DISCIPLE continues...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Announcing: DISCIPLE, PART IV



The six-part Disciple series continues...

Disciple, Part IV
Available March 1, 2014

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.

What to look for? 
Fire's First Kiss, the prologue to Disciple, will be on sale HERE for a LIMITED TIME... I am looking at possible limited-edition goodies like prints of the banner above... there will be a HALF-OMNIBUS ebook edition of Disciple, compiling the first three parts along with all of the appendix materials, maps, and a combined character index...

Read Kate's adventure in the embattled city of Ebulon at Wattpad!
Published the free anthology The Battle of Ebulon. It's a non-canon story, but it's fun.

each under $5!

     


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WITHOUT BLOODSHED by Matthew Graybosch

Welcome to Without Bloodshed by Matthew Graybosch, available from Curiosity Quills Press! Since I love talking about world-building, I had some specific questions about his Starbreaker universe.

1. Tell us about the Phoenix Society and its role in the world.
The Phoenix Society claims to be a non-government organization (NGO) formed and financed by a consortium of businessmen and corporations at the beginning of Nationfall (a worldwide social/economic/political collapse caused by widespread use of a piece of psychiatric nanotechnology called "The Patch" -- as in a software patch on human nature -- that caused the deaths of 90% of the human population). Its mission is to protect the survivors of Nationfall and help them achieve a second Renaissance by upholding individual rights, the rule of law, free commerce between individuals, a total ban on state-sponsored mass violence (war), and a ban on militarized police forces. Under the Phoenix Society, cops are lucky to be permitted the use of swords.

In practice, the Phoenix Society acts as a meta-government. It governs most of the governments running the city-states left over from Nationfall, and finances their operations due to a ban on taxation on individuals' wages/salaries/property as a violation of individual rights. The Phoenix Society gets its funding from a variety of sources: donations, revenues from businesses owned by the Phoenix Society's executive council, and by extorting money from businesses and corporations that pay workers a fixed wage and keep the difference between the wages paid and the value created by the workers' efforts as profit. Sole proprietors, partnerships, and worker-owned cooperatives are exempt from this extortion.

To enforce its dictates, the Phoenix Society employs a paramilitary corps of Individual Rights Defense officers (as opposed to Law Enforcement officers) popularly known as Adversaries after an ecumenical council branded them a Satanic force inimical to God and the faithful. While the Adversaries do indeed uphold individual rights by diplomacy and force of arms, they also find themselves used as enforcers, sent to bring corporations and businesses employing workers back into line if they balk at handing over half their profits to the Phoenix Society.

The Society also backs the mutual-aid societies that serve the same functions as government-run welfare programs currently in existence.

2. Did any real-world organizations inspire it? What sort of research did you do while building the Phoenix Society?
I started with a "what if". I wondered what an organization like the American Civil Liberties Union might do if it could punish abuses of power and violations of civil rights on its own, instead of seeking redress through an "independent" judiciary whose judges were paid by the same government most often responsible for the abuses and violations the ACLU sought to redress.

I also drew upon the human-rights efforts sponsored by the United Nations; careful readers will find references to a "Universal Declaration of Individual Rights", which is modelled on the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I changed the name because while AIs aren't human, they remain entitled to the same rights as human beings.

The Phoenix Society's enforcement arm retains several parallels with American law enforcement: its use of a variation on the Miranda warning, its militarized nature (real-life SWAT teams might use AR-15s, but Adversaries usually carry Kalashnikovs), and its brutality.

I also drew upon the Vehmic courts of Westphalia (part of Germany), which placed themselves above established local authorities and gained a reputation for meting out secretive and deadly justice.

I originally intended the Society as an organization that punished abuses by religious authorities and government officials, fit for a right-wing libertarian fantasy setting, but realized that private businesses, especially corporations, often get away with the same abuses we fear from the church or the state because "if the workers don't like it, they can quit and work for somebody else". For consistency's sake, I had to expand the Phoenix Society's mission to handle abuses of power no matter who commits them.

Oddly enough, my personal politics also shifted leftward as I thought through my setting.

3. What's one fun bit of world-building that you're glad you put in this story?
I had a bit of fun coming up with Port Royal, which started as just a rip-off of a real-life BitTorrent site called The Pirate Bay. I ended up expanding it into a bastardized distributed republic formed by the world's various Pirate Parties and the people who run Wikipedia and Wikileaks.

There's also heated streets and sidewalks; no more nonsense about plows and salt every time it snows. The streetlights are shielded and tinted red to avoid drowning out the night sky with light pollution. Just about every home uses Tesla points for wireless power transmission to appliances, instead of wall outlets and plugs.

And I've got Lunatics arguing over how best to preserve the Apollo 11 landing site, and whether it's worth preserving at all. What more can you ask?

Back cover

“All who threaten me die.”

These words made Morgan Stormrider’s reputation as one of the Phoenix Society’s deadliest IRD officers. He served with distinction as the Society’s avenger, hunting down anybody who dared kill an Adversary in the line of duty. After a decade spent living by the sword, Morgan seeks to bid a farewell to arms and make a new life with his friends as a musician. Regardless of his faltering faith, the Phoenix Society has a final mission for Morgan Stormrider after a dictator’s accusations make him a liability to the organization. He must put everything aside, travel to Boston, and prove he is not the Society’s assassin. He must put down Alexander Liebenthal’s coup while taking him alive.

Despite the gravity of his task, Morgan cannot put aside his ex-girlfriend’s murder, or efforts to frame him and his closest friends for the crime. He cannot ignore a request from a trusted friend to investigate the theft of designs for a weapon before which even gods stand defenseless. He cannot disregard the corruption implied in the Phoenix Society’s willingness to make him a scapegoat should he fail to resolve the crisis in Boston without bloodshed.

The words with which Morgan Stormrider forged his reputation haunt him still.

Available at
See reviews on Goodreads

Find Matthew Graybosch online

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

HERITAGE (Grimoire Saga #3) by S. M. Boyce

Heritage (Grimoire Saga #3)
by S. M. Boyce is now available!

Fun news! The long-awaited Heritage by fantasy and paranormal author S. M. Boyce is now available. This is the third novel in the four-part Grimoire Saga series, so make sure you have books 1 & 2 before you dive in.

About Heritage

Grimoire Saga #3

Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it.

An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer.

Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

Books in the Grimoire Saga
#1—Lichgates | #2—Treason | #3—Heritage | #4—Illusion

Buy your copy

Boyce's Store: ePub | Mobi | Autographed Paperback
Amazon: USA | UK | Germany |  France | Spain | Italy

About the Author


International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's next?

I've been dealing with some upheavals in my personal life and working to get my writing discipline back -- but yes,

Disciple, Part IV is coming 
in early 2014

Other progress updates: 
  • my M/M fantasy romance, Hawks & Rams, is in revisions
  • I have a short story to send to betas
  • and I've finally started writing a new hard science fiction story. Well, it's not new, but that's a long story. 
Meanwhile, Disciple, Part I through Part III are available in most places, and will be available at Oyster (through Smashwords' new deal with them.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

HEIRS OF WAR by Mara Valderran

Heirs of War won't be released until October 12th, but you can win a copy in the giveaway below! Meanwhile, author Mara Valderran sat down with Tate to explain some details of her world to us...

Mara: Today I am sitting down with Tate, the treior assigned the task of observing the young Duillaine on Dhara. Tate, why don’t we start by explaining what exactly a treior is?

Tate: Sure. Treiors are sort of like what you would call an anthropologist and a historian. We observe other cultures and worlds, and record the history of those people.

Mara: And your family has been assigned Dhara.

Tate: Correct. Each family of treiors passes down the information they gained through their observations to the next generation. After studying all of this throughout childhood, the treior would move to the area they are studying at the age of twelve. I moved to Dhara then.

Mara: You’re seventeen now. When did you first get the assignment to watch over the girls?

Tate: When I was about fourteen. I started with Isauria and Rhaya, since they were older. Rhaya was really hard to get close to because of her empathic abilities. Isauria was very shy, and I think she felt out of place. So it was easy to get close to her. I started attending school with Ariana when I was fifteen, and did the same with Zelene when I was sixteen.

Mara: What were you tasked with doing concerning the girls?

Tate: I was supposed to watch out for any powers they might be developing, like Rhaya’s empathy or Isauria’s visions. By gaining their confidence, I could talk to them about it. Like I said, Rhaya would have seen through my lies, so all I could do was report back concerning her. Isauria would talk to me in great detail about her dreams, and I tried to help guide her subtly.

Mara: Did that work?

Tate: (laughs) No. Izzy was more concerned with where her story was going than trying to control what she sees.

Mara: It must have been easier for you to fit in with Zelene and Ariana since you are the same age.

Tate: Ariana, yes. Zelene, no. Zelene keeps everyone at arm’s length anyways, and the timing was really bad.

Mara: What do you mean?

Tate: She and Kyle had broken up not too long before I met her. Things went bad, and she was getting teased by his friends a lot. She thought I was one of them. She told me off on the first day, and no matter how hard I tried to get close to her, she refused. She never trusted me like Ariana did.

Mara: Ariana calls you her best friend, and so does Isauria. How much of that was real for you?

Tate: All of it. Look, it’s hard not to like these girls. Isauria has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. Rhaya is compassionate to a fault. Her rose-colored glasses are usually amped up to eleven. And Ariana has this passion and charisma.

Mara: I notice you left Zelene out of that mix.

Tate: Yeah, well, I’m not sure Zelene and I would get along even on the best of days.

Mara: Now that the girls have returned, will you go back to Dhara to study?

Tate: No, I’ve been assigned the task of helping the girls integrate into our society in Anscombe. I understand the world they lived in and Estridia, so that puts me in the unique position of being able to help them adjust.

Mara: Will you miss it?

Tate: Oh yeah. For all the faults of Dhara, life is simpler there for someone my age. You get more time to be a kid and be irresponsible. And there’s video games.

Mara: Still trying to get a gaming console to work in Estridia without electricity?

Tate: (grins) You betcha.

Heirs of War back cover
Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn't believe in magic or prophecies. When she's told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can't argue with reality.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Part III blog tour, link round-up

It's been an interesting blog tour, so I wanted to collect the links for future reference. Character interviews, writing thoughts, etc...

My interview at Spirit Called
My interview at Panusher
Kate's interview as of the middle of Part III
Saint Woden's interview
Elect Parselev's interview
Anders' interview as of the beginning of Part III

Podcast with Anthony DeRouen! It turns out we've both written fantasy novels about young women who are healers and self-published them. What're the chances, right? We talked about self-publishing and prioritizing because you can't do everything.

Recursive plotting at Mathew's blog (previous recursive plotting post at Bluestocking)

Disciple, Part III on sale now! See the list of retailers


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fire's First Kiss: the prologue to DISCIPLE

Fire's First Kiss
is now available... but only through Kickstarter campaigns

Back cover: 
When the Empire first marched on Wodenberg, Kate was only a timid apprentice learning her craft. Kiefan strained at the leash to prove himself to his father and Saint Woden. Anders weighed his chances of seeking greener pastures elsewhere. A moon’s turning before the secret mission to Caercoed, they each faced a trial by fire.

Something special for my readers...  
Fire's First Kiss is a novella-sized bonus for readers who supported my Kickstarter campaigns. It offers a glimpse of Kate, Kiefan and Anders shortly before they officially "met" at the beginning of Disciple, Part I -- but it shouldn't be read until after Part II (or later.)

Cover art by Faiz, coming through in a pinch when my other cover fell through!

Why only through Kickstarter? 
Before I began writing Disciple, I wrote what amounted to a hefty short story to clarify my thoughts about the world, the characters, the narrative voice, etc. The story was never intended to be seen by anybody, and as I started writing Disciple it became increasingly outdated -- though the events were still important.

When I ran my Kickstarter campaigns, I offered to re-write this prologue as a pledge incentive. Some people signed up for it and the campaigns succeeded, so now I am fulfilling the last of my Kickstarter promises!

Fire's First Kiss will only be available during Kickstarter campaigns because I want it to be a special extra something for my readers.

Here's the Goodreads page for it.

When's the next Kickstarter? 
Well... I've run out of ISBNs, actually, and I will need to buy another block of them before I publish Disciple, Part IV... but I have not set a date yet.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

On sale now: Disciple, Part III

 

On sale now at:
     

More e-retailers

Paperbacks on sale at:     

Put it on your to-read list at Goodreads!

Back cover
Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared.

But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.

She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.

Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her.

As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.


Halfway mark!
Disciple is a six part series, finished and just in need of polishing before publication. I wouldn't leave my readers hanging for years between books. :)

Disciple, Part IV coming in early 2014!

Coming September 15, 2013: 
Fire's First Kiss, the prologue novella for Disciple,
for my Kickstarter supporters!

Friday, August 30, 2013

WILDER MAGE by CD Coffelt

I'm thrilled that my friend CD Coffelt, aka Huntress, is celebrating her first book publication!  Check out Wilder Mage, available now from Musa Publishing...

Back cover
The earthquake wasn’t his fault. Not this time.

Justus Aubre is a wilder. A mage unbound to the Imperium, and therefore a dangerous wild card in their eyes. The Imperium wants him, wants his power, but Justus has hidden for many years and now has some semblance of a normal life. All that’s about to change when Sable Rounds walks through the door of his antique shop, looking for work. Justus instantly knows what Sable is, he just doesn’t know the danger he’s in.

Alone, also on the run from the Imperium, Sable longs for a normal life. For somewhere to belong. She finds this when Justus hires her, but she knows it’s temporary and fragile, an illusion. Though she hates to think about it, she knows that one day she will have to move on.

The Imperium is always behind her, waiting. When they finally find Sable, they find Justus. And all hell’s about to break loose.

Find Wilder Mage at

Bio
CD Coffelt lives outside Maryville, Missouri with a bemused husband and way too many cats. She adores all things fantasy with a special love for urban and epic.

With a passion for good writing and Doritos as companions, locating Middle-Earth on a dusty road in rural Missouri wasn’t difficult. All it took was a little Magic, hours of reading, and an overactive imagination.

You can visit her blog at www.spiritcalled.blogspot.com.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

PRECIPICE by Anthony DeRouen


Welcome to Precipice by Anthony DeRouen! Since I'm all about the world-building, I asked him to talk about the work he put into creating the world of Velyn

Creating the World of Velyn
Precipice, an epic fantasy tale about two sisters driven to retrieve a stolen book of magic before its power can be harnessed for evil.

Anthony DeRouen’s debut novel Precipice offers many intriguing elements to the reader; a dangerous hunt for a book of twisted power, a Lord Marshal leading his massive army against his brethren to the east, thrilling sword battles and clashes of magic, relentless assaults from ruthless pirates, and the discovery a companion from the most unlikely of places - the enemy’s home front.

At the very core of Precipice, however, stands the utter and complete failure of the world’s underpinnings, and the hard choices the protagonists have to make in order to overcome them. Readers are introduced to the world of Velyn through the eyes of Danika Del Ray, a young woman born with a rare gift that allows her to channel healing energies. Beyond her station as a mystical mender of wounds and eviscerator of disease, she holds a military officer’s rank in a country not her birthplace. This is well and good, you see, for the nations of Velyn have enjoyed relative peace for many years.  Trade between provinces runs high, and more importantly the trust between kings and lords is firm.

Underneath that blanket of peace, trouble stirs. Shorelines fall under siege, creatures of nightmare overwhelm strongholds, and the Book of Bel’al goes missing. These dark turn of events thrust Danika and her older sister Kiruna, a strong wizard in her own right, into widespread conflict. Each sister embarks on a path to right the wrongs, but soon find themselves ensnared by the very laws and social mores that kept them safe all these years.

I wanted Velyn to be a living, breathing world. An invisible and all-encompassing force you could touch, hear, and smell.  As the story progresses and the characters develop and change, so does the setting around them. My inspiration for creating Velyn was three-fold: I used elements of the Roman Empire, ancient Egypt and Somalia, Africa. Surprised by the third-element? I was too, in a way. Somalia is a rudderless, volatile, war-torn country most remembered for the 1993 incursion of U.S. Special Forces and resulting Battle of Mogadishu. Rolling back the clock to circa 1980 you receive a different picture. Glittery white sand beaches, palm trees swaying against a gentle breeze, rolling dunes, and lush vegetation. Marka, Somalia transformed my medieval province of Ahnar, which in itself became the heart of Velyn.

Somalia is part of the African continent whereas Ahnar is a solitary island province in the Sea of Tears. In my creation of the outlying provinces The Sovereign States of Sanura were created, followed by Prystan, The Dalzia Floodplains, and the Wyvern’s Tail. Other countries featured on the world map are Stygia, the largest country in Velyn, Xioun, a poisonous wasteland, and the Shadow Isles. These places are landmarks in history where epic battles and powerful magic eviscerated humanity’s grasp, leaving desolation, frost and flame.

Readers who glance over the world map included with the paperback and e-book editions of Precipice may easily overlook the strip of boundary separating Xioun from Kopani. The Ipera Gate draws some resemblance of Terry’s Goodkind’s boundary separating the Old World and New World, and George R.R. Martin’s colossal Wall along the border of the Seven Kingdoms. In truth, the Ipera Gate draws inspiration from Gustave Dore’s illustration of the Gate of Hell, based on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

Erected under the watchful eye of Dhavid Sandslayer, the last Diviner of Velyn, the Ipera Gate stood as humanity’s greatest achievement. A 20-mile wall of stone and basalt rock reaching upwards of a half-mile, impervious to damage and imbued with magic preventing anyone from crossing over. Legends speak of a corridor within the massive fortification, accessible by a key now lost throughout the ages.

I’m certain other authors have found more unique ways of creating worlds. We can’t help but pull real-life elements into our fictional world. It’s something that comes naturally. Sometimes it’s my dream of visiting the Amber Fort in India or Conway Castle in England. Other times it’s my simple adoration for Hawaii. Music also had a part in the creation of Velyn. Han’s Zimmer score for Tears of the Sun invoked images of a majestic landscape unclouded by western civilization under siege by malevolent forces.

The world of Velyn stands as a vision comprised of places I’ve seen and not seen, cultures I’ve encountered or studied, mixed with fantastical elements that could only exist in a world governed by powers we can never fully understand. Thank you for reading.

About the Book
Precipice is an epic fantasy adventure revolving around Danika and Kiruna Del Ray, two sisters born with unique mystical abilities who must retrieve a stolen book of magic before its power can be harnessed for evil. Together, they must battle to overcome an array of obstacles impeding their quarry, arising not just from the enemy, but also from allies who secretly work against them. Precipice is the first thrilling act in the A Show for the Gods series.

Links:
Purchase on Amazon / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Sony
Author website
Social Media: Facebook / Goodreads
Twitter: vixwrite

About the Author
Anthony DeRouen was born and raised in Redwood City, California. Anthony began writing short stories and fan fiction in 2008. He has published one novel and written two others in the A Show for the Gods series: Precipice, Diviner, and End of Dreams.

A growing passion for online role-playing games introduced Anthony to the world of fan fiction where he compiled numerous stories and articles for his fellow guildmates to enjoy.

In 2009 while drafting a fantasy article for a friend’s gaming website he fell love with the concept of a battle healer who defends a country not her own against sinister forces bent on releasing a terrible power. A number of plot lines were developed along with how the world would appear at the height of its economical and political strength in the beginning, and then deteriorate as events unfolded.

When Anthony is not writing, he’s playing MMO’s such as Guild Wars 2 and Everquest 2, or training for obstacle course runs.

Monday, August 19, 2013

LURE OF FOOLS by Jason King

Bob the World Builder 
CAN-WE-BUILD-IT (It being an original and exciting setting for a fantasy book)? YES-WE-CAN!
World Building can be as tricky as it is fun, and the approach can be different for every author. I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but here are five things that have helped me in creating effective settings for my stories.

#1. Your world has to have a layer of familiarity to it
There is a fine balance that an author has to strike between the old and the new, the alien and the familiar. Too familiar and your world is boring and unoriginal. Too weird and it’s a distraction from the story, and a turn off to the reader. So pick an element that will be familiar to your readers and incorporate it into your setting. A great example of this would be Avatar The Last Air bender (the cartoon, not the awful movie). Although the world clearly is fictional, it has a very strong Asian motif. Even their bending moves are derived from real Kung Fu.

#2. Don’t let your setting upstage your story
I like to think of the setting as a stage for a play. It needs to be beautiful and detailed, but you don’t want it to be so flashy and filled with moving parts that it distracts the audience from the performances of the actors. This can happen if you put too much emphasis on your world. This may be fantasy author heresy, but Tolkien had a problem with this in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He often emphasized the details and history of Middle Earth to the detriment of his characters and plot (please don’t send me hate mail, I promise I do love J.R.R.).

#3. Consistency! Consistency! Consistency!
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to lose track of details when you’re writing a novel over a long period of time. Unless it’s your full time gig, it will probably take a while for you to finish your manuscript. This can make it easy to forget details of your world or even your plot. For example: I had a beta reader point out in one of my manuscripts that I kept switching between leagues and miles in measuring distance. Keeping organized and accessible notes is the key to preventing this.              
 
#4. Use maps to map your story
I started world building by making maps. You don’t need to be an expert cartographer to do this. Use a crayon and a napkin if you have to, but it helps to get a visual overview of your setting. And the details of location and topography can inspire new plot lines and help you chart the course of your characters’ journey.

#5.  Let your readers discover your world
Make certain that you weave a certain amount of discovery into your story. Not all characters know everything about the world they live in. Make sure to mark how much a character should know, and be consistent. Sometimes it is helpful for characters to have false ideas about the world. In any case, let the reader discover your world through the eyes of your characters by parceling out information in a way that feels realistic and organic. Avoid info dumps.

I hope these pointers help. Don’t forget to check out my new novel, The Lure of Fools, published by Curiosity Quills Press. Thanks!
 - Jason King

The Lure of Fools

Adventure is the lure of fools, and excitement glamour to the gullible. The siren song of the world is as music to the wanderer’s feet, but that dance leads only to the soul-less grave.” So Jekaran’s uncle has warned him. But that doesn’t stop him from leaping at the exhilarating chance to single-handedly rescue a beautiful woman from a gang of lecherous thieves.

 But the bored farm boy quickly finds that he is no match for the group of angry street thugs, and only escapes death by bonding a magical sword that grants him the strength and skill of a master swordsman. Unfortunately, a peasant wielding such magic is forbidden and punishable by death.

 Thus Jekaran finds himself a fugitive with his fate tied to that of the exotic and mysterious, Kairah; a fey woman who must deliver a dire warning to the king that, if heeded, could prevent the very extinction of humanity.


Find more at Jason King's website

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cover Reveal & Next Big Thing, Part III

Disciple, Part III is my Next Big Thing! I'm thrilled with the cover art -- dark and dangerous, created by Faiz Nabheebucus who was the artist for Disciple, Part I's cover.

What is the working title of your book?
Disciple, Part III is subtitled: "Embers on the Wind."

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When the enemy army thunders at the city walls, Kate must unleash more than her healing powers to defend her homeland.

Disciple, Part III back cover
Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared. 

But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.

She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.

Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her. 

As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Part III grew out of the ways that war is portrayed in fantasy novels. There were aspects of war that I had always wanted to see, in fantasy. The claustrophobia, the uncertainty, the overwhelming mass of suffering -- the view from the front lines, rather than the command pavilion. In keeping with that, I was greatly influenced by Bernard Cornwell's Warlord chronicles and his descriptions of the hand-to-hand fighting in the shield wall.

What genre does your book fall under?
Hard fantasy romance. Despite all the war, there's still a romance going on.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I named some actors for the three main characters in the meme post for Part I and for the three saints in Part II. Since I'm all about the world-building for my stories, let's do some slightly different casting...

Climate and ecology
I grew up in New England, and I'm still homesick for its cold winters, snow, and mild summers. I miss the maple trees turning flame-orange in the fall, the fresh syrup in February, and spotting lady slippers in the woods. Most fantasy stories are loosely based on medieval Europe: mine is based on a medieval New England that never existed -- so that's why my characters are eating potatoes, tapping sugar maples, and worrying about cougars.

Technology level
So far as armor, weapons, and general technology go, Disciple is set in 1250-1300 or thereabouts. Mail armor ("chainmail" to D&Ders) only, bucket-shaped great helms, one-handed swords and kite shields. Clothes are still cut simply, though the fabrics and embellishment can be rich. The town water mill is about the most complicated piece of machinery around.

Enemies
When I was looking for the basis I would use for the Arceal Empire, I knew I wanted a military/political system that had been successful, even brutally so, and stable for some centuries. Rome was an obvious nominee. But when it comes to stability, China is hard to beat. So both of them contributed to the attitudes and costuming of the invading enemy in Disciple.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be self-published -- Part I and Part II are available at all the major online retailers. Part III will go on sale September 1st, 2013.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
According to my notes, 40 days (and 40 nights) for the raw cut and another seventeen days to whip that into a first draft.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Disciple is a six part story, and all six parts have been written. This is the halfway point! Stay tuned for Part IV -- don't know when, yet, but it'll be in the first half of 2014.

Disciple, Part III arrives September 1st, 2013!
Blog tour starts September 1st and runs through the 30th.
Sample Part I • Sample Part II • Sample Part III

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

MASTER OF THE DANCE by TC Southwell


Dance of Death
An extract from Master of the Dance, Book V of The Queen’s Blade series

Blade’s hands tightened on his daggers, and he tensed, his muscles thrumming with energy seeking explosive outlet. An electrical jolt went through him as Ice tapped his feet in the distinctive rhythm of the Dance of Death, beginning the duel. The rigid structure of the Dance did not apply to an armed duel, but many of the moves would be repeated in it, simply because they were so deadly.

Blade moved towards his opponent, the danger heightening his senses. Ice circled, and, from the wary glint in his eyes, Blade knew his words had dented the Cotti’s confidence. He stopped and waited for Ice to attack, since this put the Cotti at a disadvantage. Ice had no choice, however, if he wanted to kill Blade. Ice’s feet clicked as he closed the gap in a whirling leap, his blade-tipped boots lashing out towards Blade’s chest.

Blade swayed back, allowing the razor edges to skim past his vest, then slashed with a dagger, opening a shallow cut in Ice’s arm as the Cotti spun past. Ice landed with a clatter of metal-shod boots, and continued his spin, dropping to slash at Blade’s legs, forcing him to spring into the air. Blade kicked as he leapt, his boot grazing Ice’s cheek and cutting his ear when he jerked aside. As Blade landed, Ice leapt up and stabbed at him. Blade spun away and kicked his opponent, stabbing Ice in the shin. The Cotti grunted and staggered, then leapt high, one leg lashing out. The boot-blade skimmed past Blade’s shoulder as he spun aside, opening a shallow cut.

The assassins’ boots clicked without rhythm as they danced the deadly duel, beating out a chilling tattoo of swift death. The moves were too quick for the eye to follow, a blur of flashing boot-blades and slashing daggers in a continuous dance of graceful, lethal motion.

Ice whipped around, lashing out with boot and hand. His dagger ripped open Blade’s vest and shed bright blood. Blade twisted aside and leapt, reaching the extraordinary height that made him such an excellent dancer, along with his peerless speed. His rising boot punched into Ice’s chest, stabbing upwards into the pad of muscle. Ice grunted and recoiled, then lunged as Blade landed, aiming for his belly. Blade threw himself backwards to avoid the thrust, kicked upwards as he did so and stabbed Ice in the thigh.

The Cotti growled, becoming frenzied in his pain and fury. Blade rolled away as Ice stabbed at him. The dagger skimmed his ribs and opened another gash. Blade slashed at Ice’s neck as he rolled to his feet, but the Cotti flung himself sideways in the nick of time. Blade followed, whipped around and leapt, becoming a spinning dervish tipped with steel. Ice sprang away, but received another cut across his chest, then he lunged in as Blade landed, stabbing at his neck.

Blade threw up an arm, his only option, and the dagger impaled his forearm to the hilt. He grunted and wrenched free, blood oozing from the wound and his hand losing its strength. Ice grinned and lunged again, but Blade jumped back and leapt, raising his stiffened legs in the foot-crossing move he had invented, but had never tried in combat. His feet clashed in a shower of sparks, and his rising boot-blade impaled Ice’s cheek.

The Cotti assassin screamed and jumped back, dropping an instant before Blade’s boot-blade would have pierced his gut as Blade landed on one leg and lashed out with the other. As Ice dropped, he stabbed upwards, driving a dagger into Blade’s thigh. The Jashimari assassin jerked his leg down, hitting Ice on the side of the head with his heel. Ice fell, then rolled away as Blade went after him, regaining his feet an instant before Blade kicked him again, stabbing him in the calf.

Both fighters dripped blood, their vests soaked with it. Crimson trickles ran down their legs and arms, and Ice’s neck. Most of the duels fought before the Dance was banned ended when one fighter died from blood loss, and sometimes the victor succumbed too. No combat was more vicious, fast and bloody than a duel between assassins. There was no respite, no moment of inaction when they could catch their breath. From the moment the duel started, the men were a whirling blur of flashing blades until one died.

Their feet clattered and their gasping breaths rasped in the silent chamber. They gleamed with sweat and blood. As yet neither had slowed one iota, and the speed of the fight made it difficult to follow. Blade floated sideways, using the quick, foot-crossing move that looked so graceful in the Dance but had other, sinister origins. He kicked out as his opponent lunged at him, then spun away when Ice whipped around and tried to stab him in the back. His move brought him closer to the Cotti, and he slashed with both daggers, inflicting wounds in Ice’s arm and chest before he sprang away.

Ice followed, leapt high and kicked with a flashing boot-blade, stabbing Blade in the biceps of his injured arm. He spun away, using his momentum to whip around as he leapt. His boot-blade slashed across Ice’s arm, severing the muscle. Ice staggered back with a growl, his eyes widening at the sight of the blood pouring from his arm. Blade followed, his mind as cold and clear as frozen crystal, his need to survive blocking the pain of his injuries.

Master of the Dance
Captured and condemned, the Queen’s Blade is forced to face his fate and fight a deadly duel with a Master of the Dance to survive. More treacherous Cotti princes must die and the Regent’s life is in danger. Blade’s legendary skills are tested to the extreme and his web of lies and deceit is challenged, but nothing touches the frozen heart and icy mind of a killer whose heart died long ago.

Learn more at TC Southwell's blog
The Queen’s Blade II, Sacrifice 
free on a 3-day promotion, 6 – 8 August
Coupon Code: EN88H

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: the goodies!

As promised to the readers of Disciple, I've created three more portrait cards. These are for the kingdom's three saints: Woden, Aleksandr, and Qadeem.


(Cards for Kate, Kiefan and Anders are here.)

Sample of the saints' magic from Disciple, Part III
(Saint Aleksandr has been talking about shape-shifting, and now needs to take his leave.)

We stepped out into the gatehouse yard, under a pleasantly warm sun. “It’s easiest to become something of similar size. A large cougar. A small bear. A truly enormous dog, at times.” He pulled off his cote as he spoke and handed it to Anders. The saint was a big, barrel-chested man as most Russe were, and his dark hair was sprinkled with grey. “I’ve managed a horse, now and then — something of a pony, though. A wild boar, now that’s a good form. Quick, powerful. But this is my favorite, I must confess.”

Saint Aleks dropped his braies too, but my eyes were on his arms as he spread them; I had glimpsed this once before and didn’t want to miss a moment. Fat white quills rose through his skin as his fingers lengthened, and when the quills stabbed out two hands’-widths they unfurled into brown-and-cream barred feathers. Row by row, they broadened, shivered into lapped layers, and a sparkling green haze of kir wisped between each.

In the rukh’s face, there was still a trace of him, despite the hooked black beak and the staring, golden eyes. He rose on his hind legs — and legs they were, like a cat’s hindquarters, complete with near-human hands bigger than my own and retractable black talons — and stepped off his puddled clothing. He crouched again, and was still a good five feet tall. Saint Aleks winked.

With a cat’s powerful leap, the rukh launched over our heads and threw out wings that blocked the sun. I glimpsed a barred tail as my eyes winced shut against the sudden wind, and felt the thrust of kir that helped hoist the massive raptor into the air. A few pumps of his wings and he cleared the castle wall, coasted a moment and soared on an updraft to circle northward.

Credit to the artist
I want to point everyone toward the artist's page at deviantART, because she did such a great job and I love her work: S. Gina Shellie. I have one more character portrait that she did for me! That one will have to wait for Disciple, Part IV, though. ;)

More goodies to come...
Look over in the sidebar and you'll see the brand new Disciple, Part III sample page! The war has arrived, so it's a chunk of action from the early part of the siege. There will be samples of the romantic side of the story coming too.

Sadly, the cover art for Part III isn't ready yet. Watch this space, though. I've been getting updates from the artist and it's getting there.

Raffle winners picked tomorrow!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: LYON'S LEGACY by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Welcome to Lyon's Legacy by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan! We wanted to write a character interview, for this post, and thought it would be fun if our characters had a chance to interview each other. So my flirty, bad-boy knight, Anders, met her quiet, reserved scientist, Joanna, at her laboratory for a chat...

After brief introductions, Joanna asks what it means to be "Blessed by Saint Woden."

Anders: Saint Woden saw the makings of a knight in me, on my Blessing-day, and gave me a knight's gifts: anticipation, to know where the enemy's sword will go, and speed to beat him there. As I'm of Woden's bloodline, there was little surprise that he took me for a disciple. (tips his head, considering Joanna) You know what it means for your blood to be the bridle they fit you with, it would seem? How have you fought the bit?

Joanna: (consults her handheld to figure out what a bridle and bit are.) I refused to become a musician the way my uncle wanted me to. Instead, I studied science. If you weren't a knight, what would you rather be?

Anders: What else is there to be, aside from what the saints ask? They defend their disciples, and in turn we defend them. It's true I've wished I could ride to some small barony and take post as a simple garrison knight --  (drifts a bit closer, curious about the vat-grown kidney on the workbench beside her.) You're a physician? Of some sort. (a smile) What does that require of you?

Joanna: (sighs) It requires more education and credits than I have. But I will get my doctorate, no matter how long it takes. What's your biggest accomplishment so far, and what do you want to do with your life?

Anders: (adding a twist to his smile) I'm the first to win the jousting tournament for three years running, and then... (his smile fades down to a pinched mouth) No, not that. I married. Better than I had any business to. It made my mother happy, and it (a determined frown) proved her husband wrong about me. I mean to prove them all wrong. I'll do right by Kate, and be a good father to her baby. What would you prove yours wrong about?

Joanna: My uncle thinks I'm meant to be a great musician because my great-grandfather was one, but I hate performing. Why would people think you can't be a good husband and father?

Anders: They see only what they wish -- the king's bastard, whose existence torments the poor queen, who fucks every girl to cross his path -- (turns away, angry, but offers Joanna a polite bow) Your pardon, m'lady. It's little to do with you. Or me, in truth. (he pauses for a moment) You've no love of music, then? This quiet life is what you wish? (he looks around the lab, the softly whirring machines) Where do you find your... pleasures?

Joanna: I don't care about f-bombs; I drop them all the time myself. But pleasures? Fun? (returns to work for a few minutes) I visit my sick mother every two weeks, but that's hardly a barrel of laughs. And my last boyfriend--how long ago was that?--he only wanted me for one thing....

Anders: (leans against the bench again, within arm's reach of Joanna, and gives her a moment to finish but she doesn't) Whereas you would be wanted for your wisdom, for your skills. What manner of drink would you meet a friend for? If your... (with a glance at the organs in their vats) odd pets give you leave to go.

Joanna: Well, Anders, it's not every day I get to chat with a knight in shining armor, but my handheld's telling me my supervisor is headed this way, and I don't think she'd appreciate having you here. Take care of that family of yours. (sigh) And maybe someday I'll meet my knight in a nice white lab coat.

Anders lingers for a moment, frowning as he puzzles through the odd brush-off, but then heads off to see if the supervisor would be interested in a drink...

Lyon's Legacy back cover
Sometimes being a geneticist isn’t enough to understand your family....

When Joanna Lyon, a scientist in training, learns her rich uncle plans to have their rock legend ancestor, Sean Lyon, cloned, she’s disgusted. Uncle Jack pushed her into music when she was younger, and she hated it. So it’s particularly galling that he wants her to travel through a wormhole to an alternate universe and sample Sean’s DNA. She only agrees to go so she can secretly sabotage the project. But meeting Sean forces her to re-examine her feelings about her family, including her estranged father. Can she protect the unborn clone from her uncle, and will she have to sacrifice her career and new-found love to do so?

Available as an ebook from Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords; in paperback from Createspace and Amazon; and as an audiobook from Amazon.
Sandra Ulbrich Almazan can be found online at her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: SPI-CORP SERIES by Margaret Taylor

Welcome to Margaret Taylor and her science-fiction romance books in the Spi-Corp Series! For BBF, I'm interviewing EJ McPherson, Princess Tecka to the Royal House of Mutarians, one of the recurring characters in the Spi-Corp Series. She's originally from Earth, but she has gotten deep into alien politics and protecting her sector of space from the Corps.

What was the most surprising thing about traveling in space?
Wow. That’s an interesting question. I suppose it’s the amount of time it takes to get anywhere. It’s not like that show back in the day…oh, what was it called, Star Flight or something like that? The one where they zip about with the warp thingy’s? Well, out here we don’t have that. We have shipping lanes which will enhance your speed, but it still can take trade standard weeks or even months to get some place.

How did you earn your place among the Mutarians?
Oh now that’s a long and complicated story, but the general gist of it? I saved the King’s life way back when. Mutarians value females higher than anything else, they believe that the worth of a female is the greatest commodity and must be protected at all times.

And I guess because I was willing to sacrifice myself for the King, he felt I should be honored for it. He bought me from my owner, Orane and made me an honorary member of his family. I became the Princess when he died and my father took over the Royal House.

Is there anything you're homesick for?
(laughs) Budweiser! I miss that beer and I’ve managed to recreate an equivalent out here in the stars, but it’s not quite the same.

How do you keep Sector 12 safe (just in general)?
Oh that’s so not easy. With Spi-Corp on one side, Dar-Corp on the other, the Jaikalor’s and The Thallanuzians always wanting a piece of us, it’s hard to keep them all at bay. Any one of the groups would love to have us declare fealty but we’ve managed to stay neutral.

And that’s usually only because I don’t get caught being involved. I’m very good at being discrete, so there ya go.

But, if they were to declare all-out war, our military could handle it. With ships like The Forrestal, CORA and KELL in our arsenal plus The Midway and half a dozen other Planet Crushers, I’m sure we could hold our own and that’s one of the reasons no one’s ever really tried to take us on. They know we’re strong and not afraid to use it if they make us.

What sorts of things would get you in enough trouble with Spi-Corp or Dar-Corp to start a war?
Wow. Just about everything I do could get us in trouble. If Spi-Corp or Dar-Corp knew I was a part of the group that helps smuggle Human women back to Earth that would be enough. If any of them knew how much I helped everyone else solve their problems that would do it too.

But my biggest worry is the Jaikalor’s. I have no clue what’s behind their borders, what technology they have or what their military is like. They are the worst of the worst and quite frankly, scare me just a little bit. Sector 12 is close enough to them that they could be on us before we knew it and we’d be put on the defensive. I don’t like being on the defensive, if you must know, so I’m always very careful to keep my involvement with the Universe as a whole a tightly guarded secret!

Book 1 - A First Love Never Dies
Sheriff Jake Reeves never thought the nerdy girl he and his cronies picked on in High School would someday become a star ship captain capable of holding her own in just about any situation. But when he meets up with Janel again at their 20 year reunion, that's exactly what he finds! Gone is the nerdy little mouse that never fought back. In it's place, is a rough and tumble, no holds barred, drop-dead gorgeous woman who he's going to have one hell of a time not falling in love with…

A First Love Never Dies is available at Amazon
Book 2 - Saving His Love coming soon!
More info about Margaret Taylor and the Spi-Corp Series at

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: MAKAI QUEEN by Tara Fairfield

Welcome to Tara Fairfield and her deep-sea YA novel, Makai Queen! And welcome to the new queen of Moku-ola, Tessa!

First of all, let me congratulate you on your recent crowning! How does it feel to be a queen?
Amazing and terrifying! It’s still a little hard for me to accept, I mean…a few weeks ago I couldn’t figure out what to have for lunch and now, I’m ruler of the seas. The people of Moku-ola have been so good to me, and with my new ability to talk with all life below the ocean I’ve made so many new friends. Things would almost be perfect if only my boyfriends’ brother wasn’t a crazed lunatic who controlled the sharks and seems determined to destroy us. Oh, I’m gonna figure out how to reach him, but until then I can’t let anyone else I care about  get attacked by his sharks. Been there….done that, not fun.

What is your biggest challenge living under the sea?
At first, I had a little trouble adjusting to breathing under water, not that it was hard to do, it just kinda messes with your head. I knew I could do it, but my brain kept wanting to take a breath.

So, romance is blooming with you and Kupua, what’s he really like?
Kupua’s great. He’s kind, supportive and respects my decisions and choices, and who could resist those dimples! Something most people don’t know is he has a secret soft spot for sea turtles and sometimes, when he thinks no one is looking, he sneaks yummy sponges and mollusks into his pocket to give to his friend Ka, a sea turtle who follows him around. He’s always thinking of others, I love that about him.

What’s been your favorite thing about discovering Moku-ola?
Hmmm…that’s hard because everything is so awesome. If I had to choose one thing, it would have to be my friendship with Lizzy, the sea lion who is now my ambassador. Lizzy is the most loyal friend a queen could ask for, and she loves to play. When I’m feeling down or missing the surface, Lizzy knows just what to do to make me laugh.

Anything else you want everyone to know?
Never give up hope or stop following your dreams! The Creator has a plan for your life and it is amazing!

Makai Queen back cover
Off the coast of Lanai, far beyond the sailboats, there is a hidden world beneath the beryl-blue sea, the marvelous kingdom of Moku-ola, a place where man and beast live in harmony.  Unknown and forbidden to those living above the surface, it has never been discovered....until now.

Tessa, a curious teenager with a taste for adventure roams the sandy beaches of Lanai. Feeling lost and hurt she longs for meaning and a place in this world. By chance, Tessa encounters a mysterious man who appears to be drowning. The attempted rescue puts her own life in danger as she is abducted and dragged out to sea.

Far beneath the oceans surface, Tessa is brought to the frightening and wondrous land of Moku-ola. As the dangers of this world threaten her very survival, Tessa must overcome the barriers of self-doubt to discover the keys to her royal destiny.

Find out more about Makai Queen and Tara Fairfield
Available at Amazon

Check out L's marked-down books and the raffle!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blogger Book Fair: JANUARY BLACK by Wendy Russo

Welcome to Wendy Russo and her forthcoming novel January Black!

Sample of January Black
“I looked over your last test today,” the king said, now leading the group.

The Regents’ School expelled Matty that afternoon from its elite King’s Class. The infraction itself was insignificant. However, he had been admitted to the class on a probationary basis, and only because the king arranged his admission on behalf of the commandant. Matty’s latest test answers were the last of a long line of subtle “subversions” that his instructors would tolerate, his father be damned.

After a long pause, the king continued, “I found your answer to question six interesting.”

“Interesting, sir?”

“Very.” The king turned to descend a sweeping staircase. “Unless you would rather have me believe that you were doodling.”

“No, sir.”

“Please explain.”

Matty was already in trouble. There was little use in holding back now. “The instructor is boring and the section is a joke.”

“And?” the king prompted him for more.

“He expects his answers, not correct ones.”

The king spun around at the bottom of the stairs, blocking Matty’s path. He crossed his arms. “You drew the atomic model for magnesium.”

“Yes, sir.” Matty said, meeting the king’s eyes as he stopped on the lowest stair. They were brown.

“It was a civics test,” the king said before walking away. Matty followed. “The question regarded the Assembly.” Downstairs resembled upstairs, except for a burnt orange wall in what Matty assumed was a sitting room. “Explain.”

“Twelve.” Matty looked around for something in the king’s home that would belong in the palace. He found nothing. “Twelve protons, twelve electrons, twelve prime regents.”

“So, the fact that magnesium is sour and highly combustible, that’s just a coincidence?”

While admiring the gleaming steel kitchen, Matty walked right into a wall. “Shit!” he cried out while grabbing his hurt shoulder. His heart stopped and splashed down in his stomach. He wondered if he blurted that as loudly as he thought.

The king’s reply was careless. “I do that all the time.”

“Really?” Matty asked. The desire to hide in a closet grew stronger by the moment as the king’s guardians tried not to laugh.

The king nodded but said, “No.”

January Black back cover
Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king’s bluff.

Find Wendy Russo and January Black at:
 Amazon | Blog |  Facebook |  G+  | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Twitter

Check out L's marked-down books and the raffle!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blogger Book Fair starts Monday!

99 cents!
Both Disciple, Part I and Part II are on sale during the Blogger Book Fair, July 22 - 26, 2013! Only 99 cents! Retailer list here.

More samples here

Goodies!
Watch this space for the three saints' portrait cards. These go with the cards for Kate, Kiefan and Anders on the goodies page.

The Part III sample page will make its debut.

AND look for the cover to Part III -- will it be ready before BBF ends? My artist suffered a computer meltdown, but he's making progress. The suspense is killing me... :)

Raffle!
Or you can win an ebook copy of both Part I and Part II! Winner chosen July 27, 2013. That will give you plenty of time to read both parts before...

Disciple, Part III
goes on sale 
September 1, 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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