Archive for the ‘Speculative Fiction’ Category

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Rothana Is Here – Come to the Facebook Party!

December 4, 2018

Book Two of the Star-Fae Trilogy has released!! Book One, Halayda, is one of my favorite books ever…so I am very excited about this. 😀

A new queen falls. A death lord rises. An ancient foe looms in the shadows.

Sylvie Imanthiya is desperate to lead Faerie well and deepen the bond with her husband, former king Taylan Ashkalabek. But all hope of that vanishes when the winter solstice ceremony ends in disaster, stranding her and Taylan in the Deathrealm, and stripping the kingdom from her.

With Faerie in chaos, Zad and Diza are separated once again: Zad to reconcile with an old mentor to stabilize the kingdom, and Diza to confront the nefarious Casimir in the mortal realm. But Casimir claims that a greater evil seeks to destroy both realms, an evil that Diza’s unique death magic can hold at bay—if she could only remember how.

In the Deathrealm, Taylan is succumbing to the lure of specters from his past, and pushing away Sylvie’s love. Overwhelmed by decay and darkness, Sylvie must summon unexpected magic from the soul of Kyure to fight for her convictions and her husband’s heart.

Shadows divide them. Their friends are in peril. If Sylvie fails, her marriage and her world will fall.

I had the privilege of reading this book in early draft stages, and OH MY GOODNESS. As much as I loved Halayda?…this book topped it. All the stakes are raised. Every character is even deeper and more awesome. (I won’t say any spoilers, but one moment with Zad had me jumping around and squealing with excitement. And another one with Sylvie, too!! *squee*)

Yes, I work with Uncommon Universes Press (the book’s publisher), but I’ve been a Star-Fae Trilogy fan since before then, and I write here as a fan – Rothana is amaaaazing. 😀 If you haven’t read Halayda, definitely check out Book One first.

And if you loved Halayda…brace yourself, because Rothana is even more mind-blowing and incredible. ❤️

Facebook Party!

I’m also excited to announce that there is a Facebook party coming up this Saturday…and I’m going to be one of the guest authors featured! There will be giveaways from Sarah Delena White, Morgan Busse, and myself, and games, and other fun – please come join us! Click the image below to check out the event.

Join Uncommon Universes Press and Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester to celebrate the launch of Rothana by Sarah Delena White! Includes games, giveaways, exclusive behind-the-scenes, and more. Also features guest authors Bethany A. Jennings and Morgan L. Busse. Save the date to hang out with these fabulous authors!

About the Author

Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the administrative manager for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing, she can be found making elegant designer bead jewelry, traveling to festivals as a professional ballad singer, drinking tea, and seeking to create the perfect latte. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

Other Stops on the Blog Tour:

Monday, November 26th

Tuesday, November 27th

Wednesday, November 28th

Thursday, November 29th

Friday, November 30th

Saturday, December 1st

Monday, December 3rd

Tuesday, December 4th

Wednesday, December 5th

Thursday, December 6th

Friday, December 7th

Saturday, December 8th

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Severed Veil Has Released!!

October 30, 2018

Severed Veil is here!!!! 🎉🎉🎉

You can download it as an ebook, order the paperback from Amazon and get it fast, or you can order the paperback directly from me – signed and with a special pack of book swag! All the links are below.  

It’s also in Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a KU member you can borrow and read for free!

I hope you enjoy these little stories and pieces of my heart, and the beautiful art that Julia Busko created to go with them. (Pssst, the paperback is especially beautiful! She did my formatting too, and designed the layout of the illustrations, and it is gorgeous. 😍)

It is a joy to finally share this little book with the world!

LINKS:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1723793027
Signed paperback with swag (order form): https://goo.gl/KpVByA
Ebook: https://amzn.to/2JscBbA
Add to your Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Qh7ixX

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Blog Tour for Faithless: Guest Post by Author Janeen Ippolito

October 11, 2018

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

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Severed Veil Cover Reveal!!

September 28, 2018

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

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Interview with Mollie Reeder, Author of The Electrical Menagerie!

June 8, 2018

Today I’m thrilled to welcome a friend to my blog – Mollie Reeder, debut author of The Electrical Menagerie. TEM is a “solarpunk” novel and I’m really itching to get my hands on my own copy! It looks super unique, and from what I’ve seen of her sneak peeks, it’s going to be both moving and hilarious.

I’m interviewing Mollie today (and there’s a link to a super cool giveaway at the bottom of this post!), but first, here’s a bit about her shiny book itself!

About The Electrical Menagerie

The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.

Sylvester Carthage, illusionist and engineer, has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively — but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially — but none of the scruples.

To save their show, Carthage & Huxley risk everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, a shot at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians —but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there’s more at stake in this contest than the prize.

Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide… and it’s the lies Carthage & Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.

“Dazzles from start to finish. In Carthage & Huxley, Sherlock & Watson fans will find another dynamic duo whose ready wit and sizzling banter (and inevitable personality clashes) never fail to delight. You’ll be calling for an encore performance.” Gillian Bronte Adams, author of The Songkeeper Chronicles

“The stuff that fandoms are built on.” Kyle Robert Shultz, author of Beaumont & Beasley

Purchase The Electrical Menagerie on Amazon

or

add it to your Goodreads!

IT SOUNDS SO GOOD. Eeep! I can’t wait to read it! 😀 And I’m really excited to welcome Mollie to my blog today to ask her some questions.

Interview with Author Mollie Reeder

Hi, Mollie! I’m so excited to have you here – congratulations, again, on the release of The Electrical Menagerie! How long have you been writing and how did you get started?

I wrote my first “book” when I was just old enough to spell – it was called “Why Are You So Grumpy?” and it was about a turtle who constantly complained about things. On the last page, in a startling moment of self-revelation, the turtle realized how grumpy he was and it ended with an illustration of him gaping with his mouth open like Munch’s The Scream.

I guess you could say I’ve been writing “professionally” since 2013. That was the year I finished my first screenplay and started seriously focusing on writing as a career.

That childhood book sounds hilarious!! 😀

What was your initial inspiration for the Celestial Isles books? How long have you been working on it?

Story ideas, for me, are like stone soup. Random (often borrowed) ingredients kind of boil together for ages – for example, I’ve wanted to use the “islands floating in space” setting for several years – then often transform into a complete story or world somewhat suddenly. That was definitely the case here. I wrote The Electrical Menagerie in a matter of months. But it includes a lot of things that have been simmering in my mind for a lot longer. (ha! See what I did there?)

I see it! *looks up at blog title* 😉

I’m fascinated by the concept of solarpunk and the world of your story! If I was to get sucked into your world, what would you urge me to see while I was there, and what are some things you’d warn me about?

I’d start by asking what kind of adventure you’d like to have! The Celestial Isles are vast and diverse. Atlas Isle, for example, where Carthage grew up, is cool, rugged, and rural. Astoria Isle is bustling and urban, full of museums and entertainment. Helios is the home of the high courts, and features some of the most famous monuments and architecture. Celestia, the snowy and mountainous capitol, is home to the royal palace. Of course, the fastest and most reliable* way to travel between isles is by train, so you’ll also get to see plenty of sky.

While the outlying isles are generally friendly and safe, you should keep your wits about you in the major cities, where you’re likely to encounter pickpockets, con artists, and organized crime.

* thanks to the tireless efforts of the Railway Ministry, railway-related catastrophes are at an all-time low!

I know that you do screenwriting as well as writing novels and short stories! Tell me a little about the kinds of films you write. Have you ever thought of making your novels into screenplays?

My first screenplay was historical/adventure. In 2014 I had contest contender with a dirty cop who uncontrollably glitches forward in time. I recently co-wrote a family western. And the feature film I produced, Aria Appleton Shines like the Sun, is a middle-grade musical! Redemption and relationships are the heart of everything I write.

I like scripts and novels for different reasons. For example, The Electrical Menagerie has alternating points of view, which lets us understand how Carthage & Huxley perceive each other. That’s something books can do that movies can’t — in a movie, the narrative is always external. We don’t get to delve “inside” the character.

That said, I’d love to see TEM on the big screen! There’s a particular scene about halfway through, where a beta came to me and said “this played like a movie scene in my mind – how did you do that?!” and that is one of the best compliments I’ve gotten. I want readers to have a cinematic experience.

I love that! Yes, that’s one of my goals with my writing too. What are some of your favorite books and movies that inspire you as a creative?

 I’m really most inspired by musicals. I actually do most of my writing while listening to musicals. Of course, I love the Greatest Showman soundtrack (and I hope this series scratches the itch for anybody who left that movie wishing they could run away and join the circus…) but the most resonant to me while I was writing TEM were certain lyrics from Finding Neverland. (“It’s so frustrating/ when no one else sees/ everything else you see…”)

Carthage is partly based on J.M. Barrie, and there’s a nod to him in an early performance where Carthage & Huxley give free tickets to a group of children in order to prime the audience. There’s a story that Barrie did the same thing when he first opened Peter Pan.

Also like Barrie, Carthage sounds 100% Scottish in my head. Because we need more literary magicians with Scottish accents — am I right?!

I totally agree. 😀

Thanks so much for having me, Bethany! Your presence in the writing community has been incredibly inspiring/motivating to many people, including myself, and I’m honored to be featured on the blog.

Awww, thank you, Mollie! I’m so happy to have had you here on the blog. 😀

More about Mollie Reeder

Mollie’s first job was with a major theme park, where she operated a roller coaster, fixed parade floats, and helped Scooby-Doo put on his head. Now, Mollie is a movie producer and the author of character-driven science fiction/fantasy novels for adults who never outgrew imagination. Her favorite things include Jesus, dinosaurs, and telling cinematic stories that blend glitter and grit.

You can find her at her website, on Twitter, or on Instagram!

Enter the giveaway!

This is possibly one of the coolest blog tour giveaways I’ve seen…look at all these shinies!!

The giveaway (open to the U.S. only) includes:

  • “High Victorian” playing cards by luxury playing card company Theory11
  • Handmade galaxy mug by DeVita Designs
  • Science & Engineering Themed Pocket Notebook Set by CognitiveSurplus
  • A tin of Electrical Menagerie themed tea

Enter it here! https://kingsumo.com/g/8tf8sz/the-electrical-menagerie-steampunk-prize-pack-giveaway

More Stops on the Blog Tour

Monday, June 4th

Tuesday, June 5th

 Wednesday, June 6th

Thursday, June 7th

 Friday, June 8th

Saturday, June 9th

Monday, June 11th