DISCIPLE continues...

DISCIPLE continues...

Monday, April 7, 2014

The availability shuffle

    

Now that I have four volumes of my Disciple series published -- plus the Half-Omnibus to collect the first three parts -- managing where they are on sale takes a bit of work!

constantly updating!

You can always find Disciple at:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Smashwords

And I'm glad to say that my paperbacks are available at:

 

(Note that the Half-Omnibus is ebook-only)

Stay tuned for Disciple, Part V
and other exciting announcements!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

KIYA: RISE OF A NEW DYNASTY by Katie Hamstead

Congratulations to Katie on finishing her trilogy! I was really looking forward to asking her about world-building her ancient Egyptian setting, because it's so very different from our current society. Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway, either!

I love research, so I have to ask how much research on Egypt you did in preparation for writing KIYA. Books? Videos? What were your sources?
A ton of research had to go into the story. I had to build a timeline of events and figure out where each of the historical figures fit with their age and where they appeared and disappeared in history. To do this I hit the library and also museum and university websites and journals. I have a list of sites I used for each book, as well as several books on my personal shelf.

What's the oddest thing you learned about Egypt in the process?
The oddest thing? The Egyptians in general were odd; incest, mummification... But I think in general I found myself impressed by them. They were clever and resourceful, understanding things like medicine that other civilizations didn't discover until the 1700/1800's. 

I'm familiar with how much mental adjustment is needed to think about living in a medieval-style society... how difficult was it to feel comfortable describing life in an ancient world like Egypt? Were there any resources that were particularly helpful? 
The Egyptian culture is very different from our own. Things like incest and polygamy that aren't acceptable in our society, were normal every day things. Also, writing the period in a woman's perspective meant understanding the role a woman was expected to play in those times; mother, housewife, property of her husband. These are things that the women would have accepted and not questioned because that's just how it was. It was difficult to dig up information about these things because men wrote history and more often than not, the day to day activities of a woman didn't register as worth recording.

What's one of your favorite aspects of KIYA's world?
All the people. That's my favorite thing about all history. The people who lived in their times shaped their world and as a consequence, ours. I believe these long dead voices still have lessons to teach us with the stories they left behind.

What's the next project in your pipeline?
I have another 2 book series signed with Curiosity Quills due for release later this year, and am currently querying the first book in a sci fi/fantasy series. I'm working on the other books right now, and plan on having seven books total for that series.

Back cover
Tut has grown into his position as Pharaoh, but he is a wild young man. Naomi fears for him, not only because of his recklessness, but because he has put his trust in Ay–the man determined to destroy Naomi—despite her and Horemheb advising against it.

Meanwhile, death and slavery hang over Naomi and her family. With fear of the booming Hebrew numbers causing talk of enslaving them, conscription is reinstated and Naomi fears 
for the lives of her other children. Especially since Ay's children are now adults, and just as dangerous as their father. They threaten to take Itani, conspire against Tut, and pushing for power.

But Tut is in trouble. While Ay's daughter draws Horemheb's attention, and Naomi deals with the struggles of her family, everyone's distraction could spell death for the young Pharaoh.

Available at
AmazonB & NKobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Reader goodies for DISCIPLE, PART IV

Disciple is a fantasy series, so maps are to be expected. All of my books come with a map of the kingdom of Wodenberg, which includes some of its neighbors. Part II and Part III included a city map as well.

Part IV begins to introduce Wodenberg's neighbor Caercoed a bit more. I hope the index in the back of the book helps with the rush of new characters. There's a new map for the place names.

Since an ebook's screen is only so big, I always include a link to the goodies page where readers can see a larger map. Introducing the newest addition to my Reader Goodies page:

Click to embiggen, of course.

Caercoed is divided into five ancient duchies. Within those are an as-yet unknown number of margravates (along the borders) and baronies. A line of high mountains cuts the kingdom off from its neighbors, save for two well-guarded passes: Dwyncraig and Eryr. Nearly all trade comes by sea to the port at Arforddinas.

It's a large and rich land. The alliance between the two kingdoms needs a marriage to cement it solidly, and Prince Kiefan was naturally the top candidate in Wodenberg. Now that he's king, he's even more eligible -- and Kate knows he will obey the saints, however much she loves him or he loves her.

Back cover of Disciple, Part IV
Kate can’t avoid the simple truth any longer; as much as she loves Kiefan, he’s now the king and his duties leave him precious little time for her and their newborn son. Kate’s husband Anders, the ne’er-do-well knight, is the one who kisses her cheek every morning and soothes the baby to sleep on his shoulder. 

Kiefan’s protective jealousy still casts a shadow over her life. He would gladly throw Anders to the wolves if it will keep alliance negotiations from collapsing. Their homeland desperately needs these allies against the invading Empire. The kingdom barely survived the first wave of the enemy’s monstrous army and more is to come. 

But Kate can’t stand by and let Anders become a victim — or let Kiefan suspect she’s falling in love with her husband. 

On sale now at

New to Disciple
The Half-Omnibus collects the first three parts into one meaty ebook.

Or try Disciple, Part I for only 99 cents!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DISCIPLE, PART IV on sale now!

At last! I made assumptions, early on, and paid the price. 

Back cover
Kate can’t avoid the simple truth any longer; as much as she loves Kiefan, he’s now the king and his duties leave him precious little time for her and their newborn son. Kate’s husband Anders, the ne’er-do-well knight, is the one who kisses her cheek every morning and soothes the baby to sleep on his shoulder.

Kiefan’s protective jealousy still casts a shadow over her life. He would gladly throw Anders to the wolves if it will keep alliance negotiations from collapsing. Their homeland desperately needs these allies against the invading Empire. The kingdom barely survived the first wave of the enemy’s monstrous army and more is to come.

But Kate can’t stand by and let Anders become a victim — or let Kiefan suspect she’s falling in love with her husband.

Available at: 

  


Put it on your to-read list at Goodreads!

Paperbacks available at


Amazon paperbacks coming soon! 


New to Disciple
The Half-Omnibus collects the first three parts into one meaty ebook.

Or try Disciple, Part I for only 99 cents!



Coming Soon
  • a new map on the Goodies page!
  • new character interviews -- watch my Twitter feed for blog tour stops!
  • I'll get back to blogging regularly, lol! 
  • and Disciple, Part V in September? We will see...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cover reveal: DISCIPLE, PART IV

Disciple, Part IV
on sale March 10, 2014

It's on the copyeditor's desk! I had to push back the release date, but Disciple, Part IV is almost here. Today, I'm thrilled to unveil yet another wonderful cover by Faiz Nabheebucus. See below for my Read an Ebook Week discounts at Smashwords!

Back cover
Kate can’t avoid the simple truth any longer; as much as she loves Kiefan, he’s now the king and his duties leave him precious little time for her and their newborn son. Kate’s husband Anders, the ne’er-do-well knight, is the one who kisses her cheek every morning and soothes the baby to sleep on his shoulder.

Kiefan’s protective jealousy still casts a shadow over her life. He would gladly throw Anders to the wolves if it will keep alliance negotiations from collapsing. Their homeland desperately needs these allies against the invading Empire. The kingdom barely survived the first wave of the enemy’s monstrous army and more is to come.

But Kate can’t stand by and let Anders become a victim — or let Kiefan suspect she’s falling in love with her husband.

Read a sample from Part IV!

If you were on my newsletter mailing list, you would've seen this already... join now and get a reminder when Part IV hits the shelves!

New to Disciple...?


at Smashwords only!
Coupon codes on the profile pages
ENDS MARCH 8, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

DEAD MAN'S DRIVE by Michael Panush

Michael has been reviewing Disciple (I just sent him the ARC for Part IV) so I was glad to offer him a gust post here! His retro-urban-fantasy zombie tale is perfect for another historical world-building interview!

Why did you decide to set your zombie story in the 1950s?  
The 1950s and Horror Stories are a peanut-butter and chocolate sort of pairing. Horror movies started getting big in the 1930s, with the Universal Monsters, but they continued growing in the 50s. Plus, you had EC Horror Comics (and the accompanying moral panic that destroyed them), Atomic Sci-Fi Monster movies, and Cold War paranoia. All of this nasty paranoid stuff, appearing in Drive-In Theatres and Comic Books, kinds of contrasts with the sanitized, clean, and wholesome view of the 50s that we have now – white picket fences, Leave It to Beaver and so on. I feel that Horror Punk bands like The Misfits and The Cramps rely on that juxtaposition, mixing up 50s Kitsch and Monster Movie Cheese to create an interesting paring. That's really what I was trying to do with this story.

But Rot Rods isn't just a series about zombies – crime plays a big role as well, and I think the 1950s was a special time for crime writing. This was the era where Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, Jim Thompson and others truly created Hardboiled Noir fiction. The story is set in Southern California, which I think is an important place for crime fiction. There are so many sleazy elements that a writer can incorporate when you're dealing with that place and time – the Zoot Suit Riots, WWII and Japanese Internment, Howard Hughes, LA gangsters like Jack Dragna and Mickey Cohen, the Black Dahlia Murder, Golden Age Hollywood – that can really enrich a story. James Ellroy covered a lot of that in his LA Quartet, which was a major influence for me. I really hope that Dead Man's Drive and the other Rot Rods novels can help capture the feel of this sleazy, unique time and place.

What were your main research sources for getting the setting and technology right?
I did lots of research of Wikipedia, looking for details about different models of cars and watched a lot of period movies. Reading a lot of James Ellroy books seriously helped. I even found a list of Hot Rod slang words online. Unfortunately, most of them were so weird that I couldn't put them in without confusing the reader. I used 'badge bandits' which was slang for cops and seems pretty self-evident. But I'm mostly going after 1950s Southern California as it appears in the imagination of the popular culture, not as it really is. Watching movies and reading crime fiction seemed to be the way to go with that.

Also, I have a lot of family in LA and I visited it a lot. I'm living there right now, actually. I don't know if that really helps, though, as LA is completely different now from what it used to be. But my grandparents live in this kind of quiet, suburban area apart from LA itself, and that's sort of inspiration for the fictional town of La Cruz, where the story takes place.

What's one fun detail that you especially liked getting into your story?
I had a lot of fun with Roscoe, my main zombie character, eating. Roscoe doesn't eat like living people. Instead, he gobbles down food to regenerate his body after it gets damaged – something that happens a lot. I enjoyed thinking of the delicious/sort of nasty grub that he's always devouring – a lot of high-carb Fifties food that was popular then but isn't so big now. I remember telling one of my co-workers that my book is about a zombie that rides a hot rod and is always eating chili dogs. That was pretty fun.

What sort of zombies did you decide to use -- traditional voodoo, virus-infected, some other type? 
Roscoe's not a mindless, shambling, flesh-hungry zombie like in a Romero movie. He's an intelligent guy who just happens to be dead. He doesn't need to go the bathroom, and he can't sweat or cry, but he can still sort of feel pain, and he can do a decent job of running. When the story starts, he doesn't know who he was in life or how he died – and that mystery fuels part of the story. He discovers the truth, and it involves magic and a curse. The villain, the industrialist Reed Strickland, also uses tons of mindless zombies as his henchmen and goons. These are just mindlessly animated corpses. Roscoe has a bit of a crisis of conscience when he sees the mindless zombies and imagines that's what he could have been.

And what's up next for you?  
Next up from Curiosity Quills is El Mosaico, Volume 3: Hellfire. My El Mosaico series is about Clayton Cane, an Old West bounty hunter who was stitched together from the body parts of Civil War soldiers by a mad Confederate scientist. In the first two volumes, he travels the west as a bounty hunter in a series of short stories. Hellfire is a novel, where he settles down and becomes the sheriff of the eponymous Texas town of Hellfire. It's good stuff and I hope you check it out when it's released!

Dead Man's Drive on sale at

Monday, February 24, 2014

WERELORD THAL by Tracy Falbe


When Tracy was setting up her Werewolves in the Renaissance blog tour, I knew exactly what I wanted her post to be about -- research! world-building! Naturally she did not disappoint! Check out the discount coupon and the free 4-chapter sample below, too.

The Holy Roman Empire is Full of Rebels
By Tracy Falbe

My love of Renaissance history deepened while researching my novel Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale. After carefully pondering exactly which setting to choose, I selected Bohemia in the year 1561 when lovely Bohemia was in the midst of two centuries of upheaval.

What was the problem?
The Holy Roman Empire with its capital in Prague was firmly on the side of the Papacy. The actual people of Bohemia, including the nobles, not so much.

Why was there widespread discontent?
Deepening corruption within the Catholic Church, especially with the sale of indulgences, had undermined people’s faith in the holiness of their holy leaders. The printing revolution triggered by Gutenberg greatly aided the spread of dissent. Literacy increased. The Bible was translated into vernacular languages, and people increasingly wanted to experience their own spiritual beliefs without a priest as intermediary. Scripture was the source of guidance, not the priest. It is the beginning of a societal desire for liberty instead of blind obedience to a God-ordained order, which defined the Middle Ages.

What was Bohemia’s role in all of this?
By the 1560s Bohemia had already endured a long, bloody, and valiant history of resisting the Roman Catholic Church. In 1415 the famous priest and professor at Charles University in Prague Jan Hus was executed as a heretic. Until then he had been enormously popular in Bohemia for his criticisms of the Papacy. In his view the ultimate authority was in the Bible and not the rules made in Rome. He was also against indulgences, an outrageous albeit profitable practice of letting people buy forgiveness for sins. The Papacy continually used and abused this tool to raise money. Jan Hus is considered one of the precursors to Martin Luther, who did succeed in upsetting the tyranny of Rome over Europe.

After a scandalous betrayal by future Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, Hus was burned at the stake. Bohemia exploded into open rebellion. Many people altered religious practices and priests were attacked and driven out of parishes.

From 1419 to about 1434 the Bohemian rebels repelled five Papal crusades until finally peace was made with the more moderate rebels. This war was an early example of gunpowder firearms like the hand cannon being used in European warfare. The Bohemians were famous for their armored carts and wagons that they devised. Jan Zizka was their famous military leader and is revered to this day as a hero for his boldly innovative tactics.

Once the Hussite Wars were over, Bohemians ostensibly became good Catholics again, but the original controversies persisted. The Protestant Reformation exploded onto the European scene in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in which he complained about Church corruption. Printing technology had taken hold by this time, and the rebellious sentiment spread rapidly. Many German principalities in the Holy Roman Empire rejected Papal rule.

With rebellion spreading the Catholic Church dug in at Bohemia. The capital of the Holy Roman Empire was established in Prague. The Jesuits driven by their duty to bolster Catholicism entered Prague and established a college in 1556. And in 1561 an archbishop returned to Prague where the seat had been vacant since the Hussite Wars over a century earlier.

Although Bohemia was Catholic on the map, discontent simmered. The noble class resented the increasing exertions of imperial authority headed by the Hapsburg family as it tried to establish strong central rule with the help of the Roman Catholic Church. By 1618, the horrific Thirty Years War that ravaged much of Europe started in Prague. The incendiary incident was the infamous Defenestration of Prague when the Protestant nobles of Bohemia threw representatives of Matthias II, the Hapsburg Holy Roman Emperor out a window in Prague.

How is this social discontent portrayed in Werelord Thal?
I drew many of these elements into the narrative of Werelord Thal. Many references to books and printing are made. Information, including propaganda, is everywhere. The discontent of the nobles is illustrated through the character of Lady Carmelita Hrabe. Her fancy parties serve as cover for meetings of Protestants in Prague. Next I include the Jesuits in the story. The character Brother Vito is leading a mission into Prague to hunt heretics and support his order’s mission of stamping a Catholic view upon the educational system. The plot of the novel revolves around witch hunting, which was a tool used by both sides to terrorize the population and impose compliance to narrowly defined views of how people should be.

Back cover
Thal is wanted for Devil worship and shape shifting but still boldly walks the streets of 16th century Prague. Jesuits hunt him. Mercenaries fear him. Musicians sing his praise, and women are captivated by his alpha swagger.

Born of a witch and a sorcerer, he is summoned when his desperate mother casts the werewolf spell before facing torture and execution. Burdened with her magical call for vengeance Thal seeks the men that killed her. His hunt is complicated when the Magistrate’s stepdaughter Altea Kardas crosses his path. Horrified that her community is burning women to death, she can confide her doubt and fear only to Thal.

He desires her greatly but knows he will bring ruin upon her. Across Bohemia and beyond people who are different are labeled heretics in a restless world hobbled by tyrannical ignorance. The Renaissance has thrown the Holy Roman Empire into turmoil. Printed books are spreading radical ideas. Firearms are triggering a new age of warfare. And the human spirit is shaking off obedience.

Thal embodies the ancient magic of the pagan past. He challenges a world conquered by a spiritual system that denies the flesh and forgets the Earth. And he awakens within Altea recognition of these truths. She believes any risk is worth loving him until she becomes the bait in a trap set by Thal’s enemies.

Tour discounts! 
Ebook: $3.99 (kindle, epub, or pdf) Available worldwide from Brave Luck Books

Paperback: $12.99 (6x9 trade paperback 356 pages)

Also available at
AmazonNookSmashwordsiTunesKobo • AllRomance

Or sample the first four chapters for free!
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