The Write Reads on Tour: The Hanged God Trilogy

I’m so excited to be joining the Write Reads on Tour to spotlight not one, but THREE books! Let’s take a look at The Hanged God trilogy.

Book 1: Northern Wrath

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.

To purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Northern-Wrath/dp/B08LZQ79KH/  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50891086-northern-wrath

Book 2: Shackled Fates

Following on the breakout success of Northern Wrath , Holdt weaves myth and history in a deeply magical saga.

As Ragnarok looms, the trickster Loki breaks free from his chains.

In the battle to come, all shall die, but Ragnar will do anything to save his gods.

Einer scours the nine worlds for Hilda, who walks among gods and goddesses, searching the truth of the Runes.

For centuries Siv has run from her past, but she knows that to protect her daughter, and Midgard, she will have to face her worst fears.

It is time to confront the Alfather.

To purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1781089256/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56897864-shackled-fates

Worlds collide – and are shattered – in the epic conclusion of the Northern Wrath saga.

The Concluding Part of the Epic Viking Fantasy Trilogy

ALL SHALL PERISH

The great wolf howls for Ragnarok to begin. The half-giant Einer leads an army of the dead to clash with the golden shields of Asgard. The nornir tie and retie their threads, as Loki’s and Odin’s schemes unfold… and unravel. For not even cunning gods and giants see every part of the web.

As the survivors of the burned village of Ash-hill converge on the final battle on Ida’s Plain, only two are truly free to choose their paths and prevent the annihilation of the nine worlds: a storyteller who holds all destinies in his hands, and a shieldmaiden with no destiny at all.

To purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Slaughtered-Gods-Hanged-God-Trilogy/dp/1786187450/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57394030-slaughtered-gods

Thilde Kold Holdt is a Viking, traveller and a polygot fluent in Danish, French, English and Korean. As a writer, she is an avid researcher. This is how she first came to row for hours upon hours on a Viking warship. She loved the experience so much that she has sailed with the Viking ship the Sea Stallion ever since. Born in Denmark, Thilde has lived in many places and countries, taking a bit of each culture with her, and is currently based in Southern France where she writes full-time. 

Small Press, Big Ideas: Tales from Alternate Earths 3

I am so excited to join Runalong the Shelves for Small Press, Big Stories, a monthlong celebration of indie press and the great books they publish!

Today, I’m reposting a review I’ve written about Tales from Alternate Earths 3, an engrossing short story collection.

This collection takes “What if?” in new and exciting directions. What if the historical events we all (should) know unfolded differently? What ripples would they cause? How would our world be different? The creativity behind these musings and the skill of the writers blew me away.

Short story collections can go either way for me. Sometimes I just can’t connect with the shorter lengths. However, Tales from Alternate Earths 3 used the shorter formats to excellent advantage, shining a laser focus on unique ideas. While the entire book is strong, there are a few stories that stood out to me.

The collection started out strong with “Gunpowder Treason” by Alan Smale. It takes a look at how things would have been had Guy Fawkes and company succeeded in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. It’s told through an interesting perspective- that of a streetwalker. It made the story feel much more personal than if it had been told through multiple points of view.

“Ops and Ostentation” by Rob Edwards followed the indomitable Mrs. Constance Briggs as she encounters a certain man whose military mind has been spoken of often (I’m doing my very best to be vague, and hopefully I’ve succeeded). Her role in the events that unfolded was fascinating. That ending too! It was infinitely satisfying.

I was unsure about “Dust of the Earth” at first, but I ended up really enjoying how author Brent A. Harris wrote it. It’s told in a series of flashbacks which isn’t something I encounter too often. While it was disconcerting at first, I loved that the story ultimately focused on mental health, which is a subject that I am very passionate about.

“To Catch a Ripper” by Minoti Vaishnav gives a new angle on Jack the Ripper, and it’s the most interesting take on the Ripper that I’ve ever read. There were many things about this story that made me oh-so-happy, from the determined main character, to the intrigue and action. If ever this becomes a full-length novel, I’ll be in line to buy it.

I was delighted to see that Ricardo Victoria, an author whose writings I always enjoy, has a story in Alternate Earths 3. His story, “Steel Serpents”, was thought-provoking and incredibly smart. I’ll be thinking about this one for quite a while.

The collection ends just as well as it started, with a story that follows a couple of former KGB operatives. Author D.J. Butler had me hooked right away.

These are just a few of the stories that stood out to me; the entirety of Alternate Earths 3 was clever and entertaining. This collection is perfect for readers who want to be challenged, who like to muse on all the paths history could have taken. I highly recommend picking this one up.

*This title is available from Inkling Press

Purchase link:

Amazon

Small Press, Big Stories: The Tempest Blades by Ricardo Victoria

Runalong the Shelves, a fantastic blog, has created Small Press, Big Stories. This is a month-long, multi-platform event focusing on small and indie press, publishers which consistently bring us exciting and unique titles.

Today I’m excited to focus on The Tempest Blades by Ricardo Victoria, an excellent series where magic and science mingle.

I think this is a series that will surprise a lot of people. While these books are fast-paced, they are more than just action with little story. Instead, themes of redemption, mental illness, guilt, and what it means to persist despite everything are found within the pages. I loved how mental illness is portrayed. Not only did it makes sense to the characters, but it was also respectfully and realistically done. This is just one of the things I love about The Tempest Blades.

It is difficult to find respectful depictions of mental illness in fiction, even more difficult to find it in the fantasy genre. Every time I see an author who uses mental illness as more than a prop in a story, I am incredibly impressed. Author Ricardo Victoria masterfully wove a story of depression, hope, and redemption in world filled with villains and magic.

My favorite characters changed from book one to book two, showing that each character is well-developed and nuanced. The relationships between them is a joy to read. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book (hopefully the wait won’t be long)!

I really can’t put my finger on the reason, but I think fans of My Hero Academia will enjoy the series. Scratch that- I think most people will enjoy the series. Go ahead and pick it up!

*This title is published by Artemesia Publishing

To purchase:

Amazon

Small Press, Big Stories: Paladin Unbound

I am excited to be a part of #SmallPressBigStories, conceived of and led by the awesome Runalong the Shelves! Small Press, Big Stories exists to celebrate indie presses and the awesome titles they publish.

Paladin Unbound has become one of my favorite fantasy books. I’ve already reread it once, and plan to read it again before too long. It’s an amazing book to fall into. Here’s my original review, although I think I failed to fully describe my love of the book:

When people ask for books I’d recommend to a fantasy newbie, ones that represent all the wonderful things the genre has to offer, I have a few go-tos. The Hobbit, obviously, and the Dragonlance Chronicles (really, is anyone surprised?), and, more recently, The Ventifact Colossus. Now I’m adding Paladin Unbound to that list, because this book would make anyone fall in love with fantasy.

The story starts with the main character, Umhra, just wanting to find work for himself and his band of mercenaries. When they are hired to find out what has happened to several missing people, they are thrust into a situation that is much darker and more dangerous than Umhra expected.

I was sucked in from page one, which begins at an ending. The ending of a war between gods, no less. The war ends with an asterisk, the sort that always leads to trouble down the road. What I loved about the opening is that it started huge, before moving on to the main storyline which is much more personal. It showcased a fascinating history, one that we continue to get snippets of throughout the book. I love when the history of a world or its belief systems is shared naturally like that, avoiding the dreaded info dump. I have to admit, though, I would actually read an entire book just dedicated to the history and mythology of the world of Evelium, I loved it so much. It was creative and well thought out.

As much as I enjoyed the world building, though, where Paladin Unbound shines is in its characters. There’s an excellent cast who build off each other in the best of ways. The interactions felt natural and allowed each character to grow and develop brilliantly. This was, in some ways, the typical adventuring group sometimes found in ttrpg’s – and that’s a great thing! It works very well, after all. There was Naivara the druid, Laudin the ranger, a mage named Nicholas (I have no idea why, but his name made me smile), Shadow the rogue, Balris the healer, Talus the fighter, and Gromley the warrior priest. While I loved all of them, I must say that I had a soft spot for Shadow.

Then there’s our main character, Umhra. Oh, how I loved Umhra! Being half-orc, he was distrusted, looked down on, or treated poorly quite a lot. He could have been bitter or angry and I wouldn’t have blamed him. But instead, he was an optimist, always looking for the best in every situation. He was, at his core, a good, honorable character. He was not your boring “lawful good”, however. He was incredibly nuanced and I loved reading about him. I haven’t been a huge fan of paladins in the past, but Umhra has me planning to make a paladin for my next D&D campaign.

This book would be perfect for fantasy newbies, ttrpg players, or readers who have traveled the length and breadth of many fantasy worlds and are looking for new adventures to go on. It left me excited and wanting more. Paladin Unbound is fantasy at its finest.

*Paladin Unbound is a Literary Wanderlust title

To Purchase:

Paladin Unbound

Small Press, Big Stories: The Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventures

I am excited to be a part of #SmallPressBigStories, conceived of and led by the awesome Runalong the Shelves! Small Press, Big Stories exists to celebrate indie presses, those wonderful publishers that bring us so many amazing books.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about the Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventures by Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee. There are three books in the series so far and it’s a series that will appeal vastly to fans of urban fantasy as well as readers who enjoy adventure books. There is always something going on, usually complicated and nearly always dangerous.

In book one, Wrath of the Fury Blade, Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria gets a new case- and a new partner. Their relationship (sometimes colleagues, sometimes friends, always well-written) is what elevates this book above many other urban fantasies. Complicated characters will draw me into a book every time, and the world-building kept me invested. The world is detailed and ambitious, pulsing and alive.

Wrath of the Fury Blade is a fabulous mash-up of fantasy and police procedural. This was a new combination for me, but it works incredibly well.

The characters were interesting, and seeing their relationship develop and grow was a ton of fun. They played off each other well, each enabling the character development in the other. I enjoyed Reva in particular, even though (maybe because?) she came across as prickly sometimes.

The series hypes up, with each book building on the last. The situations Reva and her partner Ansee Carya find themselves in run the gambit of creativity, with some truly awesome monsters showing up to impress and creep out readers.

The Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventures continue to entertain and surprise. They’re a thrill ride that somehow also squeezes in a vast world and excellent character development. I highly suggest picking the series up. Go ahead and grab all three books: you’ll want to continue the adventure as soon as you finish the first book.

This series is published by Artemesia Publishing. Purchase link:

Wrath of the Fury Blade

SPAAW Book Spotlight- N.C. Koussis

Banner credit: Fantasy Book Nerd

Welcome to the second annual Self-published Authors Appreciation Week (#SPAAW), a weeklong event celebrating self-published authors. Please feel free to join in the fun by shouting about your favorite self-published authors on your various platforms.

I’m excited to be talking about The Sword of Mercy and Wrath, by authors N.C. Koussis. This releases on September 16th, and there will be a preorder link at the bottom of this post.

First of all, check out this awesome cover!

Wow!

So, what is The Sword of Mercy and Wrath about? Here’s the book blurb:

Selene wants revenge on the wolf-men that destroyed her family and her body. When the secretive Order of the Golden Sword offers her the chance, she lets go of her past to become a fully-fledged Sword of the Order. Her pain drives her to excel at hunting and killing the werebeasts, drawing the attention of the leaders of the Order.

Renowned hunter and Order Inquisitor, Soren, takes her under his wing. Tempers flare during his extreme training, and as they grow closer, their tempers aren’t the only thing that ignites.

When she discovers that her childhood flame Tristain is one of the creatures she hunts, she must put her feelings aside. She is painfully forced to accept he has become a monster like his father before him. But when she sees him for the first time in years, old feelings come rushing back, and she uncovers the dark secret about the monsters that the Order has kept hidden for centuries.

To preorder:

Amazon

Cover Reveal: A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell by Luke Tarzian

From the mind that brought us Adjacent Monsters and Vultures comes A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell, a novella that addresses the direst of circumstances: a misplaced kettle. Author Luke Tarzian describes it as “a weird, whimsical magical realism fever dream”, which has me intrigued.

Okay, what is the book really about, you ask?

Blurb:

Briefly, a word about order.

Order is the focal point around which existence revolves. Without order there is only chaos. And in the halls of Damnation (pronounced Dam-NAWT-ion, thank you kindly) the first sign of impending chaos is a cup of tea made without the water having first been well and properly boiled in a kettle.

Why is this relevant, o nameless narrator? you ask. Who cares about the preparatory order of tea in the fires of Hell? Lucifer, dear reader. After all, how does one expect to properly greet the newcomers to Hell without having first had a hot cup of tea to bulwark the cold (the first circle is a cornfield of snow)?

Behold the Morning Star, frantic on the annual Morning of Souls, the arrival of Damnation’s newest recruits (we only hand-pick the best)!

Someone has misplaced the kettle.

Luke Tarzian also designed the cover for A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell and it matches the term “whimsical fever dream” perfectly. Are you ready to see the cover? Here it is!

A Cup of Tea at the Mouth of Hell will be available on December 20th.

Preorder link

About the author:

Luke Tarzian was born in Bucharest, Romania. His parents made the extremely poor choice of adopting him less than six months into his life. As such, he’s resided primarily in the United States and currently lives in California with his wife and their twin daughters. Somehow, they tolerate him.

Unfortunately, he can also be found online and, to the dismay of his clients, also functions as a cover artist for independent authors. You can connect with the author via his WebsiteInstagram, and Twitter.

Cover Reveal- The Hero Interviews by Andi Ewington

I am beyond excited to share the cover of The Hero Interviews, a book that had me laughing out loud. Perfect for fans of Dungeons and Dragons or lovers of fantasy in general, The Hero Interviews pokes loving fun at all things fantasy. To say that I loved it would be an understatement.

So, what is The Hero Interviews about? I’ll let author Andi Ewington explain more.

Heroes…you can’t swing a cat without hitting one. You can’t even hatch a nefarious plan without some adventuring party invading your dungeon to thwart you. So, it stands to reason they’re a force for good-right?

Well- yes and no. The Hero Interviews is a departure from the usual swords and sorcery yarn- It’s a sometimes gritty, sometimes amusing but completely bonkers look at the realm of heroes.

We are following in the footsteps of Elburn Barr, a Loremaster who has turned his back on his family’s tradition of adventuring and instead decided to write a journal about heroes and everything associated with them. Readers are treated to 45 transcribed interviews with heroes, guild masters, merchants, witnesses and villains. Each interview connects- leaving a breadcrumb trail of clues that, when stitched together, reveal a bigger truth about the realm of heroes (and get to the bottom of his adventuring brother’s mysterious disappearance).

The incredible cover is created the extremely talented artist, Conor Nolan. Are you ready to see the amazing cover? Here it is!

About the author:

Andi Ewington is a writer who has written numerous titles beyondThe Hero Interviews, including Campaigns & Companions, Forty-Five45, S6X, Sunflower, Red Dog, Dark Souls II, Just Cause 3, Freeway Fighter, and Vikings. Andi lives in Surrey, England with his wife, two children and a plethora of childhood RPGs and ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ gamebooks he refuses to part with. He’s usually found on Twitter as @AndiEwington.

Andi is querying right now. Interested publishers can reach him at butwin@me.com or on Twitter.

Cover Reveal- Unseen: The Mercer Nox Story by L.A. Wasielewski

Today I get to participate in a cover reveal! Unseen: The Mercer Nox Story, an Alchemist Trilogy Tale will be available on July 20th!

Check out this awesome cover!

What’s it about:

What did life give me?  Torment.  Grief.  A scarred soul.  Did I deserve it?  Maybe.  Did I welcome it?  Maybe…

Call me cursed, arrogant, bitter.  Call me whatever you want.  I know my place in this world, I know where I stand with the Goddess.  I know how I ended up here, what I did.  What I didn’t do.  It haunts me, but then again, don’t we all have demons?

Some tried to tell me it was destiny, but I refuse to believe some outside force controls my life.  Bad things happen, good things happen.  In my case, well, let’s just leave it at that and move on.  It’s probably better that way.

Unseen: The Mercer Nox Story follows the incredible life of a man who never really wanted to participate in the whole “saving the world” thing in the first place—but realized he really didn’t have a choice.  And it annoyed him to no end. 

This book contains major spoilers for The Alchemist Trilogy, it is recommended that you read the original trilogy first for maximum enjoyment!

About the author:

 L.A. Wasielewski is a gamer, nerd, baseball fan (even though the Brewers make it very difficult sometimes), and mom.  When she’s not writing, she’s blasting feral ghouls and super mutants in the wastelands, baking and cooking, and generally being a smart-ass.  She’s very proud of the fact that she has survived several years with two drum kits in the house—and still has most of her hearing intact. Her high dark fantasy series, The Alchemist Trilogy, is available now!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorBebedora
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LAWasielewski/
Website: https://www.lawasielewski.com/

Book Spotlight: Pyramidion by G.E.

I always love it when I get to shout about a book that intrigues me, one that has a new and unique premise. Today, I’m excited to spotlight Pyramidion by author G.E. Newbegin!

The premise:

What if everything you thought you knew was a lie?

“Seek the Pyramidion.”

After losing his whole world in a car accident, Luke Nixon falls into a pit of despair, only to find himself receiving advice from his dead wife in his dreams. He soon ends up under the care of an ancient organisation and learns that he and his family are of an ancient bloodline – and that his daughter is still alive.

Unsure if he can trust them, but lacking any other choice, Luke is left with only one option: to rescue his daughter. However, it’s no simple task following a breadcrumb trail across multiple continents, through the spirit realm, and ultimately bringing Luke face to face with gods and demons. (Taken from Amazon)

I was fortunate to be able to talk with G.E. Newbegin about Pyramidion, his writing process, and urban fantasy. You can find that interview here. And pick up a copy of Pyramidion!

Purchase link:

Amazon