Spotlight & Author Interview: Servant of the Lesser Good

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Servant of the Lesser Good
Feyrlands Collection, #1
by Shaun Paul Stevens
Out: 2nd December 2021
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Page count: 270 pages
Pitt Norton Publishing

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A cursed symphony and magic which tells stories in your mind.

High Mistress Talia is a hellraising socialite with a murky past. But she has a bright future. Beautiful, rich, and a virtuoso harpist, she’s betrothed to the Count of Brecht. In short, she has it all. Or so it would seem.

Marla Holst is the new lady’s maid, but never has the ‘help’ been so unhelpful. Marla, real name Mist, has only one mission: to stop the high mistress’s marriage. By any means necessary.

But complications abound. Talia’s disturbed daughter, a girl who can see into the future, is cursed with the stigma of a devil-worshipping father. The count’s father, the Duke of Rizak, is a recluse, too afraid of assassins to show his face. And all the nobility want to do is duel.

Meanwhile, the highlight of the season—a recital of the famous ‘Cursed Symphony,’ draws ever closer.

servant of the lesser good
Servant of the Lesser Good is the latest book by SPFBO finalist Shaun Paul Stevens. Set in his Feyrlands universe, this standalone story follows the deadly but delightful Mist (one of the main characters in Nether Light) in her covert mission to avert civil war by destroying an alliance between two of Sendal’s most powerful southern duchies.

Read a preview here.

Or pre-order your copy from Amazon
*AVAILABLE FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED


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Author Interview:

1. What inspired you to write this book?
I love the character of Mist, who featured in Nether Light, and wanted to explore her earlier life within a royal court, period drama setting.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I learned a great deal about period dress, 18th century etiquette, and how to tell a fast-paced, explosive story.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
How the story took on a life of its own.

4. What does the title mean?
The main character, Mist, plays the role of a servant with a none-so-pure, ulterior motive.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Not at all, and although that may have made portraying them easier, they wouldn’t have felt as real to me if I’d based them on people I knew.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Yes. There is always a price to pay for selfishness.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
I love the regatta – a beautiful, hot summer afternoon on the river, sipping champagne and playing dress-up, dodging snide comments and watching the upper class’s insecurities play out.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
The most challenging character to create was High Mistress Talia—trying to make someone so vile at the same time likeable proved quite hard.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m currently working on books 2 and 3 of my other Rankers series in the Feyrlands Collection, featuring the grizzled warrior, Villa Kiprik.


About the Author:

Shaun Paul Stevens was born in October 1972 in London. He spent his formative years in the shadows of the dreaming spires of Oxford, before moving to Nottingham, where he graduated university with a degree in English and Media.

Navigating a path through music, art and the internet, writing came calling and he found himself ensconced in alternate realities and gritty fantasy worlds. He has written several books to date.

Shaun now lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England, with his patient family and ungrateful cat, generally being a nerd.

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Email: contact@shaunpaulstevens.com

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Windward Shore + Giveaway

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On tour with Prism Book Tours

Windward Shore
(The Dancing Realms, #1)
By Sharon Hinck
Epic Fantasy, Christian Fantasy
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 270 Pages
May 11, 2021 by Enclave Publishing

The island world of Meriel faces an old adversary and a new danger. Will the reformed Order die before it has a chance to blossom?

Storm clouds loom on the horizon as Carya and Brantley struggle to overcome wounds of the past and build a future together. The fragile new Order is on shaky ground, with too few dancers and sparse resources. Then trouble erupts—and now an insidious rebellion and a new foe threaten their entire world.

When she uncovers an old enemy behind all the destruction, Carya realizes the past is not done with her. With conflict tearing apart the dancers and villages, rimmers are soon overrun, and Carya must unite her people by leading the battle to protect the very heart of her world … or lose it all.

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Excerpt

Chapter One

Where could he be? I squinted toward the horizon, where stormy sky met turbulent sea. Brantley had planned to be back by midday, but the primary sun was already lowering beyond the churning waves. Not a good sign. Wind howled from the ocean, and the ground bobbed. A gust slapped into me, rippling my tunic and forcing me to lean forward to keep my footing. My toes dug into the tangleroot.

Shielding my eyes against the subsun, I hoped to spy the silhouette of a herder balanced on the sleek back of his stenella, his determined form rising behind the graceful curve of the creature’s neck. Surely he’d seen the storm moving toward our island. Why hadn’t he raced home? Had he gone out too far? His new mount, Makah, was young and early in her training; she wasn’t as skilled and reliable as Navar had been.

The island’s rim lurched, forcing me to retreat. I could dance a pattern to change the wind’s course and coax the storm away, but I had no idea where Brantley and Makah were. My interference could send the storm straight into them. A sigh ripped out of me. All I could do was wait.

My arms cradled the gentle swell of my belly. I’d hoped news of a babe on the way would cause my husband to take fewer risks. I shook my head, letting the wind tug my hair free from my braid. I didn’t truly want him to change. But I did wish he had a more experienced stenella. Brantley still grieved Navar’s loss. So did I.

The clouds broke open and rain sheeted down, driving me to seek shelter. Our home welcomed me with warmth and light. High windows under the eaves let in the glow of the setting subsun that penetrated even the storm, and torches brightened the wall by the hearth, competing with the flickering fire. A smoky scent curled through the air.

I added a log, grateful for the refuge. A home like this was a luxury I’d never dreamed to experience. Shelves lined one wall, filled with food staples, tools, parchment, and neatly folded fabric. Through a low doorway, I could glimpse the cheerful quilt covering our bed. Spare tunics and cloaks hung from pegs.

I brushed moisture from my shoulders and rested on a bench near the table in this main room. Our bonding cup held a place of honor in the center of the table. Delicate carvings embellished the polished sides with images of land and sea, stenella and forest hound, and a man and woman. A rolled parchment rested against it as if in opposition. I pressed my lips together. As much as I longed for Brantley’s safe return, I dreaded the confrontation that simple missive would bring.

Excerpted from Windward Shore by Sharon Hinck. Copyright © 2021 by Sharon Hinck. Published by Enclave Publishing.


Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Award-winning author Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us,” about ordinary people on extraordinary faith journeys. Hidden Current, the first book in her Dancing Realms Series, has been honored with a 2020 Christy Award in the Visionary category. Passionate about the intersection of faith and art, she spent ten years as the artistic director of a Christian performing arts group. That ministry included three short-term mission trips to Hong Kong. She has been a church youth worker, a choreographer and ballet teacher, a home-school mom, a church organist, and a bookstore clerk. One day she’ll figure out what to be when she grows up, but in the meantime she’s pouring her imagination into writing. When she isn’t wrestling with words, Sharon enjoys serving as an adjunct professor for the Creative Writing MFA program at Concordia University, and also shares with conferences, retreats, and church groups. She and her family make their home in Minnesota.

Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they’re scheduled.)

November 28th: Launch
November 29th: Elayne Audrey BeckerForestborn
November 30th: Michelle DienerThe Turncoat King
December 1st: Jes DrewAgents Adam and Eve
December 2nd: Sharon HinckWindward Shore
December 3rd: Kara LinaburgThe Broken Prince
December 4th: Cathy McCrumbRecorder
December 5th: Sandra Fernandez RhoadsRealms of Light
December 6th: Chawna SchroederThe Vault Between Spaces
December 7th: Melissa WrightBeneath Stone and Sacrifice
December 8th: Kristen YoungElite
December 9th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a $50 (USD) Amazon eGift Card

Open internationally
Ends December 13, 2021

ENTER HERE


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Spotlight: Dark Oak, by Jacob Sannox

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Dark Oak
Series: The Dark Oak Chronicles (#1)
by Jacob Sannox
Published: April 27, 2017
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Pages: 313
*
CW: Suicide, infanticide, violence, death, prisoner abuse, degenerative illness, gore
POSSIBLE ULTIMATE TOUR EXPERIENCE TICKETS: It’s All About The Journey, A Villain You Love To Hate, I’m Not Crying, You Are Crying


Humanity has finally defeated the Dark Lord, but Morrick fought on the wrong side.

Though he was a slave, he is branded a traitor and must earn the trust of new lords in order to return to his family – if they are still alive.

Now that their common enemy is dead, the nobles begin to forget old loyalties, and Queen Cathryn’s realm looks set to plunge into war once more. But there are older and more terrible powers dwelling within the forest, and when they are awakened, Morrick will decide who lives or dies.

An SPFBO 2018 semi-finalist.

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Author Info

Jacob Sannox is a 37 year old writer from the sunny climes of Bedfordshire, England. In his spare time he is generally writing, thinking about writing or berating himself for not writing.

He loves to play the acoustic guitar, but wishes he was better at it, and he has recently taken up Dungeons & Dragons. This is dangerous, as he has a propensity for disappearing into fantasy worlds. Nobody saw Jacob Sannox between 2000 and 2010, during which time he was LARPing.

Do not judge him.

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