Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: Lost and Found + Giveaway

Tour Banner Lost and Found

 

The Chronicles of Antecede: Lost and Found
by C.M. Sage
Genre: Fantasy

Sometimes things are lost for a very long time…and then they are found.

Take Gracie for example, a woman who lost everything, her life, her family, even her name, but now she is a Cathalian warrior of Antecede blessed with powers, which aren’t yet fully realized. Her elder and nemesis, Donavan, finally granted the former professor an opportunity to train a new warrior. Her joy turns to shock when she meets her great, great, great, great grandson, Henry, accompanied by his wisecracking best friend, Milo. Henry recognizes his long dead ancestor right away, and it doesn’t take the Cathalians long to realize that this meeting was no accident.

Gracie and the warriors of Antecede soon discover that they aren’t the only ones laying a claim on their new charges. Menacing enemies from the South and their hired mercenary assassin, Revilan, the Bowman, have also taken an interest. Come along with Gracie, Donavan, and their fellow warriors on a perilous quest to protect all that is good and right from the evil that threatens it, and along the way discover what else was lost.


Excerpt:

Gracie hadn’t seen Donovan since he rendered her and her charges unconscious, except to sense him speaking to Henry earlier in the day. He appeared to be his normal, arrogant self then, but right now he looked a bit wild. He was truly splendid like an untamed avenger, and she was a little in awe of the warrior coming towards her. Again, it was unfortunate for Gracie that she wasn’t as quick as her little beasties and didn’t think to try making herself scarce. She had never mastered that skill as a mortal or as a warrior. Drama followed her wherever she went. She met Donovan’s stare head on, shoulders back.

He stopped, breathing hard, hands on his hips, not far from where she stood, and now she realized Donovan wasn’t just angry, he appeared almost unhinged, and something else, some other undefined sentiment, which he quickly tried to hide. She caught the emotion with her amplified senses but failed to decipher it before it disappeared. Her elder’s appearance perplexed and confused Gracie. He was pale, and it was no small thing for a man so bronzed to look like a ghost. As if on cue, the wind picked up upon his arrival, and his hair whipped around his face. Donovan held Gracie’s stare until she dropped her eyes because the residual fire in his unnerved her.


Author Interview:

Can you describe your dream home?
Floor to ceiling windows, a loft attic to write in, a great kitchen with double ovens and a pantry, a fantastic bathroom with a big tub, tons of pictures on the walls and tons of family pictures all around. A beautiful yard with trees and flowers and green grass…a wall that makes it feel safe and secure like a villa.

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
At night probably pizza and a salad because that’s the ultimate happy food to me, or maybe my husband would do one of his fantastic casseroles with a salad. In the afternoon, I might do an afternoon tea…they are so much fun.

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
Well I’m pretty new at this…I have received emails from beta readers that they love what I’ve done so far. That was a wonderful feeling.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
If that were the case, I’d like to go to Ireland.

Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
The wonderful Stephanie Mooney from Mooney Graphics.


About the Author:

Lost and Found is author C.M. Sage’s first book in the Chronicles of Antecede fantasy adventure trilogy. She loves writing, reading, and traveling. Most of all she loves spending time with her beloved family and friends…and yes, that includes her furry friends. Life would have been much less sunny without them.

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Giveaway:

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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Spotlight, Author Interview, & Excerpt – In Between: Stories of the Eververse + Giveaway

Tour Banner_In Between Stories of the Eververse

BookCover_In Between

In Between: Stories of the Eververse
by Darby Harn
Genre: Speculative Fiction

Telepathic wolves. Zombie gangsters. Sentient houses. Just another day for Kit Baldwin.

Fifty years after an alien ship crashed in Break Pointe, the only protection in a strange new world is Great Power, a corporation of superhumans. If you can afford them. Most people can’t.

Enter Kit Baldwin, a young woman who helps people to help people. Except her power is the alien’s power, and she may be more of a danger to her city than she is a help.

This collection of stories and novellas follows Kit’s journey in a series that’s been called ‘the next logical step after Watchmen.’


Excerpt:

Starter Home
1. Reality

Someone keeps rewriting reality. Mostly it goes like this: one minute I’m talking to Abi about things we’ll never do, like go to New Zealand or just go to bed at the same time and then she disappears along with the rest of what passes for my life these days.

I write this to make some record. A way back.

2. Honestly, It’s Not That Different

Strange things happen around here.

There isn’t any life for me outside of waiting for the next shoe to drop, so I wasn’t too bothered at first. Now it happens all the time. On and off. In and out. Hours. Days. Minutes. Reality like summer floods. The strange always recedes back to a big, three story house on Severin St. American castle. Picture window.

Picture perfect.

Milk trucks inch down the street, lined with ’67 Chevys. Pig-tailed white girls swish in yards with hula-hoops. Boys play stickball in the middle of the street. Cops patrol the neighborhood, and keep black girls from smudging the frosted scenery in midtown.

The cop points back toward the fringes of downtown. “You took a wrong turn back there.”

I zip open my leather jacket. Crimson light illuminates the shock on the cop’s face. “Tell me about it.”

He takes off running. There’s a reason I know when reality changes. My reality is out of sorts, too. TL/DR: if I touch someone, I acquire their energy. Consciousness. They go into the jar of this glowing alien crystal suspended within my chest. Entire universes reside there. Infinite realities. Plus, I’m half-Irish, so.

The doors are always open.


Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
In Between: Stories of the Eververse started with the desire to reconnect to my main character, Kit Baldwin. Kit features in all three novels in the series, but is only the POV character in Book 1. By the third book I felt very distant from her and started writing stories and novellas with her back at the fore. That coalesced over a period of time into the book, which collects the stories into an overarching narrative.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learned a great deal about myself. I discovered about five years ago that I am autistic. I initially didn’t deal with this very well, and worked out a lot of my feelings in the work. Kit’s autism was present from the first page of the first book, but never acknowledged until this one. I learned so much about who I am during the creation of this book. I learned to appreciate who I am and Kit helped me do that.


3. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
The stories are in many ways morality plays, but I don’t think of the book as having any kind of message or lesson. Good fiction asks questions. It doesn’t necessarily have answers or even pursues them. These stories struggle with things we struggle with in the real world. Inequality. Gun violence. Grief. None of those things have simple answers or explanations. My hope is the reader comes to the end of the story asking questions. Hopefully that leads them to wondering why things are the way they are in the world.

4. What is your favorite part of the book?
My favorite part of the book is the way it realizes what I’ve been trying to do in my work for a long time. I want to create a world, I want to explore issues, and I want to find a way to discovering something beyond my own considerations through language. I feel like this book more than any other I’ve written so far does that. These stories give me the chance to experiment and explore and most of all broaden the canvas of this sandbox I get to play in. As a kid I always wanted to create a secondary world like the ones I found in movies or comics but never imagined it would be this. It’s a revelation every day.

5. What are your immediate future plans?
The immediate future is bringing Eververse Book 4 to readers. Black Market Heart will come out next year and I’m very excited for people to see it. It’s finishing Book 5, which I’m about halfway through. It’s hopefully finding a home for a space opera novel I’ve written and I’m very proud of. I have ideas for other novels unrelated to the Eververse I’d like to find the time to get to and hopefully this year I’ll be able to.


About the Author:

Darby Harn studied at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Irish Writing Program. He is the author of the sci-fi superhero novel EVER THE HERO. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, The Coffin Bell and other venues.

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Website
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Giveaway:

Darby Harn will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: The Starfolk Trilogy + Giveaway

TourBanner_Starfolk

the starfolk arcana

The Starfolk Trilogy
by Martha Dunlop
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Destiny calls. Soulmates draw closer. One woman stands in the way.

Beth trusts her psychic senses. So when her birthday visit to a daytime TV talk show takes a weird turn, she knows something is wrong. Amelia, the celebrity on stage, is oddly fixated on Beth and the man with the microphone is hauntingly familiar. Things become even stranger when she buys a tarot deck, and they are all pictured in the cards.  

Jonan has waited an eternity to be with the woman who haunts his dreams. When he finally sees her at the TV studio, he hopes life with his soulmate is within reach. But as Amelia refuses to let go of their past together, his hopes fade.

Amelia stands between Beth and Jonan. Spinning tales of supernatural threats to her adoring fan base, she builds a personality cult through fear of the paranormal. As her power grows, she does her best to scare Beth away from Jonan and plans to reclaim him for herself.

United by a destiny that spans lifetimes, Beth and Jonan are determined to stop Amelia’s fear-mongering. But Amelia has more than one card to play. Even though they are fated to be together, Amelia’s destructive nature may once again tear them apart.

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.


Excerpt:

He heard Doriel walk down the narrow, wonky staircase that divided the storeroom from the shop’s reading and treatment room. The tiny bells stitched into the hem of her skirt tinkled as she swung her hips.

Jonan shook his head. He had no idea why she bothered with all this theatre. She was the real deal. She could have run a fabulous business in joggers and a T-shirt, but she insisted on playing to the audience. She wore flowing skirts, bells and long earrings. Her hennaed hair was braided into a loose French plait that reached her waist, sparkling with tiny crystals. She mimicked smoke and mirrors and delivered magic. She was a goddess hiding in plain sight as a walking cliché. The irony never failed to make her hoot with laughter.

The distant voice made Jonan freeze. ‘I’m looking for a reading. I was told you were good.’

He dropped back from his crouch to sit on the floor, heart pounding in his chest.

She had come.

He had told her to come to Doriel, but he had never expected it to be this easy. This was the woman he had incarnated for, the one he was here to wake up. He knew his goal, but somehow it didn’t feel anywhere near as important as just being in the same room as her. He had no idea how she would react to his world. She had been brought up with Earth amnesia and would probably think he was crazy. Everything he was, everything he said, was strange. Would she listen, or would she run? He had no way of knowing until he tried it.

A shiver ran down his spine.


starfolk

Starfolk Falling
by Martha Dunlop
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

A woman destined to change the world. A timeless adversary determined to stop her. Only one will win.

Humiliated after the disastrous launch event for her protection racket, Amelia Faustus is furious and determined to punish those responsible. But her own support system is cracking and something new is haunting her home.

Beth and Jonan – finally together after lifetimes of searching for one another – have to stop Amelia’s attempts to prevent them fulfilling their destiny. But they find themselves under attack from all directions. Trolled by Amelia online, and targeted by her angry followers in real life, they fight to keep innocent people out of Amelia’s clutches. But Amelia has already started to hurt those closest to them to get what she wants.

As Amelia continues to terrorise their loved ones, Beth and Jonan are once again put on the defensive. They need to convince people to stand up to Amelia’s manipulations, but can they succeed when The Fear is already taking root?

An urban fantasy novel about destiny, reincarnation, tarot, and living with the paranormal.


Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
It started with an image of Jonan, my main character. He had an angular face, shoulder length blond hair, and when I saw him unguarded, his ears were pointed. I spent a lot of time believing he was some kind of elf because of the ears, but it slowly became clear that the ears, and the violet eyes, were a part of his energetic body and a symbol of where he incarnated from. They showed his diffentness, which only people like him could see. So most of the time he looks normal, but occasionally Beth sees those points, or the purple eyes, and she knows his emotions are strong and his guard is down.

My stories always start with a character. I watch them for quite a long time before things start filling in, with new characters entering, and details becoming clear. The plot is often the last thing to slot into place. In my Starfolk books it was Beth and Jonan who came to me first.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I went on a ghost walk around St Albans and learned about the history of the City I grew up in. It was fascinating to hear about things like the debtors prison in the centre of town, and spooky stories about the Cathedral and many of the shops, restaurants and houses around the old part of St Albans. Some of those stories served as inspiration for the book.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I started writing it in 2016, and much of the book was inspired by the rise of personality cults. But as time went on, the way life increasingly reflected the books gave me shivers more than once.

4. What does the title mean?
Great question! The main characters in the Starfolk books are all pictured in a Tarot deck, the Starfolk Tarot. They each have their own card which personifies their path or mission. For some characters, the card changes over the course of the books and their path goes in a new direction. The word Arcana means mystery, but it is a word particularly associated with Tarot, since the deck is divided into the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana are cards that address the big things in your life, your purpose, important changes that move you forwards. The Minor Arcana addresses the details. Out of 78 cards, only 21 are Major Arcana.

The key characters in the books remember their destiny, and the time before birth. They are fully human, but they remember when their souls were in the stars, and they bring those memories to Earth in an attempt to usher in change. This is where the word Starfolk comes from.

So the title can mean the Starfolk Mysteries, but it also relates to the Tarot deck that leads them forwards on their path.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
No. I guess many of them were inspired by experiences, and by types of people, but I was very careful not to base any of them on real people.


6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
I think the message is to think for yourself and not hand your moral compass to anyone else.

In the book, Amelia, the antagonist and the Starfolk character that lost her way, is a celebrity who aims to control people by scaring them into following her. She tells stories of supernatural attack, and presents herself as the solution in order to attract a cult following. Her followers believe the most incredible things and turn against the people around them, just because Amelia tells them to.

As much as I’d like to believe this is fantastical, it was inspired by the rise of personality cults that I saw when I started writing the books in 2016, and this certainly isn’t something that’s gone away.


7. What is your favorite part of the book?
Hmm, well, without giving away any secrets from deeper into the book, I can say that I love the opening, when Beth first sees both Jonan, the love interest, and Amelia, the antagonist. She can’t believe anyone will take Amelia seriously and is very dismissive. But Amelia calls on her on national TV, in front of her own fans. She challenges Beth in front of an audience that quickly becomes hostile. I love all the disconnects in this chapter, as Beth tries to make sense of Amelia’s ridiculous claims, and the audience’s very serious reaction to them. I also love the hints of mystery that Beth sees in Jonan, not least when she catches glimpses of him out of the corner of her eye, and sees his pointed ears.


8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
I have a character who remains nameless for most of the story. Jonan, Beth and their friends call him The Brute because to them he is an aggressor. Amelia calls him The Sheep, because he follows her blindly. It was much harder to write a character with no name, but that was the point. He has entirely lost himself in Amelia and her demands. And so he has become defined by the tasks she gives him and the way people see him.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
At the moment I am working on Starfolk Rising, book 3 of the Starfolk Trilogy. After that, I have a standalone book to write and a brand new Trilogy where you might meet some familiar characters!


About the Author:

Head shot by Gene Genie Photography, www.genegenie.photographyMartha is a dreamer and lover of stories who likes nothing better than spending her days getting to know the characters in her head.

She is a tarot card reader and reiki master, and loves to chat reading, writing and all things mystical on social media, as well as posting pictures of her fellow pack-member, Bertie the Cavalier.

A fiddle player, Martha fell in love with traditional music, particularly Irish, and is also teaching herself to play the Irish Bouzouki. She played her way through her English degree at York and remembers that time as much for the music as the books.

Martha is the author of three books: The Starfolk Arcana, Starfolk Falling, and standalone Wild Shadow. She is currently working on Book 3 of The Starfolk Trilogy, Starfolk Rising.

You can keep up with Martha’s news, book releases and extra content at www.marthadunlop.com, or on her Amazon page.

You can also find her on social media at:
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