Spotlight: Lament of Death + Giveaway

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Lament of Death

A Children of Chaos Novel

by Maria Vermisoglou

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

My name is Kyara, and I am a banshee.

My job? Bringing the dead to the other side.

I expected to become a healer…

But fate bestowed me with a curse.

Cause, yeah. Being a Banshee is a curse.

I’m hated by my friends and family, and I’m kind of stuck in the Realm of Silver, the last place I want to be.

But if I don’t accept my job and take souls to their next stop, well, things will get bad fast. The wicked ones will drown the world in darkness, while the rest? I don’t even want to know.

What I really want is to gather the strength I need to become who I want to be.

Is it even possible to do my job with all this pressure from… everybody?

Prepare for an epic adventure!

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Maria Vermisoglou is an International Bestselling author of fantasy and paranormal with an obsession for witches. She loves throwing her heroes into impossible situations. Maria draws inspiration from books, travel, and…the ceiling. (So blame the ceiling!)

Maria started writing when the stories she read became too boring and the voices in her mind too loud.

When she’s not writing, she loves a good riding on the fantasy dragon, but a book can also be exciting, along with a cup of tea.

Nowadays, you can find her in Athens, exploring the mysteries of the ancient world.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodread


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Spotlight, Author Interview & Excerpt: Chasing the Darkness, by Cassie Sanchez

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An assassin, obsessed with revenge, undergoes a procedure giving him magic and discovers his life and purpose were built on lies and has to decide which path he’ll choose; the one of vengeance or the one of redemption.

 

By Cassie Sanchez

Romantic Fantasy

Morgan James Publishing

275 pp.

 

 

Pain is inescapable.
Suffering is a choice.
 

Azrael, the Angel of Death, knows pain. The deaths of his mother and sister, as well as his harsh experiences in the Watch Guard at age twelve, have brutally shaped him into the most feared assassin in all of Pandaren. Azrael’s role as a Hunter requires him to search for those with magic, called Spectrals, which he is happy to do. Hunting allows him to pursue his true goal—exacting revenge on the Fire Spectral who altered the course of his life.

Azrael’s obsession with revenge and power leads him to undergo an experimental procedure that gives him magic, but when this procedure has unexpected and dangerous side effects, he becomes a liability to the Hunters and the Watch Guard. Rescued by the people he has sworn to eliminate, Azrael finds himself questioning everything he once believed as years of secrets and lies are exposed. His very nature is challenged as he battles unfamiliar emotions and navigates relationships that contradict the heart of a killer.

Can the Angel of Death have a conscience? Can Azrael?

Chasing the Darkness is an escape to a land of magic, sword fights, and love, with memorable characters who must face the darkness within and journey down a path of destruction or redemption. 

 

 

 

Orilyon Palace, Pandaren

 

Torches flickered and the thump of boots echoed through the hallway as Commander Drexus Zoldac of the Watch Guard strode down the corridor toward the war room, followed by his soldiers. Castle guards and servants flattened themselves against the wall, their expressions a mixture of fear and grief. Hours before, the people of Pandaren had celebrated their victory in the war against the Vastanes. Cheers of celebration, though, became wails of sorrow as the palace and the city of Orilyon crumbled into chaos.

“How did he get in?” Drexus asked.

“We’re still working on that, Commander Zoldac.”

Drexus stopped and slowly turned toward the guard, who glanced up at him and winced. “Work faster,” he warned.

The guard swallowed, nodding.

Drexus continued down the corridor, clenching his jaw, trying to rein in his anger. Two soldiers saluted as he pushed open the heavy wooden doors into a room buzzing with activity. Council members argued near the fireplace and his generals surrounded a large oval table studying a map of Pandaren. They stood to attention, saluting as Drexus approached. Kenneth Brenet, head advisor to the king, sat in a corner holding his head.

One of the council members hurried over. “Is it true? Is King Valeri dead?”

“It’s true,” Drexus said. He ignored the questions yelled at him and walked across the room to put a hand on Kenneth’s bony shoulder. “They need you, now more than ever.”

Kenneth nodded, set his shoulders, and approached the center of the room. Drexus stood at his side, arms crossed.

“Attention, please,” Kenneth said, silencing the room. “As many of you suspect, the king is dead, murdered in his study this evening.”

Murmurs filled the room.

“How?” someone called out.

Kenneth looked up at Drexus, who inhaled, resting his sizable hands on the table as he regarded each council member, noble, and general. “An Air Spectral killed King Valeri.”

Gasps and shouts of anger reverberated off the stone walls.

“I thought the Spectrals were on our side,” one of the council members said.

Drexus fisted his hands. “So did we.”

“What do we know about the Spectrals?” Kenneth asked.

General Charlys stepped forward, her eyes darting to Drexus. “There are two main types of magic, physical and mental. A Spectral with physical magic can either control an element or is an Amp.”

“What are Amps?” one of the nobles asked, nearing the table.

“Amps, or Amplifiers, have unnatural speed and strength,” the general said. “The Mentals are a little trickier, but we’ve determined there are five types: Shields, Healers, Vaulters, Trackers, and Psyches.”

“Psyches?” Kenneth looked from the general to Drexus.

“They can move objects with their minds,” Drexus said.

“How do you have this information?”

“When the Spectrals joined forces with the Watch Guard, I assigned General Charlys to obtain as much information about them as possible, just in case.”

“With that kind of power?” a councilman said. “How are we going to defend ourselves? Naturals can’t fight against magic.”

Drexus’s eye twitched at the whine in the man’s voice. “I’m currently working on something that will neutralize their power. But first, we need strong leadership. I think Kenneth Brenet should rule as steward until the council deems it unnecessary.”

The murmurings grew, and a few council members’ faces turned red.

“What about Queen Valeri?” one of them asked.

Drexus refrained from rolling his eyes. “She’s grieving the loss of her husband, and with her diminished health, we cannot expect her to take the throne.” He sensed a shift in the room as men and women nodded their heads—a shift in his favor. “Who supports Kenneth Brenet becoming steward of Pandaren?”

Hands raised, and Drexus smiled.

Kenneth stared at the men and women surrounding the war table. “This is an honor. I can never measure up to our great king, but I will do my best. And my first act as steward is to put into law that all Spectrals will identify themselves and their powers. We have to know who they are and what they can do.”

The room bristled with fear.

“All in favor?” Drexus said.

The motion passed unanimously.

Kenneth turned to Drexus. “Whatever you’re working on, get it completed as soon as possible. In the meantime, our priority is to defend the kingdom.”

Drexus led Kenneth away from the table. “Do I have your support to do whatever is necessary?” he asked.

The thin man stared up at him with wary eyes and nodded.

Drexus kept his expression blank.
“I’d like permission to create an elite group of soldiers specifically trained to fight the Spectrals.”

“What do you propose?”

“Hunters.” Drexus glanced over his shoulder, savoring the warmth of victory radiating through him. “Lethal assassins who will ensure the Spectrals comply with our new laws.”

The steward held Drexus’s gaze.
“Fortify our army, Drexus. And train your assassins. Create a force that will breed fear by the very mention of their name.”

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview:

1.What inspired you to write this book? OR Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

My younger son, Chase, challenged me to write a book since I loved reading so much. As a retired stay-at-home mom with kids going off to college, I questioned my identity and purpose in life. After attending a creative writing class, I fell in love with writing and ferociously started learning the craft. I finally had something that was all mine and got me out of bed in the morning.

How Chasing the Darkness came to be was thanks again to my kids, who were playing a video game. One of the characters grabbed my attention and the creative bug smacked me in the head. I sat down and wrote a scene that became chapter four. From there, the story emerged.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
That writing a book is stinking hard. I bought how-to books, joined webinars, took classes, even became a member of a writer’s guild to learn the craft. Even though I’ve read a ton of fiction, knowing how to develop characters, plot, and setting was completely new and more challenging than I had originally thought. Also, I have a love-hate relationship with commas.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I discovered that writing dialogue is my sweet spot. That’s how many of my scenes developed was with characters arguing in my head (sometimes out loud). 😉
I also found that I’m pretty good at writing fighting scenes. Probably because I watch a lot of action movies with my sons. Yep, I’m that mom.

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
My protagonist is an assassin, your anti-hero type. But to make him more vulnerable, or more human, I had him cherishing each sunrise. In the story, he and his mother would watch the sunrise together and she would say, “here it comes, the light chasing away the darkness.”

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Some of my characters have a few of my personality traits. For example, Azrael has some anger management issues and so do I. Another character is a tad snarky, which is also me.
Some character traits were inspired by movies or books, like Dumbledore from Harry Potter or Han Solo from Star Wars. I’m a huge movie fan as well. You just never know when inspiration will strike or from where.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Yes. When writing, the themes I kept coming back to were redemption and forgiveness. They are woven throughout the pages of CTD.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
One of my favorite chapters is chapter 13. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a scene that starts to shift the relationship between Azrael and Kenz.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
I’d say Azrael as he’s a man and I’m a woman. I had to make sure he didn’t react or say things like I necessarily would. Plus, Azrael, as the MC, had to have the most change and growth. I needed that to happen in a realistic way.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m currently working on book 2 as CTD is a trilogy.


Growing up, Cassie Sanchez always wanted superpowers and to be a warrior princess fighting alongside unlikely heroes. Suffice it to say, she lost herself in books, from fantasy to sci-fi to a suspenseful romance. Currently, Cassie lives in the southwest with her husband, Louie, while pestering her two adult men-children. She can usually be found drinking too much coffee while working in her office with her dogs warming her feet. When she isn’t writing about magic and sword fights, she enjoys golf, spending time with friends, or partaking in a satisfying nap.

Her latest book is Chasing the Darkness.

You can visit her website at https://www.cassiesanchez.com/ or connect with her on TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

 

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Cover Reveal: Thine Eyes of Mercy, by Danielle M. Orsino

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Welcome to the cover reveal for Danielle M. Orsino’s novel, Thine Eyes of Mercy (Birth of the Fae #2) which is the highly anticipated follow up to Locked Out of Heaven!

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Birth of the Fae: Thine Eyes of Mercy, Book Two

by Danielle M. Orsino

Expected Publication Date: December 2021

Genre: Fantasy

Queen Aurora, monarch of the Court of Light Fae and King Jarvok, Leader of the Court of Dark Fae are exhausted and battle worn after centuries of fighting. A war of attrition   had taken its toll upon their kin and power bases.

What happens when you have to give in to your enemy?

All wars eventually end even magical ones. The Dark and Light Fae have set their elemental magick and weapons down but, all is not quiet in the Veil…

King Jarvok was confident his army could win the war, but at what cost? It was time to act like a King not a power hungry megalomaniac. That was his Creator’s title not his. He reaches out to Queen Aurora, and the Treaty of Bodhicitta is signed.

The treaty promises the Fae will never spill each other’s blood again. Rules for their human worshipers are put into place. The Court of Dark must not interfere with humans in a malignant way, but they can act as gods and goddesses of atonement. The Court of Light can return to acting as advisors to the European royal families, as they have done for centuries.

However, Queen Aurora and King Jarvok will learn that while they were playing war games, their humans have changed and moved away from the old ways.

The two monarchs face unknown challenges in a world where Christianity not paganism is the new power.

Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you do not.


Coming Soon!

Locked Out of Heaven (Birth of the Fae #1)

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Ride on the backs of fire-breathing dragons with the Dark Fae and watch the Light Fae play in the shadows of primitive humanity as they build their magical world.

Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. With no hope of returning to the Shining Kingdom, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions – the Court of Light, led by Queen Aurora, a former Virtue Angel, and the Court of Dark, ruled by King Jarvok, a former Power Brigade Angel. The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.

Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic-fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love. It is a fantastic tale of good versus evil in a beautiful world, where the Light Fae and their potent elemental magick are tested by the raw power of the dragon-riding Dark Fae warriors.

They are their own beings and masters of their own destiny. They are the Fae.


About the Author

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Danielle M Orsino, destined to be a writer from a young age, was working as a nurse and treating a patient who needed some distractions during long I.V. Treatment sessions. So, Orsino reached back to a forgotten skill, A childhood dream. Danielle had wanted to be a writer and so she decided to tell a story. Little did she know the seed would grow into a fantastically epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and rebirth — Birth of Fae: Locked Out of Heaven. Drawing from her passion for comic books, Cosplay and fantasy along with her expert martial arts expertise, Orsino brings forth an electric and hopeful debut.

Danielle is taking on her biggest challenge to date: taking the story born from the long treatment sessions with a patient into a fantasy book series-Birth of the Fae: Locked out of Heaven. Expanding her love of writing, comics and exploring the world of fantasy novels, she delves into the realm of fairies and retells their origins from a completely new perspective. Orsino has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise science and is an LPN with a special interest in Lyme disease research. Orsino has been widely recognized from her influence and experience in martial arts realm, training for over 20 years and with over 500 tournament wins, and accumulating national and world titles. She has performed for former President of the United States Bill Clinton and has been featured on “Soap Talk, Fox Five news CBS, TLC and E! With this experience, she worked as a Fight Choreographer on ”Wonder Woman: Balance of Power” and has worked with the likes of martial arts legend Vincent Lyn and WWE marvel and action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nothing Danielle ever does is simple, look at what NY times Bestselling author Clete Barrett Smith has to say about her debut endeavor: “After summoning this world into existence through an imaginative force of will, Danielle has scoured every inch of the landscape several times over. Critics often praise a story’s world building by saying that it feels “lived in.” Well, the world of the Fae certainly seems like that because Danielle herself has happily lived there for years as she worked to put all of this together…My favorite part of this story is that it is gloriously depicted in vibrant images.

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