99 cent Science Fiction and Fantasy Sale

Jan. 7-8: Big 99 cent Science Fiction and Fantasy sale! Over a hundred books – fantasy, science fiction, horror, dystopian, urban fantasy, sci fi/fantasy romance, and even some boxed sets – all 99 cents this weekend. All ebook stores, not just Amazon! Sarya’s Song is in this sale (with its new cover!) so if you haven’t yet read this tale set in a world where music is magic, now’s your chance to get it for cheap.

Book Tour: Rise of the Queen

Today I’m happy to welcome Aoife Marie Sheridan back to the blog with her new book, The Rise of the Queen. First, I was able to do an interview with Aoife, so you can get to know a little more about her, including what books she loves and what she’s most passionate about lately!

1. How did you get started in writing?
I had read somewhere a statement that had me putting pen to paper. Being an avid reader I could never get enough, so when I read this statement “If there is a book you always wanted to read but couldn’t find it, then write it” and so I did. I started in 2012 writing my first book titled Eden Forest and since then I haven’t stopped. In total I have released five books and have two more written, and loads started.

2. Who is your favorite character?
At the present moment Abigail Thornton from The Demon Series. She’s a teenage alcoholic who hunts demons and has a horrible background, so she’s intense and tough to write which I enjoy.

3. Who is your favorite author?
I have several Maria V. Snyder, Kelly Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, Julie Kagawa, Dan Brown, Suzanne Collins, really I could go on all day. Just so many.

4. Where do you usually write?
In my study, it was one of the first rooms we did up when we built our home. It was something I had dreamed of and feel very lucky to have such a beautiful space to write in.

5. Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I do have different play lists for different stories, but I will only play at an emotional scene, or a kickass scene basically wherever the emotion is high. But normally I wouldn’t play music.

7. What books have most influenced your life?
Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder. It’s what got me hooked on fantasy books.

9. What are you passionate about these days?
My baby girl firstly 🙂 [Kyra sez: Congratulations!] Writing, reading, photography and also love watching Paranormal, Dusk Till Dawn, The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory and Games of Throne.

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The Rise of the Queen:
FROM AWARD WINNING AUTHOR AOIFE MARIE SHERIDANThe final Instalment of the Saskia Trilogy.

Sarajane struggles with her separation from Tristan as she moves towards the heart of Saskia to defeat Lucian. But her journey isn’t easy. She encounters The Forsaken, zombies and fights to recover her true form. But with Marcus beside her and the help of Willow she makes her journey to her final destination but nothing is as it seems.

Verona and Mirium try to understand why their visions are gone, what Prudentia is up to? and find Sarajane. All the while Tristan and Verona are at war with each other, and politics makes each decision difficult with Morrick.

Loved ones will be lost, decisions will be final, and all betrayals will rise to the surface.

Step into Saskia for the last time.

Available at Amazon

About the author:
Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age, starting off with Mills and Boon books given to by her grandmother. Her love for romances grew, by the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.Aoife has a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen.

Aoife’s first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) took first place with Writers Got Talent 2013. Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and romance.

To find out more about Aoife Marie Sheridan you can visit her at:
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Cover Reveal: New Sarya’s Song Cover

Just got this in, and I am really excited about it: a new cover for Sarya’s Song! Here’s the full wraparound:
And the front:
Like with the new Chosen of Azara cover, making the decision to get a new cover for Sarya’s Song was really difficult. The old cover is gorgeous, and Katt of Design by Katt did a fantastic job with it. But I finally had to come to the conclusion that it didn’t quite fit the story or genre. Because of the limitations of working with available stock art, it looked more like contemporary romance or paranormal romance than romantic high fantasy. I’ve said before, it’s just really hard to find stock art that works with my particular style of story. Once again, Mominur Rahman came through with an illustration that I feel really captures the spirit of the story (even though I had trouble describing to him how I wanted the “menacing darkness” to look). I’m in the process of replacing the old cover images on the site and in the stores (along with updating everything in the newly-renamed Tehovir world – formerly Estelend – and finishing the edits on Source-Breaker and digging out from Christmas because I’ve been sick for a week, blarg). Sarya’s Song will be on special for 99 cents this weekend; if you’d rather get it in the Love and Magic box with Urdaisunia and Chosen of Azara, that will be on special for $2.99 next week.

Character Interview: Kaniev

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Introducing Kaniev the Source-Fixer, one of the main characters in Source-Breaker:

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
Kaniev Orvig’s-son. (It’s pronounced KAHN-yev)

2. How old are you?
Old enough to know better, too old to care 😀 Seriously, though, I’m 40.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
I have a mother and a father and several brothers and sisters. The men in my family have been fishermen going back generations. I haven’t seen my family since I left to begin my apprenticeship when I was 13, but I had a happy childhood in the fiords and have fond memories of them. The only thing I didn’t like was the prospect of being a fisherman like my father and grandfather and great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather and so on. I thought it sounded boring. Right about now, though, the way things are going, a little boredom sounds pretty good.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
Her name was… It’s been so long, I don’t remember. Pretty girl in my village. I was 12, she was a little older, maybe had already turned 13. It was the first of many kisses, and I’ve loved every single one of them.

5. What is your occupation?
I’m a Source-Fixer. Or, THE Source-Fixer, since I’m the only one. I repair magical Sources that aren’t working right. Or try, anyway; lately, I haven’t been having much luck. It’s hard to believe I’m getting too old for this and my skills are starting to slip. My master was 60 when he found me and nearly 70 when he finally retired. But something’s wrong, and I need to figure out what before I run out of money.

6. What are your best and worst qualities?
I’m very good at what I do. Or was, anyway. I’m pretty easygoing and even-tempered; I suspect some people think I’m annoyingly cheerful. I tell good stories. And I’ve kept myself in good shape, which comes in handy if I’m trying to get to a hard-to-reach Source, and the ladies certainly appreciate it.

On the other hand, I have a bad habit of flirting with every female who crosses my path – only the ones of age, of course. I’m not that shameless. But there have been a few women who thought I was after something more serious than a good time together, and I ended up disappointing them. I do feel bad about that.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
I love all kinds of women. But I’m especially drawn to strong, smart, spirited women who can challenge me to keep up with them.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?
Ah. Well. Reading the answers to some of these questions, you can probably guess.

But also, I love my work. I love using magic and my unique talents to figure out what’s wrong with malfunctioning Sources and put them back the way they should be. It’s always interesting and challenging, and every Source and problem is different, a puzzle to figure out, and putting them right again is almost a work of art.

9. What is your greatest fear?
Losing my magical abilities. They’re part of me; I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Even when I was a young boy, before my master found me and took me on as his apprentice, working magic came as easily to me as breathing. Which got me in trouble more than once and is why my parents were so willing to let me go.

I also worry about failing to fix a Source I’ve been hired to fix, which has been happening a little too often lately, and someone getting hurt or killed or some sort of serious damage occurring as a result. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened. Yet.

10. What is your most treasured possession?
My magical talents. My good old horse, Mai. My Source lodestone, handed down through generations of Source-Fixers; it’s the only one in the world and I couldn’t do my job without it. And my freedom. Other than my responsibility for keeping the Sources functioning properly, I have no obligations, no duties, no one I have to answer to.


Source-Breaker, coming soon! For release news and news about special promotions, sign up for my email alerts.

Home on the Range: A Daughter of the Wildings Holiday Story

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© Adina Nani | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Ducking in between bouts of cooking to announce that I’ve posted Home on the Range: A Daughter of the Wildings Holiday Story, free to read here on my site. It takes place between book 3, The Rancher’s Daughter, and book 4, To the Gap. I wrote this earlier this year, then took it out the other night for a quick edit. I think I got all the mistakes and removed the worst of the spoilers. Enjoy!

Wishing you a merry and blessed Christmas, Chanukah, and whatever other celebrations you’re enjoying this time of year!

Changing the World

My fantasy world, that is. Or at least the name.

Yes, Estelend, the world of Chosen of Azara, The Warrior and the Holy Man, and my two upcoming novels, Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris, is getting a name change. A long time ago when I first started developing this world, I just called it Source-World. Easy, and it made sense – the world is based on the idea of magic coming from Sources that are natural features, such as caves, springs, trees, etc. Not a terribly original idea, but it’s a lot of fun to work with and offers a lot of possibilities for conflicts and stories, and for characters who are involved with these Sources in one way or another. When I was still doing this writing thing just for fun, Source-World worked fine as a name. But when it came time to start putting these stories out in public, I realized that Source-World wouldn’t work because the people living in that world wouldn’t think of it that way.

PictureSo I went looking for another name. I don’t remember the exact process by which I came up with Estelend, but I do remember it involved consulting the etymology section at the back of my trusty vintage American Heritage dictionary. Anyway, so I came up with Estelend and it seemed okay. I wasn’t wild about it, but it was better than Source-World. But I’ve never really liked the sound of it, and I think it looks funny, and that’s been bothering me more and more. Another thing I don’t like about it is that, to my ear, it seems a little reminiscent of Westeros, the world of Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire. I’ll just say that I’m not a fan of those books and I really don’t want to have any suggestion of association with them, and I don’t want people to think I’m trying to invoke them.

I put off doing anything about changing the name, because it seemed like an awful lot of work and would involve making (admittedly minor) changes in work that’s already been published, including to the covers. But I was disliking Estelend more and more, and realized that with two more novels set in the world about to come out, it’s now or never – if I don’t make the change now, I’m stuck with Estelend.
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image from Bulbapedia

So I chose the words that express the idea of this world, magic or power and source, and went to a site that lists what words are in lots of different languages. “Magic” is pretty much the same in most languages, and I didn’t want something so identifiable, so I also looked for words for “power.” I tried out lots of different combinations, then did some Googling to make sure I wasn’t using something that was someone’s name or had an unfortunate meaning. One of my possible names, when I Googled it, Google didn’t recognize it and suggested “Gardevoir” instead. Gardevoir is a Pokemon, and a very cool Pokemon, but I don’t want something else coming up should readers Google for the name of my world.

PictureAfter all this, I finally settled on the new name for Estelend, Tehovir. It means “power source” in a mashup of a couple of different languages, and looks cool; it fits with a lot of the other names I’ve invented for this world. How to pronounce it? However you want, since it’s not a real word 😀 In my mind I say it “TAY-hoe-Vir” (short i). But really, you can pronounce it however you want. Right now I’m in the process of making the change on the covers (fortunately, I do my own lettering and save everything in a Photoshop version so it’s easy to go in and just change one word) and doing search-and-replaces in the books and stories set in that world. The publishing services at a lot of the stores I sell through are closed/on reduced hours for the holidays right now, so I’ll wait until I’ve got everything switched around to start uploading. In the meantime, I’ll start changing the old covers out on the site and also create a new Tehovir blog category and a page for the series. Because the week before Christmas, trying to get the next book out, what I need most is another task like this 😛 But it’s really a relief to not have that nagging at me any more, hating the name Estelend and wondering if I should do something about it.

In the meantime, if you really want to help make a small change in the world for authors struggling with health or financial difficulties, head on over to the Help an Author Christmas promotion. (Read more about it in this post.) You can browse (full price) books by authors who have donated to the assistance fund, and even make a donation yourself, if you want. The Daughter of the Wildings Books 1-3 and Love and Magic box sets are in the promo, and for each copy of those titles sold during December (whether through the promo or otherwise), I’ll make an additional donation to the fund. Thanks for your support!

Help an Author Holiday Promotion

Holy cats, it’s been a while. What can I say, I’ve been busy writing.

Anyway. A fantasy and science fiction authors group I’m in got together to raise money to help authors in need. In the words of the founder/leader/person running things, Patty Jansen:

“If you spend any time in spaces where authors hang out, you cannot fail to notice that there are a lot of authors who are struggling with finances or health or both. Why is this? Well, when life gives you lemons, writing is one of the few things that you can continue to do.”

I know the truth of this; this is where I am in my life. As disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as I am, I’m unable to work outside the home or for any kind of regular working hours. Writing is pretty much the only job I can manage, and it isn’t a very dependable source of income. Fortunately, I have a spouse with a steady income, but others aren’t so lucky, or are facing situations where even that isn’t enough to cover whatever crisis they’re facing.

To help these authors, we in the group donated money which will be distributed to authors in need in packages of $250. That amount will pay for a cover and formatting to get the next book published, or for a license to Vellum, a book formatting program, or a year-plus subscription the Grammarly, or a copy of Photoshop Elements and a bunch of stock art for DYI covers, or some advertising. It could also pay a chunk of rent or mortgage, buy some groceries, or pay for some prescriptions.

In exchange for our donations, the authors who have donated get to have books listed on the promo page. You’ll find a wide variety of science fiction, dystopian, fantasy, sci fi/fantasy romance, and even a bunch of box sets. These books are full price, $2.99 and up. More books will be listed as more authors donate to the fund. There’s also a donate button on the page if you want to throw a little money into the fund. So go have a browse and discover some new books!


Defenders of the Wildings first draft finished!

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Today I typed the final word of the first draft of Defenders of the Wildings, the follow-up series to Daughter of the Wildings. It clocks in at 182,133 words, or 451 printed pages (11 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced). Actually 450 pages, because the last page has like half a sentence on it. I hate it when that happens. This is by far the longest single manuscript I’ve ever written; the combined draft of the six books in Daughter of the Wildings was longer, but I wrote each book separately. Defenders didn’t really want to divide up into six nice, neat novel-sized units, so I wrote it as one big thing and I’ll work out how to divide it up and release it later. Two volumes of three “episodes” each seems like how it’s going to work out. Of course, cover art is still a ways out, so I’ll still be using the Daughter covers to illustrate posts about Defenders for a while.

This book also turned out to be much larger than I expected, and larger than anything I’ve written before, in scope of action and number of important characters. Of course it still centers around Silas and Lainie Vendine, but we’ll also meet Torrin, a young ranch hand who discovers his magical powers, Magical Mik the traveling showman, Pazit Mahita, who is more than the ordinary farmwife she appears to be, and Lut Dorbich and Gidejoni Cajali, underministers from the Chardonikan Union (which got a name change about 80% of the way through, which is why I should probably stick to writing series in their entirety before I release the first book). You can get a sneak peek at Dorbich and Cajali here.

Writing this first draft was an adventure in itself. After two false starts, where I nearly drove myself nuts trying to figure out how to piece all the different parts of the story together (see story’s refusal to fit into nice novel-length units, above), I finally got it. I had to do a lot of copy-and-pasting from the earlier versions and filling in with new material until I got to the place where I had left off, but once I got there it was pretty smooth going. I was getting frustrated at how long this was taking, because there were a lot of times this summer and fall when I couldn’t keep up my daily production, but now it’s finally done, yay. Now I’m printing it out even as I type this, and it’ll rest while I finish up edits on Source-Breaker (note to self: get page on site for Estelend series set up) and start revising Heir of Tanaris.

This project brought me to 264,744 words for the year, including a number of short stories and the abandoned parts of the first two attempts. I’m counting words I’m not going to use, because all writing counts as practice, but I didn’t double-count the words I copy and pasted. For a while I thought I might hit 300,000, but having to re-work the Defenders draft slowed me down. Still, considering my goal was 250,000 for the year, I’m pretty pleased.

Of course, at this point I can’t even begin to say when Defenders will start being released. Sometime next year, I guess. To make sure you don’t miss out on release news for Defenders or my other books, sign up for my email alerts (no spam, and I won’t share your info). In the meantime, onward with Source-Breaker and Heir of Tanaris, and planning for the next series, Children of the Wildings!

…And Defenders just finished printing. Here it is:


Author Spotlight: G.A. Rael

Today I’m happy to welcome G.A. Rael, here on her blog tour with Ultimate Fantasy Books to introduce us to her new book, Boy Meets Witch (The White Cat Chronicles #1):

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I live in New England, but I originally hail from the South. I’m a practicing witch and all my stories involve magic in some form or another! I primarily write PNR and urban fantasy.

Q: When did you start writing, and why?
A: I’ve honestly been writing for as long as I can remember. There have always just been stories in my head that I had to get down on paper, and I’m not really sure how not to write at this point!

Q: What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
A: My current series is The White Cat Chronicles, and I’m editing the third book, A Wedding and a Funeral for release around Christmastime!

Q: “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
A: The White Cat Chronicles is set in a world where creatures from pagan myths and Biblical prophecy find a way to coexist while the humans around them are none the wiser.

Q: Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
A: Locke is the one who tends to stand out most. He’s the main character’s familiar, a cat demon and he’s never quite what he seems. Then there’s Harper, a reluctant witch who grew up as a faith healer and is just trying to figure it all out. Dennis is probably one of my favorites as the series progresses. He’s an anal-retentive lawyer who isn’t all he seems, either, and he keeps Darren on his toes.

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Boy Meets Witch (The White Cat Chronicles #1):
Harper Adams is a witch on the run–from her past as a faith healer turned accidental arsonist, and from the power she’s kept locked away her whole life. She thinks she’s finally found a place she can settle down and call home in the picturesque town of Cold Creek, Vermont, but a mysterious white cat who may or may not be bent on taking the curvaceous witch’s soul has other plans. Harper’s compassion gets the best of her and earns her an unwanted reputation as the town miracle worker as well as the ire of sexy veterinarian and militant atheist, Darren St. Clair.Cold Creek’s residents have a few supernatural secrets of their own, and Harper will have to face the destiny that led her to the last place a witch in hiding needs to be–that is, if Darren doesn’t have her chased out of town with a pitchfork-wielding mob before she gets the chance.

Available at Amazon
Add to Goodreads

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About the author:
Hi there!I’m a practicing witch and author of paranormal romance, fantasy and magical realism. I’m also a firm believer that the things that go bump in the night deserve their happily ever afters, too!

When I’m not writing, you can find me watching campy horror films with my husband and our menagerie and hiking in the woods in beautiful New England!

Want updates when I publish a book? Join The Coven (PNR & Fantasy Newsletter.)

Visit G.A. at:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon


Cover Reveal: Source-Breaker

Time for one of my favorite things to do, reveal a new cover! I just got the final version of the Source-Breaker cover art the other day, and I have been so excited to show this off!
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illustration by mominur rahman illuminatedimages.co.uk

This is from the full wraparound cover for the paperback, showing the spine area with the left side of the arch. The back of the cover is just dark because there isn’t really anything over in that direction to show. The ebook cover will look like this:
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illustration by mominur rahman illuminatedimages.co.uk

I just love this. I’ve been having the hardest time visualizing Kaniev (the dude with the sword and the handful of magic), and the artist, Mominur Rahman, and I went over a bunch of different reference photos, different poses of the same model, and this is the final result. When I saw it, I went, Wow, that’s Kaniev! Mominur has this knack for capturing my characters perfectly, and it’s always exciting to see how he brings them to life.

Here’s the short blurb for Source-Breaker (needs work; I’ll come up with a better one in time for the release):

Kaniev, a repairman of magical Sources with a series of failures behind him, and Fransisa, a Source priestess who is being displaced by a new Chosen, come up against a wizard conducting dangerous experiments with Source-power that could damage all the world’s Sources.

And here’s a peek at an early version of the scene where Kaniev and Fransisa first meet: http://www.kyrahalland.com/blog/sneak-peek-source-breaker

I’m hoping for a mid-December release for Source-Breaker. I’ve become frustrated with how long my revising and editing process takes, so I’m going to try streamlining it without sacrificing quality, and hopefully can get this book out the door in less than another month. To make sure you don’t miss out on the release and the special limited-time low introductory price, sign up for my email alerts!