Tales Of Erana: Just One Mistake in Audio! #Talesoferana #fantasy

I’m very pleased to share my news today – my latest release is out in audio. Narrated by Rob Goll – who narrated Warrior’s Curse and Books I and II of Light Beyond.

Currently it’s available on Amazon and Audible but should be arriving on I-tunes soon.

18 rated.

Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake

Coel, the bard, thinks his life has taken a turn for the worst, but he hasn’t met the Thiefmaster yet. An ill-conceived notion of earning more money to pay off his debt and escape a dark past leaves the minstrel in a situation he can’t escape and with a deadly bargain. Will he survive his mistake? Who is this mysterious patron?

Amazon audio http://amzn.to/2sp7Hqk
Amazon.co.uk http://amzn.to/2tikBCW

Tales of Erana: Just One Mistake on Audible.co.uk
TOEJOM SQUARE AUDIO

Meet Author A.L. Butcher – Mercedes Fox ~ Author

Hello followers! Author A. L. Butcher is in the house to answer a few questions. Why do you write?   I write because I enjoy it, and it keeps me sane. I’ve always been a storyteller and poet, losin…

Source: Meet Author A.L. Butcher – Mercedes Fox ~ Author

Back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – Altos the Angel

Now who’d expect to find an angel in Hell, except of course his lordship, the Fallen One? Amongst the damned his presence is…unusual. So over to you… (brave angel this one…misguided perhaps but brave).

Character Spotlight

About yourself:

*Who are/were you? I am Altos, an angel on special assignment.

* Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? I am here to rehabilitate His Satanic Majesty.

Who are your friends/allies here? All well-meaning souls I consider my allies, those not entirely given over to iniquity.

Describe your home/environment in Hell. I arrived with the fallen and have watched Hell develop from total darkness to its current state. Although I hail from on high this is my home for now, wherever the Prince holds forth you will find me.

Do you have any enemies here? My adversaries are the blind passions of the damned, most significantly Vengeance.

Come on be honest, what do you think of HSM leadership? Satan is comprehensible, if not justifiable, and actually a lover of beauty in his way.

Author Spotlight

*Name and bio.

Chris Morris

* Tell us about your story for this edition. The Wager relates an incident involving Satan and Altos where militaristic hordes from all ages have gathered for a “final” reckoning.

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen? Satan’s isolation and profound understanding of humanity are fascinating, yet very difficult to draw—in this story by resort to a ghastly and grand-scale event demonstrating the worst proclivities of his charges, the lost souls of men. Because of his proposition to the angel—his most worthy, divine audience—he can indulge his urge to instruct his eternal adversary on high. Even Satan loves company.

What are you currently working on? I’m narrating audio books; I’ve completed The Sacred Band a novel by Janet Morris and myself and I, the Sun by Janet Morris. Next up is Shards of the Glass Slipper II: Queen Alice, by Roy Mauritsen.

Name the last two books you’ve read – tell us about them. Re-read The Golden Sword by Janet Morris, the second volume in her Silistra series quartet and The Best Poems in the English Language by Harold Bloom, his compendium of great poetical works and a great starting point for those like me who seek a chronological framework in which to appreciate the history of poetry in our language.

What marketing tips/writing advice can you offer other authors? Until you’ve found your storytelling voice as distinct from those writers you admire, write only what you know as passionately and articulately as you can without distorting your effort by trend-following or obeisance to niche-market rules and practices. Find and write what only you can and love the moments of total immersion necessary to bring them to life.

Heroes in Hell (series)

Back into Hell – Hell Week 2015 – John Milton

The Jack O’Lanterns are carved, and the marshmallows are toasting over the hellfires. Pull up a pitchfork and join me once more in the devilish domain of His Satanic Majestic.

Characters and authors aplenty for your infernal entertainment.

Character Spotlight: John Milton

About yourself: I am the author of Paradise Lost, the English epic in blank verse, and other reflections on life and immortality, including Areopagitica, a blow stuck against pre-publication censorship. Free speech and freedom of the press were my passions while alive.

*Who are/were you? A poet, a revolutionary, a sentry guarding the gates that kept ignorance at bay. Samuel Johnson called me an acrimonious and surly Republican. Perhaps. I did fight with my tutors, who felt need to tame my mind’s adventurism, put caution in my heart. Caution has no part in an honest heart. I was born in 1608. I was eight years old when Shakespeare died. In 1660 I hid from the restoration lackies, avoiding a warrant calling for my life and the burning of all my works. In 1674 I died, blind and destitute, of kidney failure – to escape such pain, I welcomed death.

*Why do YOU think you’re in Hell? Paradise Lost brought me to Hell, for taking Satan’s part. I tried to make Christianity classical, make freedom the birthright of any soul on Earth, and failed because politics have no part in the true struggle, against death itself.

Who are your friends/allies here? You jest. The Great Deceiver finds me useful, and that puts me on the opposite side of Cocytus from most penitent souls. Nor am I penitent -, nor will I ever be. But no fool, these days, with an infernity around me. The fallen angels enjoy my company.

Describe your home/environment in Hell. I make my home in Pandemonium – a term I thought I coined, for a place I thought a product of my own mind. Pandemonium is a vast breath of foul air and brimstone, a citadel whose spires scrape the heavens, with adamantine walls and filled with Satan’s legions, both doomed souls once men – full of mischiefs and hardier souls who’ve never been men. Some days I have comfort, more than most, when I’m sent with messages or punishments to this damned soul or the other. From Pandemonium ‘tis a long walk to anywhere, but a short flight when the angelic wings of the Devil’s stalwarts wrap me round.

Do you have any enemies here? Do I have anything but enemies? I brought the underverse to life, made infernity real and inescapable. The damned duly hate me.  I have peers – quite a different story; an innumerable lot, including Kit Marlowe and his wittol, Will Shakespeare. These two love words for their own sake – and each other. I find them too full of greatness self-proclaimed, chasing after this clever turn of phrase or that rhythm:  they forgive all for tragedy and comedy, and naught for the true fight: the fight for freedom of the mind. But the devil doth love his Bard of Avon – more than me, so until obliteration comes to pass, I suffer them, and fool upon fool, so every realm of hell is littered with their wrongs.

Come on be honest, what do you think of HSM leadership? Honest?  About the Prince of Darkness?  About the Father of Lies? About my hero – whose glorification brought me here to waste away and away?  The Adversary allows me my sight, so I can see all the evil done and blamed on me; he allows me my youth, so I can go among the damned from one hell to another – except for Tartaros, so far: even a glimpse of the afterlife of Hellenes is denied me, who wanted so to put a Christian face on Homeric odes.

So, this plague – who’s responsible? The damned themselves: the selfish, the foolish, the overly bold and the bloody. The plague seeks the damned, who in their turn seek escape, every dumb brute among them. Satan’s so-called rulership of all the New Damned fell to laxity: the problem with the devil is he’s not devilish enough, by half, to suit the Maker. So those who rule Above sent down Erra and his Seven personified weapons, to put the punishment back in hell that Satan’s sly courtship of the doomed eschews. Satan’s plan is too clever for those punishers from Above: his ever antic calculated to prove the damned are damned by their flawed nature, by all they do and all they say, and Satan’s soft-seeming leadership forces the Almighty into the role of Overlord of Evil. This, Satan watches, and bides his time, and proves again and again that humanity’s flaws are intrinsic, and not the fault of the stars or of hellfires where their souls finally abide. Thus, call humanity the bringer of plague, not the Babylonian god who brings pestilence only on orders from higher powers. And call the devil the greatest of poets, who brings this tragedy to life and light.

What is the WORST thing about being here? The worst thing about being in hell is that mankind creates it every day, anew and worse. As I said in my poor play, obliteration is the cure.  Sad cure.  And yet the animal within each soul wants only to live to struggle on, and on…

Erra and his Seven – what’s going on there then? I said all I should need to say about the lackeys from Above, those ministers of due punishment and undue suffering alike. Erra’s forte is plague and mayhem, and hell is, truly, where he doth find his place.

What are your best tips for surviving in Hell? Keep eyes averted.  Write and say the truth. Hell is no worse than Reformation England, really – with faults aplenty to fight and fools to spare.

Before you arrived here did you actually believe in HSM and his fiery domain? Bet that was a shock! I thought…I’d dreamed Paradise Lost. Yet when I wrote it, each day was a summoning of His Infernal Majesty. So here I came, and am, and will be until obliteration can be mine – and sleep.

Eternity – that’s a damned long time. How to you spend the endless years here? I foment what discontent I may, and take commissions from the lords of hell when warranted.

What do you miss most about your old….life? Nothing. My life turned out to be practice for my sentence here. If what I publish here is bowdlerized, at least to some those words strike true and ring the knell all the damned so crave:  their final rest.

What is the technology level of the culture you chose to write about? Technology provides amusement for the shallow and ungifted, who’ll proliferate inanities until we slog waist deep in the dimmest wits ever born. What humanity does is no better or worse now than before technology – yesterday’s, today’s or tomorrow’s. All gadgets reproduce, but ne’er make anything unknown become known – or knowable. I wrote about infernity, about humanity’s reality – about what we are: our wizened souls, our selfish lusts, our need to break others to our will. Now I can be anywhere among the manifold mistakes of the Almighty’s cruelest jokes:  they are no better in the future than in the past. I wrote about this hell in which I stand, and now here I am.

Author Spotlight

*Name and bio.

Janet Morris.  Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 40 novels, many co-authored with her husband Chris Morris or others. Her debut novel, written as Janet E. Morris, was High Couch of Silistra, the first in a quartet of character-driven novels with a female protagonist. According to original publisher Bantam Books, the Silistra quartet had over four million copies in print when the fourth volume, The Carnelian Throne was published. Charles N. BrownLocus Magazine, is quoted on the Baen Books reissues of the series as saying, “Engrossing characters in a marvelous adventure.”

Morris has contributed short fiction to the shared universe fantasy series Thieves World, in which she created the Sacred Band of Stepsons, a mythical unit of ancient fighters modeled on the Sacred Band of Thebes.

She created, orchestrated, and edited the Bangsian fantasy series Heroes in Hell, writing stories for the series as well as co-writing the related novel, The Little Helliad, with Chris Morris.

Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Her 1983 book “I, the Sun”, a detailedbiographical novel about the Hittite King Suppiluliuma I was praised for its historical accuracy; O.M. Gurney, Hittite scholar and author of “The Hittites,”[2] commented that “the author is familiar with every aspect of Hittite culture.”[3]

Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of non-fiction, as well as papers and articles on non-lethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics.

*Tell us about your story for this edition. In Doctors in Hell, with Chris Morris, I wrote about the underworld’s single volunteer angel, and a wager he made with the Price of Lies. Chris then wrote about Milton, who is sent on a mission for Satan. Then together Chris and I wrote about Shakespeare and Marlowe, to whom Milton is sent with the true ‘cure’ for the plagues in hell. Hearing this ‘cure’ gives Marlowe the malady an author most dreads when facing an infernity never-ending: writer’s block. And Shakespeare tries to help Marlowe by taking him to the most fearsome and famed witch doctors in New Hell… so they think until they cross a certain threshold…

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen? I wrote these characters almost accidentally: I was doing an introductory story for Rogues in Hell, and down came a clutch of new characters, into my story which was called Babe in Hell. One I’d had a taste of Shakespeare and Marlowe, they found enticements against which I was helpless, including the introduction of John Milton. Milton is daunting to portray, and his voice complex, so Chris and I waited as long as we could to introduce him – first in walk-on roles, and now finally, in an entire story that’s worthy of such a character, therefore a story that begins to turn hell on its collective and pointy ear.

How did you become involved with this project? Serendipity, truly. I had a multibook contract with Baen Books, and proposed the Heroes in Hell series, since at that time my parents were dying and death and what may lie after were much on my mind.

Writing for a shared world is challenging, how do you meet that challenge? Writing for a shared world is challenging, yes; but editing one, and writing the introductory and final stories for the volumes, tests me every time I do so. But in HIH I can try things, do stories I wouldn’t try to do elsewhere.  Hell is, in its way, liberating.

Tell us why you chose this story to tell out of so many possible options? This ‘story’ is actually a group of three:  one an introduction, followed by Chris Morris’ characterization of Milton, then in turn followed by Chris and my final story for the volume, in which the final story “Writer’s Block” sets some groundwork for later volumes while bringing our several strings of plot together.  Writing this way is difficult but great fun.

What drew you to these characters? These characters came because I wanted to rewrite and use the first story, which was the only HIH story that Jim Baen wouldn’t publish because the content offended him, and so we sold it to be published in different form for the current version in an a literary sf quarterly, Argos.  Since that story would have been the first in a different volume, it was already structured properly to be an introductory story, so we updated it and rewrote it into the current HIH moment, where it worked very well. SO we had had Altos the volunteer angel for a very long time, and it was a good time to re-enter him.  As for Milton, he’s a bit daunting but in Hell, we choose a story we want to tell, then we find characters who would be the best a telling that story. For the story we wanted to tell that would wrap the Doctors in Hell volume, we needed to end with Shakespeare and Marlowe – and a few others….

What are you currently working on? A novel.

Name the last two books you’ve read – tell us about them. Euripides, The Rhesos, Lattimore translating; Aeschylus’ Suppliant Women, A. J. Bowen.

One is directly for the book I’m doing, Rhesos of Thrace, in which the Euripedes version figures;  the Aeschylus is part of my rereading of Greek tragedies, as much to recover the sensitivities of this period as to clarify what concerned the writers and protagonists.

I really always write the book I want to read, and to write Rhesos the way I want to read it I need to be deeply seated in his culture, both while alive and what Euripdes made of him.

What are your views on authors offering free books? In general, I think that people don’t value what they do not pay for.  In the book business, however, there is a long tradition of giving books to people to read who may talk positively about what they’ve read.  The numbers of copies involved now are simply greater.

What marketing tips/writing advice can you offer other authors? Write what impassions you:  you’re trading away your real daily life for time spent in an imagined construct:  make sure it’s worthwhile for you to do so.

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?

“Hell is just a frame of mind.” – Marlowe in Faustus.

What other books/short stories have you written?

From Wikipedia:

Science fiction novels ·         High Couch of Silistra

·         The Golden Sword

·         Wind from the Abyss

·         The Carnelian Throne

·         Dream Dancer

·         Cruiser Dreams

·         Earth Dreams

·         Threshold

·         Trust Territory

·         The Stalk

·         ARC Riders

·         The Fourth Rome

·         The 40-Minute War

·         Active Measures

·         Outpassge

·         Target

Heroes in Hell ·         Heroes in Hell (book)

·         Heroes in Hell (series)

Fiction ·         I, the Sun

·         Medusa

·         Warlord

·         Kill Ratio

·         Afterwar

Historical fantasy ·         Beyond Sanctuary

·         Beyond the Veil

·         Beyond Wizardwall

·         Tempus

·         City at the Edge of Time

·         Tempus Unbound

·         Storm Seed

·         The Sacred Band

Short fiction ·         Raising the Green Lion

·         Vashanka’s Minion

·         A Man and His God

·         An End to Dreaming

·         Wizard Weather

·         High Moon

·         Basileus

·         Hero’s Welcome

·         Graveyard Shift

·         To Reign in Hell

·         Power Play

·         Pillar of Fire

·         Gilgamesh Redux

·         Sea of Stiffs

·         The Nature of Hell

·         The Best of the Achaeans

·         The Collaborator

·         […] is Hell

·         Moving Day

·         Sea Change

Nonfiction work ·         Nonlethality: A Global Strategy

·         Weapons of Mass Protection

·         The American Warrior

If you could have a dinner party with any man and woman from anywhere and anywhen who would invite and what would you eat? Heraclitus of Ephesus, Homer, Sappho, Harold Bloom, Suppiluliumas 1 of Hatti, Kit Marlowe.

Which 10 books would you save to keep you sane after the apocalypse? (Only 10 allowed). Oxford Classical Dictionary, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Complete Shakespeare (RSC), Lattimore’s Iliad and Odyssey;

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t, unless some specific review was important to your development and you’re commenting in the course of an interview that includes something salient to say about a review/reviewer.

Which books/movies/plays have influence your life? Too many to list.

In these days of movies and video games are books really influential? I hope so.

Front Page

Twitter: @uvmchristine

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JanetMorrisandChrisMorris?fref=ts

http://sacredbander.com/

Front Page

Character Interview Number Thirty – Rajveer

Tell Us About Yourself
Name (s) Rajveer of the Guhilas of Mewar

Age 27… forever.
Please tell us a little about yourself.

My body died when I was twenty-seven. I don’t know what to call myself now. I look exactly like I did then – if a little paler. A kshatriya (warrior) of Chittor turned into a rakshasa (demon) by a foreign bloodsucker… I had to leave Chittorgarh at some point, so they didn’t notice I’m not ageing anymore.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Tall, handsome and honey-eyed warrior.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? The kshatriyadharma enjoins the Rajput male to die the good death on the field of battle and to maintain his personal honor and masculine integrity in all situations. The Rajput women have their own codes, the most exacting demand of which is to join her dead husband on the funeral pyre and become a virtuous woman by perishing in the flames.
Would you kill for those you love? I have killed to defend my king and my people. Not so much to survive. And I don’t kill anymore. I mean, I feed on blood now, but I don’t need to drain anyone to go on.

Would you die for those you love? Unfortunately, I’ve become very hard to kill. I don’t feed on human blood unless it’s enemies in the heat of the battle, and this makes me stronger and almost invulnerable…

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why I had three wives, the most loved being Charumati, but since I’ve started my second life, I’ve been quite lonely. No love relationships and even friendship is hard. My only “family” is my fledgling, Shashank.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? I feed on animals. Either that or I feed on you…

Do you have a family? Tell us about them. I lost them to time and my newly found immortality. I’m supposedly a member of a coven, but I wouldn’t call them family. They don’t even have the same origin that I do.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. In spite of my newly found strength and enhanced senses, I’m a warrior, so I still wear my faithful sword by my side. I’m often teased for it, but I don’t care. I still have my kshatriya pride.

Tell Us About Your World

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. I was raised Hindu – I follow the Rig Veda – which makes it hard for me to feed on human blood. I was turned by a Celtic Druid and my sister-in-darkness was raised Christian. I deal with Jains on a regular basis and I’m getting to know Buddhists and Muslims as well.

Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Northern Hindustan. I can’t stay put for long or they’d notice I don’t age. So, I was born in Chittorgarh, then visited the four cities of Delhi before it was destroyed by Timur the Lame, and then Varanasi, Gwalior, Agra, Lahore…

What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) Delhi sultanate, kingdoms and eventually the Mughal empire…

Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some.  The coven. They’re demonic bloodsuckers. Their bite is poisonous, it either kills you or turns you. Although only Menka can make new ones, everybody else is forbidden… I’m glad I’m not one of her “children” – although I’m not much better myself. But actually neither of us belong to the myths and legends of our country. We’re not rakshasa, gayal, pacu pati, vetala or any other creatures such as the one in the Baital Pachisi (a.k.a. King Vikram and the vampire in a 19th century translation)

Name three persons of influence/renown within your society and tell why they are influential (Could be someone like Christ/Mandela/Queen Elizabeth or a renowned figure from a non-human/fantasy world.) My king, Rana Ratan, and his beautiful wife Rani Padmini who boldly perished in the siege of Chittor when Sultan Alauddin attacked us – a glorious story of true Rajput pride. Babur, the first Mughal emperor, who brought those beautiful persian gardens to Hindustan. And his grandson Akbar, the greatest of all.

Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Rajveer the Vampire

A “sun clan” warrior can never become a true child of darkness.
In 14th century India, Rajveer, a proud Rajput warrior of a Suryavanshi clan, is turned into a bloodsucker by an ancient Celtic vampire. Immortal, he loses his family to war and time and travels through northern India, seeing history unfold. Threatened by both human wars and evil vampires, can he remain true to his sworn vow not to take human lives?
A vampire’s journey through centuries.

Rajveer the Vampire is now available on Amazon for pre-order. Amazon India has the price of INR250.

The price might go up on the release date, November 1, 2015, so order it now.

Pre-order on Apple US, Barnes&NobleKobo and Smashwords.

Author name

Barbara G.Tarn
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

blog: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barb-aka-Barbara-GTarn/175559797281

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4717133.Barbara_G_Tarn

Author Central http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-G.Tarn/e/B0050P0R2G
Publisher’s page with info on all the books: http://www.unicornproductionsbooks.com/

Review – High Couch of Silistra – Janet Morris – Sci-fi

So where to start? As one would expect from Janet Morris there is a lot more to this story than a simple science fiction tale. Firstly the protagonist is a woman, and a strong one at that. Estri is not your screaming maiden waiting to be rescued. She’s a feisty woman, who knows her worth, knows her skills, and her failings and above all she knows herself.

Estri is more than a woman of pleasure – for on her world this is no shameful profession. As Well Keepress she is much sought after, and highly skilled, but she is also teacher, student, lover, friend, fighter, diplomat, businesswoman, a slave, mistress and so much more.

Silistra is a world of contrasts – its people long-lived, its terrain in places inhospitable and its morals unusual. Fertility is everything in a world where the people rarely breed successfully. Duty, or Chaldra is everything – be that duty to oneself, one’s people, or the world in general.. A world misunderstood by the others, but attractive for many reasons, not least its Well Women must stand for its uniqueness and protect its beliefs. In many ways Estri is Silistra – wise, with hidden dangers, intriguing, alluring, complex and misunderstood.

Duty, power, sex, the complexities of relationships between men and women, and how they can change, fate, courage, loyalty, betrayal, personal journeys, fear, and adventure fill every chapter. The sex is not overdone, considering the context and although there is violence that too speaks of the power play which is core.

The world building, as with Morris’s other novels, is rich, complex and totally believable. For the duration of the tale Silistra is real. The characters, too, are a mix of good and bad, but no way clear cut. These are living, breathing characters with all that entails.

This is not a book for those of a faint heart or who cannot see deep within a tale for what lies therein. It’s a book to make the reader think. It’s a book of great stature, and storytelling of the finest sort. Of course it’s also a book for those who seek a heady adventure beyond the stars.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. 5 stars.

Character Interview Number Twenty-Nine – Dii’Athella

 

Tell Us About Yourself
Name(s): Dii’Athella, or just Dii. I’m told it means Flower of the Dawn in the Elvish language.

Age? I’m not sure. About 25 summers or so, I think.  I was never allowed ‘birthdays’ as you call them. Elves live longer than humans, even in captivity, so for my people I am quite young. Unless, of course, hardship or disease takes us. I’ve heard of elves living several hundred years but that is very rare these days. There is magic which prolongs life, but it is little known, hard to cast and the price paid very high.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m an elf, and a Forbidden. In the land of Erana that means I am a slave, or at least I was. Elves have no rights, we are property. We have no recourse to law, our culture is nothing but fragments of a lost glory, and we cannot move freely. I am also a sorceress. Although that, too, is illegal. The Order of Witch-Hunters deem magic to be wicked, and elves to be the bringers of the greatly feared Plague. I’m a mage, my blood flows with magic. Even in hiding that is so. Either one is magical or one isn’t. I cannot change that any more than my Elven birth.

In my former life I was used as the plaything of rich men. I was given or sold to them, to pleasure them. My Keeper thought it amusing to have an educated slave – it brought me even lower I suppose. Literacy is not common, especially amongst elves. The Order of Witch-Hunters don’t encourage knowledge and people thinking for themselves. This leads to questions, and the seeking of answers about the world. For them, this is bad. I love to learn. Ignorance helps to divide us. Knowledge is power.

Now I am a healer, herbalist and a scholar. I am also a rebel and a traitor, or so you’d say. That is correct yes, when one fights against the established rulers? If so, then I am proud of it.

There is more, but you’ll have to follow my adventures to discover that.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Red curly hair, tattoos, slender, beautiful (so I’m told).

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Morals in Erana are not quite the same as in your world. We have love, honour, friendship, trust and all those things but there is no law, save what the Order decide. It is not law for it serves not the people, it serves the Order and slavers. I am, by my birth, my magic and my race a criminal and so I break what passes for law in our land.

I have killed, although I try and avoid it as I am a healer. I have stolen to feed myself, although I am not sure apples count. I have harboured criminals, I have lied and I have stood by whilst others died. I have led people into traps, but they were Witch-Hunters and deserved it. Morality is relative to one’s position. I cannot afford to follow the ‘moral code’ the Order espouse. I spent enough time as a slave, and in the Order dungeons to know that.

I am devoted to my family – my real family – not the bastard who stole me and raised me in his house.

I am kind, and I will defend my friends before myself. I like to help people. Archos told me it is because I was so eager to please as though not to be beaten, or worse. A lonely child longing to be liked. I have no idea if this is the truth but I suppose it explains a lot. It was a way to protect myself and now is habit.

I think I am trustworthy and discrete. When one’s life is a lie then one gets used to keeping secrets.

Would you kill for those you love? Yes. I would also kill for a cause I love. Freedom.

Would you die for those you love? Yes, and technically I have. Or close enough.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?

Weaknesses:

I don’t think I am very brave.

I am emotional – I suppose it is because of my earlier life. There are all these awful memories in my head and I can get upset about things. Archos says I am strong, a survivor. I don’t see it. Sometimes my emotions get the better of me.

My magic.

Strengths:

I am clever and resourceful. I had to be.

I’m kind and except for the Order I don’t tend to hate.

I learn fast.

My magic.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? Archos. He saved my life. He is kind, clever, fascinating and unbelievably desirable. Mages tend to be passionate and we are. He does not treat me simply as another elf. Finally my life has some worth.

Olek – Olek is like a brother to me. I trust him with my life. He’s amusing, he is loyal to Archos. They have a special friendship, very close with much shared between them. He was with Archos long before I came to live in Tremellic and they value the friendship. Thus so do I. Olek is very complex. One of those people who is not what he appears.

Ozena, my dear friend. She has also suffered much at the hands of slavers. But she is feisty and speaks her mind, far more than I. I suppose I was used to not being allowed to, or no one caring what I thought. Ozena is much bolder. When we first met she stood up to Lord Archos, challenged him on points and won the argument. Not many people would dare, or if they did dare they would most likely regret it. Archos still chuckles about it. I think he likes the challenge.

Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? I have a raven, well to be precise she’s a Spirit Bird – a familiar you might call her. Ethnii chooses to be with me and I am honoured. She’s named after the Goddess of the Sky. She has some magic of her own, and she is very clever. The Shaman Kherak Var gave her to me, as a protector.

There are several horses too, plus goats, chickens, and such like in the manor grounds and the paddock.

I was never allowed a pet in my old life. My….foster brother had dogs but I was not allowed to pet them or make a fuss. I used to put crumbs down for the mice and sometimes the squirrels would come to my window but they don’t count, I suppose.

Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? *Looks sad.

My childhood? You want to know about that? It was difficult… cold, frightening and devoid of much love. Malana, my Keeper’s mistress tried to be kind and protect me but she was often as frightened of him, or sometimes would do nothing so she would not be beaten.  I was often hungry and I was used….

I never got to know the parents who brought me into the world.

Do you have any phobias? Being returned to the Witch-Hunter dungeons. I’d rather die than return there.
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.I know Shadowplay – at least a bit. Not many people do.
Tell Us About Your World

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Erana is a world of magic. But it is a world in which magic is forbidden. It is a world of inequality, martial law and prejudice. Yet it is a world of possibilities if one is brave enough or fortunate enough to find them. It’s an old world, full of surprises and strange creatures. Parts of it are very beautiful. Tremellic is a secluded valley close to the Jagged Peak Mountains, it is very fertile. The plains I have not seen very much. Then, of course there’s the Shimmering Forest.  The forest elves say it is alive, I don’t mean in the usual way, I mean sentient and cunning. There are many myths about the ancient forest, not all of them are simply myths.

The Tree of Always – the oldest tree in that part of the forest is supposed to be the mother of all the apple trees which grow. The tree is so old it has seen the elves rise and fall, it has seen the world change. Is it really the oldest? Who knows, there is nothing living to disprove it.  There are many lost magics and lost creatures – hiding from the scourge of magic until such time as it is safe to return.

Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. Officially not really. The humans nod in the direction of the gods when it suits. There are temples to Syltha – the goddess of healing and the gods in general but it is more a vague belief, hedging one’s bets you’d call it. Racial memories perhaps.

The trolls are the most spiritual – they have gods and spirits for pretty much everything. Our neighbours, the Var tribe, worship the Goddess of the Sky, called Ethnii’a by them or Kal Rean by the trolls. I suppose you could say she’s the mother goddess. She’s powerful and capricious. Her children are the sun and the moon.

Archos is….well that would be telling, let’s just say he honours to Sky Goddess above others.

There are minor gods, demigods and nymphs. These are, or were, magical beings from the early times. There are but a few left and those in hiding. We found a nymph, Oeliana in the Shimmering Forest. She guards the forest pools.  There are elementals too. Creatures of magic which are the essence of the world, the essence of magic. Once they were common, but even an elemental can be hunted and slain. Once they were worshipped and honoured, now if they are remembered at all it is with fear.

 

I think the forest elves have many local spirits and gods, but as I’ve said their culture is almost gone so it’s hard to tell. The city elves cling on to the old beliefs – they have little except faith and hope.

The Witch-Hunters don’t encourage belief in the gods – that’s close to magic for them, but I’ve been told individuals may belief, all be it vaguely. The gods exist, or existed. Acknowledgement is another matter.

Does it affect my behaviour? Of course. I’m a mage, we KNOW the gods are real, we KNOW the magic is real and won’t be tamed. We tend to follow the Lady of the Skies and the goddess of healing. I’m a light mage so of course I honour Syltha too. It pays to honour the local gods – after all one may need their assistance. Magic is magic.

Name and describe a food from your world. Once we had roasted Salamander. Olek eats anything so he liked it. No one else did. Giant Salamanders spit acid and they are disgusting and slimy. Not the best meal. We didn’t have much choice. I learned long ago one will eat anything if one is starving.

We have many forms of wine – some from grapes from the warmer lands, and other fruits such as blackberries, rosehips, and elderberries.  There are cider orchards too – both pears and apples.

The trolls eat a seed bread. It is much flatter and harder than other bread, like a cracker from your world. Wheat doesn’t grow that well in their lands but there are the hardy mountain grasses which provide a kind of flour.  It is easy to store and doesn’t go stale.

Ozena tells me her village ate mainly what could be gathered or farmed from their goats. Milk, goat cheese and yoghurts. They have hunters too – so wild pig, deer and birds are on the menu.

Tremellic has many farms – sheep and goats, pigs for bacon and a few cows for their milk. We have makers of cheese, a few hunters now and Archos is contemplating getting some deer to add to the food stores.

Our housekeeper makes divine honey cats. Oats, butter, honey and sometimes fruit. She has a secret recipe.

Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? You need ask after all I’ve told you?

Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another? The humans blame the elves for the Plague, for the ills of society and for, well, being elves. The trolls tend to keep themselves to their mountain villages but do sometimes trade. It’s not that they don’t like the other races, just most humans either haven’t seen one or have odd misconceptions about their ways. Foolish ideas such as trolls eat people. They don’t, well not unless they get REALLY hungry. Something about a seven foot tall horned warrior who can shapeshift into a bear or a trollish shaman who can predict the future seems to worry many people. A lot worries the humans.

The elves are generally too oppressed to trust anyone much. The humans enslave them, and the trolls are distant. Once the elves, trolls and humans worked together.

Tremellic is probably more forward thinking than anywhere else. That is Lord Archos’ doing. He sees the advantage of alliances with trolls and elves. What’s that phrase on your world? ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ The Order are strong, they rule by force after all – so any alliances against them is valuable.

On rare occasions trolls will marry an elf or human. There are a few half trolls around. Half-elves are common – usually an elven mother – willing or not. Half-elves are slaves as much as elves.

Then there are the fae and the keres… Which shouldn’t exist but do.

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Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links:

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III

THUNDERCLAP.

As Book I has just been re-released here’s the promotional Thunderclap. Please support, like and share.

http://thndr.it/1E6kCII

(For further links please see the links on the linky pages.)

 

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.

 

Blog: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6430414.A_L_Butcher

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Butcher/e/B008BQFCC6/

Twitter:@libraryoferana

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

 

Dragonlove Book Blast #DLBlast

Blast Info
Title: Dragonlove
Series: Dragonfriend #2
Author: Marc Secchia
Publication Date: August 15, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Romance

Synopsis

When a woman loves a Dragon, that love will change the world.

Six years have passed since Hualiama and Grandion defied the Island-World’s most sacred law. They burned the heavens together as Rider and Dragon. For his crime, Grandion the Tourmaline Dragon suffered exile and imprisonment. The Dragons forced Hualiama to forget her past.

Now, the suns must set upon the age of the Ancient Dragons. Amaryllion Fireborn, last of his kind, bequeaths Hualiama an astonishing legacy. She is the Dragonfriend. Raised by Dragons. Burned by Dragon fire. Oath-bound to a Dragon. Crossing the Island-World in search of her Dragonlove, she will forge an indelible mark upon history.

As war between Dragons and Humans engulfs the Islands, Hualiama must unravel the secrets of her tragic past in order to confront an evil that threatens the very existence of the Dragonkind. For love that is tested in the crucible of fate must burn, or die.

Excerpt

Dragon-thunder shook the palace.

Hualiama kicked off her soft slippers. Picking up her formal lace skirts, she began to run, but the long train snagged immediately on the curved claws of a stylised jade Dragon. Dagger in hand, she hacked wildly at the priceless fabric restricting her stride. Bleeding–Dragon fire take it! She stumbled up endless stairs designed by an architect enamoured with galleries sized to house ridiculous mountains of royal artefacts. Entering a long corridor, her woefully short legs stretched into a sprint. Ranks of larger-than-life paintings of tall, pointy-eared ancestors blurred to either side. All of her attention was focussed on the altercation on the Receiving Balcony, atop Fra’anior’s Royal Palace.

A Dragon’s voice boomed, “This means war, King Chalcion!”

She had to stop them. Now.

Slewing around a corner, Lia deliberately cannoned off a man-high ornamental vase. She caught her balance, agile as any dragonet, and picked up her knees. Head down, she pumped her arms, accelerating to the speed of a warrior and dancer who trained for five hours daily. Twisting between two thickset marble columns to shortcut her route, Lia used a stone pot-plant as a springboard to leap upward at full stretch, flying briefly over a yawning drop to the palace gardens below. Snagging the crenulations atop the wall with her fingertips, she wriggled upward with the facility of a lizard scaling a wall and vaulted smoothly onto the balcony beyond. One more level.

She heard querulous voices, and the swish of Dragons’ wings. They were leaving.

Her heart could not sink, because it was thrashing about in her throat. But it should. This was just the incident to ignite the simmering relations between Dragons and Humans. She should know. That very morning, Lia had witnessed a Dragonwing immolating a Human village.

Bounding up the final staircase, she raced out onto the balcony, screaming, “Stop!”

Lia caught her foot in the wreck of her dress, slipped, and skidded across the rough flagstones all the way to the edge of her father’s robes.

“Stop them!”

Stooping, the King seized her arm. “This is an outrage, Hualiama! How dare you barge–”

She tore herself free, hurled herself to the balcony’s edge, and screamed again, “Stop! By the Spirits of the Ancient Dragons, please!”

Hualiama gazed out over her beloved Island. Sweet, haunting harmonies of birdsong and dragonet-song saluted the gathering evening, the ever-song, some called it, the unique melody of Fra’anior, which was an Island-Cluster of twenty-seven Islands precariously perched on the rim-wall of the greatest volcano in the Island-World. The late afternoon light streamed in so thick and golden, she feared the King might pass a law to store it in the royal treasury. But she had eyes only for the Dragons.

Four Dragons winged over the vast bowl of Fra’anior’s volcanic caldera, their scales gleaming like glorious jewels in the resplendent light. Two were hundred-foot Reds, as perfect as matched rubies, called Zulior and Qualiana, and the third a vast emerald-green named Andarraz. Sapphurion, the Dragon Elder himself, led their Dragonwing. His scales evoked the turquoise hue of a clear lake. All were breathtaking, but Sapphurion was the greatest of all, the leader of the Island-World’s Dragons.

The four Dragons banked with supreme grace, angling back toward the Receiving Balcony. Hualiama’s heart stood still.

Author Bio

Marc is a South African-born author who lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.

When he’s not writing about Africa Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

 
Social Media Links

Website  | Facebook  |  Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

@marcauthor and @MasqTours.
Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this blast. $25 Amazon giftcard and 5 Kindle copies of “Aranya”. The code is provided below. Ends 8/21.
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Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – Free on Kindle

Until 19th July Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse is free on all the Kindle sites.

This short tale within a tale is a mythic story of monsters, revenge and unwise bargains.

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse.

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY

http://www.amazon.de/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.fr/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.it/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.es/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.nl/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.in/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

http://www.amazon.ca/Tales-Erana-Warriors-Alexandra-Butcher-ebook/dp/B00QZ7PVWY/

The Stolen Tower – On Offer! 6-16th July 2015 – Kindle Countdown!!!

Up until now I have never used one of the features of Kindle Select – A Kindle Countdown promotion.

(Kindle Countdown rules) https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2MJTCAYTCBNW2&ref_=kdp_PM_ksp

From 12 am PST 6th July – PST 12 am 13th http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/ will be offered  for 99c until July 6th and then $1.99 until July 13th against an original list price of $3.25.

From 13th -16th July

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stolen-Tower-Light-Beyond-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00U8A9044/ will be on offer for 99p until the 16th against an original list price of £2.11.

July https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/new-release-the-stolen-tower-the-light-beyond-the-storm-chronicles-iii/

I’ve heard mixed reviews of Kindle Countdown so I’ll post my experiences.thestolentower500x800 (1)