Jun. 5th, 2017

marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
In less than a month, The Harbors of the Sun, the last Raksura book, will be out in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook.

(If you missed it, The Edge of Worlds is already out in hardcover, trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook.)

If you want signed copies, I'm doing a signing with Rachel Caine at Murder By The Book on Saturday, July 15, at 4:30, and you can order our books and get them signed and personalized and shipped to you here: http://www.murderbooks.com/event/wells-caine

(You can also order signed copies of The Murderbot Diaries: All Systems Red.)

The Harbors of the Sun Excerpt

Sleeping in swamps was always difficult. The brackish mud was too cool against Moon's scales to be comfortable, and every time he managed to doze off, something crawled over him. The clouds of insects sheltering in the tall grass weren't much interested in Raksura, but the ugly little things that looked like fish with legs had sharp teeth and were annoyingly persistent. Moon had always found sleeping in his scaled form awkward and not restful, but the distractions made it nearly impossible.

Fortunately for his temper, the sky was finally darkening toward evening. Moon shoved himself up out of the mud and slid through the sharp grass blades and over to a much larger puddle. He found a knot of driftwood near the edge and chunked it in. "Stone, wake up."

Bubbles broke the muddy surface, then a big dark scaled tail whipped up and took a swing at Moon. He dodged and went to find a less muddy place to clean off in.

He waded through the waist-deep grass out to one of the pools where the sea entered the wetlands. Sitting on his heels in the cool saltwater, he scrubbed the sticky mud off his scales with handfuls of sand. The empty sea stretched out, the evening sky was indigo and purple, and the quarter moon gleamed on the water. The breeze held saltwater and the intense green scent of the wetland grasses, leavened with various flowers and laced with bird scat and dead fish. All the groundling shipping that he had spotted throughout the afternoon, both surface sailing ships and flying boats, had already made port.

Moon glanced around again out of habit, even though nothing could see him except for a few tall spindly shore birds striding away through the shallows. Then he shifted.

His wings, tail, spines, and black scales flowed away into his soft-skinned form. Anyone watching would now see a tall lean groundling, with dark bronze skin and dark hair. He was dressed in light pants cut off at the knee and a loose brown shirt, the kind of clothes some groundlings wore for sailing or other work. It wouldn't draw attention in most of the groundling ports Moon had visited, but this wasn't exactly a groundling port. He felt the wind lift his hair and scratched at the back of his neck where he hadn't managed to get all the mud out of his spines.

With no warning, Stone stepped out of the grass. Moon twitched in spite of himself. Stone was in his groundling form now too, with gray skin and hair, in battered clothes much like Moon's, and a pack slung across his shoulder. He was somehow already dry and mostly clean, despite having been buried in a mud wallow for most of the afternoon. Clearly not in any better a mood than Moon was, he said, "What's taking you so long?"

"I'm waiting for you." Moon hissed at him and followed him back through the grass.

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