Feature

MW Recommends: The Sun God’s Heir by Elliott Baker

You may remember Elliott Baker from his query letter, which we used to show you what a well-written query letter looks like. Well, Elliott is now celebrating the re-release of his novel The Sun God’s Heir: Return and we want to help. So take a look at what Elliott Baker has to offer: 

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The Sun God’s Heir is a swashbuckling series, set at the end of the seventeenth century in France, Spain and northern Africa. Slavery is a common plague along the European coast and into this wild time, an ancient Egyptian general armed with dark arts has managed to return and re-embody, intent on recreating the reign of terror he began as Pharaoh. René Gilbert must remember his own former lifetime at the feet of Akhenaten to have a chance to defeat Horemheb. A secret sect has waited in Morocco for three thousand years for his arrival.

For three thousand years a hatred burns. In seventeenth century France two souls incarnate, one born the child of a prosperous merchant, the other, determined to continue an incarnation begun long ago.

In ancient Egypt, there were two brothers, disciples of the pharaoh, Akhenaten. When the pharaoh died, the physician took the knowledge given and went to Greece to begin the mystery school. The general made a deal with the priests and became pharaoh. One remembers, one does not.

The year is 1671. René Gilbert’s destiny glints from the blade of a slashing rapier. The only way he can protect those he loves is to regain the power and knowledge of an ancient lifetime. From Bordeaux to Spain to Morocco, René is tested and with each turn of fate he gathers enemies and allies, slowly reclaiming the knowledge and power earned centuries ago. For three thousand years a secret sect has waited in Morocco.

After ages in darkness, Horemheb screams, “I am.” Using every dark art, he manages to maintain the life of the body he has bartered for. Only one life force in the world is powerful enough to allow him to remain within embodiment, perhaps forever. Determined to continue a reign of terror that once made the Nile run red, he grows stronger with each life taken.

Book Information:

Title: The Sun God’s Heir: Return, Book 1
Author Name: Elliott Baker
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2ivhu4z
Visit the Blogs Participating in the Book Tour: http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2017/02/schedule-book-tour-giveaway-sun-gods.html

Praise for The Sun God’s Heir: Return:

A great read! From the first sword fight I could not put it down. Adventure, romance, action with just the right amount of his history and mysticism. The main character Rene displays all the qualities a true hero should; loyal, smart, humble, and a ferocious warrior all opponents will fear before their end. I could not help but feel fully immersed in the story. One of the best reads I can remember, I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series!! ~ Jason Battistelli

The Sun God’s Heir is a page turner. The development of the characters made you really care what happens next to each person, good or evil. The descriptions of the ships, homes and countryside transported me into the era and made me feel like I was one of the onlookers or a part of the story itself. The moment I finished I had to have the second book to see what happens next. Fabulous!” ~ Karyn Krause Cumberland, Esquire

The Sun God’s Heir is a fascinating combination of historical period fiction, sci-fi, and political intrigue. Elliott Baker weaves a tale that one would have to be catatonic not to enjoy. The character development ranks among the best I’ve read; truly, by halfway through the book I found myself thinking like Rene (the main character) in my own daily life. This is the sign of mastery of character depth which is so often lacking in contemporary fiction. And the pacing! Rarely does a book seem to move at the speed of a movie without feeling haphazard. I applaud Elliott for pulling that off, as only an experienced screenwriter or playwright could. If you like a quality story that bridges traditional genre boundaries, then the Sun God’s Heir is for you! ~ Joshua Bartlett

Meet the Author:

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Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida but has spent the last thirty-five years or so living in sunny New Hampshire. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. Among his many work experiences, Elliott was a practicing hypnotherapist for seven years. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

You can find Elliott at the following places: Website: http://elliottbaker.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElliottBakerAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElliottBaker?lang=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423737

Saphs Book Promotions

 

Giveaway:

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Read an excerpt: 

Chapter One

1668, Bordeaux, France

THREE MEN bled out into the dirt.

René stared at the hand that held the bloody rapier. His hand. Tremors shuddered through his body and down his arm. Droplets of blood sprayed the air and joined the carmine puddles that seeped into the sun-baked earth. He closed his eyes and commanded the muscles that grasped the rapier to release their tension and allow the sword to drop.

Years of daily practice and pain refused his mind’s order much as they had refused to spare the lives of three men. The heady exultation that filled him during the seconds of the fight drained away and left him empty, a vessel devoid of meaning. He staggered toward an old oak and leaned against its rough bark. Bent over, with one hand braced on the tree, he retched. And again. Still, the sword remained in his hand.

A cloud shuttered the sun. Distant thunder brushed his awareness and then faded. Rain. The mundane thought coasted through his mind. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and glanced down hoping to see a different tableau. No, death remained death, the only movement, that of flies attracted to a new ocean of sustenance.

The summer heat lifted the acrid blood-rust smell and forced him to turn his head away. Before him stretched a different world from the one in which he had awakened. No compass points. No maps. No tomorrow.

The Maestro.

The mere thought of his fencing master filled him with both reassurance and dread. René slid the rapier into the one place his training permitted, its scabbard. He walked over to where the huge black stallion stamped his impatience, and pulled himself into the saddle.

Some impulse caused him to turn his head one last time. The sunlight that surrounded the men flickered like a candle in the wind, and the air was filled with a loud buzzing sound. Although still posed in identical postures of death, three different men now stared sightless.

Their skin was darker than the leather tanned sailors. Each wore a short linen kilt of some kind that left their upper bodies naked. As strange as the men appeared, their weapons were what drew René’s eye. The swords were archaic; sickle shaped and appeared to be forged of bronze. These men wore different faces and yet their eyes—somehow he knew they were the same sailors he had just killed. René blinked and there before him the original three men lay unmoved. Dead.

For an instant his mind balked, darkness encircled the edges of his vision.

Do not anticipate meaning. The Maestro’s voice echoed in his head. Meaning may be ignored, but it cannot be hurried.

 

 

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It’s Launch Day! The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum is here!

Written by David McLain and illustrated by Felix Eddy, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum is really a marvel. It’s our longest and biggest book yet, fully illustrated, and it somehow manages to dip it toes into every genre that we publish. It’s not just a time travel novel, it’s got elements of fantasy, science fiction, romance, adventure, and best of all, comedy. It’s an ambitious, far reaching tale that spans the history of time itself from somewhere in the ice age to San Tiempo, an island out of time.

We’ve created an ebook version, a paperback version, and a hardcover version of this book, so whichever is your preferred method of reading, I encourage you to pick this book up and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. coverimagettrm

Title: The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum

Author Name: David McLain

Illustrator: Felix Eddy

Genre(s): Time Travel, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Steampunk

Release Date: November 17, 2016

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing

(http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/)

Saphs Book Promotions Follow the Tour:

http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/11/book-tour-schedule-time-travellers.html

 

About The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum:

 “If you need to know men’s secrets

Or if there’s something you need to find 

If you want to see the dinosaurs 

Or the insides of your mind.

If you want to watch the earth begin,

Or see what the apocalypse will leave behind,

You need to thank Alice Anderson,

For Alice is the mother of time.”

That was how the rhyme went. Every time traveler knew it. Everyone that is, except of course, for Alice herself, since she hadn’t invented time travel yet. Since returning to London, Alice’s life has been turned upside down. She’s been accused of murder and lost her position in the scientific community. Her only ally in this journey is a strange man who seems to think that Alice may be about to open up a strange new world of possibilities, but is probably not telling her everything he knows.

 

Read an Excerpt:

xtra-somethingfortheback“Hello,” Alice said, with a certain degree of reluctant enthusiasm.

“You sound American,” an annoyed voice on the other end of the line said.

Alice dropped her bag. “I’ve been in New York for three years,” Alice said. “You’re lucky I don’t sound like I’m from the Bronx.”

It was Alice’s sister, Wendy, giving what by her standards was a remarkably warm and friendly greeting. “You’re lucky I don’t steal your passport while you’re here and force you to teach Electrical Engineering at the University of the Orkneys. Electrical Engineering, that’s what you do, isn’t it?”

“You do realize that I just spent an entire evening in a metal tube, sitting on a very small seat that appeared to have been made from rocks confiscated from terrorists at security?”

“Terrorists use rocks these days?”

“Well, they’re harder to spot going through metal detectors, aren’t they?”

Ending a sentence with a question apparently sounded appropriately British and Wendy seemed to ease up a little.

“How was the flight, then?” she asked.

“I believe I aged three years,” Alice answered, looking for the way to the exit. “Do you want to have a drink?”

“Is that a rhetorical question?”

“In America, it’s considered polite to ask.”

“I believe that the University of the Orkneys has early tenure.”

Wendy took pride in her absolute loathing of all things American. She saw Alice’s decampment to New York as nothing less than a complete betrayal.

“Would you mind if we met in at my hotel?” Alice asked, trying to sound as if this were a polite request and not a desperate plea.

“I don’t know,” Wendy said. “There aren’t going to be a lot of randy outer-space types there, are there?”

“It’s an astronomy conference,” Alice insisted. “Not a Sci-Fi convention.”

There was the unmistakable sound of pursing lips on the other end of the phone. “What hotel are you staying at?” Wendy asked.

“The Kensington.”

Wendy thought about it. “I’ll meet you, but let’s meet somewhere else. There’s a pub down that way that I’ve had my eye on.”

“Wendy–”

“I have to drive in all the way from Brixton. You can walk a hundred metres out of the hotel lobby.”

Alice sighed. She decided not to point out that in fact she had come quite a bit farther than hundred meters. “What’s the name of the place?” she asked.

“The Gristle and Thorn,” Wendy said.

Alice spotted the word “EXIT” on the far side of the hall. “Couldn’t find any place with a ghastlier name? Was the ‘Skull and Crossbones’ already booked?”

“Just meet me,” Wendy insisted, and for a moment, she did her best to sound kind. “I’ve missed you.”

It has been said that all journeys begin with a single step, and while it might seem that Alice’s journey began all the way back at JFK, in actuality the first step of Alice’s journey began with a decision. It was not a big decision, not the kind of thing that would strike a historian as a significant chapter in the decline and fall of the Western Empire, but for Alice Anderson, it was the equivalent of crossing the Rubicon. It was the simplest thing really – a choice of restaurants.

“The Gristle and Thorn it is,” Alice said, picking up her bag again and shuffling through the crowd.14731184_1306675979395903_3666018888957435109_n

Meet the Author and Illustrator:

bio

David McLain is the author of the two novels: Dragonbait, and The Life of a Thief. His stories have been published in the anthologies Metastasis, Penny Dread II, and the Doctor Who Anthology Time Shadows, as well as over two dozen magazines. He has been featured on NPR’s Off the Page and the History of England podcast. He lives in New York.

Felix Eddy graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Alfred University. She is the author and illustrator of A Bestiary Alphabet, and has illustrated several book covers and children’s books. You can find out more about her at www.felixeddy.com

Connect with David McLain:

Website: http://mydogisgross.tumblr.com/

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-mclain-63b77963

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMcLainDragonbait/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5814869.David_McLain

Publisher’s Website: www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/our-authors-2

 

Purchase Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING:

Paperback: http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/the-time-travellers-resort-and-museum-paperback

Ebook : http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/the-time-travellers-resort-and-museum-ebook

Hardcover: http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/the-time-travellers-resort-and-museum-hardcover

AMAZON.COM:

http://amzn.to/2eT8hRT

AMAZON.CA:

https://www.amazon.ca/Time-Travellers-Resort-Museum-ebook/dp/B01M66TQZV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477600719&sr=8-1&keywords=david+mclain

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-time-traveller-s-resort-and-museum

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124986783?ean=9781987976243

Chapters.Indigo:

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-time-travellers-resort-and/9781987976229-item.html?ikwid=David+McLain&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=3

The Laws of Time Travel

As you no doubt already know, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum by David McLain and Felix Eddy is our featured book this month. That means, you get $3 OFF any version of this book in our store with the promo code: FEATURE during the month of November.

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What you may not know is how time travel works in David McLain’s world. So, I’m here to give you a lesson in “the theoretical parameters of multidimensional space time with regard to fictional realism.” Don’t worry, it will all make sense when you read the book!

First, The Five Basic Laws of Time, as used in The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum:coverimagettrm

Everything written is real.

You cannot break the laws of physics.

The past has passed.

The present always rolls forward.

The future is unwritten.

 The rest you can figure out yourself.

 -D.E.M.

Now, an excerpt from The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum on the subject of theoretical physics:

Once, in the distant memory of his youth, Malcolm Oliver had had an argument with his high school physics teacher. Teaching Malcolm physics was one of those lucky draws in the same way that being Muhammad Ali’s sparring partner was an incredible opportunity, so the argument was probably more or less inevitable. The argument concerned the universe, and how many dimensions of time and space we live in. The teacher (who apparently thought that Einstein was some kind of upstart whose theories were akin to pop music and movies starring teenagers who aren’t wearing underpants) was telling the class how even though it seemed as though we live in three dimensions, we actually lived in four, the first three being the dimensions of space, and the fourth being time. The instructor went on to point out, rather smugly, that although all objects move forward through time, it was only the creatures on this planet who really experience it, which was one of the things that made the Earth special. Malcolm, who knew perfectly well that the universe consisted of more dimensions than men could ever count, tried to at least bring the teacher into the twentieth century by pointing out that we don’t live in four dimensions, but six.

“How do you mean?” the teacher asked.

“Consider, a road,” Malcolm suggested. “You’re travelling down a highway and you come to a fork. As it happens, one path leads to fame and fortune and the other path leads to certain destruction.”

“All right,” the teacher said.

“Well, as it happens, you happen to take the right path, the one that leads to all the good things in life. Good for you, but that doesn’t mean that the other path isn’t there. It just means that you don’t perceive it, and the consequences that it entails.”

“So?” the teacher said.

“The fifth dimension,” Malcolm said, “is choice.”

There was tension in the air that was broken by one of the students shouting out. “What do you think the sixth dimension is, then?”

“Now consider all of the roads,” Malcolm suggested. “All of the roads that you won’t turn down. All of the roads you will never see. All of the roads that have never been made, but someday will be. They all exist. They’re all out there. The consequences of you going down them would be the same, whether you go down them or not.”

“The sixth dimension,” Malcolm explained, “is imagination.”

The teacher responded to this by moving on to a lecture about the laws of electromagnetism and giving Malcolm a D minus, which he judged as proof that Malcolm would never make it through Oxford. Malcolm, in turn, would eventually react to this by tearing through Newtonian physics with a wrecking ball.

Thanks for reading and I hope you consider pre-ordering your copy of The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum written by David McLain and illustrated by Felix Eddy! 

Mark your Calendars!

We’ve got a lot of important dates coming up that we wanted to make you aware of. Book launches, opportunities to meet us and browse our selection, workshops, and even our submissions re-opening, we’ve got something for everyone!

September 18th – Open Streets, Windsoropen-streets-windsor

This Sunday Windsor is closing a large stretch of road from one end of the city to the other and we’ll be right at the heart of it in the artist fair, which is part of the Downtown Hub. The event runs from 9am to 1pm, so if you’re looking to take part, make sure to come early!

Here’s a link to more information on this event: http://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/planning/open-streets-windsor/Pages/default.aspx

 

contrastSMSySeptember 19th – Launch Party for The Secret in Mossy Swamp, online

Rita Monette’s newest Nikki Landry Swamp Legend actually goes live on September 17th, but we’re celebrating on Monday, September 19th and you can join us on Facebook for an online launch party. There’ll be prizes and games, a Q and A with the author, and general hanging out with the Mirror World team and other fans of the series. 4 pm to 6 pm EST.

You can get more info and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1158930637504097/

 

September 25th – Word on the Street, Toronto

We’ve mentioned this one before, but on Sunday, September 25th we’ll be in Toronto for what promises to be a MASSIVE literary event. We’re excited to be a part of things and we’ll be a booth #13 in the Fringe Beat section if you’re local to Toronto and want to come out and see us. We’ll be there from 10 am to 6 pm.

Here’s a link to more information about this annual event: http://thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto/

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September 30th – Worlds Collide Gala, Windsor

This will be the event of the year for us. In partnership with our new imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, and local theatre arts group, Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance, we’re celebrating different worlds coming together. We’re also celebrating the launch of all of our 2016 titles and an illustrated version of Adventure Worlds Press’ sci-fi anthology, No Light Tomorrow. Cash bar, prizes, readings, music, author Q and A, what more could you want?

7 pm at Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance. 628 Monmouth Rd, Windsor.

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1186485788080361/

 

2.ArtWORK.Oct16-350x226October 12th – Publishing 101, Windsor

Arts Council Windsor Region and Bookfest Windsor have asked me to facilitate a workshop on the ins and outs of publishing for beginners. This workshop will give an overview of a writer’s options once he or she has completed their manuscript, then we’ll go over some tips and tricks for creating a query letter worth taking notice of. $10 for members, $15 for non-members. 6:30 pm to 9 pm at Artspeak Gallery. 1942 Wyandotte ave, Windsor.

More info and registration for this workshop can be found here: http://acwr.net/event/publishing-primer-acwr-art-work-workshops/?instance_id=183852

lightertkdscoverwithfontOctober 17th – Launch Party for The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, online

Like Time Travel? So do we and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of book two in The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series by Sharon Ledwith. Monday, October 17th is the day and you can join us to celebrate the launch of another book in this great series. Again, there will be prizes, games, Q and A with the author, publisher and fans of these books. Best part is, you don’t even have to leave your computer to attend. Time TBD.  

RSVP here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1669063423411610/

 

October 24th – Our Submissions Re-Open

I’m sure this is the announcement you’ve all been waiting for. On Monday, October 24th, our submissions open for our 2017 season. So if you have a manuscript that you think would be a great addition to our current list of titles, then I suggest you take this time to go over our submission guidelines and start preparing your manuscript to send it in. And, if your manuscript still needs a little bit of work, maybe you’ll find our Mirror World News videos of use.

Our submission guidelines: http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/submissions
Our YouTube Series: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-d6tf8fpn4_mjraKjM-hUQ

October 30th – Retrorama, Windsor

Sunday, October 30th, we’ll be at Retrorama in the vendor’s room. An annual event celebrating geek culture and collectibles, Retrorama is not to be missed and is the perfect opportunity to come out and meet us. Mirror World and Adventure Worlds will be sharing a table and we’ll have all of our books for you to peruse and pick up! $10 entry fee, 10 am to 7 pm at the Caboto Club, Windsor.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/207296576294831/

david-mclain.jpg.jpegNovember 17th – Launch Party for The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum, online

Another launch party! Yep, we’ve got more books coming your way, and this one is worth raving about. The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum by David McLain is a time travel book like no other and we’re really excited about this one because it encompasses every single genre we dabble in. Time Travel, Science-Fiction, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy, it has it all! Join us to celebrate this ground-breaking launch!

Event listing coming. Like our Facebook page to be kept informed! http://www.facebook.com/mirrorworldpublishing

toudesketchDecember 1st – Launch Party for #Tourdesketch Windsor, location TBD

We’re wrapping 2016 up with another book launch. This one’s special to us because it’s all about our home town. As you know, we’re about different worlds, but how can we celebrate other worlds without also celebrating our own? Owen Swain’s colouring book #tourdesketch Windsor will do just that. And, it’s coming out just in time for Christmas… which means, presents! Join us to celebrate this launch!

Location and time TBD. Subscribe to this blog to be kept informed!

 

Thanks for reading! Are we going to see you at any of these events? Let us know in the comments below!

Rita Monette On Writing in Present Tense

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Past tense or present tense, that is… or was… the question.

I’ve recently been researching the professional and non-professional views on tense in novel writing.

Why, you might ask? I am almost to the finish line of a YA novel I have been working on for…let’s say six years. I first wrote it in past tense, which is my usual way of writing. Then about half way through, for some unknown reason, I thought it would sound better in present tense. So I rewrote it. Now that I’m almost done, I’ve begun to see articles about the pitfalls of writing in present tense, which I—at one point or another—have encountered all. Have I overcome the warning obstacles? We’ll see.

According to David Jauss, of On Writing Fiction, these are three of the drawbacks of writing in present tense.

  1. Present tense restricts our ability to manipulate time, in that it is hard to switch to past tense during the story.

I didn’t seem to have a problem with that, as this information can be brought out in dialog or in the protagonist’s thoughts.

 

  1. It is more difficult to develop complex characters. He goes on to say it is harder to build depth in our characters in present tense. He states without the use of flashbacks, we can’t know enough about our character’s past and he ends up being generic.

 

I accomplished this feat by using dreams or nightmares in the beginning and on occasion to let the reader know what makes our hero do what he does.

 

  1. The present tense can diminish tension by eliminating the knowledge of upcoming events.

 

I didn’t find this to be problematic, but I suppose my readers will have to decide that. To quote Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine, “What we gain in immediacy, we lose in tension. Present tense fiction can create another kind of suspense of course—the kind we feel when no one knows the outcome…”

 

Other articles I’ve read talk about how annoying some people find reading stories in present tense. I have to admit, I have read some that I couldn’t get past the first chapter. It seemed too jerky. But more recently, reading This Night Sucks, by Elizabeth Walker, I actually didn’t even notice it was present tense until well into it, then realized how refreshing it was to read it that way.

 

So, my humble conclusion on whether to write your story in present as opposed to past tense, is that it totally depends on the story,  the way it is told, and perhaps why it is told that way.

 

I will include here the first scene here for anyone that wishes to contribute their opinion.

Excerpt from The Zone of Fear

By Rita Monette

THE DREAM

It’s late August 1990, almost a year ago. My dad and I are sitting in the seat of his Ford Pickup traveling a couple miles west to pick up my friend, Darwin, then on to the park so we could shoot some hoops. He decides to pull into a convenient store to pick up some cigarettes.

“I’ll be right back,” he says.

Dad’s favorite CD, Unplugged by Eric Clapton, is playing Tears in Heaven. What a sad song, I think, and push the eject button. I twist the knob on the radio, looking for something I can get into, when I see a vehicle drive up and park at the end of the lot. Two men get out and head toward the entrance. I notice them because they are acting a little odd. They stand at the door and appear to be arguing, pushing at each other in the chest. One of the men turns and stares at our truck for a moment. He says something to the other man, then they enter the store. I can see Dad at the register handing the attendant some money. I am hoping he remembers to get me the Snickers bar I asked for. Dad picks up his bag and walks toward the door. He smiles as he looks at me through the glass.

Suddenly, I hear three loud bangs. Dad first turns to look behind him, then ducks and dives out the door. He runs toward the truck, staggers, then gains his footing. Then every…thing…turns …into…slow…motion. The front of his white T-shirt looks like a large red rose opening wider and wider. He drops the brown bag he is holding. Then things return to normal speed.

I crawl into the driver’s seat and shift into reverse. I back out of the spot, then swerve around to where my Dad is stumbling and holding his chest. I open the passenger door, and he crawls in. I push my foot hard on the gas pedal and burn rubber, leaving the scene behind us. But we never reach the hospital.

I always wake up at this point…sweating…alone in my room…back to the real world where my dad no longer exists, and the truth. That I had sat frozen in fear…watching as my dad fell to the dirty pavement. It’s the last thing I can remember of that day or for days afterward. I tell myself that I was only thirteen at the time, and no one could possibly

expect me to drive Dad’s truck. It doesn’t help. I could have.

Rita-studio pic cropped-cropped

 

 

Rita Monette is our featured author this month and her newest book, The Secret in Mossy Swamp, launches September 17th!! You can pre-order this installment in the Nikki Landry Series, written and illustrated by Rita, for only $0.99 with the promo code: LEGEND.

If you want to know more about Rita, please check out her website: www.ritamonette.com

Let’s all go to the Bayou!

It’s September. That means it’s time for another featured book. But, we have Rita Monette’s The Secret in Mossy Swamp launching September 17th, so I thought why not combine the two!

So now’s your chance to pre-order the next installment in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series, The Secret in Mossy Swamp for only $0.99!!! All you have to do is follow this link to our store and enter the promo code: LEGEND at checkout.

And, don’t forget! Members get this book and all the others from our store FOR FREE by using their member numbers AND they don’t have to wait for launch day either. Whether they order a paperback or an ebook, it will ship out the same day they order it. If you think this sounds like a good deal, you should check out our membership program here.

Rita-studio pic cropped-croppedNow, a little bit about Rita Monette and her newest book. The Secret in mossy Swamp is Rita’s third book and the third in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series. A wonderfully talented writer and illustrator, Rita came to us from Musa Publishing along with other Mirror World Authors, Leigh Goff, Sharon Ledwith, and Elizabeth J. M. Walker. When we first received her submission of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, I remember that all of us here at Mirror World were immediately hooked as Nikki Landry’s voice dragged us into the bayou. At the time, we weren’t sure we wanted to do books for younger readers, but Rita’s writing convinced us. We just HAD to publish her book.

The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends series is geared toward younger readers and has a protagonist that starts off around ten years old, but the strength of the writing is such that I really feel that readers of all ages will love this series. I’ve also had people take one look at Nikki on the cover and think that this series is only for girls, but it’s certainly not. Nikki is a tomboy and children of both genders will certainly relate to her insatiable curiosity and adventurous nature.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island centers around a mysterious island in the bayou and Nikki’s missing dog, Snooper. The Curse at Pirate’s Cove takes us on an adventure through time in search of cursed pirate’s gold and The Secret in Mossy Swamp tackles the legendary swamp creature, the Rougarou. Here’s the blurb:

contrastSMSyThings are never what they seem… in a foggy Louisiana swamp

Living in a tiny houseboat, Nikki is stuck with sharing a room with her little brother, Jesse, who does what little brothers do best…torture their sisters.  Fed up, she decides to build a place of her own…a tree house where no boys are allowed. Meanwhile, something strange is happening on Bayou Platte. Things and people are coming up missing…and little stick dolls covered in moss, known locally as “signs” from the legendary Rougarou, are showing up in their place.

Is the Rougarou really to blame? Can Nikki get to the bottom of the mystery before things get worse? Find out in this third installment of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series!

So what are you waiting for? Head over to our store and enter the promo code: LEGEND to get this book for $0.99. Or, better yet get your membership card today and get UNLIMITED access to our entire library for the year, including early access to pre-orders like this one!     

What lies ahead…

Our featured book this month is Unintended by myself, Justine Alley Dowsett, and Murandy Damodred. This means, you can pick up the ebook edition of this book for only $0.99 in our store with the promotion code: FEATURE

To read more about our featured book this month, click here.

I thought, in honour of Unintended being featured this month, that I would give you a sneak peek into what Murandy and I have been working on. Our next book is set in Ismera, the same world as Unintended, but it is not a sequel. It will feature entirely different characters with a story of their own, but will keep some of the style that you loved in Unintended. If you haven’t read Unintended yet, I suggest you do so, since it’s on sale this month!
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Here’s the description of the upcoming Uncharted by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred:

There are no coincidences..

Fated to be a Priestess of Saegard, Meredith dreams of leading a normal life with a family and a home of her own, something she’ll never have if she swears her life to the Order.  A chance encounter with a stranger in the sacred Celestial Chamber sends her previously well-ordered life into a tailspin of adventure and mayhem as she is blamed for the theft of a legendary artifact. Now a fugitive, Meredith must join forces with Captain Reginald Lawrence, the son of the man who initially brought her to the Temple, and his enigmatic business partner,  the charming yet at times infuriating, Grey Rhodes, to find the Celestial Bowl and clear her name. From the cosmopolitan capital of Saegard to the coast of Ismera and back again, Meredith’s journey will reveal the true nature of her past, present, and ultimately, her future.  

Uncharted is currently in the hands of our beta readers, but we expect the book will come out sometime early in 2017. We had a lot of fun writing this one and in my opinion it’s the perfect blend of romantic comedy and swashbuckling adventure. I guess we’ll see soon enough what the beta readers think of it.

Have you read Unintended? Are you looking forward to Uncharted? Let me know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading!

August’s Feature is not your average love story. It’s four of them.

This month we’re featuring Unintended by myself, Justine Alley Dowsett, and my sister, Murandy Damodred. Which means, with the promotional code: FEATURE, you can get this book from our store for only $0.99. Or, if you’re a member, you can get it FOR FREE, along with all the rest of our books and some other cool perks. (Find out more about how this program works, here.)

Uncover3Unintended is a comedy of errors co-written by two authors who like to butt heads. It has influences from Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, from The Princess Bride, and believe it or not, from the love triangles common in Korean dramas (we went through a phase, okay?). Set in the fictional world of Ismera, which is part historical fiction, part fantasy, Unintended has four main characters, whose romantic stories intertwine in comedic and often disastrous ways.

Kenzie

As Murandy and I co-write, we tend to divide the protagonists between us. Mackenzie en Shareed, or Kenzie, is written by Murandy. As the daughter of the clan chief of Haldoram, Kenzie must travel south to the capital of Ismera to marry the prince in order to uphold a peace treaty between the two nations. Determined to marry on her own terms, Kenzie performs the marriage ritual immediately upon her arrival at the gates of Ismer, only to find out moments later that the man she’s just married isn’t the prince at all…

Garron

Garron D’Arbonne, written by me, is an Ismeran noble tied to the royal family by his engagement to the princess Margaret. He is sent down to the gates to act as escort for the prince’s arriving fiancee, only to find himself married to the strange, yet beautiful foreign woman before they even reach the palace.

Kadrean

Kadrean Authier, also written by me, is the Crown Prince of Ismer. He doesn’t think much of Kenzie, or their arranged marriage, especially not after their disastrous first meeting. Being who he is though, he knows he’s going to have to make the best of it, even if Kenzie seems to bring out the worst in him and he’d much rather spite his father by making Kenzie spurn him and return home.

Vivianne

Murandy wrote Vivianne, the headstrong, over-curious young lady cursed with visions of the future, who’s desperate to do whatever it takes to get away from her abusive family. Secretly in love with her father’s servant, she’s determined that her father won’t make her flirt with the prince, leaving that task to her sister, Victory, a pawn in her father’s plan to get the foreign princess out of the way so his family can rule Ismera once more.

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All of our beta readers and fans agree that Unintended is our best co-authored book yet, so I hope you’ll use this opportunity to pick it up for $0.99 and give it a try. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. And if you like this book, chances are you’ll like the rest, so why not check out our membership program and get unlimited books for the year?

Thanks for reading!

What’s next for Joshua Pantalleresco?

Joshua Pantalleresco and his series, The Watcher, is our feature for this month! Which means you can pick up either The Watcher or Stormdancer for just $0.99 with the promo code: DRAGON. Just head over to our store. It also means that we’ve invited Joshua here to tell us a little bit about where he’s at and what it’s like to be working on the last installment of a trilogy. Without further ado, here’s Joshua Pantalleresco:

WatcherFront copyWhat’s it like to have a world in your head for years?  Not quite sure where it is going?  How is it going to end?

To that, I answer this:

It’s a dream.  You have these characters that you envision in your head.  You have a savage who dreams of freedom and his world is harsh, cruel and unyeilding.  Life and death only go to the strong.

It sounds very much like our world, yet different.

I love this world in spite of this cruelty.  Struggle is the one thing we all understand.  Every day there are battles we all fight within ourselves.

Yet for all the moments of guilt I had for some of the dangers I put all the characters in, I like the oozes and falling ships and pez dispensers I placed here.  And I loved the characters I have developed over the years that came from the view of the savage.

Kristen is the one I connected with most in the last two books.  With her, I discovered that beneath all her fear there was a real badass.  Her jailbreak in book two is still one of my favorite things I’ve written.  Ever.  But she’s tough, capable and more and more finds confidence in herself.  She is also the character that scares me the most, because she demands nothing but respect.

Will and Nicki I feel have a lot of untold story.  I hope someday if I do come back to this world I tell it.  Without spoiling too much, this is the key I’m leaving in my hands.  Someday they may speak to me like Kristen and The Watcher did.Cover-Final-8by11

But after four years, I owed this world an ending.   How then do I end it?

Revolution?  I wanted something bigger and vaster.

So I thought about the mystery of the Wandering God, and how to tie it with all of the series and I think I came up with an answer.  The biggest theme with this universe is the journey.  Through struggle, through pain, we travel, pieces of us falling bit by bit until we shape ourselves into what we are.   What bigger journey do we find in this life but the one about God?

In one sense this is the most abstract book.  What happens when one listens to a voice in your head?  It’s all a question of faith isn’t it?

And isn’t faith the ultimate journey?

I’m still working on it as of this writing.  I’m editing it, correcting it and just slowly but surely handing it over to the publisher.  We don’t have everything signed, sealed and delivered yet.  This one is going to take the longest to finish.  By that, I mean the editing and final touches.

But to me, the real work is done.  The story is told.

I love them.  I always will.   Will, Nicki, Kristen, and him most of all.   They will always be in my heart.  They took me on a grand journey and I thank them for it.  But for now, the dream is over.   I am thankful for dreaming it.

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Joshua Pantalleresco writes fiction, poetry and comics. He also loves to do interviews. He has written columns for comicbloc and allpulp and currently does so for comicmix. The Watcher is his second book of poetry. He resides in Calgary.

He has a blog you can follow here.

Featuring: Joshua Pantalleresco!

As you know, July’s feature is The Watcher series by Joshua Pantalleresco. This means, you can pick up The Watcher, or its sequel, Stormdancer for only $0.99 all month long! Use code: DRAGON in our store! This is a real bargain, considering both books are a unique blend of science-fiction, poetry and graphic art that you won’t find anywhere else! Also, keep in mind that this is a trilogy, so we should expect book three, tentatively titled, Wandering God, in the near future.

Without futher ado, here’s an interview I had with the author of this amazing series, Joshua Pantalleresco:

MW:  Do you write about what you know or do you do “pure fancy”?

2015-08-29 12.58.28JP:  It’s funny that my answer is both?  Let me explain.  Most of my worlds are pure fancy.  I do a little research from time to time when I’m constructing worlds.  The Watcher’s world was inspired by pure fancy.

That said, usually what the story is trying to say is something based on what I’ve learned.   I found a few years ago that stories are better if they come from someplace real in you.  Freedom means a lot to me.  The Watcher’s story is reflective of some of my own questions.

MW:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

JP:  Mostly a pantser with a dash of plotter.  I tend to have an idea where the story ends and how the story begins.  Beyond that I keep it vague.  My characters know where they are going better than I am, and I try to steer clear of them.   I find personally if you let the plot be too structured it ruins the story.  It limits where you are allowed to go.  That said, without it, the story tends to be aimless.

That said book 3 is probably the heaviest plotted book I’ve written.  It’s much bigger than book 1 and 2 so I had a few stop points along the way.  That said, there were a lot of surprises in book 3 even for me.

MW:  Is there are genre or style of writing you’d like to try?

JP:  Screenplays and plays.  I’ve yet to try anything there.  And maybe, just maybe write an amazing sestina.

MW:  Are there other authors you try to take from and be inspired by?

JP:  I’m a fan at heart so I would be less than honest if I didn’t say yes to this.  The Watcher and Stormdancer definitely have some Edgar Rice Burroughs influences – especially the Watcher.   I just love the idea of the savage character.  There is an honesty and purity to them that I thought Burroughs captured very well.

Another author I feel like I borrow a bit from is Ray Bradbury.  Bradbury was the kind of guy that would take you by the arm and show you the wonders around you.  I like to think I do a little of that here; not as good as he did.  That would be sheer blasphemy from my part.  But I always loved the sense of wonder I had from Bradbury’s work.

 MW:  What advice would you give to a beginning writer?

JP:  Figure out who you are, and keep writing.  You solve the first and do the second, you will be ahead of the game.