Black Bead Blog Tour with $20 GC and Guest Post with J.D. Lakey
November 23, 2016
“The premise of Black Bead is wonderful, and it was a fun, short read I happily breezed through. It was refreshing to read new sci-fi with an original plot, on a new planet.” Carly Courtney, Sci-Fi Addicts.com
On a savage, outlying planet an enclave of psionically-trained humans have built a utopian, matriarchal society that lives in harmony with all life. Leaving behind the polluted and corrupt world in which they lived, they colonized a new home far from the eyes of the galactic empire. Shielded from the rest of the galaxy by the dangerous beasts that inhabit their lush, forested world, the village lives a simple life under their Home Dome. But their goal was more than just to live in peace – they wanted to create the perfect human who could bring peace to the galaxy. Rather than merely cloning themselves, they began to manipulate genes in order to create a race of mutants with enhanced telepathic powers.
Under the direction of the ruling witch coven, each child of the Windfall Dome is tested at a young age to asses their abilities – a test which can plot the course for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, Cheobawn – the daughter of the ruling First Mother to the dome – is marked with the Black Bead on her Choosing Day, a symbol of bad luck and shame. It seems the child the mothers had placed so much hope in would not be the future ruler they had hoped for. Yet there is something powerful about her that the elders don’t understand.
Finally of age, Cheobawn is chosen to join a pack to act as the psychic Ear on a foraging mission outside the dome. She knows this is her chance to prove herself. But something sinister stalks them and each member of the pack must draw on their unique strengths and a lifetime of training if they want to survive to see another day.
In her visionary new series The Black Bead Chronicles, author J.D. Lakey invites you to journey along with Cheobawn, Megan, Tam, Connor, and Alain as they use their wits and their Luck to unravel the mysteries of the deceptively bucolic life beneath the dome in this coming of age metaphysical science fiction adventure.
J.D. Lakey was born and raised on the high plains of Montana under an endless sky and as
far from civilization as anyone in the twentieth century could get. There she explored the finer nuances of silence and the endless possibilities of the imagination. The stories were always there. The shifting of fortunes finally granted her the time to gather all the stories and give them flesh.
An avid reader of science fiction and comics, she currently lives in San Diego, California where she divides her time between her writing, commuting on the I-5, and spending time with her delightful grandchildren.
Why do I write? I ask myself that a lot. Sci-fi seems to be the red-headed-stepchild of literature and women sci-fi writers are that child locked in the basement. I would never write if I did it for the praise or the sales or the recognition.
I write because I like to read good science fiction written from a woman's point of view. But more importantly I write for my inner Divine Child. The Divine Child is a Jungian archetype that represents newness, growth and hope. Jung considered it the egg from which all heros are hatched. Which, if you think about it, is what science fiction is all about. Hope for the future, and heros who are willing to take us into that future. I wanted to write about female heros.
Which brings us to my series of books, The Black Bead Chronicles. This series of sci-fi/fantasy adventure novels takes place on a distant planet, a few thousand years in the future. A group of people have left earth to purposefully disappear and start their own matriarchal society where all of the traits considered by us to be “feminine” are valued. Because the planet they choose to live on is inhabited by immense predators, they are forced to build their cities under protective domes. The stories center around a group of five young children who are led by the most unlikely and gifted member, six-year-old Cheobawn.
I am often asked why the main character is so young in the first book, if the audience is young adult and older? The reason is because Black Bead is a hero origin story. Joseph Campbell, mythologist and author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, explains the basic narrative pattern of the hero’s journey: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man”. Cheobawn (the Divine Child), the domes, and her Mothers all started out as allegorical expressions of the many faces of the female consciousness. I am first and foremost a student of the human condition.
That was the beginning.
Then I built a world. A forest full of fierce psychic alien creatures became a planet whose ghosts still wander restlessly through the minds of those who can hear them. That planet was not alone in the cosmos. I built a star system full of humans and aliens and fleets of starships meant to do battle. That world shaped my characters. I put them in it and watched them walk around, as proud as any new mom. The characters took on a life of their own. I loved them all. (How does George R.R. Martin so blithely kill off his characters? I will never understand that.) I want them all to have happy endings, and bright futures. Maybe that is the mother inside me. Maybe it is just me refusing to believe that you need torment and death to make a good drama. Oh, there is death. That is part of the hero’s journey. One cannot evade death in a world that wants to eat you. But Cheobawn's Luck keeps her Pack alive.
The Black Bead Chronicles is a progression. Each book is an adventure that stands alone and can be read separately from the other books, but each book expands Cheobawn's consciousness and each adventure gives her tools to battle whatever demons may come in the next book. So to the question, do I have to read all the books in order, all I can say is… well, maybe. Everyone who reads the fourth book, Trade Fair, immediately wants to go back and start from the beginning.
I invite readers to step onto the hero’s path in The Black Bead Chronicles. In a time when our womanhood is being debased and objectified on the political stage, there has never been a greater need for strong female heros. Books one through three are available on Amazon: Black Bead, Bhotta's Tears, and Spider Wars. Book four - Trade Fair - will be published in the Spring of 2017.