Book Blitz: A Time to Burnish by Radhika Nathan​

~ Book Blitz ~
A Time to Burnish by Radhika Nathan
About the Book:

“Not too long before we can get as many of them 3-D printed.”

That pretty much sums up Josh Winslow’s feelings about classic artifacts. As a man of science and technology, he couldn’t care less about old bronze idols. Unfortunately, his brother Tom has just made one such idol his problem.

Vidya Thyagarajan, a young banker from Chennai, didn’t expect to chase the origins of old idols either. But her friend Tom has just entangled her in one such chase.

Along with Vidya, Josh reluctantly embarks on a journey to India to track the origins of a Chola bronze idol. Through the urban maze of Chennai, dusty roads of small towns in deep Chola territory, they discover clues that confounds them every step of the way.

During a short span of a week, the quest quickly becomes personal as the shadow of the past challenges their outlook toward life and love.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

“What is my area of expertise, Josh?”
Recognizing the question for what it was—an opener—Josh bit back a groan. Tom reminded him of an old modem in a slow network; the connection light had to get steady before the data light started blinking in a measured pace.
He replied, “You know I can answer that question in my sleep! Growing up, it was all that residue hippie stuff, all that ghastly sitar music, thanks to Mom and Dad. Then you had to go pick India as your area of interest.”
There was no answering smile on Tom’s face, just an abrupt headshake of a refusal to rise to the bait.
“What specifically in India?”
“South India.”
“Your brilliant grasp of the specifics never ceases to amaze me,” Tom said with the same maddened note that crept into his voice when dealing with Josh’s indifference toward his profession.
He poured out the warm saké from the flask and took a delicate sip from the cup.
“For the zillionth time, my area of specialization is the Chola Empire, covering roughly the ninth to the thirteenth century.”
“I know,” acknowledged Josh, sensing this was not the time to say “whatever.” He made an effort instead. “The rise and fall of the Cholas, with special focus on that dude who was a great warrior and visionary—Maharajah Chola.”
“You mean Rajaraja Chola.”
“Yes, of course, what was that paper you wrote? ‘The social order under Rajaraja and the later Cholas’,” Josh said with pretentious nonchalance. Tom produced many such papers and was either a member or a fellow or some such on various societies.
Tom laughed for the first time that evening. “There may be some hope for you after all.”
Josh grinned.
Tom rubbed his eyes slightly and then, leaning forward, started talking about the Cholas with the passion and intensity that usually marked him.
“At its peak, the Chola Empire covered the bulk of South India, parts of Sri Lanka, touched Maldives, and even Malacca. The medieval Chola kings were great patrons of art and literature, they made major strides in governance and foreign relations, and they were builders of magnificent architecture… Let’s just say, the height of the Chola Empire, especially the time of Rajaraja, can be thought of as a golden age. Think Italy during the Renaissance.”
“Must I?” Josh muttered, fidgeting a little. Tom ignored it.
“You know, as part of my job, I work on acquisitions of relics of rare value?”
Yes,” Josh nodded. What was it that Tom had acquired the previous summer? Wasn’t it a manuscript of some sort? He wished he could surreptitiously pull his iPad out and do a quick search on his email.
He needn’t have troubled himself. Tom continued, almost ignoring his answer, his brows furrowed.
“My limited budget hardly allows for anything major. A piece of an intricately carved wooden door, an old silk sari, a palm leaf book, those are the kind of things I usually go for. A Chola bronze icon is in a whole different league. You could even say it’s the top artifact of the period. These bronzes are typically delicate, sensual icons of the gods and the saints or occasionally royals. They still make bronze icons in south India, but the Chola bronzes are Yes,” Josh nodded. What was it that Tom had acquired the previous summer? Wasn’t it a manuscript of some sort? He wished he could surreptitiously pull his iPad out and do a quick search on his email.
He needn’t have troubled himself. Tom continued, almost ignoring his answer, his brows furrowed.
“My limited budget hardly allows for anything major. A piece of an intricately carved wooden door, an old silk sari, a palm leaf book, those are the kind of things I usually go for. A Chola bronze icon is in a whole different league. You could even say it’s the top artifact of the period. These bronzes are typically delicate, sensual icons of the gods and the saints or occasionally royals. They still make bronze icons in south India, but the Chola bronzes are antiques—they could be millions of dollars’ worth.” Tom paused for a moment, his face troubled, full of worry.
Josh raised his brows and whistled lightly. “Millions, huh?”
“Yes, millions. Josh, in my enthusiasm, I have made a grave mistake. You have got to help me. I have no one else to turn to.” Tom’s voice took on a strained, and nervous quality.
Josh raised a hand.
“Hang on! What are you talking about?”
Tom sat back, grimaced, and then enunciated slowly. “I need you to help me track a Chola bronze.”
“What do you mean track?”
“Find all the information there is about a particular Chola bronze. I believe I have in my possession an antique bronze that has come into the UK likely through illicit art trafficking. My gut says there has been a major art theft, and if I don’t act now, I am going to be an accessory.”

About the Author:
Radhika Nathan is a juggler, a meanderer and a rolling stone. She believes in the miracle of words and the rain. Her favourite pastimes include reading, listening to podcasts and gazing at monsoon clouds. Her taste in books is eclectic ranging from anthropology to old fashioned murder mysteries, and if pushed she would name Jane Austen as her favourite author for her believable, eternal characters. Travel is something she enjoys and has been to more than a dozen countries — for the love of meeting new people and discovering new cultures.
Radhika writes for her fascination of human beings, intrigued by their archetypal & atypical behaviour and the differences & similarities in all of us. Writing is a means that forces her to think and re-examine a point of view or a preconceived notion. ‘I grow as a person as I write’, she says and quotes ‘A well written sentence [a rare occurrence] is like soul chocolate.’
Radhika, believes in a spiritual approach to life that welcomes science. She believes in liberty, equality, personal responsibility and fair play.
Author Links:

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Dark Queen by Faith Hunter: Jane Yellowrock’s latest has everything — including the kitchen sink.

Dark QueenDark Queen

by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock, #12

eARC, 432 pg.
Ace, 2018
Read: April 23 – 28, 2018

I’ve stopped reading the blurbs for the Jane Yellowrock books, so I had no idea what to expect out of this one when I started it. I spent a couple of days planning on how this was a rumination of/celebration of family disguised as an Urban Fantasy novel. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of action and plot and all the things we have come to expect from a Jane Yellowrock book. But, yeah, family was the overarching theme. But then . . .

But then, Hunter kicks it into high gear and the long-awaited Sangre Duello starts. Which I didn’t expect — I figured we’d get an entire novel (minus an introductory and follow-up chapter, maybe) dedicated to it. Man, am I glad I was wrong — I’m not sure I could’ve handled more of the tension surrounding it than Hunter gave us. Still, everything I’d planned on saying pretty much went out the window.

I’ve gotten ahead of myself. This series (like any that has gone more than 5 books) needs a “Previously . . .” section. Things have changed so much since Jane rode into New Orleans in Skinwalker that it’s almost impossible to remember everything that’s happened. Hunter does do enough in the text to remind you who is who and what they’ve done in the past, so I’m not saying the book is inaccessible. It’d just be nice to have a reminder just where we are in the story without having to re-read eleven novels (not that I have — I’d probably pick up a few more nuances).

The book begins with Leo solidifying his organization. Moving people around, giving promotions, and cleaning house (not as much as he should have, but even someone who’s as politically savvy as Leo isn’t perfect). Part of this is the official recognition and establishment of Clan Yellowrock — which was just so strange. One of the groups that Leo is dealing with is a werewolf pack from the Western part of the US, who are doing some work for him related to the Sangre Duello, who are pretty interesting, and I’d like to see more of them in the future. There’s also a new PsyLED honcho floating around — Rick’s boss and Soul’s underling — and his presence is almost as disruptive to Jane’s world as the European Vampires are.

Then before you know it — there we are, the European Vampires are coming ashore to start the Sangre Duello. Which is basically a series of duels — some to first blood, some to the death (true death, in the case of vampires) — and just about everyone connected to Leo ends up fighting at least once. It is clear from the way this is set up, the way it’s carried out, the way that just about everyone acts during it — that vampires act on a different morality than just about anyone else. Jane has a very hard time with it all, and many readers will, too. That’s good — that means you’re not a monster. I will say that Leo’s psychological games with the EV’s are a lotta fun. If you have much of an emotional attachment to the characters in this series, you will stress out during this part of the book. Not all survive. Not all who do survive do so unscathed. Without saying what happens to him, I didn’t realize how invested I was in Leo Pellissier’s continued existence.

Faith Hunter puts all of her experience, all her skill and talent on display here — and it works. This is really a tour de force for her and it’s just a pleasure to read. On the one hand, I thought the pacing was a bit slow at first and wasn’t sure what she was doing — but at a certain point, I recognized that she knew exactly what she was doing and you needed the slow-burn of a start so that you’d be ready for the almost non-stop action to come. There’s some brave choices she makes here — totally shaking up the series, the status is not quo, as a horrible doctor might say. While that might seem like the kind of thing writers need to do (and it is), it can’t be an easy choice — because no matter what we say, we fans want our comfortable series: where we know that Riker will be Picard’s Number One for far too long, Lisa will be 8, and that one couch at the Central Perk will always be available for Monica’s friends to sit on.

Jane continues to grow and mature, embracing — and even expanding — the emotional ties she has to people in her life, taking on more people to protect and defend. She’s not a loner anymore, and has stopped fighting this reality. It’s great to see. And everything I wanted to say about family is present here, and you’ll know exactly what I was talking about when you read this. And if you’re someone who threatens any of those she’s decided to align herself with? I pity you, because, well, Beast is best hunter, and there’s nothing really that’ll stop Beast/Jane from making you regret that threatening.

If I was a better blogger — or at least one who had better time management, I’d come up with a post just about Eli Younger. I really wish I was that guy — because Eli deserves more attention. As I write this, I remember that Carrie Vaughn gave Cormac a novel to himself (pretty much) — Hunter should consider letting Eli have his own.

This would’ve been a great series finale just as it is. I am so glad that it’s not — Hunter’s got things set up so well for the next couple fo books (at least) that I’m as excited about this series as I’ve ever been. But, Dark Queen could’ve worked as the end. Which is really just to say two things: 1. If you’re looking for a new Urban Fantasy series to start, full of magic, vampires, shape-shifters and more? This series is a great one — but don’t start here, start with Skinwalker. 2. Hunter has tied up a lot of loose ends, a lot of long-going plotlines are resolved (or at least brought to a satisfying resting point), which should satisfy long-term readers. I won’t say that they’ll all be happy about where everything ends up — I’m not — but I will say that it’s nice to have some sense of closure and resolution.

I laughed, I got angry, I cheered, I fretted, I got awfully close to letting water leak out of my eyes — I loved this book from start to finish.

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for this post — thanks to both for this.

—–

5 Stars

Book Spotlight: Dark Queen by Faith Hunter

Welcome to our Book Tour stop for Faith Hunter’s Dark Queen, the twelfth (and best — so far, anyway) Jane Yellowrock novel. Along with this blurb about the book and author I’ll be posting my 2¢ about the book in a little bit, although I guess I just spoiled it, eh? The book is released today, you should head out and buy it (or, I guess, surf to the e-retailer of your choice and order it).

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for a chance to win a complete set of Jane Yellowrock books!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Dark Queen by Faith Hunter
Publisher:  Ace
Release date:  May 1, 2018
Format: Mass Market Paperback/ebook
Length: 432 pages

Book Description:

Jane Yellowrock used to hunt vampires, but now she must fight–and win–beside them.

As Enforcer to the vampire Master of the City of New Orleans, Jane Yellowrock stakes her reputation and her life on keeping her territory safe. But Leo has been issued a blood challenge by the emperor of the European vampires, who seeks to usurp all of his power and possessions. If Leo loses the match to the death, the city will be forfeit, and the people of New Orleans will suffer the consequences. Jane can’t let that happen.

Preparing for the duel requires all of Jane’s focus, but with so much supernatural power in play, nothing goes according to plan. She has to rely on herself and the very few people she knows she can trust to stand and fight. Only two things are guaranteed: nothing is sacred, and no one is safe.

ISBN: 1101991429
ISBN-13: 978-1101991428

Purchase at:

Author Bio:

Faith HunterFaith Hunter is a New York Times and USAToday bestselling author. She writes dark urban fantasy and paranormal urban thrillers.

Her long-running, bestselling, Skinwalker series features Jane Yellowrock, a hunter of rogue-vampires. The Soulwood series features Nell Nicholson Ingram in paranormal crime solving novels. Her Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy series, features Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic, alternate reality. Two of her fantasy series have been nominated for Audie Awards.

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she has written action adventure, mysteries, thrillers, women’s fiction, a medical thriller series, and even historical religious fiction. As Gwen, she is a winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for Fresh Talent in 1995 in the UK, and won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in 2008. Under all her pen names, she has over 40 books in print in 30 countries.

In real life, Faith once broke a stove by refusing to turn it on for so long that its parts froze and the unused stove had to be replaced. Her recent hankering for homemade bread and soup resulted in fresh loaves each week and she claims that the newish stove feels loved and well used—because Faith talks to her appliances as well as to her plants and dog. She collects orchids and animal skulls, loves to sit on the back porch in lightning storms, and is a workaholic with a passion for jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and RV travel. She likes the shooting range, prefers Class III whitewater rivers with no gorge to climb out of, edits the occasional anthology, and drinks a lot of tea. Some days she’s a lady. Some days she ain’t. Occasionally, she remembers to sleep. The jewelry she makes and wears is often given as promo items and is used as prizes in contests.

For more, including a list of her books, see www.faithhunter.net , www.gwenhunter.com  To keep up with her, like her fan page at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/official.faith.hunter

GIVEAWAY!

Win one of two complete sets of Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock novels! Contest runs April 23rd until May 11th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9751c0429/?

My thanks to Let’s Talk! Promotions for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

Book Blitz: Corridors of Time by Vinay Krishnan

About the Book:

Corridors of Time tracks the story of a sensitive young man who grows from carefree childhood to eventful manhood – one who stumbles before learning to stride through those dark and dense passages.

Set in Bangalore – a city of paradoxes. of gardens and garbage heaps. of technology and traffic snarls. of friendly people and failing infrastructure. when bungalows had gardens and pavements were meant for pedestrians. this is a narrative of the human spirit.

Rohan, an idealistic young sports lover experiences rejection, dark dejection and isolation and hurtles down the path to self destruction.

Shyla, attractive and successful is everything his heart yearns for and his body desires, except, she is married!

Chandrika, simple and devoted fails to understand the man she loves.

The shuklas long for justice denied by the system.

And khalid fears nothing and no one …anymore.

Buy the Book:
Amazon


Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 1
 
The raw, earthly smell of the first drops of rain signaled the onset of the monsoon of 1962. Ten year old Rohan watched it from his window and inhaled deeply. He felt like he wanted to draw in as much as possible of this place that he loved so dearly. The rain had washed clean the gardens and roads of Bangalore. A city of sheer beauty, it was like a large painting suspended in time, being restored to its original brilliance with one masterly stroke. Bangalore with flower-laden trees, small lakes and numerous gardens was wonderful to behold. All was quiet, calm and serene.
But even his love for Bangalore could not match his passion for playing outdoors. His face registered dismay when the drizzle turned into a downpour and sheets of rain hid the verdant trees and the glitter of the rocks beyond the playing fields. He would lose valuable time waiting for the rain to subside to play cricket with his friends.
Drizzly weather or what his dad called ‘English weather’ never hampered him like a monsoon onslaught did. It was as familiar to him as the streets and their English names – Lloyds Road, Cline Road, Hutchins Road and Davis Road. The English had definitely made Bangalore into a ‘Little England’ and left behind a large community of Anglo Indians. A proud community of mixed cultures, they were concentrated in the northern part of the city called the ‘Cantt’ (short for Cantonment) along with a cosmopolitan mix of settlers from other states and countries.
The southern part, the original old Bangalore was known as the ‘City’ area. The Cantt area, extending from Richmond Town to Frazer Town, had spacious bungalows with servant’s quarters, private lawns and gardens. It was a township by itself, with lakes, gardens, theatres, restaurants, bars and exclusive clubs. The Cantt area was nothing without the Anglo-Indians whose exuberance and fun loving nature enhanced the charm of life in Bangalore. They lived for the day and never gave the morrow a thought. Romantic at heart, partying was their greatest pastime. A few couples, country liquor, lots to eat and they would dance till the stars drooped and went down under.
Rain, rain go away, come again another day,” Rohan whispered urgently, and was gratified to see the rain gradually stop. Now, he could go out to the beckoning playground and join his friends for a game of cricket, yet another legacy of the British. “Ma, I am going to play”, he yelled.
“Comeback on time, Rohan”, his mother warned. “Or you know how your father reacts!”  Rohan ran out, looking back to wave to his mother at the door.
They were all there – Peter, Oscar, Roy, Philip, Akbar, Kiran, Akshay, Arun, Joe, Allan, Mahmud and Inder. The stumps were up, the teams chosen and the game was on. Cricket was an obsession with Rohan. “Come on Rohan, we must win today”, urged Inder.
 “What high hopes”, teased Oscar.

Peter always red in the face, yelled, “Oscar, shut your bloody mouth and start batting.”



Praises for the Book:

The book is simple in style and content, for often it is this simplicity that bewilders and rouses
Interest.
~ Shri S . Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India

The book has excellent literary craftsmanship, passion humour and adventure. Highly recommended.

~ Mr. Namboodiri, former Asst. Editor, Deccan Herald

This charming book about old Bangalore is written in a racy easy-to-read style.

~ Deccan Herald, Bangalore.


About the Author:



Vinay Krishnan describes himself as a ‘complete Bangalorean’. A student of Clarence High School, he graduated in Humanities from St Joseph’s College. Earning a diploma in Business Administration, he began his career at Usha International Ltd and rose to a position of Senior Sales manager. Vinay has now set up a construction firm of his own. He also writes and devotes his time to an NGO assisting people with disability. The city of his dreams, Bangalore, where he stays with his wife and daughter, continues to inspire and exasperate him. He can be reached at – vinaykrshnn@yahoo.com.


COVER REVEAL (and a little more): Needle Song by Russell Day

I’m very excited to be a part of the crew revealing the cover for Russell Day’s Needle Song — after you rest your peepers on the cover, read on to learn more about this great looking book.


Is that not the textbook definition of arresting?

Book Blurb:

Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room
wasn’t her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.

No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

I’m sold. I’m not just saying that as part of this cover reveal, that blurb did it’s job when I read it.

Last minute addition to the post, added without nuance: Fahrenheit Press just dropped a pre-order link. Click and buy!

FREE RUSSELL DAY SHORT STORY IN EXCHANGE FOR A TWEET:

Russell Day came to Fahrenheit Presses attention when they asked for submissions for their NOIRVILLE short story competition. A panel of judges placed Day’s stories in first AND SECOND place! Only one of the stories features in the NOIRVILLE anthology which means we’re giving the second story away for FREE, you lucky people!…….(well, free in exchange for a tweet!).

To receive a copy of Russell Day’s award-winning story, make sure you’re following @damppebbles (so you can receive the DM with the download links) and then tweet the following:

NEEDLE SONG by Russell Day (@rfdaze) published by @fahrenheitpress in eBook on Monday 30th April! #NeedleSongBook | @damppebbles.
http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_fahrenheit.html

No retweets, it has to be a shiny new tweet otherwise it won’t count! Any problems then please contact @damppebbles.

About Russell Day:

Russell DayRussell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.

BOOK BLAST: Lycenea by Rory D. Nelson

About the Book:

Merlin returns to Lycenea a hero, victorious over the Visi-Gauls in a gruesome and exhaustive campaign that claimed the life of one of his men and saw the annihilation of the Visi-Gauls’ Southern Army.

Merlin’s peaceful reprieve is cut short however, as he must now find and expose the corrupt Senator who initiated the war in the first place and plots to subvert the Empire for himself. He is aided by the powerful sorceress, Morgana and Felinius, a former disgraced and condemned knight who knows the inner workings of the Brotherhood.

Merlin must also protect two of the captives he rescued during the war with the Visi-Gauls, one of whom is a boy named Dante, whose power has been prophesized to defeat Herod Antipaz, the corrupt Senator, and his deadly allies who threaten to destroy Gilleon.

Herod makes plans of his own for eliminating Dante. The boy’s problems continue to mount precipitously- for not only is he being ruthlessly hunted down by Herod’s minions, but he must also face down a brutal training program in Round Table Academy, where he faces elimination on a daily basis. Should he be eliminated, he will no longer be under the protection of Merlin and his Brotherhood and his death almost a foregone conclusion.

His only hope, his only salvation is Merlin- as is the country of Gilleon.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Check Out Book One: Gilleon

Five hundred years after the death of King Arthur, a sadistic tyrant of Visi-Galia, attacks unprotected and vulnerable townships in Gilleon, igniting a deadly chain of events. Because he was unfairly denied a proper chance to compete for valuable mine rights and outbid by a Councilman from Gilleon, he reasons that he can invade Gilleon’s vulnerable townships and force the Council to negotiate with him.

Merlin, the lead knight in Lycenea, has foreseen just such a predicament. With the gifts of premonition, telepathy and intelligence, he and 9 of his most formidable knights go into battle against Jason and his force of nine thousand.
At stake is everything. The fate of the prisoners who are awaiting to be sold into slavery rests in the hands of the deadly knights. Specifically, two girls who were attacked in Missalia and are now orphaned, are at the mercy of the sadistic King. Will Merlin and his band of knights be able to rescue them in time?

Adele, the older sister, has plans of her own for escape. Will she prove successful or will her plans be foiled? If she is caught, what will become of her and her sister, Sylvia?

Dante, a boy from Coifen, is also now orphaned. He is the sole survivor of a brutal attack on his family. An unlikely heroine has come to his rescue- a mysterious white wolf. Unfortunately, the attack has left him blind. He and his guardian make their refuge in a remote cave. He clings desperately to the hope that God has spared him for a reason. Every night he goes to bed, he says a prayer to his talisman, the Merlin, a game piece that his father gave him before he was forced to abandon him. It was the last gift he received before all hell broke loose. Will he be rescued? Will he find a permanent haven? His fate also lies in the hands of the Merlin.

Merlin and his troupe lead the Visi-Gauls in a high stakes game of cat and mouse. Jason, though capricious, is not stupid. He uses every means at his disposal to eliminate Merlin. Who will prove the victor? Fighting a severe war of attrition, it seems at times that Jason will inevitably win; but don’t count the Merlin out. He is beyond slippery. Every time it seems that Jason has the gifted knight, he is thwarted yet again.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Get Your Copy of Book One: Gilleon for FREE!

Character Study – Dante

He once lived a peaceful existence in the quaint little town of Coifen with his mother, Sophia, his father Lucian, sister Isabella and dog Mitz. That life is abruptly shattered when his father is  exiled and the rest of the family is plunged into a fight for their life. With assassins on their trail, they are eventually cornered and forced to defend themselves, along with the aid of their neighbors.

Tragically, Dante’s mother, sister and dog are brutally killed. He barely escapes with his own life, if not for the intervention of a mysterious white wolf, whom he named Cammilia. Together, they hole up in a remote cave for months until they are finally rescued by Merlin.

Though blinded in the attack that killed his family, Dante is brought to Round Table Academy by Merlin and given the choice to enter their school as a recruit. Feeling it is the only way he can regain some control over his life and maintain a safe haven, he accepts.

As promised by his headmaster, Germanicus, the training is brutal, the academics grueling and mentally demanding. In addition, he faces elimination bouts nearly everyday. Should he fail in even one of his tests or lose an important match, he will be expelled from the school- most are. Almost fifteen hundred boys enter Academy, but only a dozen or so make it to knighthood. So the odds are not in his favor.

Yet he toils on with an indefatigable spirit and inadvertently makes a powerful enemy- Maximus, the start recruit and only son of King Menelaeus. He is everything Dante is not- over-privileged, spoiled, arrogant. He has an ingrained sense of self-entitlement and it is reinforced by his stellar performance as a recruit.

Despite this, he feels threated by Dante and makes it his mission to see that Dante is removed from the Academy- at all costs. And he is not above resorting to dirty tricks and subterfuge to achieve it.

Dante’s problems continue to mount precipitously. Not only is he in danger of being removed from the school since being targeted by Maximus, but he also faces the looming threat of the man that ordered his death. Little does he know that Herod, the man who seeks his demise and the dissolution of the Brotherhood is right under his nose. And he has put his own plans into action, leveraging the rivalry between Dante and Maximus.

Dante is resourceful, intelligent and relentless, but will it be enough to thwart the pressures that seem to be closing in on him like a coiled serpent? He has the support of his newfound companion, Cammilia and Merlin. He clings to them desperately like a raft in the middle of the ocean, but will they be enough to stop the machinations of Gilleon’s most powerful senator and his vast resources? Only time will tell.

About the Author:

Author Rory D Nelson is an accomplished actor and has been seen in several high school productions of “Oedipus Rex,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” He owns a window cleaning business in the Sacramento area, enjoys wine tasting, snowboarding, traveling and working out. Rory D Nelson is an eclectic and prolific writer, having written numerous comedy skits, commercial parodies, and ghost-written many humorous t-shirts. He has the most unusual imagination of any fantasy author, since he also brings his deranged sense of humor into play in his books.

Contact the Author:
Website * The Brotherhood of Merlin * Facebook * Twitter 

 

Book Blitz: Blood and Roses by Jordan Petrarca

 

Organized Crime Fantasy
Date Published:  June 2017
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Seven organized crime Families, known as the Seven Blessed Families, rule the World of Exodus and its people with the use of their mysterious magical artifacts, called Relics. Relics give powers to the Blessed members of the Families, and they use those powers for corruption and control of everything in Exodus.
Maretto Rose, the patriarch of the Rose Family, celebrates his 50th birthday by attending a performance at the Grand Theater with three of his four sons. The theater is attacked by the heir of the Cicello Family, Zasso Cicello. His mission is to abduct Maretto, but it fails when Maretto’s son, Georgiano, fights Zasso to protect his father and family. Georgiano is ultimately slain and Zasso flees and goes into hiding. Now, the Rose Family must find where Zasso is hiding. They want answers. Who gave him the order for the attack, and what do they want with Maretto Rose? And most of all, they want revenge…But who could it be? A leader of a rival Family? Or someone or something else more powerful than they could imagine?
Meanwhile, Maretto’s youngest son, Ric, must battle his demons and addictions in order to become a Blessed member of the Family and become the man he was destined to be, before he ends up being another dead junky on the street.
So, sit back and enjoy the ride, because in Exodus, gangsters make the world go round.
Praise for Blood and Roses:
“When I first started reading I thought this was going to be a typical gangster story, and in a lot of ways it was. However, the addition of magical relics, giving the family members magical powers, gives a wonderful twist to the story. The use of modern day technology, including flying cars, adds even more to the unexpected quality of the story. I especially love the scenes where they use magic for a variety of attacks and defences.
 
 
 
The plot, which at first, seemed to be very straight forward, was twisted out of shape by the inclusion of not just one, but several different players. This kept me guessing to the very end of the story about what was happening. Even at the end there are questions left unanswered, leading nicely to the next novel in the series, which I’m dying to read.” -Emie Cuevas, OnlineBookClub.com
Excerpt
So far, it had been the perfect birthday for Don Maretto Rose.  Well, maybe not perfect.  His youngest son was not present for the celebration, and it hurt the powerful man very much on the inside.  But it was still as close as it was going to get to being perfect.
But sometimes, when you least expect it, the unexpected happens…And everything goes to hell.
Outside the Grand Theater, two black extended SUVs came flying from around a nearby skyscraper and hovered towards the ground.  They landed on the street directly in front of the red-carpeted entranceway.  As soon as they were grounded, the doors on each SUV flew open, and gangsters came pouring out like water from a spout.  One of the Rose Family guards and two theater security went into immediate action to stop the unwanted guests from entering the theater.  An array of other guards and security lined the stairs and main entrance.
            Now, a lot of the gangsters spilling out of the cars looked pretty much the same, dressed in regular black suits and fedoras, but there were two in particular that were dressed a little nicer and a little weirder.  They both took their good ole time striding towards the main guard as the other gangsters filed behind them.  The one in front was tall and lanky, wearing a royal blue suit with a matching necktie and white dress shirt.  He bore a blue fedora over his silvery black hair that hung down to his cheeks.  His eyes matched his hair, and his face was thin like his body.  He was draped in gold jewelry around his neck and had gemmed rings on almost every finger.  The pride in his walk signified that he was a man of importance.  And he was.  The man was none other than Zasso Cicello, son of Don Xanose Cicello.
            Walking closely behind, was a shorter man dressed in a shiny silver suit and black dress shirt.  His face was round but came to a point at his chin, and he bore a pair of sunglasses that could be mistaken for a couple of round mirrors.  His long and thin hair was shoulder length and was black with a bluish tint.  He, also, had a certain pride to his walk.  And that’s because he was Zasso’s personal protector and assassin, Razo Malvagio.
            As Zasso and Razo approached the main guard, he put up a hand to signal them to stop and said, “I’m sorry gentlemen, but this is a private viewing and you need to show credentials to enter the theater.”
            In the blink of an eye, Razo came whirling around Zasso, holding a pistol-gripped sawed-off shotgun.  It was pointed directly at the guard, and Razo didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.  There was a loud burst, and then the guard’s hand exploded clean off his arm, along with half of his face.  His limp body collapsed on the red carpet.  A puddle of blood formed underneath the other half of his face.
            “There are my credentials,” Zasso said to the corpse.
            The two theater security guards reached for their firearms, but Zasso was too quick for them.  Like a gunslinger, he drew a small pistol from his waist and fired multiple shots.  Blood burst out of their chests, and they perished before they even touched their guns.  Zasso and Razo continued on, with their entourage following behind.
            The Rose Family guards and theater security wasted no time opening fire at the oncoming murderers.  They fired numerous times whether it was with a handgun or semiautomatic rifle.  But it was to no success.  Upon the masquerade of bullet-fire, Zasso raised a hand and magically constructed a transparent yellow force field that deflected the bullets.  Then, all hell broke loose.
            Zasso’s gangsters came storming around him and returned fire upon the guards and security.  Zasso and Razo went on the offensive as well with their short-arm weapons.  Blood started spilling, and bodies were falling everywhere.  When Zasso reached the bottom of the stairs, he extended his left hand and bolts of electricity spewed from his fingertips in the direction of his targets.  And at the same time, he kept on firing shots out of his pistol with his right hand.  His targets were electrocuted and blown away by bullets at the same time.  Zasso was Blessedwith magical powers by his Family’s Relic, which made him a very dangerous killer.
            While a few of his men were taken down, Zasso and Razo came away from the chaotic scene unscathed.  The Rose Family guards and theater security were all dead.  It was now time for them to enter the premises of the theater and accomplish what they came here to do.

 

About the Author

Jordan Petrarca lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with his wife and twin girls. “Blood and Roses” was inspired by his love for fantasy and organized crime stories.

 

 
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