My 4Wills blog tour for The Phoenix Project will take place over the next few weeks, stopping at the blogs of lots of wonderful writers. To see where I’ll be on each day, check out the tour schedule here:
To celebrate the release of the second instalment in the Rise of the Elohim chronicles, the Eye of Mares is going to blog hopping like a headlining rockstar, multiple showings for over the course of two weeks, with a new page shared with each appearance, continuing from where the last one went off and today I get to host the latest page:
The Eye of Mares – Part 22
…“What news?” Mako probed.
An illness of an unknown origin, has taken hold of Retina. Already half of its inhabitants have fallen seriously ill and the island’s doctor is struggling to identify the cause.
“That is most serious, but we are warriors, not doctors. Just what is it you expect us to do about it?”
Well, for starters, I believe the illness may well be the work of the Shanzi.
“Shanzi? I can see how you would make such a conclusion. We both know of a Shanzi who fits the bill.”
You refer to Shaymon, bringer of diseases?
“I do, and furthermore, if Shaymon is the cause, than it only stands to reason that Mongra and Stavros are too.” Dark thoughts filled Mako’s mind. If all three were roaming Mares, true danger lay in wait. Together, the combined powers of Darkari’s sons and trusted Generals overwhelmed that of the Shanzi King’s. “If they are indeed the freed Shanzi, we must find all three at once.”
I am of the same mind and I believe I may have already found all three of them. Izal’s words sparked hope inside Mako.
“Let mind form words and make them heard,” Mako replied immediately, eager to know.
On Pupill, some mouths let slip a story of a phantom wolf. One that came to their little island in the dark of night before it was slain by Cooper, the resident Watcher.
“How long ago did such an incident occur? I never heard of this.”
If the accounts I have heard are true, it was the same night that you and Zach drew swords against Shimay.
“Stavros has been known to take the form of a great wolf and Pupill is just the kind of place he would strike.”
You could even let the adventure continue and check out its prequel, where the story began and the series was created: The Spirit of Iris – Out now!
Author: Rocky Rochford
Illustrator: Ashleigh Longman
Title:The Eye of Mares
Series:Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles
Genre:Illustrated YA fantasy adventure
Book Content Rating: Suitable for ages 12 and up
Tag-line:“Darkness has many forms and Mares is its playground.”
Nearly four years have passed since Zach drew blade against the Shanzi Shimay and now the time has come for him to draw his sword once more. The Realm of Mares has fallen victim to invasion as three terrifying beasts of darkness, seek to destroy the world around them, as they await the inevitable arrival of their King.
With dark times ahead, the numbers of the Watchers on Iris has grown, as Zach is joined by seven fellow students, all too eager to prove their worth. It’s not long before the students are put to the test facing off against the Nein Navy and uncover a dark secret.
The stage is set and the Battle for Mares is under-way.
Rocky Rochford Biography
Rocky Rochford is your standard guy, if your standard guy scuba dives, partakes in underwater photographer and is a wake-boarding, adventure seeking, sword collecting, marine conservation supporter. After living life on the road and the places between, he finally settled down but not without benefiting from all the lessons life had to teach him.
Self-professed “Student of Everything, and Master of Nothing,” Rochford does not choose what he writes, but writes what chooses him, be it fantasy, crime, poetry, philosophy or even adventure. Life is a journey we all get to experience, just like a good book.
Every read into another of his typed works is another trip into the imagination of his mixed up, crazed and deranged mind and this year along those works include the likes of full novels and novellas such as:
I am so delighted to be hosting the wonderful Megan O’Russell today for her release of ‘Nuttycracker Sweet’. Earlier this year I read her magnificent ‘The Tethering’ so I am always keen to read new works by her. I was lucky enough to interview Megan about herself and this new book.
Pointe shoes, tutus, and a snowy road trip with the man she hates. What could possibly go wrong?
The plan was simple. Get to Portland, dance The Nutcracker, and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.
A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a professional musical theatre performer. I spend most of my time (when I’m not writing) onstage, wearing sequins and fake eyelashes. I spent a lot of time in ballet class when I was little and as a dance major in college, but I never had any desire to be a professional ballerina. Now I’ve finally found a use for all those hours in pointe shoes.
Which books or films inspire your writing?
For Nuttycracker Sweet a lot of the inspiration comes from not only the ballet the Nutcracker, but also the legendary womanizers that filled the ballet world. Mikhail Baryshnikov in the movie White Nights is a great example of how sexy male ballet dancers can be.
Which character from the book would you most like to meet and why?
Ty, Elle’s roommate, just because I think the two of us would have a fabulous time together.
If you could be transported into the world of your story, how would you spend the day?
I would spend my day enjoying Christmas. Either holed up next to the fireplace in a log cabin or enjoying the sights of Manhattan. Either way, I’m a sap for a snowy Christmas.
Do you have any quirky writing traditions or habits?
I make my husband read my manuscripts aloud to me before I’ll even consider submitting them. It really does help with catching mistakes. It could just be the actor in me, but hearing the words read aloud helps me to understand a character’s speech pattern and make sure the story flows properly.
Are you a planner or do you tend to ‘wing it’ when you’re writing?
I know where I’m starting from. I know where I want to end up. But I just sort of wing it in the middle and see where the characters and the story want to go. Sometimes you end up with taxidermy. But that’s what makes writing an adventure!
About the Author
Megan is thrilled to be working with Fiery Seas Publishing! Her other published works include Young Adult fantasy novels The Tethering and The Siren’s Realm. Megan is also a featured author in the Athena’s Daughters 2 anthology of women in speculative fiction.
Megan is a professional performer who travels the country living out a thousand lives on stage. Her wonderful husband and frequent dance partner is always by her side.
For more information on Megan’s books, you can visit her website at meganorussell.com
To celebrate the relaunch of Marnie Cate’s beloved first novel, Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic, it will be available on Kindle for $0.99 / £0.99 beginning October 29, 2015 through November 4, 2015
Author: Marnie Cate
Title:Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Hiding the truth from you is no longer protecting you. Sit and I will tell you what you need to know.
With those words, the secrets of my great grandmother, Genevieve Silver, were unburied and my role as a protector of the elemental magic was revealed.
My name is Marina Addisyn Stone but Mara is what my friends and family call me. I had always felt that there was something missing and that nothing was permanent. Why would I feel that way? I was being raised with my little sister by my grandmother that loved and doted on me. Then, there was Cole Sands. Who could forget the blue-eyed boy that had stolen my heart? What more could a girl need? I always thought I was just being dramatic and that bad things do happen to people but that is part of life. People die. People go away. Little did I know that with one secret, my life would change forever and my new world would be surrounded by the world of elemental magic?
As I felt my determination build, the mirror in front of me began to change and the reflection filled with rippling water. The image made me think of the choppy water of Sparrow Lake. At first, the small waves were calm but the speed and intensity of each movement of the water grew. I found myself being splashed as the waves grew harder and began to slap against the mirror. Standing up, I moved away just in time to watch the mirror before me shatter and the violent water burst out towards me.
The room began to fill with rushing water. Feeling around the room, I searched for an exit. Behind the shattered mirror, I only found solid rock. Looking to the ceiling, I could see the same hard stone. Feeling the emotions build inside me, I began search the floor and walls around me for any exit.
“Damn! Damn! Damn it!” I cried.
The water did not slow. Instead it continued to fill the room as I frantically searched for my escape. The water soon reached my knees and, what seemed like seconds later, I was wading through waist high water. As the water continued to rise, I was soon struggling to keep my head above water. It was not enough that the water was filling the room so rapidly but soon the water felt alive. The cold waves kept tossing me back and forth as the water rose and I began to feel like I was in a game of Ping-Pong where I was the ball. Soon, I found myself pulled under the icy water and surrounded by thousands of bubbles. Frantically kicking my feet to keep my head above water, I broke the surface.
Remembering the swimming lessons my grandfather insisted on, I thought about the times I spent with my grandfather learning to swim. I began to feel less scared as I recalled his calm voice and gentle words telling me that I would be safe. As I floated in the rising water, it seemed to respond to my emotions. The thrashing became calmer as I focused on my grandfather’s words. My brief moment of peace did not last. Before I knew it, I had almost reached the ceiling that had no exit and I began to panic. At this rate, I would be trapped and drowned in minutes. As if it was feeding off my fear, the water began to toss me around again.
As the water began to rise up my neck and almost over the top of my head, I tried to calm myself. You are the granddaughter of Mae Veracor and the great granddaughter of Genevieve Silver. You are the descendent of strong women. You have nothing to fear. With these words, the water once again calmed and I was able to tilt my head back above the water. How am I going to get out of this?
Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic is on sale $0.99 / £0.99 Kindle from Thursday, October 29th to Wednesday, November 4th!
Marnie Cate was born and raised in Montana before adventuring to the warmer states of Arizona and California. Her love of Dame Judi Dench and dreams of caticorns and rainbows inspired her to chase her dreams. One great sentence came to mind and the world of elemental magic and the humans they lived amongst filled her mind. With Remember, the story has begun.
Other Works by Marnie Cate
Exigency: Protectors of the Elemental Magic – Coming Soon
The story of Mara Stone continues. Her world was shaken but she is a fighter. Facing new adversaries, Mara is learning what it truly means to protect the magic.
Will O’ the Wisp is a paranormal tale from C. S. Boyack. It involves a mildly handicapped girl facing a mysterious threat. The wisp has been killing off Patty Hall’s family for generations, and she’s next on the list. It is suitable for young adult readers. It’s a perfect Halloween read.
Interview with C.S. Boyack
Whenever I’ve followed a blog tour, there always seems to be one post about writing tips. This is always one of my favorite posts, because I think we can all learn something from one another.
With a story like Will O’ the Wisp, I really wanted to use a few suspense techniques. I keep a living document on my iPad that’s full of writing advice, tips, and tricks. When I find something new, I update the document. The suspense techniques have been languishing here for a long time, and this was the perfect story to play with them.
Suspense is all about the unknown and waiting until discomfort settles in. There are quite a few tricks to create this, and I used a few of them in this story.
Have someone ask a seemingly innocent question, but have the answer be something vague and cryptic. This perks me right up as a reader. Didn’t seem like that big a deal, why is Aunt Tilly avoiding the question? This makes me want to turn the page. Make sure some waiting is involved to get the reader salivating. Have the phone ring before the character can ask more questions. Distract and avoid. Change the conversation.
Tense moments work well too. If a guy in a hoodie and shades follows your heroine through the park, drag it out. Don’t tell the reader that he saw her drop her wallet and just wants to give it back. While your heroine is panicking, maybe she can come up with a lightbulb moment to propel the plot forward. That sigh of relief can be followed immediately by an encounter with the real bad guy. In other words, she thanks the good samaritan, shakes his hand, and watches him leave. She breathes a sigh of relief, turns and runs right into serial killer #1.
Make a character lie, but make sure the reader knows it’s a lie. This is not the place for immediate consequences. Drag the consequences out. It’s even sweeter if the other character knows it’s a lie, and doesn’t call it out. Maybe the other character has some nefarious reason not to reveal that she knows the truth.
Use distance to your advantage. Have your heroine sit next to serial killer #1 at the cafe. Have him pass the salt, and let them touch. He knows he’s serial killer #1, the reader knows, but she doesn’t.
Distance should be increased to isolate your character. The more distance to rescue, the more tension. Just your heroine and serial killer #1 all alone at abandoned castle.
Make your heroine sneak, even if it’s not completely necessary. Back at the cafe, serial killer #1 heads for the restroom. Your heroine could ask the waitress how to get to Carnegie Hall. Instead, she grabs SK #1’s cell phone and Googles it. You know, the same phone with pictures of his dismembered victims on it.
Throw in a few temptations too. Temptations are things your heroine wants. The new office stud muffin invites your heroine to Aspen for the weekend, his treat. She ought to torture herself over the decision. She wants this, but promised to watch Aunt Tilly’s cat. Aunt Tilly lives right next door to Serial Killer #1.
There are hundreds of ways to establish suspense, and I used a few of them in Will O’ the Wisp. I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out, but readers will be the ultimate judge. Please consider being one of them.
Patty Hall is perfectly prepared for the wrong problem. She is enamored with the space race, and knows the history of NASA by heart. She is faced with an ancient threat that has been targeting the Hall family for generations. Hampered by an overprotective mother, if Patty can’t figure it all out in time, she may be the next member in the Hall family cemetery plot.
It’s not hard enough to be a fifteen year old girl, and a social outcast. As she watches her friends mature and grow, she has to face the idea of never turning sixteen. Please consider joining Patty on her incredible adventure.
You can pick up a copy on Amazon using your Kindle or a free reading app. Download it here:
Author Bio I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.