Monday, March 20, 2017

Ocean fantasy - new release! (Islesong #2)

Pirates, Sea-Dragons and oceanic fantasy!

It's new release time again and I'm delighted to present for your reading pleasure, The Girl who Loved the Whales, the second volume in my Islesong series. Now, please remember that the first volume is in its second edition - you need to read the last 3 chapters of The Girl who Sang with Whales (at least) or you may be confused. Please update your Kindle.

This tale is a journey from darkness into light, a formative and ultimately beautiful revelation of Zhialeiana's background and origins, and features another gorgeous cover from Victorine Lieske.

Swim away with The Girl who Loved the Whales today!

(Sneaky confession: I have already finished drafting book 3 as well - that's coming soon too)

Singer of Sea-Dragons. A terrible secret possesses her soul. Yet, the journey into darkness has barely begun. For the powers of nightsong, of dread and terror and pain, have laid claim upon the life-current of a girl with a matchless gift.

’Twas the current of terror we sailed that daysong,
Like a Sea-Dragon’s heart was its pulse.


Myriad dangers lurk across the long leagues. Pirates. Treacherous Battlecats. A Hunter from the Deep and a city besieged by Sea-Dragons. The combative Bardsong of a mighty War-Titan–what are his wicked plans for her? With strength born of love, Zhialeiana must conquer all.

Now, her journey has begun. Betrayed at every turn, can the Girl who Sang with Whales learn to sing a new Song? Can she save the Whales she loves?


Friday, March 3, 2017

Keepers of the Wellsprings: Guest Post

In today's guest post I am delighted to introduce the work of Missy Sheldrake, an author/illustrator of no small talent, author of The Keepers of the Wellsprings epic fantasy. The artwork is simply gorgeous - here's a picture of one of the characters, Flit:


 
Now, without further ado, let's hear from Missy herself:

I’m so excited to announce the fourth book in my Keepers of the Wellsprings series: Call of Hywilkin, which will be released on Amazon March 3! If you haven’t read the previous books yet, read on for a quick crash course on the series.

On release day, March 3, I’’ll be offering books 1-3 free to celebrate the release of book 4! (Marc says: Over here)
  
When I started writing and illustrating this series, I really wanted to tell a story that was rich with fantasy, but not overly dark or mired with war and violence. I wanted to show the light side of fantasy: the cheerful, magical, uplifting side which I always drink up whenever it emerges in a story, and which always seems to be so fleeting in fantasy tales. I wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts of young and old alike. Don’t get me wrong, my books aren’t void of conflict and evil. There is mild violence and not-so-mild wickedness, but it’s those moments in my stories which are the fleeting ones. In the pages of my books, you will find fairies, Mages, Paladins, Elves, Dreamwalkers, Princes and Princesses, and even dragons. You’ll travel through a world rich with magic and wonder. You’ll make new, unforgettable friends.

In Call of Kythshire, you’ll learn all about Cerion, a seaside kingdom which has celebrated peace for over a century. You’ll meet His Majesty’s Elite, a guild that is the right hand adventuring team of King Tirnon Plethore, and you’ll join Azi Hammerfel, a young squire who has grown up within the guild’s halls, through disappointments and triumphs. By her side is Rian, her childhood friend, an Apprentice of the Mage Academy. You’ll meet Flit, a fairy from Kythshire, who is as tricky as any fairy you might imagine, but has a depth of character and a sense of purpose uncommon for a typical fairy. You’ll see her world unfold, and feel the evil threat of Sorcery that looms, waiting to destroy it. You’ll learn a little about the Wellsprings, but not too much--their existence and workings are a well-protected secret. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Kythshire.)

In Call of Sunteri, you’ll meet the strong-willed slave boy, Tib, who makes his first appearance as he escapes from the grips of Sorcery in the desert continent of Sunteri. He has help crossing the vast oceans to reach Cerion, but he doesn’t realize it at first. A mysterious being speaks to his mind, controlling his thoughts and making suggestions to ensure his own survival. In the meantime, Azi has been given the task of escorting the Prince of Cerion and his wife-with-child to the lakeside Kordelya Castle as the prince faces suspicion and ridicule after the events of Call of Kythshire. But a darker force emerges from the Dreaming, whose wicked intent is to use any means necessary to escape its prison and claim the magic of the Wellsprings for his own. In this book, you’ll see the devastating effects of the overuse of magic, and what it does to the Wellsprings and the creatures who thrive around them. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Sunteri.)

In Call of Brindelier, a dark force looms, more powerful and destructive than any threat Azi and her guild have yet faced. You’ll follow Celli, a scrappy street fighter, as she is enticed into the grips of a powerful Sorcerer. You’ll watch Tib come into his own as he sneaks through the streets of Cerion, uncovering the darkness while also working on a mysterious project. You’ll follow Azi on a quest set by Princess Margary to find proof of Brindelier, a city in the clouds which is the key to all of the Wellsprings in the Known Lands. But Margy is not the only one interested in Brindelier. A dark force has been gathering, poised to claim it for their own. Control over the Wellsprings hangs in the balance. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Brindelier.)

In Call of Hywilkin, Azi and Rian find themselves on an urgent quest to Hywilkin, a harsh land of ice and snow reigned by heartless men with no trust in kindness or beauty, and a cruel intolerance for magic of any kind.
Lurking in the far corners of the world, the Sorcerers of Dusk threaten their quest, weaving darkness into their hearts and minds. In Brindelier, they lure Tib into their dangerous plots as he investigates the conspiring shadows of the city.Appealing to a Keeper of a Wellspring for an offering is no easy feat—especially in Hywilkin, where access to the abandoned magical Source remains forbidden. The Champions of Light must prevail, or Brindelier’s All-Source and all of the Known Lands will fall forever into the grips of Sorcery. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Hywilkin.)

This series is appropriate for all ages, but I recommend 13 and up due to some violent themes. There is no sex, swearing, or excessively graphic violence in the Keepers of the Wellsprings. Throughout the series, you’ll encounter daring sword fights, violent magical moments, and a few quick deaths.

Call of Hywilkin, the fourth book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon.

About the Author
Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another since she was very young. The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page.
Missy was born in Connecticut and attended Western Connecticut State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting and illustration. Even then, in her free time, she was writing. She moved to Northern Virginia several years ago and lives there now, on the outskirts of Washington D.C., with her true love and their son. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies allow it.

LINKS
Call of Kythshire (Book One):
https://amzn.com/B00UVLQWGY
Call of Sunteri (Book Two):
https://amzn.com/B0187IG3HK
Call of Brindelier (Book Three):
https://amzn.com/B01FM8XR7W
Call of Hywilkin (Book Four)
https://amzn.com/B06WGNWLH9
Snowberry Blossom (Perma-free holiday short story):
https://amzn.com/B0196P041O

Website:
www.missysheldrake.com
Pinterest:





Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine's Fantasy Bundle



This Valentine's Day, the awesome authors at Fellowship of Fantasy have banded together to provide an awesome selection of free and discount Fantasy and Speculative Fiction stories. Browse the titles, select as many as your heart desires, and discover your next favorite author!

All Fellowship of Fantasy titles are author rated with a guaranteed content level no higher than PG-13, so you shouldn't encounter graphic sex, gratuitous violence, or excessive language.

As pricing can be subject to the whims of the vendors, please verify that the deals are, in fact, still active before purchasing. Thank you!


Bargain Books (priced at 99 cents)

Fellowship of  Fantasy
Rebirth—Frank B. Luke-Amazon
Seven Deadly Tales—Frank B. Luke-Amazon
The Hidden Level—AJ Bakke-Amazon
To Save Two Worlds—AJ Bakke-Amazon
The Regency Shifter Series—KM Carroll-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble
Academy of Secrets—Michael Carney-Author Website
Sunbolt—Intisar Khanani-AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo
Wyndano's Cloak—A. R. Silverberry AmazonBarnes and Noble
The Stream—A. R. Silverberry -AmazonBarnes and Noble
Rainbird—Rabia Gale-AmazonBarnes and NobleKobo
Reality Break—Jennifer Kibble-Amazon
Battle for the Throne—EJ Willis-Amazon
Nyssa Glass's Clockwork Christmas—H. L. Burke-Amazon
The True Bride and the Shoemaker—L. Palmer-Author WebsiteAmazon
Cry of the Sea—D. G. Driver-Amazon
Foxtails—Erica Laurie-Amazon
Eun Na and the Phantom—Erica Laurie-Amazon

Free Books



The Buick Eight—Frank B. Luke-Amazon
Cora and the Nurse Dragon—H. L. Burke-Amazon
Lands of Ash—H. L. Burke-Amazon
Prince of Alasia—Annie Douglass Lima-Amazon
Awakening—Julie C. Gilbert-Amazon
Leandra's Enchanted Flute—Katy Huth Jones-Amazon
Mercy's Prince—Katy Huth Jones-Amazon
Woe for a Faerie—B. Brumley-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble
Chasing Lady Midnight—C. L. Ragsdale-Amazon
Jin In Time Part One —Karin De Havin-AmazoniTunesBarnes and Noble
Nyssa Glass and the Caper Crisis—H. L. Burke-Amazon



Fellowship of Fantasy


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Orison of a confirmed Word Nerd

Call me a Word Nerd.

My dictionary not only has dog-ears, it looks like a Rottweiler's chew-toy.

My friends call me Thesaurus-Rex.

I mean, why say blue when you could use azure? Or cobalt, tourmaline or ultramarine? Is the sky the sky, or the peerless welkin? And what, pray tell, may alary be? In that vein, why be a bird when you could tweet like a parakeet?

Far be it from me to metagrobolize thee, dear reader!

Dialogue is not meant to sound how 'real people speak'. Sorry. The way real people speak - including me - is mostly boring and uses a tiny fraction of our vocabulary. Recently, I was accused by an Amazon reviewer of using words of greater than one syllable. Oops! (The good reader has a valid point, if you think about it). Alright, I know it has as much to do with moving a story forward at a good pace, and with style without the distraction of purple prose, but there is just so much fun to be had on the way that the creative mind simply cannot resist. It's like drinking a fine wine. Words are heady. Intoxicating. Malleable.

Exchanges like this make my grey cells fizz:

“You filthy crook,” she grinned, twitching her torso from side to side. “No monk, eh? You certainly aren’t!”
Kal grinned back. “Aye.”
“You unscrupulous, pilfering, snake-tongued old fraud!”
He stretched lazily. “Ah, scurrilous compliments.”
“You’re not some common, out-of-the-barrel thief, are you? You’re absolutely prolific.”
“All the women say that." 

So, yes. I love multisyllabic discombobulations. I resolutely eschew all forms of obfuscation.

I adore that the English language is growing all the time. There are 171,476 words in the current Oxford English Dictionary, 47,156 obsolete words and 9,500 derivative words. I plan to dust off a good number of those obsolete words, create a few derivatives of my own - anyone want to define transmutodraconisation for me? - and above all, have fun! Why not use any and all words that exist in the language? Do we have to 'dumb down' literature for our audience? No!

He pinched his nose between thumb and forefinger. “No fireballs or you’ll turn yourself into a living torch, o piceous paragon of four-pawed pulchritude.”
“Pack the dictionary away and climb aboard, Rider.”

“I was going to use ‘nigritude’ but couldn’t articulate the alliteration appropriately.”

Alright, I confess I go overboard from time to time. You might even twist my arm and make me admit, often. Unusual words and usages can be too much. But would you rather read:

He awoke. It was getting dark.

Or:

When he woke, a volcanic twilight enflamed his world in auburn and gold hues. 

Ah, well, perhaps I will learn the right balance one day. I love to learn. I love the challenge, the sounds, the art of language. I'm sure I drive some readers up the wall or down the garden path, but I continue to gaily dive down philosophical and descriptive rabbit-holes because for me, the English language is there and I love, love, love words. I love a ripping good yarn whether it is told in archaic anachronisms or modern minimalism.

So there you have it. I'm out of the closet.

I'm an unapologetic, obsessive-compulsive wordaholic. I'm a Word Nerd.

I'm proud of that.




Saturday, January 21, 2017

Islesong news ...

I have completed drafting the second volume in the IsleSong series, The Girl who Loved the Whales! (At long last) The second book is essentially a redemption journey, taking Zhialeiana from a place of terrible darkness to a brighter future. I am hoping to release this book in late February 2017

Here's a little taster for you:

’Twas the current of terror we sailed that daysong,
Like a Sea-Dragon’s heart was its pulse.

Myriad dangers lurk across the long leagues. Pirates. Treacherous Battlecats. A Hunter from the Deep and a city besieged by Sea-Dragons. The combative Bardsong of a mighty War-Titan–what are his wicked plans for her? With strength born of love, Zhialeiana must conquer all.

Now, her journey has begun. Betrayed at every turn, can the Girl who Sang with Whales learn to sing a new Song? Can she save the Whales she loves?

I'm also pleased to report that drafting of the 3rd book in this series is progressing well. More news on that soon!