Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Witch-Hunter Trilogy by K.S. Marsden Genre: Urban Fantasy

  • What inspired you to write about this book?

This story started with the villain.
I was learning about Wicca at the time, and I wondered what would happen if a witch broke all of their rules. In fact, what would happen if the witches were a different breed, with their own set of rules?
Their champion would be the most powerful witch in history, whose magic was beyond all rules, and they would come to free the Witchkind from persecution.

From there, I was able to create the ‘hero’. The person that would stop the Big Bad.
I looked into the history of witches, the witch craze, the witch-hunters and their bible, the Malleus Maleficarum. (When I say ‘looked into’, I was at university at the time, so I was in full-research-mode)
From there I created the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC), who after the disaster of the witch craze, knew that the general public couldn’t be trusted with hunting witches. So, they formed a society that worked in secret to keep people safe from real witches.
Fast forward to the modern-day, and you have the best the MMC has to offer. Hunter is from the highly-regarded witch-hunting Astley family, with all the benefits that come from seven generations of fighting witches.

  • Why did you choose to write about witches?

There’s a long-running joke that all the women in my family are witches.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, started by my dad, who said his Scottish mother-in-law was a wicked witch who would turn us into toads if we didn’t behave.
As kids, we loved this story, and fully embraced the joke, buying my Nanna cauldrons, brooms and all sorts of witchy-paraphernalia every Christmas and birthday.
Without meaning to, I picked up a lot of witchy information over the years and it was natural that witches and magic would feature heavily in my books.
Unfortunately, my Nanna passed away before I started writing; but I think she would have really enjoyed these stories of evil and/or kooky witches.

  • Where did you come up with the names in the story?

Out of our three main characters, I probably spent the least amount of effort coming up with Hunter’s name. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to call our lead man, so I put the temporary title of ‘Hunter’ in whilst I wrote the story. In the end, it kinda stuck, because Hunter was arrogant enough to carry it off.
His real name is George Astley VII, which does provide a few moments of humour throughout the series.

With Sophie Murphy, our leading lady, I purposefully wanted a name that did not suit her. Throughout the series, she proves herself to be strong and cold-hearted, but loyal to Hunter. So, I gave her a very normal name; something that sounds soft and feminine – the complete opposite of our Sophie.
I wanted a name that didn’t hint at what fate has in store for her.

James Bennett is the best friend, and often a source of humour. He’s a Yorkshire lad (my home county), as I swore that every book I wrote would contain Yorkshire characters or settings, as none of the books I read growing up had them in and I felt very underrepresented.
I named him Bennett because the Bennetts are like an extended family to me. They own the local riding school in Yorkshire (where I practically lived), they inspired my love for horses, and my love of teaching. They also gave a very shy and socially awkward me, the confidence to go after my dreams of a career with horses and writing.

The Shadow Rises 
Witch-Hunter #1 
by K.S. Marsden 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

When a new witch threat rises, only Hunter Astley can stop them…
In the face of dark magic and evil witches, a secret witch-hunting society works tirelessly to keep them at bay. The Malleus Maleficarum Council have strict rules and practises for eradicating magic.
Due to their work, witches have been almost forgotten, relegated to myth; but the rumours are starting to emerge of a new power that will throw the world into chaos.
As the only 7th generation witch-hunter, Hunter Astley is the best the MMC has to offer. With the help of his colleagues, it’s a race to track down this new threat and stop them… in any way he can.
Part one of the Witch-Hunter trilogy. 

**Get it FREE! ** 

The Shadow Reigns 
Witch-Hunter #2 

The world has been thrown into darkness by the Shadow Witch's revolution. The witch-hunters are scattered, but still strong. The race is now on to gather allies and win the war.
New enemies will arise; loyalties will be pushed to the limit. And an important question will be answered: can a witch-hunter that practices magic ever be trusted, or will he be persecuted?
It is said that 'love conquers all', but this twisted love must stay secret, locked away with the past. 

The Shadow Falls 
Witch-Hunter #3 

Hunter Astley has always known that he is different: being a witch-hunter that can use magic has sealed his fate. He must destroy the Shadow Witch once and for all, with the help of some unlikely allies.
We delve even deeper into the world of the Malleus Maleficarum; into myth, rumour and history that refuses to stay in the past. 

James: Witch-Hunter 
Prequel to the Witch-Hunter Trilogy 

James Bennett is a Yorkshire lad, making the big move to Oxford to start university.
His ambitions involve getting a good education; impressing the Rugby Club; and not throttling his roommate. All perfectly normal drama, until Hallowe'en.
A girl's murder throws James into the dangerous world of witches, and those that hunt them.
After playing a sidekick in the Witch-Hunter trilogy, it's only fair that James gets to be centre stage in his own prequel.
This can be read as a stand-alone, and does not contain any spoilers. It may contain witches, bad jokes and cringe-worthy scenes; but definitely no spoilers. 

Sophie: Witch-Hunter 
Prequel to the Witch-Hunter Trilogy 

Everyone will betray you…
Sophie has always had a high opinion of herself. She is smart, beautiful, and meant for something more than a mundane, human life.
From a young age she’s had to weigh duty against selfish desires. Her new friend Izzy starts to break down her carefully-constructed walls, and makes Sophie question everything she thought she knew.
With witch-hunters and witches vying for a place in her future, Sophie has to decide who she can trust.
This is a prequel to the Witch-Hunter trilogy, and contains spoilers from the very beginning.
We highly recommend you read The Shadow Rises, before finding out more about everybody's favourite cold-hearted bitch. 

Kelly Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life - books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
Her first book, The Shadow Rises, was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt. 

$20 Amazon Giftcard 
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Monday, March 30, 2020

The Recollection of Trees by Sadie Francis Skyheart Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy

  • Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

In 2010, I realized I was not in alignment with my heart (career-wise) and started writing what would become my book. I’d wanted to be a writer since first or second grade.

  • What is something unique/quirky about you?

I wear Halloween socks pretty much every day, all year.

Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I recently pitched my book as a film adaptation to producers in Burbank!

  • What are some of your pet peeves?

Loud chewing in close proximity. Ew.

  • Where were you born/grew up at?

Jackson, Michigan. Lived in Michigan my whole life until 2017.

  • If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

Spend the whole day with my closest friends and family. Oh, and eat a mountain of ice cream.

  • Who is your hero and why?

If I can only pick one and limit it to the living, Oprah. She’s such an amazing force for good in the world.

  • What kind of world ruler would you be?

I’d try to be kind, fair, compassionate, surround myself with people who are way, way smarter than me and unafraid to speak truth to power. But I’d never, ever work in politics again, so I will never be a world ruler. LOL

  • What are you passionate about these days?

I give out free mom hugs whenever I get the opportunity. I advocate for 7th-12th grade health curriculum to include LGBTQ+ students because exclusion of this information leaves too many teens potentially misinformed of risks to their wellbeing, which is also a potential public health risk. I’m also vocal about mental health awareness and selfcare. We all need to know it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. It’s time to end to the social stigma around getting help. It is healthy to seek help–whether a therapist, vitamins and herbs, medication, meditation, time in nature, EFT tapping, good sleep hygiene, 12-step and support groups–or anything else that helps us feel connected, empowered, and supported rather than disconnected, numb, and alone.

  • What do you do to unwind and relax?

Watch movies/TV, read my peers’ scripts. Bake…sometimes things turn out well, sometimes I burn things. It’s more relaxing when I don’t set off the smoke alarm.

  • How to find time to write as a parent?

Get up early or stay up late. My mentor taught me to set a timer for 15-30 minutes. Write. When it goes off, stop, even if you’re mid-sentence. Do other things, then come back and set the timer again. Never, and I mean never, “should” yourself. Write when and wherever you can. Part of my book was written on the back of grocery receipts in the early days.

  • Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Ally. Mom. Wife. Writer. Echelon.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Although I’d published several articles in a regional holistic health magazine, I didn’t think of myself as a writer until about a decade ago. I made the conscious choice to exit a stressful career in politics when I was up to my eyeballs in meetings and dealing with a mystery illness. When I changed my social media to say “writer”…it felt so vulnerable yet freeing.

  • Do you have a favorite movie?

How much time do you have? Ha ha ha. Currently my top favorites are Hello My Name is Doris (2014), The Last Word (2017) and Knives Out (2019).

  • Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

Well, I just pitched The Recollection of Trees adaptation to producers in October so…

  • What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Ohhh. I love this question. None, yet. Time to change my bucket list!

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

My mascot would definitely be a black cat.

The Recollection of Trees 
by Sadie Francis Skyheart 
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy 

Iona Dickinson doesn't know she's a witch...until she unknowingly makes a deadly wish that reopens a 300-year-old curse on her family. Torn between conflicting beliefs of family and friends, Iona must risk losing all of them as she gains self-acceptance in The Recollection of Trees. 

Book Trailer

Sadie Francis Skyheart (1972- ) was born and raised in Michigan. She currently lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, two sons, two cats, and a coonhound. She is a dedicated Detroit Lions fan. She likes to write in lucky Halloween socks, often while listening to Thirty Seconds to Mars or Chloe Moriondo. 
THE RECOLLECTION OF TREES debuted as the #1 New Release in Children's Scary Stories and Top 10 Bestselling Teen & YA Ghost Stories. She is currently completing the script for book's feature film adaptation, THE ACCIDENTAL WITCH. She is an associate producer of IN THE DEATHROOM (2020), an award-winning crime drama based on a short story by Stephen King. 

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Gifts of Fire and Ice The Firenight Prophecies Book 1 by Darren Boeck Genre: YA Fantasy, Coming of Age


The Gift of Fire to Save Us...
The Gift of Fire to Awaken Us... 

Valinet is a gifter. She's good with fire magic, but little does she know she is one of the most powerful gifters of the empire. Torn between the life she knows and one that she does not, Valinet and her brother Serg, must decide if they will brave the dangers of the Middle Desert to seek protection in Windfall. 

With their lives turned upside down, they must find their own path within the empire. Pushed apart by fate, they struggle to stay connected to one another, while noble Bloodlines seek their own ambitions. Are the Bloodlines seeking Valinet? Will they seek to employ her or try to take her power? Can serg keep himself out of the watchful eyes of the Bloodlines? 

Gifts of Fire and Ice is book one of the FireNight Prophecies. It brings the Fire Empire into focus just as it is starting to unravel. Noble Bloodlines seek to weaken the emperor's grasp, pulling in Valinet, Serg, and even the emperor's own children. They must play every hand they have to win. 

Darren Boeck is an avid reader of both science fiction and fantasy novels. Having spent decades reading them, he finally decided to put pen to paper (or keyboard to word processor) and wrote his own. With a Master's degree in Cyber Security and way too many hours behind the glow of a computer screen, he has taken a leap from the logic of the computer realm into a realm of YA fantasy. When not working on this current series, he can be found navigating life with his wife, four daughters, and two dogs. 

$50 Amazon Gift Card 

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Poor Florida Cracker by Chelsea Falin Genre: YA Coming of Age

Sissy Collet and her siblings have grown up with neglectful parents, impoverished, and bullied by their small town. When they finally get their chance to break free, they take it - despite having the odds stacked against their favor. With nothing except a half-cooked scheme and an old beater, they set off without a set destination in the hopes they will finally be free of the baggage holding them back. Will Sissy get her happily ever after? Or will she never be anything more than a Poor Florida Cracker? 

Chelsea Falin is the 25 year old independent author of well over ten titles. She began writing with intents to publish in 2006, at age 16, and finally published in 2009, at age 19. Chelsea writes in a variety of genres, including but not limited to: romance, young adult, comedy, cooking, poetry, and dramatic fiction. Professionally, Chelsea is also a freelance blog/article writer, web designer, and book blogger.
In her personal life, Chelsea is the mother of a six year old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, fishing, hiking, biking, traveling, and spending time with her friends or family. 

$10 Amazon Gift Card 

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Friday, March 27, 2020

The Dragon of Time by Aaron Dennis an Epic Fantasy

Gods and Dragons 
The Dragon of Time
Book 1 
by Aaron Dennis  

Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past.... The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom? 

Dragon Slayer 
The Dragon of Time Book 2 

With the death of Kulshedra, Dragon of Truth, it has been revealed that Scar, the mercenary, is in fact Sarkany, the Dragon Slayer, a creature fashioned for the sole purpose of purging the Dragons from the world of Tiamhaal, yet such a thing is not so simple.
Kings and queens yet war amongst one another. They, too, lie, connive, and coerce, and so, Scar and his friends must find a way to persuade those few, benevolent rulers to band together.
In the midst of peace talks and dead Dragons, those still in the worship of the beasts grow more powerful. Some of them even doubly praise their oppressor in an effort to wield more magic.
Now, united with his friends, Scar sets his gaze upon a hopeful horizon, but is strength in numbers sufficient to keep the Dragons from completing their machinations? 

Dragon Pact 
The Dragon of Time Book 3 

Dragons have posed as Gods, but the Dragon Slayer has come to Tiamhaal bearing retribution. Sarkany, avatar of Eternus, the Dragon of Time, known to his friends and enemies as Scar, has slain four Dragons; Kulshedra, the Dragon of Truth, Zmaj, the Dragon of Destruction, Gyo, the Dragon of the Sun, and Drac, the Dragon of fire, but there are yet many beasts left. Scheming and concocting, the capricious beasts grow in power as their brethren fall. Their goal; to once again walk Tiamhaal in the flesh. Scar must gather his friends to rebuild an old kingdom, thus alighting the Dragon Wars anew. 

**Read for FREE on Wattpad!!**

Dennis has been writing for 8 years and has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time. Apart from writing and creating some wonderful stories, he learned editing from working with Chuck Sambuchino. His creative skills are easily recognized in books like War and Glory where scifi and horror are mixed, or books like Cayneian, where fantasy and horror are mixed, but he also portrays a great many psychological and philosophical issues throughout his writing.
Producers can check his list of titles at his Kirkus proconnect page. 

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Vampocalypse by E.S. Brown Genre: SciFi Fantasy

“Vampocalypse” came about from my love of supernatural thrillers. I’m a huge fan of Stephen King (I’ve read more of his books than any other author), and while “Vampocalypse” isn’t a horror novel, it does contain some horrifying moments and tense scenes.

I’m also a fan of serial storytelling on TV (“The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” are two of my favorites). “Vampocalypse” is written in a format unlike anything I have ever personally read (though that’s not to say similar formats in other novels don’t exist). Essentially, the book is broken into two parts: one storyline is told in the first-person from the protagonist’s point-of-view as he maneuvers a post-apocalyptic world as a loner among tribes of people fighting to survive in a world overrun by the undead. The other storyline follows the world’s governments – who have been covertly taken over by vampires – in a pre-war world and the planning and deception that went into plunging the planet into World War III (creating a nuclear winter to block out the sunlight which allows the vampires to take over). This second storyline is told in a more traditional third-person format.

The two storylines are intertwined in the pages of the novel. The book opens with the protagonist, Prater Saxon, as he encounters a young boy, seemingly human and starving for food, who turns out to be a vampire. The next scene jumps back in time to the pre-war world and the scientists who are working to create a virus used to turn humans into vampires en masse. As a writer, it was fun jumping back-and-forth between the two timelines to show how the worlds ultimately come together (and if you haven’t read the book yet, don’t worry, it’s easy to tell as the storylines switch between each other).

With the Prater storyline, I enjoyed introducing other characters into the fold who would ultimately shape Prater’s personal journey and turn him into the person that is first introduced at the very start of the novel. In many ways, “Vampocalypse” is Prater’s origin story, preparing the reader for what is to become of him in Book Two and beyond.

The storyline detailing the vampires’ takeover of the world was equally fun to write. I am intrigued by conspiracy theories and political wrangling, and had a great time showing how the world’s governments – led by the vice-president of the United States – fall into line and ultimately do his bidding to destroy the human world.

I created three book trailers (as writer and producer) for “Vampocalypse,” the first of which essentially puts visuals into the opening scene of Prater confronting the little boy. The actor portraying Prater in the trailer was also the model used for the cover of the book. I design all my own book covers, though they are fleshed out by talents well beyond my personal skills.

I hope you enjoy reading “Vampocalypse” as much as I enjoyed creating it! And if life allows, you will have Book Two in your hands much sooner than the five years it took me to write the first book. Until then, happy reading!

Vampires have infiltrated the highest offices of the United States government.
Secretly working with top scientists in the CDC and the nation's most prestigious universities, this clandestine network creates the ultimate weapon for the undead: a particle bomb that, once detonated, transforms any humans within the blast radius into vampires. The world's human leaders deploy nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to quell the out-of-control vampire infestation. In their quest for global domination, the vampires propel the world into the greatest of all wars. A nuclear winter envelops the planet, which provides a haven for the vampires to rise up and fully realize their domination over humankind.
Prater Saxon, a half-human/half-vampire survivor in the post-apocalyptic aftermath of the war, lives alone in a world in ruins. Despite his efforts to maintain his solitude as he makes his way through the desolate wastelands, Prater finds himself drawn into a new war brewing between the humans and vampires.For millennia, humans ruled the Earth.
Their rule...may have finally come to an end.
VAMPOCALYPSE is a dark, gritty, post-apocalyptic tale of survival in a land out of resources, high in crime, and overrun with vampires. When the military can't stop the danger, it's up to one man to lead the charge against annihilation.
Fans of The Walking Dead will love E.S. Brown's newest novel. 

Book Trailers 

E.S. Brown has lived nearly his entire life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, which has provided the ideal climate for him to foster his love of writing. He is fueled by an overactive imagination and caffeine - a perfect storm that has translated into many late nights researching and working on any number of fantastical tales waiting to be told.
His interests include a love of living a healthy lifestyle, inspiring others, and simply enjoying life and all its wonders. VAMPOCALYPSE is his second novel, following the release of STARPHOENIX in 2014. He is also a poet and is working on a self-help book (a journey of healing following his divorce in 2014). Other works in progress include sequels to Starphoenix and Vampocalypse, as well as a supernatural spy-thriller tentatively titled CODENAME: SCARLETT.
E.S. Brown lives in Puyallup, Washington, where he balances writing with his day job and his cat and his two amazing kiddos. 

$10 Amazon gift card & a Vampocalypse T-shirt (black, logo'd with book title and quote from book) 

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