An Indie Fantasy Book Spotlight and Extract | “Sand Dancer” (Book One: Sand Dancer series) by Trudie Skies

Posted Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today it is an honour to host this lovely Fantasy blog tour with Storytellers on Tour – a blog touring company whose championing Indie Storytellers and giving us all a lovely chance to feature their collective works. I have been hosting with them for the past year and I have found quite a few lovely new authors of Fantasy Fiction who have given me wicked good explorations of the genre and of the vision the writers had for their worlds. It is wonderful to be able to showcase these authors and their stories – whilst featuring guest posts and respun memes whenever I am unable to read the books in print or host an interview.

I had hoped to interview the author, however with my new work hours and adjusting to working full-time this past month, I had to go to my Plan B for the blog tour. Thereby I was grateful to Justine @ Storytellers on Tour for giving me the option to host this extract – as it will give you a good sense about the story and their world.

I did edit the extract a bit with permission by Justine – not just for length but for content. Some of the descriptions I felt were a bit outside what I would normally feature on Jorie Loves A Story as there were some graphic depictions I cut into an easier read for those following the blog tour.

As I love focusing on Indie Fantasy storytellers myself every #WyrdAndWonder – which I briefly mention at the end of this post. The reason I love Indie Speculative Fiction is because the writers of those stories are happily giving me wicked good stories to ruminate over and enticingly intriguing worlds to explore.

Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about “Sand Dancer”!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

An Indie Fantasy Book Spotlight and Extract | “Sand Dancer” (Book One: Sand Dancer series) by Trudie SkiesSand Dancer
Subtitle: One Sword : One Thousand Secrets
by Trudie Skies
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death.

But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued across the desert by the soldiers and guards of the noble Houses. To survive, she knows she’ll have to abandon her past and learn the way of the sword. But only boys are allowed to carry a blade. There’s only one solution…

Disguised as a young nobleman, Mina must make a new life for herself in the heart of her enemies. But she knows she can’t keep up the masquerade forever. With time running out, which will she choose to find—the truth or revenge?

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781949671025

Published by Uproar Books

on 1st July, 2019

Format: Chapter Sampler | Online

Fire Walker is the sequel to Sand Dancer

NOTE: There is a Content Warning page on the author’s site for Fire Walker

Published by: Uproar Books (@UproarBooks)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Read an Extract from this Novel:

Sand Dancer world map provided by Storytellers on Tour and is used with permission.

When her father’s murder reveals a lifetime of lies, a half-starved peasant girl must disguise herself as a young nobleman if she hopes to make her way into the heart of her enemies. But what is she truly after—the truth or revenge?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Sand Dancer quote graphic provided by the author Trudie Skies and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via


Father’s rules for becoming a legendary warrior didn’t match his tales.

Keep out of trouble, don’t play at sword fighting, stay away from Housemen, and never, under any circumstances, approach fire.

Over time, his words changed from mantras of honor to instructions of modesty, as though Mina’s father sobered and remembered his son existed as a girl all along. His training stopped the moment she bled. When pressed, he spouted nonsense that only men could wield a blade and Mina should drop all foolish notions of becoming a warrior to focus on her studies as a Green Hand. It was an argument she lost many times. Girls don’t become warriors. They become healers.

Why teach her all those tales of their tribe’s warriors and heroes? Why show her how to swing a sword if he planned to ignore it all based on her sex? Those heroes wouldn’t have followed Father’s cowardly advice. Who would have heard their tales if they did?

Girls could become warriors. Mina just needed to prove it.

The fire-breathing monsters who haunted Father’s tales were no longer allowed to wander the sands or stalk the streets, thank the gods. Those possessing the curse of flame were locked away inside the temples. Only a few chosen men with absolute control of their abilities were permitted to step outside and serve as priests by performing public rites and lighting the town’s lanterns. Whispers spoke of blasphemers who tried to hide their fire and refused to join the temple. For the safety of all, these monsters needed to be found and put to death under the King’s law.

In all Father’s tales, the monster only met its end when one brave warrior stood against it. And there were no greater monsters than the Fire Walkers.

Mina crouched among the wicker baskets at the far corner of the market, watching and waiting. Her dirty beige tunic and headscarf merged with the sandstone townhouse behind her. No one paid her heed as townsfolk wandered between stalls of rice and pistachios. Sand grains danced across the dusty ground, blown in from the dunes piled against the town wall, the only barrier between them and the greater Dusland desert.

Khalbad’s street rats understood what she planned to do. She scanned the crowd for their familiar faces, a mixture of younger orphans and grim-faced boys growing into men. They sat under cloth canopies and stared as though they didn’t believe she could be brave enough to do it. Though they all lived under the shadow of Housemen and fought for scraps, the streets rats had never welcomed her into their little tribe. Mina went as hungry as any of them, but even though her skin was the same Duslander brown as theirs, they made her feel different, an outsider, due to her real tribal blood. The tribes of the desert were nomadic and rarely entered towns like Khalbad, so her father said. Perhaps if they did, she and her father wouldn’t have spent their lives here dreaming of a world outside.

The heat of Rahn, the god of fire and dawn, burned overhead. Soon the marketplace would start to empty. Stall owners, craftsmen, and fishermen from the docks would retreat into shade until Rahn passed low enough to make the stuffy air breathable. The clearing of the market would create a river of people for Mina to dive into. The perfect time to strike.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Sand Dancer quote graphic provided by the author Trudie Skies and is used with permission.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Converse via: #Fantasy, #EpicFantasy or #HeoricFantasy
as well as #storytellersontour & #EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

Sand Dancer quote graphic provided by the author Trudie Skies and is used with permission.

I LOVE these quote graphics the author provided because they give snippets of insight into her story and the back-story of the world she’s built within “Sand Dancer”. I love to find stories set in desert settings because of how unique the climate and weather patterns are in deserts; as you can go from the height of a volcanic Summer by day and the blustery cold of Winter by night. You can tell by how she paints the images alive in her prose that she had a lot of wicked fun building this world but also owning to the authenticity of having this world resonate well with readers who were seeking the exotic texture of where it is set.

When I first looked at this world and the series as it appeared through the SAND DANCER lens these were my top favourite takeaways:

→ An immersive desert world built with a wonderful back-history

→ A fiercely strong lead female character who was not locked into a conventional future wherein others in her position might have felt obliged to entertain

→ A secret history behind the sword and the sand – meaning, there are layers to this world and how it operates which was enticing all of its own

However, after taking a closer look at the story through hosting the tour, I was worried I might have bitten off more than I can chew with this novel and series; as lately, I am finding that my curiosity with Darker Fantasies is hinged against the stress I have in my personal life. I think when things were calmer last year, I could entertain more darker Fantasies than I can this New Year of 2021. Having said that – what I still find incredibly brilliant about this series is the breadth of information Ms Skies has provided for her potential readers and dedicated series fans alike!

From the artwork to the aesthetic boards on her website to the lushly detailed map of this world – she has truly provided a keen insight into what you can expect to find in SAND DANCER – both the first novel of the series and the overall arc of the series narrative as well. She even discloses trigger/content warnings and gives a hearty warning about what you can expect to find inside the pages themselves. It is a blessing to find a Fantasy novelist whose dedicated to breaking down the components of her story/series in such a way as to allow readers to make more informed choices before they read the story for themselves.

One of my strongest pulls though to showcase this author today was her poetic narrative and how descriptive she is in projecting images out of her world. I love authors who go into descriptive length as their writing as it becomes much more alive and immersive for me as a reader. It gives you a broader scope of what is happening in that world you’ve stepped inside whilst within Speculative Fiction it also allows you to traverse through a setting you cannot otherwise meet. For that, I am grateful to have found SAND DANCER and perhaps one day, I can handle reading the story which has quite bewitched my readerly curiosity!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

About Trudie Skies

Trudie Skies

Trudie Skies was born in Nottingham—Robin Hood country, she says—and now lives in North East England, where she spends the majority of her free time imagining warmer climates and writing about them.

Her less-than-free time is also spent behind a computer keyboard as an IT administrator, and she promises not to bore you with the details. Previously, she worked as a mobile game designer and tester, as well as a professional writer for video game websites.

Trudie grew up on Tamora Pierce and has always wanted to be a swashbuckling knight with her own medieval castle. She has a thing for swords, and so all her characters also have a thing for swords. She loves to read Young Adult fantasy and in recent years has been inspired by desert kingdoms and cultures, which is clearly apparent in her upcoming debut novel Sand Dancer.

In January 2019, Trudie signed with Uproar Books, a new publisher of epic fantasy and science fiction novels. Sand Dancer was published on ebook and paperback July 1 2019.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

This blog tour is courtesy of:

Sand Dancer blog tour banner provided by Storytellers on Tour and is used with permission.Follow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

Sand Dancer blog tour banner provided by Storytellers on Tour and is used with permission.
 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Be sure to leave notes, takeaways and commentary for the author who would love to hear your thoughts on behalf of this spotlight and extract. We look forward to seeing what you felt the premise of this novel.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

#WyrdAndWonder 2020 event banner created by Jorie in Canva.

In 2020, we celebrated our 3rd Year for #WyrdAndWonder – this 2021 we will be celebrating our 4th! Kindly follow our feeds via @WyrdAndWonder for all updates – as well as read the official announcement which ran on Imyril’s blog!!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Sand Dancer”, book synopsis, author biography, the map of the Sand Dancer world, the tour banner and book tour banner as well as the extract from the novel were all provided by Storytellers on Tour and are used with permission. The promo quote badges were provided by the author directly and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #WyrdAndWonder Year 3 banner, Book Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2021.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Comments via Twitter:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Storytellers on Tour

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)