Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Tour (Excerpt & Giveaway): THE TITHE by Elle Hill

Welcome to my stop on the book tour for The Tithe by Elle Hill, a sci-fi paranormal romance available now from Soul Mate Publishing.


http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/vbt-tithe-by-elle-hill.html


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

BLURB


Every seven years, the towns sacrifice their sick and disabled. No one has ever survived the angels’ harvest. Until now.

“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”

No one knows exactly what happens to these seventy Tithes, but everyone knows who: the “unworkables,” those with differing physical and mental capacities. Joshua Barstow, raised for twenty years among her town’s holy women, is one of these seventy Tithes. She is joined by the effervescent Lynna, the scholarly Avery, and the amoral Blue, a man who has spent most of his life in total solitude.

Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.

How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.


EXCERPT


“I don’t want to die.” The words surprised her, spinning so artlessly from her lips.

“I don’t want you to die,” Blue agreed.

“What about you?” Josh whispered.

He didn’t respond for a long moment. “It doesn’t much matter, I guess.”

“Of course it matters!”

“If you say so,” he said.

“Blue,” she began, and then stopped. “Blue, why? Aren’t you scared?”

His blue eyes remained completely empty. Had his mouth not moved, she might think him a statue. “No.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t matter. I’ve spent my life existing. Sometimes I think the best thing humanity does is provide sustenance for bacteria and other symbiotes. And then there was here. And you, Joshua Barstow.”

“I’m not special,” she insisted.

“You exist so grandly, so loudly, I can feel you. The air trembles around you. You walk through a room and atoms collide. Everyone here can feel the greatness of your being. They may love you or despise you or want you to lead them, but everyone notices you.”

She exhaled a startled breath. Blue, her friend, her bodyguard, her socially-backward philosopher. Her hand moved to his hair, smoothing through its knots. When her voice returned, she told him, “You matter, Blue.”

“I don’t,” he said gently, as if imparting an uncomfortable truth to a child.

“You matter a lot to me,” she carefully enunciated, unsnarling a particularly knotted tangle.

“Well, then.”



Seduced by a Beta by Elle Hill


I papered the walls of my adolescent and early adult existence with the pages of romance novels. As I got older, I expanded to other genres, but romances will always mean safety, comfort, and reliability to the adult Elle. I love romances: their predictable narrative format, their feel-good happily-ever-afters, their celebration of relationships as the most crucial aspect of human existence. I have great affection and nostalgia for some of the more common romantic staples: the initial dislike and distrust that hides bubbling passion, the BFF who represents the shero’s and/or hero’s id, the shero’s stumble or fall from a tree root or from a ladder (oopsy-daisy!) and into the strong arms of that oh-so-insufferable man. I even find adorable some of the impossible euphemisms for orgasms. Overall, I’m a flag-waving fan of the genre. Only one thing causes a slight snag in my overwhelming devotion to the genre: A preponderance of alpha men.

I like alphas; they’re great peeps and all. And sure, I realize romances are all about ideals, from romantic relationships themselves to the people who populate them. But, you know, I also dig gender diversity. Is it just me, or does your heart go pitter-pat at the thought of a tender, nurturing man with a far bigger IQ than gun collection? And who isn’t seduced by the thought of a nerdy, bespectacled hero, ala Spencer Reed in Criminal Minds or Daniel Jackson in Stargate: SG-1, who use their brains rather than a bullwhip to help the shero save the day?

I don’t write alphas, or at least not traditional ones. At folks’ urging, I’ve written semi-alpha men, but they tend to read more like moody brooders. My question for you: Am I the only one who wants to read about heroes who look like hot nerds and sensuous poets rather than arrogant business tycoons and vampire lords?

Alpha males are great, but is there also room for nurturing, sexy, and soulful heroes with backgrounds in quantum mechanics? Yum!

AUTHOR Bio and Links


Born in Idaho during the height of disco, Elle Hill now chicken-pecks at the keyboard while rocking out to Donna Summer and KC and the Sunshine Band. She worked in Idaho for several years as a secretary and journalist before moving to California and selling her soul to academia. After receiving her PhD in Sociology, Elle Hill became a not-so-mild-mannered college instructor by night and a community activist during the remainder of her waking hours. Always a journalist and writer at heart, one of her favorite pastimes includes publishing commentary on the political and social state of the world; some of her thoughts are posted on her blog at ellehillauthor.blogspot.com.

Elle welcomes visitors to her website at www.ellehill.com. She also urges everyone to become a superhero and adopt their next non-human companion from a local animal shelter.


Blog: http://ellehillauthor.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.ellehill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Elle-Hill/155409064486649?ref=hl

Twitter: @ellehillauthor


Purchasing the book: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG


GIVEAWAY 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ENNARA AND THE BOOK OF SHADOWS by Angela Myron: Book Blast and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the book blast tour for Ennara and the Book of Shadows by Angela Myron, book two of the Ennara series, a 200-page middle grade fantasy released today. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.




This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Angela will be awarding a the winners choice of one of the following prizes (international giveaway -- All photos used from Etsy shops that she plans to purchase the gifts from. Actual gift will be sourced from winner's country and will likely look different for international winners):

1.  Dragon earcuff. A tiny dragon that wraps around your ear just like Ennara's wraps around her wrist! Ennara would not approve.

2. Potions master decal kit: Trick out your Kitchenaid with this decal kit! Ennara approved.

3. Emergency Potion Necklace: Potion/necklace dependent on winner's location. Ennara approved.

Or the winner may choose something from Ennara Swag (if they live in the US).



When strange accidents start happening around thirteen year-old necromancer Ennara and her friends, she must search for the mysterious stolen artifacts causing the attacks while learning the highest form of magic--the spells that could prevent the fruition of a terrible prophecy.



 

Now enjoy an excerpt:


“You haven’t much time,” Formult said, glancing again at the door. He crossed to the far edge of the dome and opened a huge glass panel. The winged horses enthusiastically trotted to the edge of the roof, and the griffins took up the rear.

The professor patted Snowflake’s neck. “I’m fairly certain I saw the book when I was in Dordonne. That is, I saw the Bishop of Dordonne with an odd-looking book in the Royal Court. It was my last clear memory before the spell… Anyway, when you find the bishop, I believe you’ll find that book.”

Ennara had heard of the Bishop of Dordonne once before, but where? She shook her head. Now they had two clues to look for—the crypts, and the bishop. Maybe hunting down the Book of Shadows was something they could do, after all.

Formult clapped Snowflake on the hindquarters and stepped aside. She leapt from the door and into the air effortlessly. Ferrus and the two griffins followed.

“Take good care and don’t worry about us,” Formult called after them. “We’ll have the school straight by the time you get back.”

The horses ascended as the door to the aviary burst open. The two druids from the hall tumbled forward. They quickly assessed the scene and raised their wands to the flying creatures. Smoos crouched to pounce and Formult unfurled his whip.

“Let’s get out of here!” Kithe yelled.

Without further instruction, the pegasii and griffins pounded their muscular wings and lifted them away. Galdurlan retreated, quickly becoming a tiny village, then a bay, and then an island alone in a cold, dark ocean. Ennara wrapped her cloak tightly and pulled her hood up as she settled into Snowflake’s rhythmic flight. The air grew icy, and she leaned into the horse to share its warmth. Beside her, Cinne did the same, resting her face against Ferrus’s dark mane.

Gevin and his griffin flew slightly above and behind the pegasii, to the left. His bright green eyes shone from behind his heavy black hood. He was enjoying the flight as much as she. Kithe rode his lion-eagle ahead of the other. He’d bundled himself up in his hunter green cloak and smiled as he gazed into the distance. The hilt of the Sword of Gisilfrid glinted on his shoulder.

From the tiny castle on the retreating island, a screech tore through the air, then another. Two tiny black objects rose in pursuit. Then another, larger object. Two larger objects. The tattoo on Ennara’s hand prickled. Her stomach grew queasy. They would not be let off the island without a fight. Long necks and massive wings pulled the large creatures into the sky. Dragons.



AUTHOR Bio and Links

Angela Myron was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1973. She grew up in the piney forests of southern British Columbia, studying tiny blue bells, dodging hidden cacti, and creating fantasy worlds in her back yard. She loved to imagine lands of fairies and goblins, then invite friends over to introduce them.

Angela studied biology and professional writing at university, starting her degree at the University of Victoria in Canada and finishing it at San Francisco State University. She wrote grant proposals for nonprofits, technical manuals for software, and freelance journalism before writing fiction.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Buy Links:

Amazon

Kobo

Smashwords


GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Blast & Giveaway: GYPSY HUNTER by Andrea Drew

Welcome to my stop on the book blast tour for Gypsy Hunted by Andrea Drew, a paranormal (psychic) thriller released this week in eBook and in print late November. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.


http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/10/book-blast-gypsy-hunted-by-andrea-drew.html


BLURB


Reluctant psychic Gypsy Shields—she prefers the term "intuition consultant"—finds herself in trouble when, on her way home from a blind date, she interrupts a kidnapping in progress. She attempts to intervene, and her heroics are repaid with a collision between the attacker's van and a brick wall. She awakens in the hospital, paralyzed on her left side and unable to speak. This also means she's unable to share her vital information as a witness. Fortunately, she is able to use her telepathic connection with her niece to throw a line out to a police detective she knows: Connor Reardon, her blind date.

Connor will do anything to protect Gypsy, and he listens to her claims of psychic power willingly, as he's concealing certain powers of his own. Nor are they all he's concealing. Gypsy senses a part of her new ally's mind is closed to her—what she cannot know is that Connor suspects the kidnapper is someone close to him, and the kidnapping victim holds secrets that will tear through Connor's department, putting careers and lives at risk. Including Gypsy, still in hospital and vulnerable as the attacker turns his sights on her once again.

Can she use her powers to track down the perpetrator and prevent her own murder?


EXCERPT


My eyes went down at the registration plate. I reached into my handbag for my mobile phone, realizing I should have done this earlier and made a damn call to the cops.

He’d got her into the van but she wasn’t going without a fight.

The woman had started banging with her feet kicking the shit out of the van walls. I could almost see the outline of her foot bashing the thin metal veneer. With the key in the ignition he’d turned up the radio to full blast, drowning out the noise of her screams and kicking.

He revved the crap out of the van, the engine growling so loud I felt it through my toes. But I stood my ground, even with nails biting into my palms, pulse speeding, and heartbeat pounding. I’d get his details through to the police if it was the last thing I did.

I looked up to face him and the van launched at me. I dialed the emergency services number holding the phone to my ear with fingers so rigid they hurt. The van came at me and in a split second I was hit, my body bouncing off the van. My head taking the brunt of the blow as I struck the brick wall, landing on the ground like a rag doll unloved and discarded. Strangely, nothing hurt, at least at this moment. I was sure that it should.

Colors flashed: green, hot pink, and yellow. Tires squealed, and I thought I heard frantic footsteps approaching.

Then it was lights out.


AUTHOR Bio and Links


Andrea Drew has been a commercial copy writer and resume writer for over a decade.

She's written for celebrity stylists, assisted business coaches and start-ups, written grants for not for profits, delivered marketing presentations to business owners, and attends Australian writing conventions.

Her self-published book "Pro Resumes Made Easy" has been downloaded over 40,000 times.

Andrea has one husband (more than enough), three kids, a pet rock (her daughters not hers), and a house in the suburbs, where she's hard at work on the second novel in the Gypsy series.

Email her at andrea@andrea-drew.com.

Gypsy Hunted, her first fiction novel (her first suspense thriller set in her home town of Melbourne Australia), is available for pre-order on Amazon prior to release on October 28 2014.


Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drewwriter

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/andreadrew

Blog: http://andreadrewauthor.wordpress.com/

Gypsy Hunted Available for Pre Order on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Hunted-Hunter-Knows-Where-ebook/dp/B00N9Q9PYY/


GIVEAWAY


Andrea will be awarding a $20 amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway: PARIAH by C.R. Richards

Welcome to my stop on the book review tour for Pariah by C.R. Richards, an urban fantasy novel released on September 15, 2014. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.


http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/08/review-tour-pariah-by-cr-richards.html


BLURB


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MRLYPTW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00MRLYPTW&linkCode=as2&tag=madhoy-20&linkId=EUA3VORD6SENDUWS
Millennia have passed since the corrupt of Seelie society were banished from Otherworld. Abandoned in the Human Realm, their Descendants keep to the shadows, secretly controlling criminal organizations and swaying governments. Jin, a Seelie Descendant, refuses to swear allegiance to any Clan. Marked as a pariah, he is banished from their society. One ill-fated evening, Jin breaks the rules to visit the family he left behind. A chance meeting with an old enemy draws him into a murderous plot that could propel the Human Realm into a bloody war. His warning of insurrection goes unheeded. Determined to keep the plan secret, the conspirator summons an ancient demon with a taste for Seelie blood. It's reward? A pound of Jin's flesh.

On the run with a Death Mark on his head, Jin is desperate to find the cunning spider behind the conspiracy. With the help of Gracie Berry, a pre-cognitive with a hidden past, Jin searches for their allusive enemy before his ruthless hunters find their target.


EXCERPT



The parking lot behind the warehouse looked like a parking lot at a mortician's convention. Black limousines and sedans lined the blacktop under the morning Vegas sun. Jin passed them by with a derisive grunt. Then hope sparkled as a blue gem among coal. A blue Lamborghini Aventado Roadster glittered like a rock star at the end of the line of bulky sedans. He hurried over to run his hands along its sexy lines.

"Daddy like," Jin hummed under his breath. He lifted the door up and slid down into the sleek leather seat. The owner of this beautiful piece of automotive perfection hadn't locked it. In Jin's book, that meant the super-car wasn't being properly taken care of—an egregious sin. The cretin didn't deserve to own her. It was time she had someone behind the wheel who truly respected and adored every inch of her fine carbon fiber frame.

"Oh no, we are not stealing a car!" Gracie's bare feet danced on the hot pavement.

Jin pointed at the group of Seelie Descendants running toward them. Gracie yelped and raced around to the other side of the Lambo. Her fist banged on the door with an unacceptable level of disrespect for the super-car. For a brief moment, Jin considered leaving her and then motioned up with his hands. She got the hint and lifted the car door. The golden fabric crept up her bare thighs as she fell down into the seat. Her hand tugged at the hem when she caught him looking.


MY REVIEW


Pariah is officially in my top five funnest books to read list this year.

The novel opens with the worst dinner party ever. EVER. I loved that author dropped us into exciting action early in the book. No stringing you along for action until chapter 10. The novel's storyline is complex and entertaining. There is a motley crew of secondary characters that really add depth to the story and help move the plot forward.

What I liked most about the story is that it kept me guessing all of the way through. I couldn't figure out how Jin was going to clear himself of a frame up and prevent the Human Realm from falling into a war. I also liked that Jin (in all his shady angst) was dedicated to doing the right thing even though the Seelie society and his family turned their backs on him.

I simultaneously felt bad for and wanted to shake Gracie Berry. Being a pre-cognitive with a hidden past is no joke, but has its funny moments. I laughed aloud when Gracie went to the Las Vegas police to report a Seelie-related kidnapping. How many wild stories must the police hear in Vegas?


Pariah is an exciting page-turner – an intriguing mix of fantasy, mystery, romance, and adventure. And the book's cover is awesome looking! It lured me right into its pages. As Gracie would say, "Gawd!" I look forward to the author’s next book.


Recommended for:
  • Fans of Urban Fantasy
  • Fans of Action and Adventure

NOTE: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I'd like to have some Seelie abilities and the Lambo - just for a week or so.


AUTHOR Bio and Links


C. R. Richards is the award winning author of The Mutant Casebook Series. Her literary career began as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper. She wore several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. A lover of horror and dark fantasy stories, she enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Her most recent literary projects include the horror short story, Lost Man's Parish and the newly released novel length dark fantasy thriller, Pariah. She is an active member of EPIC and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Author Website

Blog: Deep Thoughts and Junk

FB Page: authorcrrichards

Twitter: @CR_Richards

Amazon Author Page: C. R. Richards 

Available for Purchase


Print

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Pariah-C-R-Richards/dp/0990669408/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410712332&sr=8-1&keywords=pariah+richards

Createspace - https://www.createspace.com/4971463


EBook

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MRLYPTW

Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pariah-c-r-richards/1120171710?ean=2940046094909

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/465845

Also available on iBooks.

GIVEAWAY


The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS by Brenda Novak: $100 Book Blast

Welcome to my stop on the book blast tour for The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak, a small town contemporary romance available today from MIRA/Harlequin Publishing. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour.

  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/book-blast-heart-of-christmas-by-brenda.html


BLURB


Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B-and-B she manages and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

As Eve turns thirty-five, she’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. She’s dated all the eligible men in the area. There’s no one she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. Just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!



EXCERPT


Moving slowly to compensate for her hangover, she managed to prop herself against the headboard and, once there, frowned at her bedmate.

Who the heck was he?

She had no idea, but she was relieved to see that he was no bum off the street. He wasn’t even one of those “he looked a lot more attractive last night” kind of pickups everyone joked about. This guy was so far above average that she began to wonder why he wasn’t already taken. Heaven forbid that was the case! She didn’t see a ring on his left hand, which rested on the pillow above his head. But he had to have some story. If he looked this good sleep-tousled, she could only imagine what he’d be like once he had a chance to clean up.

It was his bone structure, she decided. Those pronounced cheekbones. The narrow bridge across his nicely shaped nose. The distinct ridge of his upper eye sockets. He also had a strong chin and a manly jaw, which certainly didn’t detract.

So maybe she couldn’t point to just one or two features. With his long, sandy-colored hair spread across his pillow, he resembled a fallen angel—and his body further enhanced that image. Although bedding covered his lower half—thank goodness—she could see his torso. He was built like a greyhound or panther, lean and sinewy and ideally proportioned with very little body hair. What body hair he did have was golden and downy, as appealing as his tanned skin.

He’d make a nice subject for a painter, she mused, someone looking for refined masculine beauty—a man who could even be called elegant.

But not everything about him was elegant. When she looked closer, she could see that he had some very unusual scars….

What types of injuries could’ve caused those? she wondered. It seemed to her that he’d been shot, and more than once. Several round, bullet-size marks dotted his chest. Then there was a long, jagged scar on his side that must’ve come from something else….

Out of nowhere—he didn’t open his eyes first, so she had no warning—he grabbed her wrists in a crushing grip and slammed her onto her back.

Eve gasped as she stared up at him. Gone was the image of an angel, fallen or otherwise. Shocked at being so easily and unexpectedly overpowered, she couldn’t even scream. His fierce expression, as if he was intent on causing her bodily harm, made it worse.

Had she brought home a homicidal maniac? Was he about to kill her?

The terror that surged up must’ve shown on her face because he suddenly came to his senses. He gave his head a shake. His expression cleared and, letting go, he eased off her and slid back onto his side of the bed.

“Sorry about that. I thought…” His words trailed off, and he covered his eyes with one arm as if he needed a moment to pull himself together.

Her heart was now pounding in unison with her head. But once she could speak somewhat normally, she prompted him to finish his sentence. “Thought what?”

His lips turned down. “Never mind. I was dreaming.”

She pressed a hand to her chest as though she could slow her galloping pulse. “It couldn’t have been a pleasant dream.”

“They never are,” he muttered.


AUTHOR Bio and Links


New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised over $2 million.

For more about Brenda, please visit www.brendanovak.com. While there be sure to check out her The 12 Days of Christmas Contest.

Links:

Website

Facebook

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iTunes


GIVEAWAY 


Brenda will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Author Party with Judith Miller!

Don't miss Judith Miller's latest novel, The Brickmaker's Bride. CBA Retailers + Resources raves, ". . . a wonderful story about faith and love throughout life’s trials."

Judith is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and  a "Refined by Love" Facebook author event on November 4th.

brickmaker-400
  
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 4th. Winner will be announced at the Refined by Love Facebook Author Event. Connect with Judith for a fascinating evening centered around her new Civil War-era series. She'll be hosting a book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in the Refined by Love series, and much more!

So grab your copy of The Brickmaker's Bride and join Judith and friends on the evening of November 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
brickmaker-enterbanner

 

 Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway: CAIRNS OF SAINCTUARIE by Hawk MacKinney

Welcome to my stop on the book review tour for Cairns of Sainctuarie (The Bleikovat Event - Book 1) by Hawk MacKinney, a 228 page Sci-Fi novel available now from Sage World Publishing. This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.


http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/review-tour-cairns-of-sainctuarie-by.html


Hawk will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host. Click on the banner to visit other stops on this tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

BLURB


The Cairns of Sanctuarie: Volume I - The Bleikovat Event

Among the close-kin clans of western rural Malfesian Murians, farming and gelf ranches are long held traditions. Times are good…full barns, fat gelf calves and large families thrive among the sprawling grain fields and hamlets and the river from which they derive their name—the Feldon. Word comes with the trade caravans that times are not so good in the regions far to the east of the Feldon River: tumultuous changes stir among the remote province of Bleikovia. Old timer Feldovats shrug it off as one more squabble between clans over boundaries or water rights…too distant to affect the Feldovats.

The western clans learn too late, however, it is no local squabble. Outnumbered and unprepared, Feldovats resist a hoard bent on plunder and conquest. Days of battle along the Feldon River stain the riverbanks in green Murian blood. In the finals days of exhausted fighting, Judikar Klarvko Celo, leader of the Clan Klarvkon and the Feldovats, is fatally stabbed with the slow-acting sevon poison. The Judikar’s consort, Etikaa Klarvkaa, becomes Regentkaa, and with Celovat Field Commander Korvo Celo serving as her advisor, she leads the demoralized Feldovat survivors on a gruesome ill-prepared winter trek through high mountain passes of ice and blizzard snow in an attempt to elude the Green Dragon forces of the Bleikovats.

Etkaa’s only son, Klarvko Celo II, helps spirit Feldovat young across a remote mountain exodus to the west toward Eedov Province. The battered, starving Feldovats reach the Malfesian coast at Eedov City only to be confronted with their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded lumbering Maalonovion freighters, Feldovats and Malfesian refugees set sail. On arrival in Maalon City they are welcomed among their Maalon hosts, and settle into a new life.

But famine and a pandemic pestilence stir old hates and nurse former ambitions. The enraged Overseers of Bleikovia move against the Klarvkons, this time bringing bloodshed to Maalonovia. The exiles from the Feldon must fight once again, but starvation and plague across the Planete Myr make it a different war from the battles along the Feldon…a na’ä blikovat…the Bleikovvat Phenomenon…an event with unexpected consequences and outcomes none could have foreseen.

Before the vendetta killing is exhausted, the Regentkaa Klarvkaa and her son are swept onto the Maalon throne, setting the Klarvkon Dynasty and the Murians toward an intergalactic golden age, and a star-flung destiny the once-agrarian Feldovats could never have envisaged.

EXCERPT


Prologue

The catafalque of the old Dowager Queen rested on the high rostrum of the Temple of the Goddess Myraa. There was little ceremony to the cremation of dead. Yet, all that had passed made this requiem for the Dowager Queen Klarvkaa Etkaa Bremanova Celovaa Bremanova symbol of the changes which had swept so many lives. Long annuals before the ascendancy of The Klarvkon Dynasty, the massive wood and granite Temple to the Goddess Myraa had been destroyed in the firestorm which laid waste Eedov City. After the close of the Malfesian War the temple was rebuilt, but not the city. On the ashes of the old temple, immense columns rose above the sanctuary and vaults. Iridescent alabaster and polished marbles greeted pilgrim supplicants who had come to the shoreline plains washed by the Green Sea.

Dowager Etkaa Klarvkaa…wife, myäat, founding matriarch of the Klarvkon Dynasty, gave hope from a time without hope. As was her wish, she would be cremated on the soil of her birth, her ashes to mingle with those of her consort, Klarvko Celo. Their son, His Imperial Majesty Klarvko Celo the Second, decreed it would be. At the enormous base of the great temple…a spectacle never seen before and seldom since those times, came an undulating ocean of banners. Some of clans which no longer existed, even the once-hated Green Dragon of Bleikovia. Murians had taken her to their hearts…and never relinquished her. Her shadow would reach across the centuries, and measure all who followed.


MY REVIEW

I won't summarize much. The blurb above pretty much says it all.

Caught up in the good life, the western clans of the Feldon failed to realize that the enemy plaguing eastern clans along the Feldon River would soon be at their doors. When the enemy finally arrived, there were no strong allies left to help them. In a bold and unusual move, the consort of the fallen Clan Klarvkon leader steps up to lead the Feldovats against enemy forces. The hardest challenges begin here.

As I read about the plight of the Feldovats, it reminded me of the famous Martin Niemöller (Protestant pastor and Nazi concentration camp survivor) quotation (versions vary):

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I must confess that I started this book somewhat intimidated by the blurb. I continued to be intimidated through chapter 2. I was thrown off by the meaning and pronunciation of the clan and character names presented in the story (ex. the Regentkaa's name - Klarvkaa Etkaa Celovaa Bremanovaa). I twisted my ponytail as I clicked pages, unsure if I could easily follow the characters throughout the story.  

That was only a momentary worry. Things are started to click with chapter 3. By chapter five, I was overly engrossed and sneering, "Bring it on, Bleikovats punks. Regentkaa Etkaa and the Feldovats will never bow down."

Character-driven and fast-paced, this is an epic tale that weaves a story about fighting for survival with strings of fantasy, loyalty, and ethics. I especially liked the attention to scene detail. I could really picture them in my mind. I excitedly followed storyline events using the maps provided at the end of the book. MacKinney has a nice turn of phrase which should help Cairns of Sainctuarie stand-out in the sea of fantasy books. His writing style is descriptive and succinct. Two qualities that don't often come together in sci-fi and fantasy novels.  

All in all, Cairns of Sainctuarie is a promising start to the series. It will be a hearty treat for sci-fi and fantasy readers. It offers complex world building, a strong heroine as war leader, and lots of action.

NOTE: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I'd like to have a clak (see the animal on the cover) of my own.

AUTHOR Bio and Links


Welsh and Scottish Hawk MacKinney grew up in northwest Arkansas, and wrote for his school newspaper. Hawk served over twenty years as a Special Staff Corps Officer with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Recruiting Officer, a Navy Recruiting Command Liaison Officer, and Commanding Officer of units attached to the U.S. Marine Corps bases at Parris Island, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California. Along with his postgraduate degrees, he studied English and Russian history and foreign languages. As a faculty member in major medical and veterinarian universities, he authored professional articles and taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem. In addition to his sci-fi series, The Cairns of Sainctuarie, Hawk MacKinney has authored the Craige Ingram Mystery Series and Moccasin Trace, a historical romance nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. 


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