Book Spotlight – The Beast of Talesend – Fantasy – Bundle

Basic Book Spotlight

Title: The Beast of Talesend

Author: Kyle Robert Shultz

Genre: Fairytale fantasy

Main character description (short): Nick Beasley, a detective famous for debunking magic.

Synopsis: Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

“What do you mean?” I roared. “Don’t tell me that! You said, back in the castle, that you were going to change me just to convince me magic was real, and then change me back! So why can’t you just do that now?”
“It’s not that easy,” Cordelia insisted. “Magic has rules.”
I stared at her in disbelief. “It’s magic. By definition, how could it possibly have rules? Magic is a contradiction of every law in the universe!”
“Of course it has rules,” she shot back. “If it didn’t, then you could just do anything you wanted to with it!”
“Can’t you?”
“No! There are all sorts of things magic can never do. Raising the dead, for example.”
“I’m not asking you to raise the dead! Just break this spell!”

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

Because admit it, you’ve always wanted a 1920’s noir-ish detective novel with shades of Doctor Who featuring a snarky monster protagonist; you just never knew how to put that desire into words before. You’re welcome.

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Links etc: https://bit.ly/2JNjPum

boxset Monsters

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – John D. Payne #Fantasy #Dragons

John David Payne-0820.jpg

Author name: John D. Payne

  1. Please tell us about your publications.

Well, in this bundle https://bundlerabbit.com/b/here-be-dragons#cbp=/products/detail/crown-dragon, you will find my debut novel.  The Crown and the Dragon is an epic fantasy about an uncrowned princess and an outlaw with a price on his head.  Thrown together on the road by fate, they are pursued by a blood-soaked sorceror, an occupying army, a demon monster made of crows, and a dragon of mass destruction.  They have nothing in common, but somehow they end up saving the kingdom and falling in love.

Also in this bundle is Dragon Writers: An Anthology, which happens to feature one of my stories.  “Lullaby” is about a mommy dragon (and a daddy dragon) trying to get noisy little ones to pipe down and go to sleep. I wrote it in my head while rocking my own kiddos to sleep. In fact, I was rocking our second child when my phone informed me that this story had been accepted to the anthology. I said “Awesome!” which woke my little boy just enough to barf all down my shirt. Lots of other great stories in this book, but I don’t know that any of the others have received this particular mark of quality.

 

  1. What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

Write what you love, but also try new things.  You never know when you’re going to find something new that you love doing.

 

  1. What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

I heard: “Don’t try it.  It’s impossible to make a living as a writer, and you’ll waste years of your life trying and failing.”  And for a while, I believed this.

But!  Anything worth doing takes years to learn.  And while you’re learning, you won’t be making much money.  And there’s going to be a lot of failures along the way.  This is normal in any field of study, in any trade, in any new venture.  But are any of those as much fun as playing make-believe?  If your answer is an emphatic NO, then write.

And don’t worry if you can’t spend eight hours a day at this.  Take twenty or thirty minutes every day and write one page.  In 365 days, you’ll have a 365 page novel.  Then move on to the next one, and the next.  So what if they’re not perfect?  You’re learning.  And having fun!

 

  1. Tell us about your latest piece?

Just finishing a short story for D.J. Butler’s anthology of Mormon Steampunk.  It’s about two stowaways on a giant steam-powered land ship heading out west with the pioneers.  One is a Danish house-gnome following one of his household, and the other is a labor automaton who decided the Emancipation Proclamation applied to him.  It was my first ever steampunk story, and I had a blast writing it.  Not every day I get to talk about Elizabeth Barrett Browning, salty black licorice, and the alchemist Paracelsus in the same story!

 

  1. If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

As a stay-at-home dad with a kindergartener, a preschooler, and a toddler (so far), the mythical person I most envy is Sleeping Beauty.  To conk out for a hundred years?  Man, that is the life.  Tell you what, if I ever see a spinning wheel I am going to be stabbing my finger with that spindle.  You never know, right?

 

  1. What is your writing space like?

When we were house-hunting for our current place, I was so excited to see that it had a room that would work as an office.  Good natural light, out of the way but close to the bathroom.  Perfect!  I lined the walls with bookshelves and set up the world’s best futon, so I could write sitting or lying down.  (I don’t like to stay in the same position too long when I write.)  I put a mini-fridge in the closet and filled it with my very favorite Brazilian soda pop (Guaraná Antarctica), and made sure to stock some snacks so I could stay in there for hours and just write.

Naturally, the kids have decided this is the funnest room in the house, and absolutely will not leave me alone when I’m in there.  So I do a lot of my daytime writing at our church, sitting on a couch in the foyer with pillows I steal from the mothers’ lounge.  It’s not nearly as comfy as my office at home, but there’s usually nobody else there so it’s nice and quiet.  Which is really all I need.

 

  1. What is the last book you’ve read?

Most of my reading is actually listening.  It’s a habit I picked up back when I had a long commute.  So the last audiobook I listened to was Food: A Cultural Culinary History by Ken Albala.  The first three-quarters of the book (everything up to about 1800 AD or so) was full of great new information.  And it made me want to try the recipes!

If we’re just talking about fiction, my most recent read was Obstacles, Volume 1 of the Acts of Androkles, by Ryan English, which I read as an ebook.  Set in a world much like our own ancient Greece, it’s the tale of a hardened warrior who sets out on a quest for vengeance and along the way finds a  family. It’s like 300 meets Payback, plus The Bad News Bears.  Or maybe Horsin’ Around.

 

  1. What are your views on authors commenting on reviews?

I think the wisest course (and the happiest) is to avoid reading reviews, much less commenting on them.  But if I was going to comment, it would probably be to thank a fan for leaving the review.  Or to let someone know I was glad they noticed something I worked hard on.

 

  1. How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

I mostly do research as I go, when I bump into something I need to know to write the scene.  For example, the novel I’m working on now is a superhero book that takes place in a city built on the old Roanoke Colony.  So I’ve been learning a lot about the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  But lots of other stuff, too.  For scenes in the last few chapters, I’ve researched all of the following: garbage trucks, supermodels, barbecue, electromagnets, she-crab soup, secret societies, mary jane pumps, tax fraud, dark energy, good pistols for women to concealed-carry, missing planets, and the demon wife Adam had before Eve.

 

  1. If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat.

Bilbo Baggins.  That little dude knows how to lay out a spread.  And I think I’d want to drop in for Elevensies, so we could do breakfast food, brunch food, and lunch food.  All of which will feature bacon.  Yum!

 

  1. Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

People love stories, and they get them in a lot of different ways.  Leaving out movies, comic books, TV, games, etc., and just thinking about written fiction, there are so many ways to deliver it these days.  Hardcovers, mass-markets, trade paperbacks, ebooks, audiobooks, etc.  People might buy your novel online, or in their local bookstore.  They might borrow it from a friend, or from a library.  You can chop it up into chapters and serialize it in magazines (print or electronic), a newsletter, on blogs, podcasts, or Patreon.

Ebooks are great, but they’re not the only way to experience a story (or to reach an audience).  This is the age of innovation, of creativity.  I think this is the best time in the history of the world to be sharing your stories.   There are just so many options!  And it’s only going to get better.

 

  1. What’s your next writing adventure?

As soon as I finish my superhero book, I’m finishing (and revising) a novel that follows on from a story I wrote for One Horn to Rule Them All: A Purple Unicorn Anthology.  In the story, an awkward grad student (Lem) finally gets the courage to ask out the cute hipster girl (Pris) who’s always reading at his stop.  But what he doesn’t know (that the reader does) is that she’s really a secret watcher from another dimension.

The book is set a few months after their disastrous first date.  Pris shows up out of nowhere on Lem’s doorstep, reveals her true identity, and asks him to help her unravel a sinister conspiracy that spans the multiverse.  They have 48 hours to clear her name, save earth from extradimensional spies, and win the film competition at the local Con.  And maybe . . . have a second date?

 

Meet the author: John D. Payne grew up in the American midwest watching the lightning flash outside his window and imagining himself as everything from a leaf on the wind to the god of thunder. Today, he lives with his wife and family at the foot of the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, where he focuses his weather-god powers on rustling up enough cloud cover for a little shade.

His debut novel, The Crown and the Dragon, is a thrilling epic fantasy published by WordFire Press. His short fiction has been published in anthologies like Tales of Ruma and magazines like Leading Edge.

For monthly stories, exclusive bonus content, updates and more, please subscribe at: Patreon Or tweet-stalk him @jdp_writes.

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Rufus Redblade #Dragons #Fantasy

 

Name: Rufus Redblade

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in Ilmar, which I understand is featured in Of Blood and Scales – which itself is in Here Be Dragons Bundle and Heroika – Dragon Eaters. I suppose you could say it’s part of my chronicle – although I have never met the bard who sang the song, nor the scribe who penned it.

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

I am a Griffin-rider. We used to protect the Archduke and his household before he was murdered. One might say we failed, but a man may be killed in many ways which do not look like murder.

The Griffin-riders are, I suppose you would say, airborne cavalry. We have fought with monsters, men and sometimes magic, but since the new religion has swept the land we were disbanded, now we are scattered. I am now, officially, a mercenary. But I work for the Archduchess Silena if she requires me. I make my money where I can these days.

How do you see your world?

Before the Followers of Arun spread their lies it was a pleasant enough world for a warrior. Border skirmishes, battles with rival houses for the Ivory Throne. The late Archduke brought peace, hard won and hard fought. We maintained the peace, and kept the lands free of monsters, such as hydra. The old gods were more…understanding. Arun is a jealous god and his Followers zealots, one does not disparage Arun’s name in public. There have been a great many…purges.

I have a remarkable, strong and intelligent woman in the Archduchess, and one whom eclipses all other women. I have loyal companions and a fine, courageous griffin. I have money enough to live, and food in my belly. The world is not as bad as it might be for me. Even if I now have to live on the edges.

What part do you play in this tale?

The young princess – who is the last remaining heir – is dying. If she does not live there will be bloody civil war. Peace is worth the cost of my life if it maintains the throne in the correct hands. Silena is regent, and fair, but a woman has never ruled the land. Times must change, but many are loath to see it. I must find a cure for the malady, the curse on the young princess. The Archduchess rightly trusts few and prayers to the new god have brought no response. We must seek the old ways. We must kill a dragon to save a throne.

Do you consider yourself a good person/creature?

Define good. I have taken life in battle, that makes me a killer. I have turned away from the state religion and dabbled in forbidden magic, that makes me a heretic, I have brought about the downfall of a noble house – some would say that makes me a traitor. Good and bad are defined by who is asking, and where he is standing.

Do you follow any religion?

If anyone asks I pay homage to Arun, same as everyone else. In truth I hedge my bets. I have paid homage to the old ways and the old gods. When a man is a warrior and especially a Griffin-Rider one must murmur a prayer to whoever is listening and hope they look favourable on the unworthy such as myself. Religion can be dangerous.

What is your favourite colour/food/music (pick one)?

I have never really thought about my favourite colour. I like good ale and mead, soft bread, firm cheese and good meat. I have eaten far worse.

Here Be Dragons bundle

They stalk our myths and hunt our past—dragons—humankind’s greatest and oldest foe. Good, bad, legendary and deadly. Dare you enter the dragon’s lair?

Tales of dragons, their friends and their foes.

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I -books and Nook on the universal link

Universal Link https://books2read.com/HereBeDragonsBundle

Published by Kydala Publishing

 

Heroika: Dragon Eaters

Published by Perseid Press

Available on Amazon, Amazon print and audible.

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2lRDLPf

Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2lHCrN4

Amazon print UK http://amzn.to/2mpBNnn

Paperback US http://amzn.to/2mwZbhY

Audio – narrated by Rob Goll

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bnbGu1

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2kXAQp2

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2mpH6mC

 

Dirty Dozen Author Interview J.M. Ney-Grimm

Author: J.M. Ney-Grimm

 Please tell us about your publications. I write fantasy in which the intimate and personal intertwine with the great forces of history and culture. Most of my stories are set in my North-lands, a world inspired by the watercolor illustrations of the Danish artist Kay Nielsen. My novels include: Troll-magic, Livli’s Gift, Caught in Amber, Fate’s Door, and The Tally Master. I also have a handful of novellas (plus a few short stories), among them: Sarvet’s Wanderyar, Hunting Wild, and Winter Glory.

Caught in Amber

What first prompted you to publish your work? In 2007, I re-discovered Maddy Prior’s amazing song ‘The Fabled Hare.’

Listening to her powerful lyrics and expressive voice, I grew suddenly aware that time was passing, I was getting older, and I didn’t have forever.

The imagery of the hunter and hounds closing in on the hare made me feel as though death were snapping at my heels.

If there was something I really wanted to do, something I had not done yet, I’d better get going or I might miss my chance entirely.

I didn’t ‘click the publish button’ in 2007, but that year and that song were the beginning of my publishing journey.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I do some of each.

I prefer having a skeletal outline at the start of a story. Doing without —pure ‘pantsing’—feels like walking a tightrope over Niagara without a safety net. Very uncomfortable! And yet…I’ve done it.

Once I awoke in the middle of the night, so afire with inspiration that I got up out of my bed to write the first scene of what would become the novel Caught in Amber. I didn’t work out an outline until I was a third of the way through the book!

More usually, I sort out the foundational plot line before I start writing. I need to know what happens, but (oddly) I need to not know how it happens. I discover the how as I write, and that keeps the story feeling fresh to me.

Even when I follow an outline, I always feel free to ‘have a better idea.’ Sometimes my outline writhes like a river in flood!

 

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? I’m going to pretend you asked me about my writing journey. 😉 Because there’s a piece of advice that I really, really needed and didn’t get, way back when.

For some reason, I thought that the process of writing was much more cut-and-dried than it ever could be. Why I thought this, I don’t know. Perhaps because I formed the impression when I was very young, at age ten or eleven.

But the result was that, when I sat down in my early twenties to write my great fantasy novel, and didn’t get anywhere with it, I concluded that I must not be made of such stuff as goes into the bones of real writers.

I longed to write novels, and believed I could not. I spent more than two decades believing this and writing poetry and story vignettes and gaming adventures instead.

And then I listened to Maddy Prior’s ‘The Fabled Hare’ and got serious about my creative aspirations. I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, did every last one of the written assignments in the book, and read several of the titles in its bibliography.

That’s when I encountered Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande, and one of her suggestions set me free.

So the advice I wish I’d gotten? Find out how other writers do it! Not just one or two, but dozens. Ask them. Read biographies. Whatever it takes, find out.

Because if I’d learned that there are as many ways as there are writers, I might not have concluded so wrongly that I was not a writer. I might have been writing novellas and novels (as well as poetry and vignettes and gaming adventures) between 1980 and 2007. I might not have been so unhappy in my creative desert.

 

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Do not go there! Reviews are a reader space. What reader wants to write his or her honest opinion and then discover that the author of the book has been peering over his or her shoulder the whole while?

 

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters. Good plot. Awesome world-building. Technically perfect.

As a reader (not a writer), I want them all. If the characters aren’t great, I have no interest. If the plot is stupid, I get cranky. If the world-building is unconvincing, I get thrown out of the story. If there are grammar errors, I’m tempted to email the author with the necessary fix. Gah!

I believe I’m known as what one writer calls a ‘fussy reader.’ That’s being kind!

As a writer…what can I say? I go for all four. One of my writing mentors told me that I need never worry about grammar or word choice; in her words, I’m stellar at that.

My readers tell me that my world-building is so thorough that they feel like they are ‘watching a movie on the insides of their eyeballs.’

Another writing mentor says that plot is clearly one of my strong points.

And yet more readers claim that the relationship dynamics between my characters feel utterly real.

 

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? A surprising amount! I’ve heard those who don’t write fantasy speculate that fantasy writers need do no research at all: they can just make it all up.

Nope!

Because my world is make-believe featuring magic and fantastical creatures, it is all the more important that I get the details of living there right. Horses better behave like the real beasts. The combination of wet and cold better be appropriately dangerous. Travel attempted under medieval conditions better be realistically inconvenient. And so on.

I’ve researched the horse sandals of the ancient Romans (horseshoes weren’t invented until 500CE), the forging of Bronze Age swords, the details of how fishes’ gills work, and more.

 

How influential is storytelling to our culture? To be human is to be a storyteller. We remember our past with story. We predict and plan for our future with story. We make meaning out of our present with story. We cannot be ourselves without story.

That’s an existential answer to a more grounded question, but I stand by it. 😉

 

Which authors have influenced you the most? I love the sense of wonder present in the fantasy of Robin McKinley. I adore the cultural creativity in C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series. The poetry of Patricia McKillip’s storytelling inspires me. And the great characters within the amazing worlds of Lois McMaster Bujold carry me completely out of myself.

 

What is your writing space like? All I need is my laptop! I prefer quiet, but I can write amidst noise and hullabaloo if need be. (I learned how when my kids were still little and would nestle against me while I tapped away on my keyboard.) When I had a badly broken foot (doctor’s orders to keep it elevated and bearing no weight for 10 weeks, so as to avoid surgery), I learned to write while semi-reclining on the couch. I got so used to this position that I use it still!

 

Tell us about your latest piece? My novel The Tally Master released in April 2017. Here’s a little bit about it:

Seven years ago, reeling from a curse in the wake of battle, Gael sought sanctuary and found it in a most perilous place.

The citadel of a troll warlord—haunt of the desperate and violent—proves a harsh refuge for a civilized mage. But Gael wields power enough to create an oasis of order amidst the chaos.

Set in the Bronze Age of my North-lands, The Tally Master brings mystery and secrets to epic fantasy in a suspenseful tale of betrayal and redemption.

 

What’s your next writing adventure? I’m really excited about the novel I’m working on now. Its tentative title is To Thread the Labyrinth. Here’s a bit about it:

Ohtavie de Bellay craves safety. Craves obscurity. She seeks solitude and secrecy and shadows. Because only hiding holds death at bay.

But Ohtavie fears that all her care—decades of prudence—won’t be enough. No, she knows it won’t save her.

One day an angry mob will come to drag her forth from her long retreat and stone her. Or pinion her within her refuge and burn it down around her. Or, worst of all, summon the executioner who will hold her unmoving with his enigmatic magic, while his great axe parts her head from her living body with brutal precision.

So Ohtavie lurks and hides and fights her fears alone.

Until that one day arrives, bringing…no mob, no stones, no flames, and no axe.

Just one sweet-faced girl who threatens Ohtavie with something more perilous still.

A gripping story of quiet courage and fortitude.

 

Is there a message in your books? I don’t deliberately include a message, but I suspect my most cherished beliefs seep into my fiction.

There is hope. If the first attempt fails—or the second, or the third—try again. How you do a thing will shape who you become, as well as the ultimate result. You are loved. There is beauty in existence. ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’

 

Links

Website: http://jmney-grimm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009200970533

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JMNeyGrimm

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/315055.J_M_Ney_Grimm

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.M.-Ney-Grimm/e/B006QRFNAS/

 

J.M. Ney-Grimm lives with her husband and children in Virginia, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She’s learning about permaculture gardening and debunking popular myths about food. The rest of the time she reads Robin McKinley, Diana Wynne Jones, and Lois McMaster Bujold, plays boardgames like Settlers of Catan, rears her twins, and writes stories set in her troll-infested North-lands.

New Release – More Than Human Bundle #fantasy #boxset #multiauthors

More than Human 3 d

Hurrah it’s here! I’m pleased to present the More Than Human Box Set! 11 Tales from a variety of authors. Look out for features from the ‘Bundle Rabbits’ coming soon.

https://bundlerabbit.com/b/more-than-human

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0751Z8YKK/

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/more-than-human-10

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/more-than-human-a-l-butcher/1126995921?ean=2940158967016

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36098690-the-more-than-human-bundle

To save. To guard. To heal.

Beloved people, precious things, and sacred spaces move our hearts and inspire us to defend them.

In these tales of redemption and rescue, more-than-human heroes stand forth as champions to protect all that is worthy of protection.

Walk with these elves, imps, wizards, dryads, gods, and guardians as they subdue demons, free the enslaved, preserve the world, comfort the exiled, and cross swords with the dark. Read and revel in their triumphs and tribulations.

Kitchen Imps Bundle Rabbit Ad

The Shining Citadel – A. L. Butcher

Technological Angel – Barbara G. Tarn

Needle-Green – Debbie Mumford

The Cartographer’s Daughter – Karen L. Abrahamson

Serpent’s Foe – J.M. Ney-Grimm

The Crystal Courtesan – Karen L. Abrahamson

The First Book of Old Mermaids Tales – Kim Antieau

The Guardians – Book 1 – Don Viecelli

Love Apidae (A Recumon Story) – Michael R. E. Adams

The Flat Above the Wynd – Alexandra Brandt

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – A. L. Butcher

More than Human coverfan

Swift Six Character Interview – Ser Colin

Character Name: I am Ser Colin i’Nola, of the Order of the Morning

Which book/world do you live in? I was born and raised in the kingdom of Kholast, and I fight in the service of King Boris III. (In the novella, With a Broken Sword)

Tell us about yourself: I am the newest, and youngest, Knight of the Morning, which none of my fellows will let me forget. I squired for Ser Jane i’Julia for four years. First blooded at the Battle of Winter Creek. Knighted for valor at the Stone Hills Betrayal.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

Ser Jane would say my greatest weakness was “exuberance.” Usually, she meant impatience to prove myself.

As for my greatest strength, it feels boastful to answer such a question myself. If I must answer, then determination. Though I am the last knight between the Berledthi invaders and the people of Three Bridges, I will not yield and I must not fail.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

1) The Order of the Morning, of course, and its members. Especially my mentor, Ser Jane.

2) Terrwyn. Only a seamstress, but an impressive woman, and the leader of the Three Bridges Resistance Army.

3) Three Bridges Resistance Army. Hardly an army. A collection of dockworkers, fishers, crafters and traders. But they have spirit. And spirit goes a long way.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

Who will stand in defiance of certain defeat? Who will risk his own life to save others? Call that man a hero, but don’t expect him to accept the title. To him, there is no other option.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

If he is responsible for those foul Querain sorcerers and their evil plans for the good people of Three Bridges, then he must be a sick individual.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

“Kings come and go. Borders shift and change. It’s the people that matter.”

Links to book

www.books2read.com/u/3GRxOb

Swift Six Author Interview – Stefon Mears #Fantasy #Bookbundle #Heroictales

 

Name: Stefon Mears

What attracts you to the genre in which you write?

I write in a number of genres, but since the Heroic Tales Bundle has one of my fantasy novellas, I’ll stick to fantasy for now.

I cut my teeth on the fantasy genre. As a small child, my picture books were children’s versions of Greek and Norse myths. After those came Uncle Wiggly and Kipling’s Just So Stories. After that, straight to Tolkien and Moorcock, Howard and Leiber. Anywhere I could find dragons or magic or both, I was happy.

That led naturally into playing Dungeons and Dragons, and suddenly I wasn’t just reading fantasy stories, I was playing interactive fantasy stories. From there to writing down my own was not a big step.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?

Well, I’d love to go back to my teenage self and shove a copy of Heinlein’s Rules into my hand, but failing that, I’ll go with, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be finished.”

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?

The answers to questions like these will change any time you ask me, but for right now…

Famous person: I’d love to have dinner with Roger Zelazny. Partially because I’d love to pick his brain about writing, but more than that I’d love to hear his stories.

Character: Bilbo Baggins. He was the first fantasy character I remember really identifying with as a child, and I think it would make for marvellous conversation. Plus, the food would be amazing!

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

That’s a tough call. There are so many. I’d like to say Zelazny, because in many ways I think his work made me want to write. But it may be more honest to say Tolkien, because the wonder I found in his stories probably underlies everything I do.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

No. I think it’s just given readers more options, which is always a good thing.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

Three books. Whuf. Another one of those that will change every time it’s asked, but for right now…

The Complete Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny, which might be cheating because it’s ten novels in one, but it is a book. So, number of stories is a factor in this one, but also because these stories always fire off my imagination in a different direction.

The Ultimate Survival Manual (from Outdoor Life) for obvious reasons. And it’s not cheating, because I own a copy.

The Complete Enchanter by DeCamp and Pratt. Always gets me thinking along philosophical lines, which would probably be a good thing, since I’ll have a lot of time to myself.

Author bio and book synopsis

 

Stefon Mears earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from N.I.L.A., and his B.A. in Religious Studies (double emphasis in Ritual and Mythology) from U.C. Berkeley. Stefon’s short pieces have sold to magazines such as Fireside and Strange Horizons and anthologies edited by Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Kerrie L. Hughes, and John Helfers. He has published eighteen books to date, including the Rise of Magic series.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

My book in this bundle is With a Broken Sword.

One knight stands between invaders and conquest.

His secret mission ended in an ambush. Now Ser Colin awakens on a battlefield under the bodies of his friends, the last knight still alive. And the invaders have seized the town of Three Bridges, with river access to the whole kingdom.

How can one lone knight lead a ragtag group of townsfolk to victory over warriors and wizards?

With a Broken Sword, a rollicking fantasy adventure full of magic and excitement. From Stefon Mears, author of Half a Wizard. Fans of Game of Thrones won’t want to miss this one!

 

Links

Website: www.stefonmears.com

Newsletter: www.stefonmears.com/join

Patreon: www.patreon.com/stefonmears

Social media

Facebook

Twitter

GooglePlus

Swift Six Character Interview – Ozena Lyn – Fantasy/Bundle/Dark Fantasy

 

Name: Ozena Lyn

Which book/world do you live in?

I live in Erana, as the humans call it. My home was Szendro, until it was destroyed by slavers – that’s in the Shimmering Forest.

The books I am in are called The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, and The Shining Citadel.

Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

I’m an elf, specifically a Forest Elf; elves were once the dominant race in Erana, but since the Plague, and the rule of the Order of Witch-Hunters the elves are lower than cattle. We are not free, and have no rights. Forest Elves tend to live in more traditional way, deep in the forest, or the wilderness but even there we are not safe. The Order or the Slavers can and do come at any time, believe me.

I am a huntress and archer by profession, and now a tracker. My father was the same, before he was killed many years ago. My mother was a craftswoman.  Except for my sister and some more distant kin I had no family in Szendro but, in such communities, all elves are kin. We must be, for if we do not unite we will fall.

Many of the humans treat elves very badly, as I have said we have no rights under law and so maybe treated however the human wishes. We cannot move around the land without the required papers and with the consent of our owners.  I am lucky, my human is kind and gives us much freedom.  But many elves are not so fortunate.

I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me?

I am an archer adept, and a tracker. I was my old tutor’s best student – so he said. I won’t say I never miss, but it’s rare. I’m a fair swordswoman too. These days I know about poisons, stealth, concealment and how to kill efficiently. Once I was an innocent, naive you would say. That was before the Slavers came. There was not much to threaten us – except the odd bear or wolf. We were complacent.  That will never happen again.

Archos (my human) tells me we would never have found the Shining Citadel without my skills. And the journey through the mountains and forest was very arduous.

Tell us about your companions?  How do they see you?

Well, I hope Olek loves me! He does get exasperated, I know that. He is far more worldly than I and a good deal older. Sometimes I don’t understand the ways of the world beyond the forest, but I’m getting better.

Lord Archos – I haven’t a clue. We live in his house so I guess he likes me. Sometimes I feel second after him in Olek’s eyes. I know who he’d choose if he had to. Although I guess Olek has served Archos for more years than I have been alive – their bond is strong.  Archos is not easy to live with. He is wise but often rather arrogant and he has a terrifying temper. He’s never used it on me, but I’d not like to truly cross him. Archos has powers beyond which not many can stand and, so I have been told, mages are passionate. That passion and emotion can fuel the magic. Most mages are weak and timid. They are treated even worse than elves – magic is forbidden – on pain of death, you see.

Archos is an Archmage – and revered by my society but often I feel rather stupid around the mages – Dii and Archos. They are far better educated and have seen so much more than I have. Magic is mysterious and dangerous – I can’t hope to understand it.  I think he sees me as a child or an indulgence for Olek. I am very grateful for all his kindness but he is not an easy man to be around.

Dii and I are friends, she is kind and gentle. I can’t imagine what she’s been through. Dii will take my side sometimes if Archos and I disagree.

Th’alia – who joined us on our adventure to find the Citadel – does not like me. She is rude, not just to me but to everyone. I know she suffered at the hands of the Order but so has Dii, and Dii does not behave in such a way. Th’alia is supposed to be an Eltenda – a lore keeper and historian – but she thinks the old tales and the myths of our past are foolish. She does not believe and scorns those who do. She is highborn – nobility – and I am ‘just’ a hunter from a small village and humble stock.

What’s your most heroic exploit to date?

Finding the Shining Citadel! I was so worried we would never get there, we were lost and in trouble. We could not return home. It was finding the Citadel, find a way out of the forest or die trying. I still cannot believe it.  This place is both the past and the future of the elves – a great city cloaked in magic with hundreds if not thousands of years of history. There are elves – well not living ones there but one day Lor’Arthinis will be great again. It’s a secret if the Order finds out they will try and destroy it.

What’s your greatest failure?

My sister.  You’ll have to read to find out more. Please don’t make me talk about it.

Where do you think you’ll be in a decade?

Dead, probably. The fight we undertake is dangerous. I doubt all of us will live.  If I am still alive I’d like to be raising a family in safety and freedom. Elves have little – but we do have hope. We must, or fall entirely.

Do you have a great love? (This could be a person/trait/item)

Olek. The elven men in the village were all rather dull in comparison.  But they are all dead now, or missing.  Olek is so worldly; deadly and kind in equal measures. He taught me to be brave, that a woman and an elf can be equal to a man and a human.  He has shown me the world beyond the Shimmering Forest, and I know I will always be safe with him. Because of Olek, and to an extent Archos, I am far more confident, far surer of my skills.

chronicles banner

Book Links

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2bPpspP

Amazon.com audio http://amzn.to/2iBgmQV

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2i2KJfE

Amazon UK audio http://amzn.to/2iXfIdc

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2iB9PWl

I-books http://apple.co/2j0pYW2

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2bGqZvO

Audible http://adbl.co/2hHT8El

Bundle Rabbit

The Shining Citadel

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2c5LghC

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iqOXkr

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2hHRv9K

I-books http://apple.co/2j0B4u8

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2iOOWoB

Audible UK http://adbl.co/2iSW5GF

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2j1DSnF

Audible.com http://adbl.co/2i3tf5t

 

Heroic Tales

BundleRabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/heroic-tales

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/heroic-tales

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2u33Tfd

I books https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1257100962

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073T45HYB/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073T45HYB/

 

Author Bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a  A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

 

Social Media links

Amazon Author page http://amzn.to/2hK33OM

Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/FB2j0bbdZ

Twitter http://bit.ly/Twi2hJZ3h9

Goodreads http://bit.ly/GR2iqokvK

Library of Erana Blog http://bit.ly/Blog2iAWL3o

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-butcher-8342ab13b/

Tumblr https://libraryoferana.tumblr.com

 

 

Swift Six – Author – P A Wilson – Fantasy/Heroic Tales Bundle

Here’s the first author interview from the Heroic Tales Bundle

Name: P. A. Wilson

What attracts you to the genre in which you write?

I love stories that all you to break the rules and then glue them back together. Creating a world where I control how things work is fun and challenging. When it comes to magic, people sometimes think any problem can be solved with magic, and that means there’s no real story. I think in a good fantasy tale, there needs to be a cost of doing magic, something that will restrain the wizard, witch, fairy, whatever creature is in the world, from simply pointing a wand and getting what they need.

In my fantasy, I tend to make the rules either a resource issue, you can’t use magic all the time because you use up something, or I make it ambiguous. Yes, you can get your answer, but it’s not going to help much.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?

I’m always learning new things. I think that’s the advice most people miss at the beginning. Writing isn’t a ‘learn it and you’re good to go’ kind of thing. Every book is different and my process changes a little each time. Other than the fact that I need a loose outline that is.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?

If I had to choose one, I would dine with Isaac Asimov. The conversation would be me fangirling out and him explaining how he was able to be so prolific.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

Anne McCaffrey. Her Pern books enthralled me when I first read them; excellent world building, excellent characters. When I started to write my own stories, I often re-read her books to find her techniques.

Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

I think we have yet to see the final and ‘perfect’ method of storytelling. Ebooks are convenient, and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that people read more when they choose ebooks. As authors, we love to hear people are reading more. But print, both soft and hard cover, are different experiences. People like to feel the weight of the book in their hands, smell the ink and paper, and feel like they own something.

What I do see right now, is a segmenting of the market into people who only read digital, people who read either format, and people who only want print. The market is big enough to carry both.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

The Dragonriders of Pern, I never seem to get tired of reading them. The Pillars of The Earth, Ken Follett, the way he deals with complexity and the epic scope of the work means I find new things every time I read it. The complete works of William Shakespeare, maybe on a desert island I will finally get time to read all the plays and sonnets.

Author bio and book synopsis

Perry Wilson is a Canadian author based in Vancouver, BC who has big ideas and an itch to tell stories. Having spent some time on university, a career, and life in general, she returned to writing in 2008 and hasn’t looked back since. She writes the Quinn Larson Quests an urban fantasy series, the Charity Deacon Investigations, and two science fiction series. A member of the Royal City Literary Arts Society, the Vancouver Writer’s Social Group, and the Surrey Writers Group, she spends much of her time creating new books, and learning the craft.

 

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

I write in multiple genres, currently focussing on Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Mystery, and Science Fiction. You can find a list of my current books on my website at pawilson.ca

Links

Website: https://pawilson.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPAWilson/

Twitter: @perryawilson

 

Heroic Tales can be found here

BundleRabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/heroic-tales

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/heroic-tales

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2u33Tfd

I books https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1257100962

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073T45HYB/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073T45HYB/

Heroic Tales - Bundle Rabbit

Adventures in Marketing – Bundle Rabbit II – Heroic Tales #Fantasy

You may remember my previous post about Bundle Rabbit – the online book bundling service. I now have The Light Beyond the Storm – Book I featured in a forthcoming bundle. Heroic Tales features 19 tales of fantasy and heroes, brave deeds and daring adventures.

Heroic Tales - Bundle Rabbit

Synopsis

Imagine: you are seated about a blazing campfire, you and the other bards.  Tales of Achilles, Beowulf, Alexander, Odysseus, Conan, Tarzan, Joan of Arc and other heroes are told, along with new ones that carry on with the Jungian archetypes so central to our very nature.  Men and women who brave the unnatural, the fantastic, and the plain weird.

Without the circle of firelight, shapes of menace and strangeness stalk horrifically, but the heroic tales hearten us, and strengthen the entire tribe in both body and spirit to continue the battle of good and right, against the strange and evil.  We all have the need, deep within us, for Heroic Tales!

It’s quite a mix of tales from Jay Bowers, Stefon Mears, N.W. Moors and Jerusha Moors, Michael Kingswood, Carl S. Plumer, J. D. Brink, Louisa Swann, Xina M Uhl, Robert Jeschonek, Blaze Ward, Douglas Smith, Robert Jeschonek, Perry A Wilson, Debbie Mumford and Leslie Claire Walker.  For details of each book please check out the Bundle (as we will be overrun with links).
Table of Contents
1. “A Barbarian in Chicago” by Simon Stanton
2. “Lair of the Wulf” by Simon Stanton
3. “With a Broken Sword” by Stefon Mears
4. “Icarus Rising” by N.W. Moors
5. “Lee and the Monkey Idol” by Jay Bowers
6. “Glimmer Vale” by Michael Kingswood
7. “Afterlife” by Jay Bowers
8. “Shadows of Death” by Carl S. Plumer
9. “The Quest” by J. D. Brink
10. “The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I” by A. L. Butcher
11. “The Girl with the Candy Cane Legs” by Louisa Swann
12. “Necropolis” by Xina M Uhl
13. “The Sword That Spoke” by Robert Jeschonek
14. “The Forestal” by Blaze Ward
15. “The Wolf at the End of the World” by Douglas Smith
16. “The Wife Who Never Was” by Robert Jeschonek
17. “Family” by P. A. Wilson
18. “Witchling” by Debbie Mumford
19. “Faery Tales: Volume 1” by Leslie Claire Walker

It’s due out 11th July – on Bundle Rabbit, Kobo, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 19 books for less than $5 – now that is a bargain right there!

BundleRabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/heroic-tales

Heroic Tales on Kobo

Heroic Tales on Barnes and Noble

Heroic Tales on I-books

Heroic Tales on Amazon.co.uk

Heroic Tales on Amazon.com

 

Heroic Tales - Fan set.pngHopefully there should be some forthcoming interviews with authors and characters for this bundle – so keep your eyes peeled for those.