Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Introducing STAND AGAINST THE LIGHT, a Great YA Novel by George Phillies

with 8 comments

Folks, I’m happy to introduce you to George Phillies’ newest novel, STAND AGAINST THE LIGHT. It’s a book about young superheroes, in a world where they know about such things; more specifically, it’s a book about twelve-year-old Eclipse, one of the baddest twelve-year-old girls you’re ever likely to meet (in the best of senses.) It’s an excellent book, the third in the “Eclipse: The Girl Who Saved the World” series, and I enjoyed editing it immensely.

(Note that I didn’t edit books one and two, but they are also excellent. You can get book one, ECLIPSE: THE GIRL WHO SAVED THE WORLD here for only ninety-nine cents, and book two, AIRY CASTLES ALL ABLAZE, here.)

Take a look at this gorgeous cover art by Brad Fraunfelter:

But you are probably wondering by this point, “Who is Eclipse, anyway?” Well, as I can’t do any better than George’s own blurb, take a gander at that:

Eclipse:
World’s greatest tween superhero.
World’s most terrifying tween supervillain.
Opinions differ.

She’s twelve. She’s hardworking, bright, self-reliant, good with tools,
vigorously physically fit, tough as nails, still young enough to
disguise herself as a boy. Since arriving she’s only blown up one
mountain range.  And she knows that when she faces the final doom, win
or lose, she will die trying.

I just loved working on this book, loved Eclipse, thought she was such a great character, and enjoyed everything about the milieu with the superheroes (called “personae” in their own universe). The best part of the book, though, were the friendships between Eclipse and the other young superheroes, most particularly with a girl named Trisha (persona name: Comet). And because I enjoyed the book so very, very much, I asked George for an excerpt, so you’d have some idea of just what you’re getting into — only in the best of senses! — and he obligingly sent the following:

Cloud stared at the wall clock.  Eclipse was supposed to appear in their
base in a few minutes.  Where was she?

“We’ll be ready in a moment, Cloud,” Comet said. “Just so soon as all
five of us are here.” Her wait was interrupted by the hitherto-unseen
Eclipse, who materialized in the room’s center. Her garb was freshly
washed and ironed.  Silver curls were precisely combed.  Her face was
the image of tranquility.

Star almost made a comment about girls needing to do their hair before a
fight, then bit his tongue.  When Eclipse walked, she left a trail of
power that rippled the space behind her. She moved her hands.  The air
through which her fingers passed curdled, warped by eddies and whorls
from half-called gifts. Looking near her was like staring at hot
pavement on a sunbright day. The slightest hint of screens flickered
above her garb, violet spiderwebs tracing the pattern of her motif.

“Sorry if I needed a little longer.” Eclipse’s voice was remote, as
though she no longer lived only in the here and now. “Calling the deeper
levels is more safely done through slowness and tranquility. Is all else
prepared?  Aurora?  Comet?”

The younger girl posed, arms outstretched, fading behind the pyramid and
eye that marked her powers’ manifestation. *Eclipse?  They’re a mile
down, spread along that mountain range, except that city. Their
tunnels…that mountain range is hollowed out, with barely enough rock
left to keep it from collapsing.  There! That’s all of them in Tibet,
`cept relay stations.  [Images of rock tunnels, a tracery penetrating to
the roots of the Himalayas.]  Rock’s laced with screens!*

Eclipse’s screens appeared, bright as a magnesium flare as they enfolded
her and Comet, burning the violet usually reserved for morning glories.

“We’re invisible…Now!” Comet shouted.  The two girls vanished.

“You’re invisible,” Star confirmed.

Eclipse’s teleport transported the two of them.  They hovered in the
upper air over the Tibetan High Plateau.

“How can you do this?” Comet asked. “Those mountains are huge.”

Eclipse smiled grimly. *I cheat.* This is Pickering’s world, she told
herself, not even understanding what they’re facing.  Saving them all
depends on me.  She shuddered at the name of the levels she would need.
*Lucky for us, I find breaking things real easy.* She reached into the
core of her being, deeper than the Fall of Crystal, deeper than the
Tomb, deeper than the Hall of the Lidless Eye. Deeper.  Deeper.  Beyond
the Straight Circle.  Beyond the warm touch of the Solid Rainbow.  All
the way to the bottom of the Well of Infinity.

A column of pure energy stabbed downwards from her right hand, piercing
thousands of feet of stone and tens of intertwined defense screens like
a surgeon’s needle lancing a troublesome boil.  Hidden chambers carved
from living rock were brilliantly lit, their contents transformed in
microseconds into incandescent gas.

Tibetan Empire defenses engaged. Colossal explosions shredded the air
around Eclipse and Comet.  Shock waves rolled out in all directions. 
Superheated fireballs, blindingly bright, rose through the stratosphere,
punching a hole in the sky above as they rose far into the ionosphere. 
Comet, frightened, leaned into Eclipse’s shoulder.

*Trisha,* Eclipse thought, *Don’t be afraid of these clowns. We’re
good.  Give me a little more space, please?*

Comet drifted back.

Eclipse summoned the full depth of her gifts.  For tens of seconds her
plasma torch probed through granite, a torrent of power momentarily
absorbed by the enormous mass of the mountains.

The Himalayan massif exploded.  A column of superheated gas burst
skywards, carrying with it an entire line of mountains transformed to
incandescent ash.  Steep cliff sides, crushed to white-hot sand, blew
out in all directions.  Shock waves tore through the bedrock, the ground
of the surrounding valleys rolling in great waves as majestic as the
swells of the distant Indian Ocean.

Eclipse focused her thoughts on holding her own screens against the
geological catastrophe she had created.  Her own attack lanced down,
deeper and deeper, striking to the ultimate core of the fortress beneath
her.

Comet managed a last glimpse of the doomed City of the Sun, a city whose
rigidly mathematical lines blurred under the impact of impact of earth
shocks, then disappeared behind falling rocks and clouds of glowing
ash.  She squeezed her eyes shut, knowing that her last images of the
City, architecture crumbling like a matchwood ship hurled against the
coast by gale-driven waves, would be with her until her life’s end.

From Chapter Forty-Four, Waging Peace Through Unlimited Firepower, STAND AGAINST THE LIGHT by George Phillies

At any rate, I hope you’ve enjoyed the excerpt, the cover art, and my blog…now, go to Amazon and get the e-books! (Again, book one, ECLIPSE: The Girl Who Saved the World, is only ninety-nine cents today.)

8 Responses

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  1. Congratulations on the new book!

    Kayelle Allen

    August 5, 2021 at 10:26 am

    • I have told George about Marketing for Romance Writers, I think, but I should do it again. (I know, as you do — being the group’s creator! — that you don’t have to have romance in the books.) I think MFRW.org would help him a great deal. His books are excellent, and there are a number of YA writers in the group who’d enjoy trading blogs and such (if he’s willing to do it). 🙂

      Barb Caffrey

      August 5, 2021 at 11:16 pm

  2. This series looks intriguing I’ve put Volume 1 on my list of kindle books to buy. (I really, really must start reading print again; currently hooked on audio)

    deteremineddespitewp

    September 8, 2021 at 4:00 am

    • I think you’ll enjoy it, Roger. Let me know what you think! (I didn’t edit the first two, but did edit the third. Really enjoyed getting up to speed for the third by reading the first two, though.)

      Barb Caffrey

      September 9, 2021 at 1:08 am

      • There is a latent promise within my febrile mind that once this semi-legendary (irony) third volume of mind is done and published there shall be a return to reading printed word🙂

        deteremineddespitewp

        September 9, 2021 at 2:18 am

      • Sounds good. 🙂

        BTW, I read your story from the Crux Anthology (I hope I’m remembering that anthology’s title correctly). That a woman would kill her own husband (in the story) because that was the only way she saw that anything good could eventually prevail was heartbreaking. He didn’t see it coming, either, which I guess is a mercy (but felt like the biggest betrayal ever).

        It was a very successful short story, Roger. (Just thought you should know.)

        Barb Caffrey

        September 10, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      • Thank you Barb.
        I owe a great deal to Rachael for the final honing of that story. The challenge was to write a story based on the cover. I have read (listened to-audio book) a great deal on the turmoil that war and its politics do to the perspective of those hardened to its realities. The theme just clicked. Petehvina’s readiness to lose her one love in that way and surrender herself to eternal vilification was an illustration of what can happen to people when War is ‘let slip’.
        (There’s a book there somewhere about the aftermath, but I can’t do it. If anyone wants to; it’s ‘Be My Guest’)

        deteremineddespitewp

        September 11, 2021 at 2:27 am


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