The Key of Amatahns ~ Debut Novel Blog Hop

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To celebrate the re-release of The Key of Amatahns by Elisabeth Wheatley, Inkspelled Faery is hosting ten days of visiting your favorite authors as they talk about their very first novels, topped off by an all-day Facebook party with fun, games, and giveaways. Check out the full line up of authors and don’t forget to join the Facebook party on the 25th!

thekeyofamatahns_LARGEIn a land where those with magic are esteemed and revered, Janir guards a secret that would send her to the headsman’s block at a word. As one of the reviled Argetallams, she has the power to destroy enchantments and steal others’ magic—an ability that has caused bloodshed for generations.

Raised as the illegitimate daughter of an influential lord, she was determined to turn her back on her heritage, but when her power manifests, leaving a nobleman dead, she has no choice but to flee her adoptive home. In exile with the help of a fearless young enchanter and an elf sworn to protect her, she finds herself entangled in a quest to hide an ancient artifact from the kingdom’s enemies.

But they are not the only ones after the relic and soon their paths cross with a rival from Janir’s distant childhood. With no hope of help or rescue, the fate of nations will depend on a fifteen year old girl and her mastery of powers she doesn’t understand.

Kindle

 Paperback

To start us off, can you sum up your first novel in a tweet, 140 characters or less?

The heir to a legacy she hates is forced to flee her adoptive home and fight monsters, brothers, and other horrible things to save the world

What are you most proud of in this title?

Um…I think I’m going to have to go with Lucan, the brother I mentioned up there. I’m very proud of how much more developed he is now versus the original version, but that’s reediting for you.

Do you think your writing has changed since your debut? In what way?

My writing has changed A LOT since I first wrote this book. I’m much longer-winded for one and have been churning out epics lately, but more importantly, I would say I’ve definitely gotten better. At least my stories have a sense of logic from the beginning, not like the Helenistic drama that was in the very first drafts of this one.

If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you were writing your first book, what would it be?

Get it done already, girl. Really, I think I learned a lot of things just through writing this book and others that I couldn’t have learned any other way. It took me years to write this because I didn’t take it seriously at the time, but that’s not the case now! I feel like I could have learned much faster if I had been serious from the beginning, but who knows?

What was the first thing you did after finishing that very first draft?

I hid it on my computer whilst dreaming of the day it would be adapted into a multi-film franchise.

Actually, that’s not far from the truth. I was scared my dad wouldn’t approve of my literary endeavors, so I sat on this story forever until my mom finally persuaded me to show it to him. (I was 15 at the time, so what he thought was still a freaking big deal.) He asked around for advice and as a result a family friend introduced me to indie publishing. There was no coming back after that and here I am!

 If you thought this was fun, drop by the Facebook party going down on the 25th for more interviews with your favorite Fantasy authors as well as games and goodies galore!

Two giveaways and a party

 

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Feast your eyes on that gorgeous signature!

I realize it’s been a bit silent around here these past few days and I apologize, but I have been busy. Remember that Facebook party I was talking about? Well, we now have 11 awesome YA authors lined up for fun and games on the 25th, not two mention two giveaways going on now!

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Sadly, not signed, but brand new. Look, it’s even shining in the photo.

The first giveaway is for a signed copy of Jadie Jones’ Moonlit to whomever can bring in the most people to the event. The second is a random drawing once we reach 250 attendees for a shiny new copy of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers or, for guests outside the US, the eBook of your choice up to $4.99. You can check out the lineup and times of authors below and find the event here. So invite lots of people, tell lots of people, and don’t forget to join yourself for the chance to win!

 

Event Schedule ~ Saturday, April 25th. All times CST:

9 am: R E Sheahan ~ Storm of Arannon
10 am: T. L. Shreffler ~ Sora’s Quest
11 am: Nancy Chase, Author ~ The Seventh Magpie
12 pm / noon: Morgan Wylie ~ Silent Orchids
1 pm: J.L. Bond & Val Richards ~ The Primortus Chronicles
2 pm: Intisar Khanani ~ Thorn
3 pm: Melissa Sasina, Author ~ Defiance
4 pm: S.M. Boyce ~ Lichgates
5 pm: Jena Baxter ~ Reflections
6 pm: Eli Hinze, Author ~ No Angels
7 pm: Elisabeth Wheatley, YA Fantasy Author ~ The Key of Amatahns

The Priestess Trilogy Giveaway! @MelissaSasina

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Today, I have the honor of announcing that the awesome Melissa Sasina is hosting a grand giveaway for copies of her complete The Priestess Trilogy! Check out the cover candy, the giveaway link at the end of the post, and my review of book one!

P1 Defiance 750 pixelsDefiance (Priestess Trilogy #1):

Shiovra has been named High Priestess of the village Tara, but she quickly finds herself hunted by the Milidh, a clan born of war and vengeance. With the safety of Tara at stake, it is decided that she is to seek aid from her betrothed, one she considers the enemy.

At her side is Odhrán, a Milidh warrior sworn to protect her and determined to gain her trust. But their journey is fraught with peril and Shiovra learns that darkness lurks in the hearts of her own kin.

Steeped in ancient Irish myth, this tale is spun of love, war, and defiance.

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P2 Betrayal 750 pixelsBetrayal (Priestess Trilogy #2):

Shiovra, High Priestess of the village Tara, is set to wed one considered the enemy for the sake of her clan. Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Shiovra decides her fate and faces the truth about Odhrán.

Still hunted by both the Milidh clan and her own kin, she learns that not all enemies are quite what they seem.

Loyalty is brought into question and power lost within enemy ranks in what shall ultimately lead to one thing: BETRAYAL.

Amazon

P3 Eclipse 750Eclipse (Priestess Trilogy #3):

Tensions escalate between two clans, threatening their fragile peace. On one side stand the Túath, on the other the Milidh. The prize: control of the land of Éire. Yet amidst this brewing conflict, another more dangerous threat looms. The village of Tara is ripped apart, not by war, but by the seed of betrayal as the priestess’ own kinswoman, Gráinne, conspires to seize control. Enemies shall become allies and Shiovra is faced with a difficult choice, one that will ultimately engulf her world in an irreversible eclipse.

Coming Soon!

 

 

IMG_20140913_143001Author Bio:

Born in 1982 in Cleveland, Ohio, Melissa has always been an avid lover of fantasy. In her youth she would write short stories and add artwork to them. Inspired by the encouraging words of her high school English teacher, she decided to change her career path from graphic art to writing. When not writing, Melissa enjoys doing freelance art and is an avid gamer. She still lives in Ohio with her husband, son, cat Trinity, and ferret Rope.

 Social Media links:

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Tumblr

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Click here for the Rafflecopter!

 

Review: City of Blaze (The Fireblade Array, #1) by H.O. Charles @HOCharles

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Fantasy Romance Epic.

The city is crumbling beneath a mountain of indulgences. Its soldiers find entertainment in the beds of the castle’s servants rather than fight, believing they are safe from the deadly embrace of wielders. Wars are fought to encourage otherwise absent mortality, and countless citizens suffer the terrible pangs of nalka – the hunger for intimacy. All the while, Cadra’s king concerns himself with choosing which of his disappointing concubines to execute next. The duty falls upon his son, Morghiad, to restore the city’s strength and the army’s purpose. As Morghiad attempts to do just that, he uncovers darker horrors and encounters a young servant who could either be his greatest ally or his greatest hindrance.

City of Blaze is a story of changing allegiances, self-control and love.

Includes glossary of terms

 Blurb and cover from Goodreads

4 out of 5 stars

It’s no secret I’ve fallen behind on my reviews, but I read this baby last autumn and it’s taken me this long to tell you lot about it. (Yes, I’m a horrible blogger. Bad me.)

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book. I grabbed it under the old cover (without the seminude man) because it was Epic Fantasy and it was free for Kindle and that combination is like a siren song to me. It sat around on my Kindle for Lord knows how long before I read it, but once I did, I got involved, I got emotional, I became invested. Next thing you know, I’m buying the second book, the third book. I’ve never read anything quite like this and it got its hooks in my brain.

The thing to be aware of when reading this is that it truly is an epic. The tale spans several years and takes us through a great deal of character development. The book takes commitment to finish, but I found it exceptionally worth it. Not to mention the world building and the rules of the world are about as original as I have seen. It was so different, so thought out, it’s pretty much impossible not to be impressed.

The plot:

I’ll admit I was kind of stumped about this for a while. My inner editor was trying to identify the exact plot and I couldn’t, so I just stuffed my inner editor into a cupboard and decided to enjoy the story.

It might seem like the plot meanders a bit, but I actually didn’t mind. There was plenty of action and I got hooked on the romance, though I’m going to take that opening and tell everyone that this is not Young Adult. There were some pretty intense lead-ups to sex scenes and I’m going to assume those parts of the scenes were also intense because I still maintain my practice of sex-scene-skipping. (Yes, I’m nearly 20 and still do that, shut up.)

The characters:

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Artemi at first. I was certain that I wasn’t going to like her because in general if a girl is playing two different men at once (which she kind of did, but kind of didn’t), I tend to get upset. However, we ended up getting along quite nicely and I really want to ask the author on where her name came from.

As for Morghiad, I think we can safely say that he has joined the ranks of my babies (a hypothetical collective of fictional characters over which I am viciously protective). He seems to have this masochistic belief that he’s horrible, which doesn’t go away—at least not in the first two books. But he’s a sweet chap overall, so we’ll cut him a break.

This review is running a bit long, but I just want to mention Silar—whom I didn’t like at first, but who grew on me. There are also several different antagonists who provide varied amounts of antagonization at different parts of the story and the book has an open ending—which is code for “cliffhanger,” so be ye warned.

Looking back, I’m not really sure what I loved most about this book. I finished reading and the characters kept bouncing around in my head until I broke down on downloaded the sequel. I truly did enjoy this and am very excited to see what lies in store for the series.

P.S. It’s free on all eBook venues I’ve checked!

 Find City of Blaze on Goodreads

Find City of Blaze on Amazon

Find City of Blaze on BN.com

Thorn Flash Sale for a Cause ~ April 1st-7th

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 Nab Amazon bestselling YA Fantasy novel Thorn by Intisar Khanani for 99 cents April 1- 7 and help bring these two young brothers home. Described as “unflinching and exquisite,” Thorn is a story of choice and betrayal, justice and compassion. Recommended for fans of Robin McKinley and Mercedes Lackey.
About Thorn

Thorn_CoverFnlRevFNLF_low_resFor Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometimes the hardest choice means learning to trust yourself.

About Evan & Raymond
This sbrothers2ale is also about Intisar’s good friend, Jamie, and the two little boys she and her husband are in the process of trying to adopt. Evan (age 7) and Raymond (age 9) are biological brothers, both born with Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome—a condition that results in brain damage if left untreated. They were each given up at birth, and were unable to receive treatment for their condition. These brothers have lived in an orphanage in Eastern Europe their whole lives. As boys who are older and struggle with developmental disabilities, it’s almost impossible to find adoptive families for them. But Jamie has her heart set on bringing them home, and this sale is about helping that happen.
All of the proceeds from Thorn‘s 99 cent sale are going towards that adoption. Our goal is to raise $2,000 over the course of the week. International adoption is prohibitively expensive (often over $20,000), so every dollar makes a difference… You can find out more about the boys and Jamie, and link to their blog, here: http://reecesrainbow.org/83163/sponsorallison-3
And today, your help can make this goal a reality. Please share, tweet, and/or re-blog this post, and buy and give “Thorn” as a gift to friends and family! You can also invite your friends to the “Thorn Flash Sale” event on Facebook. Help us bring Evan and Raymond home.
Thorn is currently on sale for only 99 cents at all of these e-retailers:
Thorn is a great book fundraising for a great cause. Check out my fangirl-ridden review here and please help spread the word about this fundraiser!

Post-Mission Report: Spring Break 2015

17342700Day #1
Monday began with a rude gesture to the alarm clock as I slept in. Eventually, I dragged myself out of bed to complete my weekly running ritual in case I ever do find that blue police box.

The rest of the day was invested in writing (I refuse to tell you what) and as soon as I met my daily word quota, I turned to reading Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms, #3) by Morgan Rhodes. I laughed, I cringed, I freaked, I fangirled—and I didn’t even finish it.

Day #2
As the sun set, I had once again bested my dread word count quota. After completing the last few chapters of Gathering Darkness, I reached for The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2) by Brandon Sanderson. I had missed Elend and Vin and I was delighted to see them again—sweet babies that they are.

Day #3
On this day, I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 6:30. Can you imagine? 6:30 on a vacation?

However, it proved to be worth it. I spent the morning getting the Key of Amatahns uploaded, proofed, and approved for Amazon and began setting up the celebratory blog hop. I was even able to meet my daily word count quota on The Project That Shall Not Be Named.

That night, I stayed up with my adoptive children Vin and Elend past 3:55 a.m. There were three armies attacking at once—I had no choice.

2115046Day #4
I made more progress with The Project to Which I Shall Never Confess. There was a minor panic attack somewhere in there over something, but I can’t remember what it was.

I finished The Well of Ascension at 2:50-something in the morning, then spent a bit of time too scared to turn out the lights because of the creepy being that showed up at the end.

When I finally did get up the courage, I laid there in bed, feeling depressed. How the hell could I ever hope to write as well as Mr. Sanderson? That guy’s a bloody genius.

Day #5
I started the very adult Epic Fantasy, Anomaly of Blaze (The Fireblade Array, #3) by H.O. Charles. This endeavor was interrupted by a great deal of arguing, yelling, and general mayhem as my mother and brothers attempted to get the house presentable for a playdate.

Despite everything, the playdate was a success and I made friends with their classmate’s three year old sister, who seemed to think I was cool for some reason.

24860279Day #6
Saturday came with packing in preparation for our move and more panicking, but when we were done, everyone else went out to watch Kingsman and I was left at home because they knew better than to drag me out in public.

I worked on my word count and paced around the house, enthusiastically quoting Khan, Ravenna, Morgana, and some of my own villains. I find that practice oddly therapeutic. (Had the neighbors heard, I’m sure they would be moving right now, thinking that they were living next to a psychopath.)

Day #7
We went to church and then lunch, where we discussed politics over Bulogi wraps and green tea. After a delightful time watching Cinderella, we all went home before I departed for my father’s house where I fooled around on the internet and did more work on That Which Must Not Be Mentioned.

As you know, honor demands that all homework be completed as late as humanly possible. At 1:00 Monday morning, I began to work on an assignment from two weeks earlier. Hopped up on caffeine, I managed to get it done before crashing into bed and thus ended my Spring Break of 2015.