries of lies and prejudice to forge an alliance between four enemy races. But what chance does she stand to overthrow the Rüddan with her dangerous secret, a secret that threatens not only her own life but the existence of all the races on the planet?

Lauricia answered a few questions for us about The Healer's Rune:

What inspired the idea for this story?

Three things, actually. The first scene I wrote for the story (which actually takes place a quarter of the way into the novel) was a scene based on a real-life experience. One night as I was sleeping, my black Labrador-mix dog was outside, barking at something. I peeked through the window to see what she was carrying on about only to find her barking madly at the wall. As I drifted back to sleep, I wondered what she could have been barking at the wall for and, because I’ve saturated myself with fantasy stories since fourth grade, my thoughts took a fantasy turn. I imagined a portal and a fairy race, the first elements in the creation of The Healer’s Rune. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the scene, but you’ll recognize it when you read it.

When I began writing this story in 1998, it was very common for elven races to be portrayed as a native people who were chased out or overcome when Humans arrived in the land they inhabited. I began to wonder what it would be like if Humanity were the subjugated race rather than the other way around. Since that wasn’t a topic much developed at the time, I decided to explore it and see where it went. Thus, the second element was developed.

As my first draft was growing into a second draft, the Twin Towers were flown into and destroyed. There were many rumors about that attack being staged and, while I don’t have the knowledge to argue for or against that claim, it made me wonder “What if.”

Those words, “What if,” are powerful words for writers.

I had just read a quote by Winston Churchill that said history is written by the victors and, mixed with my what ifs about the Twin Towers, I began to wonder what it would be like if history actually was written and re-written at will by whichever power was currently in control. That idea became the basis for the third, dystopian element in my novel. I mixed the three together to see what would become of them, and viola!

Since we're all about exploring new worlds here at Lands Uncharted, tell us about your setting and any fantasy elements involved in your book.
The Healer’s Rune takes place in a world called Ceryn Roh, where there are four dominant races. The most powerful race, and the one currently in control, is the Rüddan, a high-elf warrior people who lived in the frozen north until they migrated to warmer climates and began to take control. The Aethel, another high-elf race, are cousins and mortal enemies of the Rüddan. According to history, however, they are extinct. The third race is the Dryht. They are a wise, dryad-type people with a strong bond to nature, but they were recently decimated by a magical plague they invoked to attack Humanity and are rarely seen. Humanity, the fourth race, is currently enslaved to the Rüddan in everything but name. All of the races possess magical ability to some degree, but the Rüddan have worked hard to suppress its use in every race but their own.

Because The Healer’s Rune is the first book in an epic trilogy, the setting is pretty expansive. It starts on a forested island in a small, poor Human village. In later books it will include a trip across a grassy plain, an extended stay in a hidden desert fortress, and a trek-by-kidnapping to the icy north.

Who is your favorite character in The Healer's Rune, and why?
Since I created them all, that’s like asking who my favorite child is. There are things about each of them (well, most of them) that endear me to them. However, I’m a huge fan of Auda, a Human healer who mentors Sabine, the story’s protagonist. I love Auda’s independence, her spirit, her sass, and her sense of humor. She is what I hope to be if I get to live as long as her.

Describe the readers who will love this book.
I wrote this story for people who love fantasy but want to see it go beyond the usual elements that cause some critics of the genre to call it contrived or cliché, so anyone who likes fantasy and wants to see a new twist on the classic elements will enjoy it. There is also a lot of appeal for readers who are looking for a strong female protagonist. While there are no overtly romantic elements in the first book, the groundwork is laid for a relationship to develop in the second and third books, so that will appeal to readers who enjoy a romance element. However, there will be no erotic scenes, so readers who are looking for “clean” books need not be wary – this series, and all of the stories I plan to write, will contain inspiring romance, not questionable details.

Finally, please share a favorite line or passage from The Healer's Rune with us.
The excerpt below comes from the scene inspired by my “What if” ruminations the night my dog was barking at the wall:

A tall, slender figure stood before the wall, a dim shadow outlined in sharp angles by the golden light. Prompted by some silent cue, it stepped into the light and seemed to shrink, as if walking away. Suddenly, it disappeared, and the yellow light began to fade. Before Sabine knew what was happening, the glow winked out so abruptly that bright spots danced through her vision. She waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness.

When she could see once more, the wall looked normal, each brick placed upon another in its ordinary manner.

Magic! Sabine began to tremble.

The Healer's Rune is available in both e-book and paperback formats from Amazon.

About Lauricia:
Lauricia Matuska has taught high school literature and creative writing classes for more than ten years. She first discovered the realm of fantasy by traveling with Lucy through the wardrobe to Narnia. Since then, she has established dual-residency between that world and this one, and she currently serves as an ambassador to contemporary youth and young adults. The Healer’s Rune is the first novel in her Ceryn Roh trilogy.

Here are some ways you can connect with Lauricia:
Website -

Lauricia has generously offered to give away an ebook copy of The Healer's Rune. Enter below! The winner will be announced here on Thursday, March 3rd.

Thanks so much for visiting, Lauricia!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks, Lauricia! I just posted about elves being one of my favorite mythical creatures, so am excited to read your book! Thanks!

  2. Like Erin, I love elves in all of their iterations! It is interesting to hear what inspired other people, since I can track many of the odd elements that influenced my own story. I think your history is very intriguing, and I am excited to follow Sabine and Auda through Ceryn Roh!

    1. Thanks, Hannah. What sort of odd elements can you track through your own story?

  3. Wow, a very intriguing world and story, Lauricia. I'm excited to read this one! I'm glad it's a trilogy too. :)

    1. Many thanks. I'd love to hear what you think of it.