Book Blitz and Giveaway – The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener

Today I’m helping to celebrate the release of Michelle Diener’s second fairy tale retelling:
The Golden Apple
An Adult Fantasy Romance based loosely on the Princess on the Glass Hill

Kayla’s world has been turned upside-down…

Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire†kingdom is at stake.

Rane’s honor is torn in two…

In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to–including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.

Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together…

Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla’s actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes


This is how Michelle got inspiration for The Golden Apple

The Golden Apple is loosely based on the Norwegian fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill. The original tale is more about the hero than the heroine, and it is a very straightforward quest story, with the hero becoming more and more accomplished, until at last he succeeds against the odds. But there were a few things in this fairy tale that stood out for me and made me take notice. The first is the very unusual situation of the king holding a contest for his daughterís hand by putting her on top of a glass hill with a golden apple in her lap. Knights from all over are invited to race a horse up the smooth glass sides of the mountain and the one who can pluck the golden apple from the princess’s lap wins her hand and is heir to the kingdom. As usual in fairy tales, there is no explanation as to how the king came by a glass mountain, but I wondered where he got it, and that sparked the starting point of the story. It is really the inciting incident that starts the story off, rather than the focus of the story, as it was in the fairy tale.

Secondly, the crux of the tale, for me, is that the hero cannot win the princess’s hand without help from the princess herself. That part of the original tale is one or two lines long, but for me, it’s fascinating. The feminine power determining and choosing which masculine power will prevail. This really made me interested, because the princess doesn’t just sit there and take whoever it is manages to accomplish the (impossible) task set by her father, but actively chooses who it is she wants to win and helps them. I wanted to write a story about the consequences of her taking that power and using it and The Golden Apple was the result — far, far more heroine-centric than the original, and I really had fun with it.

– Michelle Diener


LAST CALL FOR REVIEWERS!
Are you interested in fantasy romance?
Do you love fairy tale retellings?
Have you read Michelle Diener and enjoyed her work in the past?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you can request a review copy of The Golden Apple! The Golden Apple is up for review by invitation only on NetGalley. Reviewers with book review sites can apply for a limited number of pre-approved copies. Book reviewers who post their review on their review site, Amazon, and Goodreads can enter a Rafflecopter draw to win one of ten copies of any Michelle Diener book of their choice, or a $10 Amazon gift card. (Instructions in sign-up form.)

Sign up HERE!


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes In a Treacherous Court, Keeper of the King’s Secrets and In Defense of the Queen.

Michelle’s other historical novels include Daughter of the Sky, The Emperor’s Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies (loosely connected to The Emperor’s Conspiracy).

Michelle’s first fantasy novel, Mistress of the Wind, is set for a December 23, 2013, release.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Goodreads * Amazon * Website * Twitter * Facebook

Blitz-Wide Giveaways:
1 – Enter to WIN one of ten ebooks of The Golden Apple.
– March 30 – April 7.
See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

The Rafflecopter is just one click away

2 – For book bloggers: Review The Golden Apple by April 1, 2014 and enter to WIN one of 10 prizes:
– Choose any one of Michelle Diener’s books or $10 Gift Card!
– March 24 – April 7

Request an early review copy using the form. Instructions on entering the second giveaway are included!

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Book Blast and #Giveaway – The Fallen by Lee French and Erik Kort

 
 
No one keeps secrets from her…
 
 
The Fallen
by Lee French and Erik Kort
Publication Date: January 26, 2014

Series: The Greatest Sin #1

Genre: Fantasy

For hundreds of years, the Blaukenev clan has wandered across Tilzam, from one end to the other and back. Each wagon carries history, love, laughter, pain, sorrow, and secrets. Their greatest secret of all may be Chavali, the clan Seer.


Spirits 
claim 
use 
save 
damn her. 


With her gift/curse, nothing surprises her anymore, no one keeps secrets from her. She, on the other hand, has more than enough secrets to keep. Secrets of her own, secrets of her clan, secrets of the world, secrets she even keeps from herself.


There are always people who want secrets. 
Some will do anything to get what they want. 

The Fallen is the foundation of the story of The Greatest Sin, of a world adrift from its God that desperately wants Her back. Chavali’s comfortable, predictable life will be ripped apart and burnt to ashes as she’s forced into the middle of that struggle. Change, she hates it passionately. It hates her right back.

Available on:

About Lee French and Erik Kort
 
Lee French lives in Worcester, MA with two kids, two mice, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.
 
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest
 

 
Erik Kort abides in the glorious Pacific Northwest, otherwise known as Mirkwood-Without-The-Giant-Spiders. Though the spiders often grow too numerous for his comfort. He is defended from all eight-legged threats by his brave and overly tolerant wife, and is mocked by his obligatory writer’s cat. When not writing, Erik comforts the elderly, guides youths through vast wildernesses, and smuggles more books into his library of increasingly alarming size.
 
 
This event has a Giveaway too!

Featured Author – Carmilla Voiez

1505565_505694392877894_1578029324_nToday Carmilla Voiez features on the blog. She was kind enough to not only answer a few questions but also shares snippets of her work.

Hi Carmilla, thanks for taking the time to sit down and let me grill you. I’d like to start with a few personal ones, if you don’t mind?

Living in Scotland it must make you long for sunshine and warm beaches, or at least I assume it does. What is your favourite holiday destination?

I am not a sun lover. I tend to prefer holidays that revolve around art, music and culture. I love Brugge and Paris and even York as a holiday destination. I think I yearn for the buzz of city life more than warm beaches.

What was the first book you took out of the library when you were young?

I am not sure whether it was the first, but I remember taking out a series of picture books with a ghost called George as the central character who had lots of adventures. I did search for the books for my children, but unfortunately couldn’t find them again.

What kind of movies do you enjoy watching?

Horror, art house, and good drama.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Coffee and cigarettes. Yes, good health doesn’t seem to be a theme in my life or work.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I love salads. I’ll throw in all sorts of peppers, fruit, nuts, and dressings. It’s the crunch of raw food that sends my taste buds wild.

A very nice Spinach Aragula Cranberry salad with Goat’s cheese and Walnuts found on the Cranky Pancreas

That wasn’t that bad, was it? But let’s get on with it and move on to the topic you are really here for.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

Starblood. It’s the first book in a trilogy and introduces a group of friends who are part of the Gothic subculture. Their lives revolve around music, alcohol and magic. It is the magic side that proves to be a catalyst for very violent change in all of their lives.

starbloodAMAZON

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In a seedy Goth club, a beautiful woman dances, waiting to be set free. Along an unlit street, another woman stumbles, fleeing her pursuer. In a darkened room, a man speaks to demons.

Lust, obsession, terror and humiliation storm into the lives of Star and Satori, proving the age-old maxim – be careful what you wish for.

Starblood, the debut novel by Carmilla Voiez, is a tale of magic and horror.

 ***

Blinded by love, Satori, a young magician, attempts a spell that goes horribly wrong, resulting in the demon Lilith returning to Earth. Satori knows he must send Lilith back. The dark goddess brimming with power makes it her mission to wreak havoc on Satori’s life by ensnaring Star, the woman he loves, and her friends in a web of chaos and deceit.

***

‘Carmilla Voiez makes Clive Barker look like Stephanie Meyer.’ Jef Withonef, Houston Press.

Excerpt

‘Lilith,’ the white-haired man calls to her.
She turns to look at his thin, silk wrapped frame and weak, obsequious eyes. He is speaking again. The sound annoys her.
‘I felt it the moment you stepped from Chaos into Malkuth. The world trembled as your foot touched the floor. We all did. You have an army here, should you want it.’
What is he telling her? The words buzz around her ears like ravenous gnats. An army? What do I want that I might need an army? ‘An army.’
His eyes shine. ‘Yes, we want to change the world in your name. Stay here, please. Lead us into temptation.’
Lilith shakes her head. ‘You’re a liar and a misogynist. You want to follow because you want revolution, freedom and fire. If Samael or Asmodeus appeared beside me you would bow before them and, under their protection, spit at all I am and all of womankind. Why do you desire revolution when this world is already of your making?’
He bows his head, but not before she sees the hatred burning in his eyes.
‘You want power and glory,’ she says. ‘I see through you, into the black heart beating pointlessly in your skinny chest. You are nothing, good for nothing.’
‘I am nothing,’ he agrees. He kneels before her. ‘Please, make me something. Let me serve you. Do you want him? I can call him down. What do you want? I will get it for you.’
Lilith strides into the kitchen. Everything sparkles; it is like magic. Drawing a heavy butcher’s knife from a chrome block, she touches the tip and runs a finger along the blade.
‘Sharpen this,’ she tells the man hovering in the doorway.
He looks at her then sets to work, gathering a wand and leather strap from a drawer. The knife sings as it is sharpened. Closing her eyes, she lets its song fill her.
‘Knives. Wonderfully phallic, don’t you think?’ she says, more to herself than him.
‘Yes,’ he answers quickly. ‘People who carry knives are sexually repressed. It’s the act of penetration they crave.’ He blushes and turns away. ‘I’m sorry … here, it’s sharp now.’
She takes the blade from his extended hand. He does not meet her eyes. ‘You know what I did. Did you watch? Did it excite you?’

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

It’s the title of a song by Cranes that seemed to sum up a lot of what the main female character Star is going through.

Would you conform your work to suit the market?

That would seem pointless to me. I don’t need much money to survive and fame is a frightening concept. I just want to share my vision and connect with readers.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I promote on Facebook and Google+. I have two blogs. I make videos of readings from my books and I have a new monthly podcast that is starting on 13th February. Facebook seems to generate the most attention, but I like to mix things up a lot.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. Hehehe, I love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I am a strong believer in women and women’s rights. I spend most of my time, both when writing and not writing thinking about how we can change this world to make it a more friendly and supportive place for my daughters and other women. I tend to turn the horror genre on its head so women are not the victims in my tales, or even if they are they have a power and a presence and make their own choices that directly affect their lives. I spend a fair amount of time reading about feminism and the LGBT movement and hope in some way my writing might help bring others around to a greater understanding of the supposedly weaker sex and the fluid nature of gender and sexual identity.

Thanks for being here Carmilla and I hope to see you back soon with more exciting news or just because you’ve wrote a guest post about one of the topics that are important to you.

If the readers want to know more about you or even follow you and buy your books they can find you on:

Your site, Tumblr, Facebook, and Goodreads

The Dreamweaver’s Journey by Diana Wicker

dreamweaver kindle cover

The Dreamweaver’s Journey: The Age of Awakenings Book 1

The Realm of Feyron has always been. It is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where all the worlds meet. Once, in days gone by, there were many gateways within the Temple of Pyli connecting the Worlds Beyond seeded with magic to their home. Now many gateways have flickered out, and Feyron weakens as the magic fades and the Guardians are lost.

For the first time in over three hundred years a Dreamweaver has come of age and is tasked with contacting the Guardians. When she awakens in the night after a vision of her best friend lost and alone, injured in the snows at the top of the Crystal Mountains, she seeks out the Sacred Fire in the Temple in an attempt to call forth more information. A voice calls out from the fire, “Dreamweaver, you are summoned.” An image appears of an ancient path through the Mist Shrouded Forest leading to a hidden gate into the Crystal Caverns below the mountains. The Guardians have summoned her on a quest that will take her to the four realms of light within Feyron in search of answers and aid.

Available at:

AMAZON | B&N | SMASHWORDS

***

author photoABOUT THE AUTHOR

Diana lives in the balmy climate of the US south with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and a cantakerous rabbit. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy making), and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.)

She can be found online at:

Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Feyron

Why did you write this book? How did it evolve?

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and may yet “ripple” outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic.

Thank you for choosing ATW to promote your book and I invite the readers to come back Saturday to find out more about The Dreamweaver’s Journey.

 

Review The Perfect Player by Devon Winterson

TPP Cover final new

AMAZON KINDLE | PAPERBACK

***

I love a good fantasy novel and it is obvious this author takes pride in not only writing a great story, a flawless great story, but she’s also very apt in creating a world you can fully believe is real. That said her creatures, character, major and minor, are all fully fleshed out. I rooted for them from the get go and really wished for good things to happen to the good.

I had trouble putting the book down just because I needed to know what happened next, would the heroine be able to …., could it be possible that the bad guy turns around and show the good that has to be in him? No, I’m not going to give any spoilers, but believe me, you will want to know and like me be in awe of how completely, utterly captivating this novel is. How every word is in its proper place, how each and every sentence works and all the action, dialogue, and narration reads easy and feels real, even if it’s a fantasy novel.

You know what the most surprised me? How this author manages to rekindle my love for serialised fantasy novels, because I can’t wait for the next instalment to come available. Not that this one has one of those open ends that leaves you hanging, not at all. This novel is a full story with its own end, but there’s room for more and I want more!