Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall of Thrones and Thorns: a Fantasy Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Release Day Blitz for
Fall of Thrones and Thorns
By Jennifer Ellision

We're celebrating the release of this newest addition in the Threats of Sky and Sea series! If you haven't started this series yet, you can grab the first book in ebook for only 99¢. If you enjoy fantasy, you do not want to miss it! Make sure you check out the excerpt and giveaway below as well...


Note from the Author
I grew up fascinated with stories of women in fantasy worlds, like Tamora Pierce's works. I was captivated by tales of magic, like Sailor Moon and Harry Potter. Held spellbound by stories where people wielded the elements like another limb, as in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
These are the stories I love.
And so, I wrote books that I would want to read.
With stories like these, it's no wonder that my debut series, Threats of Sky and Sea takes place in a fantasy world. With Elemental characters. With a strong female main character.
And with the final book in the series, Fall of Thrones and Thorns, out into the world today, that story is complete. Readers can now inhabit this world, and live with these characters as much as I do.
I hope you enjoy the adventures as much as I have.
— Jennifer

Fall of Thrones and Thorns
(Threats of Sky and Sea #3)
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 234 pages
September 27th 2016

War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.

After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.

And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.

The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.

Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.

In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.

And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.


Excerpt from Fall of Thrones and Thorns

My hand lingers on the window frame, thinking. I’ve read book after book about Nereidium. Every spare bit of text on a page that I could get my hands on.

Not one of them mentioned a history of earthquakes in the country.

I try to quell the pit of uneasiness that is my stomach. The instinct that tells me that, somehow, Langdon is responsible for this.

“You’ll want to add sauce to that dough.” Trycia calls my attention back to my abandoned work, nodding at it as she kneads the crust of what she’ll be serving to those who wandering their way in for a bite. “Preferably before you add the cheese and put it on a stone in the oven.”

I leave the window. Worrying over Nereidium is Breena’s chore now. I have food to make.

Still, while my hands stay busy, my mind keeps churning. This is no coincidence. That quake. Geological changes happen, of course, but the timing is too coincidental.

“So, these earthquakes… They’re a relatively recent development, then?” I ask, unable to suppress the question.

Trycia sighs, not giving me an answer as she tosses the dough into the air and catches it deftly.

Maybe she would have answered me. But I don’t find out. The door swings open, soft footsteps pad inside, and I look up as Tregle enters. My stomach flutters at the look in his eyes when he catches sight of me. The hope of a new day’s sunrise is painted on his face. Hesitant and just blooming, but beautiful.

Trycia raises an eyebrow. “Friend of yours, Fancy?” I glare at her, and she lifts her hands in a mocking show of surrender. “Sorry. Mind the fire. I can afford a break. Not as though we’ll have a crowd tonight after another quake. I’ll see myself out.”

Only when the door swings shut behind her do I let myself speak, my heart dancing a slow step in my chest.

“Adept—” I pause, collect myself, and address him, for once, without a title. “Tregle.”

This is the one good thing to come from learning that I’m not who I thought I was. I’m a commoner, just as he is. An Elemental, just as he is. We’re finally on equal footing.

Other Books in the Series

Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea, #1)
Threats of Sky and Sea
(Threats of Sky and Sea #1)
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 360 pages
May 20th 2014

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository


Riot of Storm and Smoke (Threats of Sky and Sea, #2)
Riot of Storm and Smoke
(Threats of Sky and Sea #2)
by Jennifer Ellision
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 350 pages
August 17th 2015

"War draws closer, like a tide to the shore." 

Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium-- the kingdom she's just learned is hers. But with the King's ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger-and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne. The only trouble there: Bree can't bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her. It's not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King's strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown... but she won't let her kingdom down without a fight.


Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Jennifer is the author of the YA fantasy series, Threats of Sky and Sea, as well as the New Adult contemporary novel, Now and Again.

Release Blitz Giveaway

$10 Amazon eGift Card & the entire Threats of Sky and Sea series (Sisters of Wind and Flame, Defining Justice, Threats of Sky and Sea, Riot of Storm and Smoke & Fall of Thrones and Thorns
Open internationally
Ends October 2nd

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Faith is the Victory: a Short Story, a Free Novel, and a Party Invitation for YOU!


Have  you ever felt like too much was going on and you just couldn't handle anything more? Or maybe someone has bothered you so much that you avoid them as much as you can, but they still keep coming back. David felt that way in Faith Blum's short story, Faith is the Victory, and she's here today to tell us more about her book.

About the Book

Winning story in Perry Elisabeth Design’s short story contest.

I don’t like change. I know most people get used to it, but I have never been able to. When Dad announced their move and I couldn’t go with them, I didn’t handle it well. Would I ever find the faith to be victorious?

Content warning: A character does attempt suicide, so please read with caution.

Available on Amazon and other platforms such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Scribd.

Paperback coming soon!

Excerpt:

My dad is the manager at a big department store, and I think he does a great job. You can probably guess what Mom’s job is. A few years ago, I saw a neat job title for what she does and have told her a few times that she should get a diploma made up or something. The title is: Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations. Pretty neat, don’t you think?
During my high school years, I had the opportunity to take a couple of math classes at the local high school. With my interest in engineering, I needed some higher math that Mom wasn’t comfortable teaching me. While there, I got teased quite a bit for only attending a few classes, but could ignore that. What was harder to ignore was Carl Matthews. He was a senior when I was a sophomore and loved to rub it in that he was athletic and I was a nerd. I tried to ignore him, too, but he wouldn’t let me.
One thing about me. I stutter when I’m nervous or scared, so I try to avoid situations where I might become one or the other. Or I just don’t talk which has also worked well. When Carl talked to me, I ignored him and got labeled the most unfriendly, unsociable kid in school. I tried not to care, but every name drove deep down into me, hurting me more and more until for once, I couldn’t wait for school to end.
Three years passed and I’d just started attending the local community college to get a degree in Engineering. I planned to go to the community college until I could afford to transfer to a better one in a year or two. My first day of classes started out great! My professors were helpful and I learned quite a bit from them, even just after one day.
Everything was perfect until one of the older students ran into me. I tried to avoid him, but it didn’t work and all of my books flew around the sidewalk.
“Watch where you’re going!” he yelled. “What are you? A clumsy fool?”
I gulped when I saw the size of him. Then I recognized him. This was the star quarterback for the college football team and the most popular guy at school. “I’m s-s-sorry. I tried to s-s-stay out of your way, but—”
Carl burst out laughing. “What’s the matter? Can’t s-s-say your s’s? What’s your name?” He paused. “Wait, you look familiar. Aren’t you the mute kid from high school?”

My face burned. He had remembered. I knelt down to pick up my books and muttered, “David Conyers.”

About the Author

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. (The picture doesn’t show it well, but there are scribblings on the page of Green Eggs and Ham). Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.
When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.
There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs.

Sale



This book doesn’t have much to do with Faith is the Victory, but if you like Westerns or stories about mail order brides, you might just like this novella. And it’s written by Faith Blum.

Truth Through the Ages Party

giveaway
Faith and her friend, Amanda Tero, are hosting a Facebook party on September 30th to celebrate their new releases! There will be giveaways, games, fun times, and a grand prize. They are also giving away a set of 4 eBooks to the person who invites the most guests. So head on over, invite some friends and then ask them to vote for you in the poll. The Party link is here and the link to the poll can be found here. They are also doing some fun pre-party posts and on September 26th and 27th, they are taking questions from the guests.

Tour Schedule

September 26
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
Ember's Reviews-Author Interview
Karan Eleni-Excerpt

September 27
In the Bookcase-Book Review

September 28
Keturah's Korner-Book Review and Author Interview
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Why this story and theme?

September 29
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Wrap-up

Friday, September 23, 2016

A New Paranormal Novel by Angela Carling

For those of you who already love The Secret Keeper series, I'm excited to announce that Belakane, The Origin of The Curse is almost here! Today, the cover reveal and just in time for Halloween, Belakane will be available for purchase October 7th!





If you haven't discovered the O-So-Suspenseful-Uniquely-Paranormal Secret Keeper series yet you can read more about Winter and Liam and how Winter's deal with the Secret Keeper alters her life forever!

Here is what readers have said about the series so far:

I went through the whole gamut of human emotions from guilt to happiness to horror to sorrow through the heroine” --The travelogue of a  Book Addict

"Couldn't put this book down. The characters have grown and you can't help but grow with them. The excitement and detail that is put into this story is fantastic! The way it is written has you believing that the story is real. I can't wait for the next book."
-Kim Snyder

To check out more reviews or purchase any of the books in the Secret Keeper series click Here

Now onto the cover reveal...and we'll throw the blurb in just for fun! Enjoy--and may you never need a secret keeper!

 The Blurb


Belakane lives during the terrifying age of the Salem Witch trials. And, unlike the women around her, she actually is a witch. When Belakane’s magic gets her best friend Martha accused of witchcraft, the powerful sorceress creates a risky enchantment to protect what’s left of the small group of friends who hide her secret.
Will Belakane’s power save her friends or will it be the demise of all she holds dear?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Realm Explorers Part XCXX: Visit New France with Leigh Statham (with a Giveaway!)

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Author’s name: Leigh Statham

Title of book and/or series: The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl

Brief summary of the story: Lady Marguerite Vadnay and her trusty automaton, Outil, have settled into life in New France rather well. Marguerite is the top of her class at flight school and her future as an aerpilot is nearly secure. She has everything she wants-except a commission on the pirate hunting dirigible The Renegade. Using every card in her aristocratic arsenal, Marguerite wiggles her way onto the finest warship France has to offer. But as usual, Marguerite's plans endanger the lives of those she holds dear-only this time no one else is going to save them. As she and Outil set off on a rescue mission they may not return from, Marguerite finally realizes it's time to reorder her cogs. 

This steampunk adventure is littered with facts from The Golden Age of Piracy and follows (not too closely) some of the lives and adventures of the brave men and women who sailed the seas as privateers, pirates, and soldiers.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: 1600’s French Canada, Quebec — New France—filled with steampunk technology, automatons, and pirates. Arrrg!

If we were to visit New France as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? You should definitely take a tour of the St. Lawrence River and ride a dirigible over the Hudson Bay. It’s breathtaking in the spring— literally.

What dangers should we avoid in New France? Don’t get on the wrong side of a pirate, or a nun. Some of the girls at His Royal Majesty’s Flight Academy for Resilient Young Women wouldn’t be fun to run into in a dark alley if you’ve recently stolen their boyfriend. But for the most part it’s a wonderful place to visit.

The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous GirlIs there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in New France?
The fishing industry is alive and well, and given the fact that the French know how to cook better than any other nation, I’d say you’re in for a treat no matter what you order. Just make sure to get a side of gear oil for your automaton. They will take better care of you if they aren’t squeaking about their work.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in New France? Aer cannons are all the rage these days. Claude Vadnay is the most sought after engineer in all of the New World and rumor has it that he has a new hand held pistol that doesn’t use black powder.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to New France? Aerships are the most common means of travel. However, Sir Vadnay of La Rochelle recently moved to the area and had the latest autocart shipped with him from Paris. The steam powered road rollers can be seen bouncing down the dirt and cobble stone streets causing horses to balk, and ladies to faint if not prepared for the sudden appearance and swift departure of a sparkling new autocart.

What is the political or government structure in New France?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? His Royal Majesty, King Louis the XIV, is the supreme ruler of New France and its provinces. However, the pirates rule the water, and the struggle on land for power is constantly in flux between New England, New France, and the Iroquois Nation. At this point, it’s anyone’s game.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit New France? Yes! In New France women are welcome to chose a career or marry. If a man is lucky enough to be chose as a husband by one of these ladies, they will be given land and a promotion of title. The king may be in charge, but the ladies are calling the shots.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? My books are based on the true story of the life of Marguerite Vadnay, one of my great-great-great grandmothers. Plus, I’m a huge Francophile. I love the food, the fashion, the history, and especially my family stories.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? I cover women’s rights and independence quite a bit. The idea of a woman needing man to “Get by” in life or support her in an ancient one that has been challenged for as long as it has been around. I’m merely continuing that challenge with Marguerite. She will choose to settle down when she wants to, not because she has to— that is, if she ever settles down.

Where can readers buy the book? Right here: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo!ndigo

The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl (The Perilous Journey of the Not So Innocuous Girl #1)What About the First Book in the Series?

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl

Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th-century French girls can only dream of: money, designer dresses, suitors, and a secure future. Except she can’t quite commit to a life of dull luxury and she suspects she may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithy in the family's steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love—only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure, and restitution await her if she can survive the voyage.

Based on the true story of The Daughters of the King, Louis the XIV’s social program to settle the wilds of Canada with women of noble birth, Marguerite’s steampunk adventure follows in the footsteps of nearly one thousand brave women and girls who were rewarded handsomely for trekking across the pirate-infested Atlantic to a strange land.

"The writing is solid and the world-building – that clever combination of historical detail and Ms. Statham’s imagination – is excellent."~ The Australia Times Books
Buy it at GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo!ndigo


Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats.

Leigh is also a founder of QuantumFairyTales.com and is currently serving a life sentence there as senior editor and gnome driver. She loves all things sparkly and strange that go bump in the night.





Tour Schedule

September 11th: Launch
September 12th:
September 13th:
September 14th:
September 15th:
September 16th:
September 18th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


• 1 winner will win signed copies of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl and The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl plus some awesome Steampunk goggles (US only)
• 3 winners will win ebook sets of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl and The Perilous Journey of the Much-Too-Spontaneous Girl (open internationally)
• Ends September 23rd
Grab Our Button!


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to New France.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world, in Realm Explorers Part XCXXI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Five Magic Spindles: a Collection of Sleeping Beauty Stories


I loved this book! 

Like all of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's anthologies, Five Magic Spindles is a collection of five very different novellas that all involve events and themes from one fairy tale - in this case, the Sleeping Beauty story. I highly recommend this fun anthology! Here's a little information about each of the individual stories.

The Man on the Buckskin Horse
Emma, a good-hearted midwife, rushes to warn a neighbor about the hired gunman headed to his ranch but can't prevent the catastrophe in store for his daughter.

A fairy tale retold as a Western? How fun! The author makes it work entirely without magic. This story was also unique in that the main character was neither Sleeping Beauty nor the prince.

Guardian of Our Beauty
Palli, the prophesied daughter of a king, is fated to rescue her people from the destruction called forth by a vengeful priest. 

Talk about an unusual part of the world to set a re-told fairy tale in. But the author pulled it off! I enjoyed Palli's personality and abilities.

The Ghost of Briardale
Roselee, a ghost with a faulty memory, flits through the halls of an insane asylum in search of the mortal boy who can help her save the day. 

I thought this one was quite clever. True Heroes in this world are people who have either saved a kingdom, slain a dragon, or moved a mountain, and only a True Hero can get through the enchantment around Sleeping Beauty. How is an ordinary boy with a hero's heart supposed to manage?

Spindle Cursed
Arabella, a living spirit trapped in her own comatose body, helplessly watches from the realm of dreams as her usurping cousin plots to destroy her once and for all. 

This story is unique in that it's told largely from the fairy godmother's point of view. Unlike most of the others, it begins shortly before the prince sets out to rescue Sleeping Beauty instead of before she falls into her enchanted sleep.

Out of the Tomb
Tanza, a tomb raider on a distant planet, struggles to make a living and doesn’t need a long-lost prince to complicate her difficult life. 

I have to say, this one is definitely my favorite out of the five. The author has done an amazing job of worldbuilding, perhaps the best I've ever seen in a story of this length. Her descriptions give a vivid picture of the planet's history, technology, plant and animal life, and culture. In many cases, this is done with just a few well-placed words and phrases here and there that blend seamlessly with the action. I definitely want to read more by Ashley Stangl!

In summary, this is an exciting and entertaining book that is definitely worth the $3.99. Grab your copy today!

Download your Kindle copy here!

Order your paperback copy here!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Realm Explorers Part XCXIX: Visit Drako with Diane Rapp

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name: Diane Rapp

Title of book and/or series:

HOWL OF THE WOLF, Book 1 of Heirs to the Throne Trilogy (I also have a prequel to the trilogy titled THE ALPHAS)  The whole series is reasonably clean and violence is not graphic.

Brief summary of the story:

This science/fantasy novel takes place in a distant future.  When a human colony ship lands on the distant planet Drako, the occupants of the world…telepathic wolves…try to communicate with the two-legs.  The wolves decide there are no intelligent creatures to speak with them.  They wait, hoping a two-leg might acquire enough intelligence to finally speak with them.

Meanwhile in civilized space, the process of Transfer is developed by a team of four scientists.  They save lives and correct genetic conditions by sending the mind of a patient into a clone, creating virtual immortality.  Unfortunately, the scientists turned the process over to clerks in the Institute that they established to handle the paperwork and lost power over the invention.

Hundreds of years later the medical spaceship Zebulon flees from Institute assassins, who were sent to kill all the scientists and their teams.  Captain Donovan chooses the remote planet Drako to hide with his crew and protect the scientist leader, Dr. Alexander.  (They don’t know that an evil assassin stowed away on their ship.)  After landing and destroying their ship, they discover that Donovan must compete for the crown of the dying king to secure sanctuary for his people. 

Faced with superstitions, hatred, and eminent danger, the spacers must adapt to a feudal society without using modern tools or weapons.  Fortunately centuries of Transfer enhanced the natural talents of each crew member which might give them an advantage on the backward planet.  (The evil villain has the power of mind control.)  

An intelligent wolf leader, Kriegen makes telepathic contact with Donovan and must decide if he will help protect the pack of the two-leg commander.  The wolves’ Council of Elders might be difficult to convince, but Kriegen knows an evil human lurks nearby with plans to kill his targets and gain control over the pastoral world of Drako.  Mind control is against the code the wolves live by, so Kriegen believes the Council must act.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

Drako is a pastoral planet located on the fringe of civilized space.  Although the planet proves suitable for colonization, a society of telepathic wolves already occupies the lush world.  The wolves try to make contact with bad results and decide to wait.  They watch two-legs clear the land and develop Drako into a recreation planet for wealthy tourists.  Settlers become feudal lords, desert sheiks, oriental samurai, and ordinary peasants depending on a level of investment.  After several generations the monarchy revolted against technology and closed Drako to off-world visitors.  Distaste for technology eventually mutated into superstitious hatred.  Anyone caught with spacer tools or weapons could be executed.

The planet is part of a two-sun system.  The main sun is like our own.  From ground-level the second distant red dwarf sun looks like a red moon at night and provides extra warmth to grow lush plants.  The pastoral planet is perfect for people hoping to escape modern technology and live a simple life.  Peasants, knights, and kings become common-place and scientific knowledge is shunned and soon forgotten.

If we were to visit Drako as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

Should tourists be permitted to visit Drako once more, they would be immersed in life from bygone eras.  Kings and castles, sheiks and desert riders, peasants and merchants can be found living a simple existence without modern conveniences.  There are telepathic wolves in the shadows (if you can find a pack) and tales about dragons by the seaside tantalize visitors. 

What dangers should we avoid in Drako?

Don’t whip out a camera or cell phone as use of forbidden instruments of technology warrant death.  Superstitions mark technology as witchcraft, so you wouldn’t want to burn at the stake.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Drako?

Medieval weapons like bows and arrows, as well as swords, knives and spears, are used by trained knights and desert riders.  Gigantic war horses are an integral part of any soldier’s weaponry.  The Samurai are trained to kill with their bare hands but archery skills are learned as well.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or in Drako?

People travel on foot or by horseback, however, by the end of this series Dragon Riders make air travel across the world much easier for lucky young people.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Drako that we don’t see on Earth?

Earth-type plants grow on Drako but night-blooming varieties thrive in the red light of the distant second sun.  A society of telepathic wolves occupied the planet before the arrival of humans.  Separate wolf packs are ruled by a combined Council of Elders, who “host” the minds of many ancestors to provide wisdom and a living history.  A wolf host voluntarily accepts the minds of a dying pack member and those minds give advice until the wolf’s death.  The host hears ancestor voices but any final decision is left to the living host.  The Council of Elders does not believe that two-legs are intelligent creatures, so it does not interfere in the society of lower animals.  They protect forests and the holy structure on the Bloody Lake by scaring two-legs away.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Drako?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

There is not actual magic on Drako, however, centuries of Transfer left spacers with special abilities that have been magnified over time.  Telepathy, healing powers, incredible speed, visions of the future, and mind control talents might seem like magic to superstitious natives.  Using these abilities give the spacers an edge if they do not allow the skills to brand them as sorcerers.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Drako.

A sporting tournament to choose the successor for the dying king includes archery, horse racing, and various matches in a ring (hand-to-hand combat, saber, foil, and sword contests) help contestants win points.  In the final two combatants face off to win the crown.

What is the political or government structure in Drako? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

The government is a monarchy, but the ruling king’s entirely family was recently poisoned.  King Halder is also dying from the same strange poison.  He secretly sends an interstellar message to summon a distant heir.  Captain Donovan returns to Drako, unaware of his lineage, but agrees to compete for the crown.  King Halder has his own “special mental skills” and plans to use Donovan to ferret out his family’s killer and take a revenge.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Drako?

Mullahs who rule with an army of Desert Riders are descendants from colonists migrating from Middle East region on Earth.  They follow their own traditions and religious beliefs.  The Mullahs plan to gain power on Drako by winning King Halder’s throne.  A separate region is ruled by Marasuta, an Oriental Samurai who pledges allegiance to the King.  He trains his soldiers in the Samurai code and traditions, making sure they are skilled warriors.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

When I began writing this series, I asked a series of “what if” questions and imagined how society might develop from potential answers. 
1.     What if cloning provided doctors with the ability to transplant a patient’s mind into a new body free of genetic problems?  What if the expense of such immortality caused people to work as virtual slaves to pay off the debt?  How would society develop?  Would people finally decide that freedom in a short life is better than slavery? 
2.     What if telepathic creatures occupied a world ripe for colonization?  How would humans make “first contact” with telepathic creatures?  What if everything went wrong?  Would those creatures destroy humans or wait until we developed enough intelligence to properly communicate?  Could the creatures become allies to telepathic humans and help save lives?

Author Autobiography:

Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she started her own dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner; she sold real estate, started an office supply/copy center, and performed free-lance advertising design. During all those years Diane wrote stories for herself as a cure for insomnia.  She imagined distant planets and mysteries set on Earth.

After writing a tour guide book to the Caribbean together, Diane’s daughter gave her the idea of writing a mystery/romance set on cruise ships in the Caribbean. She got serious about publishing her books.  "Murder Caribbean-Style" and "Murder on a Ghost Ship" are the first two novels of a High Seas Mystery series. Readers meet the main characters of the series and learn about life aboard a ship while solving murders. There is danger and romance mixed in with the action. The third book in the series, "Murder for Glacier Blue" takes the reader on a cruise to Alaska with an art heist, murder, and a wedding on Glacier Bay. 

Diane’s first love has always been science/fantasy.  "The Alphas" is the prequel to the Heirs to “Howl of the Wolf”.  The story is a mystery blended with science/fantasy.  The heroine tries to solve the murder of an old friend and discovers why her beloved German Shepherd was stolen. The novel also introduces telepathic dogs and the wolves who eventually travel to the planet Drako.

"Howl of the Wolf" is the first book in the Heirs to the Throne Trilogy.  The novel introduces the planet Drako, telepathic wolves, and the crew of the space ship that took sanctuary with people who banned technology from their world.  In "The Havenshire Resistance", the second book of the series, Queen Krystal's three teenage daughters learn to use inherited powers to help rescue their father. Krystal leads an army of Samurai women, telepathic wolves, and ragtag commoners against an evil usurper in a dramatic battle. In "Dragon Defense", the third book of the trilogy, the planet is under threat from space when an Institute battleship arrives. King Donovan must train bored teenagers to operate forbidden defense technology while his daughters befriend a flock of wild dragons.  Will the crazy defense tactics save Drako from destruction?

Diane took a break to write a fractured fairy tale for her granddaughter.  "Dragon Knight: and the Heart's Blood Curse" is a humorous fantasy that adults will enjoy reading to their kids. When a witch turns a magnificent dragon into a puny human knight, Dragon must complete a quest to regain his powerful dragon form. A demon steals dead musicians from the mundane world and forces them to perform songs that change people into evil creatures. He plans to steal a living musician, Jimmy Buffett, and use his songs to destroy the barriers between the worlds.  Dragon is the only creature who could destroy the demon and save the day.  Wizards in the mundane world use smart phones as wands to protect Buffett from capture while Dragon and a young sorceress, Robyn, fight the demon in the magical realm.

Last year Diane added a new mystery to her growing catalog.  The characters from her High Seas Mysteries travel to Colorado to find a family gold mine.  “Golden Legacy” features a journal written in 1888 by Kayla’s ancestor, a woman traveling alone from San Francisco to Ouray, Colorado.  Kayla reads the journal to uncover clues to fine the gold mine and prove herself worthy of inheriting the family legacy.

What is next? 

I am currently working on a new science/fantasy novel.  When Dr. Alexander and his team arrived on Drako, the three other scientists who invented Transfer fled to other planets.  Now readers can explore what happened to these talented men, what kind of worlds they chose to inhabit, and what interstellar threat might bring them all back together.  If you enjoy character-driven science/fantasy, start reading the first series today.  The next book should be ready by the end of this year.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books? 

All nine books are available in e-book and print formats exclusively on Amazon.com.  My author’s page can be found at http://Author.to/DianeRapp

Please include links to the books:

Science/Fantasy Series:
The Alphas, Prequel to Howl of the Wolf:  http://viewBook.at/TheAlphas   
Howl of the Wolf:  http://viewBook.at/HowlWolf
The Havenshire Resistance:  http://viewBook.at/Havenshire
Dragon Defense:  http://viewBook.at/DDefense

Mystery Series:
Murder Caribbean-Style:  http://viewbook.at/HighSeas1
Murder on a Ghost Ship:  http://viewBook.at/HighSeas2
Murder for Glacier Blue: http://viewBook.at/HighSeas3

Fractured Fairy Tale:
Dragon Knight and the Heart’s Blood Curse:  http://viewBook.at/DKnight

Where can readers connect with you online? 

Visit www.quicksilvernovels.com to learn more about all of Diane's books.  Contact Diane from the website.  You may also find Diane's posts at https://www.facebook.com/quicksilvernovels and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DianeRapp.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Drako.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world world, in Realm Explorers Part XCXX!
-Annie Douglass Lima