Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Cairns of Sainctuarie


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Cairns of Sanctuarie: Volume I - The Bleikovat Event

Among the close-kin clans of western rural Malfesian Murians, farming and gelf ranches are long held traditions. Times are good…full barns, fat gelf calves and large families thrive among the sprawling grain fields and hamlets and the river from which they derive their name—the Feldon. Word comes with the trade caravans that times are not so good in the regions far to the east of the Feldon River: tumultuous changes stir among the remote province of Bleikovia. Old timer Feldovats shrug it off as one more squabble between clans over boundaries or water rights…too distant to affect the Feldovats.

The western clans learn too late, however, it is no local squabble. Outnumbered and unprepared, Feldovats resist a hoard bent on plunder and conquest. Days of battle along the Feldon River stain the riverbanks in green Murian blood. In the finals days of exhausted fighting, Judikar Klarvko Celo, leader of the Clan Klarvkon and the Feldovats, is fatally stabbed with the slow-acting sevon poison. The Judikar’s consort, Etikaa Klarvkaa, becomes Regentkaa, and with Celovat Field Commander Korvo Celo serving as her advisor, she leads the demoralized Feldovat survivors on a gruesome ill-prepared winter trek through high mountain passes of ice and blizzard snow in an attempt to elude the Green Dragon forces of the Bleikovats.

Etkaa’s only son, Klarvko Celo II, helps spirit Feldovat young across a remote mountain exodus to the west toward Eedov Province. The battered, starving Feldovats reach the Malfesian coast at Eedov City only to be confronted with their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded lumbering Maalonovion freighters, Feldovats and Malfesian refugees set sail. On arrival in Maalon City they are welcomed among their Maalon hosts, and settle into a new life.

But famine and a pandemic pestilence stir old hates and nurse former ambitions. The enraged Overseers of Bleikovia move against the Klarvkons, this time bringing bloodshed to Maalonovia. The exiles from the Feldon must fight once again, but starvation and plague across the Planete Myr make it a different war from the battles along the Feldon…a na’ä blikovat…the Bleikovvat Phenomenon…an event with unexpected consequences and outcomes none could have foreseen.

Before the vendetta killing is exhausted, the Regentkaa Klarvkaa and her son are swept onto the Maalon throne, setting the Klarvkon Dynasty and the Murians toward an intergalactic golden age, and a star-flung destiny the once-agrarian Feldovats could never have envisaged.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Etkaa pulled back a canvas siding of the shelter. Distant dawnlit skies to the west glowed with billows of dull red already sweeping through the far provinces. She swallowed a sour distaste, knowing her part in the doing of this. There were no protests. Their last illusions going up in smoke…taking more than hope in the going. No longer could these exhausted bloodied fighters hold any hope to throw the Bleikovats back across the river…or return their lives to the ways they had been. The pale Murian skin of stunned faces washed red by the flames in the west saw the sprawl of war consuming everything. The dazed faces of the fighters said more than words.

One grizzled warrior’s anguish stabbed out, "...our crops burned, gelfs slaughtered…do those orders you hold show how we are to feed what families we may have left? Better we stayed on our farms.” Honest feelings spoke from a pained heart confronting the unimaginable.

Etkaa said, “We will share what food we have. Better that than crumbs from a Bleikovat table.”

From another Feldovat warrior, “Better we return to our hamlets and fields while we can.”

Etkaa said, “Those who would return may find much worse than ashes.”

“Yes…ashes…” the Feldovat shouted. “Burned by your orders. Not Klarvko’s.”

Etkaa fought the wash of sadness. Left her with nothing to say. Much of what the warrior said was true. A harried Korvo said, "There is another troubling matter. With nothing to relieve their pain, the severely wounded and those poisoned cannot be moved into the mountains."

"I do not care what is written in the orders,” someone shouted. “I will not leave clan kin to the Bleikovats.”

About the Author:
Welsh and Scottish Hawk MacKinney grew up in northwest Arkansas, and wrote for his school newspaper. Hawk served over twenty years as a Special Staff Corps Officer with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Recruiting Officer, a Navy Recruiting Command Liaison Officer, and Commanding Officer of units attached to the U.S. Marine Corps bases at Parris Island, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California. Along with his postgraduate degrees, he studied English and Russian history and foreign languages. As a faculty member in major medical and veterinarian universities, he authored professional articles and taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. In addition to his sci-fi series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie, Hawk MacKinney has authored the Craige Ingram Mystery Series and Moccasin Trace, a historical romance nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award.

www.hawkmackinney.net
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m-H8pfoh-A
Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Sage Words Publishing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ascension of the Whyte Blog Tour


Blurb;
Sara Carson did not believe in life after death, Heaven, Hell or even reincarnation. However, what she didn't know was that some of us are special. For some of us, death is just the beginning of our next great adventure. Sara Carson was one of those special people, and her most incredible journey did not begin, until the day she died.
A magical début novel that will leave you breathless.

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Information about the book;
Author: Karen Wrighton
Title: Ascension of the Whyte (The Afterland Chronicles #1)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: E-book
Pages: 326
Published: 9th June 2014




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Author Information
Karen Wrighton was born in a small town in the English county of Staffordshire and
began writing prolifically and drawing from a young age. Karen trained as a Psychologist
and Teacher before finally finding the time to pursue her love of writing, firstly by
creating a successful Psychology blog and now by writing her first novel.

 Karen's début novel 'Ascension of the Whyte' is a magical epic fantasy novel for young
adults and is to be the first book of the 'The Afterland Chronicles' series.
Karen's style is strongly influenced by the books she loves to read, such as Lord of
the Rings and Harry Potter. This is evidenced by the magical quality that pervades her
writing.

Karen has two daughters and lives in Norfolk, England with her husband John.

To find out more about Karen and her book, or follow her on social networks click on the
links below.

Author Links


 Why I Write
Karen Wrighton

I have pretty much always written, ever since the day I learned to do curly tails on my letters and penned my first ‘What I did in the summer holidays’ essay in year three. Ever since then I have loved creating something out of nothing.
My childhood was pretty awful really, and Psychologists will tell you that miserable childhoods produce people with fantasy prone personalities. I know this because I am also a Psychologist.
We fantasy prone types have learned to escape our earthly lives (which pretty much sucked), by disappearing into the world of our imagination, our very own fantasy world where we were no longer helpless or afraid, but instead were strong and powerful beings with superhuman magical powers and where we could make everything beautiful and right.


Because of that I have always found writing to be cathartic for me. It makes me feel good.  My characters are as real to me as my faithful dog, and like my dog they stay with me loyally and unconditionally doing my bidding. They are the friends that I constantly carry with me and because of them I am never lonely, even when I am on my own.


My dog Jinks
I have always told stories, sometimes making things up to entertain my children. I was quite creative with my stories of the tooth fairy.  I even used to write tiny letters to my children and convince them that the tooth fairy had written to them personally because they were so good!
I have a great many half completed manuscripts, short stories and even rhyming picture books filling up the hard drive of my computer. The problem with me though is that I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I look at my work and think it is really bad and that no one will read it, so I archive it.  Then sometimes I go back to it and re-read it months or even years later and realise that it is actually quite good, sometimes I can’t believe that I actually wrote it at all and often think to myself with a real sense of surprise, ‘that really is quite good!’
This time though with Ascension of the Whyte the writing became an obsession. The characters and story came to me as a gift of the imagination on my drive to work one day and I just could not stop the story evolving in my head. I have never been so excited or driven when writing as I have been with this book, and I fell in love with the characters and their evolving quest almost from page one.
The book has been a pleasure to write and I am looking forward so much to writing the next chapter in the series that, to be honest I really just want to get on with it, but I know that I have to do some publicity work or I will be one of only a few who will share in the story of Rose and her three magical friends, and that would be a great shame, because it is a great story.



I wish I’d have had the courage to pursue my writing years ago, because it brings me great joy. I am not the first to have compared producing a novel with producing a child and the analogy is a good one.  During the gestation of the story you are not sure how it will really turn out, whether it will even come to term, whether it will be beautiful, witty or clever, but you know that however it turns out you will love it, because it is part of you.
Each time I sit down at my laptop my characters greet me, I ask them questions “What are you going to do now?” “Where are you going to go?” “How are you feeling?” and they answer me.  My characters write the story for me, a lot of the time I just feel rather privileged that they let me look through the window of their world.  It’s like having your own Game of Thrones epic playing in your head whenever you want to watch it.  I love it.
Writing is not all easy though, sometimes the window fogs up a bit and you just can’t see what is going on.  I have heard it called writers block, but I now recognise it as my cue to take a break from all the action and do something else for a while. Then usually when I am in the middle of cooking, or driving to work, there they’ll be again showing me where to go next.
Is there anything about writing that I don’t like? Well, I suppose when I am on about the fourth draft I can get pretty bored, and sometimes confused changing things one way and then back again, but even then I can get flashes of inspiration that will turn a paragraph into one that makes me smile every time I read it.  It was not until the final seventh draft of the book that I perfected Rose’s speech to the Twocasts, I just was not happy with it until then. The final drafting process is exhausting, like labour and birth, and just as after labour and birth you may vow NEVER AGAIN, you soon forget the pain and seeing the joy your new arrival brings you rapidly decide that perhaps another one wouldn’t be such a bad idea...



  

9th August

10th August

11th August

12th August

13th August

14th August

15th August

16th August

Link to tour schedule;
(will be posted on 8th august)

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There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;

- Author signed paperback copy of Ascension of the Whyte
- Themed metal bookmarks
- Postcards with graphics of the book cover and a colour map of the Afterlands
(signed by author if requested)
- Original hand-made Adder stone pendant like the one described in the book.

Here is the link to the URL for the rafflecopter;

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/320ab7e447/



Excerpt 1


"Rose's response was swift, a perfectly executed block action accompanied by a clear
command. The effect was instantaneous and dramatic, a blinding white energy stream
flowed from her potens ring, transforming instantly into a rapidly moving wall of light which knocked Ash off his feet, lifted him up and carried him at great speed across the Arena.

Goldin's hand shook as he retrieved his staff. He had never seen a novice perform a blocking
spell with that much power."


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Friday, August 15, 2014

Ghosts of Salem: Haunts of the Witch City


Synopsis
Nestled on the rocky coast of Massachusetts, Salem is a city steeped with history and legend. Famously known for its witch trials, the historic North Shore seaport also has a dark history of smugglers and deadly fires. It is considered to be one of New England's most haunted destinations. Inside Howard Street Cemetery, the ghost of accused witch Giles Corey wanders among the gravestones. Outside the Ropes Mansion the ghost of Abigail Ropes can be seen peeking out of the windows. The Gardner-Pingree House on Essex Street is host to the spirit of sea captain Joseph White, a man whose murder in 1830 inspired literary giants like Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Join author and paranormal journalist Sam Baltrusis on a chilling journey through the streets of Salem as he chronicles the historic haunts of the Witch City.

Purchase
                                                                         Kobo      

*Add this book to your Goodreads shelf HERE *


Review:

This book hooked me from the introduction and I can't seem to put it down, even when I should be working on my own writing. A clever blend of wit and history, Ghosts of Salem captures the essence of a town and its people from both the present and the past.

The pictures draw you in and the author's attention to detail breathes life into every page. I could feel the chill of a specter's presence looking over my shoulder as I read about the different locals. I'm still in the throws of this magnificent book and I can't imagine a better way to start my Halloween season than reading some witchy facts about this fascinating city.

5/5 



About The Author

Sam's Website Twitter Facebook  

Sam Baltrusis, author of "Ghosts of Boston" and "Ghosts of Cambridge," freelances for various publications and is the former managing editor of Scout Magazine in Somerville and Cambridge. He has been featured as Boston's paranormal expert on the Biography Channel's Haunted Encounters and Paranormal State's Ryan Buell's Paranormal Insider Radio. Baltrusis moonlights as a tour guide and launched the successful ghost tour, Cambridge Haunts, and is producing a new tour in Salem.


Follow the rest of the Ghosts of Salem tour HERE


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fae




Meet Robin Goodfellow as you’ve never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get 
swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for 
certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales. Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant 
creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of 
stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles 
to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis. Fae covers a vast swath 
of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and 
complex characters. Enjoy the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale alongside urban fantasy 
and horror with a fae twist.

With an introduction by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman, and new stories from Sidney Blaylock 
Jr., Amanda Block, Kari Castor, Beth Cato, Liz Colter, Rhonda Eikamp, Lor Graham, Alexis 
A. Hunter, L.S. Johnson, Jon Arthur Kitson, Adria Laycraft, Lauren Liebowitz, Christine 
Morgan, Shannon Phillips, Sara Puls, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.

Fae will be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo.com, 
and other online retailers. You can also find Fae on Goodreads.

Anthologist Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and 
editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and 
is the editor of the benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been 
included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from 
Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. Her website, updated weekly, 
is at rhondaparrish.com.

World Weaver Press is a publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, dedicated to producing 
quality works. We believe in great storytelling.
Publication Date: July 22, 2014 • Fantasy / Horror Anthology

Guest Post: Kristina Wojtaszek

Solomon's Friend is actually my own very personal story of raising a son with Asperger's.  Kadie, the mother in the story, has all the doubts about herself that I have, and Solly, her son, shares many unique viewpoints with my own son.  Hobby, the cranky old hob who narrates much of the story, came from an often-ignored voice of my own-- a well of common sense and courage that I found within.  Instead of seeing my son as having a problem (which, let's face it, is still predominantly how society looks upon children who have any form of social or emotional "disorder") I took a new perspective, seeing him as whole and perfect in his own right, just the way Hobby sees Solly in the story.  Children with Asperger's often have high IQs and tend to think more in depth about little things most of us simply take for granted, a quality that makes them well suited for future jobs in science, engineering, medicine, and technology.  These are great qualities that offset their social rigidity and high levels of anxiety.  Other traits, like finding it easier to spy on people rather than interacting with them, and taking things perfectly literally, jive well with the kinds of personality traits we see in fairy creatures all across the literary world.  It only makes sense that fae would have a greater fascination with the world, and a greater respect for the rules of nature, than we humans do, and yet, just as a child on the spectrum would, I imagine them to find it difficult at times to identify with the rest of us oddly social humans.  Thus evolved the deep understanding between Solly and his friend, the hob.  I also think that parents of those on the spectrum carry a lot of guilt and self-blame for things that simply aren't in their control.  I created Hobby in an effort to help me correct that.  I wrote Solomon's Friend as a reminder to myself that I am making some of the right connections with my child, that I am loving him every moment of every day, and that there is still a bit of magic left in the world, especially in the curious and cautious mind of my child.  And maybe there's even a little left in me.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to Date Dead Guys

How to Date Dead Guys by Ann Noser

Series: Under The Blood Moon

Genre: new-adult, urban-fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: July 15th, 2014

Cover Reveal: June 2nd, 2014

Blog Tour: July 14 - 25th, excluding weekends





Description:

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice:  “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”.  But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back.  Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell.  The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury.  As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn't the only one. 

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first.  More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows.  Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

How To Date Dead Guys Purchase Links:


BOOK OF SHADOWS

In the book How to Date Dead Guys, Emma uses a witchcraft guide known as the Book of Shadows to raise the dead. Although I am not a witch, I spent a good deal of time researching the craft. I wanted every spell, candle, and symbol Emma used to have a real basis in the practice of witchcraft.

The Book of Shadows is a real thing.

Whether or not you believe in it is up to you…

A Brief History Lesson You Probably Didn't Learn in High School

Gerald Gardner, the "Father of Modern Wicca", began work on a scrapbook of magical instructions entitled Ye Bok of Ye Art Magical between 1945-1950. Doreen Valiente, the High Priestess of his Bricket Wood coven, helped him with revisions.

She claimed that Gardner reverted to the title Book of Shadows after discovering the term in a magazine article describing how to foretell the future based upon the length of a person's shadow.

Early on, a single copy of the Book existed for each coven, kept by the High Priest or Priestess. When a witch died, her Book of Shadows was to be destroyed to avoid detection.

Starting in the 1970s, it became much more common for solitary practitioners to each possess their own copy of the Book.

Although Gardner is credited with the idea and the original title, now the term Book of Shadows can mean several different things. Some Wiccans use it to refer to a personal journal of rituals and spells, rather than a traditional text. Those who utilize copies of Gardner's original Book may add rituals and teachings, but typically nothing is ever removed.

The term Book of Mirrors refers to a separate magic book, used to collect thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Popular Culture References

The 1996 film The Craft referred to a special book where a witch keeps her spells and "power thoughts". Interesting trivia about the movie claims that filming was interrupted by strange happenings, including flocks of bats, altered tides, and power outages. Real witchcraft rites and language were used, since the actress Fairuza Balk (a practicing Wiccan) wanted to make the movie feel as realistic as possible.

Perhaps the most famous use of a Book of Shadows was in the television series Charmed. From 1998 to 2006, the well-dressed Halliwell sisters (Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty/Rose McGowan) used their "Power of Three" and their 300-year-old (note the timeline discrepancy) Book to fight paranormal evil.

How to Date Dead Guys Reference

Emma first encounters a Book of Shadows when her roommate's younger sister comes to visit. That night, when the three young women perform a love spell, Emma is the most skeptical.

After her would-be boyfriend Mike drowns in the Chippewa River, Emma turns to witchcraft and the same mysterious Book of Shadows to bring Mike back. The invoked river revolts, and spits out a stranger instead. The dead guy drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he's not the only one.

To help those she raised from the dead, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows.


But as her powers grow, so does her dependence on the Book. Everything has a cost. Will Emma be able to pay it?

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About the Author:

My to-do list dictates that I try to cram 48 hours of living into a day instead of the usual 24.  I’ve chosen a life filled with animals.  I train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed.  But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to write; I have to steal moments throughout the day.  Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live within my imagination.

Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task.  I work out plot holes during runs.  Instead of meditating, I type madly during yoga stretches.  I find inspiration in everyday things:  a beautiful smile, a heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory.  For example, a long drive in the dark listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my satisfaction.

I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real life with the half-written stories in my head.  Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

(website: http://annandersonnoser.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnMNoser
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnMNoser
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8124757.Ann_M_Noser)




Goodreads Book Giveaway

How To Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

How To Date Dead Guys

by Ann M. Noser

Giveaway ends August 14, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Goodreads giveaway direct link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/100174-how-to-date-dead-guys Rafflecopter Giveaway HTML: a Rafflecopter giveaway Rafflecopter Giveaway Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6afc1828/