Book Blitz: Songs of Insurrection by J.C.Kang

Songs of Insurrection
J.C. Kang
(Daughter of the Dragon Throne #1)
Publication date: January 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Princess Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon.

Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see her as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her voice.

Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend Tian and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER 1
Not-So-Chance Meetings

If marriage were a woman’s grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen-year-old Princess Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral. Entourage in tow, she shuffled through the castle halls toward the garden where General Lu waited. Given his notorious dislike of the arts, the self-proclaimed Guardian Dragon of Hua had undoubtedly envisioned a different kind of audition when he requested to hear her sing.

After all, she was dressed like a potential bride.

She buried a snort. The Guardian Dragon—such a pretentious nickname. The only real dragon, Avarax, who lorded over some faraway land, might make for a more appealing audience. A quick trip down his gullet would spare her a slow death in a marriage with neither love nor music.

And it wouldn’t matter what she wore.

The gaudy dress compensated for her numerous physical imperfections, but stifled the only thing that made her special. How was she supposed to sing with the inner robe and gold sash squeezing her chest, in a futile attempt to misrepresent her woefully underdeveloped curves? The tight fold of the skirts concealed her lanky legs, but forced a deliberate pace. At least the short stride delayed the inevitable, while preventing her unsightly feet from tripping on the hanging sleeves of the vermilion outer gown.

At her side, Crown Princess Xiulan glided across the chirping floorboards. Kaiya suppressed a sigh. If only she could move with the nonchalant grace of her sister-in-law, or even the six handmaidens trailing them. She dug her nails into clammy palms. Through this choreographed farce, appearances had to be maintained, lest she embarrass her father, the Tianzi.

Chin up, back straight. A racing heart threatened to ruin her already meager semblance of imperial grace. Eyes forward. Servants knelt on either side of the looming double doors, ready to slide them open. She forced a smile, with her best approximation of feminine charm. If only she’d lived before Dragon Songs had faded into legend, she could’ve sent the realm’s victorious hero fleeing with the song he supposedly wanted to hear.

An aging palace official stepped into her line of sight.

Singular focus on the doors broken, she blinked. Her fluttering pulse lurched to a stop as she blew out a breath.

His blue robes ruffled as he tottered forward with averted eyes and a bobbing head. He creaked down into a bow. “Emergency, Dian-xia,” he said, using the formal address for her rank. “The Tianzi commands you to greet a foreign delegation in the Hall of Bountiful Harvests.”

Author Bio:

JC Kang’s unhealthy obsession with Fantasy and Sci-Fi began at an early age when his brother introduced him to The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Star Trek and Star Wars. As an adult, he combines his geek roots with his professional experiences as a Chinese Medicine doctor, martial arts instructor and technical writer to pen epic fantasy stories.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Flash Fiction Friday: Bob of Mongaloo, a 353 word story short.

It is a chilly autumn night out and about in the Mongaloo Mountain ranges. There is a beast watching two teenage boys with intense interest. The two young men are sitting down congratulating themselves with some stolen beer after a five hour trek up the mountain trail and a two hour struggle trying to pitch their tent and get a fire going.

Donavan, the younger of the two boys sits staring up at the stars. “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright.”

Barnett snorts shaking his head at his cousin. “Donavan sits warming his exhausted muscles by a raging campfire while stating the obvious in poetic verse.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Barnett gives Donavan a look that indicates his feelings have been hurt. That look then turns into a cheeky and devilishly handsome grin.”

Donavan turns to look at his cousin, a smile spreading across his face. “Modest aren’t you.” Then his attention returns to the stars. “But seriously look at the stars, have you ever seen them so bright.”

“Jesus, I Don’t know Don. Probably just look brighter ’cause there aren’t any lights up here.” Barnett walks over to the tent to retrieve a large back pack. He pulls out a cooler bag on his way back to the fire. “Give me a hand with the camp oven will ya. I wanna get this lamb cooking.”

There is a rustle in the nearby bushes drawing both boy’s attention. Out steps a magnificent dark purple dragon “Did I hear someone say lamb.”

Both boys are frozen still, slack jawed, staring at the Doberman sized dragon. The dragon continues to walk over to the fire without taking its eyes of the lamb roll in Barnett’s hands. The only things that move on the boys are their eyes as they follow its strutting stride. The firelight causes a glittery glow to cascade along its back and large folded wings. It sits down opposite the boys, perched on its hind legs while taking them both in with its iridescent green eyes.

“Hi my names Bob”.

I’m not completely sure who these characters are yet really, but they’ve been in my head for over a week so I thought I better remove them and put them down on paper (so to speak).

It started with the line “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright” entering my head with the image of two boys by a campfire on a mountain top. We’ll have wait and see if the boys and their dragon entre my dreams again and become anything more.

Cover Reveal: Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duel


Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: July 11th 2017
Radiant Crown Publishing
Summary:
A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION.
AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL BRIDE.
BETRAYAL THAT COULD DESTROY THEM BOTH.
“[E]very fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals.”
Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.
“I loved Kisk once; it was my home… But that was before. This is now.”
Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That’s until religious zealots from Theo’s sect offer her up as a sacrifice.
Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?
 
About the Author
Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s spent the last six years living in Germany and Maine as a military wife where the next step is always an adventure.
When Amber isn’t writing, she’s wrangling her two young sons. She is a lover of history, a fan of snowboarding, and a travel enthusiast. In her downtime, she can be found curling up with a good book and a cat or two.
For more information, visit www.amberrduell.com.
Author Links:

Release Blitz: The Last Grand Master

Title: The Last Grand Master

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon

Genre: Scifi / Fantasy

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. Andrew’s imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic.

What’s better than discovering a new fantasy series to devour? Getting the first book free! Andrew is offering The Last Grand Master, book one in his Champion of the Gods fantasy series, as a free download if you sign up for his monthly newsletter. 

If you love free eBooks, you’ll want to keep subscribed to Andrew’s newsletter even after you get your free copy of his book as he has other sci-fi/fantasy authors  lined up that will be giving away free eBook downloads for subscribers throughout 2017.

*CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

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Want to find out more about Andrew: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Last Grand Master on Amazon (Kindle)

The Last Grand Master on Amazon (Paperback)

Review: Mer by Joelle Sellner

33825562After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be … human.

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh.

Expected publication: April 19th 2017 by Diamond Book Distributors. GOODREADS.

My Review is based on an uncorrected proof via Netgalley – Thank you Joelle Sellner and Diamond Book Distributors for the ARC.

My Thoughts mk3

I decided to read this comic because the synopsis caught my attention. I found the art work to be bright, colourful, clear and visually quite pleasant. Putting aside the cringe worthy insta-love between the two main characters I enjoyed reading this comic. I found the villain amusing and her demise was entertaining.

I think girls between 11-13 would eat this comic up. What tween doesn’t want a sexy teenage Mer-person to instantly fall in love with them and offer them a new magical home and the chance to be a Mer. 11-year-old me would have loved the idea of running away and becoming a mermaid! Hell, 30-year-old me still thinks It might be kind of fantastic.

We follow Aryn as she navigates a new school, new friends, new love and gets herself caught in the villain’s clutches, then back out again, with help.

Aryn bugged me early on in the story and I can’t decide whether I felt she was immature or unhinged. I felt quite detached from the story as she was going berserk at strangers in the school hall and at her father. Actually, her treatment of her father grated on me, but that’s the adult and parent in me. I don’t think the intended audience would feel this way and the younger teens would be siding with her.

Under the cheesy romance and friendship drama there was a deeper story with Aryn realising she loves and needs her family – so that was nice. The comic is only 66 pages long, so all in all it was a light and quick read.

2.5 Stars. It was a bit better than just OKAY, but just too cringey for me to be able to say I liked it as a whole. This one for the young teens only.

Cover Reveal: The Price of Magic by K.J. Taylor

You are here because you were born different. Born with a gift … and a curse.”

Big things are expected of Pip. Can he deliver? Magic is all around him and he is expected to be a great mage, but the path before Pip isn’t simple. Will he fulfill his parents’ expectations? Will he fulfill his own?

In Pip’s world, only those born with defects or deformities can wield magic. Struggling to find his place in an institute of talented mages, Pip sets out on a perilous quest to help his master face the suffocating cost of her gift. For every mage has a price; but in return for that price is power. Magic. The ability to shape the world and create wonders. But is it enough? Is the price of magic worth it?front-cover

K.J. Taylor published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy, when she was just 18 and went on to publish another six titles in quick succession. Published by the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, The Price of Magic is a stand-alone fantasy novella encompassing the best of Taylor’s creative appeal.

To celebrate the release of The Price of Magic cover, the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective is running an eBook giveaway competition. Sign up to the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective mailing list, and WIN an eBook copy of The Price of Magic by KJ Taylor. Follow this link to be part of the conversation: http://www.blackphoenixpublishing.com/contact.php.

Competition is open to Australian residents only, and will run until 5PM 13 December 2016. The winner will be announced the very next day on the bPPc Facebook page!!

See the bPPc Facebook page for further details. Terms and conditions can be found here: http://www.blackphoenixpublishing.com/Terms-and-Conditions.php

This beautiful cover was designed and developed by Brisbane-based artist and graphic designer Sabrina Raven. You can view her portfolio HERE.

Links for Aussie K.J. Taylor (#LoveOzYA): Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Mini Reviews: The Iron Witch, Elouise & Jurassic Jane Eyre

6930002The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1) by Karen Mahoney

Freak. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

Published in February 2011, borrowed paperback copy from my local library, 292 pages long. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: While the Iron Witch wasn’t outstanding or even a completely new concept, I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read. It was just what I needed on a day when I was stuck in the house rugged up under a blanket with a cup of tea feeling under the weather. I’m not sure yet if I’ll go onto read the second book, but this one swept me off into a world with handsome half-fays and magical Alchemy. FOUR “I really liked it” STARS.

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18303388Elouise: A Tale of the Light
by Belinda Crawford

In a time of superstition and fear, Elouise hides a secret that will set her on a path of tragedy and revenge.

Published in August 2013, downloaded for FREE from Smashwords, 2670 words. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: Elouise is a heartbreakingly dark and gripping short story that I could see being turned into a full length thriller. THREE “I liked it” STARS.

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Jurassic Jane Eyre by Carrie Sessarego

Jane, a lonely orphan, travels back in time and meets a fetching T. rex named Edwina. Love blossoms – but Edwina has secrets she dare not divulge. Will Jane come to learn the pleasures a female dinosaur can offer, or will Edwina’s secrets, size, gender, and species keep them apart?

Published in November 2014, downloaded for FREE from Smashwords, 3800 words. Goodreads View.

My Thoughts: I did enjoy this, but please do not take this story seriously, it’s solely for shits and giggles. Dinosaurs, Jane Eyre and Doctor Who parodies all rolled into one. Preposterous, but fun. THREE “I liked it” STARS.

Review: Hero by Belinda Crawford

Flash Fiction: Burned, a 250-word short story

His blood called to my blood like a magnetic current. No matter how much I tried to fight, I couldn’t escape his pull. My body moved towards him without my permission. My chest felt tight and my heart raced as if trying to explode out of my chest.

I stood in front of him shacking slightly as he surveyed my nightdress with his shining golden eyes.

He was a strong and powerful delantie, blessed with earthly powers far superior to any other being in existence and still young at 240 years. I was an ordinary 24-year-old human female.

He gave me a look that was dark and deep with desire and I knew the pure bliss that was to follow. But I wasn’t going to make it out of the night’s visit unscathed, I never did.

The more we were together, the more I burned for him when we were apart. I was terrified of the consequences of our union, a union I’d only ever known to end in death, usually for the human when their body was shredded by the earth power realised by the delantie in the heat of the moment.

I woke up the next morning, naked and alone, feeling even more hollow then the time before. But I had made it through. I knew that the burning need to be with him would begin building again. I knew that he would appear again and so the cycle would continue until he had burned me up completely.