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  • Writer's pictureAzalea Forrest

A Bitter Drink, an Upcoming Novel

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

During NaNoWriMo of 2018, I wrote the first draft of A Bitter Drink, a high fantasy adventure featuring a hedonistic plant man named Rowan, who is fixated on comfort and wine, when he should be focusing on his ambassador duties for his people, the dahlsia. He overhears a fellow Cabinet member discussing his plans for overthrowing Rowan’s people, but instead of informing the king and queen of this treachery, he tucks the information away for later to use against him as blackmail. Things don’t go quite the way Rowan planned… A Bitter Drink is full of magic and mystery: Rowan’s coworker was speaking to someone about his plan, but who could it possibly be?

Almost two years later, and I’m getting very close to choosing a release date! I’m hoping to release ABD sometime this fall.

Rowan Moss is not a hero. He is selfish, and thinks himself a coward. He spends most of his time entertaining and bedding any beautiful person that would have him, and when he’s not doing that, he’s taking naps during Cabinet meetings instead of taking notes. Rowan has lived in Bisia, the human capital, for over a year now, and for a while he did quite a good job as ambassador. But now that things have settled down, and dahlsia aren’t as new or someone to be feared, he’s grown all too tired of work, and prefers to entertain himself with human comfort. He will have all the wine, please and thank you.

Dahlsia are quite like humans in some ways, those ways being that they are humanesque in shape, and they bleed just as humans do, but are a new race unique to Etliv. Gwendolyn, the mother tree of Gresha, was once a mere sapling, brought to movement and consciousness from an aether line that seeped through the planet’s surface. She took a humanoid form and wandered Etliv for many years, where she came upon Bisia and the Grenia Kingdom, until finally she settled down in Gresha and set down her roots, literally. Eventually, she bore fruit, and the dahlsia were born, curious and clever plant people happy to turn the forest into a village.

Dagan Oyibo is a dark skinned traveling philanthropist, a man born outside the wall of Bisia to a family of farmers. Despite his kindness, he is quick to act and strong. His only weapon is a staff, his skills improved from having to fend off thieves and raiders during his travels, and the people that have helped train him along the way. He is loyal to his friends and not too quick to judge, usually able to find the good in most people.

Clover Ironhammer is a redheaded dwarf, daughter to Enton Thunderforge, the chief of Denerth. Her home is deep within the Denethi mountains, and like most of her people, she is quite partial to singing. She is friendly, open-minded, and a little naive, but she is a powerful force with her hammer and uplifting songs. She comes to Bisia for the first time on a mission on behalf of her father, as precious ores are being stolen from their mines.

Tani Iohel is a trained spy from the elven capital, Esterfall. When her people begin to go missing, she follows a trail that leads her to Bisia. She is hot tempered, impatient, and a bit more private than most, but full of passion, both for her friends and her people. Skilled with a bow and sword, she is ready to cut down anyone that stops her from getting the information she needs.

These four unlikely people merge paths as Rowan’s new life begins to unravel, and he soon learns that the world does not, in fact, revolve around him and his desires.

I am very excited to release A Bitter Drink, and I hope that this has excited you all as well! I had a lot of fun writing this book. Rowan started out as a roleplay character in an online game, and I just had so much fun writing him that I felt he needed a world and a whole book of his own. I really wanted to convey the idea that an individual can change, no matter how awful they think they are, or how other people may see them, but that yes, the change must come from within. Self-reflection is a powerful tool that I hope more people learn to use on themselves, rather than solely focusing on what’s going on outside of themselves.

I sincerely hope that the reader can understand Rowan’s point of view and relate to him on some level. I would absolutely love to hear any comments or questions, so feel free to leave a message below!


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