Spotlight & Excerpt: The Flight of the Ravenhawk + Giveaway

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Welcome to the Magic Pen Book Tours‘ organized tour for The Flight of the Ravenhawk by J. Edward Hackett taking place August 22 – September 2, 2022!

Book Details

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Title: The Flight of the Ravenhawk

Series: Ravenhawk Chronicles #1

Author: J. Edward Hackett

Genres: Adult (16+) High Fantasy / Dark vs Light

Release date: September 4, 2019

Publisher: Ink Smith Publishing

Pages: 146 (ebook) / 262 (paperback)

BLURB

A second-born prince. A banished elven princess. And a power-hungry Necromancer.

Kalero Tremayne is second-born Prince of the Allurian Empire and a talented wizard and scholar. Sheltered by the throne he writes boldly about the Lightdweller religion, the Wizardium, his brother, the King, and the treatment of non-magickal subjects in the kingdom.

After distributing his writings on forbidden magick through Alluria, Kal is brought before the tribunal to face his crimes of treason against the crown. He is ordered to recant his beliefs, but Kal refuses. The punishment: Death.

In dragon-form, King Darnashi embraces the power of the Underdark in an attempt to carry out Kal’s sentence. Forced to flee, Kal finds himself in the Ancestral Wood with, Sylvara, an elven princess outcast. While Kal learns the balance of his power, the world of Apeiron is crashing into war.

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EXCERPT

In the sacred grove for the past two days Kalero sat on a rock before the waterfalls. Nobody disturbed him. In his wizard’s eye, Kalero opened himself up to the listening first taught to him by Sylvara’s primordial Druidism. He could hear creation’s song in every sound around him. In his heart, he could feel the peace of life and its ambient energy. He could absorb it, harness it, and fill his soul with it. If anyone with a wizarding eye could see, his soul’s aura glowed an intense gold and green, crackling with power as he drew the power into himself. And if someone had faith, they would see a wizard devout. In between meditative states of absorbing these energies, Kalero would finger his mother’s Star of Galadrana and pray. Fastened around his neck by a leather thong, the medallion gave him hope. He hoped for the very power, the very same power denied by the Wizardrium.

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Author Bio

j.-hackett

J. Edward Hackett, Ph.D. is an academic philosopher at Savannah State University who rather than engage in metaphysical speculation in process metaphysics is off building magick systems in his world of Apeiron.

Ed absorbs the sunlight of the beach, practices zazen, and while writing and teaching philosophy and other courses in the humanities, he shoots landscape photography. Despite all of this, his greatest joy is teaching and writing. “Writing fiction is simply being philosophical with narratives rather than directly talking about concepts.”

Ed lives in Savannah with his wife Ashley and their two cats: Olive and Lulu.

AUTHOR’S LINKS: GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | BLOG

PUBLISHER’S LINKS: WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

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Tour Schedule

August 22

Journey in Bookland / @ladyofbookland – Excerpt

Sadie’s Spotlight / @sadiesspotlight– Excerpt

August 23

Celticlady’s Reviews – Excerpt

@jl_books – Spotlight

August 24

Books Writing and Coffee / @bookswritingandcoffee – Excerpt

August 25

Books+Coffee=Happiness / @bookscoffeehappiness – Excerpt

August 26

Jazzy Book Reviews / @jazzybookreviews – Excerpt

August 29

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog / @bookreviewvirginialee – Excerpt

August 30

@natnavarro75  / @natnavarro75 – Spotlight

Books a Plenty Book Reviews – Excerpt

August 31

Mrs_r_books – Spotlight

September 1

@itsabookthing2021 – Review + Promo

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author – Excerpt

September 2

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read / @mommasaystoread – Excerpt

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: The Moon’s Eye by A.J. Calvin

The Moon's Eye blog announcement

Cover - The Moon's Eye

The Moon’s Eye
by A.J. Calvin
Series: The Relics of War #1
Genre: Epic/High Fantasy
Intended Age Group: Adult
Pages: 356
Published: January 11, 2022
Publisher: Self Published

Content/Trigger Warnings:
Shown on page: Violence, Child abduction/harm, Torture
Alluded to: Rape

Chosen for advanced training by the god of war himself, Vardak is considered a paragon amongst his people, the Scorpion Men. Yet his position and training come with a cost: He must serve the whims of the god, with no questions asked. Only days after his training is complete, he is sent far away from his desert homeland in order to act as the protector of the Fire Maiden’s mortal daughter, Janna.

Janna has been tasked with the recovery of a magical relic known as The Moon’s Eye, but she has little worldly experience to guide her. The Immortals deem the relic’s recovery imperative, for it alone can combat the rise of the Soulless—those sworn to the fallen, nameless god of death. The Soulless are ruthless and powerful, and eager to wage war upon the land in order to appease the god they serve.

Though Vardak is skilled in battle, he must lead Janna through several perilous areas in order to reach the relic she seeks, pushing his abilities to the limit. Unbeknownst to the pair, the Soulless raise an army and begin their conquest, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Will they secure The Moon’s Eye before all is lost, or will the relic itself prove to be their undoing?

Can’t Catch a Break • Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads • Embrace the Dark Side

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Excerpt:

Aran’daj was awakened from a heavy slumber by a pair of rough hands shaking his shoulders. He caught a glimpse of pale eyes from beneath the hood of the Murkor that knelt beside him, panic in the soldier’s gaze. He sat up and shrugged away.

“I’ve had little sleep for days,” he growled ominously in their own tongue. “This had better be important.”

“Commander, sir,” the soldier replied, his tone wavering on the edge of terror, “it is. The wizard is at the chasm’s edge, sir. He’s performing a ritual, or so Sal’zar claims. He’s an alchemist, sir. He would know.”

Aran’daj tugged on his boots and grabbed his belt, buckling it over his rumpled clothing as he stepped outside in the soldier’s wake. If it came to a fight with Shan’tar, his mail would do him little good; he left it within and followed the soldier to a place near the edge of the camp. The other Murkor milled about in confusion that bordered on panic. He strode past them, shoving those in his path brusquely out of the way. Most who took notice of his presence began to calm, though all remained fearful.

As he broke through the last of the crowd, Aran’daj was greeted by the sight of several large fires burning brightly along the chasm’s edge. The flames danced and swirled in intricate patterns unlike any he’d witnessed previously, and he knew immediately it was the work of the wizard’s magic. Shan’tar’s figure moved between each mound of burning tinder, a silhouette amongst the midnight shadows. He danced at times and gesticulated at others.

“What does he do, Commander?” one of the nearby soldiers asked.

Aran’daj shook his head and continued to observe the wizard’s strange performance. “I’m not certain I want to find out.”

“He calls powerful magic,” a low voice said from beside him.

Aran’daj turned to find a Murkor hooded and garbed in vibrant green standing beside him. The color marked him as an alchemist; there were only two presently within the camp, but he suspected this must be Sal’zar. He was nearly as tall as Aran’daj, with a thin, wiry frame.

Alchemists specialized in creating weapons and tools, salves, potions, and elixirs using the ingredients they encountered in the land. Some of their concoctions were used with devastating effect, while others were meant for healing or simply to improve fortune. Murkor could not use magic, but the alchemists’ creations were a close proxy.

In that moment, Aran’daj wished Sal’zar had brought with him one of the exploding stones the alchemists had been perfecting, if only to distract the wizard from his task. Shan’tar’s blatant use of magic made him uneasy.

“Can we stop him?” he asked of Sal’zar.

Sal’zar shook his head. “He is nearly finished, I believe. What he does feels…wrong.”

Aran’daj did not question him further, though he wondered how Sal’zar could seem so certain of Shan’tar’s actions. Perhaps the alchemists had learned a means of detecting magic, but had not yet perfected it enough to share their knowledge. Alchemists were known for experimentation, which often spanned years before they unveiled their creations.

Aran’daj focused his attention upon the strange human in the distance as he gyrated and spun toward the central fire. He caught a gleam of light in Shan’tar’s right hand, a green-white glow that outshone the flames for a moment before the wizard changed direction and his hand was hidden from view.

“What was that?” he asked of Sal’zar.

The alchemist shrugged. “It was a part of his magic, but separate, somehow. I do not know.”

Shan’tar fell to his knees at a point equidistant between the three pyres he’d built; his arms stretched upward toward the midnight sky. His voice soared in volume until it thundered across the barren landscape between them, a veritable shockwave of sudden noise. The words he uttered were in a language the Murkor could not decipher, neither their tongue, nor the common, but to Aran’daj, it sounded as though it had come from a time long past, ancient and mysterious.

The green-white light shone brilliantly. It enveloped the wizard and the three bonfires surrounding him. Instinctively, Aran’daj shielded his eyes and turned away from the sight, unwilling to risk blindness from the terrible, searing glare. Most of the other Murkor did the same, though given the sudden bout of swearing he heard from behind, some must have failed to avert their gaze in time.

When the light receded, Aran’daj gaped at the spectacle unfolding near the chasm’s edge. The pyres had been extinguished, and Shan’tar remained kneeling between them, but five figures now encircled him. Even from a distance, Aran’daj knew something was terribly wrong with the newcomers. They seemed human, but their skin appeared grayish, as though rife with decay, while their movements were too fluid and quick to be natural. He could see one of the newcomers’ eyes, and they glowed dimly in the night, crimson and filled with rage. Each wore antiquated garb that Aran’daj recognized as human-made.

“Gods preserve us,” Sal’zar murmured, his tone stunned and horrified.

“Who are they?” Aran’daj asked quietly, though he suspected he already knew. His stomach churned and flipped as bile rose into his throat.

Before Sal’zar could respond, one of the newcomers, shorter than the rest, with a figure that appeared female, strode forward to meet Shan’tar. She raised her hand toward him, but her fingers never met his flesh. At the last moment, she drew her hand into a fist, and Shan’tar’s neck snapped sideways at an unnatural angle. She waved her hand dismissively at his corpse. It rose into the air and tumbled over the edge of the chasm behind her.

“Gods,” Aran’daj breathed, unable to tear his eyes from the sight, terror rooting him in place even as the figures began to march toward him.

“They are the Soulless, Commander,” Sal’zar replied, his tone faltering. “The wizard has doomed us all.”


Author Interview:

1. What inspired you to write this book?
This question isn’t easy to answer. The original concept for The Moon’s Eye began in the late ‘90s, and my memory of how it came together is fuzzy. It was a long time ago!

What I can tell you is that I started writing the original draft while I was in high school. I was reading a lot of Katherine Kerr (her Deverry Cycle), Raymond Feist (the Riftwar and Serpentwar series), and a few other notable authors around that time. I think some aspects of my book were influenced by what I was reading back then.

I’ve always loved fantasy, mythology, and (most) fairy tales. Writing what became The Moon’s Eye was an extension of that. I didn’t go into the story planning to make it a trilogy, but that’s where it ended up.
I wrote the drafts of the subsequent books while I was in college. Then they sat for a long time.

During 2021, I decided to go back through the trilogy and see if I could salvage anything of it. I liked so many of the ideas and characters that I didn’t want to leave them gathering dust forever, but those drafts were not in any state to be published. I ended up rewriting the entire series from scratch, but kept some of the overarching themes. It was a big project.

I’m glad I did it, because I’m very happy with the end result, and the feedback so far on book one (The Moon’s Eye) has been great.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
Foremost, I learned that twenty plus years of writing and life experience makes an incredible difference in one’s writing. What I wrote back in high school could probably be considered “good” for a teenager, but it was not good enough for publication. It needed a lot of work.

I also learned the value of a good outline. (Yes, I’m a plotter.) With this book/series, I was forced to use a very in-depth outline. There are six distinct points of view throughout, but each story ties into the others in some way. The best way I could conceive to keep track of what needed to happen with each character at each point in the story was a chapter-by-chapter outline. There were a number of times when an idea struck and I had to adjust the outline accordingly, but having it in place to guide me was a huge help.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I’m not sure for the original drafts, since it was so long ago.
When I decided to take on the rewrite project, it felt overwhelming at first. But once I started piecing the outline together, things started to flow really well. I was surprised at how easy it was to rewrite it.

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
The Moon’s Eye is a magical relic that one of the main characters (Vardak) is tasked to obtain. It’s definitely not a spoiler, as it’s mentioned in chapter one or two.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
None of the characters in this series were inspired by real people.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Not really. I write to entertain, for the most part.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
There is one scene not long after Vardak and Janna meet Maryn where they’re discussing food. Janna grew up in a relatively sheltered environment, and she’s not used to some of the customs of other peoples.

I took a bit of inspiration after watching Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. They discuss a few things that Janna is repulsed by. Tarantulas, lizard jerky… It was a fun scene to write, and one of the few more light-hearted bits found in the book.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
Dranamir. She’s the main villain, one of the Soulless, and a complete sociopath. Sometimes writing her chapters weren’t too bad, but other times I struggled. I had to channel anger for her character that some days I just couldn’t muster.

There was one scene toward the end of The Moon’s Eye that I was stuck on for a few days, when I saw a meme about Darth Vader. Thinking about the scene at the end of Rogue One gave me some inspiration to finish that particular chapter.

I’m not a mean person. Writing a character like Dranamir wasn’t easy.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I have a few exciting things planned for the near future.
I’ll be releasing books two and three in The Relics of War series this year. The Talisman of Delucha on July 19, and War of the Nameless on December 6.

I have a different series, The Caein Legacy, that’s set in a different world, which I’m hoping to begin releasing in 2023. I don’t have any firm dates yet, as I’m still going through revisions/edits, and The Relics of War has taken precedence.

And I’m still writing new books too.


About the Author:

A.J. Calvin is a science fiction/fantasy novelist from Loveland, Colorado. By day, she works as a microbiologist, but in her free time she writes. She lives with her husband, their cat, Magic, and a fairly large salt water aquarium.

When she is not working or writing, she enjoys scuba diving, hiking, and playing video games.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: I Am Not Your Chosen One + Giveaway

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Book Title:  I Am Not Your Chosen One

Author: Evelyn Benvie

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: June 14, 2022

Genres: High Fantasy Humor, M/M Romance, Demisexual romance

Tropes: Refusal of the Call, Slow Burn Romance

Themes: Found family, self-acceptance, finding home

Heat Rating:  1 flame   

Length:  102 000 words

It is the first book in a new series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Buy Links

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

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Magic in Allune is dying.

The stars and the goddess call out for a Chosen Hero to save it.

Unfortunately, all they get is Kell.

 

Blurb 

IKell Hồ Sinh Porter is twenty-six years old and desperate to leave his unhappy life and his dead-end town. One night his wish is granted by a mysterious voice—though not in any way he would’ve imagined—and he finds himself in the semi-magical land of Allune where everyone thinks he’s the “Chosen One.” Kell politely disagrees, and absconds from his duties. On the search for an adventure that doesn’t come with world-saving responsibility attached, he’s joined by companions. Every adventurer needs them, but his turn out to be Ansel, a sheltered fallen angel, and Fre, a half-orlk who wants to be a hero.

Destiny, bad luck, and the gods conspire against him. The Dawn Goddess wants him to take up his Chosen One mantle, which Kell is sure means becoming cannon fodder in an ancient divine war. The Lich King’s demonic minions carry out sporadic attacks in an attempt to kill him and prove he is not the Chosen One. Temperamental elves, talking stars that aren’t all that helpful, image-conscious demons, maddening pieces of prophecy that everyone thinks Kell should already know, and his growing feelings for Ansel all mix in a frustrating stew as Kell tries to juggle his feelings, his duties, and all the things trying to kill him. No one asked him if he wanted to be anyone’s Chosen One, and he can’t begin to understand why he was chosen. Kell needs to figure out who to trust and how to forge his own path before it’s too late for Allune and for him.

 

 

Excerpt 

Kell woke up slowly. Awareness filtered back to him in pieces. Rough wood under his palms. The warmth of the sun on his skin. The low, tumbling murmur of gathered people. Something weighing hot and heavy against his ribcage. The scent of fresh baking and old sweat mixing on his tongue. He wrinkled his nose and blinked his eyes open.

He was lying on a platform near the middle of town, judging by the smell and the noise. That wasn’t necessarily troubling in and of itself. But the sky …

It was blue, yes, and the sun was midmorning high and bright enough to make his eyes water. But there were stars speckling the sky all above him, little pink pinpricks of light dusting what should have been a solid-blue backdrop. Kell stared at them hard for a long moment, then closed his eyes again.

Weren’t dreams supposed to end when you woke up? What was this, a dream within a dream?

Whatever it was, he didn’t feel up to dealing with it right now.

Apparently the world wasn’t going to give him a choice. Someone nudged at his leg, gently at first but with increasing insistence.

Someone, Kell thought, with perhaps an edge of bubbling hysteria, or something. He giggled a little, biting his lip to keep the sound in. God, what is with me?

Maybe he had heat stroke. It was unusually warm out now for only being March.

What had happened last night? Fuck it. He didn’t remember getting drunk enough to pass out in the middle of the street. He didn’t remember planning on drinking at all.

A throat cleared above him, polite but impatient. Oh, well. Time for him to get up anyway before he got cited for public drunkenness or whatever. Kell made an effort to lift his head, but it was hard, and he was tired, and staying here a little longer couldn’t hurt, right?

Was public drunkenness even a real crime?

“Oh for the love of Skuache …” someone muttered, and then Kell found himself being gripped firmly on either side and hauled upwards. He let out a yelp of surprise, flailing around as strong arms did their best to hold him steady. The world spun as he opened his eyes, and it took a moment to get his feet under him. He staggered a bit, keeping his eyes trained on his feet for balance until he felt he wouldn’t fall over at any moment. Not that his rescuers had any intention of letting him go any time soon, with the way they held onto his arms just this side of too tight.

Shouldn’t have wished for the cops last night if this is where it gets me.

“Really, goddess,” the person continued to mutter. They sounded close. And important in a kind of college professor way. The kind used to lecturing and looking down on failing students. Kell dubbed him Professor Throat Clearer and entertained a brief image of a stuffy man in tweed giving lectures on how to properly interrupt conversation with discreet noises. It sounded like a fun class. Kell would have taken it.

“I have faith in your efforts, I truly do,” Professor Throat Clearer continued, speaking low and to himself. “But I swear, these Chosen get worse every time.”


About the Author  

Evelyn Benvie is the wooly jumper in a family of black sheep. Both a cynic and a romantic at heart, she writes diverse poetry and queer-positive spec-fiction with strong characters, quirky romances, and (almost always) happy endings.

​Sometimes she’ll try to be funny, to varying results.

 

Author Links

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