Author of the Week – November

November 3 – November 9

Lyra Shanti

In this climactic volume of Shiva XIV, Ayn reaches what appears the height of success as chaos looms in the shadows and ancient monsters awaken.

Meanwhile, planets ready for battle as the fight for plasma and galactic domination continues. Ohr will stop at nothing to take complete control while Kri and Deius join forces to thwart the power hungry Prime Minister, Kurin Vax.

In a race against time to save the Un Galaxy, Ayn must face the deadliest foe imaginable. Will he succeed? Or will he fail, never becoming the prophesied “Bodanya” of legend?

Lyra Shanti is a novelist, poet, playwright, and songwriter who currently lives in Florida with partner and spouse, Timothy, and their two insane cats. A lover of nature, animals, anime, music, theatre, movies, myths, and of course, great books, Lyra seeks inspiration from everywhere possible!

Author of the award winning sci-fi series, Shiva XIV, Lyra is a dreamer of worlds far away. Further information about Lyra’s stories, music, and more can be found at:

 


November 10 – November 16

Claire Buss

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Claire Buss is a science fiction & fantasy writer from the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict, Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her dystopian novel The Gaia Effect and set her writing career in motion.

Connect with Claire at the following links:

 


November 17 – November 23

Angelique S. Anderson

In book three of the Dracosinum Tales, A Steampunk Christmas Carol, Professor Langdon has taken over Octagon Inn, and the lives of those around him. Selfish and greedy, no one can do right by him, and he even goes so far as to cut the wages of those working at the inn.
Lord Adrian and Lady Wylie are still mourning the loss of their friend, Professor Cornelius, and are sure that the dreams Adrian had for his esteemed steam-powered carriage setting the precedence for transportation in 1850’s New York, are a thing of the past. As Professor Langdon has his own agenda with Adrian’s carriage.

Can a down-trodden ghost and three of the celestial beings known as the Immortal Ones, along with a feisty dragon, change Langdon’s heart and mind, in time for the Christmas season?
Find out in this fun steampunk twist on a classic tale!

Angelique S. Anderson is a lover of adventure, and all things steampunk. A fan of Chronicles of Narnia growing up, and an avid song and poem writer, she wrote her first novel in November of 2013. In it, her passion was born, and she went on to write the second and third to what would become a young adult fantasy series. Unable to quell the desire to write after the fantasy series, she went on to write an award winning sci-fi novel, Eden’s Serum. Always an advocate for foster children, she followed that up with her personal story of abuse and neglect in Award winning Little Lost Girl: The Complete Series. Her recent releases The Dragon Lady, The Phoenix Lord, and A Steampunk Christmas Carol play up fantasy aspects with a mix of steampunk. She enjoys reading indie authors, making new friends and cosplaying. You can follow her on Facebook at:

Connect with Angelique at the following links:


November 24 – November 30

Chrys Cymri

‘You’ve never told Clyde?’ Morey asked. ‘About what happened to his mother?’

‘How can I?’ My pen drew an outline of a shovel on my notepad. ‘I killed her with a gardening tool.’

Life certainly hasn’t been dull since my first visit to Lloegyr, a magical country which parallels England. My household now includes a family of cat-sized gryphons and a hymn-singing snail shark, and I’m visited regularly by Raven, a darkly beautiful dragon. And I enjoy the excitement of planning our wedding day with Peter, my handsome fiancé.

But Lloegyr offers danger as well as wonder. My brother is recovering after being hunted by a pack of gryphons. I was dismissed from my dream position as minister of a church in Lloegyr. And something non-human seems to be stalking Peter.

Then there’s the mystery of Clyde’s true identity. Is he just a large carnivorous snail who loves beer and children’s TV programmes? Or does his unusual shell point to a far greater destiny, one which could threaten everyone who knows him?

Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, I live with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond my current budget. Plus I’m responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. I love ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and my job, in no particular order. When I’m not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) I like to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, the Arctic, and North Korea.

Connect with Chrys at the following links:

The Quantum Soul

I am very proud to announce the first Sci Fi Roundtable Anthology featuring sixteen of our own members. You’ll travel to distant worlds, meet new species, and discover that what you think you know, isn’t all there is to Life.

What is Life? Is it awareness of the ability to interact and understand the world around us? As we dig deeper into reality, what will we discover about ourselves and what it means to be alive? When we stare into the mirror, are we really sure that we see staring back is the only definition of life in the Universe?

Sixteen talented authors of The SciFi Roundtable each come up with their own unique answers to this challenging question. The Quantum Soul is a collection of short stories destined to leave you wondering if there isn’t more that humanity has to learn about the ultimate meaning of life.

Available for Pre-Order Now

 

  • By Design – Alan VanMeter
  • What Measure is a Homunculus? – Ricardo Victoria
  • New Year – GD Deckard
  • The Machine in the Mountain – Darran Handshaw
  • Aether Technician – Jim Webster
  • When Words are not Enough – Cindy Tomamichel
  • Soul Mates – Victor Acquista
  • The Endymion Device – Lyra Shanti
  • Patient Data – Claire Buss
  • The Trees of Trappist – Brent A. Harris
  • Pixels – Greg Krojac
  • Wondrous Strange – E.M. Swift-Hook
  • The Dream Miner’s Drill – CB Droege
  • Project Chameleon – Jeanette O’Hagan
  • Second Contact – Leo McBride
  • Shepherd of Memory – Rob Edwards

Releasing on Amazon October 19, 2017

 

More Interesting Blogs by Our Knights

A Chilling Horror Tale

720: Bone Peyote – by Ricardo Victoria


Meet the author: Brhi Stokes, author of urban fantasy Caligation

from Altered Instinct

A couple of weeks ago, author Brhi Stokes was kind enough to give us a sneak preview of her book Caligation as it headed for publication. She returns today for a chat about the book, her writing and more. 
Hi, Brhi, and conratulations on the publication of Caligation! Glad to have you on the blog, and for our first question, let’s talk about that title. Where does the title Caligation come from?
Caligation is a real world. It comes from the latin Caligo, meaning dimness or cloudiness. In the book, Caligation has some interesting attributes to do with fog. It also reminded me of a lot of American towns with -ion names and lended to the feel I wanted.
Tell us a little more about the book – what’s it about?
Caligation is about a young man who starts hitchhiking north to see if life won’t throw him something more interesting. Unfortunately for him, it does. After a brutal car accident, he awakens in a city beyond his wildest nightmares. The book follows his journey as he is chased by horrific beasts, and becomes embroiled in the mob doings in the city. All the while, trying to discover where he is and if he can even get home.
Is this your first book? How have you found the build-up to publication?
It’s been fun. I’ve done almost everything (save for some of the editing) myself. The cover design and layout and formatting were all me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love planning and organising, and I’ve had a lot of great support from fellow authors as well as family and friends.

Build Your Tribe

by S Shane Thomas

Are you sitting on a mail list consisting of friends, family, and critiquing partners? I was, until the beginning of the month. Then I invested about ten hours of time and nineteen days later, I’m talking to nearly four hundred (and still growing) people who volunteered their contact info in exchange for a short story that has been free on Smashwords for well over a year!

Will this work for anyone? Nearly anyone. There are prerequisites and some up front investments in time and your precious intellectual property, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Are you writing your first story now? Put promotional stuff on pause, tuck yourself into your rough drafting safe haven and write your story. Then show it to other writers in the Roundtable critiquing group. Personally, I didn’t want to begin marketing until I had written three novels and an anthology. However my critiquing pal, the person who taught me how to grow my own tribe, Guy Reissen, is using his short stories to grow an audience for his upcoming first novel!  Continue reading…


An Interview with Jon Cronshaw

by J C Steel

Are there any authors or artists who influence(d) you?

Where to start? I’m inspired by people who are trying to push the possibilities of their field — authors like William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, Charles Yu, Ursula Le Guin, Haruki Murakami, Anthony Burgess, Kurt Vonnegut, China Mieville, Paulo Bacigalupi, Junot Diaz, Connie Willis, Liu Cixin, Roald Dahl, Yoon Ha Lee, Geoff Ryman, and Ted Chiang.

Tell me about your book / series. Wizard of the Wasteland

  • Give me a one-line ‘hook’ line: A reformed addict and a travelling showman team up to save a group of enslaved children.
  • Tell me more: My Wasteland series is a character-driven story about finding hope in a hopeless word. Abel, a reformed addict joins with a self-proclaimed wizard who travels the wastes with his show, passing off pre-apocalypse technology as items of magic and intrigue. When they stumble across a group of children enslaved by the brutal drug gang The Family, Abel and the wizard use their ‘magic’ to mount a rescue.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have one full novel that will never see the light of day and two novels where I got to around 20,000 words and abandoned them.

What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?

Pointless. Ideas always find a way out. The best way to kill a dangerous idea is to engage with it.

Continue Reading…

 

Connect with Jon Cronshaw at the following links:

 

J C Steel

Born in Gibraltar and raised on a yacht around the coasts of the Atlantic, I’m a writer, martial artist and introvert. In between the necessary making of money to allow the writing of more books, I can usually be found halfway to the further galaxy.

Connect with J C Steel at the following links:

Interviews ~ October Tynan Selvantyr (of Into the Darkness by A.M. Rycroft)

by Assaph Mehr

Knights and squires of the roundtable, lend me your ears!

October being the month where the dead roam the world, we present you herewith an interview with a man long departed, contacting us not quite from the other side.

Once the realm’s greatest sell-sword and adventurer, he sealed his sword in a dark cave, and placed a curse upon it. He spent a century in the caves as a ghost, until someone found a way to accesses the deepest reaches of the caverns and trigger the curse.

He’s here to tell us about his adventures as a ghost, mentoring the young woman who retrieved his sword and triggered the curse.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I was born in the bustling port city of Acantha. It’s close to the Golden Peaks, south of Cathell itself. My father was a well-known merchant there and our family was quite influential across the region. I found it a stifling environment, however, with too many expectations I had no desire to meet. I made every attempt to leave as soon as I was old enough to set out on my own.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

No, not really any favorite toys I can recall, other than my stuffed bear Rufall. My father did not believe in a lot of play time for his children. He pushed learning on us more. I had favorite books instead. Histories of the realm and the rise of the Tae’Ahjin Empire. And my magik primers, of course.

What do you do now?

Well, as a ghost, I don’t have many worldly demands on my time anymore. However, I was once Cathell’s greatest adventurer. The bards sang of my exploits across the realm. I genuinely miss being an adventurer — the thrill of exploration and hunting out treasures that farm-hands only dream about. There are few things as exciting as that. And of course, a good clash of swords and trading spells with rival adventurers and mercenaries! I have to admit, when the chance arose for one last adventure, I jumped at it. Perhaps I should have warned Aeryn, before I gave her my sword, but sometimes the path to a good adventure requires a little subterfuge at first.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Ah. You mean the business with The Harbinger. Aside from the gods themselves, only I knew of that creature’s imprisonment in the caverns. It was my sword Aric, given to me by the god Vortenthas himself, that kept The Harbinger bound. But when The Harbinger latched on to Aeryn, well, I knew The Harbinger would manipulate her into setting him free. And then it would be a race against time to stop him from bringing back the Time of Terror. The whole affair was bloody and even terrifying at times, but I would not have missed it for all the gold in a dragon’s horde.

What did you first think when the curse was triggered?

When I first became aware that Aeryn had survived my curse, which had stopped so many before her from reaching The Harbinger’s prison, I knew it was time for Aric to have a new master. I only hoped she was capable of battling The Harbinger.

To read the rest of the interview, head over to The Protagonist Speaks.


A little about The Protagonist Speaks

This site is dedicated to the characters living inside books. Each week we aim to publish an interview with a protagonist from a novel we believe you should read.

Yep, you read that right. The protagonist – or antagonist! – from the book. Not the author. Not the reviewer. The character. We aim to put the characters out in the limelight – to be heard, to be felt. As readers, they are the ones we care about the most.

We aim for most of the interviews to be done by authors for their own characters, but some interviews will fall under the category of fan-fiction. As long as it give voice to a character, we don’t mind. We’ll just make sure it’s tagged accordingly.

This is a new concept in book-blogging, one that is catching like wildfire (you should see our pipeline of character interviews!). It has been created and managed by Assaph Mehr of egretia.com.

 

 

 

Interview with ‘Jacob’ of The Phoenix Lord by Angelique Anderson

by E.M. Swift-Hook

In 1850 I was sent to interview a young man in his early 20s, in the front parlour of a comfortable house in New York. There was a longcase clock in the corner and comfortable, rather elaborate settees. I wondered at first if it was his house, as he appeared to me to be a stable hand. I have to say he smelled like one too. He was wearing worn slacks with a small tear and worn rubber wellingtons, with a traditional long-sleeved, white, button up shirt and a dark vest. Perhaps it was the bowler style hat, but he looked out of place. Something in the way he carried himself and the way he talked, made me suspect this show of appearing poor was an act.

Interviewer: So, perhaps you could introduce yourself and tell me a bit about what you do for a living. You work with horses?

Jacob: *chuckling slightly and crossing his legs* Well, you can call me Jacob for now. My last name is irrelevant, and non-existent really. Yes, I currently work with horses, but I find them repulsive. However, one might call me a jack of all trades, though I’ll never tell what other trades I do.

Interviewer: Then why work with horses if you find them so repulsive if there are other trades you could turn to?

Jacob: Well, I can’t give away much… who knows who you’ll tell, but see… I’m really only here for a short time. I’ve a bone to pick with a Miss Wylie Petford. The Immortal Ones, my creators, made her a Teselym Dragon, and so I’ve come to destroy her. Oops, I’ve said too much.

Interviewer: Um.. *coughs* so – uh – where are you from? You don’t sound exactly local…

Jacob: Oh, I doubt you’ve heard of it… it’s quite ummm… warm… if you’re into a tropical feel. Though, since we’ve only just discovered steamboats… I highly doubt anyone knows what tropical temperature is really like. I, however, happen to enjoy the intense heat.

Interviewer: Do you have any friends in New York?

Jacob: *uncrossing his legs* What exactly do you mean by friends? I don’t make friends, waste of time really.

Interviewer: Um – people you spend time with, attend social events with, that kind of thing.

Jacob: Well, not friends per se… but I am enjoying playing puppet master so to speak. I’ve tricked a few people into thinking that they are working for the greater good. *chuckles again*  I used water to nearly drown a person. It was quite fun, not that water is a person. However, its just as easily manipulated.

Interviewer: *looks nervous and gives a rictus grin* Then to finish up, perhaps you would like to tell us a bit about your long-term ambitions. Where do you see yourself in five or ten years time?

Jacob: Long-term ambitions? I’d say to bring down the Teselym Dragon, you may or may not know this… but the Teselym Dragon was created by the Immortal Ones to balance the good in the world. If I kill her, there goes all the good, and then I get to have my fun. *wicked laugh*

Interviewer: *Gets up quickly and heads for the door* Um, right. Well thank you for your time – I have just got to.. Um.. um… Get out of here now! *exits rapidly*

SFRT Interviews Sland from Brittle Riders by Bill McCormick

By  The Sci Fi Roundtable

SFRT: Greetings, for today’s issue of Ten Questions I’ll be talking with Sland from the Brittle Riders.

Sland: No.

SFRT: No?

Sland: Ten is too many. No one knows ten things.

SFRT: Everyone knows ten things. Most know many more.

Sland: No they don’t. I only know one. That’s all I need.

SFRT: One?

Sland: All comes down to one thing. You see, killing is easy, sexing is easy, and boozing is easy. Killing is good, sexing is good, and boozing is good. All one thing. Life is easy and good.

SFRT: That’s it? That’s your whole life?

Sland: What more do you need?

SFRT: What about a purpose?

Sland: Keep life easy and good.

SFRT: What about friends?

Sland: Anyone messes with Geldish, R’Yune, N’leah, or Braarb gets killed. Easy question, so thing’s are good.

SFRT: AHA! What about sexing?

Sland: You’re sick. No sexing with friends.

SFRT: Oh, okay, sorry. So what’s your role in the Brittle Riders?

Sland: I kill anyone who works with Xhaknar and drink skank. Unless R’Yune has some Whae-Vin. Then I drink that.

SFRT: Those are both alcoholic. Do you ever drink water?

Sland: Do you know what the fish-people do in that stuff?

SFRT: Never mind. Do you know the history of your kind? How you all came to rule the world after all the makers (humans) were killed?

Sland: Makers were bad, so we killed them. Xhaknar is bad, so we’ll kill him. All the same. Killing is easy.

SFRT: Maybe, but what do you do after the killing?

Sland: Who knows? Sun rises, someone gets killed. Sun sets, someone gets killed. Never known a time without killing.

SFRT: You’re impossible. I surrender.

Sland: I hear that a lot.

*****

The Brittle Riders by Bill McCormick.

Apocalypses are Funny That Way

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Darland Courvenier Reflects

It is not easy, being the First Peer of one of the five leading Families on the planet of First Home. Not easy at all, although some don’t appreciate the fact.

Why, only the other day, the idiotic Press linked me yet again with Adélaïde of Guignonne. I usually read “The Planet Voice”—it’s not stupid, like some of the other dailies—but Adélaïde… again? I’ll have to send my friend Vaire to speak to the editor and tell him to kill that particular story—or himself, if he prefers. It should never have appeared. As I say, it’s not easy being First Peer of Courvenier.

I do hope the Guignonnes are not feeling serious about getting me into a genetic partnership with their heiress. If they are, they’re going to be disappointed. They may need contracts with Courvenier, but Courvenier doesn’t need contracts with Guignonne. No, I can certainly pass on Adélaïde, but I’ll dance with her—very closely—at the next First Families ball and leave her hoping. That will be funny.

What I can’t ignore is Lewis Brock d’Haute-Forêt. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be the top First Peer, and one day, Courvenier would rule the whole of First Home. I’d see to that, and I’d do whatever might be needed to make it happen—and I mean, whatever.

I can’t do anything about it yet, because Lewis of the High Forest is always in my way. Lewis is too nice. He’s honourable, and I’m not. Scruples make for stupid moves, and you wouldn’t call me a stupid man.

The trouble is, the other Families like Lewis too much. He’s trustworthy, they say. Trustworthy? The man’s an idiot! Look at the opportunities for his own Family he misses.

He was sent to that funny little planet, Circe, to make contact with it again after hundreds of years, and he did nothing to get High Forest established as the main line of negotiation. Once he got back to First Home, he turned the whole thing over to the General Conclave and the Peoples’ Council, without keeping anything for himself.

But he did seem to make himself very popular while he was there, and he picked up a Circean woman, who’s a bit out of the ordinary, and I’ve got to admit, she’s taken my fancy. Vaire tells me to stop thinking about her, but that’s a bit difficult.

I made a bad mistake in following Lewis to Circe. How was I to know the place was so weird? It seemed to take a dislike to me—why, I can’t imagine. I’m a very reasonable fellow.

I was more than reasonable when we found that other planet Lantora, and I had to deal with their Primary Space Ops Director. He thought he could trap us. He suspected we have developed our time drive far beyond what they have, and naturally enough, he wanted it. But he made a mistake too. He thought force would do, when subtlety would have been far better. I am always subtle.

As it was, he lost out completely. I got the upper hand, and we left, but not before I had collected an intriguing fact which I think I will be able to use against Lewis.

Haute-Forêt is always on my mind. If it wasn’t for him I would be completely happy. But I’ve got time on my side, and I’ll keep on with my plans. I’ll have the Circean woman, and I’ll have Lewis d’Haute-Forêt, then the whole of First Home, as well. Just keep checking in with me. You should see some very interesting things happening.

Learn if Darland Courvenier’s plans come to fruition in Man of Two Planets by Judith Rook

 

E.M. Swift-Hook

In the words that Robert Heinlein put so evocatively into the mouth of Lazarus Long: ‘Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.’ Having tried a number of different careers, before settling in the North-East of England with family, three dogs, cats and a small flock of rescued chickens, I now spend a lot of time in private and have very clean hands.

Connect with E.M. Swift-Hook at the following links: