Change of Direction

When I finished writing Heart Search, I had an idea in my head for a fantasy novel. I knew it was going to be different from writing Paranormal Romance, but I’m not sure I was prepared for how different it was.

First I had to start with world building and this is far from simple. As well as deciding what type of structures people inhabit, you’ve also got to take into account the laws of the land, money, terrain, how people make a living, how their food is grown, if there are various social classes and how each related to the other. You have to decide what type of era to set it in, for example, do the people live in mud huts or buildings made from wood, stone, bricks etc. This will also help determine what clothing is worn and how people speak. In short, you need to know almost as much about your new world as you do your current one.

The next important step was the magic system people would be using and who would have access to magic. I wanted to try and come up with something unique, something no one else had used before. This was pretty hard considering how many fantasy books are out there and eventually I came up with an idea I thought might be unique.

I also decided to create creatures which were different to the normal ones seen in fantasy. This part was quite fun and I enjoyed it immensely.

Once all this preparation had been carried out and carefully documented, I was then able to begin writing. There were many times I had to refer back to my notes so I was glad I’d got them available.

As much as I enjoyed writing it, I must admit to being a tad nervous as to whether the novel came across as believable and sent it off to my editor, Connie J Jasperson, who also writes fantasy (check out Tower of Bones, Forbidden Road, and Huw the Bard). She loved the story and the main criticism was that I’d invented my own system for time and measurement which she felt the readers would get frustrated with, so I had to abandon it. However, the fact she liked the story made me feel really good about it and it’s given me the confidence to attempt another fantasy novel, which I’ve already started the background work on, like the world building.

So what’s this new novel? It’s called Of Ice & Air and here’s the blurb:

On her 21st birthday, Princess Kailani’s father tells her that when she was a baby, her mother was abducted. She also learns she has family in another world.

Defying her father, she travels from her Cloud Castle home to the ice kingdom of Idenvarlis where Kailani’s instincts drive her to find the mother she doesn’t remember.

Gifted with the magic of two worlds, and skilled in the use of weapons, she journeys into unknown and dangerous territory. Despite her determination to rescue her mother, she’s forced to overcome new fears and find a way to cope with all she encounters.

However, a person of authority will stop at nothing to prevent either of them returning.

Kailani faces isolation, wild beasts, rogue soldiers, and more as she battles to return to the Ice Palace. With the stakes so high, can she make it back alive?

And here is the cover:

OIAA cover

So, what do you think of it?

I’m hoping to release the book before the end of this month so keep your eyes peeled on here for the details and an exclusive excerpt.

Cover & Trailer Reveal – Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson

One of my most favourite authors, Connie J Jasperson, is about to launch another book in her epic fantasy World of Neveyah and Tower of Bones series. I love the world of Neveyah that she has created for both series; the detail is so exquisitely crafted and written, one could be forgiven for thinking it actually exists. I won’t say too much more about what I think of this book as it’ll spoil the review which I’ll be posting on the day the book launches.

Now, I have to say I think this cover is awesome. It’s so perfect for the book, it’s almost uncanny. So fanfare please……… put your hands together, scream and cheer for the cover of Mountains of the Moon:

MOTM Front Cover Final 6-18-2015

Isn’t that fantastic? I absolutely love it!

And now for the all-important blurb:

Charged by the goddess Aeos, Wynn and his companions bicker and bumble their way through the Mountains of the Moon. Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies chase them through a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps.

Can they survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s crumbling castle before his minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

The Gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

Sounds intriguing, eh? Now check out the book trailer:

Pretty cool, wouldn’t you agree? I’ve been lucky enough to score an excerpt from Connie from this awesome book to share with you all, so here it is:

The two prisoners heard heavy footsteps approaching, sounds that seemed to echo down a long passageway and stopped outside the door. A tired sounding voice said, “Well, your lordship. Did you feed them and give them water?”

“Of course I did,” replied the baron, in a quavering tenor. “I live, Jenner, but only because I serve. I understand that well.”

“They’re awake then. Those two soldiers of Tauron roughed them up pretty bad. Should I call Grakken to heal them now?”

The old man’s tones were sardonic. “Yes, you should. Your tame minotaurs were far gentler on them than they’ve been on some of the others, which isn’t saying much. At least these two big fellows have enough slack in their chains to be able to feed themselves and piss in a bucket.” His tones were scathing.

 “They’d better not have hurt them too badly. These two must be in good health for the ceremony tonight,” muttered the earth-mage. “Grakken is expecting a visit from High Priest Kandek today. The high priest will be pleased to have a real sacrifice to offer up on his new altar tonight instead of the usual miserable rabble.”

“I’m sure ‘the miserable rabble’ would have been glad to hear that if they’d survived your boss’s little frenzy the other day,” replied the old man. “Speaking of which, if we’re done here, I have to go and check on the one that does remain. I’m sure despite the ruckus of the other day, Grakken still has plans for her and wants to keep her alive even though he has these two fine specimens for tonight’s festivities, so….”

“Well, go about your duties then. I’m going to sit here just to keep those freaks from Serende from getting any ideas about using these two for sport. As soon as he’s awake, I’ll let Grakken know they’re here, through our link. He’ll be worried about their safety.”

“He should be worried about those soldiers, Jenner. They’re bored, and there’s nothing worse than a bored minotaur. Just so you’re aware, the woman likely won’t live through the day after their gentle courtship of her. You only have your minotaurs to blame for that. But it’s not my job to worry about the health of his sacrifices, especially since Grakken himself seems to be so careless with them.”

Well, if this doesn’t whet your appetite, I’ll be very surprised!

To contact Connie. find out more about her fabulous books, and to get to know her better, here are her links:

Twitter: @cjjasp  WattPad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ConnieJJasperson

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/connie-j-jasperson/33/94/b38/

Connie J Jasperson, Author on Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/cjjasperson

Life in the Realm of Fantasy (Connie J Jasperson’s Author Blog)  http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

The Best in Fantasy Book Reviewshttp://bestinfantasy.blogspot.com

If you’re a newbie writer, you would be well-advised to visit Connie’s Author Blog. It’s chock full of extremely helpful and useful information!

In the meantime, here’s the lovely lady herself and more…

Connie 2014

Connie J. Jasperson lives in Olympia, Washington.  A vegan, she and her husband share five children, a love of good food and great music. She is active in local writing groups, an editor for Myrddin Publishing Group, and is a writing coach. She is an active member of the both the Northwest Independent Writers Association and Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and is a founding member of Myrddin Publishing Group.  Music and food dominate her waking moments. When not writing or blogging she can be found with her Kindle, reading avidly. You can find her blogging on her writing life at: http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

Connie J. Jasperson’s  body of work includes:

WORLD OF NEVEYAH series by Connie J. Jasperson

Mountains of the Moon – Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies, lie deep in a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps. Can Wynn survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s stolen castle before the Bull God’s minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

TOWER OF BONES, series based in the World of Neveyah

The gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

This epic fantasy series opens with Tower of Bones, and follows Edwin Farmer as he journeys deep into the lands claimed by the dreaded Bull God, in an attempt to rescue a girl he has only met in his dreams.

Forbidden Road takes up Edwin’s story six years later. When four mages are sent into the shadowed lands claimed by the mad priest of the Bull God, who will return unscathed? Sorrow, peril, and magic await in the Valley of Mal Evol.

OTHER BOOKS BY CONNIE J. JASPERSON

Huw, the Bard, a novel that takes you to the world of Waldeyn, and a medieval alternate reality. Fleeing a burning city, everything he ever loved in ashes behind him, penniless and hunted, Huw the Bard must somehow survive. Available as an ebook and in paper.

Tales From the Dreamtime – a novella consisting of three modern fairy tales told in a traditional style. Available as an ebook, in paper, and as an Audiobook, narrated by the wonderful voice actor, Craig Allen.

Check back soon for launch details and my review of Mountain of the Moon.

Cover Reveal: Girls Can’t Be Knights by Lee French

Being part of Myrddin Publishing puts me in the unique position of knowing when one of my fellow authors is bringing out a book. And I have to say I’m intrigued by Lee French’s new book.

But first, take a look at this amazing cover:

Girls-Cant-Be-Knights-Cover-Final-671x1024

And here’s the blurb:

Portland has a ghost problem.

Sixteen-year-old Claire wants her father back. His death left her only memories and an empty locket. After six difficult years in foster care, her vocabulary no longer includes “hope” and “trust.”

Everything changes when Justin rides his magical horse into her path and takes her under his wing. Like the rest of the elite men who serve as Spirit Knights, he hunts restless ghosts that devour the living.

When an evil spirit threatens Claire’s life, she’ll need Justin’s help to survive. And how could she bear the Knights’ mark on her soul? Everybody knows Girls Can’t Be Knights.

Are you as intrigued as I am? Apparently the book is due out sometime in June so watch this space for more information.

About the author:

Lee French

Lee French lives in Olympia, WA, and is the author of several books, most notably the Maze Beset Trilogy, The Greatest Sin series (co-authored with Erik Kort), and assorted tales in her fantasy setting, Ilauris. She is an avid gamer and active member of the MythWeavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year round for the one week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with one dragon and absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.
She is an active member of the Northwest Independent Writer’s Association and the Olympia Writer’s Coop, as well as serving as the coMunicipal Liaison for the NaNoWriMo Olympia Region.

Darker Places by Shaun Allan

Every now and then you have the privilege of coming across an author whose writing style it so different yet imaginative that it makes your toes curl. One such author is Shaun Allan.

I read his book Sin and absolutely loved it. It wasn’t the sort of book I’d normally read, but I’d heard so many great things about it, I became curious and picked myself up a copy. I’ve been a huge fan of his work ever since. I’ve also met Shaun and he is genuinely one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known. He also likes my bacon sandwiches, a point which raises him in my estimation!

Today, Shaun launches his latest offering, Darker Places, a collection of thirteen stories and thirteen poems in the horror genre. I’m honoured to be able to reveal the cover here today. Look at this beauty and tell me what it says to you…

DarkerPlaces_96dpi_100%

And here’s the blurb:

What if you could steal the final moments from the dying? What if you had the darkest secret, but couldn’t think what it might be? What if you entered the forest in the deep of the night. Who is the melting man? And are your neighbours really whom they appear to be?

So many questions.

To find the answers, you must enter a darker place. Thirteen stories. Thirteen poems. Thirteen more doorways.

Well, if that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will! If it already has, here’s the buy link: Amazon UK and Amazon US

I’ve already got a copy of this book and can’t wait to read it. You can be sure that as soon as I have, there’ll be a review on here for you!

Shaun Allan

Shaun Allan

A writer of many prize winning short stories and poems, Shaun Allan has written for more years than he would perhaps care to remember. Having once run an online poetry and prose magazine, he has appeared on Sky television to debate, against a major literary agent, the pros and cons of internet publishing as opposed to the more traditional method. Many of his personal experiences and memories are woven into Sin’s point of view and sense of humour although he can’t, at this point, teleport.

Book Review – Denai Touch by Tiffany Shand

In my last two posts, I treated you to the cover reveal, blurb, and a short excerpt for Denai Touch, the debut novel of Tiffany Shand. I promised you a review and I’m pleased to reveal it below.

Book Cover

But just before I do, let’s just have a quick reminder of the blurb:

Cate McCray is no ordinary witch.

Prophesised to be the one to destroy the Covenant, an age-old organisation who seeks to enslave all Magickind, the race is on for them to kill her before she attains immortality.

But before receiving the phenomenal power that comes with it, she must first survive the ascension and the only person who can help her is her elemental partner, Jason Talbot. But when the time comes, her forbidden love for Jason threatens to destroy them both.

As leader of Excalibar, an elite team of Enforcers, they work to infiltrate the Covenant leading Cate into life-threatening situations. Can she outwit them before it’s too late?

My review

I don’t want to give any spoilers during this review, but somehow I think it’s going to be hard not to.

Denai Touch centres around Cate, a very gifted young witch who is waiting for ‘Ascension’ when she will come into her full powers. The problem is there are those who are trying to stop her.

Cate really leapt off the page. She is larger than life and the author has done a great job of building her character. She comes across as feisty, confident, and in full control of her powers, but underneath is a vulnerable young woman who fears her ascension as much as she wants to embrace it. She’s also unnerved at the speed in which her powers are growing and how inconsistent they can be.

With a foe leading the Covenant, a band of dark witches who have been trying to take her family down for generations, who has targeted Cate and wants her dead before she ascends, the young witch has a great deal hanging over her head. Some of her insecurities show she has an Achilles heel, the main one being her Elemental, Jason, who she has feelings for. Cate is a well-rounded, realistic, and relatable character.

Jason is an enigmatic character with a huge secret. It becomes clear quite early that he cares for Cate and does everything in his power to protect her, even when she doesn’t want it. He has to endure a great deal of verbal abuse as he’s seen as a slave by the leader of Cate’s coven (her grandmother), but has the guts to answer back when he feels it’s necessary. I rather liked his character.

The Covenant is led by Raven, a dark witch who is focussed on what she wants and is willing to go to any lengths to get it. She doesn’t care about hurting innocents and encourages her right hand, the loathsome Tasha Phelps, to experiment on then. These are characters you love to hate and they come across as deliciously wicked.

All the other characters have their own personalities, some more so than others, and most are interesting in their own right. There were a couple who came across as bland, even though they were featured quite often and realistically it was possible to give them a bit more personality. However, the pace of the novel didn’t really allow for it.

The world building has been done well and, for the most part, you can picture the surroundings easily. There is good use of description throughout.

The plot itself is interesting, original, and well paced. It unfolds in such a way as to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. This is always a good sign as far as I’m concerned!

All things considered, this is a great debut novel and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Would I recommend it? If you love the Paranormal Romance genre then I absolutely would! Even if you don’t, it’s still a good read.

One thing’s for sure, Tiffany Shand is an author to keep an eye on!

To buy Denai Touch from Amazon, click here.

Coming up soon, is an interview with the lady herself so keep a close eye out for that. But in the meantime, here’s a short bio.

Profile Picture

Tiffany Shand was born in Essex, UK and started writing short stories when she was a child.

She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance during this time.

She writes both non-fiction and fiction, but mostly fantasy and paranormal romance.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s she is now a freelance writer and professional proofreader. She is currently studying for a journalism degree.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

 

Cover Reveal – Heart Search, book three: Betrayal

One of the reasons I didn’t post very much on my blog last year was because I was working hard to get the final book in the Heart Search trilogy finished ready for publication.

I’m really pleased to tell you that Heart Search: Betrayal is being launched on 7th February. There will be lots going on, including an incredible giveaway, so make sure you check back often to see what’s on offer.

In the meantime, it gives me great pleasure to unveil the fantastic cover, designed for me by Nicole Antonia Carro. Drumroll please…..

Betrayal front cover

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Now, just to whet your appetite, here’s the blurb:

One bite started it all . . .

Joshua, Remy, and the twins are settled in their new life. However, life doesn’t always run smoothly. An argument between Becky and her twin causes unforeseen circumstances, an admission by Samir almost costs him his life, and the traitor provides critical information to Liam. But who is it?

As Jakki’s visions begin to focus on the turncoat’s activities, a member of the coven disappears, and others find themselves endangered.

And when Liam’s coven attacks, who will endure?

Fate continues to toy with mortals and immortals alike, and as more hearts descend into darkness, can they overcome the dangers they face and survive?

How does that grab you?

Watch out for some teasers and more during the next week leading up to the launch!

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal – Darkness Rising 5 by Ross Kitson

One of the things I love about being with Myrddin Publishing it how supportive our group is, plus I get the chance to share truly great authors’ work with you. The talent in our company is second to none and one of the brightest stars is Ross M Kitson.

I absolutely adore his Darkness Rising series and have been waiting (impatiently) for the next book in the series to be released. I’m excited that we’re one step closer to that as Ross has just released his cover.

Have a look at this beauty:

Ross

Ross has definitely set a brand with his covers and I think this is particularly poignant after reading his blurb. See what you think…

‘Beneath the veneer, beneath the beauty, there is always the coldness of stone.’

Tragedy has torn apart Emelia and her companions, a terrible betrayal instigated by the Darkmaster, Vildor. A devastated Jem struggles to control the fearful power of the crystals, becoming distant from his closest friends. Hunor and Orla are tested by a secret from the past, a revelation that will change everything between them. In the Dead City, Emelia begins a search for her past, a journey that will plunge her deeper into the darkness of Vildor and his twisted schemes.

Desperate to seek aid in their battle against Vildor, the companions travel north to Belgo, capital of North Artoria. But everything is not what it seems in the palace, and danger lurks in every shadow, whether cast by friend or foe.

Separated and alone, can Emelia, Jem and Hunor hope to prevail? Or will the evils of the present and the past overcome them at last?

Darkness Rising 5 – Broken is the fifth in the epic fantasy series that reviewers are calling  ‘epic and spellbinding.’ It is a must read for fantasy fans the world over. 

Well, if that doesn’t make you want to run out and get a copy on release day, I don’t know what will! I believe it’ll be released next week so make a note in your diary and make sure you get your hands on a copy. I know I will be!