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Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Dragon Of A Different Color by Rachel Aaron (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website  
Order “A Dragon Of  A Different ColorHERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Nice Dragons Finish Last"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "One Good Dragon Deserves Another"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "The Spirit Thief
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Rebellion” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit Eater” & “Spirit’s Oath” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of “The Spirit War” 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Spirit's End"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Fortune's Pawn"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Honor's Knight"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of "Heaven's Queen"
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Eli Monpress series completion interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Interview with Rachel Bach
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Heartstrikers interview with Rachel Aaron
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Second Heartstrikers interview with Rachel Aaron
Read "Why A Nice Dragon" by Rachel Aaron (Guest post)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Rachel Aaron lives in Athens, Georgia with her family. She has graduated from University of Georgia with a B.A. in English Literature. She has been an avid reader since her childhood and now has an ever-growing collection to show for it. She loves gaming, Manga comics & reality TV police shows. She also posts regularly on her blog about publishing, books and several other intriguing things.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: To save his family from his tyrannical mother, Julius had to step on a lot of tails. That doesn’t win a Nice Dragon many friends, but just when he thinks he’s starting to make progress, a new threat arrives. Turns out, things can get worse. Heartstriker hasn’t begun to pay for its secrets, and the dragons of China are here to collect. When the Golden Emperor demands his surrender, Julius will have to choose between loyalty to the sister who's always watched over him and preserving the clan he gave everything to protect.

CLASSIFICATION: The Heartstriker series is an action-packed urban fantasy series with a strong dose of comedy, post-apocalyptic SF themes and dragons.

FORMAT/INFO: A Dragon Of A Different Color is 506 pages long divided over seventeen numbered chapters with a prologue and an epilogue. Narration is in the third person via Julius Heartstriker, Chelsie Heartstriker, Algonquin, Bob “Brohomir” Heartstriker & one more person who will have to go unnamed because of SPOILERS. This is the fourth volume of the Heartstriker series.

July 28, 2017 will mark the e-book & paperback publication of A Dragon Of A Different Color and it will be self-published by the author. Cover art and design is by Anna Steinbauer.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: A Dragon Of A Different Color is the fourth Heartstriker book and the title is a strong indicator about the plot of the book for those who want to take a stab at guessing. The plot of this book literally starts moments after the shocking events of No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished. We see Julius who is very distraught upon learning about the shocking death that was the climax of NGDGU. He's also not entirely prepared to learn about what events have befallen Amelia & Bob. To add to it, Julius and the other heads of the Hearstrikers council soon learn that they are being invaded by the Chinese dragons and to top to it all, the Golden Emperor is on his way. Safe to say things aren't looking all that well and to add to it all Bob has missing and Julius really doesn't know whom to trust.

This book is a hard one to review since it's the penultimate volume so talking about even the basic plot is going to be hard. Simply because many things that are happening/mentioned in this volume will be spoilers for all of the previous volumes. Plus I can't really talk about one whole plot thread simply because of SPOILERS. Still I’ll persevere, the first thread focusses nicely on Julius as we find him at his wit’s end without his support from the earlier books. He has achieved what he set out to do but soon finds that heavy lies the head that wears the proverbial crown. The Heartstrikers Mountain now wears a slightly deserted look and Julius finds himself with more questions as he find out what transpired when he was getting the council instated. But before he can come to terms with his anguish over the loss of his loved ones, he finds that duty calls as the Golden Emperor and the Chinese clan have decided to take over their territory. Julius will soon have to learn why the Golden Emperor is so feared by everyone including his own dragons (the author does a nice twist on the all-powerful emperor trope & as to why is he so feared by his own).

The second tract of the book is amazing and it’s even more horrible as to why I can’t talk about it in this review. But safe to say that it reveals a major secret about what truly happened more than a millennia ago and why did the magic disappear. Why do the spirits fear and abhor human magic? We also get a POV from Algonquin. Lastly this tract runs parallel to Julius and is the more intriguing of the two IMO. The only spoiler I can say about it is that readers who were so distraught by the ending the NGDGU will absolutely love it for a reason they won’t expect and not for the reason that they think. The characterization as with the previous books has been spectacular but with this book we truly get to see some emotional & romantic payback. There’s two scenes both featuring Chelsie which will absolutely pull on the readers’ hearts. I thought that the first one was an awesome tearjerker because of the buildup from book 3 and the latter one just plays out beautifully as it reinforces the bond of family among individuals who have been denied these emotions for a long, long time.

It’s to the author’s credit that these scenes don’t just seem caricaturish but will make the readers truly happy as we get to see the characters experience certain emotions & bonds that have never experienced in their long lives. One drawback though for readers who expect a happy & cheerful Julius will be slightly disappointed as our Nice Dragon isn’t the same with his recent losses but he still has his brains and resourcefulness. Going on the plot of the book, it’s a dual thread one and moves at an absolute breakneck pace so readers will constantly be wanting to finish chapters and move ahead to find what happens in the climax.

Talking about the world building, besides the first book, each book has taken a strong look in to the past and given the backgrounds of several things. The second book dealt with the dragons and revealed all about them. The third book revealed a lot about human magic and the history of the Merlins. The third book also hinted about Chelsie's past and gave several pointers about her big secret. This fourth volume is another crackerjack of a story thanks to the reveal about Chelsie and what really happened in China. This book also deals with spirits and their connections to humans, the land and the source of magic. This book is essentially the big revelation book which kind of unveils all the big secrets that have been hidden so far. This book does everything except tie up the story in a nice bow, you have to admire Rachel Aaron's plotting skills as this story hits so many high points while moving the story in a streamlined way.

These books very much read like seasons of a TV show and I would love it if someone were to adapt to it. This book has it all crazy action, several emotional scenes (this will make sense when you read the book), in fact one character's power hinges entirely on emotion and the way it is resolved is almost beautiful to watch. There's a solid tract that I can't talk and the only thing I can say is that this book lays bare to the whole reason for the return of magic and what truly happened nearly a millennia ago. I loved how carefully the author has structured the story with all of its reveals. Lastly the epilogue of this book is a stunner as it literally sets of a timebomb of sorts.

The last book will be chaotic and intense and potentially world ending exactly as Bob wants it. In case if you are wondering how much of a role Bob has to play, it's exactly as this review, he's there in the start and towards the end but his impact can't be understated. Rachel has specifically stated in her 2016 interview with us as to how important Bob is to the story and in this book we get the biggest confirmation about this fact. Lastly we also learn the truth about Bob's favorite pigeon and the reveal has absolutely been worth the wait. This book is the proper culmination of so many threads that have been running since book 1 and it is an absolute pleasure to read them being brought together in an intense & emotional tapestry. This book’s ending is also going to make you want the last book Last Dragon Standing right now (very similar to its predecessor). I can’t tell you how much I want to read the fifth volume and see what an explosive ending Rachel has planned for us all.

CONCLUSION: I’ve said it all along that Rachel Aaron is one hell of a story teller and her plotting skills & imagination are truly what make one of the best in not only the urban fantasy genre but possibly the whole of speculative fiction. A Dragon Of A Different Color is the penultimate book in the Hearstrikers series but it possibly is the most striking with regards to its emotional resonance among all the books so far. Rachel Aaron continues her fine form and easily shows why she’s the true mother of dragons in the art of storytelling.

Friday, July 28, 2017

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part IX (by M. D. Presley)


All good things must come to an end, and we’re going out with a bang on this, our last giveaway before the massive Grand Prize. Four lucky winners will get this great selection made up of four of Fantasy Book Review’s biggest bruisers including a misguided savior, a goddess’ influence, a new partnership and a new take on Merlin.

To enter, leave a comment here on the blog, or head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154604328626993

Jennifer M Baldwin: The Thirteen Treasures of Britain

Official Author Website, Twitter, & Facebook pages



Official Blurb: 1,400 years is a long time to be asleep. Even for a wizard. Especially for a wizard who has to stop an ancient prophesy from coming true.

By the time Merlin wakes up from his enchanted sleep, it’s 1985, the legendary Thirteen Treasures of Britain are missing, and his magic is starting to fade.



To make matters worse, in twelve days’ time, it will be Midsummer’s Day: the prophesied day when the old gods will return to Britain and wreak havoc on its people. If the Treasures fall into the wrong hands, the gods will rise, thousands will die, and Britain will be utterly transformed by chaos.



In the old days — the days of Camelot and King Arthur — Merlin would’ve sent someone else on the quest for the Treasures. But now, with time running out and everything at stake, he’s ready to take up the quest himself.



The search for the Treasures will take him from the realms of Faerie to the Land of Dreams, and from the streets of Glastonbury to the distant reaches of the solar system, where he’ll meet friends and foes alike, including Arthur Pendragon, Morgana Le Fay, and a panther-like creature called the Cath Palug — the “slashing cat” with a taste for king’s blood.

D. Thourson Palmer: Ours Is the Storm

Official Author Facebook & Twitter pages 



Official Blurb: Revik Lasivar knows he is a savior. He knows he will never be defeated. He knows he is fighting for good. 



Everything Revik Lasivar knows is a lie.



Revik is the last scion of a legendary family, destined to deliver his kingdom. Ahi'rea is the nomad seeress fighting to destroy it. Her power of foresight and ruthless tactics threaten to undo all Revik’s efforts, so he embarks on a last crusade to destroy her and her people. When the savior and seeress cross swords, however, the deceptions they uncover will change both of them, and their world, forever.

J.C.Hart: Serafina’s Flame

Official Author Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram pages  


Official Blurb: When the goddess calls, how will you respond? 


Carmel must break free of her captivity to honor her son's dying wish, and in doing so try to reconnect with the goddess she believes abandoned her. Vana, who struggled so hard to keep her daughter safe, now has to leave her people to rescue her from a threat she never saw coming. And Aida, once stolen, has now been returned, but she'll never be the same again. 


Serafina's Flame is the story of these three women and how their lives intertwine. Can they put the past behind them in order to save their people? 


Can they rekindle Serafina's Flame?

Catharine Glen: The Rose Crown

Official Author Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads pages 



Official Blurb: Elite soldier Marian serves and protects the royal family—a responsibility she does not take lightly. But when she thwarts an assassination attempt on the king, she unwittingly becomes a prime suspect. Worse, she is left with a terrible, pulsing wound and vile, intrusive thoughts that are not her own. Now, the mysterious cult behind the attack has targeted her, and Marian soon learns of their goal to restore a devastating relic: the legendary Rose Crown.



Former mercenary Henryk has vowed to prevent the restoration of the Rose Crown at any cost. When he encounters Marian, he discovers the terrifying truth of her involvement—and the mortal danger they both face. Drawn together by the very thing that could destroy them, Henryk and Marian must forge a bond of trust—before it’s too late.



Can Marian battle against the ancient darkness consuming her soul, or will it utterly destroy them both?

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part VIII (by M. D. Presley)


Our three-week giveaway now winding down, we certainly haven’t run out of steam with this smattering of Ventureadlaxre books. Four winners will be treated to violent fairies, magic derived from gemstones, and even a dying Earth beset by insects.

To enter, leave a comment here on the blog, or head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154598084176993

Jesse Teller: Liefdom: A Tale from Perilisc

Official Author Website, Facebook, Goodreads, & Twitter pages 


Official Blurb: A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for his differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?

RS McCoy: The Killing Jar

Official Author Website, Facebook & Instagram pages 


Official Blurb: Earth is dying, circling the drain on life support. The future of the human race depends on space exploration, but they’re running out of time. Parasitic insects are systematically killing the best scientific minds but no one knows why. 

Mable Wilkinson is the last hope to figure it out, she just doesn’t know it yet. For years, her resourcefulness, intelligence, and penchant for problem-solving have put her at the top of a very short list of researchers, only she doesn’t want to be part of it. 

Cast out at sixteen, Mable wrote off the problems of the world long ago. Now, her focus is on Hadley, her adopted little sister, and teaching her to survive in the cut-throat underground. Instead, both Mable and Hadley fall into the hands of the program’s recruiter, Silas Arrenstein, and he’s determined to have one of them. Mable can join up with the man and program who killed her brother, or she can leave Hadley to the same fate.

Kay L. Ling: Beyond the Forest

Official Author Website, Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest pages   


Official Blurb: Lana can draw arcane powers from gemstones. When she started reading the folklore, it sounded farfetched. She should have closed the books right then and walked away. Special abilities are nothing but trouble. Someone always wants you to do something impossible. Or dangerous. Usually both. Like going through a portal to save an oppressed race in another world. In this case, gnomes, whose ruler happens to be a gem master queen with unimaginable powers.

Lana decides an exploratory mission seems harmless. She can visit the other world and come up with a plan. Who knew there would be flying serpents, carnivorous insects, and goblin-like mutant gnomes? Or that she'd end up in a dungeon while the queen decides whether to kill her or turn her into an enchanted creature? The gem master hopes to rule Lana's world next, and has already set plans in motion. Lana is determined to escape from the dungeon, but then what? She has two potential allies with gem powers, and she's afraid of both. But with two worlds in danger, and time running out, she may have to trust them.

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Win a Copy of Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty





Follow the Serafina series on Facebook and Instagram
Follow the author on Twitter
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram


Fantasy Book Critic is excited to partner with Disney-Hyperion to offer this amazing giveaway for Serafina and the Splintered Heart. Serafina is a favorite series of mine and I am so excited to be able to offer you a chance to win a copy of the newly released Serafina and the Splintered Heart!

For the giveaway, one lucky winner will get a copy of Serafina and the Splintered Heart and a pair of customized earrings that go along with the book! 



Details for the giveaway are below, but before we get to that lets learn more about Serafina!

Learn about the Serafina Series:
Set in the magical Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Robert Beatty’s #1 New York Times best-selling series stars the fierce, resilient character of Serafina, a wild girl longing for kinship and struggling to understand her place in the world. This timeless story of finding one’s true family and best self chronicles an epic battle between good and evil and rewrites the rules of who can be a hero.

Book 1: Serafina and the Black Cloak
Book 2: Serafina and the Twisted Staff
Book 3: Serafina and the Splintered Heart

Learn about Serafina and the Splintered Heart:
The storms are coming....

Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.

A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late.

With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home.

In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty’s #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.



About the Author
Robert Beatty lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and three daughters. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives he was one of the pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the CTO and chairman of Narrative magazine. Visit him online at www.robert-beatty.com.
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1. This contest is open to the US.
2. Contest starts July 24, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. EST and ends July 31, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. EST. Entries after this time period will not be considered. 
3. Only one entry per person. 
4. To enter please send an email with the subject "SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART" to FBCgiveaway@gmail.com. Please include your name, email, and physical address you want the book sent to. 
5. One entry will be picked at random to win a copy. 
6. All entries will be deleted once a winner is picked and contacted.

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part VII (by M. D. Presley)


We’ve reached the final week of our SPFBO giveaway, but as we round the last turn as we hurtle towards the Grand Prize of over 40 books, there’s still plenty of goodies to grab along the way. Four winners will be treated to today’s haul, mostly coming from The Qwillery’s cohort, features a murder mystery, woefully mismatched quest partners, a girl hatched from a dragon’s egg, and a lightning-wielding prince.

To enter, leave a comment here on the blog, or head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154598079551993

James Jakins: Son of Thunder

Official Author Facebook & Twitter pages.


Official Blurb: In the country of Sohlgain, all young men are expected to chain a dragon and claim its charge. For Berun Toirnach, the eldest son of the nation’s ruler, this means venturing onto a dragon reserve and hunting a wild dragon. A tradition his family has upheld for generations. 

The aftermath of this hunt will shape Berun’s life. He is given a position as a Thunder Priest and gifted the power to control lightning, Berun must decide what to do with this new power. Will he use it selfishly, or will he use it for the benefit of his country?

Years later, in an attempt to escape responsibility for a short time, Berun and his friends take a trip to the idyllic beachside city of Hurthow, where an ancient festival is celebrated by locals and foreigners alike.

But the safety and warmth of the sun and sand is an illusion. Dangerous enemies wait, hiding behind smiles and cold eyes.

Soon the lives of Berun’s friends and family are put in danger, and the young prince must rely on his power and his allies, old and new, to save them. His father's most trusted bodyguard, a disgraced assassin known for his skill and ruthless precision. A young God Mage and her companions. And a coward with a power he's afraid to use. All of them will be needed to save those threatened. But time is against them and their enemies have secrets of their own.

Sonya Black: The Snow White Files

Official Author Website, Facebook & Twitter pages



Official Blurb: Brendan Hunter is a private investigator stuck on dead-end cases until seven dwarves show up in his office and offer him a King’s ransom to track down a missing girl. Their description of Lily Whitaker sparks his imagination, leading him into the dark world of twisted fairy tales, magical machinations, and political gambits...

"It's Casablanca meets The Dresden Files with a fairytale twist."

Pauline M. Ross: The Dragon’s Egg

Official Author Website


Official Blurb: A stand-alone epic fantasy set in the Brightmoon world…

Garrett has been many things in his time… street hustler, warrior, professional gambler, spy. He’ll do whatever is asked of him, legal or not. Now he’s paid to search for those with a touch of magic in them. But magic is unpredictable and hard to find, and he doesn’t have much luck until he meets Dru, whose family claim she hatched from a dragon’s egg. She looks different, doesn’t say a lot, and likes to talk to the chickens, though they don’t listen much. There might be real power behind her strangeness, if she could only learn how to reach it.

When Garrett is asked to escort Dru on a journey, accompanied by a scholar, a princess, a guard and a priest, it seems like a simple enough mission, until they fall into the hands of raiders. Garrett has lived on his wits all his life, but he’ll need all his talents, and a little magic too, to get them out of this mess and reach safety.

If he can manage that, maybe he’ll find out the secret of the dragon’s egg, and the girl who hatched from it.

Dorian Hart: The Ventifact Colossus

Official Author Website & Twitter page



Official Blurb: Banished to an otherworldly prison for centuries, the monstrous Emperor Naradawk is about to break free and wreak havoc upon the world of Spira. The archmage Abernathy can no longer keep Naradawk at bay, and has summoned a collection of would-be heroes to help set things right.

Surely he made a mistake. These can’t be the right people.

Dranko is a priest-turned-pickpocket, expelled from his church for his antics. Kibilhathur is a painfully shy craftsman who speaks to stones. Aravia is a wizard’s apprentice whose intellect is eclipsed only by her arrogance. Ernest is a terrified baker’s son. Morningstar is a priestess forbidden from daylight. Tor is a young nobleman with attention issues. Ysabel is an elderly farm woman. Grey Wolf is a hard-bitten mercenary.

None of them are qualified to save the world, but they’ll have to do. Even Abernathy himself seems uncertain as to why he chose them.

What starts with a simple scouting mission soon spirals into something more far-reaching and sinister. The heroes will contest with dream warriors, evil cultists, sentient gemstones, and a devious yet infuriatingly polite gentleman with a perfect mustache, on their way to a desperate encounter with the unstoppable: The Ventifact Colossus.

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

Friday, July 21, 2017

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part VI (by M. D. Presley)


Closing out our second week of the SPFBO giveaway, we again bring together three digital books from one blog’s selections: Fantasy Faction. With divergent settings ranging from Elven farms to sprawling fantasy epics, to even some Romans thrown in, this giveaway promised over 1,000 pages for four winners to while away their summer with.

To enter, leave a comment here on the blog, or head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154576671566993

Ryan M. Meuller: Empire of Chains

Official Author Website, Facebook, & Twitter pages



Official Blurb: Five hundred years ago, powerful magic sealed Emperor Darien Warrick inside a ring of mountains. For five hundred years, his subjects have been trapped beside him. Some say he’s evil and these actions were necessary. Others say he’s a man willing to sacrifice anything for the greater good.



To young noblewoman Nadia, he is nothing but a murderer. On the day Warrick’s executioner takes her mother’s head, Nadia dedicates her life to one goal: killing Warrick. She spends her days training with the castle guard, her nights poring over the notes her mother left behind. In them, she finds the location of the only spell that can defeat the immortal sorcerer. But it feels too convenient. If she is to succeed in her quest, she must figure out Warrick’s true motivations and outsmart him.



For young woodsman Markus, Warrick is the man who owns him. Markus has spent his entire life training to become an Imperial Guard, but it’s a future he can’t stomach. However, it’s the only option he has, or at least the only sane one.



Until he meets Nadia.



Reformed thief Berig doesn’t care about Warrick one way or the other. Berig would rather keep his head down and try to scratch out what meager living he can. But in a world like this, he’ll never get what he wants.



Warrick has other plans.

Brandon Draga: The Summerlark Elf

Official Author Facebook, Instagram & Twitter pages






Official Blurb: Enna Summerlark has spent her entire life as a farmer's daughter in the kingdom of Hallowspire, paying little mind to anything past what to sell at the next market day. When the next market day comes, however, strange events take place that will reunite her with an old friend, bring her into the world of a pair of sell-swords, and reveal a secret that will change Hallowspire forever, and cause ripples across the whole of the Four Kingdoms.



The first book in "The Four Kingdoms Saga", The Summerlark Elf introduces readers to compelling characters in an engaging world of swords and sorcery, personal turmoil and political intrigue!

Frances Smith: Spirit of the Sword: Pride and Fury

Official Author Website & Twitter page



Official Blurb: The Divine Empire teeters on the brink of collapse, riven by division and ravaged by a lack of purpose in its soul. Miranda Callistus, the first Aurelian mage born in five hundred years, may have the power to save the Empire from itself...if she decides that the proud and vainglorious nation is worth saving.



Meanwhile, believing that Miranda's life is in danger, her estranged brother Michael sets forth to her rescue, hoping to prove himself a true hero on the battlefield. But the allies he gathers to his side may be as dangerous to Miranda as any of her enemies.



While Michael fights against his foes, Miranda banters with them in the parlours of the Empire’s great families. Princes, princesses and patricians all claim to have the cure for the Empire’s sickness, and all seek to bend Miranda to their will – or break her, for if they cannot make her their friend then none in the capital will hesitate to make her a corpse.

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part V (by M. D. Presley)


If only hump day meant more camels in our lives—one hump or two, it makes no matter—life would be significantly better for everyone involved. Alas, we can only offer succor in the form of three fantasy fans picking up digital copies of these three SPFBO competitors.

But then, to sweeten the deal even further, we’re adding one FREE SPFBO download for everyone who wants it. Look for the link at the bottom of the post as you gorge your eyes and imaginations while checking out the three other entrants for the daily giveaway.

To enter, leave a comment here on the blog, or head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154571640471993

Maya Starling: Dragon’s Treasure

Official Author Facebook & Twitter pages


Official Blurb: “She was the girl who longed for the freedom of the dragon, and he was the dragon who longed to be a man.”



A heroine reclaiming her fate. A dragon with a secret. A prince on a quest.



Olivia flees to the forest seeking freedom from her family’s demands. She finds refuge in a cave, only to discover it is a dragon’s lair. The dragon, Kaden, is not the monster she first thinks him to be. After overcoming her initial fright – of not being eaten – Olivia discovers that the dragon has a gentle heart.



Kaden is resigned to loneliness after centuries of wandering the lands. Meeting Olivia brings joy to his solitary life, and never has he dreamed that a young woman would be the one to start the change in him.

A storm brews on the horizon.

A prince with a handsome face and a cruel heart is on a quest to slay the dragon, and take the throne. He will do whatever it takes to have what he believes is his to own. And now, he has his eyes set on the pretty little maiden from the forest. He will make her his Queen, whether she wants it or not.

Beth Hammond: The Sound of the Stones

Official Author Website



Official Blurb: An ancient book

A hidden prophecy

A quest to save humanity



When Frankie breaks the binding on an ancient book Ashra's world intertwines with her own. 



Evil seeks to destroy humanity, but Ashra is more powerful than she knows. As a new king ascends the throne both her virtue and her life are in danger. She risks everything to flee the city in search of answers. In her quest to save humanity she finds love, uncovers mysteries from the past, and unlocks a primordial magic she never knew she had. 



The multi perspective, epic setting of Game of Thrones meets the "book within a book" concept of The Never Ending Story. With a sense of humor similar to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and romantic undertones reminiscent of The Name of the Wind, The Sound of the Stones appeals to a wide fantasy loving audience.

Jeramy Goble: Souls of Astaeus
Official Author Website, Facebook, & Twitter pages


Official Blurb: The Astraeans access their millions of previous lives whenever they wish. Their semi-immortality is a curse as well as a blessing. 


Book one of the completed Akallian Tales trilogy, Souls of Astraeus, is a fresh take on fantasy adventure, and plunges you into the fight among a myriad of worlds and characters.


Everyone has a part in this story.

When Akal Atka loses his wife and dies from a related horror, he is slammed into an awareness of being the owner of millions of previous lives. As he struggles to adapt to the steep learning curve of ancient reincarnation, Akal learns he is only one of many with access to his semi-immortal gift.


With the death of his last regular life's love still fresh in his soul, Akal seeks to take advantage of his new abilities to somehow go back and prevent her death. Akal fails to do so however, and has no choice but to slow down and show his past lives the proper respect they deserve. As he grows in the wisdom of this patience, Akal develops relationships with others like him, and sets upon a path of discovery that reveals he and his comrades are not alone in their presumed authority over the multiverse.

D.E. Olsen: The Eagle’s Flight (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Official Author Website & Facebook page


Official Blurb: Peace in the Seven Realms of Adalmearc is only as strong as those who rule them. With the death of the high king and his heir too young to assume the throne, political intrigues fill the landscape as the leading noble families scheme and plot their way to power. Meanwhile, enemies abroad sense the changes and make their own preparations.  

Standing as a safeguard against both foreign foes as well as enemies closer to heart are the Order and its knights. Keeping the realms of Adalmearc united and at peace is their foremost duty. But when the strife turns political and the enemy is difficult to discern, when alliances shift and allegiances are torn, even the hitherto unassailable honour of a knight may become stained.  

The Eagle's Flight compiles the first three of the Chronicles of Adalmearc. It is a journey into the world of Adal, its realms, peoples, cultures, and conflicts.

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

Monday, July 17, 2017

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part IV (by M. D. Presley)


Well, our first week of giveaways is now under our belt with nary a hitch. Messages are out to our first 16 winners, and now it’s time to turn our attention to the second week with the first giveaway revolving around four digital copies of books in Kitty G’s stable.

Feel free to put on your figurative (or literal) judge’s cap as you peruse this eclectic lot. All four kick off their own series to open up their own unique worlds, and if we were trying to make a sentence combining bits of each of their titles, it would go a little something like this: “The Eighth God uses The Sword to Sunder the Crown in the Darklands.”

To enter, leave a comment here on the blog, or head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154565072571993

M.L. Spencer: Darkstorm

Official Author Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads pages  


Official Blurb: Braden and Quin Reis share a tragic past, but it’s now up to them to save the future. When a secret conspiracy resorts to harnessing the powers of the Netherworld to save their legacy, Braden and Quin are the only mages capable of stopping them. But these two would-be heroes are compromised, harboring terrible secrets.



Can Braden and Quin put aside their differences long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they relent and join the conspiracy?



Darkstorm is the prequel to the epic grimdark fantasy series The Rhenwars Saga. If you like morally gray antiheroes, page-turning action, and mind-boggling plot twists, then you’ll love Spencer’s award-winning series.

T.H. Paul: The Legacy Chronicle: The Sword

Official Author Facebook, & Twitter pages 



Official Blurb: In The Sword, the first volume of his new fantasy series The Legacy Chronicle, T.H. Paul brings you into a vast world of gods and mortals. The story of The Sword follows the life of Trem Waterhound, a half-elven hermit who, against his own judgment, heals and befriends a wounded young man when he finds his unconscious body in the thick undergrowth of Silverleaf Forest. 

Together, Trem and his former patient, Jovanaleth, embark on a journey to find Jovan's missing father. Along the way they become embroiled in a conflict that extends across the mortal world of Teth-tenir and even into the Godly Realms, and both are forced to confront their past in order to face an even more dangerous future.

Paul Lavender: The Eighth God

Official Author site


Official Blurb: For thousands of years, five great fortresses have stood sentinel between the Borderlands and the rapacious Orcs. But the Orcs have allies and these allies are about to set a chain of events in motion that will lead to war...
Heroes will rise to answer the call.



Saethryth has just returned from the Orc Lands where he has been killing them for over twenty years. He is one of the last Orcslayers left alive.

 Melress is a Half-Elven Battle Mage, recently promoted to Captain and sent to the fortress of Knight's Perch, where there are rumours of a traitor.

 

Tierra has been sleeping with the enemy and now she wants revenge.

 And Bazak-Kul, well he just wants to get home alive.

They, and others, will face the onslaught at Knight's Perch, but battle is the least of anyone's problems, because The Eighth God is on the rise and everything can change when the Gods are playing.

Matthew Olney: Heir to the Sundered Crown

Official Author Facebook page


Official Blurb: A realm torn asunder by civil war will give rise to a hero. 

The Kingdom of Delfinnia is in chaos. After assassins kill the king and his family, greedy self serving men battle one another for the crown. Unknown to them is that one heir yet lives, a baby boy now hidden and protected. 



In the mage city of Caldaria is a boy named Luxon. A young mage who will discover his past and his powers. For he will one day become known as the Legendary, the wizard who would break the world, the man who would embrace death and live and the hero who would give a realm its greatest king. 



Sent on a quest to find the one responsible for the King's assassination Luxon teams up with Ferran of the Blackmoor the legendary Nightblade and hunter of fell beasts, Sophia Cunning the land’s greatest witch hunter and Kaiden, a noble knight sworn to defend the world from darkness. 

Together they find the answers they seek, but the truth is far worse than anyone could possibly imagine. 



The Heir to the Sundered Crown is a fantasy tale that will ignite the imagination and set the stage for an epic battle between the light and the darkness.

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

Friday, July 14, 2017

2017 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off Giveaway Part III (by M. D. Presley)


I can’t promise this will be the last time I go to the High Fidelity well, but I will assure you that it will be the last time this week (TGIF!). But you should all know that the making of a great giveaway, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You got to kick it off with a killer (done) to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch (also done). But you don’t wanna blow your wad, so you got to cool it off a notch.

And what could be cooler than the theme of this, our third giveaway, where all three competitors are currently battling it out under the Booknest blog banner? Only one has the opportunity to rise to the position of Booknest’s champion, and four folks now have the chance to sample nearly one third of Booknest’s crop and decide for themselves which one they’d personally advance.

As always, head on over to Fantasy Book Critic’s Facebook page and SHARE this post to enter for a chance to win. I assure you, you’ll be glad you did. https://www.facebook.com/fantasybookcritic/posts/10154554860256993

Darrell Drake: A Star-Reckoner’s Lot

Official Author Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook Pages 


Official Blurb: Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there's ever been.



It is said she commanded the might of constellations—though her spells often backfired. That her exploits caused the stars themselves to pause and take notice. It is said that, though dogged with illness, she crossed the lands of Iran in pursuit of demons that have since passed into myth, and brought them to heel.



She is spoken of in hushed tones, in half-truths and lesser lies.



Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there's ever been. This is the story of her path... a warning to those who would follow in her footsteps.

Russ Linton: Pilgrim of the Storm

Official Author Facebook page 


Official Blurb: Sidge knows the rituals of the Stormblade Temple in meticulous detail. He has mastered every word, every phrase of the twelve thousand mantras. Among those who seek to defend humankind, he is a model in every way except one.

 He isn't human.



Adopted by an eccentric mentor, Sidge has never known his own people, an insectoid race more often pressed into menial labor than meditation. The temple is his entire life. Yet for many of his fellow acolytes, his presence is an affront to their vigil against an ancient foe who once held all mankind captive.



Dark omens follow Sidge on his first pilgrimage. The Wisdom of the mighty storm dragon, Vasheru, seeks a new vessel to lead the temple and the most likely candidate sees Sidge as an abomination. He and his mentor begin a desperate attempt to compete for the title. But an encounter with a streetwise woman named Kaaliya sets off a chain of events millennia in the making which will reshape Sidge’s destiny.



His first journey outside the temple walls will not only test Sidge’s faith but his sense of identity as he races to ensure his beloved temple does not fall into the wrong hands. 

Tara Saunders: Requiem for the Wolf
Official Author Facebook & Twitter pages 


Official Blurb: They told him that the Lost were animals. Crazed and brutal, they said, a danger to themselves and others. Hero, they called him, for providing the mercy of a clean death. They lied.



The Tiarna Beo is a land frozen in the still moment between acts of savage violence. Forty years after a Purging that drove an entire race either into the ground or north through the mountains, every man watches his words and his neighbour. Only a fool draws attention to himself, and only the suicidal travel from the North.



Growing up fatherless in a cold and grieving home, Breag had a clear vision for his future – a good woman, a family of his own and a quiet life. When his good woman betrays him, her confederates force him into the Tiarna on a mission to find one of the Lost and bring it home to be sacrificed. Mired in hopeless duty and wandering rootless among people who would kill him if they knew what he was, Breag struggles to hold on to the frayed edges of his humanity.



But no good deed goes unpunished. When his rescue of a brutalised young woman reveals her to be the Lost he has spent eight years hunting, Breag is forced to choose between her life and his future. And she’s not prepared to go quietly. Breag’s choice will create ripples that ignite the fumes of anger among his people and theirs, and ultimately to burn the entire kingdom down around his ears.

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Official Author Website
Order The Woven Ring HERE

Bio: MD Presley
is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout. But if you’ve ever got a hankering for some grimdark gunpowder fantasy with a female anti-hero, check him out at mdpresley.com.

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