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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Maharia (Kaelandur Series, #3) by Joshua Robertson | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


My friend, Joshua Robertson, has recently released the third book in his Kaelander Series, Maharia, so I wanted to help him spread the word. I'm currently reading the first book, Melkorka, and so far it's amazing. I can't wait to get to the other two books. There is an excerpt below, but first...
Joshua Robertson is a bestselling author in dark fantasy. Robertson is 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.

You can connect with him here:

About the Book

In Valor There Is Hope!
Branimir has remained hidden from the enemy, withholding the cursed dagger from their erroneous hands. When a stranger arrives, and offers the chance to end his never-ending battle, Branimir sets off for the City of the Gods for answers. Now, hoping his faith has not been misplaced, Branimir undergoes his darkest adventure yet. He can only trust that he has the courage to survive the truth.

Get it today on Amazon!


Melkorka, Book 1 of the series, is currently available for 99 cents!


Better yet, you can now get all three books

for the low price of $5.99!


Keep reading for an excerpt:

Again, the bearded Kadari and Beryl tightened their hold on his arms.
With a flash in her eye, Kveta pulled aside Branimir’s cloak and pulled the dagger from the belt. Kaelandur stayed hanging from its sheathe around his waist. She barely looked at the copper blade, twisting the iron dagger in her hand. The sharpness of the weapon gleamed in the firelight.
Her free hand grabbed his shoulder roughly, balancing her weight to keep pressure off her bandaged leg. “Should I wedge this in your leg, your eye, or your dear, little bits?”
Beryl’s blithe snigger robbed the air from Branimir’s lungs. “Why choose only one?”
Disbelief and horror seized Bran, his timorous lip quaking with realization. He twisted against the Kadari holding him, hardly budging.
He dared to break from Kveta’s ghastly expression to look at Falmagon. The twisted smile under the Patrician’s mustache screamed of gratification. After Harrowhal, he realized how far gone Falmagon truly was. He once thought Falmagon, at least, considered himself decent, but nothing was left of the Highborn Long-Walker.
Nothing could have readied Branimir for the shockwave of pain riddling through his body as Kveta speared him with the dagger. He reacted at instinct, thrashing violently against the two Kadari holding him hostage, his wail causing the very flames of the distant fire to waft. He could not pinpoint where she struck him at first, only knowing the pain surged from beneath his belly. The heat of the immediate wound was only diluted by the warmth of the thick blood flowing down his slender leg.
He moaned. Tears descended from his cheeks with heaved sniffles, snorting his slick snot back into his nose and off his upper lip.
Kveta twisted the blade, grating the sharp edge against his femur, isolating the dagger’s location. Branimir blubbered softly, catching the saliva on the edge of his tongue, hatefully glaring at the Kadari woman.
He gagged in effort to keep his throat from closing, gasping for oxygen. He needed to breathe. He had to shake away the abysmal pain. Inhaling the metallic odor of his own blood, Branimir gazed to Falmagon and exhaled the bitter thoughts flooding his mind. “I will kill you! I swear it! Marheena will leave you broken and deformed!”



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Self-Editing Tip: Good Writing isn't All About Grammar!


To keep your writing interesting, sentences should vary in length and rhythm. Change up your word choices and eliminate redundancies. If you feel like you’re using certain words and phrases too much, you probably are. Do a quick search in your word processing software to find out.

Don’t be afraid to expand your vocabulary, and remember that the thesaurus gives words ofsimilar meaning.  Not every word it gives you will be interchangeable. If you are not sure about the nuances behind a word’s meaning, look it up in the dictionary before you use it.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Maharia (Book #3) Release Day! | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:


melseries
Good morning!
Today is the release of Melkorka, the third book in The Kaelandur Series! I am extremely excited to finish my first trilogy in my fantasy world, Aenar. If you have not begun this series, you can currently get the first book, Melkorka, for 99 cents on Amazon. The full ebook Box Set is also availabe on Amazon.
I would like to invite all of you to come join me on Facebook TODAY (March 15, 2017) at 11:00 AM EST for a LIVE reading from Maharia. I will be giving away a few prizes during the event, too.
mahpngbook
In Valor There Is Hope!
Branimir has remained hidden from the enemy, withholding the cursed dagger from their erroneous hands. When a stranger arrives, and offers the chance to end his never-ending battle, Branimir sets off for the City of the Gods for answers. Now, hoping his faith has not been misplaced, Branimir undergoes his darkest adventure yet. He can only trust that he has the courage to survive the truth.

GET MAHARIA



josh_origJoshua Robertson is a bestselling author in dark fantasy. Robertson is 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.



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Fantasy Art Wednesday | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Wednesday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.

Can you feel that frigid wind? However thick your clothes, it manages to work its way into them, stealing away precious warmth bit by bit. These mountain guards have the unenviable task of braving a shift of the watch. The wind has beaten the hems of their cloaks to shreds, and threatens to push them right over the edge of the mountain if they aren’t careful. They dare not get any closer as they peer down onto the winding road below. Are they watching for someone specific, or is this an average day on patrol that’s about to take an unexpected turn?


“The Moutain Guards” by Emmanuel Bouley



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My New #Paranormal #Thriller The Dream Crypt is Here! | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


This is my first attempt at a paranormal thriller, so I really hope you enjoy it! if you missed the sneak peek you can read it here!

Can Rylee escape the evil vampire's Dream Crypt or will she die trying?


Rylee is trapped in a dream world by a sadistic vampire while he feeds on her blood. Can she escape this nightmare or will she be ensnared in her torment for the rest of her short life?

Smashwords | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


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Give Up the Ghost!

Ditched and betrayed, high school outcast Cass doesn't trust anyone except the spirits who haunt the halls. Using the secrets her ghostly friends dig up, she's determined to expose all the backstabbing between her fellow students.

Then the popular student council V.P. asks Cass for help, and she's surprised to discover he's not so bad—and he's in more trouble than anyone else suspects. Is it time to give the living another chance? 

Get this supernatural YA with a Mean Girls twist for free!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dark Reads #InstaFreebie #BookGiveaway! | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


 

Get 50+ Thriller, Horror and Dark Fantasy books Free!

Download Them Here




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Medieval Menagerie


Fun Facts

In medieval towns and cities, citizens could be called on to form a night watch under the enforcement of a beadle or constable.

If a call went out to chase down a criminal, every resident of the town had to help or risk getting fined.

But if the fugitive being chased got to a church first, he could claim sanctuary for 40 days. Someone would have to stand watch outside the church day and night to make sure he didn't escape. Towns could be fined for criminals who got away.


Criminals had good incentive to escape though, as punishments could be very harsh. A thief caught in possession of stolen goods was hanged.



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Monday, March 20, 2017

Medieval Monday: Taverns and Ale Houses | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


The medieval tavern is fixed in our imaginations as a warm and festive place, where one could while away a cold, wet night in relative comfort. An abundance of food, drink, friends, and entertainment made the tavern a perfect place to gather after a long, hard day of work or travel. But were medieval taverns really like this, or is this only a fantasy image that we perpetuate in books and movies?
It might surprise you that taverns weren’t necessarily in one particular building run by a tavern keeper. Drinking was a popular recreational activity for both men and women, though there was often little time for recreation. Going to a tavern might simply mean going to the home of a neighbor who had recently brewed a batch of cheap ale. There might in fact be a number of neighbors along the same street with fresh brews ready for drinking. They would post a sign outside their door when it was ready, and turn their homes into temporary taverns. People from the community would show up and pay for the ale they drank while socializing with each other. Gambling with dice or cards, fights, and alcohol-related accidents were fairly common. Court records from the time describe the worst of these incidents in gruesome detail.
Brewing could be practiced freely by anyone, but it was typically a job for women. Even poor women could brew since not much equipment beyond a large cauldron was needed. Barley, oats, wheat, and malt were all used in ale production. It was regulated by the manorial lords only in the sense that its quality was regularly tested, and those whose who made weak or inferior ale with badly measured ingredients were fined. Sometimes those fines were waived when the brewer was exceedingly poor.
Commercially established taverns, on the other hand, were more likely to serve wine than beer or ale, and catered to the wealthy rather than the average commoner. Some had their own vineyard or were closely connected with one. Simple foods would be offered, but very rarely lodging. (Inns were an entirely separate establishment that served food and alcohol as well.) Over time, taverns were enlarged to include multiple rooms and a large storage cellar. Despite the upscale clientele of taverns, gambling and fighting were typical, as was prostitution and sometimes other criminal activity.
One misconception is that these establishments were open long hours into the night. On the contrary, cities and towns, particularly large ones, had strict curfew laws in place, as well as laws regulating the carrying of weapons. These were designed to prevent problems and keep crime to a minimum. When the curfew bell was rung at dusk, it was time to close up for the night and clear the streets. Anyone out after dark was required to have both a light and a very good reason for being there! These laws were enforced, so those who owned commercial taverns or operated ale houses from their homes either had to kick everyone out, or be prepared to accommodate them for the entire night.
When it comes to writing fiction, most authors don’t restrict the nightlife of their worlds so tightly. But unless you’re writing historical fiction, that doesn’t really matter. Your world, your rules! Still, it is interesting to know how things were really done back in the day. Also, though I didn’t find any specific information pertaining to small villages or rural areas, I would imagine they were less regulated than areas with larger populations.

Use the Medieval Monday Index to discover more topics relating to daily life in the Middle Ages.



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Who Am I?

For the indie author, this is a frequent and persistent question, especially at first. There isn’t a publisher to tell us, “you fit here and this is where we’re marketing you.” So we have to figure it out on or own, and it isn’t always easy. We end up going through this existential crisis of a sort; what did I just write, and where does it belong? Where do I belong as an author? Sometimes we get too caught up in worrying about where readers think we belong, and we get dragged down all sorts of dead end paths trying to market to every potential reader, in every dark corner of the universe. It can be exhausting, deplete our limited resources, and still get us nowhere.

And it’s no wonder we’re confused—some genres, like fantasy, are so huge it’s easy to get lost. When you search for fantasy books on Amazon, you get 739,684 returns! Who could possibly search through all of that for a new book to read? It’s completely overwhelming. Renee’s March 4th article talked about how the fantasy genre has now been split up into many different sub-genres, presenting both benefits and challenges for everyone. For the writer, it can make that existential question where do I belong even harder to answer, particularly if our work fits equally well into more than a couple of categories. But it can also help us finally settle in someplace—find a cozy corner to call home, where we can quietly build up a loyal fan base and gradually expand from there. It sure beats drifting around the book marketing universe like a hobo, holding out our collection cups to anyone who passes by, hoping for some reader to take pity on the poor indie author.

And that’s pretty much what we do as new, inexperienced authors. We chase after every new marketing gimmick, trying to imitate the top sellers without having any understanding of the huge amount of plodding groundwork it took to get them there. We try to copy the mechanics of their journey in the hopes it will take us along the exact same road, instead of going through that painful existential process of figuring out who we are, and forging our own path. We read all the author self-help books written by people who claim if you just follow steps A-Z you’ll become just as successful as they are. But no two authors are alike, and no two journeys are either. They might offer good advice, but we need to take it with the understanding that it will most likely work differently for us, and that’s OK. Eventually we all grow tired of chasing the wind and come to realize our biggest successes have come about when we’ve just been our truest selves.

It took me a few years, but I think I’m finally settling into my small corner of the indie book world. It’s actually pretty comfortable—not particularly flashy or high profile, but it suits me. Readers are finding me, and my book sales are slowly but steadily growing. When I first published in 2011, I couldn’t imagine the place I’m at right now. Humble as it is, it seemed so far out of reach. Since then I’ve had plenty of dreams to keep me working hard, and those dreams grow every day. I hope that in another 5 years, I’ll be able to look back and say, “I couldn’t imagine this place I’m in right now—and I’m so glad I’m here. What’s next?”



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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Sneak Peeks: Shadow Stalker Episode 19 | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:



Designed by Kathryn Jenkins at Magical Designs
I've finally finished writing Episode 19. I ended up changing the ending to the Shadow Stalker serial, so I had to do a lot of re-planning. But I'm happy with it now. :-D
Here's a sneak peek of Episode 19, which is due to be released the 5th of April!

“I don't want Makari to come back and find me gone.”
“I will contact him through the shadow world and inform him of what is happening once we are safely away from here.”
“Kado—“
Kado closed the distance between us. “Auren, I'm taking you from this place. You can either come or your own free will or by force.”
Tamir tensed next to me. I held my hand up to stall whatever he was planning. I didn't need this turning into a fight, especially in front of Jade. Physically she was healing well, but her mind was still fragile.
“If I go with you—“
“If?” Kado arched an eyebrow.
“’If’ I go with you, we have to take Jade as well, and you have to promise me you'll return her to Deakan on Appolia before we return to the Dark Isle.”
"It's not possible, Auren. You can give birth any day now. Makari will keep Jade safe for the time being.”
Jade grabbed tightly onto my arm.
I stood my ground. “I won't leave without her.”

Thanks for reading. If you'd like read more, you can catch up by reading Shadow Stalker Parts 1 & 2 free!



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Special Feature: Outrageous Fortune (Book 2) Kathleen McClure/Kelley McKinnon

It was supposed to be a simple retrieval...

One year after the war with the Coalition States has ended, the crew of the Errant aren't just scraping the bottom of the barrel, they're scraping the shavings off the deck under the bottom of the barrel.

Between crippling tariffs, bad weather, and pirates, Captain John Pitte stands to lose his airship, his crew, and his self-respect. So when a mysterious woman offers salvation--or, at least a paying job--John signs on, only to discover neither the job, nor the woman, are what they appear.

Soon John and his crew find themselves on the run and embroiled in hive of deception, with everything he hoped to save teetering on the brink of disaster.

Welcome to the planet Fortune, where tech is low, airships and dracos crowd the skies, and everyone is out for their share of the comb.

Get it Here!



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Friday, March 17, 2017

Author Spotlight: Umbrae (The P.A.W.S. Saga 3) by Debbie Manber Kupfer | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! I'm excited to welcome Debbie Manber Kupfer back with the lastest in her P.A.W.S. Saga, Umbrae. She's going to be sharing a trailer for her book as well as an excerpt, so keep reading!
Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of the P.A.W.S. Saga and has short stories in several anthologies including FauxpocalypseShades of FearWinter WishesSins of the PastSins of the Future, and Stardust, Always. She also created the puzzle book, Paws 4 Logic together with her son, Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

Connect with the Author

Join Debbie for her Release Party!

About the Book

Step into the Shadows of Umbrae ...
Miri’s world at P.A.W.S. in St. Louis is falling apart. First, Danny is accused of stealing her opapa’s charm. But before he can defend himself, he mysteriously disappears. Miri seeks Josh for help and advice, but he too has gone missing.
Then Lilith has a vision – Miri dragged away by wolves. Miri needs answers, answers that she feels sure are hidden in the blank pages of the book of Argentum.
With the help of Lilith, she travels to the ancient city of Safed. There, with the aid of a mystical rabbi and an outspoken werecat, her omama’s story is slowly revealed. And Miri uncovers something else, a world hidden deep beneath our own – the labyrinth of shadows also known as Umbrae.

Get it today on Amazon!




Keep reading for an excerpt:

VIENNA, OCTOBER 20, 1941
Today was Celia’s tenth birthday. This was not how she’d expected to celebrate it. She felt the silver chain around her neck, the cat charm just above her heart. Mama had given her the charm, and now it was getting warmer and the cat’s eyes were glowing green.
“I love you Mama…”
Max scrambled out of her arms and gazed up at her, his yellow eyes burning with understanding. Celia didn’t understand. What was happening? Where were they taking her family? Little Sara was crying. Her mama clutched her to her breast as they followed the Gestapo soldiers out of their home on Grosse Spielgasse.
Still, Celia didn’t understand. She tried to follow them. No, Max put a paw on hers. His brown tabby fur felt warm and urgent on her silver grey paw. How? How had she changed so fast? She remembered the sensation, her body contracting, as if she was shrinking away, becoming invisible to the Nazi soldiers. The silver cat charm had glowed. Its eyes had shone green like emeralds and the warmth of the charm had permeated her body. She looked at Max. He was a brown tabby with amber eyes, and she was a small silky grey cat. No, not grey, silver, her coat was the color of argentum.
“We have to go,” said Max, after the soldiers and Jews had left on the truck. How could she hear his voice? How could she communicate with a cat? “Quickly Celia, there’s no time to waste.”
He pushed her out of the house and into the cobble streets. The sun was setting, a warm red glow. The streets were almost peaceful. These buildings that just hours before had housed the last few Jews of Vienna now lay empty. Celia felt tears form in her eyes. Mama, would she ever see her mama again?
Around her neck hung the silver chain. The cat charm comforted her. Max beckoned her forward, and she followed him through the twisted streets of the neighborhood. He seemed to understand where they needed to go. And then without warning, he ran and she struggled to keep up with him. Out of the corner of her eye she saw them, two young soldiers standing on the corner of the street, guns in their hands. One young man laughed to his friend as the cats ran past. He raised his rifle, aimed, and fired. Celia cringed as a yowl rang out through the air.
“Max, oh Max!” She rushed to his side. There was blood oozing out of a bullet hole in his hind leg, and his breathing was labored.
“Go on Celia. Go to the warehouse, they’ll help you,” he said.
“No,” she replied. “I’m not going to leave you.”



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