Tag Archives: fantasy

Book Excerpt Feathered: Swan Maiden Book 1

Book Excerpt

I move to sit up but my limbs feel off-kilter. Since waking, I’ve known something is wrong with me. I don’t know what, but something’s happened to my body. It takes me a few minutes to work up the courage to look down, and when I finally do, I’m greeted with a shock that nearly kills me for the second time today.

I scream. I want to run. But it’s hard to escape when the only thing you’re running from is yourself.

In place of my arms, white, feathered appendages stretch out to my sides: wings. And where my feet once were, orange flaps of rubbery skin now take their place. I appear to be some kind of . . .

“Ah, Princess. I see you are awake.”

My eyes—feeling strangely out of proportion on my new face—narrow at the familiar voice. Only one person I know uses that nickname.

“Elward,” I say. Well, that’s what I mean to say, but what comes out is more of an angry honk. “I should’ve known you’d be behind this.” I still have little control over my new body, but manage to turn my head towards the man in the velvet waistcoat. His face is twisted into the same smug smile he gave me at the guillotine. He understands my animalistic noises just fine.

“Behind what?” He raises a straight black eyebrow. “I believe I have just saved your life, Princess.”

“By doing what?” I squawk back. “Turning me into some sort of . . . duck?”

Elward rubs at the stubble on his chin—a gesture I’ve always despised. I wish he wasn’t so young—then I might hate him a little less. As it is, our proximity in age only heightens my dislike for him. To think I might have anything in common with the sorcerer is enough to make me want to retch.

“The term, my dear, is swan. There is a big difference. I transferred your soul into its body. I found it dying on the bank. Some sort of heart disease, I think. Be thankful it wasn’t a skunk I saw first.”

“You turned me into a swan?” I blink. “A dying swan?”

If I still had hands, they would be clawing through my hair by now. Well, feathers. Curses, has my whole identity been stripped from me?

 

 

About the Book

Title: Feathered: Swan Maiden – Book 1

Author: Rachel Wollaston

Genre: Fantasy

The light and the dark were never meant to be separated.

When her bargain with a malevolent wizard goes terribly wrong, Marion DuVal finds herself trapped between two forms: a beautiful but darker parallel of herself, and a swan. Somehow, she must adhere to the wizard’s wishes, but it’s hard to perform epic magic when your feet are flippers and your neck’s the length of a small fishing pole. Caught up in a lie of royal proportions, her task is to get close to the queen, and such a thing is difficult when a certain handsome prince keeps getting in the way.

One girl; two identities. Marion must stop the darkness inside her before it’s too late.

Based on the classic tale of Swan Lake.

 

Author Bio

Born and bred in Gloucestershire, UK, Rachel Wollaston is a huge lover of all things fantasy. From an early age, her dream was to be a fairy, but the pay was no good, so she decided to become a writer instead. A Creative Writing student, Rachel is the author of young-adult fantasy and loves to build worlds that she wishes she could be a part of.

Besides writing, Rachel also enjoys a range of other artistic hobbies, including dancing, drawing, and an unhealthy amount of arts and crafts. You will almost always find her with a cup of tea and a cat watching old ‘70s comedies.

 

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Guest Post Noble Magic

Guest Post

Finding my Editor

In 2007, my main character, Alex showed up with a plethora of stories. A year later, more stories developed and I finally broke out my old computer to write them down. It took me months to transfer everything into the computer and after I did, it left me with another problem. What was I going to do with it? I knew retirement was close at hand so I decided to publish and begin my journey as an author.

I scrubbed the stories and divided them into novels. By the end of 2008, I had rough drafts for the first three books in the first series, “The Seaward Isle Saga.” Although I’d read about getting an editor, I didn’t feel I needed one. I was literate. I’d been writing since I was little and had a bachelor’s degree and two masters.

At the end of 2010, I published my first book, “The Black Elf of Seaward Isle.” Unfortunately, it was only after publication when I noticed the errors and my awkward sentences. I made corrections and published it again. I decided to move on and work on the second book.

At about that time, I took a class and the instructor recommended getting an editor. After my experience with my first book, I looked one up on line and found one for a reasonable cost. I sent my manuscript in and a few weeks later, got a corrected manuscript back. The results weren’t bad—a few corrections here and there. I felt good about it and published my second book online.

While working on the print version, I happened to find a book called “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Brown and Dave King. I reviewed it on my blog and received a comment from the author, Renni Brown, who told me about her editing website. I checked it out and sent in a trial submission. I was impressed with the results and sent in my whole manuscript.

My manuscript came back with a lot of corrections and recommendations missed by the first editor. Some of these changes were painful and even included changing the title. But I also realized that this was exactly what my book needed. I’d found an editor who pulled no punches and told me what I needed to do to improve. I even had her edit my first book. This was in 2011 and I’ve been working with her ever since. My books have won several awards and I credit her editing for changing this newbie into an author.

About the Book

Title: Noble Magic: The Chronicles of Eledon Book Four

Author: Joni Parker

Genre: Fantasy

Lady Alexin (Alex) battles a band of mortal wizards known as the Octagon, discovers the mysteries of the five legendary diamond eggs, and finally comes into her true powers gifted to her by her conquests and the gifts of her Titan ancestors. Tasked with the seemingly impossible, Alex must find a way to restore the entry points to Seaward Isle or see its inhabitants face certain destruction as the grid holding Eledon together threatens to fall apart.

 

Author Bio

Joni currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, but she was born in Chicago, lived in Japan, graduated high school in Phoenix, and got married in New Jersey. Not only was she married to a career Navy sailor, but she also completed 22 years of active duty service herself. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, an MBA, and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences (MMAS) from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.  After her husband passed away, she returned to the work in the Department of Homeland Security until she discovered her love of writing. She retired again and has written two series, “The Seaward Isle Saga,” a three-book series, and “The Chronicles of Eledon” with “Spell Breaker,” “The Blue Witch,” “Gossamer,” and “Noble Magic.”

 

 

 

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Guest Post The Imaginarium of the Innocent

Guest Post by H.A. Betancourt

¡Buen día a todos ustedes!

 

I am H.A. Betancourt and I’m happy to be hosting this guest post! I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about my new book, “The Imaginarium of the Innocent”. This book was born back when I was in film school as a 1 minute short film. The concept was very vague, about a boy who dreamt of fantasy creatures and places and then woke up strapped to a wheelchair. It was a very interesting concept that I started developing through four years to transform. Eventually, after so long, I wrote a novel that now you can read, which is a great pride and joy.

 

The book follows Toby, who is a boy from Belgium during in World War II. After a night of devastation, he is lost in a wheelchair and taken to an orphanage in London. It is thanks to the power of innocence and imagination that he finds himself travelling back and forth between a fantasy world and Earth, where he learns different lessons and will have to find himself again through adventures and hardships.

 

This book contains a lot of lessons and heartwarming moments that I hope resonate with you and the child within. Each chapter is accompanied with an illustration and a poem, so it’s a full package of emotions that I hope will find a place in your heart.

 

The process of creating this book was one full of challenges, even before the publishing process. It all started with the creation of the illustrations and the writing of the manuscript. I’m very happy to finally unveil to you this book, and I hope you find a lot of spirit in it!

 

Thank you,

H.A. Betancourt

About the Book

Title: The Imaginarium of the Innocent

Author: H.A. Betancourt

Genre: Fantasy

While young Wendy and her brothers were taken to Neverland by Peter Pan, Alice fell through a rabbit hole and the Pevensie siblings crossed over to Narnia, another boy was taken to another fantastic place: his own heart.

Great losses crumble the worlds of even the steadiest individuals. In The Imaginarium of the Innocent, ten-year-old Tobias Young’s sense of home is torn from him in one night of wartime devastation in Belgium. Instead of security, love and peace, Toby now faces deep despair and cold numbness. In the aftermath of the destruction of his soul, he is crippled and orphaned in London.Not only does Toby struggle to accept his handicap, he battles the will to be happy. With the help of a magical soaring eagle, Eoloswing, Toby enters the endangered Imaginarium as the Nightingale—a young man destined to save his newfound friends from the evil of the Hopeslayer. As Toby searches for answers and happiness—with his new roommate and his sister—in both the orphanage and the gorgeous and captivating floating island of dreams, he must learn to address his own heart and remember to retain his own Spark of Elan.

 

 

Author Bio

H.A Betancourt is a Miami-based author. He started writing when he was 13 years old, eventually starting to write his own stories at the age of sixteen. He has a passion for storytelling and studied film production, screenwriting and creative writing. “The Imaginarium of the Innocent” marks his first big release in English language. Born and raised in México, he is proud of his heritage but has a dream to see more of the world.

 

 

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbNoGMF13xs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rDMR1v716U

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Guest Post Killers, Traitors & Runaways

Guest Post: Editing

When I wrote Outcasts of the Worlds a couple years ago, it was a very informative experience into the Wonderful World of Editing. Or, if you prefer, a self-inflicted Hell!

 

Talking about my editing process is almost tantamount to talking about my writing process. Almost any given day, if I’m writing, I start out by editing.

 

When I sit down, I seldom crack into a new scene right off the back. I first open whatever I did yesterday, and generally load up whatever music I was playing as well (I’m a big fan of video game soundtracks, as they provide good atmosphere while generally remaining tonally consistent).

 

It’s a this point that I reread what I’d written the day before, and doing so helps in two ways. The first being, it helps me get back in the mood before writing something new.

 

The second, and this is the important one: I’m going in with fresh eyes. I find when I’m writing, I tend to overlook the minutea of the things needing to be fixed. Sometimes this is little errors. Sometimes this is sentances, or paragraphs.

 

But the main rule is I don’t move forward until I’m content with what I’m leaving behind.

 

If every the story gets stuck, I’ll fall back much further than just the previous scene. I might roll back to the start of the chapter, the previous chapter, or even the whole book, depending on how far along I am.

 

This approach has resulted deleting whole scenes, and sometimes a chapter’s worth of work. I regret nothing.

 

Of course, this is the front half. My biggest concern once I finish a book (I’ve done two now!) is trimming the word count as much as I can, especially since I already write Very Long Stuffs. I’ll take brevity where I can get it.

 

The editing process, especially in working with my actual editor, has made me approach everything with an economy of words in mind. I.E., if I can, cut down to seven where I first used twelve, fifteen where I used eighteen. Ten to nine. Trim where I can.

 

The funny thing is, this process bled back into the second book when finding a character’s voice. Shea is a new character, appearing a third or so of the way in. With this interest in trimming words in mind, and having a few characters who are already a bit flowery, I decided to go the opposite with Shea.

 

Everything she says is parred down, as much as possible, while striving to retain the original meaning. So, for example, a line in chapter seven probably started something like:

 

“That’s a daft plan. You know that, right?”

 

And ended up like:

 

“Daft plan. Know that, right?”

 

The final word count for Outcasts was approx. 140,500. Give or take. One of my main goals with, Killers, Traitors, & Runaways, my second book, was to get a lower word count in.

 

And I succeeded, by nearly a thousand. As long as my works have been, I try to make everything that stays in count for something.

 

Or be funny. Funny is good too.

 

About the Book

Title: Killers, Traitors & Runaways (Outcasts of the World II)

Author: Lucas Aubrey Paynter

Genre: Cosmic Fantasy

As reality nears its final days, worlds fall to ruin. A benevolent god is shackled, and when freed, will create a new one … allowing only the pure of heart. A company of seven have united on a bloody quest to stop him, but have little hope of emerging victorious.

The outcasts are adrift—they have a mission but no means to fulfill it. Airia Rousow, the fallen goddess who set them on their path, is gone. Guardian Poe, her intended successor, believes deification will absolve him of his sins and his remorse alike. And Zella Renivar, daughter of the Living God, is still hunted by her father’s agents, drawing danger on them all.

Trapped in this storm, Flynn is able to find and open the ways between worlds, but cannot discern which path is the right one. Since losing the trust of his closest friend, the temptation to fall back on his former, deceitful ways grows with every crisis he faces.

These are heroes not of virtue, but of circumstance—and it will fall on Flynn to keep them all together.

 

 

Author Bio

Lucas Aubrey Paynter hails from the mythical land of Burbank, California, where there are most likely no other writers at all.

Back in 2014, he published Outcasts of the Worlds, and he’s now releasing its follow-up, Killers, Traitors, & Runaways.

A fan of gray-area storytelling and often a devil’s advocate, Lucas enjoys consuming stories from a variety of mediums, believing there’s no limit to what form a good narrative can take.

 

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Website: http://www.lucaspaynter.com/

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Guest Post Hunted

About the Book

Title: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel

Author: Christopher Draven

Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.

 

 

 

Author Bio

Christopher Draven has worked as an instructional designer, newspaper journalist, and ghost writer.

One soggy Monday morning, he committed to leaving behind the soul-stealing work of corporate puppetry and escaped to a meadow where he could concentrate on his passion. Since that fateful day, Christopher has focused on learning the craft of fiction.

 

 

Links

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twitter: @writerdraven

email: info@christopherdraven.com

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Guest Post The Peacock Door

Guest Post

My editing process took several different and rather haphazard forms.  Some sections came out almost exactly as they are now in the book, but, I struggled over many sections and ideas for days or even weeks.

For example, one day, I was sitting in front of an old bookstore in a small coastal town. The sun was creating sparkles on the water and it was simply beautiful.  I happened to have my mini-laptop setting on the back seat.  I pulled it out, wrote a brief description about the place, and saved it with the idea that someday I might be able to use the description in some piece of writing or, worst case scenario, have the description as a reminder of that precious scene. That ended up being the first couple chapters in the book without any changes at all.

There were other times as I was driving or taking a shower or going on a walk that a few words, plot ideas or character motivations suddenly came to me and I quickly wrote them down and put them away in a folder without really knowing if I would ever use them.

By the time I decided to get real about writing my book, there were bunches of little pieces of paper and jotted down notes in a binder or saved in a folder on the laptop.  I bought a binder, and some really smooth writing pens, compiled my notes and pieces of paper and began to put ideas together—those pieces or descriptions ended up all over the place within the book.

For most of the book; however, I had to set goals for myself and just keep on keeping on. I found it best to write one small section or a few pages per week. On the first day of the writing week, I typed out the general idea for the section without worrying about grammar or punctuation.  The next day, I took that section or chapter and began cutting unnecessary ideas and/or rearranging/replacing words. Finally, by the third day, I was generally ready to tidy everything up—put that small section or chapter through spell and grammar check, print it off and add it to the binder.  Even then, however, most of it was not really written in chronological order.

In the end, I took all those sections, rearranged some more, made loose ends go away, filled in holes and put it the entire book through spell and grammar check over and over and over.  I think it might possible to spend a lifetime fixing and changing and putting your work through spell and grammar check; but, at a certain point, I simply decided that I was done.  There is a story of a poet who kept working on the same poem for 20 years and was never totally satisfied.  I can see how that is very possible because there is always feels like something could be better and it always feels like there are more mistakes to be fixed. But, for me, in the end, I also came to a point of accepting some imperfections and just being happy that I had accomplished my goal.

 

About the Book

Title: The Peacock Door

Author: Wanda Kay Knight

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

In a magical tale of adventure, eight cousins sneak through forbidden treehouse doors, only to find themselves separated from each other and lost in strange worlds. In their quests to return home, they must unravel mysteries, escape snares and villains, find one another, and search for the elusive Oracle. The Peacock Door is a rich story of camaraderie, loyalty, love, and determination with a bit whimsy sprinkled throughout.

 

Author Bio

Wanda Kay Knight lives in the Pacific Northwest, teaches literature, strives really hard to keep up with her adventurous/competitive family, makes things out of yarn (mainly unique hats), enjoys collecting pretty rocks, and writes a lot.

 

Links

Website: www.thepeacockdoor.com

Youtube video

Youtube video

Email address:    wandakayknight@thepeacockdoor.com

My personal email:  wkayknight@gmail.com

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Book Excerpt Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Book Excerpt

As she held the lantern up over her head, she could see old carvings on the cave walls. She raised her hand to touch one of the walls and noticed a strong dampness in the stone. It was cold and damp to the touch. She wondered if there was a good bit of water behind the rock causing all the dampness. But, then again, as dark and hidden as the cave was in the coolest section of the woods they had so far discovered, it didn’t really surprise her.

Magdalena happened to notice a second lantern a few feet from where she was standing and asked Gabriel to grab the lantern and light it. Maybe with two lanterns there would be enough light to get a better view of the cave drawings. Curiosity was in overdrive now. It was the same kind of curiosity that would leave her teachers scrambling crazy by the end of the school day. She continued to study the cave walls waiting on Gabriel. The carvings felt as though they had been etched very deeply into the rock.

Meanwhile, Hubert stood in the cave entrance chanting something over and over that sounded like, “Lord, help me, please. Get me out of here. I won’t eat everything ever again. I promise!”

Gabriel had just finished lighting the second lantern and walked over to stand right behind Magdalena. He stood looking over her shoulder as she was crunched down trying to get a better view of the drawings. She squinted her eyes as her brain was trying to process what she was looking at, and then it came to her. The drawings seemed to resemble some sort of sacrifice, which seemed so odd to her in this day and time. Did those things really exist back in the day? Especially in or near a small, quaint town like Lily Brooke. She had always assumed that sacrificial rituals were something that really only happened in scary mystery books or horror movies. Of course, these things didn’t happen in real life. Was this her mind trying to calm her nerves, or the shock of what was in front of her own eyes causing denial?

Gabriel and Hubert must have realized what the drawings were resembling about the same time as Magdalena because as she turned around to speak, she was face to face with four very frightened eyeballs. Hubert had decided to move in closer to get a good look. Boy, he was really regretting it, at the moment. Scary woods, crooked paths, cold temperatures and breezes, shrill ringing noises, cave drawings resembling rituals, and mumbling ghostly voices. Hubert was now praying out loud.

“God, please, please take us home. Please let me never remember this place again. God, please make Magdalena decide to leave this place before we get eaten alive, or worse!”

 

About the Book

Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Author: M. Gail Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy

The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.

 

Author Bio

Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies.  Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

 

 

Links

For author signed paperback and hardcover editions:   http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com

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