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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! 
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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

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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
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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?

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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.

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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

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
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