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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Marker Chronicles (Books 1-3) by Tina Moss

From Examiner’s Recommended Women in Horror comes THE MARKER CHRONICLES by Danielle DeVor. The First Trilogy contains books 1 – 3. Now, for a limited time, save BIG by buying this special bundle deal at a killer price! ONLY $0.99!

Get it Today!


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Under the Magnifying Glass: Is it Getting Hot in Here? | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


Today I’m giving you a peek at my latest newsletter. These go out every couple of weeks, and in them I share deeper insights into my book world and inspirations. You’ll also get bonus stuff, like links to a wide variety of free books by other authors, Rafflecopter giveaways, and the chance to participate in surveys that shape my series. Additionally, when you subscribe, you’ll get a coupon code for a free copy of Ancient Voices: Into the Depths, the second book in my series.

UNDER THE MAGNIFYING GLASS: IS IT GETTING HOT IN HERE?

Life really pushes us around sometimes, testing our strength, our patience, and sometimes our faith. Writers test their characters just as hard, sometimes harder. We can put them in situations we hope to never face ourselves, then either shove them over the brink, or pull them back at the last second and pick up all the emotional pieces left in disarray.
Now, you might think writers are really just like a mean kid with a bug and a magnifying glass on a hot summer day. But really, we don’t enjoy tormenting our poor characters. We feel their joy, disappointment, and grief just as strongly as if it is our own. In the process of exploring their circumstances and emotional reactions, we learn something about ourselves, and about people in general. Our writing is often an invitation for our readers to do the same–to put themselves in our characters’ shoes just as we have during the writing process.
Einar is tested to the limits of his sanity in Into the Shadow Wood. Likewise, Elowyn faces the greatest test of her young life in Ancient Voices (I won’t go into detail for the sake of those who haven’t read it yet). I dreaded putting her through it, going through a writer’s version of a stubborn, sulking, toddler-like tantrum where I didn’t write for months. I tried to talk myself out of it a hundred different ways, but as I followed all of those different possibilities to their eventual outcomes, none of them took Elowyn where she needed to go. Without that defining moment her life would have been simpler, happier maybe, but not nearly as rich or significant. She could never be the person she was intended to be.
I eventually came to accept that Elowyn’s test was bringing about a necessary pain. So I gave up my tantrum and got down to writing. I got angry. I shed real tears as I wrote, and if anyone had asked me what I was sobbing uncontrollably about, they probably would have thought I was crazy. Maybe writers have to be…just a little, anyway.
In my final acceptance of Elowyn’s fate was a real life lesson for me as well. Parts of my life have not been easy, and I’ve sometimes thought how much better everything would have turned out without them. If I had power over the master delete key, and could go back and remove all those difficult chapters where I was tested, would I? How would that irrevocably change me, since I am a far more complex being than a fictional character? Would my life have been simpler and happier? Would I be a better person without them? I have no way to know, and I am not done being tested, or growing as a result.
Yet I do have faith that what the Bible says in Romans is true, that God really does work for the good of those who love Him. He can take the horrible things we go through and use them to make us spiritually rich and significant in the lives of others–if we let Him. Elowyn can’t see my plans to turn her pain into a blessing. If she was real, she might very well think of me as a mean kid with a magnifying glass. I am equally blind to God’s plans for me.
In dire times it’s natural to wonder why God doesn’t stop the bad things that cause such pain. But if He has a magnifying glass, its purpose is not for torment, but to give clarity and a tool for self-examination. If I can use Elowyn’s trials to write her into her most beautiful future self, how much more so can the Author of all Life write my story into something more glorious than I could ever imagine?

Click to view the rest of this newsletter. I won’t always post peeks on my blog, so subscribe to make sure you don’t miss an edition. They’ll get sent right to your email twice a month, and if you change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Alchemy and Arcana: An Urban Fantasy Novella Collection by Andrea R. Cooper

The Alchemy and Arcana boxed set contains an incredible 22 URBAN FANTASY STORIES, including works by NYT and USA Today bestselling authors!

Enter this supernatural world of magic and adventure, filled with demons and ghosts, vampires and witches, angels and shifters, and so much more. Once you step inside, you may never want to leave.

Grab the Alchemy and Arcana boxed set at a discounted price for a limited time only!

Get it Today on Amazon!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Medieval Monday: Smelting Iron Ore / Bloomeries | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid


I am re-posting this from over a year ago with the intent of making my next post about blacksmiths and their work. It is a subject I haven’t tackled yet even though blacksmiths played an important role in medieval society.

My second book, Ancient Voices, is set in a small mountain village called Minhaven—a place full of miners and blacksmiths.  Naturally I had to do some research, to figure out what mining techniques were used back then, and how iron ore dug from the ground was transformed into something that could be used to make things like tools, knives, and swords.
hotslagOne process I had particular trouble envisioning was the smelting process. The simplest and most common furnaces used in the Middle Ages were called bloomeries, and they were typically built out of stone or clay.  Iron ore was placed in through the top, along with a lot of charcoal for fuel, and kept burning for hours.  Very high temperatures had to be maintained for the process to work.  Air could be fed into the bloomery with a hand bellows.  Sometimes limestone or oyster shells were added into the mix as well, so that they would combine with the impurities in the ore.  The end result would be a brittle slag that could be separated from the iron, which could then be hammered into submission by a blacksmith.
I found a couple of great videos that show how the smelting process works.  The first is replicating Edwardian era techniques, which were relatively unchanged from the Middle Ages.  It gives a great demonstration in only about 5 minutes.
For those of you wanting more, this video is more authentic medieval, and shows the entire process, but is considerably longer (about 22 minutes).  Definitely worth the time if you are interested in the topic.  Both videos are very well done. Enjoy!

The Fall of an Overlord by Kevin Potter

A city-sized garnet dragon Overlord, a crippled azurite wyrm leading an insurrection, and a sleek shadow dragon determined to protect her kin. Does anyone win when catastrophic forces collide?

After the horrors of the Great Dragon War, the Earth is ruled by the immense dragon Overlords.

Khellandrian, a fiercely proud azurite dragon crippled in his youth, leads an insurrection violating the most sacred laws of dragonkind.

Melliaunserah, a sleek beauty of smoke and shadow, is desperate to keep her clan safe from the tyranny of the Overlords. From their first meeting, she feels an inexplicable connection to Khell that only grows as time passes.

Caught in a desperate race against time, the unusual pair struggles to unite unlikely allies and battle unlikelier enemies in their quest to destroy the Overlord.

Will they succeed and overcome the sadistic Overlord, or were they doomed to failure before they began?

*** Adult Content ***


Get it Today on Amazon!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Aslan and Why I Love This Lion By Jamie Lapeyrolerie | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


Well y’all, another year and another Inklings Week comes to a close. I’ve had so much fun and I hope y’all have enjoyed the posts, learned something new and maybe even convinced a person or two to join the Inklings Club. I thought I’d finish out this week talking about one of my favorite characters in all of literature. Outside of the Bible, this character has helped me learn more about God’s character than any other work. Through each of the Narnia stories, Lewis shows the world one of the greatest stories ever told, all through a lion.
I started this week with a love letter of sorts and it’s only right I finish with one. Here are bits I loved from each book about Aslan. My hope is that whether or not you’ve read the books, you’ll be encouraged in these and ultimately the Greater Story…
Read the rest at Books and Beverages: Aslan and Why I Love This Lion | Inklings Week

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Why is it so Hard to Write Good Fantasy? By Lee Duigon | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


I’m always looking for more fantasy fiction to read, to inspire my own work and, hopefully, to teach me how to do it better.
I’ve read hundreds of mystery novels of all kinds, and can count on my fingers the ones that have been truly awful. It’s not hard at all to find a good mystery. But with fantasy it’s the other way around.
Why should that be? There are authors who have made prodigious amounts of money writing fantasy that is at best half-baked. And there are lesser fantasy writers who produce stuff that’s hardly fit for the bottom of a bird cage.
Good fantasy fiction, obviously, will have things in common with quality fiction in any genre: an interesting plot; well-drawn characters who have some depth to them; situations that engage the reader’s emotions; a smooth flow of the language. But in fantasy–and in science fiction, too, by the way–books that lack those features are, well, plentiful…

Reader Interview: Vivienne's Thoughts on My Work! | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:



I'd like to thank Vivienne for taking the time to give me her feedback on my Reader Interview and for all her support. Here's what she has to say:
Tell me a little about yourself:
I love reading fantasy, science fiction and historical novels in the main. I am from the UK and live in the south east of England. It's a nice part of the world. We have some decent towns, the seaside, the South Downs and the flatter parts of drained marshland known as the Levels'
My hobbies, apart from reading, are painting and drawing, crochet, cross stitch, card-making and tatting. I also knit and sew, making some of my own clothes if I can't find what I want in the shops.
Which of my books is your favorite?
All the Shadow Stalker books.
What did you like most about them?
It is well written and has an original plot.
What did you like least about that book?
Nothing
Who was your favorite character?
Makari
Is there anything else you'd like to share with other potential readers?
Renee Scattergood's books are most enjoyable and are well-written, which is not always the case nowadays.

Viv is also an author of fantasy, and you can check out her work here!

Download Shadow Stalker Parts 1 & 2 Free!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blood & Bile Pre-Order and Bard Brothers

My brother, JC Boyd, and I have Blood and Bile available for pre-order on Amazon! This book is introducing his dark fantasy world, Jorthe, by highlighting the giant race, the Thursar. With strong Norse undertones, I suspect you have not read a fantasy book like this for a very, very long time. Beta readers are already raving about Blood and Bile being “a gem in fantasy fiction”.

51mogknnual“Before the world came to be, there was nary beginning nor end, nary sky-shield nor night-wheel, nary war-garb nor shield-foe, nary fate-heeder nor fate-weaver, nor any thing living or dying or dead.”

Ranvir ripped meat from bone, the dew of deep wounds dribbling between his fingers. He packed the flesh into his teeth-house, chewing happily.
His wife gaped at him, word-land soundless, forehead-stones devoured long ago, and wound-necklace torn from ear to ear.
She had never looked more beautiful.
His hands probed into her blood’s-seat for another bite, nails scraping against cartilage, fingers squeezing organ and fat, seeking a tasty morsel.
Ranvir heard the rasping of his tent flap open, but did not turn from his meal. Snaer’s brisk breath briefly touched his back. and then he felt it no more. He swallowed another mouthful and pulled at his wife’s skin to gaze at the glossy remains.
A voice, light and feminine, spoke.
“Ranvir?”

PRE-ORDER NOW


mockup5wbgIn celebration, we have put The Blood of Dragons on sale for 99 cents for the rest of May 2017. Hundreds of people have been grabbing this book all month, so you might as well, too.
But ALSO, JC and I have started doing a little gaming on YouTube. Currently, we are playing Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn. You can check out our first episode below.




10330395_1396432750678181_6165221525295187271_nJ.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs. He recently earned his MA in English Literature and is working on his debut novel for his own fantasy world. Despite growing up with Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and a collection of both Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels, J.C. has an abiding love of classics and spends his free time reading anything he can get his hands on.

Author PicJoshua Robertson is a bestselling author in dark fantasy, and a writer for Fantasy-Faction. He is also a Licensed Master Social Worker, who received his degree from Wichita State University. He has worked with children and families for the past fifteen years in a variety of unique venues: a residential behavior school, a psychiatric treatment facility, and the child welfare system. He has functioned as a supervisor, an educator, a behavior specialist, and a therapist during his career. Mr. Robertson has presented trainings for hundreds of professionals and military personnel on topics that include child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, strengthening the parent and child relationships, and the neurobiological impact of trauma.
You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin’s and Christopher Paolini’s dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers.
He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins.

Fantasy Art Wednesday | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


I know I haven’t posted one of these in a while. My schedule has been pretty busy, and my blog has been sparse as a result. I promise I’m trying to get back on schedule, though! Here’s this week’s Fantasy Art Wednesday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.
Two ethereal figures emerge from a pool of still water. Slow and solemn, they seem to be more of the spirit world than the one of solid stone they are now traversing. Where have they come from, and where are they going? Is there a secret world hidden beneath the murky water? Or is this pair part of a ghostly legend, their appearance coinciding with a certain date, or time of day? If you blink, will they disappear, leaving no trace that they were ever here?


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words…Or Maybe 100,000 | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


IN MY LAST NEWSLETTER, I ASKED MY READERS FOR SOME ADVICE.

For those of you who don’t get my newsletter (or just haven’t voted yet) my survey is still open. What’s it all about, you ask?
My cover art for Into the Shadow Wood was custom made by a wonderful artist–and it’s gotten a lot of attention. Readers helped me choose from a couple different concept designs for that cover, and they were totally right!
Now I am considering redesigning my Journey to Aviad and Ancient Voices covers too, so that they match in style and quality. I would release them when my next book is finished.
But before I go back to the artist and have him get to work, I’ve got a decision to make. Should I have him take the existing images and recreate them (or something similar) in his style? Or should I go with a completely new design?
I am not a marketing expert, and most of you probably aren’t either. But that doesn’t matter–you are my audience. You know what you like, and what you don’t, right? So I’m open and ready to listen.
I’ve got a survey set up, and I would appreciate any advice you have. Here are the book covers so you can see the old versus the new. (Click to see them enlarged.)

READY? TAKE THE SURVEY

Special Feature: Into the Shadow Wood (Wind Rider Chronicles) by Allison D. Reid | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


"Overall this was a great read...If you enjoy fantasy at all, or want to read books that are steeped in faith and mystery and wonder, you won't want to miss these." ~ David Wiley, Author of A Merchant in Oria
Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.

Get it Today on Amazon!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Medieval Monday: Dirty Laundry | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:



Those dirty clothes really pile up, don’t they? Especially when you have kids. As much as I grumble about having to wash and fold, I’m not really doing the work—the washing machine is taking care of the hard part for me. Our medieval counterparts certainly didn’t have that luxury, or many others that we don’t give much thought to. So in honor of my growing laundry pile, I thought today’s post would answer the question of “how would I have done it back then.”
Laundry was unquestionably women’s work. Some cities had communal wash houses, where women could come to share news and gossip while they worked. Soapwort, an herb with cleansing properties, was sometimes used to get fabric clean. It was also beaten with “beetles”, rinsed, and wrung. Marjoram could be used to give washing water a pleasant scent. Clothing could also be washed in natural bodies of water (rivers, streams, ponds), and beaten against rocks.
If one needed to remove stains, this could be done with the use of Fuller’s Earth or ashes soaked in lye. The mixture would be applied to the stain, allowed to try, then rubbed off. For more delicate materials, such as silk, verjuice was another remedy. Removing stains such as oil or grease was a more complex process. One recipe is as follows: “To remove grease or oil stains, take urine and heat until warm. Soak the stain for two days. Without twisting the fabric, squeeze the afflicted area, then rinse. As an alternative for stubborn greasy or oily stains, soak in urine with ox gall beaten into it, for two days and squeeze without twisting before rinsing.” White cloth could be cleaned and brightened by soaking it in lye, which was mixed using ashes and urine.
Undergarments were washed fairly often, even if they were only rinsed out at home in warm water, but woolen outer garments were rarely washed. They would have simply been shaken or beaten with a brush or a bundle of twigs to get rid of dust and dirt. Robes and cloaks might be rubbed with wax to weatherproof them, but this process would have been too expensive for peasants who would have worn felted wool instead.
Washed clothing was dried outdoors; laid across bushes, flat on grass, or draped across wooden frames or ropes. These of these could be moved indoors during poor weather if there was enough space.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saturday Sneak Peeks: Shadow Stalker Episode 20 | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


Designed by Kathryn Jenkins at Magical Designs
I'm a bit behind at the moment. Episode 20 of my Shadow Stalker serial should have been out last week, but because of a viral infection taking over our house, that didn't happen. In fact, I'm still writing it, but it will be ready to go by next week.
Here's a sneak peek...

We had already been hiking through these tunnels for over two hours. There was no way I was going to go back now. "We'll make due."
I stopped at the bottom of the incline.
Makari seemed stunned. "How are you doing this?"
"I have no idea. It's as though something is guiding me."
"I hope it's someone who actually wants to help and not someone who wants to get us lost or killed," Jade said.
"Trust me." I knew there was nothing malevolent about our guide. It was likely the shadow people. "I'll go first, then Jade and Makari. Makari, you'll have to help Jade with the climb."
He nodded.
I imaged he had already guessed as much. Thank goodness the tunnels through here were narrow. The walls had enough jagged edges to easily use as footholds for the climb. I stayed just ahead of Jade letting her know where to place her feet, while Makari helped her with leverage and making sure she didn't lose her footing. It was slow going.
Some jagged edges were loose, so I was being extra careful, but when the rock shifted I lost my balance and slid down the incline.

Hope you enjoyed the little sneak peek. Sign up below and be one of the first to read Episode 20 when it's released!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Soul Guide by Kelly Stock

The Soul Guide is a riveting Urban / Paranormal Fantasy that will keep you turning pages until its very end.

Sybil has been chosen as the next Soul Guide. Her job is to ensure light and life remain on Earth. But with such responsibility comes much danger and she is being hunted. With the help of Bertram, the old Caretaker, and Alec, her Guardian she must reach the Veil to complete the passing over ceremony before the Master and the Mephisto get to her first.

On her journey from the streets of London, to the gothic Clayhill Manor and beyond through doors only the Caretaker can see, Sybil will find herself embroiled in a hidden world where the fate of the human race is quite literally in her hands. Will she be able to fulfil her destiny? Can she trust the young man whose been sent to protect her or the Caretaker who seems lost to his own grief? Read book one of the Soul Guide series to find out.

Get it Today on Amazon!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Reader Interview: Laura shares her thoughts about my work! | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:



I'd like to thank Laura for taking the time to participate in my reader interview and share her thoughts with my other readers.
Tell me a little about yourself:
I'm retired, read a lot, have a cat named Ollie, read all varieties of books, live in Wyoming. Like to work in the yard when warm out.
Which of my books is your favorite?
Shadow Stalker part 1 & 2
What did you like most about that book?
The characters, how each personality interacts with each other. The era which it happens and their abilities they learn as a shadow stalker, what it means to be a shadow stalker.
What did you like least about that book?
N/A
What do you like most about writing style?
Easy to read and understand
What do you dislike about my writing style?
N/A
Who was your favorite character?
Auren
What did you like most about that character?
She accepts who she really is.
What did you like least about that character?
That she couldn't be with the mate she wanted.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with other potential readers?
I would recommend reading your books.
Thanks again, Laura. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 - 6) can be downloaded free!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Author Spotlight: Beneath the Silver Rose by T.S. Adrian | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


Welcome to this week's Friday Author Spotlight! Today we're featuring T.S. Adrian's first novel in the Shadyia Ascendant series, Beneath the Silver Rose.
A graduate in history, specializing in Central-European history, T.S. Adrian is an avid computer gamer, reader enthusiast, and teacher of English as a foreign language. Adrian currently resides in Poland.

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About the Book

Forbidden Passion in an Age of Veiled Magic!
In the cold halls of the Silver Rose palace, sisters are schooled in the arts of pleasure, but are forbidden from falling in love themselves. When Shadyia breaks the tenants of the sorority, her penance is to appease an order of vicious knights to protect the sisterhood from the wrath of their crusade.
Caught between an ancient conflict of Order and Chaos, Shadyia must conceal her romance with a fellow sister while uncovering the mystery of a powerful magician who masquerades as a wealthy scholar.
Time is running out as Shadyia, with sword in hand, descends beneath the Silver Rose into a labyrinth of deadly traps and shadowy guardians. For only there can she defy the crusaders and avert the prophecy of a darkness that returns to consume the world.

Get it today on Amazon!


 

Keep reading for an excerpt:

The wolfguard rushed forward and seized her arms. Amrita shot her a seething look, but changed to an expression of pleading as Dunstan glared back down at her. “Mercy, Lord. She’s just a girl.”
Dunstan sneered, a look of victory in his eyes. “She’s no girl. And, from the way William boasted, he’s quite taken with her.” He turned his vulturous gaze on Shadyia and followed her curves. “But, after my men are finished, he won’t find her so attractive.”
Disgust nearly forced her to twist away, but she closed her mind to Dunstan’s words. Think. Don’t struggle. The calloused hands clamped on her biceps offered no hope for escape. What could she do?
Once again, Dunstan addressed the women in the audience chamber. “Let this stand as a warning. My horse is not to be defeated, at the Diamond, or anyplace else!”
Deception. It was her only chance. Deceit had worked six years ago when the king’s men had found her covered in blood near a dead noble. It would work here as well. She went limp and hung in the men’s arms, her dark hair obscuring her face. The wolfguard’s laughter jostled their hands.