Spotlight & Giveaway: Dream Dancer, by Janet Morris

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The universe called.

She answered.

Everything you’ve seen or read till now took you only to the brink . . .


Dream Dancer

Kerrion Empire Book 1

by Janet Morris

Genre: Epic Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure


The universe called. She answered.

Everything you’ve seen or read till now took you only to the brink . . .

Neither pure fantasy, nor straight science fiction, nor earthbound dynastic saga, Dream Dancer is a stunning amalgam of all three. It is a family saga with the epic appeal of Dune and the action and excitement of Star Wars. It is a saga of love, power and treachery that will appeal to men and women equally; full of action, compulsively readable and quite unlike anything being published in the realms of fantasy today.

The heroine, Shebat, is a remarkable girl from Earth. She is brought to the vast empire of the Kerrion family by a renegade son; named as its future ruler on a whim of his autocratic father; abducted to the slums where the Kerrions’ slaves drug themselves with powerful mystical sorcery; and finally rescued to take part in a great rebellion. She falls in love with one brother but marries another and becomes more Kerrion than some born to the name. A magical seductress of men, passionate in her lust for power, Shebat moves among those who control the destinies of millions, for whom treachery and betrayal are as easy as murder. Set in the timeless future on a primitive, savage Earth and on the sophisticated habitats of deep space, Dream Dancer is the first volume of a three-part saga.

“Not since Dune have we witnessed a power struggle of such awesome intensity. Dream, Dancer may well be the I, Claudius of fantasy novels. A literary feast!” — Eric Van Lustbader, author of The Ninja.

“Dream Dancer is a fascinating and lyrical story, told with great invention” — Peter Straub, author of Ghost Story.

“The pacing is brisk; fascinating concepts abound.” — Booklist

**The Kerrion Empire series is Perseid Press’ featured series for June and is on sale for Only $2.99 on kindle!!**

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Best selling author Janet Morris began writing in 1976 and has since published more than 30 novels, many co-authored with her husband Chris Morris or others. She has contributed short fiction to the shared universe fantasy series Thieves World, in which she created the Sacred Band of Stepsons, a mythical unit of ancient fighters modeled on the Sacred Band of Thebes. She created, orchestrated, and edited the Bangsian fantasy series Heroes in Hell, writing stories for the series as well as co-writing the related novel, The Little Helliad, with Chris Morris. She wrote the bestselling Silistra Quartet in the 1970s, including High Couch of Silistra, The Golden Sword, Wind from the Abyss, and The Carnelian Throne. This quartet had more than four million copies in Bantam print alone, and was translated into German, French, Italian, Russian and other languages. In the 1980s, Baen Books released a second edition of this landmark series. The third edition is the Author’s Cut edition, newly revised by the author for Perseid Press. Most of her fiction work has been in the fantasy and science fiction genres, although she has also written historical and other novels. Morris has written, contributed to, or edited several book-length works of non-fiction, as well as papers and articles on nonlethal weapons, developmental military technology and other defense and national security topics.

Janet says: ‘People often ask what book to read first. I recommend “I, the Sun” if you like ancient history; “The Sacred Band,” a novel, if you like heroic fantasy; “Lawyers in Hell” if you like historical fantasy set in hell; “Outpassage” if you like hard science fiction; “High Couch of Silistra” if you like far-future dystopian or philosophical novels. I am most enthusiastic about the definitive Perseid Press Author’s Cut editions, which I revised and expanded.’Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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Spotlight & Excerpt: A Plague of Hatred, by Jeremiah Cain

a plague of hatred

Welcome to the tour for dark, epic fantasy A Plague of Hatred by Jeremiah Cain. Read on for more details!


A Plague of Hatred
(The Encroaching Chaos #1)
by Jeremiah Cain
Genre: Dark Epic Fantasy/ LGBTQ2+ Rep
Publication Date: June 13, 2023

“This dazzling epic fantasy is packed with memorable characters in black, white, and gray.” — BookLife Reviews

On the verge of adulthood, Roslyn’s dreams are simple: Marry Jon and become a healer.

But on the world of Perdinok, the capture of the Church of Deagar by hate-filled fanatics puts Roslyn and all other followers of the blue God Karulus at risk. Soon, soldiers arrive to assassinate Roslyn’s mentor and priest. Dreaded Silthex knights lock eight hundred of Roslyn’s fellow villagers in the local inn–intending to burn them alive. Roslyn must act quickly and grow up quickly.

Years later, having become the legendary resistance leader known as the Blue Rose and an ambassador rallying forces against the repressive Empire, Roslyn is given another assignment: Find out how Chaos energy has been allowed to leak into Perdinok from the Plane of Chaos.

Now, on the slopes of Mount Triumph, Roslyn must call upon all her skills as an Azerent Mage to wrest truth from the twisted temptations and taunts that spew from the mouth of the devious Harpy that she has called up from the Nightmare Realm. Unless she can distill the tint of truth contained in the Harpy’s obscure prophecy of doom, her very planet may be at risk.


She kept walking, continuing unhurriedly down the thin dirt road through the dark woodlands. Her legs ached from the extensive journey, yet she could not risk a carriage driver knowing her destination. Nocturnal insects provided the only sound she’d heard in hours. A hooded cloak, long and forest green, hid all that she was. The constant need to hide had become a crucial necessity.

For over a decade, the Church of Déagar had stood as the one and only legal church within the Dayigan Empire. The worship of God Karulus, her God and savior, was punishable by death.

Nevertheless, Roslyn would not bow.

And so it came to be that, on this cool early spring night of her thirty-second year, she arrived in the shadowy yard of a moonlit cabin.

She knocked five times on the simple wooden door and waited five seconds. She knocked twice more.

A square panel at eye level opened within the door, and a young man peered out. “Bit late, innit, miss? Who may I ask is calling?”

She drew back her hood, showing a thin face with delicate features. Sadness lingered in the blue of her eyes and a frown crossed her lips. Her hair, dirty blond in both color and state, hung limp, retreating into her cloak.

“My name is Roslyn.” Even as she talked to him, she did not meet his gaze. Instead, she kept her eyes, as well as her head, lowered, as was proper. “I’ve come to sail the Veiled River. Will you allow me passage?”

“Sorry, miss. If such a river did exist, ’twould be unsafe to travel.” He began to close the panel.

“But yet, I have my ticket here.” She removed a folded note from a purse on her belt and held it to the hole.

The man pulled in the page and closed the panel door, leaving her in dark silence.

Roslyn waited. As nervous as she was, she remained calm. In the unlikely event that she was being watched, the observer should see nothing but an unsuspicious woman at an unsuspicious door. Luckily—or sadly—she’d had much practice in this sort of thing.

Finally, the door opened and the same young man showed her in. “Welcome to Port Lytel, miss. Lord Karhelm will see you.”

By flickering candlelight, he led Roslyn down a slight, tight hall.

“In here, miss.” He opened a final door, but did not enter with her.

This room was better lit. A fireplace cast a glow supplemented by a tin candelabra on a simple table. Its tallow candles streamed thick lines of black smoke.

A tall, well-built man in his mid-thirties stood in the center of the room.

Even as Roslyn entered, his face gave no sign of salutation.

“I was told you wished to see me, my lord,” she said, keeping her head at a downward tilt.

“You are the Azerent Mage sent by Father Hanugfrie.”

“Azerent Master Healer, my lord. I primarily perform the magic of my specialty and have taken a vow to do no harm. But I trained under Father Hanugfrie for three years and studied at Azerent College for five. Afterwards, I served God Karulus as a healer in multiple ports, during which time I received accolades for skill and merit from both the Order of Azerents and the Karulent Church. Also, I received multiple awards from the Veiled River Commission for bravery as a healer and as an evacuation coordinator, both under life-threatening conditions. I am pleased to join your port, and I know I will be an asset to your team.”

“Quite a mouthful.” He paused without expression and looked her up and down. “At least your appearance is adequate,” he said. “They warned me you’d be a woman. You should know, I find it obscene. A woman casting magic.”

“The Déagrians would say the same of all who practice magic.”

He crossed his arms. “I assume that was meant to be humorous. It wasn’t.”

“Actually, I meant it to be accurate, which it was.”

“Regardless, you are here. Let us hope God Karulus keeps you strong, for in this desperate time, we have no other choice than to utilize your gifts.”

“My thanks, my lord, for allowing me to serve our God.”

“I prefer that you call me Lieutenant.”

“An army rank? You are a soldier?”

“Once, at twenty, I was an honored Dayigan soldier with a royal commission and on my way to commanding thousands. But in an hour, I became a despised criminal. I continue to use the rank to remember that the world can change in a moment. You’d do well to remember the same.”

“Lessons I’ve learnt quite well on my own, Lieutenant.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author


Jeremiah Cain is a dark epic fantasy writer of a vivid world that BookLife Reviews called, “rich with detail and myth-lore that traipses brightly through the darker themes.” He served as an army medic and has a BA in Communication with a minor in English. In addition to reading and writing, he loves video games, particularly RPGs.

Jeremiah Cain

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Spotlight & Author Interview: Heart of Fire + Character Introductions



Heart of Fire

Dragon-mage, #1

by Raina Nightingale

Genre: Epic High Fantasy

Release Date: April 16th, 2023


Camilla has always been told that humans are inferior. They cannot use magic. If they bond to dragons, they will doom the creatures to extinction. She has never believed a word of it. She has always known that she can use magic, and she suspects it is the elves who harm the dragons by keeping them to themselves. Now, she is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: a dragon’s clutch is hatching and while she will earn the wrath of her captors if she is caught, she has the chance to see a dragon hatch and perhaps even to Recognize.

Kario’s people have feared dragons since time immemorial. When an unrealistically huge black dragon flies in while she is hunting, she is certain she will die. Instead, her life is changed when Nelexi, Obsidian Guardian of Areaer, chooses her as her final rider. Kario takes the name Flameheart, but she is soon homesick and afraid that she is insufficient to be the partner of a god.

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Author Interview:

How did Heart of Fire first come to be? What did it start with?

It was the image of a dragon-rider bond like no other that first inspired Heart of Fire. I was eight or nine years old, had recently learned to read, and I had not yet read any dragon-rider books, but I’d heard of the idea, and I always loved dragons, so I just saw Camilla and Radiance, and I knew their bond was special, that they were close in a way no one else was, and that was why Camilla could telepathically speak to other humans, too (in my world, dragons are telepaths, but can generally only speak to each other and their riders).

Camilla and Radiance’s names were there right from the beginning, too. Though Camilla is pronounced so that the last two syllables rhyme with Vanilla! But it doesn’t matter very much if you don’t pronounce it that way, I don’t care. It matters to me because of my synesthesia, but I really don’t care if readers pronounce her name however it sounds or looks to them.

What surprised you the most in writing Heart of Fire?

It is hard to say for certain, because I have re-written it so many times! And I am finding the latter books in the series to be quite surprising. But I guess probably the most surprising moment in Heart of Fire was when Camilla started thinking about what destiny and freedom mean. I did not intend to write about that, and I don’t even find the kind of debates some people have about destiny and fate and free will to be very interesting most of the time. Fire, they don’t even make sense. Well, then, I’m writing Camilla, and off her mind runs in that direction and it becomes rather a big deal to her, because she is very upset about the possibility that there might be destiny – or even that someone might think there is destiny and that she has a destiny, instead of just being who she is for her own reasons!

What does the title mean?

Originally, the book was called DragonMagic (this is when I was eight or nine) because I always knew that Camilla’s bond to Radiance gave her a unique magic. But then I changed that to Dragon-Mage and made it into the series title, and it has a double meaning because there’s also a newly-created race of dragon shifters who are all mages. They aren’t called dragon shifters in the book, though. They end up being called dragonmages for a little while, and then someone comes up with the idea of calling them ‘were-dragons’ but that’s kind of irrelevant to the title.

But the title of Book One, Heart of Fire could also have been the title for the whole series. It has many layers of meaning. One layer of meaning is that my secondary main character takes the name Flameheart, but even that has layers of meaning in it and reasons. But it’s also called Heart of Fire because, through her bond with Radiance, Camilla has a very deep connection to the Heart of Fire, the sacred flame in the core of Areaer, and that is what makes her magic so unique and powerful. And Nelexi, the Obsidian Guardian, carries a spark of the Heart of Fire inside her. It is a major theme throughout the whole series.

Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

No. As in, none of the characters are inspired by real people. I don’t do that! I don’t know real people well enough to use them as character inspiration! But I hope my characters feel like real people – they certainly do to me, sometimes running off in unexpected directions, that then when I can look back on it later, make perfect sense.

Do you consider Heart of Fire to have a lesson or moral?

Well, it is about love and anger and freedom, with a focus on non-romantic love, just to be clear! Camilla’s anger comes from her love – for her dragon, her brother, her Mom: but what about when her anger isn’t useful and actually hurts them? What does it really mean to love? What does it mean to be free, and how are freedom and love related? But I would say it is more that it shows the characters’ lives, like real people whose lives and choices are intertwined with these themes, than that it is a story with a moral!

But if you want a quote that sounds like moralistic or like it’s a lesson, here is one.

“It may not be unjust, Camilla, but it is not justice. And all that is not justice will degenerate into injustice.”

But what does the speaker mean by justice? And, are they right? What do you think? See, even here I’m leaving you with a question or two!

What is your favorite part of the book?

Hah! I like the whole thing far too much to have a favourite part of it! That quote I just mentioned is one I really like though – and perhaps my favourite scene is the one depicted on the cover! Or maybe my favourite part is Camilla’s relationship to Radiance, how close they are, and the exploration of what closeness means! Or the Heart of Fire ….

Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

Sylvara, probably. She is (as you may guess from reading the sample) quite unlikable. She’s been an enemy to Camilla all her life, snitching and telling on the other slaves in an attempt to curry favor with the elves, and she’s good at the pity play, at acting all sorry and pitiable, when she doesn’t mean it at all. But then she bonds to a dragon, too, and that empathic, transforming bond must have effects on who she is. She’s a person, with reasons of her own (even if they will never make any sense to Camilla) for the things she did and the things she feels, and she has her own desire for freedom (even if Camilla will never believe it). So that was an interesting and complex balance to write, and in the end I decided to give her a small bit of perspective, to give readers a glimpse into the complexity that is her life. In a lot of ways she is Camilla’s exact opposite, because whereas Camilla is straightforward and forthright in her beliefs and desires, even if she can get confused and have conflicting and complex responses to this, Sylvara’s beliefs and wants are confusing and tangled, even inside of her. It’s really hard to know what the real Sylvara is.

What are your immediate future plans?

Write the rest of the series and publish book two – Scars of Fire – probably in the Fall. We’ll have to see how things go since it’s a bit too far out for me to be really certain about anything, since I am very, very bad at planning! But Scars of Fire does not need a whole lot of work at this point, so I should be able to get it out there sometime this year! Currently, I’m wrapping up writing book three, and I’m pretty sure this series is going to be four books.

Introduction to the Characters:

Camilla is the primary perspective in Heart of Fire. Born and raised as a slave to the Wood Elves, loyalty and freedom are her primary values, and she believes everyone should have the power to defend their own freedom, without being at the mercy of everyone else, with spiritual and mental freedom being by far the most important. She is the rider of Radiance, a golden dragon with a personality and fire to match her own, and she is deeply committed to her brother’s safety.

Lavilor is Camilla’s younger brother. In contrast to her personality, he is quiet and shy, internalizing his experiences, instead of turning to anger. He is deeply devoted to his sister and wants her to be happy, and is the rider of young Sleet, a silver dragon as compassionate as he is.

Sylvara is Camilla’s hated enemy, more hated even than many of the Wood Elves, for currying their favor at her own expense, and those of others she knows. Unfortunately they are now stuck together, between Sylvara also desires freedom and chased Camilla when she fled, and neither can make their way through the dangerous territory before them alone.

Kario Flameheart comes from the Plains of Zharda, and a people protected from many of the atrocities that haunt the world by the Goddess of Storms and the Sun. Chosen by Nelexi, Obsidian Guardian of Areaer, she has had to leave her home, because her people cannot accept dragons. Nelexi really just wants her final rider to be her friend, but Flameheart struggles with the feeling that she is insignificant and merely a liability with no powers or helpful abilities in a war between ancient gods.

About the Author:

I (Raina Nightingale) have been writing fantasy since I could write stories with the words I could read (the same time that I started devouring books, too). Now I write “slice of life” and epic dawndark fantasy, for fiction lovers interested in rich world-building, characters who feel like real people, and spiritual experiences. I think giant balls floating in space can have the same magic that fairytales teach us to look for in oak trees and stars. I have a lot of universes and while not all of them have giant balls floating in space, most of them have dragons of one sort or another!



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