Thursday, October 19, 2017

ALL INCLUSIVE by Farzana Doctor

ALL INCLUSIVE
by Farzana Doctor

A story about an all-inclusive resort, the ghost of an unknown father, and the tragedies we can’t forget.

What’s it like when everyone’s dream vacation is your job? Ameera works at a Mexican all-inclusive resort, where every day is paradise — if “paradise” means endless paperwork, quotas to meet, and entitled tourists. But it’s not all bad: Ameera’s pastime of choice is the swingers scene, and the resort is the perfect place to hook up with like-minded couples without all the hassle of having to see them again.

Despite Ameera’s best efforts to keep her sideline a secret, someone is spreading scandalous rumours about her around the resort, and her job might be at stake. Meanwhile, she’s being plagued by her other secret, the big unknown of her existence: the identity of her father and why he disappeared. Unbeknownst to Ameera, her father, Azeez, is looking for her, and they both must come to terms with the reason why he abandoned her.

A moving new work from award-winning author Farzana Doctor, All Inclusive blurs the lines between the real world and paradise, and life and death, and reminds us that love is neither easily lost nor found.

EXCERPT

March 27, 2015, Huatulco, Mexico

A DC8 droned above.

“Here they come,” I announced. Friday was our departure-arrival day. One sunburned and grouchy group left for their northern homes, and another cohort, ecstatic and pale, touched down and took their place.

Roberto grabbed a plastic file-box and gestured for me to sit beside him. I lowered myself onto the makeshift seat and wiped away a slick of perspiration from the creases behind my knees.

“Ameera, you hear about that tour rep getting fired over at Waves?” Roberto stroked his thin moustache.

“Nancy? Yeah, I’m still in shock.” I hadn’t known her well, but I’d gone clubbing with her and the other tour reps from our sister resorts a few times. She’d seemed all right to me. The airplane circled closer, and, in unison, we clapped our hands over our ears and tilted our chins to the sky. After it had rolled across the tarmac and quieted its engines, we resumed our gossip.

“What I don’t get is why someone in their late twenties would want to have sex with a fifteen-year-old.” Roberto shook his head, as though trying to dislodge the idea.

“But didn’t the kid lie about his age? He told her he was eighteen, right?” While I’d never in a million years sleep with a teenager, I could imagine how booze and loneliness could have led Nancy to her mistake.

~Buy ALL INCLUSIVE:

-Indie Bookstore
-Amazon

~Book Trailer

~Book Club Guide

AN INTERVIEW WITH FARZANA
-What inspired you to become a writer?

As a kid, I liked to write poems, plays and stories. Back then, I think I enjoyed the playfulness of writing. As an adult, I continue writing because when I don’t write, I feel like something is missing—a feeling similar to the one I have when I haven’t exercised or had my eight glasses of water.

I also feel that writing can be purposeful and powerful—artists of all kinds have the ability to change culture by increasing readers’ empathy and shifting their perspectives.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

There are two worlds in All Inclusive: •

If I could enter Ameera’s all-inclusive resort for the day, I would be tempted to hang out at the beach, lolling about in the salt water. I live in Toronto, far from the ocean, and crave this experience. •
If I could enter Azeez’s spirit world, I’d catch up with my ancestors, especially my mother. Then I’d look in on my loved ones. Finally, I’d hang out with politicians and find a way to influence them to make better decisions.

-Give us a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book.

I wanted to learn more about the diversity of swinger cultures so that I wouldn’t make the mistake of stereotyping a community. This mostly involved a lot of reading and talking to people. I ordered this amazing documentary called The Lifestyle: Swinging in America, which interviews American senior citizens. It was illuminating to see older adults exploring a still mostly taboo area of sexuality.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

All of them! Characters have a way of entering the psyche, and they begin to feel real, almost like friends (even the villainous characters). But if I had to choose one, I’d choose Ameera’s father, Azeez. He’s the spirit character in the book, and I’d want to ask him all sorts of questions about the afterlife.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I don’t like to use the word never, because I think it’s good to grow as a writer. I mostly fit into contemporary literary fiction, but over my career, I’ve blurred the lines, employing bits and pieces of magical realism, LGBT, multicultural and historical fiction. So who knows? If I were to make a guess, I’d say that I’d be least likely to write fiction that has a lot of violence, only because I don’t enjoy reading or watching this genre (maybe I’m too thin skinned?).

Thanks for these questions! I’d love to see readers’ comments and answer any questions they might have.

ABOUT FARZANA

Farzana Doctor is the author of three novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which was a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and the 2017 One Book One Brampton winner) and the recently released All Inclusive which was a Kobo and National Post Best Book of the Year. Farzana was named one of CBC Books’ “Ten Canadian Women Writers You Need to Read Now”. She is also a Registered Social Worker with a part-time psychotherapy practice. She curates the Brockton Writers Series.

Find her online:

-website
-Twitter
-Instagram
-Facebook

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

Farzana Doctor will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner and a print copy of the book to 10 randomly drawn winners (US Only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ENTROMANCY by M.S. Farzan

ENTROMANCY: Book One of the Nightpath Trilogy
by M.S. Farzan

2076 is not a good year to be a special agent. A quarter of the world's power runs on ceridium, a newly discovered element that has had the unintended consequence of spawning a new race of people, and several forms of magic that were once thought to have been forgotten. Eskander Aradowsi is an agent of NIGHT, a paramilitary force created to contain and control this new perceived threat, but he soon learns that not all within his organization is as it seems. A botched mission turns out to be the least of his troubles, when he unearths a plot that threatens the uneasy truce between the aurics and humans of San Francisco, and centers on a form of magic that toys with the very fabric of the universe: Entromancy.

EXCERPT
“How many out there?” a voice buzzed through my earpiece.

I watched the city below carefully, standing stock still as the evening breeze whipped my coat behind me. The bright neon lights formed an iridescent halo through the layer of fog that had begun to coalesce, but I could still pinpoint a handful of signal markers within the haze. The ancient radio tower loomed behind me forlornly like a ruddy tuning fork sticking out of a concrete mound.

I tapped a button on my digitab, magnifying a selected portion of the cityscape through my lenses. “Three,” I replied. “Two on Columbus-Farrow and one downtown.”

“Pissing underrats.”

I grimaced at the racism, but said nothing. Marking the three waypoints on my digitab’s city map, I hurried back to the cruiser bike.

“HQ wants you to prioritize the downtown storefront,” the voice continued. “Intel says that it’s set to go nova first, and there’s no telling what these gutter trash will do when we expose them.”

I nodded to myself as I mounted the cruiser, passing a gloved hand over the vehicle’s blinking security console. Its engine instantly came to life, cold blue light spilling out of the bike’s casing.

“Oh and, Nightpath,” my earpiece buzzed. “Bring me a couple of knife-ears as souvenirs, will you?”

I tensed on the bike, disgusted by the snickering I could hear in the background.

“That’s enough, Striker,” I said curtly.

The laughter stopped abruptly. “Just get it done,” the voice said, and the earpiece clicked.

~Buy ENTROMANCY on Amazon

REVIEW
ENTROMANCY has one of the coolest speculative fiction worlds I’ve encountered in a while. The mix of magic and technology is an amazing blend that results in all kind of badassery from the characters. Backdropped against a sort of dystopian/Philip Marlow-ian cityscape, it felt like an epic D&D slipstream universe, complete with gnomes. I would have gladly taken the chance to explore this place in more depth. That is, if I could be safe from said badassery. If not, I would have created a stealth archer of sorts to do the exploring for me.

I would also not want to be in Eskander Arandowsi’s (the protagonist) situation. Every time he turns around, someone’s shooting at him or blowing something near him up. ENTROMANCY does not fail to deliver in the action department. That said, I sometimes felt a bit bogged down in the action, but I was always able to keep track of who was shooting at whom.

All in all, ENTROMANCY isn’t my usual reading stomping grounds, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to get lost in an awesome world and/or anyone who grew up on table-top role-playing games. The group dynamic among the main characters brought me fondly back to my days of dice rolling, banter, and grid-map combat. 3 stars on Goodreads

ABOUT M.S.

M. S. Farzan was born in London, UK and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a B.A. in Integrative Biology, M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change, and Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions. He has written and worked for high-profile video game companies and editorial websites such as Electronic Arts, Perfect World Entertainment, and MMORPG.com, and has trained in and taught Japanese martial arts for over ten years. He also enjoys soccer, baseball, and games of all kinds.

Find him online:

-website
-Twitter

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 16, 2017

THE GROUP by Kevin Doyle

THE GROUP
by Kevin Doyle

Professor Ronald Green never saw any of it coming. He never expected to meet Diane Brewster, begin an affair with her, or nearly destroy his marriage and family. More than anything, though, he never imagined Diane’s death, or that he would become the main suspect in her murder. Then, just when Green felt his life had become as twisted and insane as possible, he discovered that Fate had at least one more turn in store for him. For Diane’s death had only been one of many, and the killer had several more people in his sights, including, quite possibly, Ron Green himself.

EXCERPT
He looked back down at the body.

The deceased, dressed appropriately for the weather, lay on the pavement behind a Chinese restaurant. With little blood and no obvious rigidity of the body, the death appeared relatively mild.

At first glance, it seemed as if the man had simply lain down face up on the asphalt and died.

Hollis knelt down for a closer look at the corpse.

“Where’s your other half?” one of the patrolmen asked.

“Giving a deposition downtown,” Hollis replied, not taking his eyes off the corpse on the ground.

Peering closer, he saw a thin tendril of blood seeping out from the back of the man’s head. Hollis stood up and went over to one of the crime scene techs. He’d been jammed up interrogating a witness when the call came, accounting for his being among the last to arrive on the scene.

“Got any ID on him?” he asked the tech.

The young woman looked down at some notes she held in her hand.

“Yeah, we’ve already gone through his license and called in to records. Name’s Randall Cummings, fifty-two years old. Records has him listed as the manager of a Save-Rite Furniture Store.”

Hollis looked up and down both sides of the alley.

“A furniture salesman? Where’s his store located?”

“We’re not sure yet. There’s three of the chain in town. One of them’s only about twelve blocks away.”

“Meaning that considering the time of day, he could have come down this way for lunch,” Hollis said.

Before the tech could respond, one of the patrolmen called out.

“ME’s here.”

Hollis turned to see a blonde, around thirty or so, heading towards the scene of activity. As he went to meet her, she was pulling on a pair of thin latex gloves.

“Hey, Tracey.”

“Jesus, Hollis,” she said, “did you have to get me out on such a cold day?”

“Don’t blame me, kid. Blame Randall there.”

“Hmph.” Just as Jack had done when he first arrived, she knelt down and performed an eyeball inspection of the late Mr. Cummings.

“Has he been photographed yet?” she asked.

Hollis glanced at the techs, received a nod in return.

“Yeah. He’s all yours.”

“Then let’s see what we’ve got.” As she spoke, the doctor cupped her hands under the dead man’s shoulders and gently shifted him about a 45-degree turn.

“And there’s your cause of death, at least nominally,” she said, pointing to the small hole drilled into the back of his skull.

“Single bullet?” Hollis asked as he bent down for a closer look.

“Looks like,” the ME said. “Which is actually a little odd.”

“Why odd?” Hollis asked, though he already had a suspicion.

“Well, it looks small caliber. Probably .22 or so.”

“Execution style.”

She looked up at the detective. “You suggesting this guy was hit?” she asked.

“It wouldn’t seem likely. A furniture salesman in his fifties? If he was hit, it’s doubtful it was over something like drugs or women.”

“Maybe gambling?”

“Maybe.”

Hollis fell silent as the ME went about her business although even he could pretty much guess what had happened. With no exit wound, the small caliber bullet had no doubt buried itself somewhere inside the skull, probably after ricocheting around for a while.

Still, cases weren’t built on instinct or prior experience, so he stood back and let the lady do her job.

“So how many does this make?” she asked without looking up. “Have you all hit the triple digits yet?”

Hollis grimaced. Over the last few years, most of the force had become hypersensitive to the fact of their city ranking as the murder capital of the country. A while back, some web site or other had even listed it as one of the ten most dangerous cities in the entire world. The only consolation they all had was that, over the last few months, Chicago seemed to be gaining on them.

“Actually,” he said, “we passed the hundred mark at the end of last month. I’m not sure what number this one makes.”

“Well,” the ME said as she stood up and stripped off her gloves, “I won’t be able to put anything down officially till I get him on the table, but it’s pretty obvious what happened here.”

“One bullet back of the head,” Hollis said.

“Right. Which gets back to the oddity.”

“How did he end up lying face up?”

The young ME turned and faced Hollis straight on, flinching a bit as a sharp gust of wind knifed through the alley.

“Exactly. Even a .22, in the back of the skull, should have sent him tumbling forward. This looks almost apologetic. Could it have been some sort of a robbery?”

Hollis glanced over at a couple of the crime scene guys involved in categorizing the contents of the victim’s pockets.

“What’ve you got?”

“Wallet,” said one of the techs, a kid with curly red hair, “with a couple of hundred dollars and four credit cards in it. Look at his left wrist, and you’ll see his watch still on him. Plus we picked up a cell phone and an I-pod.”

“This old duffer with an I-pod?” the blonde ME asked.

Hollis shrugged.

“So we can guess it wasn’t a robbery,” he said.

“Unless your bad guy got interrupted before he could grab the goodies,” the ME said.

“Maybe, but how to account for the corpse being laid out all nice and neat like this?”

Stripping off her gloves, the ME turned and motioned to a couple of ambulance attendants standing off to the side.

“That’s the nice thing about it, Hollis. My part’s easy. I just have to come up with the means. You guys get to do the whole motive and opportunity thing.”

Hollis grimaced as she walked off.

“Oh, by the way.” She turned back to him. “I checked with the office before I left. This makes number one hundred twelve for the year. And only sixteen days to go.”

~Buy THE GROUP

-MuseitUp Publishing
-Amazon
-B&N

ABOUT KEVIN

A high school teacher and former college instructor, Kevin Doyle’s short stories, mainly in the horror and suspense fields, have appeared in over twenty-five small press magazines. In 2012, Vagabondage Press released his first e-book, a rock fiction novelette title One Helluva Gig. In 2014 Barbarian Books released his first full-length mystery novel, The Group, currently slated to be re-released by MuseItUp Publishing. And in February of 2015, Night to Dawn Magazine and Books released his horror novel, The Litter. Doyle has a BA in English and an MA in communications, both from Wichita State University, and teaches English and public speaking at a small rural high school.

Find him online:

-Amazon
-Facebook

Sunday, October 15, 2017

LONDON CALLING: Three Scintillating Victorian Steampunk Tales

London Calling
Three Scintillating Victorian Steampunk Tales
By Sorcha Mowbray, TL Reeve & Michelle Ryan, and Dena Garson
Publisher: After Glows Publishing
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Take a journey to Victorian London where an assassin meets her match, zombies invade, and top scientists go missing.

Four talented authors come together to bring you three BRAND NEW, full length Victorian steampunk novels of seduction, adventure, and mystery.

A look inside…

Seducing the Assassin (The Ladies League) by Sorcha Mowbray
Josephine Stanton, Madame and assassin, has another assignment to eliminate an enemy of the Queen. Too bad John Griffin, The Earl of Melton, has no intention of dying. Neither of the pair expects the heat that steams them up between the sheets and ultimately sets New Victorian London on its ear.

Darkness Rises by TL Reeve and Michele Ryan
A zombie horde has invaded London, England. Jonah McRae and his band of ghoulish Dreadfuls are London’s only hope. However, when Annabelle Craig threatens his mission he doesn’t know whether to kill her or claim her as his. Can the hunter and the huntee team together to take down the horde? Or will London be lost forever?

Her Clockwork Heart by Dena Garson
During her search for her missing brother, Trixie is reunited with Nathaniel, the man she never stopped loving. Sensing that Trixie might be in danger, Nathaniel lends his skills as an investigator to her efforts. Their love is rekindled as they race across the country looking for clues to more than one mystery.

~Buy Links:
**Pre-Sale Special Pricing of $2.99**

-Amazon US
-Amazon UK
-Amazon CA
-Amazon AU
-B&N
-Kobo
-iBooks

~Add it on Goodreads

Excerpt From Her Clockwork Heart by Dena Garson:
With a sigh, Nathaniel straightened his mess and tucked his notebook away in the breast pocket of his coat. He reached for the lamp to douse the light but paused when something banged against the wall of the records room.

Most of the RIO staff had left for the evening. By now he should have the offices to himself, with the exception of the security officer who patrolled through the night. But he would have sworn he recently heard the officer’s footsteps echoing down the hallway.

As silently as possible he exited the file room. At the door to the records room, he paused and listened. There were shuffling sounds, like boxes being moved about, as well as odd clicks and whirls. Almost like a clock with a gear out of alignment.

“No, not that one,” someone whispered on the other side of the door.

Was that a woman’s voice?

“Hurry. We don’t have much time.”

Again, no response to the whisper, but the clicking sounds multiplied.

Nathaniel checked the lock on the door. It had been opened. The intruder either had a key or a considerable talent with locks. The locks used at the RIO were unusual and gave even the most experienced lock picks trouble.

He pulled his derringer from his pocket then as quietly as possible turned the door handle. The last click of the latch set off a flurry of activity inside the room.

So much for a stealthy entry.

He positioned himself against the wall, yanked the door open, and leveled his gun on whatever he found inside the room.

Some kind of insect jumped off one of the file cabinets onto Nathaniel’s outstretched hand and pinched him.

“Ouch!” He shook his hand and tried to dislodge the bug, but it moved too fast. “What the bloody hell?” He bellowed when the bug ran across his arm then down his chest and leg to the floor.

“Don’t hurt her. She won’t hurt you,” a woman called out from the other side of the cabinet. “Nid, get over here.” Papers were shuffled and more clicks came from that side of the room.

Her voice was familiar. Nathaniel lowered his gun but kept it at the ready as he made his way to the other side. As he crept forward he looked left and right for more bugs. “Who is that and what are you doing in here?”

More shuffling of papers. A drawer slammed shut. The woman whispered, “Squeaks. Hopper. Get in.”

Nathaniel stepped around the end of the cabinets and leveled his gun at the person crouched next to the cabinet. He blinked in surprise at the woman who looked up at him. “Trixie?”

Beatrix Wadeworth froze with her hand extended to two small creatures that resembled a toy mouse and small rabbit. “Nathaniel?” She started to stand, then paused and scooped up the toys and slipped them into her pocket. “I uh…” She glanced behind him toward the door.

He took two steps forward and grabbed her by the arm. “Don’t even think about it.”

“Wh… what are you doing here?” she asked breathlessly.

“I work for the Royal Intelligence Office so I’m allowed to be here but you’re not.” He tightened his grip on her arm. “What are you doing here?”

Two of the bugs ran up his arm. He tried to brush them off, but only managed hit one of them.

“Nid, it’s okay.” She nabbed the one shaped like a spider. “Come here.”

“What are those?” They looked like bugs, but the whirling noise and clicks gave away the fact that they weren’t.

“They’re my, well…” She shrugged and dropped the one she’d taken off his arm into the pouch at her waist. “They’re my friends.”

“Friends?” One of her other toys scratched at his pant leg as it tried to climb it.

“Oh, sorry.” She reached for the creature but stopped when her face drew too close to an area of his anatomy that no proper young woman should be near.

“I’ll get it.” He released her arm, slid his pistol back into its holster, then plucked the tiny mechanical insect from his thigh. He examined it for a moment then dropped it into her open palm. The strange assortment of metal gears and parts were shaped to resemble a scorpion.

“Thank you,” she murmured.

“How many more of those do you have?”

“I only brought five of them with me.”

He opened his mouth to say something then shook his head. “You can’t be here.”

“What the deuce is going on in here?”

Trixie’s eyes widened with alarm. Nathaniel groaned. Great, the security officer had found them.

Author Bio:
Dena Garson is an award winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.

She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn't writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan. Find Dena online:

-website
-blog
-Facebook Profile
-Facebook Page
-Twitter
-Pinterest
-Goodreads
-Newsletter

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

DAUGHTER OF AITHNE by Karin Rita Gastreich

DAUGHTER OF AITHNE
by Karin Rita Gastreich

Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life's work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son's claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter's inheritance.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

"An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil." -KIRKUS REVIEWS

EXCERPT
Taesara stiffened as Penamor took her chin in his fingers and subjected her to cold inspection. After a moment, his frown deepened and he shook his head. “Only the Sisters of the Poor could take a woman at the height of her flower and turn her into a dried-up weed.”

Taesara bristled. “There is no place for vanity within these walls.”

“Apparently not. They’ve made you skinny and sallow. Though it is nothing, I’ll wager, that a bit of sun and some proper food cannot remedy. What are these rags they dress you in?”

She stepped away, clenching her jaw. “This is all I need. All anyone needs, to live at peace in this world.”

Penamor snorted. “Indeed.”

“Why are you here?”

“I’ve come to fetch you home.”

“This is my home.”

“This was your temporary refuge. A foul place, but one of your choosing. We were generous enough to let you stay, first your father and then I, as we put the outside world in order. Now it is time for you to return.”

“I am not going back.”

“Oh, but I think you will.” Penamor spoke with an odd tone, at once menacing and full of promise. “War is at hand, and you will be the one to lead it.”

Taesara forced a laugh. “You know I will have no part of it. Eliasara would die at their hands if we so much as—”

“They do not have Eliasara,” he said. “We do.”

Shadows flashed through Taesara’s vision. She stumbled and caught hold of the back of a chair. A chasm opened inside her heart, swallowing the vines and trees with which she had concealed her love and pain during all these years. The bitter anguish of the day she was separated from Eliasara returned full force.

“Where is she? Where is my daughter?”

~Buy DAUGHTER OF AITHNE on Amazon

Also grab the rest of the series
-Book 1: EOLYN
-Book 2: SWORD OF SHADOWS

A GUEST POST FROM KARIN

The Magical World of The Silver Web

The world of The Silver Web is centered on the Kingdom of Moisehén, but includes many other lands as well. There are the remote Paramen Mountains, the vast marshes of Roenfyn, the exotic coastal territories of the Galian wizards, and the sophisticated empire of the Syrnte, to name a few. Each of these lands has its own culture, history, and system of magic; to cover what inspired them all would take a long post!

So today I’ll focus on Moisehén, home of the principle character, Eolyn. A powerful kingdom with a rich tradition of magic, Moisehén was inspired in part by medieval Germany and in part by the central highlands of colonial Costa Rica, where I lived for many years - though not in colonial times!

In the opening chapters of the trilogy’s first book, Eolyn grows up in a wilderness very much like the beautiful oak forests of the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica. These are spectacular woodlands with moss-covered, ancient trees that can’t help but inspire legends of magic.

In Moisehén, magical power is built on an understanding of the natural world. This was directly inspired by my own experiences as a field ecologist, as well as by ethnobotanical knowledge – particularly knowledge of shamanistic traditions – that I’ve picked up along the way.

Magic is divided into several categories. There are types of magic that are considered inherent, such as Children’s Magic. All magic that must be learned through apprenticeship is referred to as Advanced Magic. Advanced Magic, in turn, is divided into three categories: Simple Magic, Middle Magic, and High Magic.

Practitioners who have become adept at Simple and Middle Magic must petition the Gods for a staff to learn the arts of High Magic. With a staff, the practitioner can accomplish many feats of magic and illusion, such as flight and shapeshifting. They can also invoke flames for ceremonial purposes, for self-defense, or in the case of Mage Warriors, for use on the battle field.

Because magic is a source of power, the question of who can practice magic is central to the saga of The Silver Web. At the start of Book One, Eolyn is the last surviving heiress to women’s magic in Moisehén. As the trilogy continues, Eolyn’s struggle to restore women’s magic to her people stretches across multiple generations and kingdoms, each with their own system of magic and their own stake in the outcome of Eolyn’s journey.

Daughter of Aithne is the final, decisive conflict in this struggle. Ironically, even though Eolyn’s struggle has pitted her against many powerful men along the way, in the third book of the trilogy, Daughter of Aithne, the greatest challenge Eolyn faces is posed by a woman, Queen Taesara of Roenfyn, who takes up arms against Eolyn to defend her own daughter’s claim to throne.

Building a fantasy world is a complicated task, and one must draw from many sources of inspiration and information to succeed in crafting a world that is nuanced and believable. But no matter how vast your landscape and how magical your kingdoms, the core of world building always comes back to the characters. In other words, make your characters real in their talents, flaws, hopes, and aspirations, and everything else will fall into place.

ABOUT KARIN

Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

Find her online:

-website
-Twitter
-Facebook

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

Karin Rita Gastreich will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Trailer Reveal: CAYLETH WARDING AND THE SCARLET ONE by Jessica Hernandez

CAYLETH WARDING AND THE SCARLET ONE
by Jessica Hernandez

Fifty-three families looking for a new beginning board a ship and sail to an uninhabited island. Happily they live for well over two decades. Homes are built and the past is forgotten. Paradise, however, is no more after the adults suddenly vanish one night. For three years, the teens and children rule the island of Oridd. For three years, they survive. When an old woman unexpectedly appears on Oridd, all is cast into disarray as the strange and awful threaten to become commonplace. The old woman wants something, and she won’t leave until she gets it.

~Buy CAYLETH WARDING AND THE SCARLET ONE on Amazon

~Add it on Goodreads

ABOUT JESSICA

Jessica Hernandez was born and raised in the beautiful, sunny state of Florida. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami, where she spent more time than she cares to admit daydreaming of a faraway land called Acu. Upon graduating with a degree in English and Political Science in 2014, Jessica put pen to paper and brought Acu to life in the Hawk of Stone duology.

Currently, Jessica Hernandez is a law student at the University of Miami. Her next novel, Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One, is set to be released on 7 October 2017.

Find her online:

-website
-YouTube

Friday, October 6, 2017

THE KING'S OWN by W. Marshall

THE KING’S OWN
by W. Marshall

The King’s Own are as feared as they are ruthless, doing all of those hard, and sometimes terrible, things necessary to ensure the safety of the realm. Owing allegiance to the King alone, they are his spies, his assassins, and his advisors. They exist to walk in the shadows, to enforce the King’s will, to change the course of entire wars, and to root out dissenters. They live without family, in service to the crown, unknown and unsung.

A young man conscripted to fight in a war far away from home. Blood and loss tempered with hope and a vow. Recruited into the King’s Own, he must learn quickly to do whatever it takes to serve the kingdom so that others can live their lives in relative peace and safety. But just how far will he go to keep his oath, especially when the King is murdered?

EXCERPT
“Alright,” Commodus said. “I guess I’ll be the bait. I’ll just stroll right up there and announce myself and hope they don’t riddle me with arrows.” I smirked, pointing off to the left to show Samarra where I wanted her to scout. “You’ll be fine, old timer,” I said, giving him a familiar nod. I turned and slipped off into the thick woods, circling far enough around to avoid detection by the sentries. Samarra had proven to be even more skilled than I was at infiltration like this, moving quietly and quickly, unseen and unheard. Years of practice had made me an expert, but she took to it as naturally as walking. I blended with the shadows, slipping among the trees as easily as a panther, my eyes searching for my targets. There. Not very well-hidden to the trained eye. My hand clamped over the first sentry’s mouth, my dagger slitting his throat. Two more followed, their bows showing me they were indeed there to kill us if things turned sour for the rebels. Quickly then, back to Commodus, before he decided to pull something stupid and become a martyr by attempting to rescue the Princess by himself.

~Buy THE KING’S OWN on Amazon

ABOUT W. MARSHALL

W. Marshall was born in Florida, but found his home when he moved to Colorado. He is a lover of movies, books, dogs, science fiction, fantasy, and military history. His debut novel, The King’s Own, is a work of dark fiction that asks hard questions as it examines the life and labors of the protagonist.

In his free time, he enjoys running, reading a wide array of fiction, and writing science fiction and fantasy.

Find him online:

-Facebook
-website

~Follow the rest of the tour

GIVEAWAY

W. Marshall will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway