Archives for posts with tag: sci-fi

Hi all:

Today I’m really pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for the new novel by Hans Hirschi. If you remember I already brought you another one of his books ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka‘ and I jumped at the chance of bringing you his newest novel. We have a character profile (a truly enlightened character. If only our politicians were like him) and I’ve had the pleasure of reading it too, so I leave you the review as well. And don’t miss the fabulous giveaway.

And now:
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Willem of the Tafel by Hans M. Hirschi

Willem of the Tafel by

Hans M. Hirschi

Published by

Beaten Track Publishing

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, LGBT, Post-Dystopian, Young Adult

194 pages

Release Date:  May 28, 2015

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The world we know is gone, destroyed by greed and ignorance. On a post-apocalyptic Earth, centuries into the future, few have survived the Great War. Some have taken refuge deep inside a mountain. One of them, Willem, is exiled to the surface… Alone and struggling to survive, Willem embarks on an epic journey, making a discovery that could once again alter the future of humanity. Willem of the Tafel is an epic tale of survival, second chances, hope and undying love.

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Check out the trailer for Willem of the Tafel

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AUTHOR SHOP/BEATEN TRACK SHOP/AMAZON/B&N/KOBO/INDIGO/ALIBRIS/iBOOKS/GOODREADS

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Follow the Willem of the Tafel Virtual book tour here

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author-hans-hirschi

Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.
A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.

The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.

A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”

Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union and the Writers’ Center in Sweden.

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The giveaway for Willem of the Tafel has 11 randomly chosen winners; 10 will receive $15 Gift codes to the author’s shop, but the grand prize winner will receive a free ticket to GayRomLit retreat 2015, in San Diego, CA, happening October 15-18th, 2015. Ticket value is $175, but if you win the grand prize, you’re responsible for travel and accommodations. Please notify the author in advance should you win and be unable to attend, so we can choose another recipient to enjoy the prize! 

Character Profile from Willem of the Tafel 

Adrianjaka, Chief of Madagascar

Gender: Male

Age: late forties when we first meet him

Occupation: Chief of Madagascar and one of the four leaders of the world

Adrianjaka is an interesting man. Born into a powerful family with royal roots, he is used to being in charge, making decisions. He is the elected leader of the Malagasy people in the 26th century when the story begins. He was mated to a white woman of Kiwi descent, whom he lost to cancer, one of the many diseases plaguing a world that has no modern technology. His daughter, mother to one of the main characters, Hery, dies giving birth to Hery, which leaves Adrianjaka devastated, as he was very close to her, and it strains the relationship to his grandson for years. Hery eventually attends a school in the north of the island, a school dedicated to kids with disabilities (Hery is deaf) and meets the fisherman Stephane on who’s boat he begins to work as a sailor, further alienating him from his grandfather who had different plans for him.

However, the stubbornness and dedication of Hery slowly wear down the old man and when they meet at a crucial point in the story, Adrianjaka realizes that the path Hery has taken has prepared him for the future.

Adrianjaka is a crucial secondary character in the book. He is wise, he is powerful, but he’s not blinded by it, unlike his counterpart in South Africa, Mavuto.

I, personally, love Adrianjaka, because he’s not perfect but has a good heart and is able to recognise his mistakes, move on and accept. And he has the well-being of his people as his main interest. As I said at the beginning, if only…

Here, my review:

Willem of the Tafel is not an easy book to classify. The main protagonist, Willem, is quite young at the beginning of the action, and the novel follows his journey towards independence and adulthood, so it has elements of a Young Adult story. It portrays a future post-nuclear catastrophe, where environment takes its toll and pays humanity back, with most of the population being wiped-out and the few survivors taking some radical decisions. It’s a dystopia/utopia (depending on each person’s viewpoint) whereby whilst some groups of humans have decided to abandon technology to avoid further catastrophes, others depend on it for their basic survival. So it could be a science-fiction novel. It’s a novel with a strong pro-environmental message, and it reflects upon the human condition (fear, power struggles, and race relations). It is also a beautiful love story between two extraordinary young men, as different from each other as they could be, but as compatible and similar in their outlook as would be possible.

The author uses third person alternating point of view to make the reader share in the feelings of those characters that, although initially might appear completely alien to us once we move past their circumstances, they are not that different from all of us. Both of the post-apocalyptic societies that are shown have their problems. The people living on the surface who have renounced technology see their lives shortened but their lack of science and experiment hardship without any relief in sight, although they live a much simpler life and enjoy human contact. The society of the Tafel has developed a model of life where the main goal is survival and nothing that does not increase its likelihood is considered worthy of pursuit. Reproduction has become mechanised, society divided and dying due to lack of new blood and light, and each individual is only a cog in a machine. And there are huge division and differences according to race. Neither model is shown as perfect although the Tafel seems, by far, the sadder of the two (and perhaps the closer to where we are going).

Willem is and extraordinary character. An individual part of a system who is wonderfully unlike anybody else and whose punishment for an accidental death becomes his (and humanity’s) salvation. Willem brought to my mind Herman Melville’s character ‘Billy Budd’, the beautiful and innocent sailor who kills another sailor (unintentionally) and pays dearly for it, not only for his crime, but because he represents what the captain can’t be or have. Thankfully, in the case of Willem, this young man goes on to become the link between the two societies and a symbol of hope.

A joyful and optimistic read that affirms the human spirit. Suitable for all ages. A character and a novel I won’t forget.

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Willem of the Tafel Tour brought to you by…

Happy-Geek-Media

Happy Geek Media

Thanks to Amberr for organising the tour, thanks to Hans Hirschi for another fabulous book, and thanks to you all for reading. And don’t forget to like, share, comment, participate in the giveaway, and of course, CLICK!

Normally on Tuesdays I bring you one of my posts, but due to scheduling issues (there are a few of us publishing novels this month), I’ve decided to swap things around for a couple of weeks to make sure everything works out smoothly. Today, I bring you a new author, Hayden D. Linder and his first novel The Hand of Death. And here he is.

Hi everyone,

I would like to begin by thanking Olga for allowing me to post on her site as a part of my blog tour for my debut novel “The Hand of Death.” She has been a true pleasure to work with.

Hayden Linder and his gorgeous children

Hayden D. Linder and children: From left to right: Vivian, Hayden, Felix, Lee and my eldest, Chuy.

 

I love my children but do not let their angelic faces fool you. They just do that for the camera. They are four of the meanest little monsters to walk the great state of Texas. But they – are – adorable! My lovely wife, Ruby, took the picture and it is one of my favorites. Anyway, who am I? I am a 40 something father who works a weekend night shift so that my free time means I get to watch my children instead of some stranger doing it while my wife is at work. I read, mostly the classics but I have had my fair share of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. OK, I used to read romance novels as well, but I’m not proud of it! And I haven’t touched em in years.

I have not been writing for long; I spent most of my childhood dreaming, which as it turns out has provided me with a ton of fuel to use in my stories. So take that Sister Elizabeth! My daydreaming DID pay off after all!

Ten years ago I sat down and decided to write this book. It started out fine but I lost hope due to a lack of confidence. After eight years of sitting on the story my wife managed to convince me to start it up again. And the last year and half have been glorious! I have enjoyed ALL of it. Even the editing that seems to be the worst part for most writers was fun for me. I do have to give credit to my editor, Tasha Vice, for most of that as she is a wonderful person to work with.

Once we had the cover art and internal art nuances added to the book I posted it on Amazon and have been enjoying? Is that the right word? I think it is actually. I have been enjoying the process of advertising myself and my book ever since.

In my book you follow the life of Shotoku Hiro as he grows from a child playing with his friends to a young man being groomed for a very despicable job. Hiro lives in the land of Giapan where samurai and wizards fight for and against the great Houses who serve the Emperor of Giapan. Hiro’s place in this struggle is to become a ninja and hide in the shadows while ensuring victory for his House, the Koga House, through deceit, deception and outright murder. You follow along as Hiro struggles to keep his humanity, protect his friends and honor his family. All of this with a large helping of sarcasm.

The Hand of Death by Hayden Linder

The Hand of Death by Hayden Linder

You can find the book for sale as well as a sneak peek on its Amazon page here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VC1408Y/

From the book:

The Emperor was so interested in what was found after the battle that he was actually

coming to visit. My lord ordered me, as much as he could, to go home.

“You cannot stay, Hiro.”

“But I have never seen the man.”

“And that will change soon enough.”

“I am not sure I like the sound of that but back to the point, why can I not stay?”

“…The Iga are his personal shinobi. They have heard of you. It would make them… uncomfortable if they knew you were here.”

I nodded. “So your concern is just that I could be a distraction.”

“Yes. This is a very important visit for our friends. I do not want to ruin it for them because some snot nosed Iga  could not focus.”

“…But you get to stay?’

“Well yeah!” He laughed.

To contact me:

http://bit.ly/1HOTn6m

Thank you much

Thanks so much to Hayden for bringing us his debut novel. I know he’s very eager to get feedback and looking to share snippets of his next book and possibly of his current book, so don’t forget to check all the ways you can contact him. Thank you very much for reading, and although next Tuesday we have another blog tour, we’ll soon be back to normal (hopefully!), and  you know… share, comment, like and CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I try and bring you new authors that haven’t visited yet my blog. Sometimes I keep reading about some authors, I enjoy their blogs, and they become such familiar faces for me, that I’m surprised when I check back and realise they’ve never visited my blog yet.

That is the case with my guest today.

Nicholas Rossis is a writer I’ve known for a while and whose blog  I thoroughly enjoy and I’ve mentioned before. (It’s full of useful information, don’t miss it!). How I hadn’t featured his books here before, is anybody’s guess, but finally, today is the day.

First, a bit about Nicholas:

Author Nicholas Rossis

Author Nicholas Rossis

Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Now, author.

Nicholas loves to write. Except for his epic fantasy series, Pearseus, he has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories. These have all become Amazon best-sellers. His latest book is Runaway Smile, a children’s book.

He lives in Athens, Greece, in the middle of a forest, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all his books are professionally edited!

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-C.-Rossis/e/B00FXXIBZA/

Now, his books:

Pearseus: Rise of the Prince

Pearseus: Rise of the Prince

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (Book 1 of the Pearseus epic fantasy series)

Justice without compassion is but tyranny

The series that has reached #1 on Amazon!

The handful of humans that crash-landed on Pearseus three hundred years ago have by now colonized a large part of the planet, rebuilding their civilization from scratch. In the process, they have created a dystopia for themselves, splitting into three competing factions: the Capital, the Loyalists and the Democracies, all embroiled in endless intrigue and constant warfare.

An uneasy truce between the three parties still holds – barely. While man turns against man, the First, Pearseus’ indigenous people, wage their own war against a shadowy enemy; an ancient conflict that threatens to engulf and destroy all of humanity.

Following an unspeakable crime, the men and women of Pearseus struggle to live and love as their world crumbles all around them. But can love be found in the ruins of humanity’s civilization?

http://www.amazon.com/Pearseus-Rise-Prince-Book-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00FYRKLPI/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pearseus-Rise-Prince-Book-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00FYRKLPI/

 

Pearseus: Mad Water

Pearseus: Mad Water

Pearseus: Mad Water (book 2 of the Pearseus epic fantasy series)

The Amazon best-selling series continues!

In the second book of the best-selling Pearseus series, the incessant scheming of the various players and their nebulous puppet-masters has brought about major change. Cyrus is now the new ruler of the Capital, struggling to fight Jonia’s revolt along with his own demons. Gella strives to keep abreast of Teo’s devious plans in order to end the war with Jonia. David returns to the First in an effort to overcome his loss of the Voice. Lehmor’s struggle to reunite with Moirah brings him to uncharted territories, where the enigmatic Iota play with minds, senses and the future of the entire planet.

Old foes and unlikely new friends appear as invisible forces continue to tear humanity apart. Masks drop to reveal the ultimate truth: on Pearseus, everyone has their own agenda. And they’ll stop at nothing to achieve it.

http://www.amazon.com/Pearseus-Water-book-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00LPJWGGQ/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pearseus-Water-book-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00LPJWGGQ/

 

Pearseus: Vigi

Pearseus: Vigi

Pearseus: Vigil (book 3 of the Pearseus epic fantasy series)

It’s a difficult time on Pearseus. Teo Altman has assumed control of the Capital and has his eye on Parad’s children. Pratin and his monsters have laid siege on Malekshei. The Old Woman has forsaken Lehmor and the First. And Sol is preparing for the Capital’s inevitable invasion.

As Malekshei’s defenders fight for their lives, they realize they need an army to stop Pratin. To raise that army, they must do the unthinkable: wake up those who have been sleeping under Pearseus for the last hundred thousand years.

http://www.amazon.com/Pearseus-Vigil-book-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00TT0LN30/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pearseus-Vigil-book-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00TT0LN30/

This three books are also available as a box-set:

Pearseus Bundle

Pearseus Bundle

Box set

http://www.amazon.com/Pearseus-Bundle-books-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00LX9UUIY/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pearseus-Bundle-books-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00LX9UUIY/

 

And the prequel to the series:

Pearseus: Schism

Pearseus: Schism

Pearseus: Schism

Humanity starts over. Again.

The prequel to the Amazon best-selling series, Pearseus.

If you like dark epic fantasy with a sci-fi twist, then you’ll love Pearseus: Schism, the novelette that lays the back story to the series that has reached #1 on Amazon.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the year of 2099, but the distinguished guests aboard the Pearseus won’t get to countdown seconds; soon they’ll be counting bodies and survivors after the spaceship’s crash landing on another planet.

The good news? The planet is seemingly hospitable both in resources and in terms of the natives’ attitude towards earthlings.

The bad news? They might have come on this planet bare of possessions, but what they haven’t been able to shed are the shortcomings of their human nature. Will that be the sole threat to a unified future, or is the new land and its first inhabitants not as innocent as they look?

http://www.amazon.com/Pearseus-Schism-prequel-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00FXOJQA8/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pearseus-Schism-prequel-epic-fantasy-ebook/dp/B00FXOJQA8/

The Power of Six

The Power of Six

The Power of Six: Six (plus one) Science Fiction Short Stories [Kindle Edition]

Nicholas C. Rossis (Author), Amos M. Carpenter (Author)

Six science fiction short stories written by the author of Pearseus, the epic fantasy series that has reached #1 on Amazon. This edition includes one extra story, written by Amos M. Carpenter.

The Power of Six reached #1 on Amazon in October 2014.

Although they seem to be concerned with various themes, there are certain passions that run through them. What is the nature of reality; digital and corporeal? Is there more to the world than we can see? How far can we trust our senses? What are the consequences of our actions, and is it possible to change them? And if so, would we simply repeat same mistakes, or make new ones?

The anthology includes the following stories:

“Simulation Over”: How far can we trust our senses?
“For the Last Time”: The law of unintended consequences meets Murphy’s law during a man’s unexpected time travel.
“The Hand of God”: What do the game characters do when we stop playing?
“I Come in Peace”: an award-winning short story that poses the question: how far would man go to alleviate his loneliness?
“A Fresh Start”: If we were free to go anywhere in time and space, where would we choose to go?
“The Sentry”: What is a Sentry to do when the monster that steals away his family’s most precious possessions reappears?
“Big Bang”: A friendly game turns into much more in this short story written by Amos M. Carpenter.

Humorous and poignant, these short stories are exciting, intriguing and imaginative.

http://www.amazon.com/Power-Six-Science-Fiction-Stories-ebook/dp/B00K57JTAA/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Six-Science-Fiction-Stories-ebook/dp/B00K57JTAA/

And his illustrated children’s book:

Runaway Smile

Runaway Smile

 

Runaway Smile: An unshared smile is a wasted smile [Kindle Edition]

Nicholas Rossis (Author), Lorelei Logsdon (Editor), Dimitris Fousekis (Illustrator)

“I woke up this morning and I had lost my smile and it wasn’t my fault and I looked everywhere and it was gone. Then I met a workman and a king and the best salesman in the world and a clown and no-one wanted to give me theirs. At school, I asked Miss to give me hers, but she gave us a pop quiz instead, and then no-one was smiling and…”

A little boy wakes up in the morning and realizes he has lost his smile. After spending the entire day trying to find it, he learns the truth behind smiles: the only real smiles are the shared ones.

http://www.amazon.com/Runaway-Smile-unshared-smile-wasted-ebook/dp/B00QQC2YLY/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Runaway-Smile-unshared-smile-wasted-ebook/dp/B00QQC2YLY/

Thanks so much to Nicholas Rossi for his books, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

PS: Nicholas kindly left a comment sharing more information about his work, and I thought it was only right to add it to the main post.

Here is Nicholas himself, generous to a fault:

For anyone wanting a risk-free taste of my work, you can read my children’s book, Runaway Smile, for free on:

http://nicholasrossis.me/childrens-books/

You can also read a couple of my short stories from the Power of Six:

http://nicholasrossis.me/2014/05/08/the-power-of-six-on-pre-release-sale-and-free-story/
and
http://nicholasrossis.me/2014/04/28/cover-reveal-the-power-of-six/

Thanks Nicholas!

Hi all:

As you know, apart from a writer, I’m also a reader and when I have time, I read. I’ve been reading many indie books of recent and being a writer I know how important it is for writers to get reviews for their books. I also try and share them here and see if people who might have missed them find the books interesting.

Today I bring you two short and very different reads. One is a distopian YA novella and the other one a non-fiction book about relationships.

The Ivory Tower

The Ivory Tower

Review of Kirstin Pulioff’s ‘The Ivory Tower’

A sharp, shiny and precise jewel of a dystopian novella.

I read The Ivory Tower very quickly some time ago and have finally managed to catch up with a review. This dystopian story is brief but hides a good punch. I’m always in two minds with regards to shorter stories. On the one hand I want to know more, but on the other hand, the best of them are like perfect jewels, nicely shaped, shiny and precise. Sharp with no rounded edges. I suspect some of that precision and the effect might be lost if they were longer.

The Ivory Tower is one of those stories. The reader is given some details but not the full story behind the situation or the reasons why the characters live as they do. And that makes you think and imagine. It also works because when the main character finds herself in a situation that she cannot quite understand, you are in her shoes and as astounded as her by what happens. The sense of menace and threat increases as one reads and the writing helps create an atmospheric and intriguing tale. Although there are no unduly lengthy descriptions, the reader knows where s/he is. And the ending…

If you only have a little time and want a good story (not a feel good story, though) go and grab The Ivory Tower, quick!

http://www.amazon.com/Ivory-Tower-Kirstin-Pulioff-ebook/dp/B00FJ3A58A/

After "I Do!" A Marriage Map

After “I Do!” A Marriage Map

After “I Do!” A Marriage Map by P.J. LaRue Common sense advice about relationships, from the heart.

Before I write the review I must confess something. I’m not married and I’m not in a relationship at the moment. I’m not sure if that qualifies me more or disqualifies me completely from writing this review, but I’ve already warned you. If you want to read on, it’s up to you.

Having said all that, I have to confess I loved the book. Like all advice, one can take it or leave it. And Oscar Wilde already told us that the thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. That one should never use it oneself. I don’t agree although understand the sentiment.

P.J. LaRue explains her reasons for writing the book. She is aware of the statistics on the survival of relationships and observes that although her marriage seemed to have many numbers for not working, it has (so far for over thirty years). As people kept asking her and her husband for the recipe, that got her thinking, and as she is a writer, she thought she’d write a book about it.

The author’s advice is common sense, but not for that less valuable. She reflects on what she calls ‘Starter Marriages’ and observes that if there is no true commitment to a relationship from the beginning you might as well not even bother. If you’re going to give up at the first hurdle, don’t get in the race. She also emphasises the importance of communication, true communication, and she highlights the elements she thinks are necessary for such communication to exist: honesty, be open, listen, never trash talk, don’t play games, whisper sweet nothings, choose your words carefully, change requires self-awareness, change takes effort, compromise, tone, body language, golden rule and R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Other than ‘whisper sweet nothings’ I’d say they are very good principles to follow in any communication, but even more important when the communication is with your loved one.

If the advice is sound, as I say, what I found more touching (and it is a touching book) was how the author uses her own relationship as a yardstick and example of both the things to do and the possible pitfalls, the type of problems that relationships experience. She is candid and honest when talking about her personal difficulties and the trials that they have had to go through (and they’re still coming to terms with).

It might be that some of the ideas exposed in the book (yes, I’m talking about her stance on sex in relationships) might sound old-fashioned, and she herself acknowledges that, but just because something is old or has been said before it doesn’t mean it is wrong. You can always decide what parts of the advice you think should apply to you, but if you can be as selfless and insightful as the author is after you read it, I guarantee you will have a much better chance at making your relationship work.

http://www.amazon.com/After-Do-Marriage-Map-LaRue-ebook/dp/B00LIGL9FK/

By the way, very recently I’ve joined the BTS-e Magazine team of reviewers (I’ll let you know when my reviews come up and give you a link to the magazine), so I leave you links to it for you to check and explore.

Thanks so much for reading, and you know, if  you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and of course CLICK! Ah, and if read any books and enjoy them, remember to review and recommend them to your friends!

Hers to Command Banner 450 x 169

Today I’m very pleased to take part in Patricia A. Knight’s blog tour of her new novel Hers to Command.

Hers_To_Command_Cover_Final_CORRECTED

Here two excerpts to get your appetite going:

First:

The potent aphrodisiac enveloped Fleur in a dizzying swirl as she swallowed the last of the jeweled goblet‘s contents. It tasted of wine, cinnagin and musk. The heavy door to the ritual chamber opened. A scarlet-robed man strode through, pulling the door closed behind him. He halted abruptly, standing motionless, fixing her with a long stare before lifting an ironic eyebrow.

“You are my partner? You are tiny. I could break you.”

His rich baritone vibrated in her feminine places. Her senses rioting, she inhaled the clean scent of lingnum soap borne on a waft of air. Her senses reeled under the masculine assault of the warrior standing before her. His robes indicated a seventh-level magister of advanced magicks. His scarlet robe of office loosely draped a tall, broad-shouldered, spare body. Warrior braids at his temple swept back heavy, shoulder-length, auburn curls, leaving his high cheekbones and strong jaw in clean profile. His hazel eyes regarded her with the intensity of a great hunting cat. You are a very large man.

Fleur stood as tall as her five-foot-nothing would allow. “I am sturdier than I look.”

Her eyes wandered over the height and breadth of him. Patricio is right. He has a physical presence. “The docenti told me that under the influence of cinnagin, I would happily service a bald-headed cave troll. You, sir, are not a cave troll.” He looked taken aback, then just snorted.

A sudden flush sent her equilibrium reeling. “This aphrodisiac is affecting me strangely. I feel a little—dizzy.”

Swaying where she stood, her gaze shot up to him as he moved silently to steady her. His large hand felt calloused and warm against her upper arm. A strange course of electric sensation pulsed between them. My mind is playing games with me.

His other hand held leather cuffs and lashings. She was unable to hold his amber gaze, unwilling to betray her precipitous arousal and mounting fear. Trembling, she stepped out of his gentle hold. Without thought, she rubbed her arm where his touch had sparked that strange electric tingle.

Fleur moved to the glazed window overlooking the profusely blooming courtyard below. Some young children laughed gaily as they pursued each other around the central fountain in a carefree game of tag. Such sweet innocence. It reminded her why she was here. She wanted to give them a lifetime of carefree days.

“You know we must succeed.” Fleur carefully placed the goblet on the sill and steadied herself, bracing both hands against the framing, her heart suddenly racing, her breath coming in short pants.

Yes. I am aware of the stakes.”

She threw a glance toward him, at his dry, sardonic response. Her thoughts spun frantically. What do I know about House DeTano? They are superb horsemen. “I don’t remember seeing you at court,” she said.

“Before the invasion, I lived off-planet for a number of years. I came back to fight for Her, for the Senzienza, and for my people.”

Fleur straightened in astonishment. “She has spoken to you? The Senzienza, Verdantia, has spoken to you?”

He inclined his head slightly. “Yes.”

“I’ve never met—.” She shook her head. “Later.” He is vastly more than he seems.

Fleur glanced nervously to the leather cuffs held in her magister’s surprisingly elegant hands. “Being bound is difficult for me. But I will submit to you.” His head tilted in question, and then his hazel eyes softened.

“Most certainly, you will submit to me. I have performed the Great Rite many times, my Lady and though I would spare you, the binding is necessary.”

She could not control her trembling. He moved to stroke her bare arms in reassurance. Again, that strange sensation pulsed through her.

“Don’t fear me. I’ll take care with you,” he murmured.

Don’t fear him? Heat from his body engulfed her. Her skin tingled where his calloused hands caressed her arms. She didn’t understand why his erotic pull was so strong. It must be the cinnagin.

His hard thighs easily trapped her against the marble windowsill as he gathered her hair aside to pull at the golden cords holding up her gown. The firm length of his arousal pressed into her back. She heard the catch in his breath as he bared her. The warmth of his whispered, “By the goddess, you are exquisite,” flowed across her shoulders. “Lady, you have no conception how cruel the next few hours will become. We cannot rely solely upon your self-control, for in every way you must submit to me.”

His baritone voice rumbled through her. Now it begins. She would risk anything for even a chance of success. “Yes. I submit. Everything depends on it.”

“Yes, everything.” He nipped her shoulder then gently kissed the sting away.

“I am going to caress every part of you and keep you aroused until the crystals sing with power. The longer you stay at the edge of climax, the faster the crystals can draw on your energy. Sometimes it takes merely a day to replenish their power. If you should go over, I will bring you right back up. As long as you are able, you must deny yourself or tell me when you approach your peak. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” she whispered. “And when I can no longer discipline myself? If I am beyond self-control?” She gasped in air, her heart pounding in her ears. “What then?”

Swaying, unsteady on her feet, her eyes were drawn to the implements hanging on the far wall—whips, paddles, manacles, bars and others she could not identify. Her fear spiked upward.

“Then I will bring you back up, repeatedly.” He had followed her gaze. The corner of one lip quirked up and his amber eyes narrowed wickedly. “By whatever means necessary.”

At this, her knees buckled. If the conte had not been quick to catch her, she would have shared the floor with her robe, then all went dark.

Do you want more? OK, there is the second:

It was perhaps an hour later when her guard tapped lightly. “Your Highness.”

“Yes, Eric.”

“Conte DeTano is here.”

“Please admit him.” She watched from her seat on the chaise as Ari strode into the room.

“Your Highness.”

“Conte,” she smiled. “Please, sit.”

“I prefer to stand if it is the same to you, Your Highness,” he replied curtly.

“It is not. I dislike having you loom over me like a bomb about to explode.”

A laugh startled from his lips and he smiled as he sat down in the chair Patricio had vacated.

He is so handsome when he smiles.

“My second-in-command sent me some troublesome news today. I am out of sorts. I didn’t mean to direct my temper at you, Your Highness.”

“Apology accepted. I would like it very much if you would call me Fleur. You did before.”

“Yes, well. Being balls-deep between your legs creates a certain intimacy,” Ari said with a wicked grin. “If that is your wish, Your Highness, Fleur, it is.”

Heat crept up her cheeks. He says the most unexpected things. Taking a deep breath, she regrouped, handing Ari the scroll. “Tell me about this.”

He scanned carefully as he unrolled the stiff parchment. He stopped midway, then rolled it back up. With a soft chime of medallions, he re-tied the ribbons, placing it on a low table beside him. “What is it you wish to know?”

Oh dear. She studied his austere expression, trying to decide on a diplomatic way to start. “Why is marrying me so distasteful that you would flee the planet for fifteen years?” She winced inwardly. Tactful, Fleur—very subtle.

Ari’s eyes narrowed and his fingers started drumming on the arms of the chair. He rose and paced to the window, then stood looking out.

“It was not the thought of marriage to you that was distasteful. What was distasteful was the thought of a marriage to anyone based solely on my genetics. It is how you breed animals, not people. I am not a stud horse to be bred to Patricio’s favorite mare.” His back stiffened. “My apologies. I did not mean…”

“Please, Ari, sit down,” she interrupted. Patricio’s ‘mare’? Ouch.

“I prefer to stand,” he responded curtly, not moving from the window.

She rolled her eyes in exasperation. “I am not used to speaking to someone’s backside half-way across the room. Will you at least turn around?”

A smile flickered. He turned. “I didn’t want to ‘loom’.” Laughter lurked in his eyes, and a half-smile turned his lips.

He really is quite extraordinary. A soft laugh escaped her. “Thank you.”

He nodded and folded his arms across his chest, then crossed his legs at the ankles as he leaned back onto the windowsill. The heavy muscles of his arms and chest stretched his black knit sweater, and the black leather leggings tucked into his over-the-knee boots left little for her to imagine. Such a handsome man.

Something about the way his eyes explored her body sent heat up and down her spine then straight to her lady-parts. She remembered the weight of him as he lay atop her. She remembered looking up into his gold-flecked eyes, feeling his mobile lips caressing her cheeks, feeling the rough brush of his beard on her tender inner skin as he—mind on present business, Fleur!

“Ahem,” she cleared her throat. “So, have you given this contract any further thought? Do you still find it so distasteful?” Oh, by the gods, Fleur, show some subtlety. What is wrong with you?

“Why? Are you going to ask me to marry you?” He eyed her dispassionately.

She held his gaze steadily. How did this conversation get away from me? “Not today.”

“Good.” He looked at the timekeeper on her table. “Your Highness, I am very short on time. I will continue this discussion with you another day.” He started toward her door.

“You haven’t answered my question, sir!”

“Yes. No,” he tossed over his shoulder as he left the room.

Argggh! She slumped back onto the couch. Yes? No? What? She replayed their conversation.

Have you given this contract further thought? “Yes.” Do you still find it so distasteful? “No.”

Her mouth gradually developed a delighted smile.

Now details of the book (and where to get it, links to the author, and everything you might want…)

Hers To Command
Verdantia Series Book One

Patricia A. Knight

Genre: ♂♀♂ Erotic Romance, Sci-fi/futuristic

Publisher: Troll River Publications

Date of Publication: 6/4/2013

ISBN: 978-1-939564-10-8

ASIN: B00D5KVIV2

Number of pages: 193

Word Count: 73,428

Cover Artist: Truenotdreams

Book Description:

Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. Princess Fleur Constante, his contractual bride and the beautiful future queen, though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything – including her own sanity – to save her planet.

The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing—a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people pre-chosen by the planet, Herself,  and promised by prearranged marriage contract.

Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary – Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.

The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.

Book Trailer:

http://youtu.be/sRt_mpFuenc

You can get it here!

Amazon   Goodreads   Kobo

Hers to Command Button 300 x 225

 

About the Author:

Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas surrounded by her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.


I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at http://www.trollriverpub.com/ or  http://www.patriciaaknight.com

 

Check out my latest “Hunk of the Day,” book releases, contests and other fun stuff on my face book page: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.knight.71619

Website:      http://www.patriciaaknight.com/home.html

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/patricia.knight.71619

 

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/patriciaaknight

Goodreads:           http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7093656.Patricia_A_Knight

Pinterest:    http://pinterest.com/patriciak4394/

And this is the whole list of the tour. Don’t forget to follow!

July 15 Guest blog
A.C. James
acjamesbooks.blogspot.com
July 15 Spotlight
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine
www.issuu.com/bewitchingbooktours
July 16 Guest blog
Tracing the Stars
http://www.TracingTheStars.com
 July 17 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.
pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com
July 18 Spotlight
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com
July 19 Spotlight and review
The Boyfriend Bookmark
http://theboyfriendbookmark.com
 July 19 Spotlight
Elfie Books
http://elfie-books.blogspot.co.uk
July 22 Spotlight
http://kellyatx.blogspot.com
 July 23 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm
www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com
July 24 Spotlight and review
Faerie Tale Books
www.faerietalebooks.org
July 25 Interview
Erotica by Cori Vidae
http://www.corividae.com/shiny/
July 26 Spotlight
Buried Under Books
http://buriedunderbooks1.wordpress.com
July 29 Interview
Romance on a Budget
http://www.suzannerock.wordpress.com
July 30 Spotlight
Fang-tastic Books
www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com
July 31 Spotlight
Mommasez…
ccclubbs.com
August 1 Guest blog and review
For The Love of Reading
http://niinas-reading-and-reviewing.blogspot.com/
August 2 Spotlight
OlgaNM
http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com
 August 2 Spotlight
Smoldering Heat
http://smolderingheat.wordpress.com
 August 5 Spotlight and review
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com
August 5 Guest blog
Love in a Book
http://www.loveinabook.com
 August 6 Spotlight and review
I am a book addict…and proud of it
http://romanceinthehighlands.blogspot.com/
 August 6 review
Fandom Fanatic
http://fandomfanatic.blogspot.com/
August 7 Guest blog
Share My Destiny
http://sharemydestiny.blogspot.com
August 8 Guest blog
Erotica For All,
http://eroticaforall.co.uk
August 9 Spotlight
Let’s Talk About Books
http://michelle-willms.tumblr.com/
http://michellewillmsblog.wordpress.com/
 August 9 review
Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews
http://literalhottiesnaughtybookreviews.blogspot.com/
August 12 Guest Blog
Grave Tells
www.gravetells.com
August 12 review
A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books
http://bibliophilesthoughtsonbooks.blogspot.com/

Roxanne Rhoads
Author, Book Publicist, Owner Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com 

And if you’ve enjoyed the post, don’t forget to comment, share and of course, CLICK!

Hi dear readers:

I bring you two reviews of two books I’ve read recently. I’ve given both of them 5 stars although they couldn’t be more different.

Have a look and see what you think:

lost angeles

Lost Angeles. Trip to the edge of self-destruction

I came across this novel in Goodreads. I followed with interest the author’s reviews of other works and his blog and I must admit I loved the title. It had been on my `to read’ list for a while, and I’m pleased to say that I finally found the time to read it and I’m very pleased I did.
Lost Angeles reads like a memoir, but not your standard memoir (if there is such a thing). The book follows the protagonist, Doug, a young and articulate man from Belfast, and his travels/adventures in Los   Angeles. Doug is not in Los Angeles to see the sights, although the does see many sights (some that none of us would wish to see). From the beginning you realise that he’s there with a mission. You don’t come to realise quite how determined he is to self-destruct until much later in the book. He drinks, takes drugs, engages in casual sex, and drifts from cheap accommodation to even cheaper digs (including the `Lost Angeles’ of the title that used to be a place for sex for sale) all the time meeting real people. Some idiots, some nice but misguided, some lost and looking, some also drifters.
The reasons for Doug’s trip are slowly revealed through interspersed chapters about his life back home (I’m a bit reluctant to call them flashbacks. They’re memories, but too long, detailed and elaborate to be what’s more generally understood as flashback). You quickly realise that he’s mourning the end of what seems to have been his most significant relationship, but later you realise that there is more to it than that, and come to care and empathise with Doug even more. Because if there’s something notable about the novel is that despite behaviour that many of us would neither approve of, not adhere to, we like Doug. He might drive us insane if we met him but…whilst embarked on his self-destructive path he tries his hardest to help others and to do no harm. By the end you’re rooting for him and hope that against all odds things will work out for him.
A very personal novel, I truly enjoyed Lost Angeles. This is a novel for adults and I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to read about real people coping with life, as best they can. I look forward to many more books by Mr Louden.

Links:

e-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG5NS30/

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477563644/

41rvumpe93L._AA160_

In the Reign of the Ilev by Mary Meddlemore. A dystopia that resonates.

I have had the pleasure of reading two of Mary Meddlemore’s works before. Mary Meddlemore is a character in Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story, one of the novels I have read and loved and has also adopted the writing credits for In the Reign of the Ilev and The Seventh Sheep, a collection of four of the most whimsical and magical short stories I’ve ever read. My previous experiences meant that I was really looking forward to Ilev and it did not disappoint, although it is a very different read.

Ilev is classified under the category of Young Adult Science-Fiction, although it would appeal to readers of any age. It is the story of Nina, and 18 y old girl how is one of the Chosen Four who have been the successful ones in going through a selection process from between 40 promising youths in the City. Now the Four had to go through the Final Test and only one will be the Champion. All the champions become rulers of the City and are in charge of the Master Computer. You’ll tell me ‘not another one of these stories of youths fighting amongst themselves to survive’. Well, not really. The test consists in their being dropped some distance from the City and returning to it. Whoever is the first, will be the new Champion. Nina is very confident, egotistical, and only interested in fame, success, material things and power. She does not tolerate weaknesses or flaws and even notices that the previous champions all seem defective in some way. She goes through a number of strange experiences that make her question her identity (children do not live with their families but are all brought up together) and her perception of reality (is she hallucinating or it is really happening? Does she have feelings for Daniel, one of the other Chosen ones, or is somebody interfering with her brain?). She discovers wonderful places and beings but also horrific happenings. All the things that she thought she knew and were certain are not, and that makes her question herself and become more human.

It’s difficult to empathise with Nina at the beginning of the novel, although from her description it seems that she is a product of the society where she grew up. By the end she becomes a true heroine, confronting the terrible truth destroying and deadening civilisation, and she brings forth a new order. There is a price to pay for the changes that take place, but there is hope for new beginnings.

How does Ilev compare to other dystopian novels of the genre? There is action; there are interesting characters, fantastic situations, a love (?) interest…and much more. Nina is an interesting narrator, not knowingly unreliable (she does not care enough about other people’s opinions to lie) although she becomes confused as to the nature of reality at points. She grows and changes throughout the novel and comes to appreciate the value of cooperation, of stories, of history, and of freedom. Winning is no longer the main goal and total power becomes clearly identified with evil. The City in Ilev is a terrible creation but not so far away from our daily lives and experiences. You can’t help but compare your life with that of the inhabitants of the City and wonder if it’s time to become a Chosen one and destroy the order that’s keeping people from really experiencing life and the universe. Given a chance, would you be a Nina?

This novel could be read as a straight adventure sci-fi novel (although somewhat more challenging that many), but it has a message, learning points and reflections that would satisfy more sophisticated readers. I can only say that I hope Mary Meddlemore (and the writer behind her) keeps writing. I’ll keep reading her. I hope you do too.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GXHI84/

Thanks for reading and if you’ve liked it, leave a comment, share, and of course, don’t forget to CLICK!

Today, Friday, and as promised, I bring you Dan O’Brien and his interview with some of the characters from his Sci-Fiction novel The Path of the Fallen. Not that his characters are happy to just be interviewed, but they turn interviewers too at times….Don’t miss the great characters and don’t forget to click on the links!

And here I leave you with Dan and his characters!

The%20Path%20of%20the%20Fallen%20Cover[1]

As I sit down at my computer, I am struck by the eerie presence of someone behind me. Leaving behind the blinking cursor, I realize that the cast of my latest novel, The Path of the Fallen, are standing behind me. E’Malkai, sullen and burdened by the weight of the pilgrimage he has undertaken, stands behind the immovable figure of his Umordoc guardian, Elcites. Arms crossed over his chest, his gaze unsettles me despite how much time I have spent in his company whilst writing The Path of the Fallen. Arile, proud hunter of the north, leans against his spear and inspects the wall with a carefree look upon his face. Fe’rein, shrouded in the darkness that complements him so well, seethes with a dark mix of irritation and confidence.

E’Malkai: I heard that you wanted to speak to us.

Me: (clearing my throat) In a manner of speaking, yes.

Fe’rein: (glowering) What do you want? We have business left unfinished.

Me: I am releasing The Path of the Fallen, after nearly a decade hiatus, and wanted to let potential readers know a little more about it. Instead of giving them a dry summary or an adjective-laden exposition, I thought getting to know the characters might be a fun exercise.

Arile: (not making eye contact and looking away with a bored look on his face) What precisely would these potential readers want to know about us? We are an open book (snickers).

Me: Let’s start with something simple: Describe yourself to the readers.

Fe’rein: Darkness. Death. There is little else to know.

E’Malkai: (shifting uncomfortably behind his guardian) I do not know what to say about myself. I thought I knew what I supposed to do with my life, but there was always something missing. When I learned about the history of the Fallen and the journey my father began, I realized that I had to find out more, learn about where I came from.

Elcites: (grunting) I am no more than what is expected of me. I guard E’Malkai. That is all that matters.

Arile: I am the last of my people. We once could hear all the voices of the earth. The world has been broken. I can no longer hear what I once could. My people have been scattered into the winds, but I can still hear their distant voices. They speak of a new age, and of a final war.

Me: That all sounds quite dire. You make it seem like there is only darkness and sadness. Are there no happy moments in your life, memories that give you pause and hope when you consider them?

Elcites: The day I was given my charge, when I first met young E’Malkai, was the greatest and saddest day of my life.

E’Malkai: (looking up at the stoic look on his guardian’s face) I recall playing with my uncle once upon a time. (Pausing) The world changed, and so too did those memories. I cannot seem to look back upon the strained moments of my life and see happiness.

(Fe’rein scoffs and crosses his arms over his chest. He clearly is not going to answer the question.)

Arile: Each day is full of happiness and sadness, joy and terror. I find grace and importance in the simplest of tasks. This day is a gift. We must not look upon it with sorrow.

(I start to speak, but Fe’rein interrupts me, his power crawling over his skin like a swarm of frightening insects.)

Fe’rein: What makes this story any different than any of the other drivel available?

Me: That is a bit strong, isn’t it? I would like to think that my writing offers a fresh perspective on the fantasy and science fiction genre. I always try and include elements of ethics and philosophical assumptions in my novels, and this one is no different. I love to explore the elements of good and evil, as well as the murky gray area that is exposed when decisions and choices and are no longer easy. I think it captures the essence of the monomyth, or the hero’s journey, as well as being a rousing adventure tale that a reader of any age can enjoy.

E’Malkai: How is it doing so far?

Me: It is a bit early in the game to really say much about it. I released it almost a decade ago and it was well received, but it was in desperate need of a strong editing session. Now, I feel like it accurately reflects my growth as a writer and that it has a strong chance of being pretty successful, perhaps my most successful work yet.  Let’s put the focus back on you: What do you want from life?

E’Malkai: I want to set things right…

(Fe’rein stands suddenly. Elcites turns, interceding between the Dark Creator and the youth. Arile moves soundlessly behind the mion.)

Fe’rein: There is nothing to set right. I did what was necessary. They took Summer away from me. They had to pay.

Me: (standing) It seems as though I have struck a nerve. Let’s try something a bit easier, shall we? What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

Arile: (lowering his weapon) The search for truth, questioning my place in this world. Complacency weakens the mind. I value knowledge, intelligence, and logic.

Fe’rein: (sitting once more with a huff) Solitude. The power to do what I must to keep what I have claimed. Once, I valued family and love, but those times have passed.

Elcites: My charge, my mission.

E’Malkai: My family, the people who depend on and believe in me, even if that faith is misplaced.

Me: Speaking of family, did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?

(Elcites maintains his ambivalent stare and Arile inspects something deeper in the darkness of the room.)

Fe’rein: I did not know my mother and father well. I have memories of them, brief glimpses of who they were, moments in time frozen and exaggerated. I used to wonder how they would judge me, but that doesn’t matter to me any longer. I turned out the way I did because of the choices I made. My father could not have known what would fall into my path. His plan for me is irrelevant.

E’Malkai: (looking at his uncle, Fe’rein, with sorrow) I did not know my father, but as I traveled north I learned much about the man he was and who he wanted me to be. My mother was secretive of my past, but I do not blame her. I realize now that she did not want me to die as my father had.

Me: That is quite sad. The path of the fallen began when Seth, your father, was cast from the Fallen and then ends when you return. Were you afraid of traveling north by yourself, E’Malkai? What is your greatest fear?

E’Malkai: Not being able to do what is necessary. Turnabout is fair play: At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Me: A meaningful question indeed. I think I always knew I wanted to be a writer. When I was about six, I designed an entire play for my cousin’s birthday: sets, script, and little figures on Popsicle sticks. As the years went by, I found that the notion of storytelling was very attractive. This pursuit led me to writing my first novel in high school, a space opera that I published in 2002. Since then I have published ten novels and plan on telling stories until someone spreads my ashes over the sea. (Turning to Fe’rein) Fe’rein, what is your greatest regret?

Fe’rein: Beyond being summoned to this ridiculous farce, I would imagine the content of my life was the result of walking down a path to darkness. It was not sudden or abrasive, but instead incremental and engrossing. My greatest regret is taking my brother’s life. It was too late for me by then. I could only see darkness, despair.

Elcites: (clearing his throat) What was your intent with writing The Path of the Fallen? Why did you set us down this path?

Me: I wanted to tell a very particular story: one in which the line between good and evil become blurred and the consequences of a hero’s actions mean much more than defeating the bad guy. I liked the notion of a family saga wrapped up in an epic science fiction/fantasy novel. The hero’s cycle makes for a powerful story and often answers fundamental questions about the human condition. Hopefully, my book is successful to that end. (Taking a step forward and gesturing to Arile) Arile, how do you decide if you can trust someone? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Arile: Trust, like respect, is earned. When I first met E’Malkai, it was his naivety and simple manner that let me know that I could trust him. Generally, the test of whether or not a person is trustworthy is created by the environment, selected for by pressures that challenge a person. The idea of being predisposed to trust, or not to trust, is born of not trusting oneself. Have you written many more stories? Are we to carry on, storyteller?

Me: As the book closes, the story does not end. The path has ended, at least metaphorically, but the journey is far from over. Book of Seth returns to the beginning, giving us a glimpse of the life of Seth Armen, as well as Ryan Armen before he was corrupted. The sequel, which takes place after The Path of the Fallen, is called Breath of the Creator and weighs in on what comes next. There are several other novels with transient beings not of your dimension: a supernatural detective solving murders in San Francisco; a young man who discovers what it takes to be responsible as the world falls apart; a love story set in an epic fantasy world. (Spreading my hands wide, acknowledging all of them) This question is for all of you, what is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

Arile: I will never forget when I returned home from a hunt and found my village decimated, wiped from this earth by Umordoc. I took the long walk into the tundra, to die, but found peace and a new home. The winds have been my companion ever since.

Fe’rein: Your question is foolish, storyteller. My childhood was a lifetime ago. I am no longer that frail boy who walked beside his brother on the tundra.

Elcites: I do not recall my childhood. I was born on Terra and raised in Culouth. My youth was devoted to learning everything I could about human beings and their ways so that I might one day protect E’Malkai.

E’Malkai: Once I had fond memories, but now they all seem like lies meant to obscure my path. Storyteller, do you read other stories? Are you reading anything right now, or have you read anything recently that is worth mentioning?

Me: I have been reading A Dance of Dragons by George R. R. Martin. I have become very invested in that world, though I will admit that the pace of the narrative has slowed dramatically. I find myself undulating between being surprised and intrigued by the story and then suddenly being quite bored.

Elcites: How did we come into being?

Me: I am assuming you are asking me about my writing process. For The Path of the Fallen I wrote it for four months straight, including Book of Seth. Generally, I like to create a living outline that evolves as the characters come to life and begin to guide the narrative. It is dependent on the world I am invested in at any given time.

E’Malkai: Are our names meaningful?

Me: They are not derived from other lore, if that is what you meant. E’Malkai was named as homage to the naming scheme of the tundra people. It really depends on what I am writing. For instance, The Journey has names that are quite significant in terms of their meaning. Otherwise, I like to invent names for a particular world.

Arile: How do you define success as a writer? Have you been successful?

Me: Success is elusive once you define it. It becomes something that you aspire for regardless of the process and the craft. I would like to think that success is writing stories that people in enjoy and connect with, even if it is negatively. I think I have been successful in a very limited way: people have read my books and enjoyed them.

E’Malkai: Do you have words of wisdom about writing that you want to pass on to novelists and writers out there who are starting out?

Me: Write what you love and learn from criticism. The publishing world has changed. I have been writing for nearly a decade and I find that every year there seems to be a new opinion on which way the wind is blowing for fiction. Stay the course and do what you love. If writing novels and telling stories is what you want to do, then do that.

Fe’rein: I have noticed that you ask this ridiculous question of other storytellers: What is your End of the World Playlist? Why do you ask this question?

Me: I like hearing what people think about the notion of an end-of-the-world scenario. Also, I have a zombie novella of the same name and I like having the vibes out there for it. Do you guys have anything specific that you want to say to the readers?

Arile: E’Malkai of the South will do what he must to set the world right. His story will be passed on for generations.

Elcites: The path of the fallen is filled with both adventure and sadness. Follow E’Malkai and be transformed.

Fe’rein: I will have my day, in this life or the next. I am not evil, nor is E’Malkai good. We are merely opposite perspectives. You decide who visited more harm upon the world.

E’Malkai: I would like to think that I have done the right thing, taken the right path. The storyteller will not give away his secrets, but he might give you a glimpse. The greater question is: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers, storyteller?

Me: I am honored for anyone to read my novel. I hope that it will foster and appreciation of reading and the arts that is slowly disappearing among children and adults alike. I love to hear back from readers, so if you would like to get in touch with me, please be sure to check out my links below.

Bio: A psychologist, author, philosopher, freelance editor, and skeptic, Dan O’Brien has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, Deviance of Time, The Portent, The Twins of Devonshire and the Curse of the Widow, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog at http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com.

He also works as an editor at Empirical, a national magazine with a strong West Coast vibe. Find out more about the magazine at www.empiricalmagazine.com.

AND DON’T FORGET TO CLICK ON THE LINKS

Links:

Path of the Fallen (US): http://www.amazon.com/The-Path-Fallen-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B009D2PNIU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348005293&sr=8-1&keywords=the+path+of+the+fallen+dan+obrien

Path of the Fallen (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Path-Fallen-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B009D2PNIU/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348194299&sr=1-2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordanobrien

Bitten (US):  http://www.amazon.com/Bitten-Lauren-Westlake-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B005METJLU/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328663974&sr=1-1

End of the World Playlist (US): http://www.amazon.com/End-World-Playlist-ebook/dp/B0072KE9EO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328663887&sr=1-1

Cerulean Dreams (US): http://www.amazon.com/Cerulean-Dreams-ebook/dp/B005S9ZKLM/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328664085&sr=1-1

The Journey (US):  http://www.amazon.com/The-Journey-ebook/dp/B005MEND1M/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328664146&sr=1-1

The End of the World Playlist (UK):  http://www.amazon.co.uk/End-World-Playlist-ebook/dp/B0072KE9EO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328664608&sr=1-1

Bitten (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bitten-Lauren-Westlake-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B005METJLU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328664631&sr=1-1

Cerulean Dreams (UK):  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cerulean-Dreams-ebook/dp/B005S9ZKLM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328664681&sr=1-1

The Journey (UK):  http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Journey-ebook/dp/B005MEND1M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1328664706&sr=1-1

Blog: http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorDanOBrien

Thank you for reading!

Today as usual on a Friday I bring you a guest author. I met Judith through a group of Spanish writers who were kind enough to open their arms and their Facebook group to me. They are independent authors (indies) and also ‘autores con alma’ (authors with a soul) It’s the same group that Manuela Herrero Palomar (you remember her Burmese Stories) introduced me to, and you’ll know them in Twitter as they tend to use the #indiebooks. If you read in Spanish (and some of them have versions in many languages) keep an eye open not only for Manuela and Judith but for all of them and you won’t be disappointed with their books. And there’ something for everybody. That was one of the things that most impressed me from Judith, her sheer enthusiasm, her love of writing, and how she likes to try and experiment in all the genres she loves. Whatever type of book you like to read, Judith is your writer, as she will explain. And now I leave you in the hands of the talented Judith who will tell you a bit about herself and also gives you an introduction to her books so far…Because there’s much more to come!

First: thank you Olga for hosting me in you blog.

In my life, books have always been my greatest passion, both reading them and writing them. Maybe for that reason since I was a child I always had a book in my hands or I was writing in my notebook; I got my diploma in Biblioteconomy (Library Economics) and Documentation and a degree in Documentation.

As a reader you’ll always find me with either a book or an e-book in my handbag, and I host a radio programme where I offer reviews and discussions about books and film adaptations, it there are any new ones.

My adventure as a writer goes as far back as being a little girl playing with my dolls and inventing stories, that I soon started putting down in paper y transforming into tales and narrations. I carried on writing, and every so often I tried to get my novels published by a publishing company. It was a long, hard and frustrating affair, as it involved sending numerous manuscripts and query letters and receiving no feedback. It also seemed not very safe as I didn’t have control over what happened with my manuscripts. And when I got any offers they implied a major financial cost for co-editing.

Finally, in April 2012, for the Day of the Book (23rd April in Spain, celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Cervantes), I read an article about independent authors in Amazon, and I saw an opportunity opening before me. Amazon has revolutionised the market, offering a unique opportunity to all writes of publishing their work free of charge to a world audience. There is no middle man, from the moment you submit your manuscript you know that within 48 hours it will be available to readers, and that saves waiting for months for the replies of publishers. Also, you can choose the price and Amazon keeps a percentage of the benefits, whilst you keep the rights to your own novel.

Since July 2012 I have published 4 novels in Amazon: two in the genre of young adult fantasy and adventure, one in the genre of science fiction and the other one historic romance fiction.

The process for each one of them has been very laborious, because being an independent writer I have sole responsibility for all phases of publication (correcting and proofreading, formatting, designing the book cover), I have created the marketing campaign and have implemented it. In all these phases I’m very grateful to all the people who have offered me support and their names appear in the chapter of “acknowledgements” of each novel.

In summary, being an independent author requires commitment and an important daily effort, but it is worth it if it brings you to readers’ attention. Every time a reader tells me that one of my novels gets them “hooked”, it motivates me to carry on working to bring them all the stories that are boiling in my head. For that reason my current policy is to sell my novels at very low prices and offer them free every so often. The free promotions (giveaways) have been very successful with more than 500 downloads in five day during the promotion of my novel “La casa de las brumas” (‘House of Mist’) in January 2013. Regarding sales, they have got me many times to the top in specific categories for each novel; that allows me to reach new readers and also helps me become a household name. It is always encouraging to think that without the support of a publishing company, I’m sharing bestseller lists with books such those in the ‘Twilight’ series, ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘The Hobbit’, etc.

My immediate projects, apart from further writing, are to publish in Amazon the other novels I have completed and to continue with my marketing campaign for all my books.

Finally, it will be a pleasure to be in contact with readers and hear their opinions through:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JPriay

Blog: http://judith-priay.blogspot.com.es/

I enclose information about my novels. All of them are available in all Amazon stores worldwide.

Saga “Lectores de almas”: La lectora de almas (Género Ciencia Ficción y Aventura) (Series “Soul Readers”: The Soul Reader (Genre Science Fiction and Adventure)

 Lectora de almas

                       

On the 21st December 2012 an energy change in the magnetic field of Earth created a new race of human beings with a power unknown up to that point: the Healers, also known as “Soul Readers”. They became instantly famous. All countries wanted a piece of them, until they realized that they could never use them as they wished. The rage, the ire, the envy and even the fear towards this new race slowly got hold of the population. At the same time violence was spiraling out of control around the world following centuries of slow build up, and what should have been the beginning of a new era of peace, love and light, became the beginning of a World War that nearly destroyed the whole planet.

98 years have passed and the only bit of Earth that is still inhabitable is a small territory in what used to be the Iberian Peninsula. There was a new government, a dictatorship of terror. The only possible saviors, the Healers, were systematically hunted and annihilated. However, a Healer can bring peace to Earth, but to achieve that she has to confront great perils and dangers with the help of the Army of Light.

The series “Healers of the New World” begins and the fight to save Earth is only starting…

Saga “Hermandades”: La mano de la hechicera (Género Juvenil Fantasía y Aventura) Series “Brotherhoods”: The Sorceress’s Hand (Genre Young Adult Fantasy and Adventure)

La mano de la hechicera

An evil witch and a curse that takes a life in each generation.

A mansion where nobody is who they seem to be.

Two sixteen years old girls and best friends who will have to face love, magic and their own fears if they want to survive the witch’s attack.

A Brotherhood of powerful university warlocks prepared to risk everything to save the two girls.

A powerful “Circle of Shadows” only interested in exterminating the witch, even if the price is the death of the girls.

The series “Brotherhoods” begins…and all those involved will have to risk their magical powers, their love and friendship to avoid more deaths.

Saga “Lunas”: Luna de exilio (Género Juvenil Fantasía y Aventura) (Series “Moons”: Moon of exile (Genre Young Adult Fantasy and Adventure)

                                                Luna de exilio

An old prophecy that states: “From the union of a witch and a warlock of the most ancient lineage an invincible power will be born.”

Two adolescents called to fulfill the prophecy: Alyssa, a white witch, 17 years old, and William, a black magic warlock with two obsessions: power and Alyssa.

After the death of the last great Mage and president of the Grand Council of Warlocks, the black magic threatens the kingdom and Alyssa, escaping from William, has to exile herself to the human world and live a normal life in High School.

However, black magic finds a way of stalking her to her new home and Alyssa must take important decisions to save those she loves.

The series “Moons” begins, and adventure, romance and fight have just started.

La casa de las brumas (Género Ficción histórica romántica) (The House of Mist, Genre Fictional historic romance)

La cas de las brumas

England, XIX century:

A mysterious and desirable woman, Elle, of wild beauty and cat-like eyes who lives in hiding in the Secret mountain where, according to ancient legends, many years ago the witches of the county would meet to cast their spells and give the mountain extraordinary powers.

A young woman, Lis, who aged 17 has only known violence and pain, is robbed or her innocence by a seducer and finally finds real love in a romantic youth of uncertain fate.

Dr Kruskla, Lis’s lover, finds a secret diary and he uses it to give Elle the zest for life again.

Love, treachery, life and death, hope and tragedy intertwine in a novel written following the style of the famous female writers of the XIX century (Jane Austen, the Brönte Sisters…)

Thank you very much to Judith for visiting my blog and to all of you for reading. Remember that reading opens new horizons.

And next week….more!

JOINT GIVEAWAY WITH MARY MEDDLEMORE

I promised I would be writing about this wonderful giveaway we have organised. WE as in Mary Meddlemore and I. “Who is Mary Meddlemore?” you will ask? Excellent question, as questions go. Mary is a character. And a writer…Or something like that.

Mary is also writing in her blog about the giveaway and the process of setting it up and all. Well, I don’t know exactly what she’s writing as we were both going to post on the same date, so I haven’t seen her post. But if you check, she might explain it more and better…

Here is her blog page:

http://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

So, what’s the story? Mary and I met through a group of writers. ASMSG (Authors Social Media Support Group). I was happily Tweeting about all kinds of things, but doing a fair amount of retweeting about other writers and the founder of the group (R. Grey Hoover, great man) contacted me and there I was…a member of the group. We have a variety of fora, one being Facebook, where people post about their writing, interesting stuff they’ve come across…you know…(By the way, if you want to check the webpage of the group, here is the link: http://asmsg.weebly.com/index.html   Plenty of useful stuff.) Somehow Mary and I got talking (or messaging), and got on like a house on fire. Yes, we live very far away from each other, in different time zones, completely different climates (luckily for her), and we’ve never set eyes on each other (only our avatars or some pictures) but what does any of that matter? We shared the joys, the frustrations the misunderstandings, the hopes and aspirations, the gossip, the ups and downs, and we enjoyed each other’s companies. If nothing else comes out of this writing thing, meeting Mary and some of the other wonderful people I’ve come across along the way will make it well worth it. (I would add some nice sentimental music here, but you should see how difficult it was to just do a sound post, so…sorry…).

Through chatting about writing we discovered we had published in Amazon around the same time (in October 2012…it seems years now!) and therefore chances for using our free giveaway days were running out. And, hey presto! Light bulb! Why not combine the giveaways? Yes, our writing is quite different, but that should make it far more interesting. Mary was working on her new collection of short stories The Seven Sheep (it’s fabulous, but don’t take my word for it! Download it! It’s free from the 10th to the 14th January!) and wanted to give all her books away. She’s a truly generous soul. I started with my novel ‘The Man Who Never Was’ but then thought…I should give the Spanish version away too…And…Maybe we should make it half a dozen, so why not add one of my novellas?

We had some comings and goings and thankfully Mary organised our blog/webpage for the giveaway. Although you can choose to go to each one of the books and get them, why make life difficult for yourself? If you follow the below link, you can click on all the books and download them to your heart’s content. If you’re not in Amazon.com we have the ASIN of the books and they should be available in all Amazon stores (beware of time zone differences.) Not only that. Even if you don’t have an e-reader, Mary has also added the link to download the Amazon PC e-reader App, so you can always read them in your computer.

http://freestuffolgamary.wordpress.com/

And Mary kept going with her writing and editing, and I kept investigating how to promote our giveaway and sending information to Mary (who had sent me information before. We’re like explorers in an alien planet trying to understand the language and laws of this book marketing thing) and started pestering people and posting things on websites…and of course, here…

Now, the time has nearly come. From the 10th to the 14th of January Mary and I are giving away 6 books. Sci-fiction, short-stories, novellas, family sagas, humour, absurd, magical, tears, laughter…Why? Because we love stories, and without stories we’re nothing.

Or as Mary writes in her introduction to The Seventh Sheep:

“Stories cannot be contained. They can be labeled and sorted into categories, but readers read and make of them what they will and so it should be.

Stories have wings. They fly where they want to.

Stories are the soul of mankind. It doesn’t matter whether the story is “intellectual/literary” or just fun, whether it is meant for children or adults etc., all stories contain the same story elements, namely: characters, settings, actions (or non-actions), consequences of actions or non-actions, story moments and a story line etc.

Whether you read just for pleasure or whether you study a story, the story elements invade your being, because your life, is a story too. Stories merely mimic human existence, because being human, human authors cannot think of anything outside their “human” capabilities.

Extraterrestrial intelligence will be elegant, complex, internally consistent and utterly alien.

Carl Sagan in Cosmos

 

Stories bring extra experiences, because when you read, you get to “know” thousands of “characters”. There is no way that you could ever “know” so many “real” people intimately. Thus, reading automatically widens your perspective.

Stories can also bring awareness if you “read/notice ” yourself, or others  or specific familiar circumstances in a story.

Awareness brings the possibilities of change, if it is wanted or needed.

Each story is experienced and interpreted differently by every single reader and so it should be, because you are all unique.

The gifts of stories are immense!”

Readers, here are our stories. Please help us share them with others! If you have any ideas of how to spread the word, please leave a comment and we’ll be on your eternal debt!

And thanks for reading!

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