Spotlight: The Bone Mask Cycle + Giveaway

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City of Masks

The Bone Mask Cycle Book 1

by Ashley Capes

Genre: Epic Fantasy Adventure

 

When a royal conspiracy topples the noble House Falco, Sofia must take up the burden of her father’s mantle and assume guardianship of his Greatmask. Yet the sentient bone mask, powerful enough to Compel those around her, will not speak, and Sofia, the first female Protector in a hundred years, is left defenceless.

Hunted by the king, she is driven from the palace and must fight for survival, alone in the cold streets of Anaskar. There, she crosses paths with Notch, a bitter mercenary with problems of his own. Accused of murder, Notch is trying to clear his name while hunted by the city’s robed assassins, the very people who are now searching for Sofia.

To take back their city and cast down the tyrant on the throne, Sofia and Notch must face the blades of Anaskar’s assassins, the rage of a mighty sea beast, and the mysterious Lupo, a man with a Greatmask of his own, who has masterminded vicious terrorist attacks on the city that spurned him.Their struggle threatens to tear the city – and the kingdom – into shreds.

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The Lost Mask

The Bone Mask Cycle Book 2

 

The enormous corpse of the Sea Beast has breached the walls and an invasion from across the sea is threatening. Cut off from the mysterious golden egg and bereft of the hope of ever seeing his family again, Ain remains in prison, at the mercy of the new king who obviously wants something from him.

Meanwhile, Flir and Luik struggle to contain the illness spreading from the Beast, as Notch and Sofia begin their desperate search for her father.Charged with hunting down Vinezi, Flir and Luik find themselves thwarted at every turn while Notch and Sofia discover twisted magic is at work in the Bloodwood where the strange Sap-Born may prove to be the worst threat they have encountered yet.

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Greatmask

The Bone Mask Cycle Book 3

 

The Ecsoli have taken Anaskar, raiding the city for bones of the Sea God and holding King Oseto captive in his own palace. Yet there he discovers an even greater threat in the form of his own Greatmask, who grows impatient for the Sacrifice.

 

Hiding in the blackened streets, Flir must deal with her uncertainty regarding Kanis while gathering a resistance force, where she discovers even her vast strength seems useless before the blue-cloaked Ecsoli.

 

Beyond the Wards, Ain heads home, ready to face the shame of failing at the Sea Shrine. Instead, he finds mysterious and deadly Darklings hunting his loved ones. In his desperation he makes a startling discovery about his Pathfinder heritage.

Meanwhile, miles distant, Sofia and her father struggle for mastery of Argeon and Osani as they race toward the city. A battered Notch finds himself making a similar journey, just as unsure if he will return in time to help the city in its darkest hour, as enemies pour through its broken walls.

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The Last Sea God

The Bone Mask Cycle Book 4

 

A dark sorceress sinks her talons into the land…

War-hero Notch has abandoned his king and city to wage a war against his own guilt. With the giant Alosus at his side, Notch must search the Land of the Sun for ancient magic to bring a loved one back from the dead. But when he arrives in the city of vipers, Notch quickly finds himself entangled in a web of conspiracy and hidden motives as ruthless Houses vie for the soon to be vacant throne.

Far across the glittering sea, Notch’s home of Anaskar is still reeling after repelling a mighty invasion. King Oseto is forced to scatter his heroes across the world in a desperate quest for the last sea beast and its bones. With them, he will be able to forge new Greatmasks to protect his people and the fragile state of peace between nations.

Yet evil stirs in every corner of the lands. Reports of new, foul creatures and old foes alike are growing; and worse, the King fears that through his own weakness, he himself has unleashed the architect behind it all.

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The Raven’s Price

The Bone Mask Cycle Book 5

 

At last, Notch escapes the city of vipers and starts his quest to find Qu-Sitka, the only mage able to restore Sofia. Yet Casselli and the Prince have other plans for Notch and the mysterious bracers he bears, sending along an Inquisitor to watch his every move. And before he knows it, the power of the bracers begins to change him…

Across the sea, Flir finds herself prisoner and servant to the White Witch, where she must protect her friends and keep the witch from finding the bones of the last sea god – yet it is easier said than done. And even for a dilar, Flir knows she is overmatched.

Back in Anaskar, Seto is locked in his own struggle with not only a royal imposter sent to replace him but also his own conscience, while Ain finds himself stranded on an island with little clue as to where the Stones of Shali can be found… or if they will even allow him to save the Cloud.

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Lionsheart

The Bone Mask Cycle Book 6

 

Conclusion to the Bone Mask Cycle!

Notch finally holds the answers he sought, along with an unsuspecting Sacrifice… but drawing all the pieces together will prove a greater challenge – especially when it becomes clear that the Fura Leones does not approve of such desperate measures.

In Renovar, Flir must find a way to salvage the bones of the frozen Sea God but Chelona has other plans for the mighty corpse, and trapped within her now is Seto, whose frustration can only build as he watches over but cannot warn his friends.

Equally troubling is the floating city of Ilesinya, which now hovers dangerously near Anaskar, seemingly poised to strike. Lord Danillo is drawing together his allies in a final gambit to defeat Chelona and her unstable creation, Zasemu, but none know her true plan… and when it becomes clear, all lands will face a threat like no other.

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Ashley is an Australian novelist, poet & teacher. You might have read his epic fantasy ‘The Bone Mask Trilogy’ or maybe you’re familiar with his other work, the fantasy/adventure series ‘The Book of Never.’ Either way, you can read more about his books and get access to giveaways and free books via his newsletter below 🙂

Ashley occasionally dabbles in film, is addicted to 80s cartoon shows and Studio Ghibli films, and finds himself constantly awed by the simple beauty of haiku. He is also convinced that ‘Magnum PI’ is one of the greatest TV shows ever.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Blood of the Lily + Giveaway

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Blood of the Lily
by S.D. Huston
(Clash of Goddesses, #1)
Publication date: November 1st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

This debut novel from S.D. Huston is a partial fairytale retelling of Snow White & Rose Red mashed up with Irish mythologies!

Triplet sisters, one dead, one kidnapped. A vengeful leprechaun and a scheming goddess. Can Lily save her last sister?

When sixteen-year-old sisters Lily and Rose take it upon themselves to aid a tiny man with a long beard in distress, he curses them into a world of trouble. Lily contends with the grief that lies behind her while trapped in a suffocating silent world of her own design, and she must now face the threat of what might lie ahead.

Whether she believes it or not, leprechauns are real, and in Lugh she has made an unfortunate enemy. Now the race is on to save Rose from the deranged whims of an unscrupulous faery and find out what, or who, is behind this mysterious turn of events. To find the answers, Lily must face the darkness that plagues her: both inside and out. On the grand stage of this world and the Otherworld, an adventure bursts forth so chaotic perhaps even Lily can’t silence it.

Weaving lore, light, and the lush beauty of the Irish language into the wintery landscape of a mystical Ireland around its 3rd century, Blood of the Lily brings to life a world where even the most fantastical places and creatures can be corrupted by the realities of life. This first book in the Clash of Goddesses series transports you into the enchanting and masterfully crafted Otherworld of Éire as one may only see in dreams. Start your journey today!

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EXCERPT:

“That’s a leprechaun!”

Lily raised a skeptical eyebrow at her sister Rose and her wild theory. Then she peered back through the interweaving branches of a blackthorn shrub. A leprechaun? No, just a very small man. But what was he doing in the middle of An Caorthann Coill, the Rowan Woods?

“It’s because of Samhain.” Rose’s voice was barely above a whisper, but excitement laced each word. She bounced on her heels where she crouched among the lower branches of a fern tree. “The veil between worlds must be open.”

A mid-morning sun sifted through the canopy of rowanberry trees, highlighting the small man in the clearing. Probably no more than two or three feet in height, he hopped up and down, back and forth.

What was wrong with him?

The sun did little to dispel the gathering cold, which had strengthened over the last few days. A couple of leaves, still untouched by the season’s cool breeze, tickled Lily’s nose, and she swiped at her face before sneezing.

Samhain, huh.

The celebration to welcome in the harvest and usher in the dark half of the year. Lily smirked. Some believed faeries existed and other nonsense, too. She blew hair out of her eyes.

Once, it had been her favorite time of year, but that was before . . .

She shook her head. She didn’t need the distraction.

“C’mon, Lil, you have to believe.”

In what? The stories their mother often told them about the Otherworld. Lily waved a hand and rolled her eyes. Just stories. That’s all they were, and since they were both sixteen years old, they should have grown past believing in such tales.

She knew from experience.

No good folk had saved Marigold, their other sister who had completed them as triplets. Now there was just the two of them.

Drawing in a breath and closing her eyes, she barely held back a grimace. When she opened them, Rose jutted her head toward the diminutive man, a crease deepening between her eyebrows.

His dark red coat glinted, finely embroidered in more gold than Lily had ever seen in her life. He yanked his head back, showing his beard stuck fast in the tree crevice of a fallen log. He muttered a string of curses as he pulled against the rough bark. His gray beard would have probably dragged on the ground, it was so long.

But what was the small man doing alone in the forest? For that matter, where did he come from? Lily heard of no one so small in any of the surrounding ráths or settlements.

These unanswered questions put her on guard. She didn’t like strange things with no answers. Her hands tensed into balled fists.

Rose continued to vibrate with excitement, the emotion bright in her blue eyes. “Can you communicate with him?”

Really? He’s a man. Not an animal.

“No, probably not,” Rose said. “Even if he’s a leprechaun, he’s still not a land animal.” She shrugged her shoulders without looking at her. “We should help him.”

 

Author Bio:

S.D. Huston grew up in several places across the United States, but now lives in Florida’s panhandle with her husband, her youngest son who is autistic, four cats, and one special Siberian Husky. Her oldest son is off serving the country in the U.S. Army.

She’s always had a love for the written word, asking for her first typewriter when she was nine years old (yes, a typewriter!). However, her multiple career paths meandered through seven years in the military, then working in administration, before completing her masters in Writing. She spent the next seven years teaching college English and Literature while also running her own business as a Writing Coach, helping students and writers all over the world.

Today she concentrates solely on her writing career and her family: human, furry, and faery!

S.D. Huston loves connecting with fans! Find her on her website (sdhuston.com) or YouTube (https://bit.ly/346WVpf).

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Recorder + Giveaway

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Congratulations to author Cathy McCrumb! This week marks the release of Recorder, the first book in her Sci-Fi series, Children of the Consortium. Read on for more info and a chance to win a signed hardcover of the book!

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Recorder

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction/ Speculative Fiction

Publisher: Enclave

Children of the Consortium

When a research station goes dark and a rescue mission goes wrong, a young woman with no name, no family, no friends loses everything that defines her…

Donated to the Consortium before birth, the Recorder’s sole purpose is to maintain and verify the records. A neural implant and drone ensure compliance, punishing any display of bias.

Suddenly cut off from the technology controlling her, she tastes freedom and what it means to be human. But if the Consortium discovers her feelings, everyone she knows will be in danger.

With no name, no resources, and only an infinitesimal possibility of escape, the Recorder’s time is running out.

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Excerpt

I did not have a name—none of us did—but once when I was young, I had a friend.

Early in my tenth year I slipped away from the other girls of my cohort. Their approved games did not interest me, and since I had fulfilled my physical activity requirements, I took refuge at my favorite place near the artificial brook.

Light sparkled on water rippling over smooth brown stones. Either the brook’s engineers or its gentle flow had sculpted rounded banks in the loam, and lavender and thyme grew between orange lilies. The self-pollinating plants bobbed and dipped in the breeze created by the giant fans in the lofty, domed ceiling. It was a close approximation of a real brook, from what I had read.

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About the Author

Cathy Hinkle Cathy graduated from Biola University with a degree in literature and a love for stories. She and her husband, whom she met while writing letters to soldiers, have five children and currently live within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. While writing is one of her favorite things, she also enjoys reading, long hikes, long naps, gluten-free brownies, raspberries, and crocheting while watching science fiction movies with friends and family.

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