Friday, 30 May 2014
White Heart of Justice
Date of Publication: May 27, 2014
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 95,000
Cover Artist: Jason Chan
Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…
After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.
However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…
1. Tell us a bit about your writing background. How did you get started writing fantasy?
I’ve read fantasy all my life so it felt natural to attempt a fantasy story when I first started writing. Like most paranormal, fantasy, and speculative fiction writers, I’m drawn to “otherworlds” – make-believe places full of sinister creatures, supernatural threats, monsters and magic.
2. Who/What were your earliest influences?
My very first favorite book was Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain. I loved the colors of the illustrations: midnight blue and inky black interspersed with glowing bits of yellow. I loved that it was a nighttime adventure story. I loved that it was a tiny bit scary. And I loved that everyone ended up okay in the end.
Of course, once I learned to read, I quickly moved on. Other favorites throughout the years have included: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Watership Down, C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, every single Anne McCaffrey book I could find. I went through a horror phase and read a lot of Stephen King and John Saul. I started folding in the work of authors in all sorts of genres: epic historical sagas (James Michener, Colleen McCullough, Jean Auel, Isabel Allende, Ken Follett), mysteries (Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Peters, Arturo Perez-Reverte), romance (Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Diana Gabaldon), science fiction (Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson), and fantasy (Lois McMaster Bujold, Jacqueline Carey, Naomi Novik, Anne Rice).
3. Did you face any early challenges to finding success in writing?
There are challenges every step of the way. But one of the biggest challenges I faced early on in my path to publication was my main character’s age. In the first book, Noon is a student trying to survive a crushing course schedule. She has parents who don’t get along and boy troubles. The book is also written in first person. So, initially, we pitched it to some young adult editors.
But Noon’s twenty-one. She’s an adult. And, though she struggles with some of the things that YA protagonists often struggle with, many of the scenes and themes were written with an adult audience in mind. So I was happy when we sold the rights to Ace, an adult sf/f imprint.
4. What are some of the books you’ve read recently or are looking forward to reading? What qualities in them appeal to you?
Books I’ve read recently: Robin LaFevers’ Grave Mercy, Rachel Neumeier’s House of Shadows, M.L. Brennan’s Generation V, Elliott James’ Charming, J. Kathleen Cheney’s The Golden City, Emma Newman’s Between Two Thorns, K.B. Laugheed’s The Spirit Keeper, and Alethea Kontis’ Hero.
Looking at this list, a few things stand out: I love dark magic, fairytale retellings, wonderfully crafted otherworlds, adventure, romance… and vampires, so long as the character has a strong and entertaining voice.
Books I’m looking forward to reading: Ransom Riggs’ Hollow City (more creepy vintage photographs!) and J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst’s S. (a story within a story full of the neatest tangible extras: handwritten notes, newspaper clippings, telegrams, pictures, postcards, maps drawn on the backs of napkins…)
Also worth mentioning: I’m currently reading Marissa Meyer’s Cinder (cyborg Cinderella, what’s not to like?!) and two “older” novels that I adored are Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus (worldbuilding so real, you will feel like the Night Circus might arrive in your town tonight) and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races (magical realism at its best).
5. What do you do outside your writing life?
I love to read and watch movies. I also love day tripping and outdoor adventuring. I hike, bike, and go boating with my family. My husband’s passion is recreational aviation so I spend some of my weekends flying around the Chesapeake Bay area and up and down the Atlantic coast.
6. What encouragement and/or advice helped you along the way?
When my only goal was simply to finish a novel, the best encouragement I ever received was this: YOU are the only one standing in the way of your goal. YOU are the only one who can make it not happen. Don’t quit!
7. What advice do you have for beginning writers?
Read in the genre you want to write in – and outside of it. Read non-fiction. Sign up for workshops, take classes, and get involved with a writer’s group. Keep writing! Don’t be afraid to submit your work, but make sure it’s truly ready to submit (or as ready as you can make it at the time). Explore self-publishing as an option, but make sure you’re prepared to publish high quality work. Don’t give up or get frustrated. Learn from constructive criticism, mistakes, and rejection. Celebrate small accomplishments and enjoy the process as much as the product.
8. What's up next for your fans?
I have a short story called “Dream, Interrupted” coming out in the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance in the fall. The story features another singularly unique heroine, Corelei Neverest. Set in Moonlight, Georgia or thereabouts, the story is full of all the things I adore: dark, creepy hallways; bright, sunlit gardens; mysterious happenings; stories-within-stories; supernatural threats; and swoon-worthy kisses.
9. What has been your biggest compliment?
I cherish each and every word of praise I receive, especially if it’s from a reader who takes the time to contact me after they’ve read a book of mine. There have been many complimentary comments from readers and reviewers, such as Publishers Weekly saying that Noon’s voice is “wry and genuine” and that White Heart of Justice is “an emotional journey” with “excellent worldbuilding” and RT Book Reviews giving me kudos “for creating such a compelling heroine and mythos.”
But, by far, the biggest compliment is when a reader says they can’t wait for the next book. Because that means I’ve done my job. I’ve entertained and moved them enough for them to look forward to whatever’s coming out next.
10. Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans and readers?
For those of you who like to discuss books after you’ve read them, there are discussion questions for each of the books in the Noon Onyx series. (White Heart of Justice’s questions will be available the week of June 9th): http://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/book-clubs/
Thank you to CBY Book Club for interviewing me today! I’m very grateful to all of the readers, reviewers, and bloggers that support me, other authors, bookstores, and books in general. Booklovers, keep up the great work! :-D
Excerpt from White Heart of Justice
I can’t be with you anymore. That’s what she’d said. Six words that had become sixty then six hundred then six thousand . . . sixty thousand . . . six million . . . reverberating in his head, bouncing around inside his brain, driving him absolutely mad. There were no other words. No other memories. Only that last one of her. Standing at the edge of the oozy stew of the destroyed keep’s moat, flanked by two Angels, one preternaturally beautiful, the other full of purpose. The same purpose he’d had until those six words stripped him of it.
Flying out, he’d barely cleared the wreckage of the keep. His heart beat against the walls of his massive chest, and his monstrous wings beat against the infinite, empty sky, but the beats were slow and grew slower still. Slower. Until finally . . .
He made it across the river and then dropped like a ten-ton stone, crashing into the brush, breaking tree limbs and a wing. He lay there amongst the blackening scrub refusing to shift back into human form.
Man’s thoughts were unwelcome.
In time, the rogares came. Water wraiths. He killed them all. And then sickened by the smell of blood and meat he couldn’t—wouldn’t—consume, he left his nesting place. By then, the wing had healed, but unnaturally, so that flying straight was impossible. For days, he traveled in circles, never getting far. It wasn’t just the wing. The yearning to return to her was nearly unbearable. The emptiness inside of him an abyss.
Was she still in the Shallows? If he could just . . .
But then he remembered the Angels. And the look on her face when she’d said the six words. And the feelings in her signature. She’d need more than mere weeks for them to abate. She might need months. Hopefully, not years. Years meant nothing to him, but they did to her. And then the reminder that her time was more precious than his drove his yearning to a new level of ferocity. Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. He realized then that it might be best to return to man’s thoughts. After all, she was a woman.
And he wanted her back.
“Glashia calls Noon the ballista.” Waldron Seknecus’ low voice rumbled through the Gridiron, a deep, cavernous underground space used by the upper years at St. Lucifer’s for sparring. “Because of how she fights now. Watch.”
He was speaking to three other spectators: my father, Karanos Onyx, executive of the Demon Council and the man who would ultimately employ all of the magic users who trained here at St. Luck’s; Friedrich Vanderlin, an Archangel who was the dean of Guardians over at the Joshua School, the Angel academy we shared a campus with; and a woman who looked unsettlingly familiar to me, though I couldn’t remember when we’d met or who she was. I cleared my mind and concentrated on my opponent, Ludovicus Mischmetal, who preferred the moniker “Vicious” for short. He was a second year Maegester-in-Training at Euryale University. We were competing against one another in the New Babylon MIT rank matches, which St. Luck’s was hosting this year.
All second-year MITs were required to compete. The top-ranked MITs from each school would then be eligible to compete in the Laurel Crown Race. The object of the race was to bring back an assigned target. Targets were either rogare demons or priceless artifacts that needed to be recovered. Participation in the Laurel Crown Race was voluntary, but the MIT who returned to New Babylon with his (or in my case, her) target before any of the others, won the coveted Laurel Crown. Winning the Laurel Crown often set a future Maegester up for life because winners could choose where they wanted to spend their fourth-semester residency. And ofttimes, those residencies turned into permanent positions. Everyone else would receive offers, but it would be the Council that decided which of those residency positions they accepted.
Last semester, we’d been given our first field assignment. It was an assignment that had been full of rogare demon attacks and other lethal situations. That assignment had lasted a mere three months and I’d barely survived it. My residency would last for twice as long, so I was well aware of how important the residency venue would be. Winning the right to choose where I spent next semester, not to mention who I would be working for, would go far in preserving not just my happiness, but also my life. The Maegester who was judging the match, a middle-aged man with thinning, ginger-colored hair and a near permanent frown, called out for us to begin.
I’d watched Vicious spar with other MITs. He was smart. His infliction of pain would be very calculated, very precise. There was nothing personal about his desire to beat me. He just wanted to win the match so that he could retain his current Primoris ranking at Euryale and compete for the Laurel Crown. Of course, I was similarly motivated.
Vicious gave me a curt bow, his long, black, razor-cut bangs briefly falling forward before he shook them back and used his waning magic to fire up a weapon, a flaming broadsword. It hissed and spit with fury in the damp air of the Gridiron as Vicious raised it toward me in an opening invitation to spar.
As a sparring partner, Vicious looked fairly intimidating. His front teeth were shiny, silver, and sharply pointed (likely, his real ones had been knocked out in fights) and he was much larger than me. He wore the usual black leather training pants and vest, but he’d elected to go shirtless underneath the vest. I guessed it was an intentional show of muscle, literally. He flexed his forearms and grinned at me, his message clear: I might be a woman playing a man’s game, but he wasn’t going to spare me any blows.
That suited me fine. Sparing me blows wouldn’t win me the match.
About the Author
Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.
$50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international).
5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address).
Dark Light of Day themed SWAG pack (incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only).
Fiery Edge of Steel themed SWAG pack (incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only).
White Heart of Justice themed SWAG pack (incudes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies) (US only).
BONUS: FUN PROMO TWEETS AND TWITTER CONTEST! :-D
Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (so long as Book Depository ships to your address) (up to $10.00). Contest ends on June 3, 2014. Feel free to share the list with your followers!
Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE
I hope everyone enjoys the book! Thanks so much to all of the BBT bloggers, hosts, and reviewers for helping to spread the word about the series!
Blog Tour Organised by:
The Other Me
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: 19 Dec, 2013
Length: 216 pages
Genre: YA, LGBT, contemporary
Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she's an alien. She doesn't fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he's perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn't find out she's a freak.
As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.
But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel's baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.
PRAISE FOR THE OTHER ME:
"The Other Me is a story that will stay with me for a long time. This is what YA should be and Van Rooyen has that uncanny ability to wedge you inside the heads of her characters where you will feel all their pain, love, joy and sorrow. I cannot recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a story that will challenge your preconceptions.” – Nerine, You Gotta Read Reviews
"This book is a great new contemporary read, so different from everything else that's out there, and it is brilliant! Suzanne van Rooyen does a brilliant job of crafting a story that is not only entertaining and engaging, but interesting and unique too.”– Myra, Pieces of Whimsy
"I loved Suzanne Van Rooyen's writing style. It made reading her words so easy. Her characters came across as incredibly real. Add all of that into the uniqueness of the stories subject and The Other Me turned out to be a book that I absolutely loved. So much in fact that I would love to read more of these characters.” – Tracey, YA Book Addict
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suzanne is a tattooed story-teller and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep'd by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
Two prizes up for grabs: A signed copy of The Other Me + ebook copy and a Book of Choice (up to $15) from Amazon or The Book Depository.
Must be 13+ To Enter | Open Internationally, but signed book pack will only mail to US.
Blog Tour Organised by:
Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta
by Angie Kelly
When 12 year-old Mia Cornell is sent to live at the Tarpley Estate, her ninth foster home, she has no idea what she's in for. Having a kind but mysterious foster mother and three quirky foster sisters is all well and good. Discovering that her new family is a secret society—they use a portal in their garden labyrinth to travel the globe seeking lost art, artifacts, and OSOs (objects of supernatural origin)—is something else entirely.
Mia barely has time to wrap her head around the truth when the Society's latest job, tracking down Marie Antoinette's necklace, goes sideways. Mia and her new siblings—Tomi, the historian; Devon, the hacker; and Lily, the muscle—must use their wits, plus a few cool OSOs filched from the Society's vault, to stay a step ahead of a sinister enemy from their foster mother's past. But just how far back does Mrs. Tarpley's past go? And will Mia stand by her new family or cut and run when they need her the most?
About the Author
Angie Kelly is the pseudonym of a former member of the Labyrinth Society. When she’s not writing about her adventures, or reading about other people’s adventures, she’s busy traveling the world and indulging her inner twelve year-old. Although she was last sighted lurking around the British Museum after hours, her current whereabouts are unknown.
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Today I'm excited to share the cover of Rosie Somer's debut Novel. Pride is a young adult urban fantasy that will release this summer from Anaiah Press.
Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably. Gabby is the steward of PRIDE To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.
9 September 2014
Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com
About the AuthorRosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.
Who's in it:
Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
What's it all about (book blurb from Goodreads):
Snowpiercer is the enthralling and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic graphic novel that inspired the critically acclaimed movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). Originally published in French, this marks the first time that Snowpiercer will be available in English.
In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.
The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled...
The movie Snowpiercer, due for release in 2014, is directed by Joon-ho Bong (The Host) and is already causing a stir with parallels to 1984 and Animal Farm.
Snowpiercer International Trailer
Thursday, 29 May 2014
Excerpt from Black Abaddon
“You were given Vulcan’s fire, wings from the Gates, immortality and you wanted none of them. Now they are gone, you want them back,” the Authority said. “Those were gifts. And they were taken as a consequence of your decision to maintain the balance.” He stopped at Michael’s grave. Ally looked down at her terrible mistake; it had been covered up by six feet of dirt.
“Remember, you are in the winter of your life. You must learn to forgive and it must come from within. I will not give your gifts back. That is for another to decide. For where there is life, there is death. Where there is death there is destruction. Where there is destruction, new life will rise up to replace what was taken,” the Authority said. He waved his hand over Michael’s grave, big stalks of black amaranth springing up.
“I want to make it right. I want to save my friends. I’m so sorry…”
“Remember this, home is where the heart is,” the Authority turned to face her. He lifted his hand and rested his palm against her dreamcatcher.
A white light burst out from it so bright she had to close her eyes. She clutched onto the black feather for fear it would incinerate against the hot wind blowing up against her. Miss Elma let out a howl.
“I have commanded time to stand still. When you open your eyes, time will resume. You will be with your companions. I will not show myself again and it will be as though I never did. You will remain silent and tell no one I showed myself to you. Keep me in your heart and let your winter pass,” he said. His voice began to fade.
“No, wait!” Ally said, opening her eyes.
“For what? We’re here,” Brandi said.
Ally looked around. Dave was glued to Lucy’s side. Uncle Argyle and Parthenia were to her left, looks of confusion on their face.
“Where are we?” Ally asked.
Jessica raised an eyebrow. Eli and the High Sons
were standing by gates that stretched so high, Ally couldn’t see their
peaks in the darkness. Mariah and her guards went through the creaking
gates first. Elizabeth
“The Nosferatu Nation,” Belle Crow said, the Ravenscraft sisters behind her.