Interview with Stephan Morse

interview

Today we have Stephan Morse, author of The Fiasco in News, with us. His book will release August first. To celebrate, he has a Rafflecopter contest going on that you can enter for a chance at a paperback copy!

TheFiascoInNews800CoverRevealPromotionalJo: Welcome Stephan! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Stephan:  My newest book is The Fiasco In News, which follows Adam Millard­—a sarcastic and cursed person in a world of high superpowers like Marvel of D.C. universes. Adam’s power attracts superpowered events of all sorts and keeps him alive. Since he has no other powers of note, we end up getting a chronic kidnap victim’s point of view on all these hero and villain events. I took a chance to showcase less desirable abilities, how they impact people, those trying to find their place in a crazy world, and the repercussions of being constantly yanked around by people with too much power.

J: That sounds really interesting! I love superheroes and I always find it interesting when they’re looked at from a different perspective. What inspired you to write this story?

S: Over the years I’ve read a lot of comics, seen the movies and series coming out, and a ton of books. I love the genre backdrop that super powers can bring to a story and sought a lesser used point of view on the old situations. The idea sat on the back burner a few years while I finished another series. Since that other series wrapped up July of last year, I found myself drawn to The Fiasco as a chance to be deliberately humorous while still writing a serious plotline. It was a great chance to branch out into new genres.

J: What is your favorite part of The Fiasco in News?

S: There are a ton of parts to The Fiasco’s first book which amuse me greatly. So much, that I’m fairly sure someone else sneaked in while I slept (or one of the many editors who’ve perused the piece) wrote all the humor. I assume I did all the dry and boring bits. In this case the best part was a specific line that I got to hear over and over as part of the audiobook auditions. There’s a snippet in there where Adam, narrating to the reader, tries to provide a lesson. It makes me laugh every time. I dug up the full line for anyone interested.

“So I’ll pause the recount here with a hard-learned life lesson. If a woman whose hobbies include gutting children’s storybook villains is even remotely attracted to you, don’t ever mention another girl in her hearing. Don’t even mention that you know other girls. Don’t mention that your mother or grandmother are technically female. Hopefully you just popped into being and grew up in a vacuum. Of course that’s insane, but so is The Alice. And please, if you meet The Alice, don’t tell her I ever mentioned any of this. Just smile and tell that wonderful woman that I’m counting the seconds until our next reunion.”

J: Hahahahahahahaha! Yeah, that is a good one – and some good advice! What was your least favorite part in writing The Fiasco?

S: Knowing that I wrote one book that feels amazingly creative, humorous, and slightly maddening. I rarely, ever, feel proud of my own work (despite my wife’s support), but this one struck me as a great combination of those elements. The least favorite part comes in knowing I may not be able to pull it off twice more to finish out the series. I aim to try.

J: I bet you can! Or else you can bribe the writer elves who did it this time. I sometimes think writer elves nip in and do the good parts of my own books while I’m asleep! Especially with some of my characters…Speaking of characters, do you have a favorite from The Fiasco?

S: There were a lot of side characters in this novel, probably too many to pick a favorite one. Of the main characters, of course I identify a bit with Adam. He’s sarcastic to the point of painful dryness. Giving voice to that was a wonderful activity. Alice sneaked up on me as a character in terms of enjoyment. However, if I were to pick a favorite one, it would be Flux—for reasons that would contain spoilers. He’s the small flying camera orb on the cover with a red eye, and was fun to write.

J: Okay, since you can’t tell us too much about your characters, tell us something interesting about you!

S: I’m utterly useless on my own and this is all my wife’s fault. So if this interesting fact makes it to the final page, you’ll know she agrees.

J: Ha ha! Well, she must agree! What do you (and your wife) have planned next?

S: A lot. Most immediately, I’ll be finishing the fourth book on an Urban Fantasy series I’m writing. After that I’ve got a Fantasy Apocalypse series to debut, and of course the second book in The Fiasco’s series.

J: Sounds like you’re both going to be busy! Before you escape to get to work, erm, I mean, head out, tell us where we can find more of you and your work.

S: Me, myself, and all my ineloquent musings can be found at FrustratedEgo.com—which is my website. My wife (who’s super awesome) also posts from time to time on stuff she finds, books, games, television shows, and so on. We try to share what inspires us.You can also follow me on twitter @FrustratedEgo, or drop a line through FrustratedWriting@gmail.com. My work can be found on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B016RBSS8G

J: And we’re out of time. A huge thank you to Stephan and his (awesome) wife! Don’t forget to check out that rafflecopter!

 

Strange Portals Anthology!

The Ink Slingers’ League Presents….

STRANGE PORTALS - 2500
Just in time for a much needed holiday break, twenty-two stories about fairies, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and everything in between. Visit a witch’s body swap victims (Samantha’s Day), find what happens when a girl is buried alive (Buried Alive), learn the origin story of Harper (from Night Touched Chronicles) and Verchiel (from the Amaranthine series), and much, much more. So kick up your feet, relax, and indulge in a short story by a new favorite author.

Includes stories by AK Stein, Adan Ramie, B.G. Hope, Barbara G. Tarn, Bonnie Mutchler, CG Copolla, DM Yates, JK Rosaline, Joleene Naylor, Kay Kauffman, Maegan Provan, Rami Ungar, Roger Lawrence, Roxanna Mathews, Russ Towne, Terry Compton and Tricia Drammeh.

That’s right. The much awaited Verchiel story.  So what are you waiting for? Grab your FREE copy today and enjoy some great short stories by some talented authors!

(Coming to Amazon soon)

signature for white

Calling Speculative Fiction Authors…

The Ink Slinger’s League is sponsoring a speculative fiction anthology in time for the holidays and we need your stories! If guild1you write:

  • Horror
  • Paranormal
  • Sci-Fi
  • Fantasy

Or any mix of the genres, then we’d love to have a story from you.

To submit:

Mail your story(s) that are between 1,000 – 10,000 words to Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com by November 29th with a bio, author photo, website/twitter/facebook links, synopsis of at least one novel and buy links for that novel. It doesn’t matter if the story has been published before, so long as you have the rights to it. Stories do NOT need to have a holiday theme, though if you feel so inclined let the spirit move you. Authors may submit up to TWO stories for inclusion.

Stories can be adult subject matter, but shouldn’t be explicit erotica. If you’re not sure how explicit is too explicit, send your story and I’ll let you know.

We will not do ANY editing or proofreading of your stories, so make sure they’re the way you want them. Stories with lots of typos or grammatical errors will be declined.

Remember to invite other authors! There’s no limit on how many stories we can include, and the more writers we have, the more chance we get of being introduced to a new audience. Contributors do NOT need to have a published book available to participate.

All the details:

The anthology will be published on Amazon, Smashwords & all of the places Smashwords distributes to (Including Apple, Barnes & Noble & Kobo) and will be offered for FREE. There’s no profit to be made, and we aren’t paying anyone for their stories except with exposure. Ink Slinger’s will handle the formatting and book cover (including any image purchases).

If interested, participants should host one another on their blogs/websites/etc. If someone would like to be in charge of organizing rosters for that, let me know (you can comment here with your email or drop me a message). It would be much appreciated.

And if you have any ideas for a title we’re all ears. The Inkslinger’s Anthology will do in a pinch, but it doesn’t really capture the essence of what we’re going for.

If you have any questions, ask! And remember – invite your colleagues!

Dream Stealer by HL Carpenter

Today’s excerpt is from the middle grade/young adult fantasy novella Dream Stealer by HL Carpenter

Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Ever wonder what became of the dreams you once had? Fancy Moonstruck can tell you.

Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.

It’s a job she’d rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.

But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.

 

EXCERPT:

image003Another moment and the dream will be gone.

The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.

Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.

Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.

Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.

And I will keep my family safe.

I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.

If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.

I must take it.

I must…

Get your copy today at: Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Stealer-HL-Carpenter-ebook/dp/B00J6HWZBK

And be sure to check out the authors’ site at http://www.hlcarpenter.com


************

image001HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studio in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Their work is featured on their website [http://www.hlcarpenter.com]


My Fantasy Circle Of Five

The awesome Page Adams tagged me on the Fantasy Circle of Five. Be sure to check out her five choices in a super multi-media blog!

The Rules:

1) List five fantasy characters you’d like to spend time with, and give a little info on why you chose them.

2) Pass it on! :)

I don’t think it must be *fantasy* characters – as in from the fantasy genre – but most of mine are, anyway. They’re also all men. Most are hot. I think this says something, though I’m not sure what. Hmmm. (hey, that kind of rhymed! Hot/what… never mind.)

Legolas in Ralph Bakshi's animated version of ...

Legolas in Ralph Bakshi’s animated version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Legolas

The word fantasy conjures Tolkien  and I’ve always loved Legolas, long before the movies. Why do I love Legolas? He’s immortal (I have an immortal fetish, I know), he’s hawt (trust me, even before Orlando Bloom I knew Legolas was smokin’ – he’s an elf and elves are gorgeous by definition!), he’s wicked with that bow (Hello! He shot down one of the nazgul’s winged steeds!) and he’s funny (I always cracked up at the scene where he walks on the snow while everyone was struggling in it. I was so glad to see that in the movie! And when he calls them all children in Fanghorn) and he’s sweet, I mean he willingly goes back later and hangs out with Gimli in the glittering caves, even though he’s an elf who isn’t fond of caves. However, an elf would have limited patience hanging out with me, so I think after a day he’d abandon me in the middle of Mirkwood and hope one of the spiders got me. Ah well, I’d have my memories.

eomer.jpg

by Guru Meditation under CC license

2. Eomer

Tolkien #2 – I will try to switch universes after this one. Why Eomer? Um, because he’s hawt? And I mean pre-movie. Again, Karl Urban was just a super lucky bonus. What makes Eomer hot? Because he’s borderline Norse (another fetish of mine) has long blonde hair, lots of armor and a sword. Plus, there’s that whole banished from the kingdom thing for awhile, and everyone loves the black sheep who has been unjustly labeled so and only wants to save his country. *swoon* And he’s nice to his sister. That’s always hot. And he rides that big horse and… *cough* anyway. He’d likely have far more patience with me than an elf would, since the Rohirrim are used to short, fat, slightly scruffy little women, but once he found out I was scared of horses I imagine he’d dump me off on his sister or on one of the other soldiers. I like Eowyn, and hey, the other soldiers probably also have armor and long hair, so all in all it would be a good day.

David Tennant at Stratford upon Avon. This ima...

David Tennant at Stratford upon Avon. From Wikipedia.

3. Dr. Who

I’d take any incarnation, though I admit Tom Baker (the guy with the scarf) or David Tennant (the cute one) would be my first choices. I’d prefer to go when Rose was not around, though Sarah Jane would be okay. Why hang out with Dr. Who? Um because he’s friggin’ cool! And sometimes he’s even good looking. Plus he has that nifty blue box that takes him through all of time and space, so he can go anywhere he wants to! However, since I can’t really run very far before I black out, he’d probably get a bit aggravated with me. Assuming he’s not in his Collin Baker regeneration  I’ll assume he won’t say as much, but I think he’d get a sudden urgent message from Gallifrey and have to drop me off. Oh well. I’d have collected some souvenirs  so it would be okay.

Fred and George Weasley

by reidsrow under CC license – I was looking for hawt, but this was too cute

4. George Weasley

Another fantasy character. And before you point out the pervy old woman scenario, let me remind everyone that Harry Potter is, actually, MY age, having been born in 1980 and thus George Weasley is actually older than me. Ha! now that we have that out of the way, why George? Because he’s freaking hilarious for starters! Not to mention he can do all that snazzy magic stuff. And, well, okay, he’s hot. How do I know he’s hot? Because I just do. The Phelps kids who played them in the movies weren’t too bad, but I imagine the book version is even cuter. Sadly, after a couple of days, the fun of hanging out with a muggle would wear off, and they’d probably send me by floo powder to annoy someone else. Ah well. At least I’d have finally gotten to taste butterbeer. And hey, if they sent me to visit Snape that could always be fun. I love Snape.

Dave Lister (fictional character)

from wikipedia

5. Dave Lister

Yes, the last choice would be Lister from Red Dwarf. Why, you ask? Because I can’t help it, I always had a thing for him. Yes, I know he’s got bad manners, drinks too much, probably smells funny, and at one point spray paints his underwear to hide the hole in his jeans, but he has those hamster chubby cheeks and who can resist those? Not to mention, he’s really a pretty good guy. Plus, since his table manners are worse than a baboon, and his idea of a full day is lounging around a space ship discussing whose better looking, Betty or Wilma, AND he’s lost in deep space, light years away from earth, I think I’ve finally found a fictional character that wouldn’t abandon me. I have to be better company than Cat, after all.

And with that I am out of characters and lost in deep space surrounded by idiots, but it’s been a heck of a week so who am I to complain? Now, for tags!

  1. Julie Hoffman
  2. Bonnie Mutchler
  3. Roger Lawrence
  4. DM Yates
  5. Angie

Divided Realms by Catherine L Vickers

Divided Realms.rev - Catherine L Vickers

The destiny of four young people living their ordinary lives, changes almost overnight. The youngest, Prince Raphael, thought to die young through illness, is kidnapped by the evil Emperor of the Dark Side of Aarabassa. His ransom is Heather, the Changeling and key to enabling his vamplin army to enter the Lightlands once he has used the Fire Giant to destroy the Magic Wall. Prince Leon and Prince Amos must travel the realms to unite the People of the Lightlands in readiness for a battle to stop the evil monshaad Emperor from destroying the Magic Wall. Dragons, Dwarves, Centaurs and many a creature will fight for the continuation of their races.

Here’s an excerpt:

A small boy moaned in a dark damp cave, deep in the Ginnung mid-mountains. It was not his imminent death that he feared, though that would be a relief. It was that Morte-Bielz was not to end the agonising torment he was afflicting, not even in death could he escape this evil monshaad. The Emperor had threatened to continue his persecution long after Raphael’s death, upon his mortal soul. For a long time Raphael had endured the continual loud screeching that bounded around the walls of the cave, echoing down the passageways and never ceasing. His eyes and ears bled with the pressure that Morte-Bielz inflicted on him with the Mindtalk. His bones ached; his muscles had stiffened and throbbed with pain. His body felt raw, with no skin for protection. Hunger had ceased long ago but his dry cracked lips bled with pain as he pleaded for water. He had stopped drinking from the small pool that he had managed to crawl to, it was nothing but salted water, which made him crave a drink even more. The twisted torment did not end at the physical pain. The emperor had filled Raphael’s young mind with his own twisted hatred for humankind. He had graphically described the slow deaths he was going to inflict on human villages when he, once again, would be upon the Light Lands. He told him of cruel events gone by and worse yet to come.

For a short while, the emperor was quiet as if relishing his thoughts.

On the rare moments that the monshaad creature was not present in his mind, he tried to sleep; this was a means of escaping the reality of his world.

Again, the tormenting words began.

Did you know boy, that it was I who killed your mother?

Raphael hated this foul creature. How could he know of his mother? What mischief was he up to now?

She would not let me have your soul when I entered into her mind. Oh Yesss, I entered her mind because she was ill with fever from your body feeding off her like a leach. She was a fool to refuse me. No one refuses my orders; I poisoned her blood and twisted your bones. She died in agony fearing for the innocent little child in her womb. I told her that I would ensure her child did not live long. Ohhh how she wept. Once I was in her mind I simply would not let go.

Raphael listened to the horrific laughing of the foul creature. He did not feel saddened. He would not let this entity take over his mind. He must stay strong for as long as he could hold out.

She disobeyed me and I could not get to her soul. You see it is her fault that you are so ill. She selfishly passed on to the Realm of the Dead so I punished you instead and twisted your spine.

The boy could only cry dry tears. He had no strength. He tried to fight death because this would not end the suffering. The emperor had threatened that his soul would be imprisoned for all eternity in the Dark Lands or until the monshaad Lords fed upon him. He did not want to think of his mother and the agony she must have gone through before her death.

I have news for you boy. Again a short silence whilst he thought he could hear the emperor breathing heavily. The humans will soon have a new king.

During the silence that followed this news, Raphael could not understand what the monshaad had meant. His thoughts were confused and he could only conclude that his father’s illness had become worse.

Your father will soon be dead and I will devour his soul. Am I not kind to make your brother a king? Now it is also time for you to face the final moments of your paltry life.

The emperor spoke no more. Raphael felt his pained body being dragged along the hardened floor to the centre of the cave. His skin shredded until he bled, leaving a trail on the rough rocks. For a moment, the pulling motion ceased and then his legs shot violently up into the air. Left there to dangle, his feet were dragged higher and his head swayed close to the hard ground. Blood pumped rapidly through the veins in his head, pounding with a soft rhythm in his eardrums, his stomach heaved as he felt bile slither into his throat. He coughed up blood and spat it to the dusty floor. His limbs ached with the agonising position as he dangled in mid air. His arms fell downwards; he knew he was weakening to the point of no return. It was strange that the emperor had left him alone in his last moments. At least he could pass from life peacefully.

He wasn’t sure how long he had been unconscious because the emperor hadn’t returned yet. A faint hissing sounded very near by, he tried to open his puffy eyes. Something was entering the cave, he could just make out a long dark shape, like a giant snake, slithering towards him. Raphael did not care if the snake poisoned his body; there would be less for Morte-Bielz when he returned.

The snake swiftly coiedl itself around the little human body in slow gentle movements.

‘You can only kill me snake, ‘Raphael croaked a whisper from his throat. ‘Get on with it. Are you not hungry? You are welcome to feast on me but I am wasted bones and will not fill the likes of you.’

The snake had all but covered Raphael’s bony body and the boy waited for the crushing, fearing no pain.

 

********

Divided Realms is available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A8YTHNE

********

Catherine lives in the UK and started writing quite late in life as she is now a grandma. This is the first book she’s written and is presently working on Book 2.  She am never without a book to read, and she reads mainly Fantasy Adventure, which inspired her to create her own world with all her favourite creatures and weave them into an epic tale.

Be sure to check out Catherine’s blog at http://onewomansquestuk.blogspot.co.uk/

Heir of Nostalgia by Steve Muse

This is an excerpt from Heir of Nostalgia by Steve Muse, available on Amazon.

Blurb:
Age Level: 14 and up | Grade Level: 9 and up

I’m here to tell you, the world never started out this way. It became this way through a mistake, through my pride. I created the Hell we all have to live through. Because of me, the decisions I made, the world has been earmarked for suffering. I tore the veil between life and death. I caused the great shift, the new awakening. Because of me, the world will never be the same.”

Theo Valerian’s world is one of privilege, of always having enough, of having everything go his way. Up until the moment he meets Phillip, a thirteen year old runaway.

Phillip is homeless, hungry, and heartbroken. He’s been living on the streets of New York ever since losing his family. Since that time, the only thing that keeps him going is thoughts of vengeance. He’s looking for the man he feels is responsible for his father’s disappearance, the same man that destroyed his family, a man with silver singing spurs that can walk between worlds. Will a Riot Grrl called Maggie, who claims she can talk to angels, be able to help Phillip? Will a murder of ravens masquerading as teenage thugs defeat them? Or are there stronger forces at work, dark forces? Forces bent on destroying everything in Phillips life?

No one ever said growing up would be easy- then again no one ever said it would be this hard either.

Excerpt:

I finally located Phillip, he was with a man- but before I go there, there is something you must know, the corners of the roof, the corners of the doorways, anything at all that resembled a clear ninety degree angle of any sort; they all began to bleed darkness like a severed artery bleeds blood.

And that darkness the corners bled began to pool.

“Dad?” Not a cry, not an observation, but a plea from my son.

“Don’t worry,” I said, trying to reassure him, “everything is going to be alright.”  But I was lying; everything wasn’t going to be alright, because everything felt so incredibly wrong, starting with the man lounging beside the entrance of the stairwell leading back down into Union Station, the one with his hand on the back of Phillip’s neck, the one with the smirk on his face, raven hair hanging in strings alongside a face so pale, so long, as to appear cartoonish and sinister, the one holding a small silver dagger against my son’s throat.

In the fading light of day, “I’m glad you could join us.”  A voice so harsh, so painful, that simply hearing it is enough to cause headaches and nosebleeds.  Gratingly low, it sounded like what dragging your fist through a box of broken glass would feel like, only in your head.

“What do you want,” I asked.

Over the man’s left shoulder, hanging low upon the horizon, Domiciles sword, the all too familiar comet, like a blood smear drawn across the sky.

The man appeared to be dressed in the rags, the haphazard clothing of a street dweller.  In other words, nothing all that unique or familiar about him, in fact, he could have been anybody, but at the same time it was obvious he was more than that.  From the look on Phillip’s face, the boys stance, his drawn shoulders and hunched back, the man’s grip obviously caused him a great deal of pain.

Before the man answered, he seemed to breathe in deeply, as if ‘tasting’ the very air, like a bloodhound seeking to catch the scent of his recently acquired prey, “Nothing now,” he said.

The way he said this only confirmed what I already knew, that we were in for some serious trouble.  It would take more than simply staring the man down to get rid of him.  If he could be gotten rid of at all.

“Is there anything I can do?  Can we talk about this?”  I hated doing it, bargaining with both our lives, but I’d do anything at the moment.  Try as I might, I couldn’t shake the quivering of fear from my voice.

Phillip immediately picked up on my fear, because of this, any glimmer of hope in his eyes and on his face, quickly vanished, as tears began to leak from his eyes.  ‘Sorry,’ he silently mouthed.

‘It’s alright,’ I returned.

“There is nothing to discuss.  The only reason you two are still breathing is because, it has been such a long time since I’ve been here.  My curiosity has bought you both a momentary stay of execution, that’s all.”

It was obvious, unlike the majority of bad guys portrayed in popular novels, and/or made for the TV or big screen, our ‘bad guy’ was neither stupid nor obnoxiously helpless, simply put, if dark and gruesome had anything to say about it, we were going to die.

The only real question left to answer, was when.


About Steve Muse:

After meeting Frank Herbert, author of the acclaimed Dune Series, I decided the life of writing was for me. That was about 30 years ago, I’ve been writing ever since.

Heir of Nostalgia is my first published novel, and thanks to the encouragement of my loving wife Janet, is the first in a series chronicling the trials and tribulations of young man in search of his family, his country as well as his place in the world.

Here’s to the land of wonder, an air of Nostalgia, and childhood memories. May we never grow too old to dream… Got a question, comment or review, I’d love to hear from you. Simply drop me a line at: heirofnostalgia@gmail.com.

…………………………………………………………………………….

For more information  please visit :


Book Review: Air by Barbara G. Tarn

A good fantasy book should have six things.

1)      A diverse world with distinctly different cultures. Air has this. Silvery Earth has no only different magical races (each with their own customs and ideals(, but also distinct cultures of human occupants, as well. Like Tolkien and Middle Earth, Barbara Tarn has been working on Silvery Earth for many years through different stories and characters to create a world of great depth.

2)      A large cast of diverse characters. Air also has this. From the dark, brooding human Kumar, to the Sila Winged Jesminder, to the Naveen, the captain of the Guard and beyond, the story is told through a host of characters. This allows the reader to see all of the subtle pieces to the puzzle and watch as they fall into place to complete the full picture.

3)      Magic. Air has this in the form of the Magical races; winged Sila, Fajrulo who turn into dragons,  Waiora who live under the water, not to mention the Immortals themselves: Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Ether.

4)      Something evil to fight against. There has to be a bad guy for the heroes to band together and defeat. The sect, a group of people who use blood and sex to gain power from the dark pond, fit the bill nicely. Though Ramesh, the high priest, is suitably twisted, I think it is Keiko who wins the prize for the most sadistic.

5)      Some romance. Whether it’s hinted at behind the scenes or out where you can see it, romance is a must. Air has several romance subplots, though to keep from spoiling surprises I won’t say who they are. I will say Kumar’s final decision was the most satisfying, though.

6)      Fighting. Wars. Death. Air has just enough of this to make the world believable, but not too much to make it seem gratuitous or overtly bloody.

This book has just the right mix of twisted, darkness and sweet light to make it a real page turner. I like that Barb didn’t pull punches when it came to the sect. They did despicable things and, though the actions are not detailed blow by blow, there’s enough that you know how atrocious their actions are.  I can imagine some women may take exception to the scene with Indira and Prince Anjan, but this is a fantasy novel, and fantasy societies are based on medieval societies. Social attitudes were very different then, and I was also glad to see that she stuck to that, too. I also have a deep, personal admiration for Ms. Tarn as I know English is not her first language. I can’t imagine the challenges of writing novels in another language!

In closing, did I enjoy this book? Yes! Do I recommend to to fantasy fans? Yes! Am I going to read the rest of Silvery Earth (including the short stories)? Yes!  And, I’m looking forward to it!

get yours :

smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50628

amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Books-Immortals-Air-ebook/dp/B004UN4I1K/

paperback: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/books-of-the-immortals—air/16127364?

Warrior by Violette Dubrinsky

This is an excerpt from Warrior by Violette Dubrinsky, a Fantasy-Historical novel available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance Books.

Excerpt:

Jaisyn tugged her arm free and pushed past him, grabbing the brass handle and pushing inward. No fire had been lit in that hearth in the days since her father’s death. Just thinking about that made her want to cry. Her father was dead, the kingdom was no longer theirs and a large, evil wretch of a king now occupied Wilhelm’s chambers. What had her father been thinking, giving Mathilda to someone like him? Of all his daughters, he betrothed the one who would run screaming from this giant of a man?

As she’d sat across from Vulcan, Jaisyn had critically assessed him. She knew that many would find him handsome, with his thick head of silky black hair that cascaded past his shoulders, and stern yet sensual face, but he was in no way approachable. She had no idea how to reach him. She had to do something to get her kingdom back, but she didn’t know what. The people of Lytheria didn’t live for war, and this man did.

So lost was she in her thoughts that she didn’t recognize Vulcan was pushing the door in until she heard an audible snap of the latch. She spun immediately, recognizing that the door was closed and his tall body was against it.

His eyes looked dangerous and that scowl still loomed on his lips. What was he doing?

“Remove your veil,” he said in that pompous voice of his. Was he serious? She was a princess, a daughter of Lyria!

“King Vulcan,” she began stiffly, her hands clasped tightly at her midriff. “You are in my castle because I wish it. Do not think to disrespect me in such a manner.”

***

Vulcan could have laughed at how she phrased that statement. He was not here because she wished it; he was in his castle because he had conquered it. Twice. He took a step forward and with her fighter’s instincts, Jaisyn took one backwards.

“Take off the veil, Princess.”

***

Did he suspect it was she who’d tried to kill him on that horrid night? She’d tried her best to put that night from her mind but she’d still had dreams—nightmares—about it.

“My liege, you are being disrespectful. I am a princess of Lytheria—”

Two quick strides brought him directly before her and in the next instant, he was plucking the crown from her head, pulling the veil off and tossing it aside.

Jaisyn let out a startled cry and spun away from him, moving over to the fireless hearth. Vulcan’s voice came from somewhere behind her.

“Turn and face me, Princess. Or are you afraid your face will bring back memories of a night not so far gone?”

He did suspect her. How? It didn’t matter, but he did. Which probably meant that he wanted revenge. And he had promised to continue where he’d left off if he ever saw her again. Her eyes darted to the broadsword above the hearth.

Her father’s sword rested there as a reminder of the great king who had once occupied the place. She sent up a quick prayer to Lyria, and one to her deceased father, praying she would not soon be joining him soon.

Quick as a fox, she reached for the heavy weapon, unsheathed it, spread her legs wide, and spun to face him.

***

Vulcan was accustomed to the unusual. He prided himself on not being shocked easily, but this…girl—not just any girl, but a princess—wielding a sword? It was almost comical, with her flowing dress and brandishing a man’s sword. The he remembered that this same woman had almost killed him as he slept. There was nothing funny about that.

He lifted his eyes to her face. Her skin was lovingly kissed with the sun’s rays—a dark bronze. Her mass of golden curls was pinned intricately atop her head, and her eyes, cat’s eyes—almost yellow in their vivid brightness—flashed angrily at him.

This was his princess. This had to be his princess, or else she wouldn’t be gripping a warrior’s sword, looking like she was ready to decapitate him.

“Put the sword down, lady,” Vulcan said as calmly as he, known for his bouts of temper, could manage.

Jaisyn lifted it higher as her soft lips curled into a snarl. “So that you can rip off more than my veil? I do not think so! Lytherians are not as barbaric as your people, my liege!”

“Put the sword down before I am tempted to take you over my knee!” Vulcan bit the words out angrily, and took a menacing step forward.

She moved to the left, and the grace with which she did so made Vulcan recognize something: she was at ease with the sword. If it wasn’t completely unheard of, he might even say that she was a swordswoman.

He began to tread more carefully. More than likely she wasn’t skilled at using the weapon, but he was taking no chances. Stupidity did not a High King make.

“I am giving you to the count of three. If that sword is still in your hand after that, you cannot hold me accountable for what I do,” Vulcan threatened.

She held onto the sword. Vulcan had had enough. He took a few steps forward, intent on twisting her arm, as he’d done a few nights ago, and pulling the weapon away from her. He didn’t even get close. As soon as he was in range, she flicked her wrist so the flat of the broadsword faced him, and swung. A resounding crash reverberated in the room as the sword caught his breastplate, pushing him back a step and making his ears ring.

“I will not warn you again! Do not come any closer!” she hissed out, her hands aching slightly.

Vulcan recovered from his state of shock as anger took him by full force. Steel screeched as he pulled his broadsword from its sheath and advanced on her.

About Violette Dubrinsky:

Violette Dubrinsky is the author of the Dark God, Warrior, and upcoming Moonlight (in which she introduces you to her werewolves) sagas. She enjoys writing romance stories with stubborn, at times, clashing characters, who eventually learn the error of their ways and sometimes grow to love each other. She is the youngest of three, and the only girl. As such, she was spoiled rotten (in her elaborate dreams), and always wished for a playmate closer to her age.  At a young age, she began creating stories to fill in for the lack of creativity on the part of her two older jock brothers. Violette resides in New York and Boston, and although she has no pets, is intent on getting a Malamute or Husky (since it is the closest she will ever be to a wolf and she is quite obsessed with werewolves) at some point in her life.

She can be reached at: violettedubrinsky.com and violettedubrinsky.wordpress.com

…………………………………………………………………………….
For more information on this and her other titles, please visit :

Interview with Dreibrand Veta

Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to Weekend Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer. 

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I

Katelina: Hello Dreibrand, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Dreibrand: I am the second son of the House of Veta, one of the original noble families in my homeland of Atrophane. Although I have a serious face, I have a sense of humor and a sincere smile. I’m trained in the martial arts. I graduated from the Darmar’s military academy with top honors. I am skilled with weapons and can fight on foot or from horseback. I grew up in Atrophane, but since becoming a commissioned officer with the Atrophane Horde I have been traveling west and exploring new lands.

I am one of the main characters in Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and The Borderlands of Power by Tracy Falbe. These novels are The Rys Chronicles.

K: Wow, that’s a lot of books! I bet your character changes a lot through the series (though hopefully not the hair…)

D: At first I am solely focused on my own ambitions, and I’ll do whatever its takes to achieve my ends. Killing people and making war were my main means of advancing myself. Then I fell in love with Miranda and that begins to change things for me. Going into battle knowing that she is relying on me made things harder. I had to start taking her needs into account and fighting for them too. Eventually we start a family and my thoughts turned to building a legacy for my descendants. This affects me powerfully as I try to transition away from the bloody destruction of war and find new and peaceful ways to maintain my hard-earned wealth and power.

K: That’s sweet. So Miranda sort of helps you change for the better? I assume she’s your girlfriend? Wife?

D: As I said, I’m in love with Miranda. Of course I enjoy her physical attributes, but I love most how I can trust her. She is entirely on my side and I know that she would never betray me. I’m the first person in her life that ever helped her or protected her. She had only known slavery and abuse, but this history has given her great strength. She knows what it means to be powerless and that makes her understand the true value of being powerful. I know that she would never let my enemies succeed against our family, even if I died. She’s filled with love and compassion but I also see how she could be totally ruthless if she needed to be.

K: Wow. That is sweet! *swoon*

Jorick: *interrupts* Perhaps you’d like some help with this interview?

The Goddess Queen: The Rys Chronicles Book II

K: What? Oh. Um, no, no, everything’s fine. *cough*. Um, right. So, Dreibrand, we were talking about, uh, character shaping. What’s something that you think helped shape who you are? Other than Miranda.

D: When Lord Kwan told me I would not be part of his historic expedition into the Wilderness after I had served him so well and faithfully for years. This drove me to realize that I was never going to achieve my ambitions by serving the powerful among my countrymen. I had to make myself powerful, no matter the risks.

K:  You say risks. Do you have a lot of enemies?

D: Yes. Right from the beginning my main rival among the Atrophane was Sandin Promentro. He had wealth and influence that I did not have, but he still felt threatened by my ambitions and tried to keep me back. But then I found worse problems than him for a while. I sided with Shan, the rival of the rys Queen Onja, and served in that terrible war. Then when I thought that I had finally won a peaceful future, ancient magical beings called tabre rise from hibernation and try to take it all away.

K: Holy cats! Your author sounds as bad as mine!

D: Yes. I have a couple things I’d like to complain to her about but doing it in public would give out spoilers for the series. But for the sake of answering, I’ll say that some more sex scenes would have been nice.

K: Oh man, I am in the wrong series-

Jorick: *ahem* I believe we’re running out of time. Since you’re discussing characters and challenges, what’s the biggest challenge you face, Dreibrand?

D: Apart from staying alive and not being betrayed by my allies, I have to say the worst challenge was when Shan became corrupted by his power. His killing rampage that seized the souls of the dead was pure horror, and I was disgraced to be called his friend. After that he abandoned me and I had to face my enemies without his magic.

K: What? Oh, yes. Running out of time. *ahem* What’s the one thing you want the most in the whole world?

Judgment Rising: The Rys Chronicles Book III

D: I want to establish a legacy of wealth and power to pass on to my children and allow them to live without fear of war.

K: And if you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?

D: I’m a great guy and my men love serving me.

K: Oh yes, I can certainly see why the… erm… men… would.. *looks at Jorick*. Never mind.

J: Thank you, Dreibrand for consenting to be interviewed by someone who can’t manage to focus.

K: I’m focusing (I just don’t think we’re focusing on the same thing…)

J: *AHEM*

K: You can find Dreibrand Veta, inThe Rys Chronicles fantasy series by Tracy Falbe

To begin reading The Rys Chronicles download Union of Renegades for free at http://www.braveluck.com  

 The Rys Chronicles by Tracy Falbe can also be found at:

 Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/939  

Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Union-Renegades-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B003UES7U8/

Barnes & Noble Nook http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Union-of-Renegades/Tracy-Falbe/e/2940000720509/  

Apple iBooks http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/union-renegades-the-rys-chronicles/id365801314?mt=11

Sony Ebook Store http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/tracy-falbe/union-of-renegades/_/R-400000000000000254026

Kobo http://kobobooks.com/ebook/Union-Of-Renegades-The-Rys/book-Oq_yfVWKW06imjnEqncr1Q/page1.html

 And a special thank you to Tracy Falbe for playing along! 

If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:

https://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/character-interviews/

  • Goddess of Night

    A war four-thousand years in the making.

    The final installment of the Amaranthine series raises the stakes. No longer the weak woman she was, Katelina will have to step up or lose everything she’s ever cared about.

    ORDER YOURS TODAY
    Amazon
    Smashwords.com
    Barnes & Noble
    Apple iBooks
    Kobo
    Paperback
    Collectors' Edition Paperback

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 4,491 other followers

  • Coming Events!

    August 5 Super Star Saturday 5-7pm Central in Once Upon a Page

    August 11 Author Live Reading and Q&A 8 Eastern/7 Central in Book Born.

    September 3  Sunday Share live reading and Q&A, 7-8pm Central in Once Upon a Page

  • Find me on Facebook

  • Blog Categories

  • get featured

  • Want your ebook autographed?

    Check out Authorgraph.com to get your digital ebooks autographed!

    Get a free Authorgraph from Joleene Naylor

  • Find me on Barnes & Noble

  • I’m on Goodreads

    Joleene Naylor's books on Goodreads
    Shades of Gray Shades of Gray (Amaranthine, #1)
    reviews: 13
    ratings: 49 (avg rating 4.00)

    Legacy of Ghosts Legacy of Ghosts (Amaranthine, #2)
    reviews: 9
    ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.37)

    See More at Good Reads
  • Find me on Twitter

  • Get your own free Blogoversary button!
  • Graphic by Nina Paley

  • Authors db

  • Joleene Naylor

    Joleene Naylor

    An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

    Personal Links

    Verified Services

    View Full Profile →

  • Editing services

    devilinthedetailsediting
  • The Ink Slingers Guild
  • Awesome Review Blog

    I Smell Sheep
  • Awesome Facebook Book group!

  •  photo authors and bloggers against piracy_zpsqem5dvt7.png
  • My pet hamster!


    Get your own hamster
%d bloggers like this: