Blog Tour for Faithless: Guest Post by Author Janeen Ippolito

Today author Janeen Ippolito is here on the blog to share about her upcoming steampunk fantasy adventure – Faithless, Book 2 of her Ironfire Legacy series!

First, a bit about the book…

One wild night, Shance Windkeeper discovers he’s married to a death unicorn.

But that’s the least of his troubles.

As an agent for the Lawless, Shance is working with dragonshifters Kesia Ironfire and Zephryn Nightstalker, trying to end the dragon-human war and the organization that masterminded it. While on a mission in the Scepter of Knowledge, the Lawless is hit with a devastating death unicorn attack.

Out of the wreckage new allies emerge: Lirome Ukerys, and his twin sister Maira, the death unicorn queen – Shance’s long-lost wife.

Recently freed from captivity, Maira is fighting to regain control of her herd. Lurien Alistil, a rogue death unicorn, has bespelled the Scepter of Knowledge and taken Maira’s son. When Kesia unexpectedly challenges Lurien to a public debate over the fate of the city, the Lawless has a chance to break the usurper’s hold. To obtain vital information they must infiltrate her lair – and as the husband of the death unicorn queen, Shance Windkeeper is the perfect prize to go in.

But Lurien’s power is stronger and more insidious than they realize. And if the final pieces of her plan fall into place, not even Shance’s newfound Talents and knowledge will be enough to stop her.

A steampunk fantasy adventure with much intrigue, unexpected romance, sudden tragedy, and a snarky cat-dragon.

Now here are some of Janeen’s thoughts on the process of writing this intense book!

Faithless was one of the hardest books I’ve had to write. And I’ve written a lot of them, most of which have been cast aside in favor of better ideas, or are in my “to-be-revised” pile, which is huge, by the way.

The difference with Faithless was that it was supposed to be easy. Each book in The Ironfire Legacy series had to be outlined and planned in order for it to be accepted by Uncommon Universes Press. So I figured Faithless would be easy enough to write.

But this book asked something of me, that I didn’t fully understand. It asked me to subject a main character to her worst fear. And then to keep doing so, all throughout the rest of the series. This would seem standard for storytelling, but in the case of secondary protagonist Kesia Ironfire, taking away what she feared to lose most also drastically altered the tone of the story and upped the pain level for everyone involved.

I’ll tell you a secret: I hate making my characters suffer. I can chuckle about it with gallows humor, borne from necessary distance and also a side effect from having to go over the same manuscript ten times or more.

Yet every time I have to take my characters to those dark, hopeless places, I get frightened that maybe hope won’t be on the other side. Silly, I know, since I’m the writer. But my style of writing is a bit method, if you will. I leaped into each character’s POV and try my best to pour out their story on the page from their POV.

So what hurts my characters hurts me. And I really don’t enjoy hurting. It is the OPPOSITE of my favorite. I strongly prefer to be an upbeat, chill sort of person who lives and let lives. But there are painful shadows in my past and in my heart, hurts that insist on forcing their way out through my fingers whether I want them to or not. And sometimes, I really don’t.

It takes time. It takes several drafts with major revisions between as my beta readers and editor force me to go deeper and deeper into hard places. And, mean people that they are, they insist that I can’t always end an intense, difficult moment with a joke or a silly bit of action.

The editor and publisher in me agree with them. The author in me sticks out her tongue.

The overall process is exhausting and on occasion, annoying, as I go into those shadowy places inside myself. But the results are always worth it. The story is deeper, richer, and the humor a lot more potent for the hardship.

In the case of Kesia Ironfire, Faithless continues her trial by fire with a brutal twist. She weathers on. She endures.

She finds new hope in the darkness.

And in writing her story arc, I do as well.

About the Author

Janeen Ippolito believes words transform worlds. She creates writing resources and writes steampunk fantasy. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com

Purchase Faithless from these online retailers!

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooksSigned Paperback

OR (this is my preferred way to get UUP books!) get autographed pre-orders straight from the publisher’s website!

Faithless – or – Priceless & Faithless Bundle – or – Ironfire Legacy Bundle

Also, add Faithless to your Goodreads!

Pssst, there’s also a Facebook party!

Celebrate the launch of Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2 with featured author Janeen Ippolito and guest authors Angelique Anderson and R.J. Metcalf! Get your fill of steampunk, dragons, adventures, and more (re: death unicorns and a cat-dragon) with this fun-filled evening that includes giveaways, games, and an exclusive reveal or two.

Hosted by Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester and Uncommon Universes Press!

Click on the image below to join the party!

Faithless will also be touring on these lovely blogs:

Monday, October 8th

–      Map Monday Spotlight – Becky Gaines

Tuesday, October 9th

–      Spotlight – Letters From Annie (Douglass) Lima

Wednesday, October 10th

–      Character Interview – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

–      Guest Post & Interview – TheHufflepuffNerdette

Thursday, October 11th

–      Behind-the-Scenes –The Simmering Mind

–      Author Interview – Claire M. Banschbach

Friday, October 12th   

–      Behind-the-Scenes – Author Katherine A. Massengill

Sunday, October 14th

–      Book Review – Smada’s Book Smack

Monday, October 15th

–      Spotlight –  A Hippie’s Bookshelf

–      Character Interview with Shance – Becky Gaines

Tuesday, October 16th

–      World Building Feature on the Scepter of Knowledge – K.A. Cummins

Wednesday, October 17th

–      Spotlight – The Genre Minx Book Reviews

Thursday, October 18th

–      Behind-the-Scenes – Unicorn Quester

Friday, October 19th

–      World Building Feature on Death Unicorns – C. O. Bonham

–      Spotlight – YA/NA Book Divas

Saturday, October 20th

–      World Building Feature on Dragons – Empyrean Voyager

–      Book Review – The Book Unicorn

Monday, October 22nd

–      Book Review – Jessica Rachow: Author & Blogger

Tuesday, October 23rd

–      Behind-the-Scenes – Anna Tan

Wednesday, October 24th

–     Book Review – Anna Tan

Thursday, October 25th

–     Author Interview – Laura VanArendonk Baugh

–      Book Review – Becky Gaines

Severed Veil Cover Reveal!!

I am over the moon excited to share this with you today. A cover reveal and a pre-order – because next month I am releasing a new book!

Severed Veil: Tales of Death and Dreams

A dream-traveling boy haunted by a broken girl. A cursed warrior, weary of bloodshed. A princess who battles dragons in an enchanted slumber. A treacherous graveyard in the stars.

From Bethany A. Jennings—author of Threadbare and Dragon Lyric—come twelve mesmerizing short works of poetry and prose that boldly pierce the shadows. Severed Veil contains a selection of fantasy, sci-fi, and poetry, including “Dreamskip,” the winner of an honorable mention from the Writers of the Future Contest in 2018.

Illustrated with ethereal pencil sketches by artist Julia Busko, these tales dance on the delicate rift between life and death, waking and dreams.

This cover was created by Magpie Designs Ltd. Isn’t it gorgeous?? She so beautifully captured the shadowy and luminous tones of this book, which is full of dark, fierce stories and poems I’ve pulled from the very depths of my heart.

Severed Veil will also contain illustrations by my talented friend Julia Busko, who did the cover for Dragon Lyric. Her work is a perfect fit for this collection! It’s fantastic to work with both of these artists again and to have their beautiful art be a part of this release.

Here’s a tiny glimpse of Julia’s concept sketches!

And here’s a little snippet of one of the stories inside…

Glass shatters somewhere at the other end of the house. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. I hold my breath.

Then distant wailing. Pleading. A male voice growling back.

I creep out of the bush, dial nine-one-one, and shove the phone back in my pocket on mute. Every muscle in me is clenched in fear.

I try the rusty back doorknob. Unlocked.

Buzzing with nervous energy, I ease open the door and step into a hallway. Drops of blood stain the beige carpet. Harriet’s?

My throat tightens, but I keep moving. The sound of weeping grows louder with every step—and then the tinkle of broken glass scraping on kitchen tiles.

“Shut it, you,” the male voice mutters. Vicious. Threatening.

If only I had a weapon.

To find out what happens next, find the story “Dreamskip” in the collection when it comes out!

Severed Veil releases on October 27, 2018. But you can pre-order it or add it to your Goodreads list TODAY!

Pre-order SEVERED VEIL on Amazon

Add Severed Veil on Goodreads

Coming in October! – Severed Veil: Tales of Death and Dreams

Publishing preparation checklist?? OH YES. 😀

I’ve mentioned it here and there on social media, but I’m excited to finally *officially* announce that, Lord willing, I am releasing a new book at the end of October!

Severed Veil: Tales of Death and Dreams is a collection of fierce fantasy and sci-fi short stories—stories that dance on the delicate rift between life and death, waking and dreams. Stories from my gut. Stories from my soul.

I am beyond excited about my plans for this book. The collection will include my short story “Dreamskip” (a Writers Of The Future Honorable Mention), “No More Blood” (a finalist from the Splickety live critique at Realm Makers in 2018), and 7+ other short stories and flash fiction pieces.

The cover is in progress right now, and oh my goodness…I am itching to reveal it already, and it isn’t even in its final form!!! 😀

If you’d like to be part of the cover reveal at the end of this month, please check out THIS LINK to sign up! 😀

I have even more exciting news about Severed Veil coming SOON. So keep an eye out! It’s going to be an exciting and intense few weeks getting this new book ready to share with the world. 😃

July #WIPjoy and Other Exciting Updates

Hey, everybody!

Yesterday I sent out my June newsletter, which contained a whole host of exciting announcements, as well as a free flash fiction piece, Fall Like a Stone. The link below will take you there to read it all…

READ THE EXCITING NEWSLETTER HERE! (A new story may be coming out…) 😀

Also, July is almost upon us, which means another #WIPjoy is right around the corner. Here is the list of July prompts for those of you who participate!

For this month’s Friday prompts I have partnered up with my friend, author coach, editor, and fellow writer Janeen Ippolito, whose hashtag game One Random Question (#1randomques) normally goes out every Friday! Her game is so much fun, and I wanted to bring that fun into #WIPjoy. If you like her Friday prompts, be sure to follow her on Facebook or Twitter to get her #1randomques prompts year-round!

Blog Tour: “My Fault” by RJ Conte

My friend and fellow author, RJ Conte, has a new book out! This time it’s a Christian rom-com – and guys, this book is laugh-out-loud funny. 😀 Her protagonist, Cleo, has one of the best character voices. She’s unorthodox and random and brazen, and somehow RJ manages to marry this hilarity seamlessly together with the deep, heartfelt issues she is known for writing. It’s a wonderful, sweet, quick read. And I get to share an excerpt with you today!

First, here is the blurb and cover…

“I realized his eyes had lost that wary look. They were the bluest blue. Bluer than my favorite coffee mug. Bluer than the Solonaise County Public Pool when it’s actually been cleaned at the beginning of the summer before all those little kids in their floaties come and pee in it.”

Quirky Cleo Stanton has a problem: she’s falling for the guy she ran over with her car when she should not have been driving.

A devout Christian and quietly mysterious, Grayson Fox is as cute as he is kind, begrudgingly putting up with Cleo and her motor mouth. But will he ever forgive her for crushing his leg? Can she break him out of his shell? And what hilarity will ensue when the flamboyant Cleo tries to draw him out?

And now, an excerpt from the story! This is my favorite scene from the book, because it’s just so Cleo and adorkable. 😀

An Excerpt from My Fault!

My phone still rang. And I knew who it was.

“Mom.”

“Cleee! Happy birthday, honey!” came the soft, twangy squeal. Couldn’t take the south out of Mom, no matter how long she hadn’t lived in Louisiana.

“Yeah, thank you…” No use squelching the matriarch. One celebrated one’s birthday in the Stanton family. There was no other option. Even though Jaq and I had outgrown birthdays like forever ago.

“What are your plans? You going out with friends? You have to spare us some time too. Evening? Afternoon? What works with your work schedule?”

It was so cute how Mom thought I had a life. The delusions were strong with this one.

“Um… let me ask Gra… Let me get back to you.” Scratch that. Why was I hiding Grayson? “There’s a guy I might be hanging out with.”

“Eh…” Mom hemmed.

Okay, so I hadn’t chosen award-winning guys in the past. What the fo, Mom. Where was your extreme optimism in my life choices from a moment ago?

After hanging up with her, I ran a brush through my bedhead mohawk, smoothing my crazy red strands down to fall to my chin. Then on went the lemon yellow kicks I had bought for myself. “Happy birthday, loser,” I cheered myself in the mirror – while only wearing underwear and the new Converse sneakers. Clothes were overrated. Maybe I should snap a selfie. What would Grayson think of that?

I had a new book idea suddenly: How to Lose a Guy in Forty-Three Days by Cleo Stanton, Jailbird and Drunkard.

Sighing, while the baby in my head reprimanded me with some loud screaming, I pulled the shoes back off and threw on some skinny jeans before returning the Converse to my feet. Lastly, I pulled out my favorite white t-shirt that said, “Inigo, I am your father. You will kill your father. Prepare to die.” The background image was Darth Vader holding up a hand with six fingers. The thing had cracked me up so much, I had shed tears over my computer keyboard, and couldn’t press “add to basket” quick enough. I bought three, just in case I ruined the first and lost the second. One couldn’t be too careful with favorite shirts. This was back when I had money to blow.

One also had to wear their favorite shirt to a Stanton birthday celebration. I needed the emotional hug from Six-Fingered-Vader just to handle whatever passive aggressive present Jaq showed up with. Last year it had been a set of hand weights. “For the… arms…” he had said, giving a polite cough that hid none of his actual meaning.

I had played dumb. “Thank you! I broke the armrests off my computer chair. I’ll nail these bad boys in as substitute! How did you know what I needed for all those afternoons browsing Reddit eating Reese’s Pieces? Best. Brother. Ever.” I had even patted him on the head like one would a dead lobster they were about to slather with garlic butter and eat with a teeny, tiny, sharp fork.

Jaq had gone home as red as a hard-shelled crustacean, that’s for sure. Stupid brother.

But wait. Grayson had called me “tiny.” I glanced in the mirror and tried to see Tiny Cleo. Yeah, we were good. I could do this thing.

Isn’t she awesome?? You can buy the book here on Amazon, or add it to your Goodreads!

More About RJ Conte

RJ Conte has kissed only one boy in her entire life. And she married him, inspiring her to write about sweet or powerful love stories ever since. She writes realistic, issue-driven fiction that explores human nature and the depths of the soul, while pointing readers to their Creator.

RJ writes a blog on parenting, publishing, painting, and perorating at http://blonderj.wordpress.com/

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!