Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Character interview with the antagonist of Chandrea by guest author Marlene Wynn

 

Today, I'm happy to have guest author Marlene Wynn here to share a character interview with the antagonist of her new release, Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen.


Character Name:  Leilah Averill (Antagonist)
Character Bio:  At the tender age of fourteen, Leilah’s family discover that her powers are vastly different than expected.  Afraid that her unusual powers will leave their kingdom defenseless, they send the young princess to live in the far away kingdom of Svara.  Devastated by the betrayal of her family, Leilah vows to someday prove that they were just as vulnerable with magic as they would have been without.  Eventually, she overthrows the Svaran government and becomes their queen.   Bent on revenge, she sends her troops to wage war on the Averill kingdom and kill her family.


Are you sorry your family is gone?
No.  They abandoned me when I most needed them.  They gave into their baseless fears and threw me away like unwanted trash.
Do you have any regrets?
Regrets?  Why would I have any regrets?  Stars, they protested to love me one minute, then cast me out the next.  They deserved what they got.  Every one of them.
Even your twin sister?
Especially her.  The bond between twins is sacred.  One that should never, ever be broken.  But, she ignored that bond and cast me away like the rest of them.  Of all of them, I hate her the most.
But Chandrea wasn’t even born when you were sent away.  Why hunt her?
I was sent from Averill because I was different.  Because my magic would make them defenseless.  In order to drive my point home, all of them must die.  Then, I will be the only Averill left alive.  The one who was sent away because she was different.
Do you miss your family at all?
 At times.  I remember the smell of my mother when she held me close, or the sound of my father when he laughed.  I remember how close my twin sister and I were.  But, remembering these things only makes their betrayal worse.  It rips my heart open each time and, like a festering wound, will not give me peace.  When I recall these moments, it only makes me hate them more.
In all this time, why haven’t you left the capital city of Svara?
Because my very presence here keeps Fairhaven safe.  The Svaran’s are now my people and I will do all in my power to keep them and my home secure from magical threat.   Besides, I have a very special captive here that I must keep restrained at all times…
You’ve worked very hard in your time as queen to overthrow the surrounding governments and kingdoms.  If they weren’t part of your family’s betrayal, why go after them?
They were loyal to my parents, and would therefore be loyal to Chandrea if she ever took the throne.  I need those who are loyal to me.  To Svara.  So, I destroyed those in power and put others devoted to me in their place.  I used my scouts and troops to search their lands for any trace of the Averill princess, and used fear to bring their people under my control.
Why use fear?
Why not?  If it works, why use anything different?  If they are harboring or aiding the Averill fugitive princess, then they are nothing to me.
Why are you hunting and killing those who can use magic?
Magic has been the bane of my life!  Its very existence tore me from my loving family.  I hate magic and will do all in my power to see it erased from Itova!
Tell me about your son, Ayden.
Ayden is my right hand man and my most prized possession.  He has been raised as the crown prince of Svara, and will someday be the commander of my armies.  He is as dedicated to finding and killing the Averill princess as I am.
Do you think you will find Chandra and kill her?
Of course.  She can hide, but the moment she shows her face again, the moment it becomes known that she is still alive, my scouts will find her and bring her to me.  I will torture any pertinent information I need from her, then kill her.  Then, and only then, will I be avenged.

Chandrea:
The Return of the Avatar Queen
Marlene Wynn

Book Description:

Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman.  But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.  Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue,

Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known.  But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. 

Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?



Available at  BN  Smashwords  Amazon  Kobo  iTunes

Add it to your Goodreads Shelf

Prologue:

The assassination changed everything.
On the day Crown Princess Chandrea Averill was born, the entire Kingdom of Averill celebrated. The streets of Cellia, her capital city, were overflowing with people honoring the birth of the new heir. Food and drink were plentiful and the mood of those gathered was joyous. Songs and laughter echoed gaily off the walls of the great stone buildings.
Those in the know speculated on what powers the crown princess would eventually develop, as no female born of the queen’s lineage ever had the same powers as those who came before her. The form and strength of the magic varied from female to female, but – without fail – magic was present in some form.
The merrymaking went on for hours into the night, and all at the Llireva Palace celebrated. Wrinkled old men sat in the corners, smoking their pipes and spinning grand and fanciful tales of the Averill family. Small children gathered at their feet, listening raptly to tales of magic and bravery. Gaily dressed dancers spun and swirled as the eager audience clapped to the rhythm. Jewels glittered and gleamed in the warm candlelight as they moved, dazzling the eye.
As the night eased into the early morning hours, those who should’ve retired long ago still remained. Sleepy-eyed and =yawning, they nevertheless continued with the celebration even as the moon set on the horizon and dawn approached. Drinks were handed out generously, and drunken, happy people roamed the palace. Staggering about, their laughter filled the hallways of the grand palace. Guards became lackadaisical about their duties, laughing and drinking with their friends as they came wandering by.
This made the attack on the Llireva Palace and those inside exceedingly simple.
The assault was ruthlessly calculated and seamless. Having been there for hours, posing as drunken guests, the invaders easily overtook and dispatched the inebriated guards. Thousands of the enemy swarmed over the palace, slaughtering all in sight, whether guest or staff. Swords and knives flashed in the candlelight, and terror-filled screams filled the warm night air.
 Taken completely by surprise, the guests and staff were easily overcome. Some tried to fight back, but were ruthlessly cut down where they stood. Stepping carelessly over the bloodied bodies of the dead, hard-faced officers ordered their men to look for the king, queen, and the newly-born crown princess. The enemy soldiers scattered, each keen to be the one to find the royal family and draw first blood.
One loyal servant – Adelaide – was tasked with caring for the new crown princess while the queen recovered. Like the queen, Adelaide was a powerful sorceress, and served in the capacity of royal advisor and friend to the queen.
After giving birth, the queen had been exhausted and was resting peacefully in her chambers, while the king attended to her. Princess Chandrea was in the nursery, being cared for by Adelaide. So, when the assassination of the king and queen occurred, the princess was nowhere to be found. Enemy soldiers then spread out in search of the newborn.
Unknown to the intruders, in the days prior to her birth, protective spell webs had been cast by Adelaide and the queen in the hallways of the family wing. These spells prevented unauthorized access to the nursery by causing an agonizing death. The magic also alerted the creator of the spells of anyone entering the space. Unfortunately, the queen had been too wearied and depleted from giving birth to act upon the warnings that had been sent by her spells, and thus, she and the king soon perished. But Adelaide was not at such a disadvantage. As the assailants crossed her protective spells, she was alerted immediately by their piercing screams as the magic seared the flesh from their bones.
Adelaide quickly picked up the baby, and with an urgently muttered spell, opened a hidden passageway known only by the royal family and their most trusted advisors. Slipping out of the nursery, she turned and sealed the door with a wave of her hand, eliminating any chance that any marauders lucky enough to have a sorceress strong enough to penetrate the defensive spells could follow.
Rushing down the stairs, holding the princess close to her bosom, she finally reached the bottom. There she entered the back of a large cave. Moving quickly forward to the front, she found herself looking out at the dark expanse of the Averill Bay, named after the royal family who ruled the bordering land. She turned and gently laid the baby in a small depression in the rock, sat beside her, and allowed herself to momentarily succumb to her grief and fear. Adelaide knew that for the invading soldiers to have gotten as far as her protective shields, they would have had to defeat the queen first— and she would have been in no condition to fight them off.
Sitting quietly for a few moments to collect herself and her thoughts, she was able to form a plan of action, and to gather the resolve for what she knew would be required from her.
Taking a deep breath, she stood and faced the now-orphaned crown princess lying on the rocks. Adelaide knew without a doubt that if this tiny child were killed, all hope for Averill, and the surrounding kingdoms and cities that made up Lyrunia, would be lost. The freedom and peace they’d known under the reign of the Averill family and the Triad would make way for a dark and violent time. Above all else, Princess Chandrea must survive not only this night, but also grow safely to adulthood so that she could take her rightful place on the throne.
Raising her hands into the air, Adelaide urgently weaved them back and forth as she cast her spells. Many hours passed as she chanted through the night, knowing that in the palace above her, an intense search for the princess was being conducted, and that she and the baby could be discovered at any time. Her voice grew hoarse and her arms weary, but still she labored on, until, finally, only one more spell needed to be cast.
Sweat-soaked and exhausted, she reached down and picked up Princess Chandrea. Expecting that this would be the last time she held this dear, tiny child, Adelaide cuddled her close for a few moments. Then, looking at the precious little wrinkled face, she gazed directly into the princess’s eyes, and cast her last spell.
Bright, white light blazed forth from the infant, transforming the cave into a dazzling, glittering chamber. Princess Chandrea slowly rose from Adelaide’s hands until she hung suspended in the air. The soft blanket covering her fell unnoticed to the floor. Adelaide’s hands moved in harmony with her voice as she chanted the final spell that would transport the crown princess from Itova—the world into which she’d been born—to another one. The only place that she would truly be safe until she reached adulthood and her powers had fully manifested.
Air swirled madly about the infant and the light grew brighter and stronger. Then, with the sound of a massive thunderclap and a final burst of brilliance, the crown princess vanished. 

About the Author: 

Marlene Wynn is a Utah native - fondly referred to as "Utonian" by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.

 
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A. K. Morgen's The Ragnarök Prophesies ~ Fall Into Fantasy Tour #giveaway #contest


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 6: The Ragnarök Prophesies
Book One: Fade
Book Two: Fall


What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

FADE is available from Curiosity Quills Press at Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo.


How do you save someone who doesn't want to be saved?

Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren't strong enough to stop it.

Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It's up to Arionna to stop him before it's too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn't sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?

You can read the official prologue to FALL here.

FALL – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can add it to your TBR list on Goodreadshere.


ABOUT A.K. MORGEN:
A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock with her husband, three dogs and two cats. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and plans to save the world someday. When she’s not working or writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

You can learn more about Ayden at http://akmorgen.com or by following her on Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook.



Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The environment and culture of The Sunken, a steampunk dark fantasy by S.C. Green

Today, I'm pleased to welcome S.C. Green to talk about her steampunk dark fantasy release, The Sunken.
*~*~*

I like to begin a book by discovering the environment. It is only when I begin inserting characters into that environment that the story itself begins to emerge. (After all, if you stick the same character in a Vietnam POW camp and a spaceship stranded in space with only enough air left for one of the two inhabitants, you're going to end up with two very different stories). As an ex-archaeologist who has studied anthropology extensively, I believe that human culture, social organisation and behaviour is inherently linked to their environment. Change the environment and you fundamentally change aspects of society, of culture, of technology, of belief.

In the world of the Engine Ward, I go back to Georgian England, a nation on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. But this is a world that has followed a different timeline from the one you and I live in, starting all the way back in the Cretaceous age.

What if dinosaurs have never become extinct? How would sharing the earth with such creatures shape human history? That was the first question I sought to answer when I started work on The Sunken.

I knew I wanted dinosaurs to be living in Georgian England. How? Well, I figured that ice ages had probably killed off many of the larger species, but that other, smaller species had either survived or evolved. I researched the types of dinosaurs that had been living in England when it was attached to a larger landmass, and the environments that those creatures inhabited. I calculated that environments in England would have evolved slightly differently – in the Engine Ward series; most of the Southwest of England is an uninhabited swampland.

Humans would settle in specific areas they could easily defend from predators, and build villages and settlements around their farms and businesses. Some of these animals would be utilised for work, (in later books in the series, you will meet "neckers" – long-necked sauropods about the size of horses – pulling carts and farm equipment). Other dinosaurs might be farmed or hunted for their meat, ivory or skin. Some, such as the tricorn, had been hunted so extensively they are believed to be extinct. Some, like the compies, were tiny and invaded food stores and chewed machinery. And then there are the swamp dragons; highly dangerous carnivores that would need to be avoided.

And, perhaps most important to my story, human mythology would be drastically altered. Think of the different meanings ancient tales take on when there really are dragons living in the swamps outside your back door? I imagine people would cling to these old stories and that, when science and engineering started to offer a new view of the world – a view that humans could control and manipulate and create it how they wanted – this would be extremely appealing. Science gives humans agency in a world that had for centuries been controlled by monsters.

And so, the engineering sects were born – religions focused around innovation and scientific method and the resourcefulness of man. The sects have been part of the religious makeup of England for some time – some are based on ancient cults (such as the cult of Isis), while others are deities created as personifications of scientific disciplines (like the Aether sect, which is primarily focused on chemistry). But it isn't till King George III outlawed Christianity – the prevailing religion of Europe – and adopted ten of the Industrian cults as the official religions of England, that things get really interesting.

And at the centre of the new religion is the Engine Ward, a district in London dedicated to all the studies of engineering and science. Here, the sects build great churches and shrines to their gods, and here are the factories and laboratories where scientists and engineers work on their creations. Here, too, are the great underground furnaces that power the Ward, and the Stokers – the furnace workers – who keep the fires constantly lit. It is in this district shrouded in coal dust that I decided to drop my main characters, just to see what would happen next.

What did happen? Well, you can find out in the Engine Ward series. Book one, The Sunken, is out now, and book two, called The Gauge War, will be out early next year. You can sign up to my mailing list to be one of the first to get a copy, or just keep an eye out on my blog.
*~*~*
Title: The Sunken
Author:Steff Green
Genre:Steampunk Dark Fantasy
 In the heart of London lies the Engine Ward, a district forged in coal and steam, where the great Engineering Sects vie for ultimate control of the country. For many, the Ward is a forbidding, desolate place, but for Nicholas Thorne, the Ward is a refuge. He has returned to London under a cloud of shadow to work for his childhood friend, the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 

Deep in the Ward's bowels, Nicholas can finally escape his strange affliction – the thoughts of animals that crowd his head. But seeing Brunel interact with his mechanical creations, Nicholas is increasingly concerned that his friend may be succumbing to the allure of his growing power. That power isn't easily cast aside, and the people of London need Brunel to protect the streets from the prehistoric monsters that roam the city.

King George III has approved Brunel's ambitious plan to erect a Wall that would shut out the swamp dragons and protect the city. But in secret, the King cultivates an army of Sunken: men twisted into flesh-eating monsters by a thirst for blood and lead. Only Nicholas and Brunel suspect that something is wrong, that the Wall might play into a more sinister purpose--to keep the people of London trapped inside.

Excerpt: 
James Holman's Memoirs — Unpublished

                The history books — the thick sort written by real historians — will tell you England's troubles began when Isambard Kingdom Brunel knocked Robert Stephenson from the post of Messiah of the Sect of the Great Conductor, and became overnight the most powerful engineer in England. But they do not have the full story.
                The true origin began many years before that, with George III — the Vampire King — and the damage wrought by his naval defeats, and his madness. His depravity might have been held in check were it not for a mild spring afternoon in 1830, when a dragon wandered into Kensington Gardens and ate two women and a Grenadier Guard.
                I happened to witness this occurrence, although witness, my critics would say, is a word I am not permitted to use, on account of my complete blindness. I had been granted a day's leave from my duties at Windsor Castle to come into the city. In my left hand, I clutched two envelopes. One contained a thick, pleading letter to my publisher, written on my Noctograph in large, loopy letters to arouse their sympathies, humbly requesting a payment for royalties due on my book. The second contained a request for a period of extended leave to travel to Europe, addressed to the Duke and signed by my doctor. In my other hand, I held the brass ball atop my walking stick, rapping the pavement and listening for the echoes whenever I felt myself veer from my path.
                I arrived at the offices of F., C., and J. Rivington, my publishers, a little after four, and was surprised to find their offices empty, the door locked, and no one about. I ran my fingers over the door, but could find no notice. Perhaps they had taken an extended luncheon? I sniffed the air, remembering the delicious pie shop on the corner beneath the barbershop. Yes, perhaps I should look for them there.
                I had no sooner taken a step across the street, my mouth watering with the anticipation of pie, when coach bells jangled, whistles blew, hooves thundered, and a great commotion rumbled down the street — a carriage speeding over the cobbles, the inhabitants crying out as they were flung back in their seats. I yanked my boot back just as the carriage screamed past and several Bobbies blew their whistles at me. Boots pounded along the street as the usual gaggle of reporters, thrill-seekers, and layabouts chased after the carriage, anxious to see the cause of the commotion.
                Of course, being somewhat of a thrill-seeker myself, I shoved the letters into my jacket pocket and followed. I didn't need my stick to follow the sound of the carriage, and I fell in step amongst the crowd and allowed the jostles of the nosy to pull me along. I collected details in my mental map — a right turn here, a left there, the rough cobbles giving way to silken lawn and neat, paved paths. We'd entered Kensington Gardens, tearing through the squared hedges of close-cropped yew and prim holly, cut and shaped to mimic the bastions and fortifications of war. Hydrangea and rose perfumes drifted on the breeze, until the coo of songbirds was interrupted by piercing screams as women scuttled between the hedges, looking for a place to hide.
                Then, I heard the roar.
                The sound was so low it shook my insides about, so my organs felt as though they had sunk into my socks. The crowd around me, only moments ago hell-bent on moving forward in search of the commotion, scattered in fear, diving into the trees flanking the Round Pond and leaving me in the centre of the path to confront the scene before me.
                Though I could only hear and not see what unfolded, the vivid accounts read aloud to me by friends from the papers allow me to picture it now as clearly as anything. A female swamp-dragon (Megalosaurusbucklandii, in the new taxonomy) appeared from nowhere beside the Round Pond, obviously in need of a drink. She bent down, fifteen feet of her, to lap at the water with her thick tongue, her leathery green skin catching the midday sun. The gentlemen who had been preparing to launch their boats on the water scattered, but their women were busy setting up the picnic tables and laying out the tea settings, and did not notice the commotion until the beast was upon them.
                A woman cowered under her table, clutching a crying baby and trying to muffle its sobs beneath her skirt. But the dragon — like me — saw the world with her ears. She drove her wide snout under the table and tore at the unfortunate woman, tearing out her pretty arms and staining her dress with blood.
Crème scones and Wedgewood china flew through the air as the beast charged the picnic tables, snapping up morsels of womanly flesh. The screams brought more bystanders — lovers strolling along the Serpentine, the Royal Horticultural Society, who'd been admiring the hydrangea beds, and, finally, a nearby guard on duty with his shiny blunderbuss.
                The shots rang in my ears for several moments, and I leaned on my stick, suddenly blinded to the world around me. The ground trembled as feet thundered past, and I turned to move after them, but a voice broke through my panic.
"You sir, don't move!"
I froze. Now I heard the hiss of air escaping the dragon's nostril, and the click of its claws as it stalked across the garden path toward me. The air grew hot, carrying with it the smell of butchery — blood and flesh mingled with the beast's fetid breath. At any moment it would be upon me. The panic rose in my throat, and I fought the urge to run.


Author Bio

Steff lives in an off-grid house on a slice of rural paradise near Auckland, New Zealand, with her cantankerous drummer husband, their two cats, and their medieval sword collection. The first CD she ever brought was Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning', and she's been a card-carrying member of the black-t-shirt brigade ever since.

Steff writes about metal music, her books, living off-grid, and her adventures with home-brewing on her blog www.steffmetal.com. She writes humorous fantasy under the name Steff Metal, and dark, dystopian fantasy under S. C. Green. Her latest novel, The Sunken, explores an alternative Georgian London where dinosaurs still survive.
Stay up to date with Steff's books by signing up to her newsletter at http://steffmetal.com/subscribe, or like her Facebook page at http://facebook.com/steffmetal. 
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tea Leaf Tales: Disappearance in Timeless Trails Metro Park


While out for a walk a few days ago, I came upon this watch left on a run-down park bench. My first thought was how to return the watch to its owner, but the out-of-the-way park had no office or call-box, and no one was in sight. Ultimately I decided to do nothing, hoping the owner might retrace his steps to the lost item. 

I returned home without the watch but it remained on my mind, increasingly more each day thereafter until it became paramount that I trek back to the spot and satisfy my curiosity about its outcome. Today, three days after my initial discovery, I found the watch in the same exact position. I walked around the bench, placed my hands on the seatback, and considered why the owner hadn’t retrieved it. Surely others passed by and didn’t claim it either. Was the watch not lost but discarded? Writing on the back of the bench caught my attention, and I bent low to read: Property of Timeless Trails Metro Park.  I tried to let go of the bench, but it was too late.


Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.

*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, September 22, 2014

J.P. Sloan's The Curse Merchant ~ Fall Into Fantasy Tour #giveaway #contest


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 5: The Dark Choir Series
Book One: The Curse Merchant
By J.P. Sloan

Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed. He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian's disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn't be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian's captivating ex-lover. After two years' absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen's affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own. As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation... with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Add it Goodreads

ABOUT J.P. SLOAN

J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author, primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed. 

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a National-ranked beer judge.

Find J.P. Online:
J.P. Sloan's Fistful of Fiction Facebook Twitter Tumblr


Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Political intrique in fantasy fiction ~Guest post by L. Blankenship, author of the Disciple series

Today I'm very pleased to welcome L. Blankenship back sharing about her new release, Disciple: Part V.

*~*~*


Disciple is a six-part, gritty fantasy romance -- the fifth part of the series has just hit the electronic bookshelves. Kate Carpenter is a peasant girl determined to serve her homeland as a healer in wartime. She never thought the crown prince and a ne'er-do-well knight would notice her along the way.

Disciple, Part V involves some political intrigue: one of my main characters, Kiefan, desperately needs to negotiate an alliance with the queen of the neighboring kingdom but she will not even talk to him at the beginning of the story. The queen is wrestling with problems of her own. Writing political intrigue is a delicate balancing act, though.

1. There's a lot of background to lay out. Every writer knows how difficult info-dumps can be, and they're impossible to avoid when you need to explain how the situation got to this point. Or when you need the reader to have an idea of how many subtle influences the characters need to keep in their heads.

2. Closely tied to the background are the characters' motivations in the situation. Motivations need to be clear and reasonable, but that can lead to long internal monologues which are just as bad as info-dumps.

3. In order to maintain story tension, there need to be visible consequences for failure. So while political intrigue tends to take the form of conversations and info-dumps, there does still need to be action as the game plays out. Things still need to get worse before they get better.

Even with four previous parts of Disciple, it was challenging to write. I wasn't entirely sure Kiefan could manage it, to be honest -- but with war looming on the horizon again, he had to do whatever was necessary.

Back cover
Kate faces winter with a broken heart: betrayed by one lover, the other lost to her.

Kiefan will not give up on the alliance his kingdom desperately needs — even though the Caer queen refuses to speak to him.

Anders, alone and despairing, faces the Empress’s seductive offers of power and privilege.

Each of them must carry the ongoing war in their own way, whether cold, alone, or backed into a corner. Each must patch together a broken heart as best they can. Duty will throw them together soon enough and they must be ready.

On sale now!

Read Disciple, Part I for FREE

Disciple, Part VI
ends the series early next year!

*~*~*
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends by Marsha A. Moore ~ Fall Into Fantasy #giveaway #contest


It's my week on the Fall Into Fantasy Tour! Read more about  my Enchanted Bookstore Legends series. And don't miss my terrific giveaway in the rafflecopter below!

The Tour is a group of awesome fantasy authors who are  helping you keep your mind off any end-of-summer blues by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends
Book One: Seeking a Scribe
Book Two: Heritage Avenged
Book Three: Lost Volumes
Book Four: Staurolite
Book Five: Quintessence
By Marsha A. Moore

Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One by Marsha A. Moore

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.

His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?

Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.

Series Description:

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her. 

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Purchase Links:

ABOUT MARSHA A. MOORE
Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and fantasy romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales. 

The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is a registered yoga teacher. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!


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Excerpt from Seeking a Scribe:

Chapter One: Licorice Memories
The smell of anise greeted Lyra as she opened the door to Drake’s bookstore. It took her back to happy childhood memories. Licorice-shoe-string-rewards for following her parents’ requests to stay on the dock while they secured the family’s pleasure boat to its trailer. The aroma brought a fleeting remembrance of times long gone, a treasure now that her folks had recently passed. At ease with the familiar scent, she settled into browsing through rows of antique bookcases.
The shop owner stuck his head around a set of shelves. “Do you like tea?”
“Yes, I do.” Before she could finish speaking, he disappeared. “Is that the wonderful smell?” she called out.
Kitchenware clinked in the back room. Receiving no answer, Lyra followed the noises, scanning collections as she walked. This bookshop appeared established, but surely she would have remembered it from her last visit to the Lake Huron village five years ago. Books were her passion, especially fantasy. She paused in front of that section and studied its titles.
The owner appeared, holding a pewter tray with a teapot, two cups, sugar jar, spoons, and napkins, which he laid on the corner of an old library table. She watched him carefully pour the tea and hand her a cup. He was about her age, mid thirties or a bit older, and handsome. His medium brown hair, peppered with gray at the temples, grazed his shoulders in wavy layers, and his beard was trimmed into a neat goatee. He wore long shorts, a knit golf shirt, and sandals—typical casual attire for this island resort community.
She set down her bag from the drugstore and accepted his offer with a smile. “Thanks. My name’s Lyra.” She blew across the hot surface of the tea to cool it and then inhaled the anise-scented steam. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the memory. “Ah!”
“Afternoons of boating and licorice with your parents? Right?” he asked.
Her mouth dropped open. How did he know that?