Tag Archive | Epic Fantasy

The Cedric Series by Valerie Willis

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Series: The Cedric Series
Author: Valerie Willis
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Cedric the Demonic Knight

Book 1

CedricDemKnt_eBookCoverArt_310x215_416x600Known for hunting the supernatural, no mortal man realizes Lord Cedric is one of Sorceress Morrighan’s abominations. After competing in a tournament, he is wed to a Lady of the Court, Angeline. Cedric’s senses begin to overwhelm him and he struggles to decipher his feelings; Are they a creation of his incubine bloodline or truly heartfelt emotions for the girl who has lost it all to him? He finds himself forced to choose between falling in love or continuing his suicidal quest to kill his creator. Epic battles against all manners of beasts and demons fill this story with memorable antagonists such as Morrighan and her two sisters; Romasanta the Father of Werewolves; Succubus Queen Lillith and many more. Find yourself engulfed in lores and history long forgotten from the 12th Century and beyond.

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Excerpt:

“Let me tell you a story about the girl I lost. Then, perhaps we can be friends? I do miss having someone to talk to since my best friend left me behind.”
“I don’t know, Cedric. You’re a little out of my league at this rate.” Praying he had not offended him, Tony topped off Cedric’s glass, eyeing the missing finger once more. “You can call me Tony.”
“Well, Tony, I’ll make it a Thursday ritual to tell you my story. I have nothing else to do while I wait. It’s been far too long since I last indulged in another’s companionship.” There was a burdensome sigh from his fanged mouth and his eyes dulled. “I lost my best friend not too long ago. The old dog lived far too long for his kind, but I was glad to have someone like that to help me during those hard times. Good friends are hard to come by, especially in my case.”
“So sorry to hear that,” Tony watched as the vacant stare of Cedric’s green eyes seemed far off for several minutes. The weight of pain and sorrow was unmistakable in his gaze. “It’s never good to lose a close friend.”
“Where to start?” The shine had returned to Cedric’s eyes as he finished another glass of vodka and nodded for his refill. “How about the first night I saw her? It’s only appropriate. Like the poet said so many years ago; whoever loved that loved not at first sight…”
“Yes, tell me about this girl of yours.” Tony eagerly refilled the glass waiting to hear what kind of story this was going to be.

 

Romasanta: Father of Werewolves

Book 2

RomasantaCover_397x600Romasanta finds himself a cursed man and struggles with his internal demon, literally. All his troubles start with a stone and after that he will be losing everything he’s ever loved. Faced with clinging on to what little humanity he has, he will lose it many times before reaching the end of his journey. His life’s tale will take you through time to see how every lore, every moment in history tied in with wolves all come back to him. They call him the Ancient One, others simply refer to him as the Father of Werewolves, but we know him by his name, Romasanta. Many battles will be fought before he gets closer to his goals, but will he be ready to finish what was asked of him at the very beginning of his horrible fate. Will he be able to return the Eye of Gaea and free the love of his life from the laurel tree in the Black Forest?

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Excerpt:

An alcove held a glimmering gem about the size of a man’s fist. As he approached, its light became brighter, as if encouraging him to free it from the stone. Gripping it tight with both hands, he steadied a foot on the rocks, putting his full weight into pulling it out. Jerking his weight into it, it broke from the rock face sending him tumbling up against the far wall. As he leaned there, the sunlight hitting his hands, he opened his fist to see what it was that he had claimed for himself.
The gemstone’s light dissipated and within it, a liquid bubbled and swirled.
He had heard rumors of bloodstones found in the area, but this was the first time he had encountered one. The powerful vibrations the gem gave off told him this could be something more. It was of the deepest red he had ever witnessed as it mesmerized him. Heat flowed from it, making the summer temperature feel cool by comparison. Focusing on a sound that tickled his ears it seemed as if a humming sound was coming from it. A curious sound called his attention deeper into it, almost as if a whisper on the wind.
Growling broke him away from the stone. His gaze stopped at two large golden eyes that glowered down at him. Fenrir had found him. Romasanta shivered as the demon wolf took another step closer, baring his enormous fangs.
Staring in awe, one canine was the size of Romasanta’s forearm, if not larger.
Another step forward allowed him to smell the blood of his bull upon Fenrir’s breath as he growled louder. The sound coming from the beast’s chest and muzzle shook the air from Romasanta’s lungs. He had overstepped his boundaries. Fenrir was enraged. The black wolf had planned to lure him out this far the whole time. Pain pounded against Romasanta’s chest, his heart screaming to be set loose as fear washed over him. Fenrir had him; he was to be the next kill. As the monstrous wolf lunged, Romasanta could only raise his arms in defense. The action would do him no good against the demon wolf.
Fangs dug deep into his arms. He screamed from the twisting pain as muscles popped in half, bones rattled as the impact greeted them. Blinding red light stopped the horrendous bite from breaking his bones. Fenrir’s eyes grew wide. The stone pulsed and burned in Romasanta’s hand as a red glow engulfed the demon wolf. Both of them were startled as the massive monster swirled in the air like fog. Horrified, Romasanta watched as the stone absorbed the demon into it.

 

The Oracle

Book 3
Released Sept 1st!

Oracle_CoverArt2016_Lighter02_403x600With Angeline back in Cedric’s arms and the Eye of Gaea in Romasanta’s grip, the next step in their journey begins. All eyes are set on Mt. Parnassus where the Oracle is protected by Delphyne, the mother of all dragons and beasts. Assembling a group of willing patrons, Romasanta leads them to Delphi, Greece where they will cross into a realm void of technology. Only brute strength and magic reign in a place where packs of Mimick dogs, Wyverns and Jaculus still run wild. Meanwhile, back home Lillith takes on a mysterious curse cast on Tony who will have to make a life changing choice. The question weighing on all their minds is if two werewolves, the Incubus King, and a demonized sorceress will live to fight their way into Gaea’s Gate to enter the Otherworld?

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Excerpt:

It wasn’t her first time there in Tony’s bar with its neon sign out front blinking The Lion’s Den through the dark tinted windows. Still, like the last visit here, the smell of smoke overwhelmed her. She had grown sensitive to smell, touch and even her sight looked into dark corners as if lit by an unseen torch. Most of the bar was dark with nothing more than yellow-toned bulbs, her ears hearing them buzzing as they casted shadows on the patrons who loitered under them. It wasn’t very busy, but they had come long before the main rush.
This was her way, Cedric’s way, of slowly helping her grow more comfortable with this new world she knew nothing about.
Everyone had told her their own version of what had happened the day they found the entrance into Avalon. The bar had been destroyed when the portal opened and they leapt in, magic lashing out in angry swipes like a wild animal.
Tony insists Badbh the Battle Goddess had been the front runner in wiping out most of the place. She had destroyed the bar top with the pool table and then the rest of the furniture afterwards impatiently waiting for Avalon to return to its former state, eager to join the battle. None of that damage could be seen. The bar top was glossy black with her reflection staring up at her doe-eyed. The long countertop came off the wall in a large ‘L’ shape from the entrance to where it protected the office door. A new pool table lay under a long fluorescent light and spiraling out from there were several tables and chairs until your eyes hit the walls adorned with booths hugging around them.
The Lion’s Den had become a meeting place for creatures and demons alike.
It was a much needed hub for the rebuilding of a community where they no longer fought for the top of the pyramid of power in this new age. Many hadn’t a clue they were weighed on these imaginary scales, but there was no mistaking they were frightened by those who dominated the top: Lillith, Cedric and Romasanta. Merlin had taken down some of the strongest nonhumans in the world. With the Eye of Gaea keeping him safe from recoils and even curses, he had dwindled their numbers to the point where humanity was choking out the remaining populations to near extinction. All that remained were half-breeds or those who rarely left the many sanctuaries keeping them hidden from modern man.

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signed paperback copy of Oracle with some signed bookmarks followed by 5-10 ebook copies (Their choice from Cedric Series) for runner-ups.

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About the Author:
13466145_10153698556906334_1460444520094580972_nValerie Willis is a sixth generation Floridian who loves crafting novels with elements inspired by Mythology, Superstitions, Legends, Folklore, Fairy Tales and even history. She braved the Independent Publish route at the end of 2012 and has devoted herself to being a pillar of “Self-Publishing How-to” from formatting of both print and digital versions to book cover designs.

Her fantasy romance novels within The Cedric Series is a wonderful blend of genres that appeal to a wide-range of readers whether they like paranormal, fantasy, romance or action adventure. The characters are flawed in mental and emotional ways while being amazing powerful creatures, demons, witches and Gods. Many of the monsters presented in battle derive from Medieval Bestiaries and adds a fun flavor of new yet deeply rooted assortment of creatures such as Coin Iotair, Shag Foal, Cynocephali, and many more.

For Young Adult readers looking for a Dark Fantasy and coming-of-age lessons, Tattooed Angels Trilogy is an ode to her teenage life for those teenagers getting ready to step out in the world on their own. Hotan is a failed reincarnation and is becoming immortal against his will. Life is complicated and often we withdraw within ourselves, shut others out, when life becomes hard. As the story unfolds we learn the importance of opening up and asking for support in all its forms to the people in our lives even beyond friends and family. Each immortal controls amazing powers of Nature, like fire, or elements of Humanity, such as fear.

You can often find this Author hosting workshops about writing and self-publishing in the Orlando, Florida area or working on the next novel. She loves to inspire other writers and creative minds. Be sure to visit her blog for some of the advice she has to offer from a perspective that has influences from Game Development and Graphic Design.

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Guest Post by Valerie Willis:

It was brought to my attention that I should take a moment to talk to the readers and fans of The Cedric Series.

I wish to share my inspirations for writing this story. This will explain a lot on how I came about creating these amazing ideas, characters, creatures, and events as a fictional work with heavy fantasy and romance elements in the mix. If one really wanted to drag out all its genres, I could label this a historical fiction, mythology, or even occult and paranormal. So far, Fantasy Romance has done this work the most justice for my readers’ expectations.

Historical fiction can be applied to several parts throughout the series, whether it’s a  scene, event, or even a reflection of a character and their on-goings. What do I mean by this? Well a lot of you might get the Vladimir Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler references, but it dove deeper than that. King Frederic was the First King of Germans, the lepers in those times did indeed have to ring bells and seek refuge in colonies, Cerdanya was a  real trade town, and so on. There are a ton of subtle hints here and there because I  wanted to bring the unseen, untold side of the history during Medieval Times to a  tangible state.

As far as the Mythology side of this series, I wanted to teach you all my version of forgotten lores, legends, and mythology. I did my best to not use anything that was newer than the 12th Century as I dug deep. Some of the concepts weaved in with my own perception was hard to obtain and justify. There was a lot of book buying, digging through a Medieval-age bestiary, and though I scoured the internet, it failed me often in my journey for research. As I created and developed each character, I did my best to tie them into one or more myths so that I may weave a wondrous story without limits. At the same time, I wanted some of you to get caught in a conversation or sitting in class and have that moment of, “Oh! I know how this myth goes!”

Let me enlighten you all on some of the tales, history, legends and myths stitched into  some of these amazing characters you have experienced so far:

Cedric takes after a very forgotten and neglected epic legend from Medieval Times of the  Russian Knight Hero, Ilya Muromets. Search him, check it out and feel free to compare what you unknowingly learned about this amazing legend. You’ll be excited to see a red haired knight on a black horse as one of the images in the mix.

Included in this was some really obscure Romanian beliefs involving early vampire-like stories. The off-shoots involving the strigoi showed less of fear towards these vampire creatures, but held a tone of sorrow and remorse. People who became these creatures had not finished living their lives (Including not ever getting married) and met the insane stipulations to come back as one of the undying. Truly interesting, and I can only hope to capture that same empathetic tone I had discovered in my digging.

Barushka combines a few tales as well, starting with his name drawn from the Russian  Knight Hero tales. Other than that, I focused heavily on the Shag Foal lores. I was intrigued by the first few variants I stumbled on and found that the internet proved void of information. Amazingly, the hairy phantom horse tales started so long ago, there was  o exact date as to when they began. The folklore was mysteriously always there. Adding to my wonder about this lore was the fact I stumbled on a 1927 Naturalist journal that devoted a section to them. Even this far forward, it was believed it may be an undiscovered species of horse! Despite that, the one thing I saw reflected in all the writing was that a shag foal approaches lone travelers and scares them so much that they run off to their deaths.
Never once did the research say the horse actively killed someone. Morrighan, Badbh,  and Nemaine were derived from the tales involving the evil sorcerer Calatin. This was the older tale involving them that did not mix the three as one entity. There are no words to describe my frustration and disappointment at how many times that Badbh and Nemaine were labeled as alternative names for Morrighan.
Especially when the story of the Legendary Cuchulainn made it clear that they were three sisters each with unique powers. Seeing that Badbh and Morrighan had earned the title of Goddess at some point through the passing of time, I felt the need to give Nemaine her own placement as a Goddess as well.

Romasanta is the most complex of all my characters. His name is taken from a man in history that is not as common as it once was, Manuel Blanco Romasanta. He was the first serial killer to be trailed and as you read book two of the Cedric Series you will see a lot of that history drawn upon. Feeding off the tragic aura, I pulled in both werewolf and wolf-related myths and lores, wanting to show a more accurate flow through a single entity. It was my intentions to bring in familiar aspects and add in the historically  forgotten complications that modern book culture has failed to take into account. Those wellversed in mythology will be able to pick out elements on their own,  but the amount of lore here is wide. Tales of Apollo and Daphne, Pan and Pitip, Fenrir, versipellis,  Romanian beliefs of vampires were caused by a werewolf, Wolf of the Cemetery from  Haiti, Romulus and Remus, and so on. There are deep seeds that I only give you teasers to the mythology that is mentioned here.

As for the monsters, you can say thank you to the Medieval Bestiaries. There are so many wild and crazy creatures in these that are no longer touched that I wanted to bring them to life again. Orms, Jidra, and Aitvaras were a few of the frightening things that travelers spoke of and warned each other about in their explorations. I can only imagine what they may have been based on, but there is a great sense of pride I take in including such monsters into my story. Granted, I have not followed their descriptions exactly and have embellished them with my own imagination, but I hope they make my stories more memorable.

In the end, I encourage my thirsty readers to explore what you’ve read in my Cedric  Series. Search the names, look deeper in the scenes, places, events and discover these in more detail. My goal is to introduce you to the forgotten lores and history while adding my own perspective and imagination into the mix. May this tale make its mark in your heart and open your world to the legacy our ancestors once talked about over the dinner table so long ago!

Happy reading and discovery!
Valerie Willis

 

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Y’keta by Sandra Hurst

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Title: Y’keta
Series: The Sky Road Trilogy Book 1
Author: Sandra Hurst
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Yketaebookfinal (4)_400x600Banished. Cast out. Powerless. Y’keta is exiled to the small village of Esquialt as his father’s punishment for his rebellious spirit. Village tradition gives him one Cycle, from spring to spring, to earn the right to stay.

The villagers have a legend about mighty beings called the Waki’tani, mythical lords of the wind and lightning who can shapeshift into human form. Y’keta knows the truth behind these stories. Could there be more to them than just tales shared around the campfire?

If Y’keta reveals what he knows to the villagers, it will tear their history and traditions apart…but sharing his secrets may be their only hope for survival when Esquialt is threatened by the brutal, ferociously destructive Utlaak.

Loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is an epic fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.

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Snippet:

D’vhan held out a wrinkled hand to the dejected Kit’na. “If you agree to be honest, with yourself and with me, I will count you as one of my warriors.” Grasping Y’keta’s wrist, D’vhan pulled with surprising strength, yanking the younger man to his feet and almost tumbling him into the surf. “You have a lot to learn about our ways. It will not be easy to put your pride away and learn as an adult what you should have learned as a child; but if you are willing, I will teach.”


Y’keta grasped D’vhan’s arm, forearm to forearm in the way he’d seen other warriors in the village greet each other. “I promise,” he said, “I will try.”


The grizzled hand clapped Y’keta on the shoulder and gave him an ungentle shove towards the forest. “Let’s get back to work then, young hatchling. Laban and Ren are not far ahead of us.”


“But didn’t you say we would meet up on the beach at sundown?” Y’keta queried.
“Laban and Ren will head towards the beach for nightfall,” D’vhan agreed, “but if they found anything in the forest, I want to see it before dark.”


“You sneaky old crow,” Y’keta spluttered. “You planned this just to find out about me!” “Exactly,” D’vhan cackled, the beads sparkling in his hair as he laughed. “Be wary of old crows. We are not as quick to fight as you young hawks, but infinitely more devious.

(D’vhan; Y’keta – The Sky Road Trilogy, Book 1)

 
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About the Author:

SandraHi, my name is Sandra Hurst, the author of the Sky Road fantasy series.

As a child growing up in England stories and legends surrounded me, I learned how important imagination was. When I was 8, we moved to northern Canada and the legends changed. Stories of the Fae and the little people were replaced by legends of the Thunderbird and stories of the woodlands. I never stood a chance. What could I be but a writer?

Growing up in Northern Alberta gave me a great love and respect for the wild lands and indigenous cultures which made its way into the worlds I create. A mythmaker at heart, I started writing poetry in middle school and graduated to epic fantasy.
Myths give us a way to interpret the world past our normal experience. To ask questions and explore answers in a larger-than-life game of ‘what if.’ We need to make room for myths and mythmakers in our fact driven world. To give space for worlds that are brighter and clearer than our own. For it is in doing so, that we have room to become more fully human.

My first book, Y’keta, is loosely based on the Thunderbird of North American legend, Y’keta is a Young Adult, high fantasy set in an ancient world where legends walk and the Sky Road offers a way to the stars.

I now live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and son, both of whom I love dearly, and have put for sale on e-bay when their behaviour demanded it. My day to day life is a balance between my outside life as a paralegal counsellor and my inner life as an author/poet. In between, I work on courses to improve my writing, learning the Cree Language, book reviews and blogging on my website, and studying mythologies from around the world.

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The Goddess’s Choice by Jamie Marchant

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Title: The Goddess’s Choice
Series: The Kronicles of Korthlundia Book 1
Author: Jamie Marchant
Genre: Epic Fantasy

GodessChoice-683x1024_400x600In a world where the corrupt church hides the truth about magic, the fate of the joined kingdom falls on the shoulders of two young people from opposite ends of the social hierarchy.

Crown Princess Samantha’s life begins to fall apart when she starts seeing strange colors around her potential suitors. She fears that she’s going insane–or worse that she’s defying the Goddess’s will. Robrek is a lowly farm boy with incredible magical powers. He has been biding his time waiting to get revenge on those who call him a demon.

Thrown together by chance, they must overcome their differences to fight their common enemy Duke Argblutal, who, with dark magic, is slowly poisoning the king’s mind and turning him against his own daughter. Time is running out for those chosen by the Goddess to prevent the power mad duke from usurping the throne and plunging the joined kingdoms into civil war.

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Excerpt:

“Let us be painting your face tonight, Your Highness!” Ardra begged, in her north Korthian accent. Samantha’s maid was as small and slight as the princess herself and had hair so blonde it was almost white.

“Yes, Your Highness,” Malvina chimed in. “Lady Shela’s maids said just yesterday we couldn’t possibly know our business ’cause you never wear paint.” Malvina, more of a typical Korthlundian woman, was tall and broad and not nearly as pretty as Ardra.

“Lady Shela,” Samantha snorted in disgust. Shela wore so much paint she resembled some ghastly sea creature. Samantha knew she wasn’t pretty, but she was fond of the freckles that speckled her nose and thought the emerald green brilliance of her gown set off her white skin and auburn hair beautifully. Besides being appallingly uncomfortable, paint would absolutely spoil the effect. The princess gestured toward the huge portrait that covered one wall of her bedchamber. “Do you think Danu wore paint?”

Malvina shrugged. “The Princess Danu was said to be a powerful sorceress, Your Highness. She probably didn’t need to wear paint to attract men.”

Samantha laughed bitterly, as she thought of the army of men waiting below. “I wish not wearing paint was all it took to scare them off. They say Danu never married, and see how happy she is.”

Samantha yearned for Danu’s freedom. The long-dead princess was laughing as she galloped across the fields. Danu’s auburn hair flew out behind her in the wind. The stars on the forehead and chest of her horse shone against its gorgeous coat. Samantha loved this painting, which was just as well because it was bolted to the wall and couldn’t be removed without tearing her chambers apart. She’d decorated the rest of her bedroom to match. Tapestries of horses covered the walls. Her dressing table, armoire, and large four-poster bed had horses carved into the woodwork. A quilt, embroidered with horses and stars, was spread over the bed. The mantle over her fireplace sported figurines of horses in gold, silver, jade, crystal, and precious stones. Every new ambassador added to her collection.

**Don’t miss The Soul Stone: Book Two in The Kronicles of Korthlundia series!**

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About the Author:

Jamie MarchantJamie began writing stories about the man from Mars when she was six, and she never remembers wanting to be anything other than a writer. Everyone told her she needed a back up plan, so she pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which she received in 1998.

She started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University. One day in the midst of writing a piece of literary criticism, she realized she’d put her true passion on the backburner and neglected her muse. The literary article went in the trash, and she began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice, which was published in April 2012.

Her other novels include The Soul Stone and The Ghost in Exile. In addition, she has published a novella, Demons in the Big Easy, and a collection of short stories, Blood Cursed and Other Tales of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has also appeared in the anthologies–Urban Fantasy and Of Dragons & Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds—and in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, A Writer’s Haven, and Short-story.me. She claims she writes about the fantastic . . . and the tortured soul. Her poor characters have hard lives.

She lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She still teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. She is the mother of a grown son.

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Mental Damnation: Reality by Konn Lavery

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Title: Reality
Series: Mental Damnation Part 1
Author: Konn Lavery
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

konn-lavery-mental-damnation-realityHaving her family murdered by the humans during her people’s banishment from the surface world, Krista and her only friend, Darkwing, struggle to remain alive. The pair of reptilian street scum live in their newfound home, the City of Renasence, dictated by a fascist military known as the Renasence Guard. The two find themselves at odds when Krista puts her faith in the Five Guardians’ goal of unification, while Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang, the Blood Hounds, who are known for their anarchist views.

This divide in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own as the Five Guardians become crazed from an unknown disease – Mental Damnation. After their infection, the Guardians develop a bizarre interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their newfound master, the Weaver.

With a military dictatorship, politically-driven gangs and their guardians infected and on a hunt for her, Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence, against menacing forces, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?

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Excerpt:

The strange male and Krista paused simultaneously, listening to the noise. Once the roar faded, the Corrupt continued to squirm. Krista suddenly realized that he was trying to crawl off of her, but his hands and feet had been cut off. Blood oozed from his limbs and smeared onto Krista. The Corrupt was essentially defenseless, so she calmed down – a little bit – and tried to work with him to get him off her.

Krista managed to roll the Corrupt to the side and he attempted to scurry away, but without hands and feet, he stumbled back to the ground whining, moving like a newborn calf.


A second male leaped from the higher rocks and landed with a heavy thud, raising dust. He threw a spear at the bleeding Corrupt. The weapon soared into the air, piercing through his victim’s skull and pinning the Corrupt to the ground.


Krista looked at the newcomer, mesmerized by his physical appearance. Muscles bulged on his shirtless torso. His skin was peach-toned, something Krista had never seen before.


What is he? she wondered, eyeing the male from his feet to his head.


The male’s five-toed feet were clad in sandals, with leather wrapped around his ankles. He wore a green kilt and several sheathed weapons strapped to his bare chest, which was marred by numerous jagged scars. His right hand had a cloth wrapped around it, and a ring flashed on his left.


He had a tail similar to Krista’s but with no scales. His brown scalp-feathers were plucked on the sides, leaving the remaining long feathers tied into a ponytail running down to his shoulder blades. Like hers, his eyes glowed, but they were bright white, not nearly as vibrant, and had green irises.


The male’s light skin and unusually flat facial structure called up flashbacks to the human raiders of Krista’s childhood.


He’s like a cross of humans and my people. I’ve never seen anything like it before!


The male walked over to the dead Corrupt and pulled his spear free from the body, then kicked it over the rocky edge. He kept his gaze on the rocks, watching the corpse fall into the fog.


Krista could hear the body tumble down the mountain, until the sound faded. Now that his back was facing her, she could see his spine was covered in light grey scales that came up to his neck. Krista was frightened by the peach-skinned male and kept motionless. She was uncertain whether he was a friend or a foe, or what she should do.


He’s going to notice me eventually. She waved nervously. “Hi.”

 

 

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About the Author:

konn-laveryKonn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.

His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn runs his own graphic design and website development business under the title Reveal Design. These skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.

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Q&A with Konn Lavery:

Mental Damnation: Reality is filled with glyphs, icons and illustrations, who did the artwork for novel?

All of the artwork was done by myself. Writing and drawing have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. After high school I learned graphic design at a college called Edmonton Digital Arts College. There I learned a lot of the tools, theories and techniques to get into the graphic design industry.

What made you want to take on this extra task?

I am a huge fan of transmedia storytelling. RPGs (Role Playing Games) have been a huge inspiration to my fantasy stories and I admire their manuals for the backstories, drawings, graphics and glyphs that are scattered throughout the pages. With my writing, I wanted to reflect that in the novels themselves.

How else does having a graphic design background help your writing career?

It has helped drastically. I don’t have to outsource the skills to format books in print and ebook formats. Nor do I have to contract someone out for novel covers, posters, banners, promo material or marketing swag. Learning graphic design has given me a special skillset to aid in marketing myself as an indie author. In addition I am a freelance graphic designer/web developer, which provides immense flexibility with my writing compared to a 9-5 job.

Back to the Mental Damnation artwork, why did you approach the novel with the style that you did?

The artwork takes a lot of inspiration from ancient civilizations such as the Mayans, Aztecs and Egypt. I wanted to include artwork for the novel but I didn’t want to go with super realistic renderings of characters or scenes found within the novel. You see that style a lot with fantasy book artwork. Readers interpret characters differently and the abstract approach allows for their imagination to still interpret the characters as they see fit.

The novel’s heaven and hell concepts pull a lot from religious mythology and it made sense to have the artwork reflect this inspiration too.

What about the glyphs found in the novel?

The glyphs do follow a code that can be interpreted into English. The decoder hasn’t been published anywhere, most likely saving that for the last novel, Mortal, so it gives the readers some bonus content in the previous books.

You mentioned transmedia storytelling, what else do you do besides artwork to accompany the novels?

In a perfect world I would expand into film and video games to really embrace the transmedia storytelling experience. The reality of that is you can only do so much on your own with your skill base and with a limited budget.

I did branch off into audio with my stand alone novel, Seed Me, which features a compilation score written by a number of musicians, including myself. Seed Me was an experiment to try entirely new things with my writing and bonus material, so I explored music. The score was well received with readers who admired the creepy atmosphere the music provided when reading the novel.

Do you have other transmedia storytelling ideas in mind?

Of course, I have plenty of ideas but so does everyone else. Unfortunately it always comes down to time, resources and solid effort. Realistically I would say the next closest thing on the horizon is an audio book and another score related to Mental Damnation.

 

The Shield of Soren by D.M. Cain

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Title: The Shield of Soren
Series: The Light and Shadow Chronicles Book 2
Author: D.M. Cain
Genre: Epic Fantasy

 

The Shield of Soren full cover_375x600Ten-year-old Soren Nitaya’s marked talent makes him the youngest soldier ever to become an apprentice to the legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. As a prince of Alcherys, he will be expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow when he reaches sixteen.

But is the young prince up to the task when he’s more interested in causing mischief than in mastering weapons?

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he unwittingly unleashes a deadly threat. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy’s land. Does Soren have what it takes to save his country before the Brotherhood destroys everyone and everything he loves?

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Excerpt:

 

      With a loud clang of metal slamming into metal, the final bolt was undone. Reign slowly pulled the door open, and Vincent found his breath catching in his throat.
      High-pitched whimpering came from the tiny bundle of rags cowering at the back of the cage. Her long silver hair parted for a moment and Vincent could see her wide, silver eyes, terrified and innocent. Vincent’s skin prickled with discomfort. He hoped that Reign had a damned good reason for capturing a small child like this.
      Beside the glass cage were two oil lamps, both resting unlit. Reign reached up and took one down. Then, in a single savage moment, he slammed the lamp onto the floor of her cage. The girl screamed in terror and covered her head with her hands, but he hadn’t been aiming for her.
      The shattered glass gave way to a stream of oil that spread out in a pool across the floor. This seemed to scare the girl even more, and she began to cry quietly, sobbing into her clenched hands.
      Reign looked back at Vincent. Excitement flashed in his eyes as he drew a match from a box in his pocket. A small flare of light, a flicker of sulphur and a small flame danced on top of the match. With another laugh, Reign tossed the match into the glass cage.
      Vincent gasped as the oil ignited in a rush of intense heat. The entire floor of the cage burst into flames. Vincent tried to rush forwards to save the girl from a fiery death, but the heat was too intense. A hand tapped incessantly at his shoulder, and he tried to brush it away, but Reign grabbed hold of his hand.
      “Look! Look!” Reign shouted excitedly, pointing at the cage.
      When his eyes fell upon the cage, Vincent froze to the spot, his eyes nearly popping from their sockets. “But…how?”
      The girl, who Vincent had assumed would be burning in agony, was somehow floating above the flames, hovering at the top of her cage. From her back sprouted two enormous wings of the purest white feathers Vincent had ever seen. The two beautiful white fans could only just fit within the confines of the cage, and as she beat them to stay afloat they fanned the flames beneath her.
      It wasn’t just her wings that dazzled Vincent with their purity. Her whole body had adopted an ethereal, almost ghostly, silver aura, her hair shimmering with radiance. She didn’t seem too frightened any more, but there was a definite hint of sadness in her gentle eyes.
      Vincent studied her carefully, struggling to catch his breath, which he hadn’t realised he had been holding. “What is she?” he managed to croak.
      Reign grinned and draped an arm across Vincent’s shoulder. “She, my friend, is an angel.”

 

A Chronicle of Chaos

The Light and Shadow Chronicles Book 1

Chronicle of Chaos 34 final file resized title and shield changed DPI flat_375x600In a world ravaged by war, the paths of two warriors are about to cross with world-changing consequences.

Chaos is a soldier of The Children of the Light, and fights in the name of destiny, honor and glory. Arrogant and headstrong, he believes he is the strongest warrior in the land, until a fateful coincidence puts him at the mercy of the demon Anathema.

The two strike up an intense rivalry, but their obsession to destroy one another only leads them closer together. When the forces of Light and Dark collide, where will their loyalties lie?

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The Author

Profile pictureD.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for Creativia Publishing. The Light and Shadow Chronicles series features a range of books which can be read in any order. The first of these to be written was A Chronicle of Chaos. The Shield of Soren will be released in March 2017. She is currently working on the next novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series, The Sins of Silas, as well as two complementary novellas entitled Genesis of Light and Origin of Shadow.

Cain has released one stand-alone novel: The Phoenix Project, a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. The Phoenix Project was the winner of the 2016 Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi novel Award.

D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story The End was published in Awethology Dark: an anthology by the #Awethors.

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.

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The Rys Chronicles by Tracy Falbe

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The Rys Chronicles Box Set: The Complete Series

by Tracy Falbe

Genre: Epic Fantasy

 
the-rhy-chroniclesThis value bundle brings together all four novels of The Rys Chronicles – Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and the stunning conclusion The Borderlands of Power.

The sprawling epic covers seven years in the lives of the main characters, whose charms and exploits have won Falbe fans around the world.

The story begins in Union of Renegades, when Dreibrand Veta, a disgruntled and disgraced officer in the Atrophane Horde, strikes out on his own into a mythic Wilderness. He partners with Miranda, an escaped slave, and they’re compelled to enter an empty land guarded by the ghosts of an ancient genocide.

Here, they enter the world of the rys, a magical race whose all-powerful Queen Onja subjugates a whole civilization. For thousands of years, she has reigned, but, when Miranda dares to defy her, the status quo disintegrates.

Through ambition and desperation, Dreibrand and Miranda trigger events that will change the world. One empire will be tested to its limits. Another civilization will erupt into rebellion and civil war. And ultimately the Wilderness will be reclaimed, and new visions will shine on the horizon.

For terror, triumph, and true feelings, The Rys Chronicles delivers on all fronts.

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On the fan feedback page of Tracy’s website, readers have declared:

“You have just passed George R. R. Martin and Anne McCaffrey as my favorite writer.”

“I cannot put your books down once I’ve started. Some of the greatest writers that I have read include Raymond E Feist, Lee Child, Clive Custler and Jenifer Fallon to name a few and to which I now add your name.”

“This series is one of the best that I have ever read! Your character creation is fantastic.”

“I am on the last novel in the The Rys Chronicles fantasy series. I have read the series non-stop since I purchased it.”

“I love your books! The human characters are so real, my heart really goes out to them. In good times and bad. The Rys are unlike any characters in any other fantasy books I’ve ever read, and believe me, I’ve read a few!”

 

The Series

 

Union of Renegades

The Rys Chronicles Book 1

1-union-of-renegadesIn this opening novel of The Rys Chronicles you’ll meet a man scarred by bad deeds who answers the call of a heroic cause. An unconventional heroine will tug at your sympathies as she bravely faces adversity with all the strengths and vulnerabilities of her womanhood. And overarching it all are the rys. Their magic makes them superior to humans, but they are not above employing humans in their deadly schemes.
Union of Renegades begins the love story between Dreibrand Veta an ambitious military officer and Miranda an escaped slave. They’ll become a power couple that rules a vast realm but only after grim struggle and terrible sacrifice.

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The Goddess Queen

The Rys Chronicles Book 2

2-the-goddess-queenQueen Onja has called for Shan’s head. Her Kezanada agents stalk him with enchanted weapons. For Dreibrand Veta, his growing list of victories has increased his influence in circles of power, but his fame has not endeared him to everybody. The rebellion proceeds slowly for Miranda who cannot rescue her children until Shan defeats Onja. Shan has learned much since beginning the rebellion. His powers are growing. He has used his magic to kill, and, when the spring comes, his armies will fight the armies loyal to Onja. Despite Shan’s mounting confidence in his battle magic, Onja will tenaciously defend her throne, and Shan will discover that he does not know the powerful secrets of the Goddess Queen.

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Judgment Rising

The Rys Chronicles Book 3

3-judgement-risingContinue the saga of The Rys Chronicles or join the story at this point as new adventures and challenges confront Shan and Dreibrand.
To the victors go the spoils, and Shan and Dreibrand have flourished for five years as the leaders of their respective kingdoms. Allied by friendship, they greet the future with excitement and grandiose plans. Dreibrand counts on his relationship with Shan to protect him from the encroaching Atrophane Empire as he carefully avoids direct confrontation with his former countrymen, now under the undisputed leadership of his old rival Sandin Promentro.
But a greater malice than imperial ambition threatens the new lords of the Wilderness. The long dead civilization of Nufal, where Dreibrand and Miranda nurture their fledgling kingdom, has not forgotten the brutal genocide of its ancient war with the rys. The ghosts of Nufal may have been extinguished but their avengers remain. The inheritors of Onja’s wealth and lands will now battle the nightmare of their judgment rising.

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The Borderlands of Power

The Rys Chronicles Book 4

4-the-borderlands-of-powerNufal is invaded and human warriors fight alongside their rys and tabre champions in a grueling clash of muscle and magic. Grim struggles smash strategy into chaos, and loyalties degenerate into desperate choices for survival. Tempet and Alloi, driven by their desire for revenge upon the rys, push King Shan deep into the violent reservoir of his power.
Still reeling in the aftermath of battle, Dreibrand Veta scrambles to assert his authority upon the remaining forces of the Atrophane Empire if he is to defend his land and overturn the censure that disgraces his name. Rebellion on the imperial frontier complicates these goals as does Shan’s sudden unpredictability as an ally. Miranda braves the snows of the Rysamand Mountains to demand that Shan pay his debt to her by helping Dreibrand. Only ambition keeps despair at bay as forces vie for dominance in the borderlands of power.

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about-the-author

 

tracy-falbeI am the author of 10 novels, including The Rys Chronicles and Rys Rising epic dark fantasy series and the historical fantasies Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale and Journey of the Hunted: Werewolves in the Renaissance 2.

I was born in Michigan in 1972 and grew up in Mount Pleasant. It’s called the “Mountain Town” but there is no mountain and it’s debatable about whether it’s pleasant. They say it’s a party town and based on extensive research as a young adult I can concur.

Because I always had the childhood fantasy of running away and joining the circus, I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1995 and lived there until 1997. Those who only stay a week are wimps, but I will say that it’s the second year in Vegas that wears you down. Then I realized the pioneers were trying to get to California, so I moved to Chico, in Northern California and lived there until 2009.

In 2000, I earned a journalism degree from California State University, Chico with the conscious ambition of becoming a fiction writer. With the rapid demise of the newspaper industry and journalism in general, novelist is not such a daft pursuit after all. It’s not like I’m actually going to get a job that values my education. Luckily I’m cursed with the impulse to write in a popular yet competitive genre.
My wandering has circled back and I’m currently residing in Battle Creek, Michigan, and for now my existence within the post-apocalyptic Rust Belt is suitably fascinating.

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$15 Amazon Gift Card
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