Posts tagged fantasy

From Australia With Love Blog Hop: Immagica by K.A. Last

KALast_Immagica_Front_LR

Title: Immagica

Author: K. A. Last

Genre: YA Fantasy/Adventure

Date of Publication: January 26, 2014

Word Count: approximately 68,000

Cover Illustration: Lawrence Mann LawrenceMann.co.uk

Cover Designer: KILA Designs – www.facebook.com/KILAdesigns

SYNOPSIS

Immagica…

Where anything is possible.

Enter at your own risk.

The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.

When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way, Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.

The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war, their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.

Map Illustration: Lawrence Mann LawrenceMann.co.uk

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/18194824-immagica

Amazon eBook: http://amzn.to/1aDeheQ

Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1et2kn9

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1n8OLkd

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/x/id797107664

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1fs4Zj9

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/TzXmWDfp074

 

KALast_HeadshotFINAL_LRAbout the author:

K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, a rabbit named Twitch, and a guinea pig called Squeak.

Author web links: 

Website: www.kalastbooks.com.au

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KALastBooks

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KALastBooks

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/KALast

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kalast

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Excerpt 1:

“Where am I?” I asked the breeze.

“You know, talking to yourself is the first sign of craziness,” a voice said from behind me.

I spun around to face the most unusual girl I’d ever seen. She held a bronze spear in her right hand. It was fancy, like a sceptre, with a decorative head that housed a big emerald. What was it with all the emeralds? Maybe I was in Oz.

The stone was shaped like an eye, like the one in the amulet. It seemed to be staring at me, and I shuddered. Above all the fanciness was a silver point that could probably slice me in half in one-second flat.

Frantically, I looked around for something to use to defend myself if I needed to. But my only option was to brain her with a rock—if I needed to.

“I wasn’t talking to myself,” I said. I totally was talking to myself. “I just wanted company.”

The girl laughed. “You should be careful what you wish for in a place like this.”

She looked a little older than me, with pale blue eyes, and an olive complexion. Silver streaked her long, black hair, which had several small braids through it. Her cheekbones were high, and her mouth pouty.

“And where is this, exactly?”

The girl stared at me, as if I should know the answer. I still wasn’t sure if she would hurt me or take me to meet her no doubt equally weird-looking friends. She wore a pair of ripped denim shorts, and her top was a little strange. It was cream in colour, and looked like it was handmade, with lacing up each side and an uneven neckline. Her long legs were encased in shin-high chunky hiking boots, and she had a small leather satchel flung across her body. The spear totally completed the outfit.

“Not quite like Dorothy, is it?” she said, grinning. “She was greeted by munchkins, but you got me instead.”

“You’ve read The Wizard of Oz?”

“Of course.” The girl laughed. “And Alice in Wonderland, The Neverending Story, and Narnia. All the greats.”

Somehow, I found it hard to believe. Where the hell was the library?

“Who are you? And where am I?” I asked, putting my hands on my hips. I could play smart, too, but I hoped I appeared more confident than I felt.

“Which do I answer first? I hope you know who you are.”

“Never mind,” I said, turning away. She’d done her best to annoy me, and I’d only known her for twenty seconds.

“Don’t take it personally.” The girl fell into step beside me. “You’re not the only one who’s ended up here when they first arrived. Not everyone can expect to land in the thick of things.”

“What are you talking about?” I stopped to face her

“I’m Brynn.” She stuck out her hand. I hesitated, but eventually took it. She pumped my arm up and down a few times before letting go. “So, where’s the book?”

“How do you know about the book?” I frowned.

“You usually can’t get here without the book.”

“Where’s here?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“No, not really. Why do you want the book?” I asked.

“I don’t want the book.”

“Then why did you ask about the book?”

“You’ll need the book,” Brynn said. “The book is very important.”

I sighed. “Of course it is.” I pulled it from the waistband of my jeans, but I didn’t hand it over.

“You don’t trust me, do you?” Brynn asked.

“If you were me, would you trust you?”

“I’m very trustworthy.” She smiled and raised her eyebrows.

“But how do I know that!”

She shrugged. “You don’t.”

“Okay, this place is just odd,” I said.

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Excerpt 2:

The machine was close enough for me to reach out and touch. It wasn’t actually hanging like I’d first thought; it was supported by a pole that went down the centre of the Eye. In the distance, at the very bottom, there was something red—a light, pulsing softly in the darkness.

All the parts of the machine were shiny, and it was well looked after. I reached out a hesitant hand to touch one of the cogs.

“Please, don’t do that,” a nervous voice said from the other side. “You shouldn’t touch the pupil, it’s very fragile.”

Through the gaps in the mass of parts, I caught a glimpse of a boy. “Pupil?” I asked.

“Yes.” He moved to where I could see him, and scratched his head. “Fragile. It’s fragile.”

The boy looked around seventeen. His white-blond hair fell across his forehead. Behind his thick-rimmed glasses were the most unusual eyes. They looked hazel, but a second later they were green, or hazel with green flecks. As quickly as I decided what colour they were, they changed again. He was tall and lanky, and wore a faded red T-shirt, jeans and rubber thongs. I thought he was cute, in a geeky kind of way.

“Who are you?” I asked, tentatively.

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” the boy said, eyeing me sceptically. “How did you get in?”

I held up the amulet. “Key?” I said.

His eyes widened. “Oh. Oh!”

“Hi, Lex.” Brynn gave a small wave

“Brynn. Um … hi,” Lex said. He turned back to me. “You’re—”

“Here to save you. Yes, I know.” I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. “So, your name is Lex?”

“Um … yes. I’m keeper and protector of the Eye. I get to oil the cogs and stuff.” He waved his hand towards the machine

“What does it do?”

“What does it do …?” He scratched his head again, clearly flustered. He reminded me of my dad when he got excited. Lex darted back behind the big contraption and stared at me through the gaps. “What does it do?” he repeated. “It’s the pupil, the life of the Eye, the heart of Immagica. It counts time, and records memories.” His arms flapped, and he stepped back to where I could see him. “If the rose dies, the pendulum stops and … what did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t. I’m Rosaline.” I tried to smile, but this guy was seriously weird. Cute, I reminded myself, but weird.

Immagica_Teaser2_Rosaline_LR

World Building: Creature Feature (Guest Post)

Today Mara Valderran has stopped by my blog to talk about World Building and spotlight the upcoming release of her novel Heirs of War.

I have to admit: Creatures are pretty much my favorite part of world-building. I tend to take my creatures from mythology and adjust them as needed for my story. Two of my favorite resources for discovering new creatures to add to the worlds of Heirs of War are the Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by John and Caitlin Matthews and the Encyclopedia Mythica, an online mythical database.

I use more creatures in the next book, but the main creature featured in Heirs of War is the Donnfay. I make a direct comparison to the legend of the Brownies of Scotland. I’ve always been fascinated by these little creatures, and not because I suck at housework.

Okay, not just because I suck at housework.

I’m fascinated by them because I want to know their motivations for cleaning up after us silly little humans. Some legends say you can leave them offerings of food or sweets, but all of them seem to agree that if you try to pay a brownie, you are going to tick them off. So what kind of creature slaves away at night while we sleep and refuses any sort of payment?

We’ve seen brownies in different forms in other books and television shows. The most popular incarnation of the brownies would probably be the House Elves of Harry Potter. There are so many similarities between the house elves and the brownies of legend that I am just going to assume J.K. Rowling was inspired by the furry little Scottish creatures, too. Her elves are actual slaves, kept in line by their subservient attitudes and stringent beliefs that wizards are meant to be served. In television, you can see another interpretation of the brownie on the show Lost Girl. This elf is very human-like with features, but has very odd ways. But he serves because he wants to. He finds it fun, and doesn’t even seem to mind when Kenzi takes advantage of him (until she forgets his cereal).

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I’d hate to see what happens if she forgot the milk…

My Donnfay have the typical look of the brownies of legend. They are furry, tan or brownish fur, big eyes, small nose, and wide mouths all the better to grin at us. They despise violence, and unfortunately this means there aren’t many places for them anymore since the worlds have been torn apart by war. They’re motivations are simple: They take care of humans because they believe they are superior to us. We’re like pets to them. They think it’s just adorable when we try to dress ourselves or cook our own meals.

The Donnfay have their own belief system, their own culture, and their own way of life. I think it’s very important when developing the creatures of fantasy worlds that we give them depth. Sure, you might need a big dog-dragon hybrid creature to attack your characters at some point, but what’s the deal with the dragon dog? Why is it attacking them? Are these creatures feared by all because they are vicious and without mercy? Or did your characters come to close to its nest? I think the more we explore these things, the more believable and tangible our worlds will be.

Oh, and I’m not gonna lie. I use television as research too. Lost Girl and Blood Ties are my go-to shows when I’m looking for supernatural inspirations.

Where do you look for inspiration or research when you’re looking for creatures? I’d love to hear about some of the creatures you’ve developed or used along the way. =)

Mara’s upcoming release:

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Title: Heirs of War – Book One

Genre: New Adult/Upper Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: October 13, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn’t believe in magic or prophecies. When she’s told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can’t argue with reality.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

Links:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18214181-heirs-of-war

Amazon: Not Available Yet

Barnes & Noble: Link TBA

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/355668

 

About the Author:

Mara Author Pic

Mara Valderran has been coming up with stories pretty almost since she could talk, often commandeering her brother’s G.I. Joes to play out her fictional tales alongside her Barbies. Once she hit adolescence and realized playing with dolls wasn’t cool anymore, she started putting her ideas to paper. And she hasn’t stopped since.

Mara has worn many different artistic hats throughout her life. She has dabbled in screenwriting, plucked guitars and basses, toyed with singing, retired from acting, and drawn some pretty mean stick figures in her time. However, writing books seems to fit her best as she finds nothing more fulfilling than creating worlds and characters she can lose herself in.

Mara is more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She lives in the south with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or spending time at her favorite local coffee shop.

Website: www.maravalderran.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormaravalderran

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaraValderran

Cover Reveal – Colour Wielders by Dawna Raver

I’m happy to announce that Colour Wielders is back on the market with a pretty new face and updated content.
It thrills me to be able to share it with you today. Thanks Jade Hart at Black Firefly for all her work, Michelle Johnson for my amazing cover, and Danielle Blanchard for all your hard work and help.
If you have time, please stop by Facebook tonight and party with us at 4:00 central hosted by the wonderful Leslie Whitaker.
ALSO enter the GIVEAWAY (click here)
  Colour-Wielders
SYNOPSIS:
 Behind the Faerying Mysts, hidden from Mortal eyes, is a land where gods and creatures of myth and legend dwell. And in the Mortal Realm, their Princess is hidden away. Quinn Sinclair lives an ordinary life with her less-than-loving mother in Conifer, Colorado, clueless of her true nature. On the night of her birthday, a staggering betrayal sends her life spinning out-of-control. As she struggles to pick up the pieces, a vision of a man with haunting tourmaline-blue eyes begs her for help, and she is transported into a Magykal battle-forever changing her life. Arik Morgaine—Demigod bad boy and outcast of the Magykal Realm—tried to avoid contact with Princess Quinn for eighteen years, not wanting to make good on an old threat. But the fates have other plans. Arik can no longer deny his growing desire for Quinn, or the need to protect her from those wanting to control her burgeoning powers. Can the two of them come together and save the Magykal Realm from being destroyed by the Darkest of Magyks? New Adult. Recommended for 18 and above. Mature themes, sexual situations, and profanity.
click to add to
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EXCERPT

Gentle fingertips grazed the edge of her jaw, trailing down her neck to her collarbone. His citrine gaze stared deeply into her eyes, and her body heated at his tender touch. “You’re okay, yeah?” Thaene asked, his voice hoarse from their lovemaking. Am I okay? She hardly knew. Though she had nothing to compare it to, this feeling was more than giving her virginity to him. Quinn felt like something bigger inside had stirred to life, wanting to escape. “You know I love you. I’m sorry if it hurt.” He kissed her again, his lips caressing hers, as if he could take the ache away. “Say something, Quinn. Please.” “I love you, Thaene.” She pressed herself into him, passionately returning his affection. As their kiss continued, Quinn wondered if he wanted more. She also wondered if she had more to give. “I want us together, always. Do you want that, Quinn?” Thaene’s eyes danced with a mixture of emotions—love, passion, possessiveness, and something else she couldn’t name. “We can have forever. You want that, don’t you?” Thaene asked. “Yes,” Quinn answered breathlessly, before realizing what she’d agreed to. She smiled, finding his need for her exciting. “Forever is a long time. But I could do it with you.” Thaene smiled back. Happiness lit his face. He looked like he’d just won a major prize—he looked triumphant. “Being with you on your twenty-second birthday was very special to me. You’ve given me such a precious gift.” “I love you. I can’t imagine my first time with anyone else.”Besides, my gift of Sight showed you to me, over and over. How could I not give myself to you? Her gift had shown her something else as well. Since she didn’t understand it, Quinn ignored it. She’d followed her heart where Thaene was concerned. Not even her mother’s dislike—or in spite of it— changed her mind. Following your heart always led you down the right path. Thaene lightly brushed her hair from her face, then he rested his forehead on hers. “There’s something else I’d like you to give me. Will you do that? Give me what I desire the most?” The longing in his voice made Quinn squirm underneath him. Right now, she’d give him anything. “It’s the most precious gift of all. One I’ll cherish forever.” Oh my God. He wants to marry me. “Yes,” Quinn said, drawing in a breath. “I’ll give you anything.” “Good.” Thaene nuzzled her neck. “I want you to show me your Magyk.” “What?” Quinn blinked at him, wondering if she’d heard him right. “If you want us to have forever, you must show me your Magyk.”

About the Author:

DawnaFlowersDropShadow

Dawna Raver is an author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Colour Wielders, Book One, is her debut novel. When she’s not spending time in her fantasy world, Dawna loves football, reading, and pretending she’s a top chef in the kitchen. Oh, and fawning over her dogs and husband, sometimes in that order.

Contact Dawna at:

 

 

Cover Reveal – Heirs of War

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Author: Mara Valderran

Title: Heirs of War

Genre: New Adult Fantasy

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18214181-heirs-of-war

SYNOPSIS

Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn’t believe in magic or prophecies. When she’s told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can’t argue with reality.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

**Pre-Release giveaway** on Mara’s blog

(http://maravalderran.blogspot.com/2013/08/heirs-of-war-pre-release-giveaway.html)

WIN a copy of the book, swag, a $25 Amazon giftcard, and a character named after you in book two.

Author Bio

Mara Author Pic

Mara Valderran has been coming up with stories pretty almost since she could talk, often commandeering her brother’s G.I. Joes to play out her fictional tales alongside her Barbies. Once she hit adolescence and realized playing with dolls wasn’t cool anymore, she started putting her ideas to paper. And she hasn’t stopped since.

Mara is more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She lives in the south with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or spending time at her favorite local coffee shop.

www.maravalderran.com

https://www.facebook.com/authormaravalderran

https://twitter.com/MaraValderran