Giveaway! Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

About the Book:

Twenty-four authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

Join Elizabeth Vaughan, Fiona Patton, Jennifer Brozek, Brenda Cooper, Rosemary Edghill, and others in twenty-two original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, to Valdemar, where:

A Herald must crack an ancient code in a historic tapestry in order to arbitrate a dispute over land and lineage…

A Healer’s daughter flees the noble family that has trapped and enslaved her mother, and must seek help to free her mother…

A young woman who hides her clairvoyant powers from her town’s Karsite priests ForeSees a threat, and must risk revealing her Gift to save her community…

A Herald finds his assistant has been abducted by a man upon whom he had levied a heavy fine, and must foil the kidnapper’s plans to save his charge…


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*** Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar is published by DAW and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads | Kobo

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GIVEAWAY!

The publisher was kind enough to provide two (2) free copies of Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar!!!

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Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win one of two (2) copies of Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar! Good luck!:)

Runs through December 13, 2016 (12/13/2016)

*US and Canada residents only

*** RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!! ***

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f7bdb4fc12/?

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Photo: © Patti Perret

About the Author:

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com or on Twitter at @mercedeslackey.


 

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Author Interview: Michelle E. Lowe

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Today I am interviewing Michelle Lowe, author of the new steampunk, fantasy novel, Legacy, first book in the Legacy series].

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DJ: Hey, Michelle! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Michelle Lower: Hi, DJ! Thanks for having me. Well, for starters, I’m an author at Nordland Publishing. I have several novels out, such as The Warning, Atlantic Pyramid, Cherished Thief, children’s books, Poe’s Haunted House Tour and The Hex Hunt series. I keep myself busy raising two girls, writing and taking care of my seventeen year old cat, October. I’m a total nerd at heart who enjoys watching science fiction, fantasy, adventure and horror films. History piques my interests, especially European. Other interests include oil painting, arts & crafts and collecting knick-knacks. I love books and some graphic novels, and I’ll play old Atari games when given the chance. Listening to music is a must for me when reading, writing, or plotting evil deeds.

I’m a Georgia born native and had spent most of my life near Atlanta before pulling up stakes and moving clear across country to California with my husband, Ben.

DJ: What is Legacy about?

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Michelle: As you mentioned, Legacy is the first of a six book series. It’s a rollicking adventure that takes place in the Victorian era, during the rise of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a mesh of both steampunk and fantasy with a cast of colorful characters within a plot that is fast-paced and original. Here’s a quick blurb.

A thief, a lover, and a toymaker; drawn together by fate, unlikely champions against a powerful and remorseless enemy. When not fighting each other, they must defeat the powerful Lord Norwich, and end his plan to unleash global violence and crown himself emperor of the world.

No problem.

But behind the scenes, the Trickster god is manipulating men like puppets, changing history to his own ends and for his own amusement. As an ancient plan is set into motion, the trio are face with events they do not understand and may not survive. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Una McCormack

Una McCormack talks to Paul Kirkley at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

Una McCormack talks to Paul Kirkley at Fitzbillies, Cambridge

Today I am interviewing Una McCormack, author of the new science-fiction novel, Weird Space: The Star of the Sea.

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DJ: Hey Una! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Una McCormack: Hi there! Thanks for asking me! For readers who don’t know me, I’m a science fiction writer based in Cambridge, UK, who mostly writes tie-in fiction based on shows such as Doctor Who and Star Trek. My first book for the Weird Space universe, The Baba Yaga, was my first non tie-in novel.

DJ: What is Weird Space: The Star of the Sea about?

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Una: The book is an action-adventure space opera in which a group of characters band together to fight off the threat from some all-consuming, dimension-hopping aliens, while trying not to get arrested by their own government.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Weird Space: The Star of the Sea?

Una: The first couple of books in the Weird Space series, of course, which are by Eric Brown (Satan’s Reach and The Devil’s Nebula). I was also influenced by ensemble shows like Firefly and Blake’s 7, and by classic feminist SF by writers like Joanna Russ.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them?

Una: The main characters are all struggling to protect themselves and their nearest and dearest from the threat from the Weird, who are Lovecraftian aliens intent on consuming everything in their path.

My main characters are Maria, a young mother who fled the Expansion after discovering a secret about a massacre carried out by her government. She’s inexperienced but brave, and she learns a lot about looking after herself and her little girl in this book.

There’s also Yale, who ran away from the Expansion some years ago for reasons that are made clear in the book. She’s been hiding away on a remote world called Stella Maris, where a Weird portal has opened, but hasn’t tried to destroy the locals. Yale is fast-talking, likes a fight, and is mostly out for herself – but she ends up having to return to the Expansion to fight the Weird.

The other main character is called Eileen O’Connor. She’s a scientist who comes to Stella Maris to learn more about this special portal, and who learns that her government have been guilty of terrible crimes. This makes her question which side she’s on. Continue reading

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Author Interview: S.K. Dunstall

Photo credit: Andrew Kopp

Photo credit: Andrew Kopp

Today I am interviewing S.K. Dunstall, author of the new science-fiction novel Confluence, third book in the Linesman series.

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DJ: Hey S.K.! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

Let’s start with you; for readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

S.K. Dunstall: Hi DJ. Great to meet you. Thank you for having us.

S.K. Dunstall is the pseudonym for two sisters, Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall. (If you could actually call it a pseudonym.) We’re from Australia, and we both live and work in Melbourne, which is the capital of Victoria, a state in the south-eastern part of the country. Melbourne is famous for being the city of four seasons in one day. And sometimes yes, we really do have four seasons in one day. We have saying, if you don’t like our weather, wait five minutes.

We both work full time, and nowadays, outside of work, most of our life is consumed by writing. We write on the train, in food courts and cafés, on park benches, and anywhere else we have five minutes to spare. (That’s when we’re not reading.) If we are not writing, we are often talking about writing.

DJ: What is Confluence and also the Linesman series about?

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S.K.:The Linesman series came about as a ‘what if’ question. What if humans had discovered faster than light travel from ‘lines’ in an abandoned alien space ship they found? They used that technology to spread out into the galaxy, without fully understanding how it worked. (Although they thought they did.)

Five hundred years later they find another alien ship (yes, only the second in all that time). The two major galactic powers are about to go to war, and each side wants that ship, for they believe the weapons on it can help them win.

Enter our protagonist, Ean Lambert, self-taught linesman, who sings to the lines, and is uniquely positioned to communicate with the new ship. Who finds that maybe the lines aren’t just ‘technology’ after all.

Being space opera this is all mixed in with politics, war, battles, power struggles and, we hope, a dash of humour.

Confluence is the third book in the series. It’s the end of a major political story, and the lines are starting to take a more active role.

It stars Ean’s bodyguard, Radko, as a main point-of-view character. We learn a lot more about her (and her family), and she gets a mission (no spoilers, but there’s a reason), while Ean’s left to manage a volatile situation where it seems that someone in the New Alliance is not working for the side they should be. Lancia is being pushed further out of the political mainstream. And the alien ships are behaving strangely. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Jean Johnson

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Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow. It was created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction. From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it was intended to help us share our love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.


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Today I am interviewing Jean Johnson, author of the new science-fiction novel The Blockade, third book in the First Salik War series.

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DJ: Hey Jean! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

Let’s start with you; for readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Jean Johnson: I’m an author of genre fiction, writing primarily in the science fiction, fantasy, and romance categories, because those are my favorite types of books to read. I also enjoy superhero stories, occasional steampunk fantasies, and so forth, but I’m not a big fan of horror. Growing up in a little patch of rurality surrounded by suburbia, I didn’t have a lot of friends living close enough for me to walk over to their house and visit, so I spend a lot of my childhood reading. My parents encouraged it, taking me frequently to the local libraries and so forth, but after a while, I realized there were stories I wanted to read that no one was writing, and it finally dawned on me that if I wanted to read them, I would have to write them myself. So here I am, twenty-plus books later, with many more still to go.

DJ: What is The Blockade and also the First Salik War series about?

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Jean: The First Salik War series is about, well, the first Salik War, which takes place in the late 2280s, according to our calendar. It’s about humans from Earth reaching out into interstellar space for the very first time, exploring multiple star systems beyond our own, only to encounter aliens that are not only hostile, but whom have already managed to encounter humans who are not from Earth.

In THE TERRANS, the first book, we see things from the Terran perspective, and most of the action takes place either in space we’re become familiar with, or on Earth itself. The first book covers a lot of first contact and political doubts on what humanity—Earth humanity—should do about what they’re discovering. We do get to meet the Salik at the start, but the war effort ends up taking a back seat to the conflicts of trying to figure out how two very different cultures can peacefully interact even when it’s technically the same species.

In the second book, THE V’DAN, we learn a lot more about this other race of humans that has been living for thousands of years on this other world hundreds of lightyears from Earth. The protagonists do that by going to that world to figure out who they are, what they’re like, and how to interact with them. Once the Terrans know how to do that, they hope they can make the transition to interacting with the truly alien, non-human races out there in easier ways…but they still run into trouble because the V’Dan are very different from the Terrans, despite being completely biologically human.

It’s very much a book on cultural clashes, another aspect of both first contact and political troubles. These tensions are worsened by the fact the V’Dan and the other Alliance races are losing their war against the Salik, because the technological playing field favors the aggressor being able to lay plans and carry them out without the defenders being able to adequately prepare against their attacks in time. The Terrans have some seriously good technology that could completely overturn their losing war into a victory…but the cultural clashes are making it difficult to want to volunteer anything for that task.

THE BLOCKADE, final book of the trilogy, works hard to resolve a lot of the problems from the previous two books, while exposing the main characters to the actual war. They can no longer stay in the halls of political power, but must instead go to the various warfronts to make sure that the Terrans are integrating without too many troubles into the Alliance’s efforts to stop the Salik invasions. At this point in the overall timeline of this universe, nobody wants to wipe out the Salik as a race, because xenocide—genocide by any other name—is an horrific thing. But these people are running out of options because the enemy is psychologically committed to hunting and battling everyone they deem inferior. Saving the day will require a lot of hard bluffing and a serious bit of cleverness—based on some actual science, yay!—to save the day.

It’s not as hard-core military science fiction as the first series, Theirs Not To Reason Why, and there is a bit of a lovestory woven throughout all three books, but to be fair, I try not to write cookie-cutter stories and/or characters. Everything is going to be a bit different than what came before. The previous series was very military, to the point I have been accused dozens of times of surely having served in the military. (Confession: I have not.) This one is far more political, cultural, and first contact confusion & clash in its flavoring, but that’s perfectly fine. When we do have a first contact scenario, once you can communicate in each other’s languages—and the Terrans have a pretty good trick for doing that—then you focus on getting to know each other, and hope you don’t make too many obnoxious-to-the-other-side mistakes out of ignorance as you go along. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Giveaway: Aaron Hodges

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Today I am interviewing Aaron Hodges, author of the new fantasy novel, Soul Blade, final book in The Sword of Light trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Aaron! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Aaron Hodges: Sure thing D.J. I’m a fantasy writer from the country of New Zealand, although right now I’m living in Argentina. I’m an Environmental Scientist by profession, but a few years ago I got tired of the office and quit to see the world (my Overseas Experience or ‘OE’ as we call it in New Zealand). During my travels I picked up an old novel I’d written when I was younger and began to rewrite it. I finally published that first book, Stormwielder, back in December 2015 and to my surprise it kind of took off. Since then I’ve been desperately trying to keep up with the demands of my fans for books 2 and 3!

DJ: What is Book 1: Stormwielder about?

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Aaron: Stormwielder is the first book in my trilogy, so it involves a lot of world building. At its heart though, it’s a tale of redemption. It starts with the introduction of a young man named Eric, who has the power to manipulate the weather. Unfortunately for him and everyone else, Eric cannot control his magic, and inadvertently destroys the unsuspecting town of Oaksville. That act quickly becomes the motivating force behind Eric’s character, as he struggles to find a way to redeem himself. Amidst that struggle, Eric finds himself drawn into an ancient conflict between the Gods and the dark Magicker known as Archon. And it’s all downhill from there!

DJ: What were some of your influences for Soul Blade and The Sword of Light trilogy?

Aaron: I first came up with the idea for this trilogy while I was in High School, so many of the plot and character elements came from what I read back then. Certainly the epic fantasy novels of David Eddings influenced the ‘worldwide conflict’ facets of the story – where the characters of good must join together to save the world from some great evil. But as I’ve grown, other influences also crept into my work. I like to think authors such as Sara Douglass, David Gemmell and Ian Irvine have helped me develop more depth to my characters and world, while still retaining the epic fantasy style plot at its centre. Continue reading

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(Guest Post) Book Review: The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #3) by Erika Johansen

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Jade Sisti or aloneintown is an artist and author. Here is a link to her Facebook page, .

Her first novel, Stagnant Souls, was just published on Amazon kindle.

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The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #3) by Erica Johansen

Publisher: Harper

Publication Date: November 29, 2016

Edition: Paperback, 496 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5


It was everything I was hoping for in a conclusion and then some.
Continue reading

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Author Interview: Will Panzo

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Today I am interviewing Will Panzo, debut author of the new grimdark, fantasy novel, The Burning Isle.

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DJ: Hey Will! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Will Panzo: Thanks for having me! I’m a physician assistant by trade, working in a busy emergency room, but writing is my passion. The Burning Isle is my debut novel. I live in New York City with my fiancé.

DJ: What is The Burning Isle about?

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Will: I describe it as a dark and violent revenge tale, set in a fantasy ancient Rome with lots of intrigue and lots of magic.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Burning Isle?

Will: The story is, on one level, about a mysterious stranger who arrives in a lawless island run by two gangs, and his attempts to play both sides against each other. In this way, the story has obvious ties to Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Dashiel Hammet’s Red Harvest. On another level, the story is a dark revenge story with a central mystery that acts as the primary driver of the action. I love revenge stories but my favorite is probably The Count of Monte Cristo.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them? 

Will: Cassius is a young spellcaster, very naïve and very powerful. Obsessed with myths and legends, he fancies himself a kind of white knight figure who comes to this lawless town, Scipio, to right a great injustice. Although he strives to live by a strict moral code, he’s soon confronted by a harsh world that tests his resolve. Death and violence seems to be the only means to effect change. It’s tough work and it weighs on Cassius heavily. I think it’s the dissonance between these two aspects of Cassius, the hero he wants to be and the hardened killer he has to become to do his work, that is most compelling. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Nik Abnett

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Sci-Fi November is a month-long blog event hosted by Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow. It was created to celebrate everything amazing about science fiction. From TV shows to movies, books to comics, and everything else in between, it was intended to help us share our love and passion for this genre and its many, many fandoms.


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Today I am interviewing Nik Abnett, author of the new science-fiction novel, Savant.

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DJ: Hey Nik! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Nik Abnett: Hi, and thank you for having me.
Some readers will know my work for the Black Library on Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. I’ve also collaborated with my husband, the writer Dan Abnett, on a couple of Lara Croft, Tomb Raider novels and on Fiefdom for Rebellion, which was a tie-in novel to the Kingdom comic strip in 2000AD. I also write short stories for anyone who asks, and I contributed the backmatter for the acclaimed comic book Wild’s End by Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard. I’ve been writing, editing and proof-reading tie-in fiction for almost twenty years, so, with Savant I wanted to branch out and do something very different, and more personal.

DJ: What is Savant about?

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Nik: This really ought to be the simplest question in the World, but it’s the one I always struggle with most. Here goes: Savant is about a symbiotic relationship between two people, against the backdrop of a controlling state in the middle of a global crisis.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Savant?

Nik: Influences come from all over the place. I like twentieth century SF, including 80s movies, but I think the inspiration for Savant came from other things, too. I was influenced by ideas around Autism and parenting. And, to some degree, this is also a political novel; thematically, I thought a lot about the rights of the individual and how much the state can, and does, interfere in peoples’ lives.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers will sympathize with them?

Nik: My main characters work very much as a pair, and they are opposites in many ways. Active Tobe is all about thinking, he’s a savant/mathematician, and he’s all quirks and habits. Metoo, Tobe’s carer, is all about feeling, making sure that all the routines and coping strategies are in place so that Tobe can do his job. I think both characters are compelling, because they are two sides of all of us, but polarized. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Benedict Patrick

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Today I am interviewing Benedict Patrick, contestant in the 2016 SPFBO and author of the new fantasy novel, Where the Water Turns Black.

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DJ: Hey Benedict! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Benedict Patrick: Hi DJ, thanks for taking the time to chat again. I’m an Irishman, now happily living in Scotland with my wife and kids. A pen has never been far from my hands, but a few years ago I ditched computer games to throw myself into storytelling. I published my first novel, They Mostly Come Out At Night, earlier this year. Some people liked it, mostly because of the cover. Mostly.

DJ: What is Where the Water Turns Black about?

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Benedict Patrick: The book is the tale of a young woman called Kaimana, an ocarina player who travels with her performing troupe by canoe between the many islands that make up the Crescent Atoll. Kaimana begins the story in frustration, wanting to find inspiration so she can compose a song that will make her known across the entire Atoll. Her wish comes true in the form of a giant, mythical monster living in a cave. Hijinks ensue.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Where the Water Turns Black?

Benedict Patrick: When I was a younger man, I spent a summer travelling around New Zealand. I was fascinated by what I learned of Maori culture during that time, and the image of Kaimana and her monster lurking in the water beneath her has been with me since then. Continue reading

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