Mine have unexpectedly dropped by, leaving a couple of bodies in little bits and a message in blood as their way of saying hi.
Which is just great. Now I can add one more group to the growing list of nut-bags who want to tuck me in for a dirt nap. Simply put, if the in-laws don’t get me, a dead woman, the Loki, or any one of a legion of mythological beasties just might.
To top it off, I’ve learned that there’s a cosmic war that’s been raging since the dawn of creation, and somehow, I’ve found myself at the very center of it all. I know it’s gonna be a hell of a day when death might be the least of my problems.
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2obvJTw
Where are you from?
I moved around a lot when I was younger, but nowadays I live in New Orleans.
When did you know, you wanted to become an author?
I started writing when I was still in school, but work pushed it aside until recently.
What challenges have you faced?
I’m not sure the challenges in my life are that different than most other people’s, but I will say that trying to balance work and being an author is tough.
What is your favorite part about being an author?
Writing the stories I’ve always wanted to tell.
Who is your greatest supporter?
My wife, since she’s the one who really pushed me to find an editor and really give the author thing a real chance.
Any advice for someone who aspires to be an author?
Be yourself, and find a fantastic editor. I’m lucky to have such a phenomenal one, and it’s made all the difference in the world.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
I really hope you enjoy the books.
Coffee or tea?
Tea has always been my drink of choice. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of coffee.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Ken Lange is a current resident of the ‘Big Easy’, along with his partner and evil yet loving cats. Any delay, typo or missed edit can and will be blamed on the latter’s interference.
He arrived at this career a little later in life and his work reflects it. Most of his characters won’t be in their twenties and they aren’t always warm and fuzzy. He is of the opinion, that middle aged adults are woefully underrepresented in fiction and has made it his mission to plug that gap.
Translation, he’s middle aged and crotchety.
Blog Tour ~ Souls Discovered
Author: Miranda Brock
Tour Dates: 27th-31st of March
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
Spin away with young Autumn as she finds a seemingly innocuous gold necklace on her family’s farm and inadvertently uncovers her destiny as “The Keeper.” Autumn’s discovery of the necklace activates “The Window” and alerts both good and evil forces to her whereabouts. Autumn is pulled from everything she knows, and is tossed into a life of unknowns. Enigmatic enemies called Dehmons hunt her at every turn, and if captured the very world she lives in will fall into destruction. With the help of seven Searchers Autumn must learn to use the power she has been given before it is too late. Will she choose to follow the dangerous destiny thrust upon her? Will she be able to withstand the temptation of a relationship that could jeapordize everything? Most importantly, will Autumn be able to find the strength within herself to fight the dead-eyed evil Dehmon souls?
From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them. (Although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her.) Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered. Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.
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Author: M.L. Spencer
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Dates: 24th of March
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
Faced with an imminent cataclysm that will destroy the magical heritage of their people, a conspiracy of darkmages resolves to open the gateway to Hell. The only mages who stand a chance of opposing them are Sephana Clemley and her acolyte, Merris Bryar, along with their protectors, Braden and Quin Reis: two brothers with a turbulent past and a caustic relationship.
Will Braden and Quin be able to protect Sephana and Merris long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they fall victim to manipulation and become darkmages themselves?
M.L. Spencer grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She was also awarded 1st Place Prose in in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration.
Ms. Spencer lives in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by night she sweats over a beaten-up keyboard. She is now in the process of expanding the Rhenwars Saga into a trilogy.
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Between Boston and Bangalore, blossoming love reveals long-buried truth.
When Dr. Jared Harrison, an extremely handsome, world-renowned Middle East journalist, accepts a teaching position at an elite Massachusetts college, he wonders if he can settle down and rebuild his family after all the horrors he has seen. When he meets the dazzling, brilliant art history professor Akshaya Bertrand, an exotic and highly private beauty, the challenge seems worth undertaking. While many have tried and failed to capture Akshaya’s attention, Jared is determined to slip past her armor and into her life.
When Jared finds himself once again traumatized by the tragedies imprinted on his psyche, an exciting joint book project he has landed for him and Akshaya is put in jeopardy. Can he release his demons and help her release her own, so they can take advantage of the unique opportunity to travel through India for research, combining Akshaya’s passion for art with Jared’s war correspondent resources in order to, together, create a dynamic, loving future?
Blog Tour ~ Rise of the Deva’shi (Parthalan #3)
Author: Jennifer Allis Provost
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction/ Young Adult
Tour Dates: 20th-24th of March
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
A stolen girl. A legendary champion. A plan that might destroy Parthalan once and for all…
Aeolmar, First Hunter of Parthalan, leads a solitary life. Having long since abandoned his quest to kill Mersgoth—the demon that murdered his family—Aeolmar moves through his days with cold efficiency. Everything changes when he leads a training mission in Brennus, where he’s attacked by Mersgoth himself, and saved by an unlikely heroine.
Latera, first born and heir to Gannera’s throne, is kidnapped and left for dead in Parthalan’s vast forests. A lone human amongst Parthalan’s fae, she makes a home in Brennus, and lives a quiet life—until she finds herself defending a wounded First Hunter from a clutch of demons.
Back in Parthalan, Harek warns Asherah of something called the deva’shi—a warrior loyal only to the demon lord, Asgeloth. Both Aeolmar and Latera suspect that there is more to this deva’shi than what Harek has told them, but before they can learn the truth, Parthalan’s borders are attacked. Will Aeolmar and Latera be able to stop the deva’shi in time, or is it a distraction to hide Harek’s true plans?
RISE OF THE DEVA’SHI – book three of the Chronicles of Parthalan
Jennifer Allis Provost is a native New Englander who lives in a sprawling colonial along with her beautiful and precocious twins, a dog, two birds, three cats, and a wonderful husband who never forgets to buy ice cream. As a child, she read anything and everything she could get her hands on, including a set of encyclopedias, but fantasy was always her favorite. She spends her days drinking vast amounts of coffee, arguing with her computer, and avoiding any and all domestic behavior.
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Harry Potter clashes with Beauty and the Beast in T. Ariyanna’s stunning steampunk debut…
Arion was born different. After enduring years of torment at the hands of his abusive father, the arrival of his thirteenth birthday reveals a shocking secret… he has magic. Arion discovers he’s a Mage, a magical person able to craft intricate pieces of technology and do incredible things. Arion is hopeful that maybe, his newfound abilities will help him fit in for the first time in his life.
Then a rouge spell goes awry, and Arion is unable to contain its consequences. Arion finds himself scarred with the face of a beast and fighting to contain a malicious, wisecracking demon, who’s taken up refuge inside his head. Declared a devil by the townspeople, Arion flees to an enchanted castle hidden within a dark forest. He continues to practice magic, while attempting to win the heart of Kaitlyn, the kindly maiden who has befriended him. But can Kaitlyn’s beauty tame the evil inside? After all, who could ever love a monster?
In her first novel, T. Ariyanna weaves a dark tale full of twisted humor that spirals to a shocking ending. Filled with action, adventure, and romance, The Mage’s Son is a young adult steampunk fantasy novel that will have readers eagerly seeking the next installment in the Of Magic series.
Lightning flashed. The boy flinched backwards in the center of the large entrance room. The stone was cold beneath his legs. He shivered, his vision filled with the green light from outside. The lightning subsided, leaving only the heavy rain to drum against the stained glass windows set high in the walls before him. Two giant, wooden doors shook on their hinges, and the boy feared for a moment they’d be blown off. His thin lips spread into a smile. She wouldn’t let her home be weaker than a simple storm, he told himself.
He tapped his long red talons on the pure white skin of his leg. He watched the door closely with his near perfectly black eyes, a thin ring of light hazel glinting in his left eye.
Though the boy looked at least eight, he had only been alive for two years. He couldn’t remember being any younger, or smaller. It was just how his mother made him.
“Two years today,” he reminded himself. “She’ll come to see me today. She has to.”
He allowed his attention to wander, gazing at the majesty of the castle around him. The brick walls were high, covered in tapestries of dragons, pixies, and other creatures he hadn’t yet learned about. He had asked about them before, but mother had simply reminded him that he needed to learn about himself first. A large chandelier floated above him, only magic holding it suspended in the air, its candles lit with a faint blue flame. Other small flames danced throughout the room without candles or wicks. He had spent many days chasing them like will o’ wisps, and Cyllorian smiled at them
His mother preferred to decorate in the medieval time period of knights and heroes, but the castle was littered with technology and machines that only Mages could create. Thinking of them, Cyllorian scoffed. Humans were idiots to hate the Mages, and their skills in magic and technology. But humans were stubborn, and determined to prove that their way of life was the right way. He laughed to himself, thinking of all the struggles humans put themselves into simply because they couldn’t accept what was different from them.
A ball of fire danced in front of his face, embers dusting his cheeks. He grazed his fingertips along the edge, the crisp heat more pleasurable than anything he’d ever experienced. He longed to chase the lights again. But he clenched his fists, determined to wait, like he had done every day for the past year since his mother had left unexpectedly. Though he had been left alone, he was more than capable of taking care of himself, given that he didn’t need to eat.
His eyes began to droop to the music of the rain flooding the outside world, lulling him to sleep. Thunder roared beyond the walls, and he jolted to attention. The doors were quivering violently, and the boy shifted on the floor.
A light shone from under the door, a soft red glow that sunk into every crack in the floor. The boy crawled forward slowly. He was inches away from the ring of light, stretching his fingers to it, and it reached for him in response. He touched the pointed tips of his nails to the glow’s rim, and the doors flew open.
He jumped back, turning his back to the door and covering his head with his arms. The rain no longer sounded peaceful. It had broken into his home, growling like a beast ready to devour him.
“Cyllorian,” a woman’s voice rasped from behind him. The boy jumped to his feet, and stared in wonder at the woman in the doorway. Lightning flashed again, showing the wear that had befallen the woman since he had last seen her.
She was drenched from head to toe, a black cloak clinging to her frail figure. Her hands were red with blood, and they shook uncontrollably. She was slumped over a large wolf the color of night, with brown tipped ears, feet, and muzzle. A hand clutched at her middle, obsidian hair wild and pasted to her skin. Her dark eyes, dotted with stars, were flat and lifeless.
“Mother!” Cyllorian yelled. She flinched at his words, causing her to lose her balance and fall to the ground, coughing. He ran to her side and she clenched her fist, but not before he saw the blood within it. “Where have you been this past year? What’s happened to you? Please, Mother, tell me.”
The boy flailed his hands over her, looking for any way to help, but he could find no injuries or ailments. She jerked away from his touch, and he dropped his hands into his lap.
“Move aside, boy. We must get her someplace safe. My lady, you need rest,” the wolf said, shoving Cyllorian away with his muzzle. The boy fell backwards, watching the woman with immense concern.
“What happened to her?” he asked again. Her eyes were beginning to droop, and Cyllorian noticed a small pool of blood forming around her feet. The wolf gazed at him for a long moment, something shining in his eyes that the boy couldn’t place.
The wolf shook his head softly, and then turned back to the woman. “Theresa, my lady, we need to move you. Can you stand?”
“I can,” she said. There was more strength in her words for how ill she looked. She latched onto the door and pulled herself to her feet. She swayed in place, gripping the door with both hands to steady herself. A gasp escaped her lips, and her legs nearly gave out beneath her, but she held herself up.
“My lady! You mustn’t exert yourself! Please, you must rest. You haven’t much strength left,” the wolf barked, dancing in front of her. He waited for her to fall, but she held herself upright.
She placed a hand on the wolf’s back and took a step forward, nearly falling to the ground once more. “Come, Goyik, my Alpha. I must go to my tower.”
“No, my lady, you won’t make it. I must take you somewhere safe to rest.”
“My tower!” she snapped, moving forward again. The wolf whined at her side, but leaned into her as they made their way across the room to the stairs.
Cyllorian had been kneeling silently at his mother’s side, trying to find some explanation for all of this.
“Cyllorian,” the woman called. “Make sure the doors are locked properly, then join us.”
“Yes, Mother,” he whispered, though she was no longer listening. He watched her strength flee from her with every step until the two reached the stairs. He turned away as wolf and woman stumbled up them, Theresa having to stop every few steps to cough.
Cyllorian launched himself at the doors, fighting against the wind to close them. Holding them in place, he flicked his hand toward a wooden beam, and it magically shot across the doors. They rattled against the force of the wind, and thunder roared just as the doors were closed. Cyllorian jumped back, his hands held out protectively in front of him. With a wave of his hands, a soft purple light overtook the doors, and they ceased their shaking. Nothing could break them, save for his and his mother’s magic.
He nodded to himself and bolted for the stairs, taking them two at a time. He flew through the halls of the upper floor. Rounding a corner too tightly, he collided into a suit of armor nearly thrice his size. The pieces were sent sprawling loudly to the ground. He picked himself up and moved around the pieces, fearing they might come to life and attack him for his recklessness.
“Sorry,” he muttered before continuing to the tower. He froze at the doorway, hiding in the shadows until he was asked to approach.
His mother was standing at the window, holding herself up on the desk. The Alpha was cautiously behind her, shifting his weight. “There are many preparations to be done, Goyik. Many indeed. I have already put a few in place. I faked my death, creating this storm to cover my escape.”
“But, my lady, must it be so harsh a storm? And so endless? Nearly half of the village has been destroyed already. My pack is watching the town as you asked. The humans are begging for their lives!” Goyik said.
“They will survive, that I’m sure. But I must be certain no harm will come to myself.” There was a long pause. She dropped her head and stared at her hand, clenching them into fists. “I took his power from him, Goyik.”
The wolf stared at her in shock, but said nothing. “It was all that I could do for him, to take away what would only bring him harm,” the woman continued. “It was what I had to do. But it is not completely gone. Should he ever need it, he will find it. I only hope that he is able to control it.”
Theresa sighed. “They will come for me soon enough. I just need to keep him out of this long enough so that I can end those bastards on the Magicern once and for all! But for now I must run, and hide.”
A howl sounded off in the distance, and Goyik’s ears pricked. His eyes glazed over momentarily, then he growled. “My lady, one of my pack has informed me that the town has grown desperate. They have turned on your husband, blaming the boy for the storm. They are on the run, headed for the Dire Woods as we speak. Shall I have my pack herd them elsewhere?”
Tears peaked in her eyes, but she shook them away. “No. There is no other place for them. The town will come around. We just need to keep them sheltered until then.” She stared out the window, a spark alight in her eyes. “I’ll do it.”
“My lady, you haven’t the strength to save them!” Goyik protested, nipping at the edge of her cloak.
“I have to.” She flexed her hands. Her eyes darted furiously around the world outside the window, but they finally came to rest. Cyllorian leaned into the room and watched out the window as best he could. Theresa closed her eyes and concentrated, and Cyllorian stared in awe as a house manifested on a hill not far from the edge of the woods. It was a small, two-story cabin, made of wood from trees that had been standing on the hill seconds before.
Theresa collapsed to the ground, trying to hold herself up on the edge of the table. Goyik was in front of her in an instant, supporting most of her weight on his back. “There. They will be safe now. It’s far enough from the village for the humans to give up the chase.”
Cyllorian crept into the room. “Who are you talking about, Mommy? What’s going on?”
Her body shuddered at his words. “Cyllorian. You will not understand this now, but you must listen to me. Please, I beg that you call me by my name. I…I can’t stand to hear that word any longer!”
Cyllorian stepped away from her, tears stinging his eyes. She turned to look at him, and the stern expression fell from her face. She stumbled over to him, and fell to her knees so she was eye level. Gripping his shoulders tightly, she smiled at him.
“I had a child, Cyllorian. A baby, grown within me, and it has taken all strength from me. You have been my child for two years now, to the day even. But you are not my son. That body was not meant for you, but the soul inside was. I created it for you, made your essence from my own life. But the boy, down in the village with his father, is my son, Arion. I’m sorry. I do love you, Cyllorian, but I also love my son, and I must do whatever it takes to protect him, to protect you both. You will not understand all of this now, but in the future, you will learn.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m your son, Mommy! Me! You have to stay with me! Mommy, please!” The boy clutched at the edges of Theresa’s cloak.
She shook his shoulders, and his whining ceased, though his tears were flowing freely. “Please, Cyllorian. Please,” she whispered. Tears were flowing down her face as well, and sadness filled her eyes. She dropped her head as she spoke, “It has been a long year, and there is much that I have brought about. There is too much danger in the world, far too much for my children. I am the only one who can stop him now. It is the utmost priority. Above everything else.”
She stood up abruptly, still clinging to Cyllorian’s shoulders. “Come here to the table with me. There is something I’d like to show you.” Her voice broke with sorrow, though she had forced herself to stop crying.
She led the boy to the table, a small music box sitting in the middle. He grabbed the edge of the table and pulled himself onto his toes to look at it better. The box was simple, but with an intricate lock made of gears spinning under a large metal plate. A familiar insignia of a lightning bolt was etched into the plate. Theresa waved her palm in front of the box, and it flew open. A clear crystal ball sat deep within the box, a small switch beside it.
Cyllorian looked over the contents carefully. “Go on,” she nudged. He glanced up at her, then reached his hand out and flicked the switch. The room filled with music, and Theresa began singing the lullaby he had heard countless times before.
“Come now, my child,
‘Tis time to rest.
Your thoughts are so wild.
Come, mother knows best.
Just close your eyes,
Stop your mind in its race.
There’s no need for cries,
For this is a safe place.
I’ll wait here for you
To wake from your peace.
For my love is true
And shall never cease.”
Cyllorian had closed his eyes at the sound of the song, his head lolling to the side. When Theresa had stopped singing, he glanced up at her. There were tears in her eyes as she hummed the melody, though the box had stopped playing its music. Her fingers rested lightly on the crystal ball, shaking on the glass.
“I’m so very sorry, Cyllorian. You were not born, therefore, you are not human. You are an imp, a type of a demon, though a weak one. But don’t let that define you. Things are going to change, and I wish I could tell you that they didn’t have to. But it is what must be done, for the sake of everyone. Remember all that I’ve taught you. I love you, my child. I will return for you, though I know not when. I’m sorry.”
A deep blue smoke had been forming within the glass ball, coming from her fingertips. It grew until it was almost too big to fit into the ball, and Theresa pulled her hand away. She lightly grazed Cyllorian’s shoulder, and there was a sharp pain. He looked to find a small burn in the shape of a star. It was light red and already beginning to heal, but it didn’t matter.
The navy smoke reached out of the ball in wisps and tendrils, slithering toward him. They latched onto his shoulder, and pulled at the scar. He screamed with the pain, white blood running down his arm. He turned to Theresa for help, but she had spun away from him, a hand over her mouth. He whirled on the wolf, but he sat still as stone, watching Theresa dutifully.
Cyllorian continued to scream in pain as his body was ripped into pieces. Though the pain was immense, somehow, he still felt intact. He kicked and clawed at the tendrils that tore him apart, but it wasn’t long before there was nothing left of him.
He felt himself, but there was also nothing to feel. His mind was there, and all of his senses, but he had no body. He had been reduced to nothing more than the pure essence of his being in the form of a small cloud of violet smoke, humming in the air. There was a stinging in his core, and he longed for something concrete to attach to, his attention drawn to the crystal ball.
It was empty now, but the navy smoke still lay stretched between him and the glass. It was pulling him toward it, though it didn’t seem to have the power.
Theresa cupped her hands around his essence, and lifted the ball of smoke to her face. “It may be uncomfortable now, but this frees you to be yourself. You haven’t found your own power yet, and it won’t make sense to you for a long time, but you don’t need a body. You can make one of your own, though now is not the time for that. I must lock you away now. Not just for Arion’s safety, but for yours as well. You need to trust me, my child. I’m sorry.”
With that, she poured the smoke into the glass ball, and Cyllorian was sucked inside. With all the strength he had left, he rammed against the edge of his prison, again and again. He quickly lost his energy. He stared willfully at Theresa as she closed the box. There was a flash of her blue light, and then darkness engulfed him, a gaping hole of pain and anger eating him away from the inside.
I will wait for you as well, Mother, he thought bitterly. But it won’t be a happy reunion. I promise you that.
In 1968, Annemarie Vanderhorst is happy to finally be free of her controlling mother’s societal expectations. She’s a college freshman, and she’s going to use her time at school wisely. It’s all about education—she wants to discover her destiny, not chase after boys and an M.R.S. But the very first day of class, a dark and handsome stranger takes over every waking thought. After a whirlwind romance is met with disapproval, Annemarie is forced to choose between Henry and her family. She’s just not sure she made the right choice.
In 2016, Claire James returns to Bennett, South Carolina after leaving her fiancé, determined to be independent for once in her life. After convincing her father to find a job for her in the family company, she realizes independence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Coworkers regard her with jealousy and suspicion, her best friend is too busy with her own family to take care of Claire, and a terrifying secret she can’t admit even to herself holds her captive. How much more can she take?
The lives of these two women, decades apart but uncannily similar, intersect one fateful night. With broken hearts and hope for the future, they will wonder together—is it ever too late for love?
Purchase links: https://www.amazon.com/This-Dread-Road-Bennett-Book-ebook/dp/B01NAWQBUM/ (Kindle Unlimited)
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