Sunday, February 19, 2017

Under Gemini: Romantic Suspense with a Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Under Gemini
By Linda Hope Lee

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - Note from the Author

Welcome to my Prism Book Tour for Under Gemini, a Crimson Rose novel published by The Wild Rose Press. Gemini is a fictional island in the San Juans, an archipelago between Washington State and British Columbia. I’ve long thought the islands would be a good setting for a mystery and finally an idea came to mind.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

He turned in her direction, and their gazes met.

She offered the hint of a smile and a brief nod. He nodded and smiled, too, and then they both looked away. Meg pursed her lips and tapped her foot, wishing her contact from Gemini would arrive.

fundinmental - Excerpt

The man waiting stepped forward. “I am. I’m Eric Richards.”

“I’m going there, too,” Meg said. “Megan Evans.”

“Jones, here to pick ya up. Boat’s at the marina.” He thumbed over his shoulder to the docks. “Here, lemme take that.” He nodded at Meg’s suitcase and held out his hand.

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Excerpt

Working together. Meg’s shoulder’s tightened.

She’d counted on having the workplace to herself. Now she’d have to share it with Eric Richards. How could she do her investigating with him around? Eric’s frown told her he didn’t like the situation any better than she did.

Paulette's Papers - Excerpt

He glanced at Megan Evans sitting in the back of the boat. In her early thirties, she had thick, dark brown hair drawn into a ponytail. Large brown eyes and a softly rounded chin gave her a vulnerable look. An air of sadness surrounded her, too. Something bad had happened, and not long ago.

Mel's Shelves - Excerpt

Meg followed Jones and Eric along the dock. Just before stepping onto the shore, she felt her heart skip a beat. Once she set foot on land, there’d be no going back. For better or worse, at least for the duration of her employment, she’d be stuck here on Gemini Island.

Becky on Books - Excerpt

Meg followed Eric and Jones up a stone walkway lined with ferns to large double doors carved with Indian designs. Jones pushed open one door, and they stepped into a spacious, sky-lighted entry….

Rockin' Book Reviews - Review

"This was an enjoyable book. I liked the suspense throughout the story. It was good to capture and hold one's attention. . . . I would recommend this book to other readers."

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Excerpt

. . . They reached the guest cottages, six in all, with three on either side of the road….Wolf House, Laureen had called Meg’s cottage. Looking up at her totem, Meg saw where the name came from. The carving of a wolf’s head topped the pole. Not even the bright sunlight beaming on him could dispel the menacing eyes and razor-edged teeth. She could almost hear him growl and snarl. Was he supposed to scare her? Or protect her? Meg wasn’t sure which.

Zerina Blossom's Books - Excerpt

Clutching a small metal box, Eric paced his cottage, extending his hand in front. As he approached the phone on the counter between the kitchen and living room, he saw one of the lights on the device blink. Yep, his good ol’ bug buster picked ‘em up every time. He set down the box, unscrewed the phone’s speaker, and studied the insides. Pretty sophisticated. Carl Miller—or whoever installed the bug—was up on the latest technology. Leaving the bug in place, he put the speaker back together.

Nicole's Book Musings - Excerpt

Nick Hinton was a former FBI agent Eric met in training at Quantico. . . . He and Eric often did favors for each other. “Can you run a check on someone for me?”

“Sure. What ya got?”

Eric scanned the nearby woods for signs someone might be nearby. Except for the soft breeze sighing through the trees, all was quiet. “Her name is Megan Evans.”

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Under Gemini
by Linda Hope Lee
Adult Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 234 Pages
February 8th 2017 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

Reeling from the deaths of her ex-husband and their nine-year-old daughter, Meg Evans suspects foul play in the mysterious auto accident. Clues lead her to Gemini Island, where she goes undercover cataloging Northwest Indian artifacts while conducting her own investigation. She doesn't count on having to work with the enigmatic and handsome Eric Richards.

Artifact expert Eric has hidden reasons for coming to Gemini, and he doesn't relish working with anyone who might thwart his search for answers. Will they keep their true identities and their missions hidden? Or can they learn to trust each other and together discover Gemini's terrible secret?


About the Author

Linda Hope Lee

Linda Hope Lee writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She enjoys traveling especially to small towns in search of story ideas. She's also an artist, specializing in watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil. Photography provides inspiration for both her writing and her art. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where many of her stories are set.



Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will win a $50 Amazon eGift Card and a copy of UNDER GEMINI (ebook if international, print if US)
- 3 winners will win a copy of UNDER GEMINI (ebook if international, print if US)
- Ends February 21st

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Friday, February 17, 2017

The Outlaw's Secret: An Historical Romance with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Outlaw's Secret
By Stacy Henrie

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - Note from the Author

I’m so excited to introduce readers to the Becketts brothers—one a lawman, the other an outlaw—in my next two books releasing from Love Inspired Historical. In THE OUTLAW’S SECRET, you’ll meet Tate Beckett, a Pinkerton detective posing as his outlaw twin brother Tex. You’ll also meet Essie Vanderfair, a dime novelist in need of a great story. And she hopes to find it when she begs to go along with the gang of train robbers that Tate has infiltrated. These opposites-attract characters were so much fun to write as were the outlaws Essie meets and interviews.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"There were several instances that brought a smile to my face and I wanted how to know they were going to get out of the mess they were in. This is a fun book that is set in the "Old West". There are outlaws, lawmen, and a feisty heroine."


Rockin' Book Reviews - Review & Interview

"This was a fun book. The characters were likable and flawed just enough."

Q: What other genre, one day, would you like to write? Why or why not?

A: Though I’ve tried my hand at writing contemporary, I enjoy writing historicals much more. I’ve also dabbled with the idea of writing historical women’s fiction, but I love a good love story so I don’t know that I could pull off writing something without having a romance at its heart.


"I love a romance that makes me swoon and this one does just that. Not only are the romance and characters well done, the setting is fantastic too. I felt myself transported back to the late 1800s and loved being a part of that time--when I wasn't shivering in my boots with fear. I also really enjoyed Essie's writing moments, which are often thoughts--she's an interesting character with a vivid imagination and has me engrossed in her ideas. I'm definitely looking forward to what this author writes next!"

Hearts & Scribbles - Meet Tate and Essie 


Born and raised in Idaho, Tate Beckett is an identical twin. But his brown hair and blue eyes are about the only thing he shares with his brother Tex. Tate’s brother is the infamous outlaw known as the Texas Titan and Tate feels duty-bound to atone for his brother’s crimes by tracking down other outlaws in his job as a Pinkerton detective agent...


"The Outlaw’s Secret has it all – action, adventure, romance, humor, faith and depth. It will make you smile and it will twist your heart too. It will make you hold your breath – for the kisses and again for the nail-biting action. Essie is such a fun heroine, and Tate is most definitely swoonworthy. Another fun and sweet novel by Stacy Henrie that I highly recommend!"

I Am A Reader - Undisguised: the Pinkerton National Detective Agency


While operatives were required to abide by a code of ethics—including things like not accepting reward money and working with local law enforcement—Allen Pinkerton was a staunch believer in the end justifying the means. That meant that sometimes in order for an operative to track down a criminal, the detective might have to “become” a criminal in a sense—just as Tate does by posing as his outlaw twin brother in order do to bring down the Fletcher gang.


"There’s nothing typical about Stacy Henrie’s newest release and she has become one of my favorite writers in the Love Inspired line. The Outlaw’s Secret has it all – character depth, humor, romance, suspense, and rich historical detail. It’s well written, entertaining, and refreshingly unusual in storyline."


"On the romance side, it's fun to watch Tate/Tex and Essie dance around each other, both mistrusting in turn and each fiercely determined to follow their own goals. Their journey includes moments of danger, threats to budding feelings, and a few twists."

Kathleen Denly - Interview

Q: As an author, I often get asked how much of myself I put into my characters. So I’m curious, if you were on that train instead of Essie, how would you handle the situation?

A: I would’ve been terrified! And unlike Essie, I would have chosen to stay seated and silent and hopefully unseen.


"This was such a fun adventure. The story started off with a bang and took off from there. I settled right in and enjoyed the ride!"

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Tate Beckett’s jaw was clenched so tight he thought it might snap. Of all the rotten misfortune. He had to run into a nosy, busybody like Miss Essie Vanderfair on his first job with Fletcher’s gang. If he wasn’t careful, this woman, with all her probing questions, would figure out he wasn’t the Texas Titan after all. Then his covert work, posing as his outlaw twin brother, would be finished.


Mel's Shelves - Review

"Once I started reading this book, I settled in and didn't want to put it down. It moves at a fast pace and there was never a dull moment. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, clean western romance!"

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

Fletcher’s mouth curled up in a sneer. “Try me, Tex.” He lifted his hands in a mock gesture of innocence. “But now your life is tied with hers.” He walked away, adding over his shoulder, “I think you’re smart enough to figure out what that means.”


"Stacie Henry has masterfully written a story that readers will be enthralled with from page one until the very end. This is a fairly quick and easy read that will inspire the romance in all of us! Henry has a distinct way of writing that will draw readers in as they leave the world of reality behind and enter the enjoyable and entertaining world of the Wild West."

Colorimetry - Excerpt

Sure enough she spotted the impression of horse hooves in the dirt and a partially trampled sagebrush farther on. If she kept heading in that same direction, she would eventually stumble into the trio.

She bent forward over the horse and coaxed it to go faster. There were interviews to conduct. And no one, not even a handsome, sly, back-stabbing Texan, was going to stop her.




Q: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or readers?

A: Thanks for your support! I’m excited to share Tate and Essie’s story with you. If you read it and enjoy it, then look for Tex’s story in July, when you’ll find out where the Texas Titan was while Tate was impersonating him to take down Fletcher’s gang.


"The Outlaw's Secret delivers humor, romance, faith, and some wonderfully exciting moments where death is only a step away from both hero and heroine. . . . Fans of Stacy Henrie and of western historicals will surely not be disappointed in the thrilling pages. . ."

Heidi Reads... - Review

"I was glued to the pages to find out when Essie would discover Tate's secret, when they would give in to the chemistry building between them, and if the real Tex would make an appearance. Another great western from Stacy Henrie with suspense, action, and romance!"


Her heart beat faster as she opened her mouth and said, “Call me Essie. It’s only fair.”

A low chuckle sounded in her ears. “Try to get some sleep, Essie. We’ve got another long ride tomorrow.”

Smiling in triumph, she closed her eyes, but it was still some time later before she could turn her thoughts from the silent figure guarding the camp. And from the memory of her name on those nice, masculine lips.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

The Outlaw's Secret
by Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 288 pages
February 7th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical

Lawman in Disguise

Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn't in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair's plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she'll be fine…right?

Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he's a detective working undercover. And second, that he's not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex's twin brother, Tate Beckett.


About the Author



USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her website at stacyhenrie.com.

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Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive print copies of LADY OUTLAW and THE EXPRESS RIDER'S LADY + $10 Amazon Gift Card (US only)
- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)
- Ends February 18th

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Book Release from Page Zaplendam: The Egyptian Elixir


Book Release: The Egyptian Elixir
What if you were an average person – perhaps slightly above average because you have your medical degree – and one day, someone kidnapped you and turned you into a vampire? Would you suddenly turn evil? Become a crazed animalistic brute? Or would you retain your free will and battle your demons and temptations if you could?
The Unofficial Chronicles of John Grissom is a book series created for the modern reader who wants their vampires relate-able, their relationships snarky and humorous, and their fiction historical and exciting.
Set in the Regency era, the time of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, The Unofficial Chronicles follows the life of John Grissom, a second son of middle class gentry, and a bacteriologist by profession. Having been infected with the disease of vampirism, but unable to tolerate the idea of consuming human blood, he relies on animal blood to satisfy his dark needs. And does his best to retain every ounce of humanity he possibly can.
He leads a lonely life until he stumbles on a vampiric conspiracy to overturn the monarchy with Napoleon’s help, and “rightfully” establish vampires with the power and prestige some think is their due. John, his beautiful new assistant Henrietta Isherwood, and his new friend, Gerhardt Van Helsing, the Prussian vampire hunter extraordinaire, aren’t about to let England become an enslaved state.
The trio’s fledgling beginnings as the Bow St. Odd Crimes Division (think a Regency version of the XFiles) are captured in Order of the Blood, a full length novel now available for FREE on amazon.com. (No, seriously, you should go check it out, because it is that good!)
Their next adventure, minus the intrepid Henrietta who convalesces in Ireland, is presented in Page Zaplendam’s newest release, The Egyptian Elixir.
 “loved, loved, loved it!” - ARC reviewer
What could possibly go wrong on a surveillance trip to Parliament? Apparently everything.
When John Grissom and Van Helsing find themselves witnesses to an assassination attempt on the Marquis of Wellesley, they discover London's most notorious purveyor of stolen goods at the bottom of it. But his ability to influence people is odd to say the least. The vampire and the hunter investigate, but the Egyptian elixir may prove the undoing of them both.
With shades of old world science and new world sensibilities, The Unofficial Chronicles of John Grissom present a gripping take on the vampire narrative and ultimately ask the question, what truly makes a monster?
This Regency gothic won’t leave you afraid of the dark, but it will leave you admiring the fortitude and determination of one who can overcome his murderous inclinations, and still maintain an outlook on life that is free of bitterness and full of hope.

Reviewers said of Order of the Blood:
“a truly enticing novel”
“an exciting tale with real substance”
 “Read like an episode of Penny Dreadful”
 “I can’t wait for sequels”
The Egyptian Elixir is available on amazon.com for $1.99
Page Zaplendam is a longtime fan of science fiction everything, dystopian novels, folk lore, fairy tales, and Regency romance. She has been a contributor to several science fiction anthologies, owns an editing and freelance writing service, and occasionally blogs at www.pagezaplendam.com. An engaging and humorous entertainer, she loves doing live interviews, public speaking, and sharing about writing and marketing craft both on her blog and on 10 Minute Novelists, the Catholic Writer's Guild, and the Clean Indie Reads group. Interested parties may find her on twitter (@pagezaplendam), Facebook, or Goodreads, when she's not working on becoming the next bestseller or changing diapers… or the best at changing diapers.
If you're interested in discount and giveaway info, exclusive free fiction, and the occasional weird story, be sure to sign up for her newsletter, The Fantastical.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Royal Design: A Modern Princess Romance

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Release Celebration for
Royal Design
By Sariah Wilson

ROYAL DESIGN is releasing as a Kindle in Motion ebook. Go to Amazon to see a preview of some of the special video features included. It's so fun! And in case you need a teaser, here is one of the heroine, Bellamy Sullivan:


Learn more below and enter the fabulous giveaway...

Royal Design
(The Royals of Monterra Novella)
by Sariah Wilson
Contemporary Romance
ebook, 217 pages
February 14th 2017 by Montlake Romance

Bellamy Sullivan’s life is hardly regal. She’s a waitress from Ohio who’s been on her own since she was sixteen, working several jobs while her dreams of being a fashion designer stay just that. But everything changes when PR maven and soon-to-be-royal Lemon Beauchamp drops in to announce that Bellamy is a princess. Unfortunately, Bellamy’s newly assigned bodyguard is the last man she wants to see.

A year ago, the royal family of Monterra tasked Enzo Rannalli with confirming Bellamy’s heritage, which meant he had to get very close to her. Enzo got the confirmation he needed, but he didn’t expect their connection to be so meaningful. And he didn’t expect his sudden departure to break the young princess’s heart.

In exchange for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to kick-start her fashion career, Bellamy agrees to star on a royal reality show that will match her with the world’s most eligible bachelors. But after a series of disastrous dates make her even more grateful for Enzo’s company, she wonders if her fairy-tale ending is waiting to happen off camera.


The Royals of Monterra Series

Nestled in the Alps between Switzerland and Italy, the small kingdom of Monterra is ruled by a loving and loyal family. Thanks to magical good fortune, the gorgeous and charming royal Fiorellis always know when they have found their true love and partner, and they won’t let anything get in the way of their happily ever after. Along with their friends and extended family members, they travel the world in pursuit of love and adventure. Full of relatable heroines, irresistible heroes, and glamorous backdrops, these sweet modern-day fairy tales offer a perfect romantic escape in a world where money is no object and love conquers all.

— Sariah

Other Books in the Series

  

About the Author


Bestselling author Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mount Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soul mate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. She grew up in Southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soul mate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers). Learn more about her and her work at www.sariahwilson.com.

Release Celebration Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
Ends February 17th

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Realm Explorers Part XCVIII: Visit Thac with F.P. Spirit

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: F. P. Spirit

Title of book and/or series: Ruins on Stone Hill/Heroes of Ravenford

Brief summary of the story:
A dark malevolence threatens Ravenford—the town under siege by forces unknown. Their only hope may lie in four newcomers: Lloyd, a young warrior with blades of fire, Glolindir, an elven wizard as deadly to his friends as his enemies, Seth, a cynical halfling who may be an assassin, and Aksel, a quiet gnome whose very touch can heal.

From eerie woods to haunted ruins, secret passages to hidden rooms, they must unearth the root of the darkness that has Ravenford at its mercy. With death breathing down their necks, will they rise to the challenge and become the heroes that Ravenford so sorely needs?

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The story is set in the fictional world of Arinthar, on the island continent of Thac. It is a world of magic, populated by humans, mystical races and monsters, all of whom uneasily coexist together. The world has survived for many ages and numerous wars have taken place on its soil over the millennium, the last great conflict being the Thrall Wars nearly 100 years ago. Though other battles still ensue on the mainland, Thac has experienced an unusual period of quiet since then, but recent events have indicated that this brief time of peace may be coming to an end.

If we were to visit Thac as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The world of Arithar is filled with many beautiful and strange sights. On the island continent of Thac alone, there is the eerie lighthouse, Sentilla Light. On the eastern coast, the magical tower not only lights the night sky, but makes continuous music as it does so.

There is also Kai Arborous in eastern-central Thac, the tree city of the High Elves. Located on the eastern edge of the great forest, Ruanaiaith, the breath-taking elven city sits high among the upper branches of the giant Arcarion that make up a majority of the ancient woods.

Far to the north, the gnomish city of Caprizon is built into the high cliffs on either side of the Stilwyndle. Myriads of cable cars hang over the great ravine, joining the two sides of the city together. To the south lies Lymeridia, the largest city in all of Thac, and perhaps the entire world. It is a sprawling ancient metropolis, and home to the Council of the Magi, the order that rules over all the magical users of Thac.

The island continent itself is divided down the middle by a towering wall of mountains that practically reach up to the sky. They are aptly named the Thertassels, or ‘Sky Wall’ mountains by the elves.

What dangers should we avoid in Thac?
Thankfully Thac is not nearly as dangerous these days as it was one hundred years ago during the Thrall Wars. Back then, demons, dragons, huge golems, zombies, vampires, and all sorts of other undead creatures roamed the island, killing all in sight. Though many lives were lost, thankfully their leaders, the Thrall Masters, were defeated.

The demons have since returned to the Abyss, the dragons now mostly keep to themselves, and the golems and undead have all but disappeared. However, there are rumors of dark things stirring in parts of Thac. The Bendenwoods are plagued by thieves. There are stories of giants descending from the hills and terrorizing farmsteads. Many sailors have claimed to see sea serpents off the coast. In the little town of Ravenford on the east coast, there is talk of spooky lights and sounds coming from the old ruins on top of Stone Hill to the south. The hill itself is surrounded by an eerie forest where most of the trees are dead. Nothing has grown there since anyone can remember.

The seas are also not always that friendly. Aside from serpent sightings, there are pirates the roam the waters between Thac and the mainland. However, thanks to the military might of Penwick, most pirates tend to stay away from the coast of Thac these days.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Thac?
The denizens of Thac enjoy their ale, cider, and other typical brews. Foods are typically fresh from the surrounding farms and home-made. Chicken, steak, fruits, vegetables, pies and cakes are standard fare. Though there are spells that can produce feasts fit for a king, leaving the partakers feeling refreshed and sated for days.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Thac?
The sword, shield, knives, lances, maces, clubs are your standard weaponry in Thac. Yet, some have learned to supplement their combat styles with magic. Some of the more famous groups are the Knights of the Rose, a holy order of the wind god, Cormar. They use divine magic to strike down evil creatures and fell beasts with the swords. There are also the Ruby Knight Vindicators of the great city of Dunwynn. They are another holy order, but of the goddess of law, Wee Jas. The Ruby Knights use sword and spell to vanquish their foes. Finally, there are the Spirit Blades of Penwick. Spirit Blades do not get their power from a divine source. Instead, they are a martial order, training their mind, bodies, and spirits to perform great feats that appear like magic.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Thac?
Travel in Thac is mostly by horse and wagon. Sea faring sailing vessels carry travelers around the coasts and across the channel to the vast mainland. However, there are airships that course through the skies, powered by the magic of great air elementals. Those airships are few though, mostly relegated to military endeavors.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Thac that we don’t see on Earth?
There are many magical races in Thac. Elves, dwarfs, gnomes, and halflings are a few of the friendlier ones. Yet, there are also dark elves, orcs, goblins, trolls, bugbears, all sentient, but not of the friendly variety of people. Dragons are a mixed breed. Metallic dragons are typically friendly, but the chromatic dragons are extremely dangerous to the other races. Arcarion trees can be found across the island continent, but are more prevalent in the forests of Ruanaiaith and the mainland.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Thac?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic is quite prevalent throughout the world of Arinthar, though not so much that it is used by everyday folk. Still, there are many different types of magic users in Thac.

Classical spellcraft magic is powered by mana, the energy in and around all things. There are two schools of spell casters, arcane and divine. Arcane casters use their intellect to drive their abilities while divine casters derive their focus from their faith. Spells are cast through a combination of material ingredients, ritual movements, and verbal commands.

There are other types of spell casters who use mana, but gain their focus through a pact with spirits. These magic users are dubbed witches and warlocks. While many mean well, spirits are an unknown quantity. Evil spirits in particular will warp their prodigies into dark witches and the like. Therefore, it is not a widely practiced art.

There is one other school of magic in Thac, or a derivative of magic. It is called Psionics. Unlike classical spellcraft, psionicists do not rely on mana as their source of energy. Instead, their power comes from within—from their spirit or soul. Psionicists use concentration to focus their abilities and do not need material items or motions to invoke their power.

Interestingly enough, there is a direct correlation between psionics and the Spirit Blades of Penwick.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Thac?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
We’ve already discussed airships. Aside from those, there are teleportation rings which can instantaneously transport a person or object to another location on the planet. There are also mage cannon which expell spheres containing great fire elementals. Those can cause massive damage to any target they hit. There are soul gems, jewels that contain the captured souls of a living creature. Those magical items can be fixed into almost any item, be it a weapon, shield, bracer, or other piece of armor, bestowing enhanced powers to the wielder or wearer. There are also rune weapons or armor which function similar to items powered by soul gems. Rune items, however, are driven by the symbols of magic, a far more preferable way to acquire power than through the enslavement of living souls.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Thac.
Entertainment in Thac is mostly found in taverns, the halls of royalty, and events. The Fair in Lukescros is yearly event that ushers in the fall season in Thac. The venue includes everything from duels and jousting to musical competitions. Music is a huge source of entertainment in Thac. Bards travel between the cities and towns, performing both song and dance, as well as telling stories and delivering news.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Thac as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The days of the week are the same as ours. However, the months are different. These are: Ianuarius, Februarius , Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Quintilis, Sextilis, Setembrius, Octibrius, Notimbrius, Decimbrius. There are numerous fall festivals throughout Thac including the Fair in Lukescros. There is also Festivus during the start of winter at the end of the year. Finally, there is a great celebration on Martius 15th. Known as “Freedom Day,” it is the date the last Thrall Master was defeated some hundred years ago.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Thac?  Please describe what it involves.
The world of Arinthar is a polytheistic society. There exists an entire pantheon of gods and goddess called the Ralnai. Above them all reside the seven greater powers who are never seen nor worshiped individually. Situated below the greater powers are the material gods. These are gods and goddesses who have manifested at times to their worshipers and provide focus to clerics, or divine casters, of their order. The material gods are numerous, each having their own area of dominion. For example, Cormar is the god of winds, Alaric the god of storms, and Arenor the hand of light. There are also dark gods such as Cel, the mistress of death. That is not her full name, but if one were to speak it, she would appear before them and they would die instantly.

What is the political or government structure in Thac?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
There is no one leader in Thac since the overthrow of the mad Emperor Naradon seven hundred years ago. Thac was divided into Dukedoms and Baronies since that time, and has been ruled in that manner to this day. The Council of the Magi in Lymeridia is perhaps the only central ruling body in the entire island continent. There are kingdoms on the mainland such as Lanfor and Isandor, but the rulers of Thac have little direct contact with them other than trade.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Thac?
The elves are a very old and proper race with a long history of propriety and traditions. For instance, they consider it polite to greet and complement each other with formal elven sayings. When Glolindir, the elven wizard, first meets the half-elf merchant, Pheldan, he thanks him with the phrase Aa' lasser en lle coia orn n' omenta gurtha. This roughly translates to May the leaves of your life tree never turn brown. Therefore, if you plan on traveling to Kai Arborous, or find yourself in the company of elves, it might be best to brush up on elvish etiquette.

Also, if you are not human, and travel to northeastern Thac, try to avoid the city of Dunwynn. Dunwyneers are extremely xenophobic, and will either run you out of town, or worse.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The stories of Thac and the Heroes sprang from a role-playing adventure my sons and I participated in over the last few years. It started out as background material for the characters, then grew into short stories, and even entire story arcs. The Heroes series is loosely based on those stories, as sort of a legacy to my sons and our friends. Thus, some of the characters have personality traits which closely mimic some of the people in my life.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Spirituality, the belief in something greater than ourselves, the spirit of cooperation, and the overcoming of our differences are all themes within the books. Racial bigotry and the corruption of power are also two topics that frequently appear in the novels.

Author Autobiography:
F.P. Spirit has always loved fantasy. From the moment he received his very first copy of Lord of the Rings back in high school, he was hooked. Today, somewhere between work and family, F. P. manages to write sword and sorcery fantasy fiction.

His novels, Ruins on Stone Hill, Serpent Cult and Dark Monolith, are the first three books in the series Heroes of Ravenford. The series chronicles the adventures of a band of young heroes in the dangerous world of Thac. F.P. is currently working on the fourth book in the Heroes of Ravenford series, Princess of Lanfor, to be released in 2017.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?
The first three books of the Heroes of Ravenford Series can be purchased on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format:

Where can readers connect with you online?
My author website is http://www.fpspirit.com/
I also have a FB page for the Heroes series at https://www.facebook.com/HeroesOfRavenford/
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I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Thac.  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 next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima