DISCIPLE continues...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HAWKS & RAMS on sale now!

Hawks & Rams 
by L. Blankenship
a m/m fantasy romance novella
ON SALE NOW! 
from Dreamspinner Press

Back Cover
Heathric Felahóf never wanted to be a thief, but his cousinʼs scheme is the only option to keep the town's children from being taken as slaves to cover the year's taxes. So a few men slip over the border into the neighboring kingdom, steal a flock of sheep, and escape before the magically gifted Rangers learn of them. The second time, they're not so lucky, and trouble follows the bandits home.

Adal Sperling has given up on finding a lover who truly wants him. One of the Rangers charged with protecting his people, he pursues the sheep thieves over the border and stumbles across Heathric, a gentle shepherd who only wants to take care of his family. But opposite sides of border incursions is a rough way to fall in love, and the laws of Adalʼs kingdom are clear: the border must remain closed to Heathricʼs people.

New goodies!
There's a map in the ebook, but chances are you're reading on a small screen and can barely see it. Here's a copy that you can embiggen and study at your leisure.

Readers of Disciple: this story takes place in a small stretch of the borderlands between Wodenberg and Suevia, about 50 years before the events in Disciple.

I also have a habit of including a character index in my self-published ebooks -- Disciple has a pretty big cast of characters, so it made sense. Hawks & Rams is much smaller, but my editor at Dreamspinner suggested an index and some pronunciation help. Here it is on Google Drive.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

TREASURES RETOLD: THE STEPMOTHER by Katharina Gerlach

Fairy tales are survivors. They've survived bowdlerizing and Disneyfication, they've been reinvented as urban fantasy and darkened into the nastiest of horrors. After all that, they still have the power to draw new writers to retool them for new readers... Katharina kindly answered some questions I had about the process.

Are you retelling these fairy tales in the same world, or in different ones?
They are all set in the same world. It is an environment where magic and science battle. Most of the time, magic loses, so there's less and less magic in the world. The kingdoms of that world are very differently developed. Some don't have much magic left at all while others have much more magic. This gives me the room to write anything from more traditional tales of magic and curses to stories with steampunkt settings.

Did you tailor the world to fit the story's needs, or vice versa? How?
The world grew as I wrote it. The first story I wrote in this series held many steampunk elements, and I loved it. Then, I began to ask myself, “How did it get like that?” That was the way the second and third story came into existence. I wrote the fourth because I wanted to handle my mother's favorite fairy tale.

Tell us about an aspect of the world that was just for the fun of it.
In the retelling of “The Beauty and the Beast” (due spring 2015), I used roses made from rubies. In the original tale, the rose is the reason Belle has to go to the Beast's castle, so I thought it a nice touch to have them show up in the retelling too. But then, they morphed into something more (you'll need to read the tale to find out). In “The Stepmother”, I couldn't resist bringing up secret passages (I love those). At first, they were only meant to be an easy way to get the siblings together, but then, they became a hiding place for something important... I think what I'm trying to say is that even if I create something “for fun” it always ends up becoming more or less important.

What's the next project that you have in the works?
I'm currently revising and translating the fourth novel in this series, a retelling of “The Hut in the Woods” by the Brothers Grimm. That's a lesser known story, and my mother's favorite. At the same time, I'm preparing my non-linear fantasy mystery for publication (but it's a long process), and plan the next novel I'm dying to write (well, not like dead dying... you know what I mean).
Somehow, each day could do with a couple more hours for me...

Back cover
Even with her powers as a witch, Isabel cannot find a trace of her stepchildren. Desperate, she crosses the Old Forest, filled with as much malignant as benevolent magic, to reach the distant mountain kingdom she left as a young girl when her magical powers manifested. She soon realizes that a sinister creature holds the unsuspecting kingdom in thrall. It will take all she's able to give to save her children and the kingdom she once loved. 

An imaginative retelling of “Little Brother, Little Sister” by the Brothers Grimm. What if they painted a wrong portrait of the stepmother?

About Katharina
Born and raised German with a generous helping of an adopted Scottish heritage, Katharina started writing at age seven (although she didn't get serious until much later) when the tomboy adventures she lived in her father's forest weren't enough for her imagination any more.

Writing about balloon people, flying hearts, giant spiders, and more was her lifeline to sanity and Real Life™ all through her education. After finishing with a PhD in science, marriage and the start of a beloved but distracting family, she returned to her life-long vocation.

These days, Katharina lives for stolen moments of writing happiness in two languages while juggling her husband, two girls in puberty, a fledgling daughter that just left the house, a dog, and … laundry.


Find her online: Homepage, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE MERATIS TRILOGY by Krista Walsh


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

Week 17: Meratis Trilogy
Book One: Evensong
By Krista Walsh


Author Jeff Powell wakes up to find the impossible has happened. He is within his own novel—summoned into the fictional world of Feldall’s Keep by a spell he didn’t write. One the House enchantress hasn’t figured out how to reverse.

When the villain he’s been struggling to write reveals himself, unleashing waves of terror and chaos, Jeff must use more than his imagination to save the characters he created—and the woman he loves.

Trapped within a world of his own creation, he must step outside the bounds of his narrative to help his characters defeat an evil no one anticipated, even if he must sacrifice his greatest gift. In the end, he has to ask: are novels really fiction, or windows into other worlds?

Buy it from: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes
Or add it to Goodreads





ABOUT KRISTA WALSH
Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, the serial collection Greylands. When not writing, or working at her day job, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film – anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Find Krista online: Website  Facebook  Twitter



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Monday, December 8, 2014

DISCIPLE, by L. Blankenship :)


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

Week 16: The Disciple Series by L. Blankenship


War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Disciple is a six-part gritty fantasy romance by L. Blankenship. Part I through Part IV are on sale now at all major retailers

Download PART I for free! 
FREE at AmazonSmashwordsB&N AllRomance

Disciple, Part V is on sale now



Look for the final volume, Part VI, in 2015!

EXCERPT:

“You couldn’t sleep either?”

At the whisper, I looked up from struggling to lace my boots with trembling hands. My master stepped into my dormitory room, adding his lamp’s light to my candle.

“Why must I dress as a boy?” I whispered back. Perhaps I was not so buxom, but I doubted I’d fool anyone. “This makes little sense.”

“Patience.” Master Parselev placed his lamp on my writing-table and checked my packed bags. “They’re gathering at the chapel already. None of us got much sleep, it seems.”

The straw mattress creaked when I stood, boots laced and the woolen hose sagging between my thighs. I ran my fingers around my waist, under my layered cotes, to check the drawstring. “Are these right, Master?” I’d strung the hose and braies together as best I could guess and as memory was my Blessing I had no excuse for failing. Men’s underthings weren’t much concern to me — if I saw such, or more, it was while the man lay bleeding on the surgery table.

“If they stay up, it’s right. Good. This too.” He slung a heavy felt cloak across my shoulders and pinned it on. The hood buried my face in shadows; my blonde braid, even wrapped around my head, would give me away.

I asked, “Master, this journey will be long, won’t it?” Parselev had given me more clothes than I’d ever owned to pack in those bags. All heavy winter woolens, too. “Shouldn’t you go, then?”

He looked down at me, mouth quirking to one side. Master was a greybeard, said to be over a hundred years old, but his kir kept his eyes bright and his face lightly creased. I had only been his apprentice two years. Surely I could not be ready for this.

“It must be you, Kate,” was all he said. He carried one of my bags, and I took the other.

Wreathed in breath-clouds, we crossed the Order’s campus. Low on the horizon, the slim, waxing crescent of the Shepherd hung golden, all seven of his Flock scattered in the sky behind him. He gave the only hint that dawn was coming. The cloak kept me marvelously warm, even in the chilly breeze. No frost this morning, not yet, but it was only a few weeks off.

Master un-bolted the side gate and led me to the door of the Grand Chapel. Horses waited on the grass, many horses chewing at their bits and shaking their heads, most of them with knights in the saddles. The knights’ black tabards, worn over suits of mail, had a white horse embroidered on the right shoulder and two gold stars on the left, marking them knights and Prince’s Guard as well. Kite shields and bucket helms hung on their saddles, in easy reach.

Several of the horses stood with empty saddles, collectively held by a couple of pageboys, and that gave me pause. I’d never been on a horse; I was only a peasant girl. But it could not be so awful, I told myself, so I gripped my cloak a little tighter and followed Master Parselev inside.

My new boots rang too loudly in the empty chapel, and when I slowed to lighten my step I fell behind. Only one lamp burned on the high table before the icons, and its light was mostly blocked by those gathered below the two steps. Faces were cast in shadow as they turned toward us — all looming in the dim light, some cloaked like me, others not — and I knew none of them. I kept my head down as I joined my master before them, glad the hood hid my face.

“Not ready, Elect?” one asked, his voice low but strong. “Who’s this?”

“My apprentice will safeguard the travelers,” my master answered. “She has —”

“What?” The man stepped closer, his shoulders blocking out the light.

“Majesty, she’s my finest student.” Parselev put up a hand when the stranger reached for my hood.

My knees trembled as the word echoed in my head. Majesty. I stood before the king of Wodenberg. Wobbling a bit, I dropped to one knee in obeisance, fist pressed to my heart. The king yanked off my hood while I stared at the flagstone floor, pulse pounding.

“This girl?” the king demanded. “You trust a mere disciple with this mission?”



ABOUT L. BLANKENSHIP
L. Blankenship started writing animal stories as a kid and it's just gotten completely out of hand since then. Now she's out publishing her gritty fantasy and hard science fiction adventures. L grew up in New Hampshire but currently lives near Washington, DC.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

THE DECEMBER PEOPLE by Sharon Bayliss


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

Week 15: The December People series
Book 1: Destruction
Book 2: Watch Me Burn
By Sharon Bayliss



Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.
BUY NOW--99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!

An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!

A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.



David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.


Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)



Cover Reveal!!
Watch Me Burn
The December People Series 
Book Two

David Vandergraff lost his home, his job, and contact with his oldest son, but remains determined to be a good husband and father despite being a dark winter wizard.

His resolve is tested when a flyer for a missing girl--who happens to be a summer witch--begins to haunt him. David believes a spell needs to use him to save her, so he follows the magic's command and looks into her disappearance. His teenage daughter Emmy resents him for caring so much about a random stranger. But when she uncovers some disturbing evidence close to home, she begins an investigation of her own.

David and Emmy quickly learn that the mystery is not only about a missing girl they barely know, but a deeply personal story that impacts everyone they care about. As their world crumbles, they fear the warning may be true—never mess with summer wizards, because the good guys always win.

Coming January 2015 from Curiosity Quills Press!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.


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Sunday, November 30, 2014

BEGGAR MAGIC by H.L. Burke

Beggar Magic
A New Young Adult Fantasy from author H. L. Burke!
available December 9th, 2014

In Gelia City, magic is music: a constant ever-changing melody known as the Strains. Hereditary ability to use the Strains divides the city into two classes: the wealthy Highmost, who can access the full potential of the Strains, and the Common tradesmen, who are limited to mundane spells, known as beggar magic.

With the help of the Strains, Common teen Leilani rescues and befriends a gifted Highmost girl, Zebedy. The girls’ friendship opens Leilani’s eyes to the world of the Highmost. She’s intrigued by Zeb’s close relationship with the Strains, and longs to know them as she does. Zeb, in turn, comes to depend on Leilani’s strength and intelligence, making them an inseparable team, ready to take on anything with the Strains at their back.

As their unlikely friendship strengthens and endures, Zeb draws Leilani further into the Highmosts’ intrigues. Beneath the polished, academic facade of the Highmost manors lurks a threat to the Strains. An unknown force consumes their music, leaving only heart-rending silence behind.

Leilani and Zeb will do anything to save their beloved Strains, but as the silence grows, they face danger their previously sheltered lives could never prepare them for. Whoever is behind the death of the Strains is willing to kill to keep their secret safe. To preserve the Strains, the girls may have to sacrifice their friendship, or even their lives.

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Excerpt From Beggar Magic
From Chapter Two: Common girl Leilani is far from home, having stumbled upon lost Highmost girl, Zebedy, and gone out of the way to see her safely back to her boarding school. Leilani prepares to spend the night wrapped in the luxuries of the Highmost world.

Zebedy stopped by a door, identical to the others except for the number “9” carved into the top panel. She put her hand to the latch and pushed it open. Orange firelight surrounded them, and Leilani inhaled the comforting smell of woodsmoke. They stepped inside, and Zeb closed the door behind them.

“This is your room?” Leilani asked. She swallowed uncomfortably. Her entire family shared a living space not much bigger than this over her father’s shop. A great bed covered in fluffy looking quilts and four puffy pillows stood against the wall across from the fire. Along the wall opposite the door, a desk rested in the moonlight. Leilani’s feet sank into a thick rug. Someone had set up a cot in the middle of the floor, near enough to the fire to be bathed in light, but far enough away to be out of the reach of sparks.

Zeb crossed over and touched the wick of a lantern with her fingertips, setting it alight with the Strains. She replaced the glass shade over the flickering flame and turned up the wick so that the light fell over the desk.

Leilani watched in amazement. It seemed Zeb didn't even need to speak to the Strains to get them to do her bidding. They anticipated her desires. Could they read her thoughts? Was her connection to them that strong? What was it like to be Highmost?

Leilani cast her eyes from one luxury to another, letting out a long breath. Finally her eyes settled on the wooden bookshelf. She knelt in awe before this abundance of volumes and scanned the embossed titles.

“Do these books belong to Mistress Clavia?” she asked, concerned that the Mistress would entrust such treasures to the girl who had lost her shoe in the woods that day.

“Oh, no, all Mistress’s books are in the library downstairs. These are just the ones I brought from home, about the Strains mostly, though some are my favorite novels.”

“Novels?” Leilani exhaled. Mrs. Weaver had seen to it that all her children could read both Rynaran and Gelian, but books were considered too precious for children. Their family owned two: an ancient tome of Rynaran homeopathic medicine, which had seen their family through many bouts of fever and flu, and the Sanctified Texts, a collection of spiritual works the Sanctified Brothers liked to distribute, even to the poorest families. Leilani had read them both multiple times, though the spines spanned from her little finger to her thumb.

“Yes, novels.” Zeb sat beside Leilani with her legs crossed beneath her. She eased one of the thinner volumes off the shelf. “This is my absolute favorite: The Venture of Sir Marcel. It has a dragon and a Highmost who sings the dragon into submission and flies him to rescue a princess. There are some ‘kissy bits’ at the end, but the best parts are all the fighting and flying and magic. Have you read it?”

“No.”

“You should. Here, you can borrow it.” Zeb held the book out to Leilani who instinctively drew back.

She stared at the red leather cover with fancy golden letters proclaiming the title and author. What did such a book cost?

Zeb’s face fell and her freckled nose reddened. “I'm sorry. Do you not like to read?”

“No, it's just . . . if I borrow it, how will I get it back to you?” Leilani dropped her eyes, unwilling to admit that taking responsibility for something as wonderful as that book frightened her.

“I visit my parents once a month in the city. Maybe you can come visit me then.” Zeb pushed the novel at her. “Besides, I know the story front to back. I don’t suppose I will need to read it again. Maybe when I'm old. Old people can be forgetful, and I would hate to forget how to sing to a dragon with the Strains.”

This knowledge, while amusing, didn’t strike Leilani as particularly useful, dragons being fictional, but she relented and took the book.

Zeb meandered across the room and sat upon the bed. She gazed at Leilani, opened her mouth, shut it again, then averted her eyes.

Leilani frowned. “What?”

Zeb cleared her throat. “There's a question I like to ask people, but . . . I've never asked a Common person before, and I don't want you to take it the wrong way. I promise I ask everybody. Well, everybody I like, anyway.”

Leilani narrowed her eyes. “What is it?”

“What do the Strains sound like to you?”

Leilani bit the inside of her bottom lip. “You ask everybody that? It seems kind of personal.”

“I just like to know. Everyone I've ever asked hears them a little differently. My parents, for instance, Father says they sound like a man's voice, and they are very stern at times, never musical, but Mother, they talk to her like a child and giggle and sing all the time. Do Common people talk about them?”

Leilani nodded. “Sometimes. We don't hear them alike either. I mean, often they have the same mood, like if the Strains sound happy to me, they probably sound happy to everyone else in the room too.”

“I've noticed that! I think they talk to each other.”

“They don't have a constant sound to me. I guess that's kind of odd. My other family members talk about whistling or flutes or birdsong even, but it's consistent for them. For me, it changes moment to moment. Sometimes they are instruments, other times voices, never with words, but just sort of humming.”

Zeb's face lit up. “That's kind of like me! I mean, most Highmost I've talked to hear only one voice, but I swear I sometimes hear five or six all talking together.”

Leilani reached up and pulled a few hairpins out of her bun, freeing her hair. “Have they ever told you what they are?”

Zeb's brow furrowed.

Leilani cleared her throat. “I mean . . . the Sanctified Texts say they are messengers from the Maker, you know, sent to guide and protect us, but sometimes . . . I can always hear the Strains, but sometimes they don't seem to hear me.”

Zeb lowered her eyes. “No, they always hear me.”

“Forget it.” Leilani turned away. What had possessed her to compare her Strains experience with a Highmost? Of course Zeb never felt like the Strains couldn't hear her.

“They don't like to talk about what they are, exactly,” Zeb said. “It's frustrating how they dodge questions sometimes, but I can tell when they like people, and they really seem to like you.”

Leilani whirled around and eyed the other girl, half thinking Zeb was making fun of her. However, Zeb's eyes looked sincere, apologetic even.

“I didn't mean to . . . I mean, I've never had a Common friend before. We don't have to talk about the Strains anymore, if you don't want to.”

“It's fine. I'm tired, though.” Leilani rubbed at her eyes, which itched and watered. Her gaze fell longingly onto the cot. The skin of her forehead tightened. It had been an impossible day, in both length and content. The Strains hummed in what could almost be considered a lullaby.

Monday, November 24, 2014

THE BOUND TRILOGY by Kate Sparkes


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

Week 14: The Bound Trilogy
Book One: Bound
By Kate Sparkes


Welcome to Darmid, where magic is a sin, fairy tales are contraband, and the people live in fear of the Sorcerers on the other side of the mountains.

Rowan Greenwood has everything she's supposed to want from life—a good family, a bright future, and a proposal from a handsome and wealthy magic hunter. She knows she should be content with what she has. If only she could banish the idea that there's more to life than marriage and children, or let go of the fascination with magic she's been forced to suppress since childhood.

When Rowan unknowingly saves the life of one of her people’s most feared enemies, that simple act of compassion rips her from her sheltered life and throws her into a world of magic that’s more beautiful, more seductive, and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

Rowan might get everything she ever dreamed of—that is, if the one thing she's always wanted doesn't kill her first.

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ABOUT KATE SPARKES
Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, three cats with more personality than most people she meets, and the saddest-looking dog on the planet. Depression has almost consumed her more times than she likes to admit, but writing Fantasy (be it epic or urban, fairy tales or superhero cat stories) keeps her afloat… most of the time. She released her debut novel Bound (Ya Fantasy) in June 2014. The second book in the trilogy is due out in the winter.

Find Kate online: Blog  Sparrowcat Press  Facebook  Twitter


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Monday, November 17, 2014

THE DARKWORLD SERIES by Emma L. Adams


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

Week 13: The Darkworld Series
Prequel Novella: Fear's Touch
Book One: Darkness Watching
Book Two: Walking Shadow
By Emma L. Adams


This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.

Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.

But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?

Now available at retailers! 
Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
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Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. 

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

Reviews:
"Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up? The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked." - Rose at Desert Rose Reviews

"A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series." - Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author

“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” - Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter 

"Emma is an amazing writer. She has become one of my favorites. I couldn’t put Darkness Watching down." - Diane at A Creative Mind

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads



When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer who doesn’t know their origins.

The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.

Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…

Coming December 1st, 2014 from Curiosity Quills
Add it to Goodreads

ABOUT EMMA L. ADAMS
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy novels for children and young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, and four more novels and a novella will follow. She chats about writing and other book-related things at her blog, From the Writer’s Nest, and looks forward to sharing more tales from the bizarre depths of her imagination.
Find Emma online: Blog  Website  Facebook Page  Twitter
Sign up to Emma's newsletter to be the first to find out about new releases


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Monday, November 10, 2014

THE DARK INTENT SERIES by Lisa Swallow


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

Week 12: The Dark Intent Series
Book One: Between
By Lisa Swallow


What do you do when you are attracted to two men and both have the power to kill you with a touch or a kiss? Can Rose trust either of them - or anyone in her new life?

Ghosts? Demons? Angels? Or something more? The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre...

Rose survived the accident that killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren't the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her enigmatic work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn't expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn't fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she's the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek's past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, on the edge of Hell, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her - but are they prepared to risk the consequences?

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Kobo  Apple  Barnes & Noble


ABOUT LISA SWALLOW
Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.

Find Lisa online: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Mailing List

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Monday, November 3, 2014

THE SHADOW SERIES by Anna Hub


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

Week 11: The Shadow Series
Book One: Beyond the Shadows
By Anna Hub


"A violent shudder travelled up my spine, each vertebrae snapping together like a zip lock, all my muscles tensed but I couldn’t tear myself away from the image ..."

If your shadow was trying to consume you, how would you run from it?

What if you were afraid of something you could never escape?

Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realises paranormal forces are at work. Her shadow has become more than just an image, it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive. She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.

Buy it from: Amazon  Kobo  iTunes  Smashwords
Or add it to Goodreads


ABOUT ANNA HUB: 
When I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.

When I studied nursing I thought I'd found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I'd learnt enough to pursue the dream.

My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it's something I can't live without. It's a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It's a beautiful sanctuary.

Find Anna online: Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter

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Monday, October 27, 2014

MAGE REVEALED by CD Coffelt

Huntress is always welcome in these parts -- and she's celebrating the release of her second book! 

Mage Revealed, Book Two of The Magic Withheld series
Struck with enough malevolent Spirit to turn him into a raving beast of a man, Bert Reese fights to remain human. Alone, he walks a slender path between sanity and madness. Then, an unlikely source enters his life to help—one of the now-hated mages.

But Ashleigh is different and calms his butchered senses. Her fierce nature is the only rock that stands between him and the crevasse that is beast. In all ways, she walks beside him toward a new beginning. But at the end of their journey lies the one who used Spirit against him. Questions arise; did Tiarra, head of the Imperium, lose her magic, die, or simply give way to the new order? Or, like a spider, does she wait for a mage to blunder into her web?

Forced on him without a care for his humanity, Bert is the mage who should not exist, born with a different kind of magic.

And the gates of Hell are no match for the magic he wields.

Author C.D. Coffelt’s world of magic started in Wilder Mage with the words “The earthquake wasn’t his fault. Not this time.” It continues in Mage Revealed, the second book of the three-part series. Watch the book trailer on YouTube.

Excerpt from Mage Revealed
Energy slithered around him, encased him and…

Bonded.

All the elements slammed into him at once filling him like a bursting dam, sloshing into a maelstrom of Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Spirit. Magic filled him, cascaded into every pore of his skin until there was nothing left that was of his essence.

He raised his arms. “I am a wizard,” he said.

His words echoed, like the roll of a bass drum in an empty coliseum.

From his fingertips, fluid lightning forked and shot into the empty sky. A violent whirlwind as tall as he wanted it to be caught up a whirl of leaves. A roar of Fire sprang from the palms of his hands, crowned his head. And Spirit, the silvery element waited for his command, to charge into any foray he so chose.

He turned to the panting women, frozen in the grip of panic and fright.

“I am a wizard,” he said again.

C.D. Coffelt lives outside Skidmore, Missouri with a bemused husband and way too many cats. She is a member of the Missouri Writers Guild. But despite that bit of conventionality, 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.

She blogs as Huntress on 
and her writer’s critique site, www.unicornbell.blogspot.com

Find her books at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

STRINGS by G. Miki Hayden


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

Week 10: Strings by G. Miki Hayden


Robert, an ordinary boy, finds himself in a newly chaotic world. Buildings move when and where they please, and time jumps around according to no known laws of physics. For Robert, getting to his regular school in the morning is next to impossible. As for getting home...

But then, Holden—a boy he and his friend, Nila, meet in a cave—offers them a string. No, not twine, but a string of the kind that forms the universe. Teeny and tiny, and invisible to the naked eye, this string will take Robert and Mila to their homes and way, way beyond...

Accompanied by a memorable cast of characters, Robert and his friends follow the string on a journey across time, space, and dimensions to discover the answer to a mystery: Who has caused the world to fall apart?

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Or add it on Goodreads


EXCERPT: 

Holden stood up, suddenly excited. “Yes, strings, Robert, strings. String theory says we live in a universe of multiple dimensions. Something is happening to the strings that form our everyday world, and now the universes are bleeding over into one another—merging. I have to figure out how to stop it, to separate the worlds again.”

“And we have to figure out how to get home,” Nila cried out. “What a mess everything is.”

The smoke from the small fire had made Robert’s eyes tear.

ABOUT G. MIKI HAYDEN


The author, G. Miki Hayden, strongly believes in alternate universes and has written about them in her adult novels Pacific Empire (which won a New York Times rave) and New Pacific.

“Nothing in time-space is fixed,” Miki says, a distant look in her eyes. 

Miki won an Edgar for an historical crime story and has a couple of writing books in print. 

At the moment, she generally lives with millions of other people in New York City in a three-dimensional, temporal world but is exploring other realms.

Find G. Miki Hayden online: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/


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Saturday, October 25, 2014

THE WIZARD OF ENDS by Vanessa Finaughty


An interview with Queen Narraki Dragonsbane from Vanessa Finaughty’s Wizard of Ends

1. Thank you for joining us here today, Narraki. The burning question on my mind is this: what was your first impression of Lashlor Leaflin? 
That he’s a noble, decent man – I would think that, of course, since the first time we met was when he rescued me.

2. At what point did your first impression change, and in what way did it change?
When we were attacked by the gabbertok – a dangerous night creature. He refused to use magic to save us, and I started to think he was one of those mad wizards who get themselves killed by living in a fantasy world.

3. By the end of Wizard of Ends, Book 2, Dark Creature, what is your opinion of Lashlor? 
He’s a hero.

4. How did you meet your husband, King Lanaran Dragonsbane, and was it love at first sight?
We met at a royal ball three years ago. We hit it off straight away and I admit he swept me off my feet without even trying. What can I say? [She smiles.] I have a thing for humorous, polite men who keep stepping on my feet on the dance floor.

5. If King Lanaran ever lost you, how do you think it would affect him?
[She frowns.] It’s hard to say. Sometimes I believe we can’t truly know what we would do in any given situation unless we’ve actually experienced it. I don’t think he would take it well, though, and, if I was murdered, my murderer would soon find himself hanging – or worse.

6. You’ve been married for two years. Do you think you will have children?
I’m sure we will. I know other royal couples start popping out babies almost as soon as they’re married, but we wanted a few years to ourselves first.

7. What quality/trait do you find vital in a romantic partner?
Kindness.

8. What was the first thing that attracted you to King Lanaran, and is it the same thing you’re usually attracted to?
His wit. I love a good laugh and he kept them coming all evening the first time we met. His good looks were a close second, of course. [She grins and blushes.] I have to be honest and say that dark eyes and dark hair are usually what first attract my attention.

9. Did you think you would survive being chased by the creatures of dark magic in Book 1?
Honestly, no.

10. Who or what do you believe ultimately saved you from the magical creatures?
I’m not really sure. Neither of the wizards who were with me at the time could be certain which of them un-summoned the beyeni, but it was definitely one – or both. As Yuldin suggested at the time, it could even have been their combined magic that did the trick.

11. Are you afraid of anything?
Beyeni!

12. Is there anyone you don’t trust?
My sister. [Her eyes take on a faraway look.] Let’s talk about something more pleasant, shall we?

13. If you ever have a daughter, what’s the most important piece of advice you will give her?
Marry for love and not for power or riches.

14. Where can readers learn more about Wizard of Ends?
Readers can follow the virtual book tour here. Special discounts and freebies will be on offer throughout, and plenty of sneak peeks into the Wizard of Ends books and characters.

15. When and where will Wizard of Ends be available for purchase, and at what cost?
Wizard of Ends Books 1 and 2 will be published on 9 and 23 October respectively, and will first be available from Smashwords, after which other retailers like Barnes & Noble and iBooks will stock them. Book 1 will be permanently free, and Book 2 will be discounted to only 99c on the day of publication, after which it will cost $2.99.

Wizard of Ends, Book 1
When Lashlor Leaflin offers to escort Queen Narraki Dragonsbane to the Jeltar Woods, he’s unwittingly caught up in a magical adventure of the type he would rather not have.

The sorceress Assassa believes the Land of Ends to be rightfully hers, but King Lanaran refuses to hand over his crown. In retaliation, the sorceress conjures creatures of darkness to hunt the queen and end her life. Lashlor helps where he can, but it isn’t easy when the Guards of Ends who protect the queen believe him to be false.

A confrontation with Assassa will be the death of him, Lashlor is certain. However, the king insists on his help and it soon becomes apparent that he may have no choice.

On sale now at Smashwords!

Wizard of Ends, Book 2
Escorted by soldiers of Ends, Lashlor sets out to find an old flame, Rune Arcana, the only person who can help to remove the curse placed on the Queen of Ends. Lashlor believes that Rune currently resides in the Mountains of Eclador – a place from which no one has returned in all of recorded history. She could refuse his request. She could be dead. Lashlor and his companions could meet the same fate.

If they do not brave the mountains, however, Queen Narraki will remain in the form of a rabid creature of darkness… forever.

Forever is a long time, and King Lanaran fears the Wizard of Ends will not return. Ignoring Lashlor’s advice not to meddle with the curse, the king employs other magic users to attempt to undo the dark magic.

Preorder it at Smashwords!

Find Vanessa at her website • blog • twitter • facebook

Monday, October 20, 2014

SALVATION by James Wymore


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

Week 9: Salvation by James Wymore


 A man wakes on a frozen battlefield when a scavenging couple finds him among the dead. As they nurse him back to health, he is struck with the horrible realization he can’t remember who he is or anything about his past. Taken in by the kind pair, he begins helping with their farm. She even takes him to meet her family, especially her single sister. The ideal life offered in the high mountains of Winigh is shattered when he sees a transport bringing enemy monsters to the shores below. Cut off by high snow on the pass, their fate will soon be the same as the town his company failed to protect in the last battle, if this estranged soldier cannot help them fight off the next wave of invaders. Even worse, the people of the town don’t trust this Selene soldier. He has a strange resistance to their folk magic which some say make him as dangerous as the enemies preparing to destroy them.

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads







ABOUT JAMES WYMORE
On a lifelong search for fantastic worlds hiding just out of sight, James Wymore writes to explore. With three books and six short stories in print after just one year, he continues to push the boundaries of imagination. Journey with him at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com

Find James online: 


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  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

WIZARD OF ENDS by Vanessa Finaughty


Welcome to Vanessa Finaughty and her Wizard of Ends series! Check out the special offer below!

What's the difference between a wizard and a sorcerer, in your story's world?
All magic users channel energy from the surroundings, and wizards and sorcerers can both manipulate reality with the power of their minds. However, wizards also specialise in magical objects, and sorcerers are able to conjure magical creatures and follow magic to its root in order to undo it.

Is wizardry vs. sorcery chosen, or innate? How do magic-users learn their craft?
Some people are born with the ability to tap into the magical energy surrounding all things, but no one knows why some have this ability and others don't. Usually, they learn by trial and error in much the same way a new baby explores her world and what she can and can't do. However, most do get some guidance, either by a family member who has the same ability or by a formal teacher.

What do ordinary people think of magic users?
Pretty much the same as they think of non-magic users, except brawlers and bandits are wary of and far less likely to start trouble with a magic user.

There must be more advantages to being a magic user than not getting robbed. Your hero, Lashlor, is entrusted with the safety of the queen after all. How does he go about protecting her?
Having magic can make life easier, for sure, but magic users are just average people in this world. At first, Lashlor uses his wits, and bow and arrow - he doesn't believe a person should use magic when there is another way, and, since he's confident of his archery skills, he chooses to use them instead of magic. This is how him being called a fake wizard started, since most others don't share his religious beliefs in this regard. I can't say any more without including spoilers.

To tie this into your book -- so Lashlor is an archer and occasional magic-user, charged with keeping the queen safe on her journey. What's going to be the most difficult part of that job? 
To Lashlor, the most difficult part of keeping the queen safe is resisting the urge to use magic, especially since the queen and Guards of Ends keep insisting he do so. Using magic would be so much easier, but his past experiences and belief that he will be punished in the afterlife stop him from taking the easy way out. The queen is also quite wilful and doesn't always take his advice, which makes it harder.

Wizard of Ends, Book 1
When Lashlor Leaflin offers to escort Queen Narraki Dragonsbane to the Jeltar Woods, he’s unwittingly caught up in a magical adventure of the type he would rather not have.

The sorceress Assassa believes the Land of Ends to be rightfully hers, but King Lanaran refuses to hand over his crown. In retaliation, the sorceress conjures creatures of darkness to hunt the queen and end her life. Lashlor helps where he can, but it isn’t easy when the Guards of Ends who protect the queen believe him to be false.

A confrontation with Assassa will be the death of him, Lashlor is certain. However, the king insists on his help and it soon becomes apparent that he may have no choice.

On sale now at Smashwords!

Wizard of Ends, Book 2
Escorted by soldiers of Ends, Lashlor sets out to find an old flame, Rune Arcana, the only person who can help to remove the curse placed on the Queen of Ends. Lashlor believes that Rune currently resides in the Mountains of Eclador – a place from which no one has returned in all of recorded history. She could refuse his request. She could be dead. Lashlor and his companions could meet the same fate.

If they do not brave the mountains, however, Queen Narraki will remain in the form of a rabid creature of darkness… forever.

Forever is a long time, and King Lanaran fears the Wizard of Ends will not return. Ignoring Lashlor’s advice not to meddle with the curse, the king employs other magic users to attempt to undo the dark magic.

Preorder it at Smashwords!

Find Vanessa at her websiteblogtwitterfacebook

SPECIAL OFFER: TODAY ONLY
Smashwords coupon code: HA38K

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