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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Takeover: Author Kristina Perez on Five Things You Don't Know About Morgan la Fey

Today's Thursday Takeover is especially awesome because it is about Morgan la Fey, who is one of my favorite characters in mythology. In Kristina Perez's new book, The Myth of Morgan la Fey, she explores everything to do with one of the most popularly portrayed characters in literature and film/television. And she's here to give us a preview of things you might not already know about Morgan la Fey.

The sister of King Arthur goes by many names: sorceress, kingmaker, death-wielder, mother, lover, goddess. The Myth of Morgan la Fey reveals her true identity through a comprehensive investigation of the famed enchantress' evolution - or devolution - over the past millennium and its implications for gender relations today. While Western culture consistently seeks to control female sexuality by categorizing a woman's identity into either a mother or a lover, i.e. a Madonna or a whore, Morgan offers a unique duality, a refusal to let her identity be fractured. Here, Kristina Pérez makes the connection between the tension between those two roles and Morgan la Fey's descent within Arthurian legend from goddess to witch.

Find it from MacMillan or Add it on Goodreads
About Kristina Perez:
Kristina Pérez holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Cambridge and a non-fiction title based on her research, The Myth of Morgan la Fey, is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan. In 2012, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hong Kong University's Journalism and Media Studies Centre. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal Asia, Departures, L’Officiel India, Condé Nast Traveler, CNNGoand the South China Morning Post, among others. She is also the author of A Hedonist’s Guide to Beijing. She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Follow Kristina Perez on Social Media:
Website  Goodreads  Twitter

5 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Morgan La Fey
by Kristina Perez


5. Morgan vs. Guinevere
The Old Irish tale Serglige Con Culaind (“The Wasting Sickness of Cú Chulaind”) is most likely the source of the enmity between Guinevere and Morgan la Fey throughout the Arthurian tradition. This story tells of a debilitating love sickness that befalls the great warrior Cú Chulaind and the fight between his mortal wife, Emer and his Otherworld lover, Fand (a sea goddess). It betrays Morgan’s original relationship with King Arthur to be that of Fairy Mistress rather than sister; Guinevere’s (not unjustified) jealousy of Arthur’s affection for Morgan in the late Arthurian tradition stems from this origin.

4. Morgan as Fairy Godmother
Despite Morgan’s penchant for destruction in Arthurian legend, she plays the nurturing role of Fairy Godmother in non-Arthurian romances and chansons de geste (medieval epic poems) such as Ogier le Danois (c.1332-36), Floriant et Florette (c.1268), and Bataille Loquifer (c.1170). In Floriant et Florette, she is described as a “fairy of the sea” and raises the young Floriant after his mother’s difficult childbirth. Her role parallels that of the Dame du Lac (Lady of the Lake)’s relationship with Lancelot.

3. Morgan as the Lady of the Lake
Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur (1485) enshrines Morgan la Fey and the Lady of the Lake as mortal enemies. However, they in fact share the same Celtic origins including Fand and her sister, Lí Ban (the mermaid saint). Morgan la Fey is first mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Vita Merlini (“Life of Merlin”) circa 1148 where she is a beneficent supernatural healer who lives on the Isle of Apples (Avalon) and is charged with restoring the mortally-wounded King Arthur to life. She maintains this position as a healer and guardian to King Arthur and his knights––the role Malory allots the Lady of the Lake––in Chrétien de Troye’s late twelfth-century romances, Erec et Énide and Yvain. It is not until the thirteenth century Old French Vulgate Cycle prose romances that the Lady of the Lake/Dame du Lac emerges as a central figure who subsumes all of Morgan’s healing and “good” magical functions leaving Morgan to become more and more demonized.

2. Morgan the Giantess
Morgan makes an appearance in Edmund Spencer’s The Fairie Queene (1590)––which is not strictly speaking an Arthurian text––as a lustful giantess named Argante who “seeke[s] young men, to quench her flaming thurst” and “she brings into a secret Ile,/Where in eternall bondage dye he must,/ Or be the vassal of her pleasures vile,/And in all shamefull sort him selfe with her defile” (Book III, Canto 7, Stanza 50)!! The name Argante is derived from Middle English Laȝamon’s Brut (c. 1190-1215): an elf queen who appears in magnificent attire on a magical boat to take Arthur to Avalon after his final battle (i.e. the traditional role played by Morgan la Fey).

1. Thoroughly Modern Morgan: Barbie vs. J.K. Rowling
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Morgan la Fey has been portrayed by two iconic figures: Barbie and J.K. Rowling. The dawn of the new millennium saw Mattel rolling out a limited edition Morgan la Fey, The Enchantress Barbie doll with Ken as Merlin, of course. J.K. Rowling also chose become Morgan la Fey for the 2011 UK Royal May set of “Magical Realms” postage stamps featuring British fantasy authors as famous villains and heroes. Like Morgan as Fairy Godmother, J.K. Rowling has certainly overseen the education of a young hero: Harry Potter. A thousand years later, the spell cast by Morgan la Fey shows no signs of diminishing.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Heirs of War, Crown of Flames Cover Reveal


Book two of the Heirs of War series is right around the corner! Heirs of War, Crown of Flames is set to be released this summer, and we have the first look at the cover for the book today! If you haven't already read Heirs of War, it is on sale this week for $0.99 cents from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other retailers. Here's what you have to look forward to in book two:

Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen's dungeon, but danger isn't far behind them. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.

Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival than rescuing Ariana. Well, not everyone

Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.

Add it on Goodreads
Read the preview chapters on Wattpad












View the Book Trailer:

Don't forget to enter the Fan Favorites and Shipping Wars contests running on my website! By choosing your favorite character or you favorite relationship in the Heirs of War series, you can win a chance to star in a brand new scene with those characters or help bring them to life in a new scene. Just fill out the forms and you will be entered to win!   

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Promo Post: Hand of Chaos by J. Hamlet

Synopsis: Exhausted, cynical, and confused, Anna is always there to report for duty. She's part of a clandestine government team that defends the nation against supernatural terrorism—a job that understandably leaves her life in shambles and drives her to drink a little more than she should. Toss in a fear of intimacy with a desire to have friends and lovers like a normal person and, well, Anna is a troubled soul wrapped in a special agent with arcane, magical powers. Waking up hungover at five-thirty in the morning with a zombie-infested apartment building in the heart of DC to deal with, she's knows she's got the makings of the worst morning possible.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |






About the Author:
J. Hamlet: Everyone needs a hobby. I chose writing. Not one of the easier ones. I chose it at the tender age of 14, churning out terrible science fiction novels that heaped on the cliches and barely hidden tropes of all space operas. Thankfully, those creations reside in the prison of an old Commodore 64 hard drive and several 3.5" disks (kids, ask your parents) in a landfill somewhere. And, let me be clear, the world is better for it. Along the way, I kept writing. Through college. Through grad school. Through the beginning of my career, such as it is. I like to believe I picked up skills. I write genre novels that have characters brimming with personal problems, professional problems, and sexuality. Sure, novels that do this exist. I'm not trying to say they don't, I just think too few of them are out there and I intend to do my personal best to increase their numbers.
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday Takeover: Priya Kanaparti Interviews Axel from Dracian Legacy

Today I am handing the blog over to my dear friend Priya Kanaparti, who is celebrating the release of her book Dracian Legacy--the first in the Dracian Legacy series. I've read an earlier incarnation of this book, and cannot wait to read it's final form. For now, Priya is going to help us get to know her number one hottie main character Axel with an interview. But first: The book! Check out this cover, you guys!

At seventeen, Ren Pernell knows the meaning of tragedy.

But then, a year after losing her parents, Axel Knight walks through the door and changes everything. Strange creatures start to appear, her best friend suddenly finds her irresistible, and an undeniable, unexplainable bond with Axel threatens to drive her insane. She knows he’s the key. There’s something he’s not sharing, and she’s determined to find out.

Demanding answers, she finally learns the truth: everything she ever believed is an illusion. Caught in a centuries-old blood feud between races she never knew existed, Ren discovers her true destiny. She’s the chosen one, the Echo, preordained to end the bloodshed.

There’s just one catch–in order to save those she loves and a homeland she’s never seen, she’ll have to die.

With the clock running out, she’ll have to navigate a new world of betrayal, lies and deceit. If she can forgive, finding love even in the darkest places, she just might be able to escape the prophecy. But how much is she willing to sacrifice for a cause she didn't know she was part of? And what will it take for her to be free?







Take it away, Priya!

Priya: Hello Axel! Long time no talk.

Axel: *smiles and raises a quizzical eyebrow*

Priya: *looks away and laughs nervously* Right, It's only been five minutes... Anyhoo, what is it that makes you tick?

Axel: Dean.

Priya: Really?

Axel: *nods* I've never regretted anything in my life. But is it too much to ask that Dean and I never met? It's like he's got make-Axel-angry switch turned on every time he's near me.

Priya: Well, are you sure it's not just jealously? I mean, even a guy like you can't be that confident in a relationship.

Axel: *shakes head* I'd rather not open that can of worms.

Priya: Fair enough. Okay, let's see... If you can be anywhere in the world, where would you be?

Axel: *thinks about it for a second* I'd go back in time & tell my mom how much I loved her.

Priya: aww... Shucks! Okay, next question, in a battle between you and Telalians, who would you want by your side?

Axel: Dimitri. He's been my best friend for as long as I can remember. If there's one person that I know would have my back, it's him.

Priya: Aww! Isn't that sweet? *looks at time on phone* Oh, look time's almost up. Okay, last question! If you had the chance to pick your own power, what would you pick?

Axel: *lips curve up* My air elemental power. Without a doubt!

Priya: *laughs* Good choice! Well that's all the time we have folks. Mara, thank you for letting Axel and I take over your blog!

Axel: Yes, Thank you Ms. Valderann.

Want more? Get your copy from REUTS.com or Amazon today!

Priya lives in the beautiful city of Boise, ID as a full-time working mom and part-time YA Novel Author. For the past 7+ years she has worked in multiple Fortune 500 companies and has recently found the passion to read and write.  The Dracian Legacy is her first YA paranormal romance series. She strongly believes that true love conquers all and that’s a common theme you’ll find within her novels.

You can find her online at: Blog - Facebook - Pinterest  - Twitter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Massive Update: Moving, Writing, and a Contract!

Wow, where to begin? I suppose I will start with the biggest change, which is that my husband and I are relocating to Las Vegas! He received a promotion and a new job all in the same month, and they are moving us across the country the first of April, which means...
That not a whole heck of a lot will really be changing since I am mostly a home body anyway. My friends will have to fly out to see me instead of drive a half an hour, but hey--there will be shiny lights and casinos to help ease that pain. ;) It's all very exciting, because I've never lived outside of South Carolina before. But that also makes it equally terrifying too. I have a gut feeling that it is going to be awesome, and I really couldn't be prouder of my hubby for landing this job. Yayy hubby!

And, on a writerly front, big changes are ahead! First and foremost, I have to say that I love my editor Kriscinda Everitt. Why? Because she keeps me from doing nonsensical things that only make sense in my head. That being the case, the release date for Heirs of War, Crown of Flames has been pushed back to this summer because A) it needs some adjustments, and B) um, moving to Vegas, so not a lot of time to make those adjustments until I get there. But it will be worth it in the end. I already feel better about the bits of work I've been able to do on it. Kriscinda is magic, guys. Magic.

Aaaannnd the other writerly change? I have officially signed on with Curiosity Quills to publish Altar of Reality! I am beyond excited! I've hosted tours and become friends with AND a fan of so many of their authors, so to me this sort of feels like coming home. I feel like I am coming full circle on my journey as a writer (or at least, the first leg of that journey since it is unending) by finally signing on with them. There are so many people to thank for getting me to this point, but I have to give major props to Kriscinda, Krystal Wade, and James Wymore for all they have taught me as a writer. These three wonderful people have believed in me, guided me, and continue to teach me today. I am one lucky gal. =D

I will keep you guys updated on Heirs of War and Altar of Reality, hopefully with some release dates soon for one (or both!). Thanks for taking this wild ride with me!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Disciple, Part IV by L. Blankenship


Disciple, Part IV is finally here! The six-part, gritty fantasy romance is only getting more complicated...


Disciple-PartIV-cover-800.jpgBack cover
Kate can’t avoid the simple truth any longer; as much as she loves Kiefan, he’s now the king and his duties leave him precious little time for her and their newborn son. Kate’s husband Anders, the ne’er-do-well knight, is the one who kisses her cheek every morning and soothes the baby to sleep on his shoulder.

Kiefan’s protective jealousy still casts a shadow over her life. He would gladly throw Anders to the wolves if it will keep alliance negotiations from collapsing. Their homeland desperately needs these allies against the invading Empire. The kingdom barely survived the first wave of the enemy’s monstrous army and more is to come.

But Kate can’t stand by and let Anders become a victim — or let Kiefan suspect she’s falling in love with her husband.




Excerpt
Kate slipped away from a banquet to nurse her newborn son, Rafe. She hasn't seen Kiefan in months, thanks to their busy lives.

My eye caught movement and I turned back. Kiefan stepped off the flagstone path and crossed the grass, warm light from the doorway catching on his gold band. I smiled. “You escaped.”

“It was not easy.” He put a hand on my arm and looked to be sure none watched us. We drew further around the kitchen-cottage, into the gap between it and the stockade wall. Deeper in the shadows. I put my hand out, brushed across the mud-plaster wall, and set my back to it.

Kiefan’s hand on my arm slipped up to my cheek, tipped my head and his kiss, sudden and deep, squeezed a whimper from my throat. His tongue, his whiff of lavender soap, tore open a yearning I’d half forgotten. Gently pressed against the wall, I wished I could put both arms around him. I had to settle for clenching a handful of his cote, at the shoulder.

Rafe wiggled between us, and Kiefan looked down. He slipped a finger across Rafe’s open hand, and my baby gripped in return.

“I meant no disrespect to your grandfather,” Kiefan said, voice low. “Rafe is as much his blood as my father’s. I only wanted to see you, and my son, and know you’re both well.” He tugged against Rafe’s grip as he said it. My baby’s hand opened and his arm dropped to his side as he relaxed into his work. “I’ve missed you,” Kiefan murmured.

There’d been some letters, far too limiting for what needed to be said. I’d doubted myself, as Anders and I settled into our comfortable routine. I’d worried what I’d say in this moment, to Kiefan. Feared, even, that he’d sense it. Smell Anders’ kindness on me and how it made my heart quiver.

And all this was a heartbeat too long for me to answer; Kiefan put his forehead to mine. “What do you fear?” he whispered.

My breath caught in my throat, at that. “I’ll miss you more, once you’re wed,” I managed to answer. It was part of the truth.

He wore his lamia-tooth brooch, on the shoulder of his black silk cote, perhaps to remind everyone why the monsters hadn’t sung in the forest all year. It was the sparkling cote from Solstice, I realized with a blink. I’d helped him peel it off over his head.

Slim chance I ever would again, no matter how much love lay between us. He was here to find a pair of Caer brides, after all; it was his duty. They’d know they had to share him, and weren’t likely to share him any further. Even if he were so lucky as to find twins that he got on well with…

“Stay, tonight.”

He touched a kiss to my neck, just by my ear, and a shiver shot along my spine. The memory of his hands on my skin, his mouth — but my heart stretched, strained in my chest. It was well snared by Kiefan and dragged toward him, but felt the pull of another hook.

Anders. His little touches. How he kissed my cheek in the morning. How he’d always take Rafe, when asked, and walk him to sleep. Anders loved me, he surely wanted more, and to lead him on — and lie to Kiefan — was more than I could bear.  

Rafe, tangled in the middle of it all, had his own hooks in my heart. “I have a new lord,” I whispered in kind, “and I must attend him four times nightly. I have a saint and duties to him. As do you. Once the Caer ladies are here…” I had to trail off on that thought. Kiefan deserved love.  

Disciple, Part IV
on sale now at all major retailers

Disciple-HalfOmnibus-cover800x1200.jpg
New to Disciple?
The Half-Omnibus collects the first three parts into one meaty ebook.


Or try Disciple, Part I for only 99 cents!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up: Review of First of Her Kind by K.L. Schwengel & Cover Reveal for Emergence, Book Two!

I. Love. This. Series. 

I'll save all the raving about how awesome First of Her Kind was for the review, and instead I will ooh and aah over how beautiful the cover of the sequel is. Emergence is book two in K.L. Schwengel's Darkness & Light series, and I am betting that it is even better than the first, which is pretty hard to top. The cover looks absolutely amazing, and I love that it features Bolin as well. Not that I am biased or anything...I'll let you see for yourselves and then I will tell you why I love First of Her Kind so much. 


Emergence ~ Book Two of the Darkness & Light Series
The battle for Ciara's power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won't be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin's skin.
For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair--something that grows more unlikely by the day--there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin's uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.
Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

About the author:
K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.
Kathi's work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.



How to connect:


First of Her Kind ~ A Darkness & Light NovelFirst of Her Kind ~ A Darkness & Light Novel by K.L. Schwengel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First word that comes to mind when reading the last page?

No. Because there is no way that can be the last page. It's not a cliffhanger, but there is just so much more waiting to be told. Which is what sequels are for, and I am now impatiently awaiting book two of the Darkness & Light series.

K.L. Schwengel knows how to weave a solid story around engaging and flawed characters, and she knows how to tell it beautifully as well. Ciara and Bolin suffer from an inability to really speak to one another and just be honest, and it gets them into heaps of trouble. Trouble would have found them eventually, but they certainly help things along by being incredibly stubborn. The chemistry these two characters have together is palpable on the page and just really starting to be explored as the story continues. Their connection is one they don't seem to fully understand, but by the end I think they are starting to see how much they mean to one another and how they are both puzzle pieces that fit together. They still need some shaping to smooth out their rough edges, but their bond is unquestionable.

This is not a light and fluffy fantasy novel by any stretch of the imagination. There are dark sides to this world, and K.L. Schwengel isn't afraid to explore those parts, which only adds to the complexity and intrigue of this story and these characters. Seeing everything Bolin and Ciara are put through, all the pain they feel, helps to connect with them even more. And I have to say that K.L. Schwengel really knows how to balance the violence as well. It never feels over the top or showy, but always gritty and rough.

The author's use of language is enough to make me want to put my metaphoric pen down. The prose has a poetic nature to it, a cadence, without seeming pretentious at all. The voice is clear and the descriptions are not only solid, but vivid and detailed without weighing down the story.

Summary: The author's use of language and imagery mixed with the engaging characters, enticing plots, believable villains and heroes alike, and tension throughout is the perfect recipe for an amazing book.

Add it to Goodreads
Purchase it on Amazon Paperback and E-book or Barnes & Noble Paperback or E-book

Friday, March 7, 2014

Feature Friday & Giveaway: Weather Child by Philippa Ballantine



Weather Child
The Awakened Epoch
Book One
Philippa Ballantine
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Imagine That! Studios
Date of Publication:  1st March 2014
Cover Artist: Alex White

Book Description:

Never alone. Never apart.

They are the Awakened, a unique breed of people in a remote corner of the world. Faith is one of these gifted carriers of the Seraphim; and in return of her unconditional love, her Seraphim grants her powers of incredible potential.

But not all carriers embrace their blessing.

Jack loathes being an Awakened. He never asked for it, his Seraphim keeping him alive even in spite of his desire to die. Not even a great war could rid him of this curse.

Now a magician of incredible ability and a walking dead man must find a way to work together to save the Seraphim. Someone covets the power of the Awakened, and will not stop until that power belongs to him.


About the Author:

New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats.
Twitter: @PhilippaJane
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pjballantine
Website: http://www.pjballantine.com/

Excerpt:
The train squealed as they landed on the narrow walkway between the final car and the coal wagon. Faith managed to catch herself before rolling off, but her hat came loose and was lost into the dust.
Scrambling up, they could see over the pile of coal the pale and astonished face of the engineer. He was taking in the fire and the creature that he could obviously see. He disappeared back again. The train sped up and Wirimu and Faith were forced back into the ruined carriage by the swaying of the train.
“He’s not going to risk stopping in Paraparaumu,” Wirimu yelled over the screaming of the wheels. “He’ll push on to Shorecliff where there is a police presence.”
It made sense, and Faith was thankful for the quick thinking of government employees. Glancing behind her, Faith knew they couldn’t be far from the tunnel.
“You go unhook the back carriages from this one,” she instructed Wirimu. “I can’t risk an all-out battle with so many civilians. I’ll hold her off. Quick, there’s a tunnel.” Mid sentence she had already delved into her magic, Hoa leaping to aid her. The wind began to scream even louder than the train. It filled her with satisfaction and completeness just as always. When it was in her, she was more than just human; she was the living, breathing embodiment of nature’s might.
Seeing the oncoming darkness and feeling the wind begin to batter at the sides of the train, Wirimu didn’t ask any further questions. He dashed back along the now pitted and ruined first class carriage, just as the train plunged into the darkness of the tunnel.
Time slowed. It wasn’t a trick of Faith’s perception or magic; she sensed that immediately. The train was slowly shuddering, where as mere moments before it had been bucking like a wily rodeo horse. Only two remaining lights at the far end of the carriage gave any illumination, but it was enough.
Not even a small woman could have stood atop the roof of the train as it passed into the tunnel, so when the creature appeared in the window to one side of Faith, she was not surprised. The claws that had been twisted from the girl’s once charming little hands were locked around the melding of the window without any apparent difficulty. The golden eyes peered in at Faith with burning fury, but she had the real impression it was not staring at her, so much as through her to the seraph within.
The moment, trapped in amber, passed. Faith heard an almighty clank as the back end of the train fell away. The engine, stoked to full capacity, leapt forward eagerly, but like the well-seasoned traveller she was, Faith managed to keep her feet.
While her attacker shot a glance back, distracted perhaps by losing its audience, she threw the wind at it. The glass exploded and the walls of the carriage bulged as the might of a Wellington southerly wind confined in a small space smashed at that which Hoa found hateful. It pummelled the creature with broken glass, and then, with the full force of a gale. The glaring gold eyes flared wide, but whatever dwelt inside was still beholden to the demands of the real world. The claws scrambled on the side, but couldn’t hold forever.

The long dead girl’s voice howled in anger, before the wind picked up the creature and smashed it against the last few feet of the tunnel.


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday Takeover & Giveaway: Interviewing Ankhesenamun from Kiya: Rise of a New Dynasty by Katie Hamstead

There's nothing that makes a fangirl happier than getting to interview her favorite characters, and for this Thursday Takeover I had the pleasure of doing just that. Katie Hamstead is stopping by and letting me ask Ankhesenamun some questions about her life and hopes for the future. Ankhe is the daughter of the belated Pharaoh, Akhenaten, and his queen Nefertiti, and has grown up to be one of the most surprising and intriguing characters in the book so far. Here's what Ankhe had to say:

Mara: Hello, Ankhesenamun! Thank you for giving me the time to interview you. First, why don't you tell us what your name means and how it was chosen?
Ankhe: My name at birth was Ankhespaaten, which means, Living for Aten. After my father passed and the religion moved back to the old ways, Both Tut and myself changed our names to reflect Amun. So now my name means Living for Amun.

Mara: You've grown up in palaces under different rule. What can you tell us about what life was like with your father as Pharaoh?
Ankhe: MY father was a wonderful man; tender, loving, affectionate. He had a keen mind for the most part, and it saddened me when he crept into madness. He was truly inspired and I will never forget him. My childhood were times of light and warmth in his presence.

Mara: Your mother Nefertiti had a reputation both for being beloved by the people and for her political scheming. What are some important lessons you learned from her? 
Ankhe: To keep my senses piqued at all times. Being royal means everyone is trying to destroy or use you for their own advantage, so she taught me how to watch for traitors and those who would harm me. My father taught me how to trust.

Mara: Nefertiti made no effort to hide her disdain for Kiya, yet you appeared to have a certain admiration for her. What drew you to Kiya despite your mother's feelings?
Ankhe: Why must we talk about my mother? Please, she and my grandfather are the reason my father died with a broken heart. Kiya was different. My father admired her, making my mother fiercely jealous. At first I reflected my mother's feelings, wondering why my father would choose her of all people, but then I saw her courage and her loyalty to my father. That courage and loyalty drew my father to her, and I could not hate someone who made him happy.
But then, she spent so much time with that bully Mordad, and the Commander I held onto my reservations, just observing her rather than interacting.

Mara: You recently married Tut and have shown yourself to be very loyal to him, some have even said you are protective of him. What do you see in Tut? What do you hope he sees in you?
Ankhe: Tut reflects my father in many ways. I see my father's gentle spirit in him, and the playfulness I believe my father had in him--if only he wasn't so limited. Tut is charming and sweet, and I believe he will grow into a fine young man.
What I hope he sees in me is that he can love me as much as he does his mother. I hope he sees how dedicated and loyal to him I am.

Mara: What kind of ruler has Tut shown himself to be so far? 
Ankhe: Compassionate, but firm. Actually, most of what I see is Horemheb's hand. My grandfather does not approve.

Mara: What do you hope to see for the future, for yourself, Egypt, and your Pharaoh? 
Ankhe: To live a long life with my Tut, having many children together, and living blissfully through a golden age under Tut's reign. If anyone can do it, it is Tut, and I am honored to be at his side.

Pick up your copy of the Kiya series today! The final book is out, and I cannot wait to see how it ends!

Title: Kiya: Rise of a New Dynasty (Kiya Trilogy Book #3)
Author: Katie Hamstead
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: New Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: February 25th, 2014

Blurb:

Tut has grown into his position as Pharaoh, but he is a wild young man. Naomi fears for him, not only because of his recklessness, but because he has put his trust in Ay–the man determined to destroy Naomi—despite her and Horemheb advising against it.

Meanwhile, death and slavery hang over Naomi and her family. With fear of the booming Hebrew numbers causing talk of enslaving them, conscription is reinstated and Naomi fears for the lives of her other children. Especially since Ay's children are now adults, and just as dangerous as their father. They threaten to take Itani, conspire against Tut, and pushing for power.

But Tut is in trouble. While Ay's daughter draws Horemheb's attention, and Naomi deals with the struggles of her family, everyone's distraction could spell death for the young Pharaoh.


About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as a Clerk with a lien company in Arizona to help support her family and her schooling. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cover Reveal: Destruction by Sharon Bayliss


Author Sharon Bayliss is thrilled to share the cover for Destruction (Book One of The December People Series), a family drama about dark wizards living in Houston.

Message from Sharon Bayliss:

"The butterfly will show up on the cover of all four books in the series, as a symbol of redemption, hope, and re-birth. Despite the dark themes in the series, I believe that the most important themes of the series are hopeful ones, such as love, family, and triumph against adversity, which is why the butterfly is in the center.

The broken glass surrounding the butterfly rather obviously symbolizes the concept of destruction, which is also a central theme. The title Destruction refers to the fact that dark magic is inherently destructive, but also refers to how a person can be destroyed, in body or soul.

One thing I was sure of, I wanted the word, Destruction, to be in "pretty" letters. I loved the contrast of having a dark and violent word look beautiful. This also fits the theme, as I wish to show the beauty in darkness and destruction, and the good in people who are supposed to be evil."

Here is the blurb for Destruction, coming out 4/14/14:

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own— she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.




Add this to your Goodreads list:
Destruction (Book One of 

The December People Series)


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