Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Interview with Melissa A Joy

Interview with Melissa A Joy, author of Keys of the Origin (Scions of Balance) 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both.  I love writing when I’m able to get the inspiration/imagery put into words, but there always comes a point when exhaustion hits no matter how much or how little I’ve actually written.  Just thinking about plot points, the characters’ circumstances and where the story is going (etc) can be mentally draining.  It’s worth it in the end though.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
One thing both readers and authors should be aware of and respect is that in no way can authors write books like chefs can cook a meal to order.  We should strive to be original in what ways we can, but all readers have varying tastes in what they want to read or will accept as reading material.  I see far too many discussions/debates over what readers of fantasy will or won’t accept, and in my experience, if we put all those gripes together, they cover more or less everything the genre stands for.  It has, and still does, make authors want to quit while they’re ahead.  Authors should write what they want to write about, while bearing in mind what has gone before them; we simply are not able to tailor our books to each and every individual’s expectations, and nor should we be expected to.  Beverly Cleary, author of Young Adults and Children’s fiction once said, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.”

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel/book series?
The Shadowleague trilogy by Maggie Furey, and perhaps the Guardian Cycle by Julia Gray would be among the favourites.

Do you find difficult writing characters of the opposite sex?
Not at all.  I consider myself to be a perceptive individual; there are both typical and atypical people in both males and females, and all who identify as an alternative gender.  One need only study behaviour from as many different sources as possible, and consider all as individuals. 

Let’s talk about Keys of the Origin, your debut novel.

What are Aevnatureis and Phandaerys? 
It is the Nays word for Aeldynn’s crystalline support structure on which the world and its linked realms are cradled (generally known as The Foundation in the more common tongues).  Think of it like Yggdrasil (the World Tree) from Norse mythology.  
Phandaerys is the inverted counterpart to Aevnatureis; the “evil twin” so to speak.

Is Aevnatureis stronger than Phandaerys? 
That’s like asking if earth is stronger than wind, or if water is stronger than fire, or even if light is stronger than darkness.  All elements are stronger or weaker respectively, and affect one another in various ways.  Phandaerys (The Inversion) is the counterpart to Aevnatureis (The Foundation).  As there is light in darkness, so there is darkness in light; they are equal opposites.  Hypothetically speaking, if Aevnatureis were to represent virtue or positivity, Phandaerys would represent sin or negativity, but on a level that affects the functioning of the world as a whole.  At a basic level, Aevnatureis = purity and Phandaerys = corruption, but both are natural in their own right.

Can the actions of those who inhabit Aeldynn affect the balance?
Over time and in great quantity, yes.

Who are the ones in charge of protecting the balance? 
The Nays (and their Drahknyr) and the Kensaiyr (and their Wardens of Lyte – “Lyte E’varis”).

What does Kaesan mean?
Arch, chief, commander/general.

Some would compare the Kaesan’Drahknyr with angels or demigods.  Which do you think is closer?
It depends in which context you’re looking at them.  There are several different types of angels said to exist in relation to planet Earth, but they are typically associated with love.  The main similarities may be that there are many angels but only seven archangels, as there are only seven Kaesan’Drahknyr but there are many Drahknyr; and that angels are typically drawn with wings or are described as having wings – and all Drahknyr have wings.  In that respect they are similar to angels.  In terms of the power they possess and are able to utilise, however, they could only really be described as demigods.

You have many races co-existing in Aeldynn. (Name a few, please) Do you have a favorite one?  
The Nays, Kensaiyr (white-silver elves), Cerenyr (woodland elves), Shäada (dark elves), Thénya (plains elves), the Aurentai (highest ranking Fey race), Neiréyu (merfolk - fey), Vhaeoul (amphibian - fey), various draconic species (dragons, wyverns, leviathans, drakes)... There are more.  

I would probably put the Nays, Kensaiyr and dragons among my favourites if I really have to choose, but they all hold their unique merits for me.

Why are the Nays the most powerful race?
I’d say they’re among the top most powerful, as it’s the Drahknyr who are born into the Nays who top them all.  The Nays were given the name “Guardian Race” because they are effectively Aeldynn’s caretakers.

Could one of the Nays or the Drahknyr survive in the Phandaeric realms?
With sufficient protection the Nays could for a time.  The Drahknyr are far more resistant to the toxins, but there is a limit even before it will start to affect even them.   It is possible for Drahknyr to recover from phandaeric poisoning.

You have complex names, and several languages in your world. How have the readers responded to this? 
Some have found it immersive and intriguing, and others have struggled to wrap their heads around it.  I added translations in footnotes/endnotes and added a pronunciation guide and glossary for those who are interested in knowing more about it, and some have responded exceptionally well to that idea.  After all, Aeldynn is a living, breathing world.  It is a fact that Earth has multitudes of nations, languages, cultures and ethnicities, so you wouldn’t expect to visit another country in which the people spoke another language and be able to pronounce every word/name you came across unless you happened to learn that language.  I want my readers to feel they are in another world entirely. 

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow?
I do a bit of both.  I’d say I’m a bit like an archaeologist; I discover one part of an idea or plot, and need to spend time dusting away around it to uncover the bigger picture.

Is there an equivalent to the devil?
That’s probably best left to the reader’s interpretation, but I would say yes; though it depends on entirely what angle you’re looking at him from.

Did you have an alternate ending for Keys of the Origin?
I had originally intended to end it on a different note, but something didn’t feel quite right about it.  In the end it went the right way.

How many more novels do you think will complete the Scions of Balance?
Estimated between 3-5.

Future releases.
Currently, I have:
Endeavours of the Unsung (short stories – early 2018).
Mindseer Oracle, book 2: The Scions of Balance (TBC).

Get Keys of the Origin: https://amzn.to/2Xq4Fhx
Get Endeavours of the Unsung: https://amzn.to/2Vsuz7a

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Distant Memories (The Shadow Realm, #1) by J.L. Keathley

Distant Memories by J.L. Keathley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


About to turn sixteen, Jade was looking forward to getting her first car and a little more freedom. Life, however, had a different path in mind. A thirst for blood and newfound fangs exposed a secret world to her... a world hidden from humanity. To leave behind everything she knew and enter The Shadow Realm, she must embark on a fateful journey to uncover the truth about the past, and understand her strange dreams. Daring efforts to unravel her destiny will reveal new powers, new friends, and very real enemies.

So, I'm a sucker for fanged creatures, and J.L. Keathley has done them beautifully.
Jade is a good MC, easily likable and interesting, her journey to discover her true identity one that you'll want to follow.
The plot is paced nicely, with a good dose of action to keep you entertained, and mysteries to unravel. The romantic interest is very well done, not feeling forced at any moment.
I really liked the mythology, it's unique and beautiful.
And that end, damn, talking about cliffhangers.
I can't wait for book 2.

Get Distant Memories right here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B2GYGKT/

Follow the author here: https://www.facebook.com/J.L.Keathley/

View all my reviews

Friday, February 23, 2018

Heshayol The Blood of Dragons Book 2


Over a millennium ago, at their father's command, Tyran and Drast sent the Horned God to the Netherworld in hopes of gaining everlasting life. Instead, they sparked a chain of events that led to the near destruction of the Ash Tree and the liberation of the old gods. Now, with the world waning, the two brothers are freed from Anaerfell to travel to the frozen realm of the dead and resurrect their enemy with hopes of restoring balance. Tyran and Drast journey between time and space with limitless magic at their fingertips to face demon legions, forsaken immortals, and the realization that the malevolence of their father is not yet done.

Pre order only $2.99 and for a limited time you can get the first book Anaerfell for only $.99.

About the author:

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at http://www.robertsonwrites.com or connect with him on Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

Other sites:

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Change (Unbounded, #1) by Teyla Branton

The Change by Teyla Branton



There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities. 

Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene. Worse, a new identification software could mean death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world. 

As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her powerful attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I kinda want to be Unbounded. I say kinda because I'm not much of a fighter and you need to be one if you are Unbounded.
Erin is badass, she's thrown into this amazing, yet dangerous new world and she faces the threats head on. She slowly discovers her new abilities and makes the best of it.
I liked how the advantages and disadvantages of near immortality were addressed. And also how envy and fear to the unknown can make people commit the most heinous acts.
There's non-stop action and lots of sexual tension throughout the book, balanced with details of what implies being Unbounded.
Fast-paced, an interesting mythology and a lot of twists and turns.

Spin by Genevieve Raas

Spin: A Fairy Tale Retelling by Genevieve Raas



Laila sees her impending death in the mountains of straw waiting to be spun into gold. Faced with the impossible, she makes the impossible decision to survive, no matter what the cost. 

A shadowy stranger sees an opportunity for vengeance. 

Born to a nightmarish destiny that crushed and embittered his faith in humanity, he devotes himself to dealing in dark desires and desperate souls, and Laila's is ripe for the trade. 

When the stranger asks his price, Laila is bound by blood and magic to pay. 

His own heart was never supposed to be part of the deal, but when honor drives Laila to break their bargain, he ends up tangled in his own web of deceit and destruction in a desperate attempt to save her life. In the black of night, there are no fairytales, only choices. 

One choice makes a queen. One choice consumes a soul. It's a roll of the dice in a game where love is everyone's undoing. 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great fairytale retelling.
Laila is taken to the King, he demands her to turn straw into gold. Something her father made up while drunk in a tavern. Her life now depends on completing the impossible task. A stranger offers his help for a price and she accepts to save her life. Only after the deal is done she realizes she's offered to much.
We get visions from the past of the stranger, how he acquired his magic, what moves him. His backstory is quite interesting. Laila is a good MC, she learns fast and has goodness in her wounded heart.
A must read for those who like a twist, or shall I say a spin on fairy tales.

You can get Spin here: https://www.amazon.com/Spin-Fairy-Retelling-Spindlewind-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B0748HSWB7/

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Happy Book Valentine!

It's almost Valentine's Day, and to celebrate it, I have a discount on Starlight (Immortal Heritage 1). A paranormal romance of 230 pages. For a limited time, you can get it at only $0.99!

Starlight-Immortal Heritage-Selene Kallan

For Nick, moving to a new city is one more burden to endure on his already complicated life. His parents believe that the change will help him overcome the death of the one that he loved, but a new school can’t stop his nightmares, or change the fate that was imposed on him before his birth. His transformation lurks around the corner. 

Dahlia lives a lonely, secluded life by choice. Fearful of letting someone become close enough to hurt them with her powers, which she hates and tries to keep under control. Her self-control falters when the hunger she can not avoid appears to take away her sanity. Both will be involved in a dangerous relationship that neither one will want to avoid. 

Two lives half torn apart, two different people, and a secret that no one can hide for a long time... Even if the price to pay is their lives.

Get Starlight here: 

Starlight-Immortal Heritage 1-Selene Kallan

Starlight-Immortal Heritage 1-Selene Kallan

Get Starlight:

Friday, February 9, 2018

Broken (Immortal Heritage 0.5)

Immortal Heritage 0.5

A terrible loss. A past they wish to forget. 
Two broken souls. Two destinies that will become one.

Nick lives a normal life, at least as normal as a supernatural being can have. Until tragedy strikes one more time. The future he had planned for himself shattering before his eyes. 
Dahlia struggles to differentiate nightmares from reality. Not that being awake makes her life any better. The loss of her mother has left her alone to face her new powers and uncontrollable hunger. 
How do their destinies become one? For they will meet under the Starlight.

The prequel of Starlight (Immortal Heritage 1)

Grab it here:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Blood Moon by Kayla Krantz

#free on the Kindle Store for a limited time!



What could be a worse feeling than that?

After 18-year-old Sam gets an invitation for a free vacation in the mail, she hops on the opportunity despite her mother's pleas not to go. With the realization that her best friends have all been invited as well, she's sure she made the right choice. Once they board the fancy cruise ship however, things aren’t as luxurious as they had seemed.

Passengers start to disappear and once the ship lands on a deserted island, Sam and her friends are left on their own to figure out why. Faced with a deadly predicament, they have to learn to survive amid a mass of nightmare creatures all out for the taste of her blood. With the help of a handsome yet suspicious island native, Sam must figure out how to get back to the mainland before she's trapped on the island forever.

Get Blood Moon:

Get Blood Moon:

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The servant rescued the fortune-teller under the stars: prompt-inspired short story by Selene Kallan

 I just can't resist a good writing prompt. WE FOLLOW THE STARS by Selene Kallan. “I see coffers full of gold and diamonds as large as ...