Today I’m delighted to be joining Escapist Book Co in sharing the cover for Stargun Messenger by Darby Harn! This space opera looks like a great read! So, what’s it about?
To save the stars, Astra Idari must outrun her own shadow.
Astra Idari is a mess.
She drinks too much, remembers too little, and barely pays for it all as a Stargun Messenger. She hunts down thieves who steal filamentium, the fuel that allows for faster-than-light travel. When Idari meets Gen Emera, she meets the girl of her dreams and the last living star. There’s just one problem.
Filamentium is only found in the blood of living stars.
Everyone wields knives and justifications for butchering the living stars to get around, but once Idari knows the truth, she faces a stark choice. Either she turns Emera over to her employers who control the filamentium monopoly, or risks everything to help Emera fulfill her quest to save her people.
The choice should be simple, but it’s not losing her life that terrifies Idari. It’s finally living. Idari knows she’s human despite outwardly appearing to be an android with a failing memory stitched together by her ship’s irascible AI, CR-UX. She’s been just getting by for longer than she remembers, assured in her humanity, but not enough to risk it.
Idari has lived her entire life in darkness. The dark comforts and shields. The dark preserves in its cold, and Idari may not be able to keep her star out of her shadow.
“If James Joyce had grown up reading X-Men comics and obsessively playing Destiny, he would have written this. A breathtakingly imaginative, star-spanning romp that is equal parts swashbuckling galactic adventure and lyrical introspection about love and identity.”
Darby Harn is the author of the SPSFC quarterfinalist Ever The Hero, which Publisher’s Weekly called “an entertaining debut that uses superpowers as a metaphor to delve into class politics in an alternate America.” His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, and other venues. Visit www.darbyharn.com for more.
I am thrilled to take part in a cover reveal for Mystic Reborn, book 2 in the Archives of Eveilum series, by Jeffrey Speight. I loved the first book, Paladin Unbound (review here) and Mystic Reborn looks equally amazing. Not only that, the cover is absolutely astounding!
Mystic Reborn is the continuation of Paladin Unbound, the award-winning start of the Archives of Evelium. After embracing his destiny as the last of the Paladins, Umhra the Peacebreaker is granted ancient powers by the gods. When he returns to the ruins of Antiikin to fulfill a promise, he embarks on a journey that will push the limits of his abilities. As the Grey Queen’s arrival heralds the fulfillment of a prophecy that could mean the end of humanity, the kingdom of Eveilum desperately needs a hero. Can Umhra once more rise to the challenge and save mankind from annihilation?
Check out this gorgeous cover!
Credit for this epic cover goes to Omer Burak Onal. I have been waiting impatiently to travel back into Evelium, and this cover has me almost salivating. Don’t forget to add Mystic Reborn to your “to be read” list and pick up PaladinUnbound if you haven’t already.
Jeffrey Speight’s love of fantasy goes back to an early childhood viewing of the cartoon version of The Hobbit, when he first met an unsuspecting halfling that would change Middle Earth forever. Finding his own adventuring party in middle school, Jeff became an avid Dungeons & Dragons player and found a passion for worldbuilding and character creation. While he went on to a successful career as an investor, stories grew in his mind until he could no longer keep them inside. So began his passion for writing. Today, he lives in Connecticut with his wife, three boys (his current adventuring party), three dogs, and a bearded dragon. He has a firmly held belief that elves are cool, but half-orcs are cooler. While he once preferred rangers, he nearly always plays a paladin at the gaming table.
Bjørn Larssen is a one-of-a-kind author. Whether packing humor and wisdom closely together or sharing the most unique of tales that get into your heart and your head, trust Larssen to deliver writing like you’ve never seen before. I’m so excited to share the cover of Storytellers today! After looking at the beautiful cover, pick up a copy of the book!
If you don’t tell your story, they will.
Iceland, 1920. Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith, dwells with his animals, darkness, and moonshine. The last thing he wants is an injured lodger, but his money may change Gunnar’s life. So might the stranger’s story – by ending it. That is, unless an unwanted marriage, God’s messengers’ sudden interest, an obnoxious elf, or his doctor’s guilt derail the narrative. Or will the demons from Gunnar’s past cut all the stories short?
Side effects of too much truth include death, but one man’s true story is another’s game of lies. With so many eager to write his final chapter, can Gunnar find his own happy ending?
Bjørn Larssen is an award-winning author of historical fiction and fantasy, dark and funny in varying proportions. His writing has been described as ‘dark,’ ‘literary,’ ‘cinematic,’ ‘hilarious,’ and ‘there were points where I was almost having to read through a small gap between my fingers.’
Bjørn has a Master of Science degree in mathematics and has previously worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). He currently lives with his husband in Almere, which is unfortunately located in The Netherlands, rather than Iceland.
Today I’m excited to share the cover for The Magick of Chaos, the next book in the awesome Tempest Blades series by Ricardo Victoria! If you haven’t read Tempest Blades yet, I highly recommend the series. If you’d like, you can read my reviews for books one and two here: The Withered King (Book 1); The Cursed Titans (Book 2).
Action-packed adventure that blends science, fantasy, and anime-style battles into a thrilling, fast-paced story that will appeal to fans of anime, mangas, and RPG video games.
Magick is in disarray. The Crown of the Dead has reappeared. Three gods appear, one fallen, one amnesiac, and one which corrupts. Two teams, two missions, and one world to save in a tight amount of time before everything goes to hell. While Gaby and Sam are dealing with their own inner turmoil, they must lead their respective teams onto a path that will make them both realize one important fact: You can choose who you want to be. Because in a world where magic and science intermingle, anything is possible. Including finding out if you are ready to step up. Are you?
Are you ready to see the cover?
WOW! The cover is done by Salvador Velazquez, whose dynamic art perfectly captures the feel of the series.
The Magick of Chaos is available in June of 2023, but you can preorder it now.
Today I’m excited to be joining Bewitching Books Tours in sharing the cover for D.H. Willison’s new book, Midnight on the Manatee. D.H. Willison’s new release will feature adventure, romance, and a whole lot of humor.
How does the steamship Manatee navigate sea-monster infested waters? What sacrifices do her grand profits demand? The only certainty, is that the Manatee casts a dark shadow everywhere she makes port.
Brianna, a tough, no-nonsense human, yearns to escape stifling big city rules and a troubled past. A quaint seaside town seems perfect to start a new life—until she wakes up aboard the Manatee. As cargo.
Shard, nekojin feline of the forest, dreams of sailing to distant lands—to the horror of his friends. When his intriguing new neighbor, Brianna, disappears and all signs point to the mysterious Manatee, he’s certain this is his moment for high seas adventure. Yet with skills tailored to the forest canopy, his rescue goes disastrously awry.
Their only chance of freedom is to work together, but can their budding relationship overcome ruthless smugglers, corrupt officials, and a slew of ravenous monsters? Or are they destined to take the secret of the Manatee to a watery grave?
Midnight on the Manatee blends life-and-death adventures on a creepy fantasy world with wit, whimsy, and a generous dash of romance.
Are you ready to see the cover? Here it is!
Genre: Fantasy adventure/fantasy romance Date of Publication: October 28, 2022 ISBN: 9798823112536 Number of pages: 182 Word Count: 33K Cover Artist: Papaya-style
Life-and-death adventures on a creepy fantasy world blend with wit, whimsy, and a generous dash of romance.
I’ve always struggled picking out clothes. It doesn’t matter if it’s for travel, work, or a special event, I seem to hit a point where I regret my choices.
Late afternoon sun glared in my eyes, the wide brim of my slouch hat unable to shield me. Mostly because it was on the ground a dozen paces distant. It was hot, and this close to the marsh, humid too. My linen blouse was drenched in sweat, though a breeze provided a modicum of relief from the heat—that part, I’d gotten right. The leather traveling vest was well-vented, my padded breeches also a good compromise between comfort and protection. But my boots were clearly wrong. Light beige leather with flexible soles prioritizing comfort over armor seemed a good idea for the long trek between Halamar and Barricayde.
But the bog toad with its jaws locked around my right ankle seemed intent on demonstrating the error of my ways.
It was half the size of a coach, with an underbite and stubby tusks thick as my legs. I kicked it with my free foot as it shambled backwards, dragging me toward the marsh. Vision blurry from sweat streaming into my eyes, I squinted, trying to sight along the barrel of my single shot pistol.
One shot. At this range I can’t miss.
I fired, the pistol belching gray smoke and a dull wumm.
The toad lurched back, blood oozing from an apparently non-critical wound. It blinked a pair of fist-sized ruby eyes, lunged at me again, this time snapping both legs up to my knees in a maw as broad as my arm span.
How did I let a minor predator ambush me? Along a marked path! Big city’s making me soft.
No! I will not die to an oversized frog. I shoved the pistol in its holster, unfolded my collapsible spear with a metallic klink, jabbed it at the creature’s head. A head which seemed to comprise half its mass. The third strike to its thick hide found a sensitive spot: it spat out my legs, sneezed a blob of mucus and blood on me, and shambled back into the marsh.
“Oww. Filthy beast. That hurt.”
I stood, yelped in pain, collapsing to my knees again.
Those critters might not have sharp teeth, but they bite hard.
First things first: I reloaded my pistol. It may have been as effective as poking a troll with a toothpick, but it was my toothpick, and it was gonna be loaded.
I pulled off boots caked with blood and saliva to reveal a souvenir of the encounter: bruises from ankle to mid thigh.
Should have worn armored boots. Blood or mucus colored armored boots would have been ideal. But on the bright side, none of the blood was mine.
“It’s a well-traveled path. You can wear comfortable traveling clothes, no need for armor.
Owww. You’re an idiot, Brianna,” I muttered, managing to stay up on the next attempt.
“Hope they have a decent healer in Barricayde. Not to mention a laundry.”
Murky water burned my eyes as my feet sank into the mud. The caprid in my arms flailed and kicked, I could feel its chest heave in panicked breaths. “Juro, a little help?” I called.
“I am helping. I’m watching out for predators.” Juro crouched atop a low branch of a live oak tree, gaze darting between trees and clumps of reeds. He grinned. “None here. You’re welcome.”
“I meant, could you grab the other two trapped caprids.”
“Theoretically, I could.”
I waded ashore, set the waist-high, hoofed creature next to its flockmates, hoping the presence of the herd would calm it.
“At least keep the flock from panicking while I get the other two.”
Juro bounded from branch to branch, finally settling on the ground beside me. He had auburn fur, stood a tad shorter than me, his tail shorter as well, and lacking the white puffy tip he made fun of when we were growing up.
“If we leave them out here,” he said, “our neighbors might learn a valuable lesson about the merits of proper animal husbandry.”
“The creatures horns are blunted, they cannot defend themselves against predators and would most likely be devoured by bog toads before the humans were able to recover them all.”
“Which would certainly be a valuable lesson, Shard. Hurt what they value most.”
Juro didn’t need to complete the thought. We all knew what that was. “It would indeed hurt their coin purse, but caprids shouldn’t pay the price to do so. The creatures are innocent.”
“Didn’t you want to visit the bookseller this afternoon? New volume of that pirate series you’re always talking about.”
I dove back into the stagnant green-brown murk at the edge of the marsh, swam around the last two stragglers, managing to shoo them toward the herd without having to carry them.
I spat, trying to clear the taste of marsh water from my mouth. Mud, slimy strands of algae, and decaying vegetation plugged my nose, clung to my ears, obscured my normally keen senses. But I wasn’t worried, Juro was a rascal, but he’d have my back at the first hint of danger.
“Yes. It’s supposed to be out today. But after all that effort, we can’t leave the task unfinished.”
Juro shrugged, but helped guide the flock toward the shepherd’s day shed.
We encountered the herder’s daughter a few minutes later, sprinting toward us, a wooden crook in her hands, single shot rifle slung across her back.
“You’ve found them, thank you!” She huffed heavily, her armor and gear sized more for an adult human than an early teen.
“That’s the third time this month,” said Juro.
She mumbled, pointed at the creatures with an index finger as she counted. “All here. My stupid little brother needed help with…” She shook her head. “It’s not important. I’d like to thank you, but I don’t have my coin purse with me. Come with me to the day shed, maybe there’s something there.”
“It’s OK,” I said. “I’m still hoping to make it to the bookseller today.” Juro snorked. “Looking like that? The humans won’t even let you through the city gate! You’ll be lucky if they don’t mistake you for a swamp monster and hunt you.”
“Good point.” I turned to the girl. “How about a few buckets of fresh water, some rags, and a brush?”
She smiled. “Deal.” She moved to clap me on the shoulder, hesitated, backed off half a step. “Maybe after a bath.”
About the Author:
D.H. Willison is a reader, writer, game enthusiast and developer, engineer, and history buff. He’s lived or worked in over a dozen countries, learning different cultures, viewpoints, and attitudes, which have influenced his writing, contributing to one of his major themes: alternate and creative conflict resolution. The same situations can be viewed by different cultures quite differently. Sometimes it leads to conflict, sometimes to hilarity. Both make for a great story.
He’s also never missed a chance to visit historic sites, from castle dungeons, to catacombs, to the holds of tall ships, to the tunnels of the Maginot Line. It might be considered research, except for the minor fact that his tales are all set on the whimsical and terrifying world of Arvia. Where giant mythic monsters are often more easily overcome with empathy than explosions.
Subscribe to his newsletter for art, stories, and humorous articles (some of which are actually intended to be humorous).
How does the steamship Manatee navigate sea-monster infested waters? Brianna and Shard find out, but will they take the secret to a watery grave? Life-and-death adventures on a creepy, monster infested world blend with wit, whimsy and romance. https://dhwillisoncreates.com/
From the mind that brought us Adjacent Monsters and Vultures comes A Cup of Tea at theMouth 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?
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.
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 Website, Instagram, and Twitter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.
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!
Today I’m excited to be able to share the fantastic cover of The Children of Gods and Fighting and Fighting Men by Shauna Lawless. This book will be released internationally on the first of September.
Described as a mix between actual history and Irish mythology, this looks like it’s going to be amazing! Would you like to know more? Here’s the blurb:
“They think they’ve killed the last of us…
981 AD. The Viking King of Dublin is dead. His young widow, Gormflaith, has ambitions for her son – and herself – but Ireland is a dangerous place and kings tend not to stay kings for long. Gormflaith also has a secret. She is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic. She has kept her powers hidden at all costs, for there are other immortals in this world – like the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of warriors who are sworn to kill Fomorians.
Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Fódla agrees to help her kin by going to spy on Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She finds a land on the brink of war – a war she is desperate to stop. However, preventing the loss of mortal lives is not easy with Ireland in turmoil and the Fomorians now on the rise…”
Shauna Lawless is an avid reader of Irish mythology and folklore. As an Irish woman, she loves that Irish mythology has inspired so many stories over the years, however, she wanted to explore the history and mythology of Ireland in a more authentic way. She lives in Northern Ireland with her family. Follow Shauna on twitter @shaunaLwrites – or on her blog and website at www.shaunalawless.com
Today I’m excited to be able to share a glimpse of the cover for Anca Antoci’s upcoming release, Blue Shadow Legacy. The third book in the Chimera trilogy, Blue Shadow Legacy looks to be a heart-pounding conclusion.
So, what is Blue Shadow Legacy about?
On the brink of war, the freedom of chimera outcasts and vampires hangs in the balance.
All seems lost when the Council runs coordinated attacks and destroys the Resistance’s secret camps. It’s time for shifters, vampires, and creatures of the Underworld to set their differences aside and make a united front. They expect the Huntress to lead them to victory, but they don’t know the truth about the prophecy that gives them hope. For Rae to save them all, she will be consumed.
After becoming a shadow and training her magic, Rae is ready for a new challenge. Unfortunately, the only constant in her life is that nothing ever goes as planned. When an army of witches gets ready to obliterate what’s left of the Resistance, Rae strikes a deal with a hellhound to save her friends.
An unexpected visit into the Underworld gives Rae a new perspective, an unlikely ally, and a fighting chance, but at what cost?
Anca’s overactive imagination pours into her stories bringing otherworldly creatures to life. She writes about mystical creatures, mystery, and adventure with a hint of Romance.
Her debut novel, Forget Me Not, is the first part of a trilogy published in 2020.
Before starting her writing journey, Anca was active in the blogging community as a fantasy book reviewer. The fanfiction stories she wrote long before she dreamed of being a writer are still popular and available on her blog. Although not as often, she still posts book reviews and book recommendations on her blog www.summonfantasy.com.
Living in Romania, Anca speaks English as a second language and is quite self-conscious about her accent, which is why she never speaks in her videos on TikTok. She loves taking long walks through the parks to recharge her batteries before a writing sprint. She loves cooking and can often be found in the kitchen trying out a new recipe while an audiobook keeps her entertained.