Today marks the official kickoff of the The Living Waters Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour, and I’m thrilled to welcome back Dan Fitzgerald as we celebrate the embarking of a new adventure with the first novel of his Weirdwater Confluence duology! A sword-free fantasy journey of love, meditation and magic, The Living Waters is a fresh delve into a corner of the genre I believe needs more attention, so I can’t wait to hear what our hosts think of it! Stay tuned, it’s going to be a fantastic week.
It’s always a pleasure to have Dan on the blog and today I’ve got something special for you – a deeper look into the magic in his new series and how it has both been influenced by and continues to influence his own life path. Keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, read the incredible guest post, and enter to win a copy of The Living Waters for your shelves!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers to help us feature The Living Waters. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
NOVEMBER 28TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder (IG: @whispersandwonder)
Neil the Book Guy
Jorie Loves A Story
Book and Nature Professor (IG: @bookandnatureprof)
Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub
In My Opinion: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and the Weird
Westveil Publishing (IG: @thewestveilarchives)
C.K. Sorens (IG: @ck_sorens)
DECEMBER 4TH – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more about this tour visit Storytellers On Tour.
About the Book
When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease. But when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water, even their seasoned guides get rattled.
The mystery of the swirls lures them on to seek the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place.
The Living Waters is a sword-free fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia.
The Living Waters by Dan Fitzgerald
SERIES: The Weirdwater Confluence duology (#1)
PUBLISHED: October 15, 2021 by Shadow Spark Publishing
Meditation Magic in the Weirdwater Confluence Duology
by Dan Fitzgerald
I have been a yoga practitioner for a few years now, and though I haven’t done much dedicated meditation practice, there is a lot of meditation in my yoga class, and I’ve found it fascinating and inspiring. The idea of centering the mind, clearing distractions, digging deep and finding the stillness at the heart of the mind’s hurricane, is super appealing to me, and it’s been part of how I depict magic since I started writing fantasy. In the Maer Cycle, you will see hints of this, from Finn’s yoga-inspired bodily control magic to Ujenn and Sasha’s mind magic. But in the Weirdwater Confluence, I’ve taken this idea and really run with it.
Gilea, one of the MCs in both The Living Waters and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds, found peace as a child in the Endulian temple in the chaotic city of Rontaia. Endulian practice involves deep meditation and mindsharing, along with other associated techniques. Gilea can use her mental focus to become hyperaware of her surroundings, so she notices things others might miss, as in this moment from the book:
“Gilea could feel the sails’ tension in her bones, and she sank into it, using the regular slap of the little waves against the prow to measure her breath. She began to form a picture of all the crew and passengers, her mind assigning a unique shape and color to each so she would not lose track of them as they moved around the boat. She kept large, bright spots for her charges in the front of her mind, blue for Sylvan and yellow for Temi, according to the paint they had worn when they came aboard. Sylvan’s shape took on a mellow, rounded character, while Temi’s was hard around the edges but fragile as ripe fruit beneath.”
In moments of action, she can see things unfolding more slowly, giving her an advantage. She also has enhanced empathy, the ability to read others’ auras, and uncanny powers of persuasion. She can even mindshare with other practitioners by pressing foreheads together with them and concentrating. There are non-human beings in The Living Waters whose powers of mindsharing and other nonverbal communication exceed Gilea’s, and I hope the experience of these other consciousnesses is rewarding and intriguing to read. Here is an example:
“Gilea shuddered when the creature’s forehead made contact with hers, then the shock of the strange touch melted and their connection was immediate, comfortable as an old blanket. It was deeper than the Endulian mindshares she had experienced, as if it bypassed the conscious mind entirely, and she struggled with the new sensations.”
In The Living Waters, we see Gilea using meditation techniques in a variety of ways, and though it is a kind of magic, it’s an invisible one, and it definitely falls into what you’d call a soft magic system. Some of my favorite scenes in the book involve mindshares she has with other characters, which reveal things about their emotional experience, and mindshares even play a role in a romantic subplot. I loved writing these scenes, the experience of exploring another’s mind. It’s a different kind of intimacy than we usually read, and I live for the exploration of alternative means of communication and closeness. Here is an example of such a moment:
“Gilea pushed herself out like a cloud of cheroot smoke, filling the space between them, until after a moment she was drawn in thin ribbons into Temi’s mind.”
In The Isle of a Thousand Worlds, I take this concept one step farther. Half of the book takes place in the holy meditation city of Endulai, among the masters and acolytes who practice there. We see the Caravan, a platform for communication across space, and the Thousand Worlds, a metaphor for the infinite potential of the human mind. Many varieties of mindsharing are shown in the second book, and it was an exciting new frontier for me as a writer.
I hope readers interested in yoga, meditation, and mental exploration of all kinds will enjoy the meditation-based magic system of the Weirdwater Confluence. As much as yoga and meditation have inspired my writing, now my writing is inspiring me to expand my yoga and meditation practice, to discover the thousand worlds of my own mind.
Meet the Author
Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-driven low-magic fantasy) and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories). The Living Waters comes out October 15, 2021 and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds arrives January 15, 2022, bothfrom Shadow Spark Publishing.
He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music.
Enter to win a hardcover copy of THE LIVING WATERS!