Category Archives: Fantasy Focus

Fantasy Focus: The Tainted Crown by Meg Cowley

Today the spotlight is on Meg Cowley and The Books of Caledan:

The Tainted Crown: The First Book of Caledan

What is the price of kingship?

The kingdom of Caledan is thrown into turmoil by the queen’s murder. Her heir, Soren, flees with a price on his head after being framed for the killing by his uncle Zaki, who seizes the legendary throne of the Dragon Kings and rules with an iron fist to crush dissent. However, suspicion is rife following Zaki’s ill-omened coronation and a crime ill-fitting the beloved Prince Soren.

Now a fugitive roaming the wild, Soren has lost everything. He tries to reconcile his grief and determine how he can reclaim his throne when fate has left him with just one old man, but the odds are greatly against him. If no-one follows him, or believes his innocence, is he worthy to rule?

Across the kingdom, Soren’s cousin Eve takes matters into her own hands and journeys to the ethereal Eldarkind on his behalf, however this reveals her own inescapable fate. As she comes to terms with the gift and the curse of magic, Eve risks her life to help Soren.
Before the fragile peace shatters, can Soren reclaim the throne – and should he?

***

The Brooding Crown: The Second Book of Caledan

What is the line between good and evil?

Soren has defeated his usurping uncle and the semblance of peace has returned to Caledan, but surrounded by the twelve noble houses of Caledan, King Soren can trust few. In the shadows, treasonous thoughts grow. When news of Zaki’s presence in Roher reaches Soren, can he ally all of Caledan to his cause – and keep them?

Zaki has not given up on his plans to regain Caledan’s throne. First he must prove himself to Harad, the mighty king of Roher, but Zaki will stop at nothing to gain the support of Roher’s army, march on Caledan’s borders and take back the throne of the dragon kings.

War returns to Caledan, but a greater threat looms. The pact is broken. The Eldarkind are fading. The dragons war amongst themselves. A power too terrible to name grows in the North, and He seeks revenge. Only Eve stands in His way – but can she stop magic as old as time?

Return to Caledan for the fast paced sequel of The Tainted Crown, that fans of The Lord of the Rings, Inheritance Cycle and Books of Pellinor will love.

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The Tainted Crown is available on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

The Brooding Crown is available for pre-order on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

But you can get a taste for the series by downloading a FREE copy of the Caledan Novelete, The First Crown, on Instafreebie.

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If you’d like to learn more about Meg and her books, check out her WEBSITE.

You can also connect with Meg on FACEBOOK and TWITTER 

Happy Reading 🙂

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Fantasy Focus: Her Dangerous Visions by Brandon Barr

Today, I’d like to tell you about the first book in the Song of the Worlds Saga by Brandon Barr:

Her Dangerous Visions

A fast-paced fantasy epic that stretches beyond the stars. Two women, two worlds, one epic destiny…

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On the world of Hearth, Nightmares crawl out of the East to devour entire villages. A fire-blooded heiress named Meluscia seeks to destroy the threat plaguing her lands and become Luminess of the Blue Mountain Realm. Though she desires the throne, her heart is divided. Forbidden intimacy tempts her at every corner. With life in a state of chaos, she soon realizes that the hard choices before her will determine the fate of her world. Can she save her kingdom, or will all of Hearth be brought to its knees at the feet of a primordial Beast?

On the world of Loam, an ancient evil threatens to conquer the portals that exist on every world, and only a young farm woman named Winter is given the power to destroy it. Gifted as a Seer by the gods and tasked with a deadly mission beyond her world, Winter must first escape the cruel farmland she was raised on, even if it could spell death for those she loves.

Heart-pounding action, with rich, unforgettable characters—Song of the Worlds is the dramatic new fantasy saga for fans of Anne McCaffrey and Brandon Sanderson. Begin the powerful new series today!

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Her Dangerous Visions is available on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

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But you can get a taste for the series by downloading a FREE copy of the Prequel, Ella Dethroned, on Instafreebie.

 Here’s a short teaser:

Ella, the former ruler of the Blue Mountain Realm, must evade her pursuers and fulfil a mission given her by the gods.

But the relentless enemies at her back are not the only threat. An evil from beyond her world stalks her, for she carries a strange, otherworldly device, the purpose of which she does not know.

Her only aid is her sharp intelligence . . . that, and a devoted soldier named Rathan, who has sworn to protect her.

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All the books in the Series are available through Brandon’s author page.

 Song of the Worlds Saga
Book 1 – Her Dangerous Visions
Book 2 – The Bridge Beyond Her World
Book 3 – Her Father’s Fugitive Throne

And the FREE Prequel – Ella Dethroned 

If you’d like to learn more about Brandon and his books, check out his WEBSITE and YOUTUBE CHANNEL

You can also connect with Brandon on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Happy Reading 🙂

 

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Fantasy Focus: Sherlock Holmes: Trail of Darkness by John Pirillo

John Pirillo and his book Trail of Darkness is today’s fantasy focus. But before we learn about the book, lets learn a little bit about John first.

What inspired you to become an author?

I would have to say what inspired me was my parents. They used to read to me on their laps and they instilled a great joy in words which has never left me.

As I grew up I read pretty much every book I could get my hands on. It didn’t matter if it was science fiction, fantasy, mystery, biographies, anything!

I used to spend every moment I could reading, absorbing all those wonderful stories and ideas. Finally, when the Russians shot Sputnik into orbit, I wrote my first science fiction story. My first story ever.

I didn’t have a wonderful experience as a writer in High School, however, my English teacher was very jealous of my writing skills at the time and flunked me over and over, no matter how hard I worked on my writing. Just me!

Years later in college I met a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Molly Irwin, who encouraged me to write. I wrote poetry and plays at the time. She told me, “Write from you heart and don’t edit it. Write what you feel!”

I never thought I’d make a career of writing so even though I continued to write for years after that, it wasn’t until the last few years that I realized I was putting off something that was dear to my heart.

It’s like falling in love with someone and then pushing them away because you don’t think you’re worthy enough to be with them. (I’ve done that too unfortunately.)

So since that ignition point I’ve turned my attention to writing every free moment I have.

I hope that gives you some idea of why I became an author, though I suspect it would take hundreds of pages and experiences to understand it in depth. 🙂

What was the worst day in your writing career?

A very good friend of mine in college named Mel was a fantastic writer. He ran a splendid little theater in Folsom, California and he read my one act play, “Shelter.”

He loved it.

It was very unique for its time and would have been groundbreaking if produced as he had intended to do.

It never got done. He passed away in the process of doing it with me.

I never tried to go further with it. And it hurt my heart a long time to lose that good man and his deep care and friendship.

What was the best day in your writing career?

When I began writing again, feeling that glow of love that suffuses your body and emotions when you do something you care deeply about.

***

Trail of Darkness brighterTrail of Darkness (Peril of the Dark Master Book 1)

A high court official is struck down in the Queen’s office. A Midnight Angel is found horribly mutilated.

Holmes and Watson are asked by the Queen to investigate the series of horrible crimes which just might be rituals of dark magic that are part of a much larger scheme against the government.

 ***

Trail of Darkness is FREE today on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK

John’s WEBSITE is currently blogging a Sherlock Holmes novel with guests Alexander Dumas and Jules Verne in the current adventure story: Case of the Ancient Artifact.

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If you’d like to learn more about John, check out his WEBSITE and his other BOOKS.

 

 

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Fantasy Focus: A Glimmer of Destiny by Spencer Pierson

Today, the spotlight is on Spencer Pierson and his book, A Glimmer of Destiny.

Take it away, Spencer.

It has been a fantastic two months since my first novel has been published. I am on track for book 2 of the Glimmer Steel Saga to be released in September, which I sincerely hope many of you will be looking forward to.

I grew up as an army brat for twenty years and lived in such auspicious places as Japan and the middle of Oklahoma. When I finally moved out, I was living in Hawaii which is a beautiful place filled with friendly spirits. Who can argue with wearing shorts and T-shirts every day? Apparently, I was, since I then moved to Portland, Oregon in 1996. The trees and green were just calling to me, and a friendly, laid-back city is where I naturally find my place. I couldn’t just do things normally, and was heavily involved in the SCA which is a friendly, medieval recreation society where you can pummel your best friends with heavy sticks while wearing armor. Much fun! It is good for sword fighting scenes, as well. Not that Aiden, the star of my current series, IS a fighter yet, but eventually he will get frisky enough.

I am also a single dad, just entering the twilight of my parenthood with one child out on her own, and another at seventeen. Let me tell you, it is an accomplishment and honor to have raised them.

I am also of the school of thought that getting your book out within 3 months is not only do-able, but also slow. If someone ever tells you 1000 words a month is ok, they are lying to you. Push the publish button! You can do it. Enjoy!

What inspired you to become an author?A Deadly Power that could Destroy his World.

Truthfully, I’ve wanted to be an author for many years but have never had the gumption and knowledge to pull it off. Late last year, I had come to a decision point in my life that required me to take a leap of faith.  I also ran into an old friend who had done a considerable amount of research into self-publishing.  I published my first two short stories on my birthday in November.  Now, I am happily writing Fantasy and Sci-Fi, telling stories, and watching people smile.

What was the worst day in your writing career?

The day one of my beta readers told me that I wasn’t a writer yet. They said they could not even get through the first chapter. That was hard. It took me about three or four days to recover. Once I did, I examined some of her feedback and used it in a positive way. It also helped that other beta readers had gone through the book fast and loved it, but that was a hard critique to take.

What was the best day in your writing career?

Pushing the publishing button for the first time. That was a good day.

In your latest book, what was your favorite scene?

In my second book, my favorite scene comes toward the end. One of the protagonists’ companions defeats someone who has been terrible to him throughout his life, and then the girl he’s falling in love with saves him from a side attack, and they kiss.

Tell me what you love to hate about your antagonist?

He’s conflicted. He wants to be defeated, but cannot bring himself to give up. His clothes are also some sort of creature that moves by itself.  Fun.

Why do you love fantasy/sci-fi?

I love Sci-Fi because of its sense of wonder and hope for the future. There is also a love the ideas of technology and how they can be integrated into our lives. My favorite worlds are those with many species and races getting to know one another and either getting along of duking it out.

What are you currently reading?

A Path in the Darkness” by Michael Cooper.

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A Glimmer of Destiny, (Book 1 of the Glimmer Steel Saga)

5 (2)How can one moment in a young man’s life become the turning point between doom and deliverance for an entire world?

Aiden Finn is an orphan, comfortable in his quiet life working at the School of Breen when everything is turned upside down by a casual bet between two young nobles. One that cause him to use the forbidden Glimmer Stones which create constructs of physical light, and by law only nobles are allowed to touch.

Threatened with death by duchy law and evil forces intent on capturing him and his dark secret, Aiden is forced to learn how to control this emerging power to save all that he holds dear. However, will that which saves him also be his world’s downfall? The dreaded Mourning Lords, beings that came from the dawn of the Cataclysm four thousand years earlier once more walk the land, searching for an answer to their torment. Will Aiden learn how to become a master of Glimmer Steel or will the mystery of the Cataclysm and the destruction of technology drown him as surely as it nearly cracked the world in half?

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A Glimmer of Destiny is available on AMAZON US and AMAZON UK
A Glimmer of Truth, Book 2 of the Glimmer Stone Saga will be available in September 2016. (Chapter 1 of book 2 is included as a sneak peek!) UPDATE: A GLIMMER OF TRUTH IS NOW AVAILABLE!
A Glimmer of War, Book 3 of the Glimmer Stone Saga will be available January 2017.

If you’d like to learn more about Spencer and his books, please sign up to his NEWSLETTER and check out his AMAZON PAGE.

Happy Reading 🙂

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Fantasy Focus: Heart of the Raven by Joleene Naylor

Today we are honoured to have Joleene Naylor, author of The Amaranthine vampire series, with us to talk about her book:

Heart of the Raven

An epic quest, an evil master and…vampires? Join Jorick and Katelina as they fight to keep a powerful relic from falling into the wrong hands – a relic said to hold enough power to destroy the world.

Though Heart of the Raven is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone and begins the three book Heart of the Raven story arc.

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“I’m not a fan of vampire stories. Being an author of fantasy novels, that type of work never held a great deal of interest for me. Then, I was given a copy of Amaranthine #5, Heart of the Raven and I was hooked. Without doubt, Joleene Naylor is a skilled writer. To put it simply, I loved this book. It’s interesting, moves well, and holds your attention through each and every page. Regardless of which genre you enjoy, a good read is always the goal, and ‘Raven’ certainly hits the mark.”

  – Mark Matthews, author of The Calling (Chronicles of the Careen)

An excerpt:

Malick passed through the fighting vampires. His gait was so smooth that he seemed to float rather then walk. Jorick stepped backwards, forcing Katelina to do the same. Wills battled for dominance in her mind and her legs couldn’t
decide whether to lock in place or run. The ensuing war made her limbs twitch and she screamed with a mixture of confusion, frustration and terror.

5 - hor teaser - malickMalick drew to a stop and laughed. The struggle in Katelina’s mind ended and she stumbled backwards. Unbelievably, the elevator chimed, and she looked to see the doors slide open. For a moment she could see a short vampire standing inside the plush red compartment, and then it was gone.

The short vampiress was suddenly standing before Malick. She wore a loose flowing dress of blue and her long silver hair flowed down her back. Like a china doll, her face showed no age and no expression, but her cerulean eyes burned with anger.

Katelina clutched Jorick, too terrified to move. Those eyes were seared forever in her memory; it was the woman from the True Council.

The Scharfrichter seemed to realize it too, and the fighting ceased. Even the living, but prostrate vampires stopped moaning and lay still, as if mesmerized.

“So my presence is enough to rouse you?” Malick asked the vampiress. “I’m touched.”

The vampiress’ voice rang through the room, like crashing waves and summer bird song mixed together. “You are not welcome here.”

Malick drew himself up. The air crackled and Katelina’s chest tightened until she could barely breathe. When he spoke, his voice boomed, and it was only fear that stopped Katelina from covering her ears. “How unfortunate. I had hoped that you, most of all, would understand.”

“Understand what? That you have thrown aside your duties for your own selfish ends? Ishkur was right, you should never have been given power.”

“You’re using the old names again.” Malick’s smile grew. “Do you still find comfort in them?”

“Leave now and do no more harm.”

Malick laughed. “You have not warmed since our last meeting, Inanna. It’s no wonder. To hide in the earth while others live. It is nothing more than waking death. How can you be any warmer than the dead?” He stepped forward, his eyes alight. “Join me and be what you once were. Do you remember so many millennia ago when men sang your name? It could be that way again! There’s no need for us to hide, we could be gods!”

“You were never a god, only a greedy child. Those days are gone, as are those people. Modern man does not welcome gods, but topples them. Go now and repent in quiet, before it is too late for you.”

Malick studied the diminutive vampiress. Their eyes met as if in silent conversation, and finally he broke away. “A pity. However, it is not you I seek, or even your brothers.” He looked to Jorick. “I will take it now.”

“Take what?” Jorick asked stiffly.

“Come now. You can shield some thoughts, but not all. Where have you hidden it? Is it with your first?” Jorick flinched and Malick nodded. “So it is. Thank you, my son. I will give her your greetings.”

He turned on his heel and snapped his fingers. Griselda grabbed her gun and swung it over her shoulder, then bounded up the steps after her retreating master, Greneth and Senya on her heels.

The Scharfrichter started forward, but Inanna stopped them with a gesture and perhaps a silent command. They turned to her, their faces open questions. Instead of answering, the ancient vampiress turned away. Katelina had a single, burning look at Inanna’s perfect face before the vampiress disappeared. The elevator doors slid suddenly open and closed and she was gone.

***

Heart of the Raven is available through the following outlets:

AMAZON US     AMAZON UK     B&N NOOKBook     KOBO     SMASHWORDS     ITUNES

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Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine vampire series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection.

What inspired you to become an author?

My mother was a writer and poet, so it never occurred to me not to write. Publishing, on the other hand, was something I was scared to do, but two friends encouraged me, and their faith in my writing gave me the courage to take the plunge.

Why do you love fantasy/sci-fi?

I love magic, romance, and a good battle – and it’s even better when there are elves, fairies, or even vampires involved. A Fantasy or Sci-Fi universe is the creation of the author, and so as we are discovering the characters and the story, we’re also discovering the world and the history, while in contemporary books there’s only the characters to learn. We already know how the real world works.

What are you currently reading?

Reborn City by Rami Ungar. A mix of contemporary and fantasy set in a bleak future, it’s a great read!

*Joleene also tells me that she has five cats, yes five, and I thought I was bad with three!

If you’d like to learn even more about Jolenne and her books, please check out her WEBSITE and FACEBOOK PAGE.  You can also follow Joleene on TWITTER, GOODREADS, PINTEREST, GOOGLE+, WATTPAD, AUTHORGRAPH, and on her AMAZON PAGE.

 

Happy Reading 🙂

 

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