DISCIPLE continues...

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

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... :)

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Disciple, Part III

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.

September 1, 2013

More information to come in special posts:
Book Blog Fair (July 22 - 26) • Next Big Thing
Cover Reveal • Sample
and also
Portrait cards for the saints of Wodenberg
(did you see the cards for Kate, Kiefan and Anders?)

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