Hi, everyone. I hope you’re doing well this morning. I’m coming in here to give you a heads up about another sff sale including two of my novels–Druid Warrior Prince as well as Changeling’s Crown. You can find that here:
Also, a little update. Nanowrimo’s April Camp Nanowrimo is speeding fast to its end. What have I been doing? Well, over the last year, in between finishing Camden Girls, (book 3 forthcoming!) And Stewards War (all available now) and Antique Magic (audiobooks of book 1 in the works and book 7 resting) I have written 2 books and 2 chapters of a trilogy set in the same world as Changeling’s Crown, based on another fairy tale. 🙂 I want to get the final manuscript written before I publish the first book so maybe you won’t have to wait so long for the series end. That’s the plan, anyway. I am hoping to have it solid enough to release book one by August or September. At least, that was the plan last August when I started the massive headache project. Keep an ear out.
I’ve also pulled a mass of papers out of my backlog which will comprise a new secret project. Want a peek? This is it.
Having read through most of it this month, it looks like this story-stack has enough bare bones to make a real boy–er series–once I tackle it into submission. A series that might, I believe, fit into the Galactic Empire sf genre, as it was heavily influenced by the Majipoor series of sf giant Robert Silverberg with a bit of the Medici-Pazzi feud, with little romance and a dash of steampunk flavoring because, hey, this is me we’re talking about and I can’t help myself but to throw in a little of this and a little of that. I seriously doubt part one will see the light of day before January (maybe), but I’ve taken the first step of the job and am excited to see it shape up. Stay tuned for that.
So, busy, busy as usual.
That’s all I have for now. Check out the sale above for some good reads. Have a good week, everyone!
About the Story: Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time. With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?
What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach? The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences. One is that slavery is legal there. Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone. Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover). Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil. It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), an unsharpened weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge. Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades. You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.
More About the Story
Set in a world alarmingly like our own, The Collar and the Cavvarach is the story of fourteen-year-old Bensin, a slave, whose status is made obvious to everyone by the steel collar locked around his neck. A martial artist who competes to win money for his owner, Bensin fights in tournaments with a cavvarach. But his greatest battle is the struggle to protect his little sister from the horrors of legalized slavery in a world where slaves have few rights. Desperate to keep her safe, Bensin struggles to find a means – legal or otherwise – to arrange for her freedom. (For a fun introduction to the story’s setting and its culture, including an explanation of how cavvara shil works, click here.)
Sound Like a Book you Might Enjoy?
Click the play button below to listen to the first 15 minutes of the story as narrated by Joseph Baltz.
Click here to go to the audiobook on Audible. Click here to go to the audiobook on Amazon. (Either way, try listening to the free sample to see what you think!)
I have moved my blogging home. I’m now (back) over at Blogspot: http://julismapsroom.blogspot.com where I find I’m babbling more often…:) About just about anything that comes to mind. So, if you’d like to keep up on all my er, notes and latest releases, I have subscription links at the bottom of the blog. They look like this:
If you are following me on bloglovin’ you’re probably good. If you aren’t then do go look for those (*at the bottom of the blog!). *sigh* Meanwhile, I hope y’all have a good weekend and good luck in the giveaway, (if you try for it)!
Welcome to the Magick and Mayhem Fantasy blog hop. So the question was, what’s your favorite fantasy creature.
Well, you know, I’m torn. I like elves and faeries, but I adore wizards and gods–and imps, and witches of course. So… I guess I have to say all of them!
They’re running a giveaway involved here so check out the link below. To this I’ll be giving away one of my bookmarks (US Only). The overall prize package includes a copy of Caitlin’s Book of Shadows (EBook only), featuring, you guessed it that damnable Imp Hofter. 😉
Imps are small, bat-ish like, ugly creatures of wild, uncontrolled temperament. Common in Germanic, Russian, Turkish, and Korean literature, they are pranksters by nature, they simply live to cause trouble for man. And they tend to feed off the a man’s essence and leave the poor victim a drooling shell of his former self. (Or maybe that’s just my imp). And yet, according to good ole google, some people thought witches cavorted with imps! Ewww….
My character Hofter is one such. Though he looks like a man, he’s all about Mayhem. 🙂
Want to know more about Caitlin and company? Okay:
Something terrifying stalks Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of–or so legend says. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare even as she continued the fight to defend her family from evil? Will it explain why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?
Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and the hopes she carried like a warrior’s shield.
**This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) story in the Antique Magic series, a companion to The Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One).
Caitlin worked the afternoon away in Kameko’s Print Shop, packaging a new order when the door opened. Hofter stepped into the shop. Caitlin froze. Hadn’t Arianrhod insisted she’d “taken care of him”? How, exactly, when there he was, flitting here and there amongst the customers, smiling, brandishing his claw-tipped fingers.
Caitlin narrowed her eyes watching him, unsure of what her eyes told her. He can’t be here.
She tried to will the unwelcome vision away but Hofter refused her silent order to leave. He approached one gentleman waiting in line. Hofter’s claws flashed. The man yelped and cursed.
Had he cut the gentleman? At least that’s what she thought she saw. She dropped the bundle of fliers she’d been carrying and screamed.
In the next second, Hofter disappeared but she couldn’t stop screaming.
Calvin sprinted out the office door. “What’s going on here?”
Hofter was gone and yet, she kept on screaming.
Calvin took her by the arms and shook her. “What is it, Caitlin?”
She pointed to the crowd. Hofter had disappeared and she knew though Calvin’s gaze followed the direction of her finger, he saw nothing.
“Maybe you need to take a break. Go on. Mark can handle things for now.” He turned and shouted over his shoulder, “Mark?”
The student assistant slinked into Caitlin’s spot at the counter as she tried to keep from running out the door.
Hands shaking, she pulled her purse from her locker seeking her cell phone to call Beryl.
“Sweetie,” Beryl said, “are you sure it was Hofter?”
“I saw him, plain as day.” Her mouth was so dry and heart pounding so hard she could barely get the words out. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s not as imprisoned as she promised.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Yet, it seemed to take forever for Beryl to arrive. When she did, Caitlin stood back trying to do her work as she watched Beryl scrutinize the afternoon crowd of customers. She couldn’t stop shaking.
Beryl finally sauntered up to the counter and shook her head. “I don’t see him, Cait. I don’t even feel any remnants of him.” She reached out and ran her hand down Caitlin’s arm. The touch calmed her—a little. Not as much as she would’ve liked it to. “Sweetie, why don’t you go home and get some rest?”
Caitlin nodded to a watching, curious Calvin. “I would if I could, but I’m stuck here until closing.”
Beryl waved him over and proceeded to flirt with him. Caitlin didn’t know how she did it, but she managed to talk him into letting her leave. Driving her to Dr. Austin’s office herself, Beryl waited until Caitlin reformed from the puddle of sobbing goo she turned into. How she didn’t tell Dr. Austin the true nature of the monster she dealt with, how she managed to stay out of the nuthouse, was beyond Caitlin’s power to discern.
Even when she closed the door and the drapes that night, she could’ve sworn she saw Hofter hanging in the air outside her windows, grinning his evil, impish smile.
Now about that giveaway. One winner will receive a Smashwords coupon for a download of your choice of ebook format of Caitlin’s Book of Shadows. What to do? Leave me a comment below (with your email address so I can contact you if you win) and tell me what’s your favorite type of Fantasy creature.
The Magic Appreciation Tour, a lovely little group of Fantasy authors with which I’m involved is having a sale–and some free goodies are involved. All books are magical fantasy to some degree, all books are under $5. Do check it out , won’t you?