Cover Reveal: Uncharted

Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.
 
Book Details:
Title: Uncharted
Author Name: Justine Alley Dowsett & Murandy Damodred
Length:  319 pages
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Comedy, Adventure, Swashbuckling, Polyamoury
Release Date: April 17, 2017
About Uncharted:
Destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.
Fated to be a Priestess of Saegard, Meredith dreams of leading a normal life with a family and a home of her own, something she’ll never have if she swears her life to the Order.  A chance encounter with a stranger in the sacred Celestial Chamber sends her previously well-ordered life into a tailspin of adventure and mayhem as she is blamed for the theft of a legendary artifact.
Now a fugitive, Meredith must join forces with Captain Reginald Lawrence, the son of the man who initially brought her to the Temple, and his enigmatic business partner, the charming yet at times infuriating, Grey Rhodes, to find the Celestial Bowl and clear her name. From the cosmopolitan capital of Saegard to the coast of Ismera and back again, Meredith’s journey will reveal the true nature of her past, present, and ultimately, her future.
Meet the Authors:
Justine Alley Dowsett
From obtaining her BA in Drama at the University of Windsor to becoming an entrepreneur in video game production and later, publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett’s unswerving ambition has always led her to pursue her dreams. She lives in Windsor, Ontario and dedicates her time to writing and publishing fiction novels. When not focusing on growing her business, she enjoys role-playing with friends and developing new ideas to write about.
Murandy Damodred
With a background in Drama and Communications from the University of Windsor, Murandy Damodred enjoys fantasy fiction with strong romantic subplots. She is an avid role-player and is happiest when living vicariously through her characters. Though she’d rather think of herself as the heroine of her next novel, in the real world she is an expert in sales and management living in Windsor, Ontario.
Connect with:
Pre-Order Links:

 

Cover Reveal! Elliott Baker

Cover Reveal & Pre-Order Launch ~ The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2, by Elliott Baker
We are revealing the cover for The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2 in Elliott Baker’s new series!
Plus, the book is available on Amazon for Pre-Order:  http://amzn.to/2lEnUke
Book Information:
Title: The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2
Author Name: Elliott Baker
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Visit the Tour Hosts:
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About The Sun God’s Heir: Rebirth, Book 2:
The Count of Monte Cristo meets ancient Egypt in this riveting sequel to The Sun God’s Heir: Return.
Set during the wave tossed years of white slavery and Barbary pirates, this is the epic story of René Gilbert, a journey that defies time as he must draw on a larger awareness earned in previous lifetimes.
The plague’s dark fingers curl around Bordeaux. René must return home to save those he loves. But first he has to escape a Moroccan sultan’s clutches. In Bordeaux, an enemy waits, filled with a hatred three thousand years old. Only René can defeat this dark power, and only if he reclaims his own ancient past. In this arena, death is but the least of failure’s penalties.
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Meet the Author:

Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced in the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to release his first novels. The Sun God’s Heir: Return, book one of the trilogy, was released this past January, and book two, Rebirth will come out on April 18th, followed in July by the third and final book of the series, Redemption. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

Grab Book 1, The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1 on Amazon ~ http://amzn.to/2mklqLB

Guest Post: Tiffany Shand


It’s rare to find a book that you love so much that you immediately want to start reading again as soon as you have finished – but this is one of them! I loved how Tiffany Shand weaved the stories beautifully in the smaller form of novellas, something that most authors struggle to do, and I immediately found it impossible to put down. Kaylan is absolutely fabulous as a character: so fiery and independent, and yet so vulnerable and open about her hopes and fears. The more I read, the more I completely immersed myself in the world of the Amaranthine, and it was almost a bit of a shock when I looked up to see that hours had passed, and not only was my tea completely cold, but the sun had set and I was barely able to see the screen!

I would definitely recommend this trilogy to anyone who really loves a bit of urban dystopia romance fantasy . . . I’m not entirely sure how to define what Tiffany Shand creates, but I loved it!

Book Information:

Title: The Amaranthine Chronicles Box Set (3 Novellas)

Author Name: Tiffany Shand

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: January 25, 2017

Page Count: 203

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/2iCihkV

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33642816-the-amaranthine-chronicles-complete-series

Follow the Tour to Read Reviews of The Amaranthine Chronicles:

http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/review-tour-schedule-amaranthine.html



The Novellas in the Box Set:



Betrayed by Blood:

In a city of lies and deception, only one thing stands between chaos and justice. For centuries, a band of outlaws called the Amaranthine has kept the peace in Ormere and hidden in plain sight whilst the Order of Sorcerers spreads their deadly magic among the city’s inhabitants.

After losing her fiancé in bust gone wrong, Amaranthine Agent Kaylan Avilion returns home to discover that Elijah didn’t die but instead was changed by the twisted guards of the Order, who seek to find a dangerous artefact tied to Kaylan’s past and the murder of her family. When her sister goes missing and a foe from their past remerges, Kaylan knows she must save Freya before she’s poisoned by the very people who took Elijah away from her. But how will Kaylan react when she learns Elijah’s secret and can they come together to stop the Order’s plan in time?

Dark Revenge:

Darkness is sweeping through the city of Ormere as unnatural creatures stalk through the streets. People are dying and time is running out as a new evil threatens to take control of everything. The Amaranthine Order has been decimated leaving only a few of its people left to fight the coming terror.

Stunned by her sister Freya’s betrayal and plot to take over the city, Kaylan must do everything she can to find out what Freya plans to do when she finds an infamous book linked to the murder of their family. A book considered so dangerous that the last High Lord erased its location from history, the Amaranthine Chronicles are said to contain the darkest of all magics.

Kaylan is happy to finally have her ex-fiancé, Elijah, back in her life but he’s not the man she once knew and loved. After being turned into a shapeshifter, Elijah struggles to control his inner beast and his lingering feelings for Kaylan.

Can Elijah and Kaylan come together to stop Freya and uncover the secrets of the book before it’s too late?

The Final Battle:

Darkness has claimed the city of Ormere and death has become a certainty for anyone stalking its empty streets. The government is in ruins and lawlessness ensues.

After their last encounter, Kaylan and Elijah barely managed to thwart her sister, Freya’s, latest attempts to find and use the elusive Amaranthine Chronicles. But in her desperation to receive ultimate power, Freya will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Even if it means destroying the last of her family.

Kaylan and Elijah must work on their fragile relationship and put their personal feelings aside to find the book and stop Freya before it’s too late. But with their allies growing thin, and a gang of ruthless shapeshifters close on their trail, will they finally find the book and stop Freya before time runs out? And will Kaylan have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her city and the man she loves?

Meet the Author:

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. After doing a creative writing course in her teens, she discovered her love of nonfiction writing and is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

She writes both non-fiction for writers and fiction, and is the author of the urban fantasy Excalibar Investigations Series. When she’s not writing, you’ll usually find her reading.

Tiffany lives in Essex, UK with her family, two very spoiled cats and a hamster.

Tiffany’s Blog

Tiffany’s Author Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Guest Post: Elliott Baker

Welcome to the Book Launch and Free on Kindle Promotion Tour for
The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1 – and scroll down to read a free excerpt!
From Jan. 18-22, 2017,  the Kindle version of The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1 will be FREE for everyone.
About The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1:
The Sun God’s Heir is a swashbuckling series, set at the end of the seventeenth century in France, Spain and northern Africa. Slavery is a common plague along the European coast and into this wild time, an ancient Egyptian general armed with dark arts has managed to return and re-embody, intent on recreating the reign of terror he began as Pharaoh. René Gilbert must remember his own former lifetime at the feet of Akhenaten to have a chance to defeat Horemheb. A secret sect has waited in Morocco for three thousand years for his arrival.
Read below for a FREE sneak peek!

“Do you know what a cat is, boy?” The veins in the man’s neck pulsed. His eyes were shot red with blood.

“A small animal?” René asked.

There was a laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain’s gaze turned like a snake seeking prey. The laugh died. Only the sea continued to speak. In the presence of death, the men remained silent.

“You, James, bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I promise you.” The man’s voice was a rough whisper.

“Gob, there’s no need to add harm to the kid. ’Twill find him soon enough,” said James.

“Bring me the damn cat, Bailey.”

James walked over and handed the boatswain the cat-o-nine- tails. He caught René’s eye and shook his head. The cat had nine sinuous thongs of blood-encrusted leather dangling from a well-worn wooden handle.

“This here’s a cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there is a skill and a talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I am proud to say I have. You see, you need to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs every couple of strokes, to keep ’em separate. I gotta tell you— as much pride as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I lose track. I try to keep count, but before I know it, I plumb forgot to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that don’t happen today.”

“I also have a skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said in a low voice.

The man hesitated, confusion written across his face. He laughed a quick bark followed by an angry shake of his head.

“Pay attention, boy.” He raised the whip before René’s face, separated the thongs of the cat, and petted it in a sensual way. “Turn him around, and chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”

A stroke cracked against René’s back, sending blood and skin flying. “It usually takes me ten or twenty strokes to get warmed up, so don’t get too excited yet.”

You have my attention now.

René centered himself and forced down his awareness of the pain. He counted on his estimation of the captain and Gaspard’s instructions. If he was wrong, he would be too hurt to try anything.

“Two.”

The whip cracked and pain sang along the bloody stripe down his back. René refused to cry out. He needed the respect of these men if he was to survive.

“Three.”

Crack.

Blood trickled down the back of his legs. Time wavered, and he faded in and out.

“Ten.”

Crack.

The force of the cat drove him into the mast.

“Enough, Boatswain.” The master of the vessel had a stern voice long accustomed to command.

“But Cap’n, I ain’t nearly finished. I was just gettin’ warmed up.” The boatswain’s voice was thick with frustration.

“Part of our bonus is to deliver this boy alive to his fate. I do not intend to lose money to satisfy your pleasure, sir.” The captain was a tall, somber man with sharp eyes. He did not seem like the type of man to brook dissent. He called out to the crew, “Do any of you wish to donate your share to the boatswain’s pride?”

A chorus of denials rang out, along with a few variations on “leave the boy be.” As the men dispersed one of them muttered, “That is one tough kid. Never seen a man take ten without makin’ a sound.”

“Mister Bailey, unchain the boy and see to his wounds. He needs to be alive and aware in order for us to meet our commission.” The captain turned back to his work.

The boatswain stood there seething. His hand twitched. Droplets of blood jumped from the sodden leather to land on the deck. He leaned close enough for René to smell his foul breath. “We have time yet, boy. You and I still have business before the sharks get ya.”

René’s eyes met those of the wielder of the cat. “I have made you a promise, sir, and I always keep my promises.”

The man was mute in response.

Book Information:

Title: The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1
Author Name: Elliott Baker
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Amazon Link:
Visit the Blogs Participating in the Book Launch and Free on Kindle Promotion:
Praise for The Sun God’s Heir: Return:
A great read! From the first sword fight I could not put it down. Adventure, romance, action with just the right amount of his history and mysticism. The main character Rene displays all the qualities a true hero should; loyal, smart, humble, and a ferocious warrior all opponents will fear before their end. I could not help but feel fully immersed in the story. One of the best reads I can remember, I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series!! ~ Jason Battistelli
The Sun God’s Heir is a page turner. The development of the characters made you really care what happens next to each person, good or evil. The descriptions of the ships, homes and countryside transported me into the era and made me feel like I was one of the onlookers or a part of the story itself. The moment I finished I had to have the second book to see what happens next. Fabulous!” ~
Karyn Krause Cumberland, Esquire
The Sun God’s Heir is a fascinating combination of historical period fiction, sci-fi, and political intrigue. Elliott Baker weaves a tale that one would have to be catatonic not to enjoy. The character development ranks among the best I’ve read; truly, by halfway through the book I found myself thinking like Rene (the main character) in my own daily life. This is the sign of mastery of character depth which is so often lacking in contemporary fiction. And the pacing! Rarely does a book seem to move at the speed of a movie without feeling haphazard. I applaud Elliott for pulling that off, as only an experienced screenwriter or playwright could. If you like a quality story that bridges traditional genre boundaries, then the Sun God’s Heir is for you! ~ Joshua Bartlett
Meet the Author:
Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida but has spent the last thirty-five years or so living in sunny New Hampshire. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. Among his many work experiences, Elliott was a practicing hypnotherapist for seven years. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.
You can find Elliott at the following places:

Medieval vs Regency

I started out as a medieval writer; someone who knew and loved the medieval period completely and utterly.

I studied History and English at the University of York, UK, and the majority of that ended up being medieval and Early Modern. I revelled in what I learned of the medieval period, and I truly loved learning about the history, the politics, the food, the fashion, the literature, and the language. I knew that the medieval era was something that I really wanted to immerse myself in.

So I continued at the University of York, and I studied my MA in Medieval Studies on a scholarship. There are still times when I really miss academia, and the time I had just enjoying the research and the reading. In fact, I loved it so much that even in my spare time, I ended up thinking about the medieval era – and so I decided to write a book about it.

One book was followed by its sequel, and then I wrote a bridge novella between the two. Soon enough, all three books had been put together in one collected edition, and I was already half way through another series.

And then my publishers gave me a call.

They wanted to commission me to write a Regency novella – specially based around Christmas. Now, I love Jane Austen, and I’ve read a huge number of Regency novels and novellas, but this wasn’t something that I had a huge amount of research knowledge in. Could I really make the transition? It was only about 700 years difference . . .

I threw myself into the task, and I can now proudly say that I’m a rather successful author of both the medieval period and the Regency period. Do I have a favourite? I still think that my heart truly belongs in the medieval era, but I’m now mid way between writing two series, one set in the tenth century and one set in the nineteenth – so who can say what will come next!

It’s hard to believe that the last of my Regency romance series is now published! A Harvest Passion is now available to read, and completes the series of four novellas, with A Christmas Surprise, A Valentine Secret, and A June Wedding all coming before it. Make sure that you read them and let me know what you think!

Endings and Beginnings

Today is Epiphany, and this marks the official end of Christmas. Sob. I love Christmas, but because today is no longer part of Christmas, our decorations came down last night.

Christmas probably feels like a long time ago, right? Christmas came mean many things for different people, but it almost always has certain rituals that mark its beginning and end. For some people, it’s the calendar – the 1st of December means that the tree is brought in and decorated, and the advent calendar is opened for the first time. For my family, we have Christmas music playing from this time, but the house itself is not decorated until the second Saturday in December.

Similarly, the end of Christmas can vary, but Epiphany is a general marking point for everyone. And Christmas is not the only event in our lives that has specific beginnings and endings.

It’s useful to have these natural markings that are in our lives when writing. We are so accustomed to using rites of passage to illustrate the stages of our characters’ lives, that it seems strange to me that we do not use other events more often. It’s almost a sort of rite of passage for the world.

You can easily demonstrate the emotional well-being of a father by the first time that he allows his daughter to choose her own suitor. A child leaving the nest is an ending, but also signals to the reader their maturity. The death of a character is not only a rite of passage for that character in particular, but also for everyone else that inhabits your book. How do they respond to this ending?

So often it is beginnings that have the emphasis. Even in my normal conversations, people ask, “How did you meet?” or “What was your first job?” We need to give a new emphasis to endings, to the parting of ways, to the last glance at someone your character loves…or hates.

And so, Christmas is at an end. As Shakespeare once wonderfully told us: parting is such sweet sorrow….

Hello, I’m a writer . . .

So, I went to a hen party over the weekend, and it was a total blast. Between eating far too much, wandering around in picturesque Cambridge, England, and punting (and not falling in!) I had the traditional problem that almost all of us writers have: how do we introduce ourselves?

Now, I know that sounds a little bit strange. After all, we were all taught from the time that we were very small exactly how to say our name, and a little bit about ourselves. But for people who are creative and move within fields such as writing, the lines are a little more blurred.

I used to introduce myself with the title ‘writer’. That was what I did, after all, and it was a nice sort of cover all for all the multitude of things that I wrote. But then my first novel was published.

Then I started calling myself an ‘author’. I was. I was an author. But that seemed a little too vague for me, which is why I then chose ‘novelist’.

Which worked perfectly until I published a novella. And I have a screenplay complete. I’m not a scriptwriter. But was I?

Poet, novelist, author, writer . . . does it really matter? Each of them have their own indiosyncracies, their own methods, and their own status. A writer is too vague, but a novelist can sound pretentious – but never more pretentious than a poet.

That weekend, I had to introduce myself to around ten people, none of whom I had ever met before, and inevitably the question came up: “What do you do?”

I still haven’t worked out the answer to that.

If you are a writer/author/poet, then check out my popular series on royalties, and discover some secrets of the industry about why no one is buying your book. You can also read three of my most popular blog posts: whether an author should disappoint their readers, writing hated characters, and the inconvenient facts that often crop up for historical fiction authors.

Inconvenient Truths

Hey guys! As many of you know, I am currently working on my next big novel, hurrah! It’s been great to see the success of my previous series of books, but I want to keep things fresh, and keep challenging myself.

So I’ve been working on the first novel of a series of four. It is twice as long as any other book that I have ever written, covers twice the amount of geography, and has at least four times the number of characters. I have complicated diagrams to follow how everyone interacts with each other, and I’m still getting confused with how long a particular character needs to stick around before I kill them off (sorry).

However, today disaster struck. I accidentally discovered that I had misplaced the entirety of the action of the first seventeen chapters…by almost two hundred miles.

It may not sound like a problem, but at the time of the year that I am writing it will change the weather, the holy days, the ways that people interact with people – and worse, I have now discovered that there was a whole religious dispute going on in the place where my characters ACTUALLY were during this time. So now I’ve got to weave that in.

This is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult things about writing historical fiction when you include characters that really existed. It doesn’t matter how marvellous you think it would be that your hero was in this particular location at this time; if he wasn’t you can’t put him there. You can’t also move people’s ages by a couple of years to make characters peers, and you can’t change a person’s appearance to fit with a joke you have half way through.

I have always considered this one of the exciting challenges of writing historical fiction, but right now, I am totally gutted. I’m going to have to re-write the last 56,000+ words of my draft, just because I read one year wrong in my initial research.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving up heart, but it will certainly push back my finish date by at least a fortnight. Longer for you guys to wait, I’m afraid! If you are too impatient for my work, check out Conquests my first book. Let me know what you think!

A Website Every Author Needs!

So, I’m not usually one to brag about discovering something fantastic (especially when I’m usually told about them), but I really want to dedicate this blog post to a website that I’ve started using which has been INCREDIBLE for me as an author.

Intrigued? Carry on.

I always find it irritating that I never know how many ebooks I have sold until my 6 monthly report comes from my publishers. I know that they are super busy, and that it is simply not possible for them to let me know how many ebooks are sold every month, but it bugs me. Probably more so because, as I self-published the paperbacks, I get a daily report on how many of those I have sold.

At the end of April, when my publishers were probably sick and tired of receiving another email from me asking how a particular promotion went with one of my ebooks, they suggested that I take a look at Novel Rank. And so it did.

And it has changed the way that I see my ebook sales forever!

It is quite a simple system. Firstly, you input the URL of your ebook into the website. It will pick up the same ebook on different versions of Amazon, such as Amazon.fr, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca . . . you get the general idea.

After that, you simply sign up (I used my Facebook account), and then choose which ebooks you wish to follow. As you’ve already put your books in the system, they should be pretty easy to find. And there you go. Each and every time one of your ebooks gets sold, it shows. It even tells you exactly what Amazon ranking all of your ebooks are currently on, and what the highest they have ever been was.

I love it. I’m in love.

Guest Post: Valerie Day-Sanchez

SO: I have a proper treat for you guys today! Did you know that the third and final novel in the Harlow Whittaker Trilogy is now published? Fans of Valerie Day-Sanchez’s work have been desperately waiting to finish Harlow’s story, and now the wait is over.

After the identity of her opponent is revealed Harlow also discovers that she has been the victim of a conspiracy that was orchestrated by the Soothsayers Council. Feelings of betrayal run rampant as Hendrix learns that she was the only one of Harlow’s three appointed protectors that was unaware of the council’s rouse. As this all comes to a head Harlow is transported back to her father. Leaving the last remaining Archers, where for the first time find themselves divided. The worlds are continuing to deteriorate and their only hope has now joined the very person that is determined to annihilate the worlds. The Soothsayer’s Council now destroyed leaves the Archers free to choose their own fate. What will that fate be?

I personally love the way that Valerie writes, and I’m a little bit gutted that this the end of Harlow’s journey! Hopefully Valerie will be back to the writing desk soon, and until then, I’ll have to console myself with Harlow Whittaker & The End of Days.