Spotlight, Author Interview, & Excerpt: Silver to the Heart + Giveaway

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Silver to the Heart
by Brien Feathers
Genre: Dark fantasy, urban fantasy (adult, not YA)

— So begins the apocalypse, with death and a story of love —

An old soul (several centuries old), the lover, fighter, and telekinetic Drake receives an order to safeguard Ana, a mortal with Elder Talent.

Ana, an artist beset by haunting visions, falls for the perfect stranger while venturing home to mediate emergent family chaos.

Past-warlord and present commander Sasuke wields his telepathic might to outwit Council traitors in an effort to save the human realm and its Guardian from a new Dark War.

Criminal and light bender Lou, now sought by the Council to answer for his sins, seeks shelter with the Reverend—an Elder fit to bypass rules of magic meant to be unbreakable.

As time’s last grains of sand deplete, an ancient battle may renew, with pieces of the fractured realm imperiling man’s modern world. Though few on Earth are cognizant, dark days now lie ahead. . .

One fate, two paths, six singular perspectives, and plethoric danger.
Contemporary fantasy at its polychromic finest—pure delight.

NOTE: This book is free.


Excerpt:

Drake held her around her waist with one arm. He needed at least one hand free. Seeing the harbor maybe 100 yards away, he landed them on the roof of a nearby building. With his Push, he broke their fall with a moment of levitation—Ana shrieked.

“Ana, you have to stay quiet, I have to be able to hear the arrows.” Preferably when he first releases one, so I can find him.

“What the hell is happening!” Not quiet, but loud. “Drake!” Still loud.

Drake couldn’t hear the Aerian or the arrows—they needed to take cover. As he leaped again with Ana, something grabbed his leg and swiped them into the side of a building. Midair, he turned to put himself in between the building and Ana and felt the impact as they slammed into it.

Pushing against the wall, he leaped with Ana as more arrows whizzed toward them. One, two, three arrows, one after another, struck the cement wall instead of them and fell to the ground harmlessly. They couldn’t kill Drake this way, but he didn’t want Ana hurt. He needed to take down that Aerian, but couldn’t leave Ana behind. In his decision to break direct order not to engage, he hadn’t accounted for Ana. Drake still wanted to capture one of the soldiers—alive, to inquire about the Reverend, but carrying Ana around like screaming luggage, this fight wasn’t going the way he wanted.


Author Interview:

1. 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?
The story that became ‘Silver to the Heart’, Book 1 of the Light of Adua dark fantasy series set in modern-day New Orleans, came to be from a single image— as most of my ideas do. I first see the scene that would become the central theme of the book or the film (I’m a screenwriter as well) as it unfolds. The rest of the time is spent discovering who they are and what’s happening: the characters, and the plot in essence.

For Book 1, the first scene I’ve seen was of Drake and Ana. He was a vampire and Ana was human. He was hurt, and I knew they’d lost a fight to something much bigger and nastier than himself. Although the initial scene I saw was in a hallway of Ana’s apartment, in the book it ended up being very different.

In the book, Drake gets kidnapped and imprisoned in a church basement in Texas, and Ana goes to rescue him. He frightens her using Talent (magic) and this is where she accepts what he is: a vampire or an Elder.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
Uuf, what an arduous but wondrous journey it has been. As a screenwriter, the beats, arcs, character motivations, settings, and theme— the moving parts that make the engine of the story become ingrained in the way you construct your writing; however, as an author, the craft of writing is very different. The heart of the story remains the same, of course, but I found that an author is not only the writer but also the director, the actors, the composer, and the whole nine yards. I learned this the hard way.


3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
Some of the characters for the series have lived rent-free in my head for years, which was one of the reasons I wanted to write the book, to tell their stories so they may live in another’s head as well. But most of the characters were conceived new for ‘Silver to the Heart,’ and it surprised me how quickly I’ve gotten attached to them.

I don’t start the story if I don’t see the ending. In that regard my characters had set arcs, an inevitable trajectory they’re on from the very beginning, of which some are tragic. As I was writing book 5, I had an incredible difficulty seeing through it. I didn’t want to cheat the character by robbing them of their arc, but… it was hard to let them go. I can’t say more without spoiling the series.

4. What does the title mean?
Silver, the size of a spearhead thrust through the heart, clean separation of the head from the body, or destruction of body and head altogether: those are the only three ways to kill an Elder or a vampire. Thus, the title, ‘Silver to the Heart.’


5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
They’re all inspired by real people in a manner that we draw from our human experience when we write, but no one character is modeled after one particular person.


6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Although it hadn’t been intentional in the beginning, a theme emerged as I wrote the series: what is kindness? Is it different than politeness? Can you be kind and vicious at once? There is no intentional message because I don’t fancy myself a preacher, but the story itself asks questions about duty, honor, and how far one can go in the name of it and still be justified.


7. What is your favorite part of the book?
In ‘Silver to the Heart’, there is a chapter called, ‘Farewell, Father,’ and it is my absolute favorite. The book being perma-free, perhaps you’d like to check it out (hopeful thoughts and pleading puppy face)?


8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
In book 1, the most challenging character for me was Sasuke. He is a five-hundred-year-old Elder, who in human life had been a warlord in Japan. In the beginning, he just wouldn’t speak to me, and I had a hard time understanding him. But as the series progressed, he became my favorite, and in book 3, he is a prominent point of view character.


9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’ve just finished Book 5 of the Adua series, so Books 6 and 7 are in my immediate future— that will complete the series. Then I have a trilogy in mind.
Thank you for having me here, and I hope you’d give the series a chance.

However, I do have reader warning for mature content mainly for language and violence: centuries-old characters with various wounds, all wielding magic are at war with each other, so violence does tend to come naturally to the story. Although not gratuitous, pain and endurance is a reoccurring theme as well.

So, if that is all right, please give it a shot, and here is a wave all the way from Mongolia. I’m Mongolian by the way, and I live there. Thanks again, for having me here.


About the Author:

Author Image (1)Brien Feathers is a fantasy author living in the land of permanent frost, horses, and Mongols. She likes reading, writing (of course), riding (horses and husbands), drinking dark beer, and checking things off a to-do list.

Although she claims to love everyone equally, she really loves her youngest son the most. He has autism superpowers that allow him to speak all types of rare languages including drumbeats, elevator dings, and police sirens.

Miss Feathers loves grey days, orange cats, and all creatures human or otherwise. And she hopes you will love her world (fantasy) and people (characters) as well.

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Giveaway:

Brien Feathers will be awarding $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Spotlight & Giveaway: The House With the Golden Door, by Elodie Harper

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Title: The House With the Golden Door
Series: Wolf Den Trilogy, #2
Author: Elodie Harper
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Genre(s): Adult — Mythology

SYNOPSIS: 

The life of a courtesan in Pompeii is glamorous yet perilous . . .

Amara has escaped her life as a slave in the Wolf Den, the city’s most notorious brothel, but now her survival depends on the affections of her patron: a man she might not know as well as she once thought. At night, in the home he bought for her, the house with the golden door, Amara’s dreams are haunted by her past. She longs for her sisterhood of friends—the women at the brothel she was forced to leave behind—and worse, finds herself pursued by the cruel and vindictive man who once owned her. To be truly free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is. Amara knows her existence in Pompeii is subject to Venus, the goddess of love. Yet finding love may prove to be the most dangerous act of all.

Buy Link


Author Info

elodie author photoElodie Harper is a journalist and prize-winning writer. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News. Elodie studied Latin poetry both in the original and in translation as part of her English Literature degree at Oxford, instilling a lifelong interest in the ancient world. The Wolf Den, the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii, was a number one London Times bestseller. Elodie lives in the UK. You can visit her at elodieharper.com and find her @ElodieLHarper.


Instagram Giveaway:

Head over to Instagram to enter the giveaway to win a finished – unsigned copy of The House Den and The House With the Golden Door.

To enter, follow the steps below:

For extra entries:

  • Follow @acourtofcoffeeandbooksblog, @stacialovestoread, @natreviewsbooks, @haadiya06, @pagesofbellerose
  • Add this book to your Goodreads TBR, and DM @turnthepagetours with a screenshot

Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram and will be open to U.S. residents only and will run from August 29 to September 17 at 12AM PST.  No giveaway accounts will be allowed. Follow to unfollow will ban you from future giveaways.

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Autumn Chaos + Giveaway

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Autumn Chaos
by Olena Nikitin
(Season’s War, #1)
Publication date: September 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

A mystery of a monster on the rampage ignites the passionate love triangle between a witch and two warriors with a help of a mysterious cat.

After ten years of peaceful solitude, exiled-mage-turned-village-witch, Lady Inanuan of Thorn, has her life turned upside down when a half-dead warrior is dumped on her doorstep. Soon she learns that no good deed goes unpunished in the Black Forest—not even if your friend is Leshy, the Forest God himself.

Expelled from her position as a court mage for her sharp tongue, Ina’s had ten years to learn how to survive in a harsh environment. The forbidden healing she performs links her life energy with her unexpected guest Marcach, captain of the guards, and Ren, his best friend, a traveller from lands so far away that many consider them a myth.

With unnatural monsters on the loose and unrest in the capital, everything points toward rebellion, and clues that both men discover indicate Ina’s involvement. Ina learns her magic is not what it seems, and her past comes back to haunt her.
An old mistake will see her dragged back to the court and thrown right into the middle of the political struggle. To make things worse, her heart succumbs not to just one man but two, and each expects the worst of her.

Will the woman who does not believe in love be able to choose? And can she clear her name and learn to control the Chaos before it burns the kingdom down?

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

Taking the life distraught her, but Ina didn’t have the time to think about it. The noise of the fight led to the entrance of another room. Well, the wreck of one, at least. Mar was there, struggling with three opponents that attacked him simultaneously. He was working hard with his axe and dagger. The weapons glided through the air in precise cuts, wounding the monsters. Ina’s hand closed on the peridot, and she drew on its power, deeper and deeper. Her sorrow turned to anger at the sight of the troll smashing heavy fists into Mar’s chest. Whips of pure fire coiled around her, animated by Chaos magic. Anger and Chaos poured into the stone, and a torrent flooded back, shaping the whips into vipers, beautiful and deadly, as Ina lashed them at the troll. Coils of destruction shot out, slamming into the attacking creature. The beast roared and turned to the source of the pain.

***

The light glowing in Mar’s eyes flared, feasting on Ina, magnificent in her magic. His beautiful distraction gave him the perfect opportunity again. His axe cleaved through the air, crushing one dog’s head, killing it instantly. Ina held her ground, her fire vipers lashing at the troll, leaving deep gashes of burnt tissue behind. The beast leapt backwards, trying to avoid the pain, but Mar was there to stop it. This formidable display of Ina’s magic terrified the remaining canine to turn tail and run, whimpering into the darkness.

“Ina, stop!” shouted Mar as he ducked to avoid a strike from the vipers, and Ina lowered her hands, letting the energy dissipate in the air. Again, the monstrous troll turned back to her, giving Mar the opening he needed. His axe rose high and cleaved its collar bone so deeply that he could see the heart pulsing through the gap. Then, with a final stab of the dagger, it was stopped dead.

The beast landed on the floor with a heavy thud, and without glancing at it, Mar ran to his woman. In the light of her pulsar, he saw she was crying, her body and hair coated with blood and fluid, his heart aching at her pain.

“Are you… wounded?” He asked and felt immense relief when she shook her head. There was something in his spitfire’s posture that held him back. “What happened back there?”

Ina shook her head and walked toward the exit, and her silence worried him more than he was willing to admit.

 

Author Bio:

Olena Nikitin is our pen name. We are an enthusiastic couple of writers who are fascinated by the fantasy/paranormal romance genre and decided to write a book we would love to read

Behind the Pen name:

Olga – is Polish, armed with a wicked sense of humour and typical Slavic pessimism she is the wicked witch from the East. She has written stories since childhood, initially mostly about her work. As an emergency physician, she always has a story to tell and often not much time to write.

Mark is a typical English gentleman whose charm, refined taste and an impressive collection of books were tempting enough to make Olga leave her homeland. Don’t tease him too much; this man has an impressive sword collection and he knows how to use it. He also can fix everything, including Polish syntax in English writing.

See more on our website: www.olenanikitin.uk

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