Unleash the Inferno Release and Giveaway!!!

Today, my second completed trilogy hits the virtual shelves at the ‘Zon, and I am so, so thrilled about that! Unleash the Inferno, while arguably the hardest-to-write book I’ve released yet, is probably the most satisfying as well. I love how all the loose ends wrapped up, and in a trilogy with an enormous ensemble cast, that was a difficult thing.

Anyway, if you love epic fantasies and medieval settings and dragons and political intrigue and romance and Lord of the Rings-esque battles, you’ll enjoy this one! I hope it occupies a space on your Kindle shelf (or, if you’re like me, your REAL shelf that you have to dust every now and then).

Once you’ve read it, tell your friends! Hop on Amazon and leave a review, even a one-liner! I depend on those reviews for sales, and they’re super hard to get (because who has time to leave a review?). But I hope, if I ask pretty please with a fruit-or-candy-of-your-choice on top, that you’ll at least consider it. 🙂

In other news, I have TWO giveaway winners of this book! For those of you who signed up for my newsletter, you get access to discounts and giveaways that aren’t necessarily available to other venues, and two of you have been selected as winners! Congratulations to Rebecca Cooper and Shirley Cochran! I’ll have my editor send your free e-copies to you in short order. Thanks for entering!

For the rest of you, hop over to Amazon to pick up your copy! Only $3.99 (roughly equivalent to a chai tea latte at Starbucks, and instead of just an amazing drink, you get a whole amazing book with a little more staying power than a delicious beverage!)! Thanks in advance for reading!

After the Battle at ClarenVale, Kinna Andrachen unites those who spurn King Sebastian’s tyrannical reign, mustering a rag-tag army of soldiers and creatures to face Sebastian’s far larger Lismarian army. Victory is elusive and allies are scarce, but Kinna’s tenacious spirit cannot succumb to injustice. Her fiery heart must learn to lead.

At last mastering control of the four Touches of the powerful Amulet, Ayden finds himself at the center of an epic struggle to destroy the corruption that has tainted the throne of Lismaria for centuries. As time runs out, his options for survival fade, surrendering him to a dark destiny.

Tied to a fate he does not want, Cedric Andrachen resists his inheritance, fleeing the lust for power it sparks in him. As war looms, Cedric faces his choices: will he turn his back on his throne and his kingdom? Or will he enter the struggle against tyranny, bringing the freedom his people have so long sought?

Sebastian sits, at last, on the Lismarian throne, stolen from him twenty years prior. But now the Rebellion, led against him by his niece and nephew, threatens his security from across the Channel, and the Amulet’s promise of power tempts him into even darker shadows. Ghosts of the past brutalize Sebastian’s present until the lines of reality blur with nightmare.

Flames of war ignite between nations. Peril threatens the Andrachen line.
Who will survive the inferno?

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GUARDIAN OF THE VALE RELEASE DAY!!

It’s hard to believe that the day is finally here when I have an entire trilogy–Book One, Book Two, and Book Three–in all its page-filled glory sitting on my shelf with the name Tamara Shoemaker on it.

I started writing the first book, Mark of Four, back in 2013. I let it sit for a while, polished it, sent it through the agent-submission rodeo, took it back, polished it again, professionally edited it, and finally put it on the market in November 2015. I put the second book on the market in March 2016, and now, book three is here in October 2016!! An entire trilogy in under a year!

Details. I’m so excited about this book; it’s my favorite of all the ones I’ve written! Why? ‘Cause cool magic. And battles. And bad guys. And action. And swoon-worthy heroes. And romance. And loyalty. And friendship. And good things. And hard things. And more.

Check Guardian of the Vale out for yourself! I’d love to see this book shoot up on Amazon’s ranking system on release day. 🙂 Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to hear about free deals and discounts! Enjoy!

Guardian of the Vale Low Res

Clayborne Training Institute, a school for teen Elementals, has fallen beneath a sweeping nationwide coup led by the Elemental Alliance, a party of power-hungry sectarians. Having narrowly escaped the fight for the school, Alayne Worth, Quadriweave and possessor of the Vale, flees Clayborne with twenty-three desperate students seeking the headquarters of the Last Order, the underground organization planning to wrest control from the Alliance. Danger shadows her steps as the struggle for the Vale and its power stalks ever closer to home.

Conflicts, perils, enemies, and rebellions push Alayne toward a cataclysmic battle that threatens to rend CommonEarth at the seams, and the Vale is the linchpin that decides the victory or the defeat. When those closest to Alayne threaten her possession of the Vale, will she and the world in which she lives survive the fallout?

Embrace the Fire is Liiiiiiiivve!

I had no clue when I started Embrace the Fire that I would want to throw in my writerly towel before it was finished. Of all my books, this story was the most complicated, hard-to-craft, frustrating, eye-bleeding, hair-tearing piece of fiction I have ever created, and that’s saying something.

Because of that, I think it’s also the best book I’ve written yet. Complicated and action-filled, the plot, characters, structure, and themes of the book are something I’m quite proud of. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I do (the reading is a completely different story from the writing of the book).

Enjoy fantasy? Give this book a read-through. Don’t necessarily enjoy fantasy but do enjoy stories of relationship, struggle, overcoming, romance, adventure, and action? Buy this book and another one to give to a friend. Want to see something cool? Check out the book trailer for Kindle the Flame… and then buy Embrace the Fire. 😉

And if you think about it, please post a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads when you finish! It can be as simple as “I liked this book,” but even that one review will make a huge difference in the career of this author. Thanks in advance!

Be sure and watch social media later this month. Emily June Street and I will be hosting a flash fiction contest and book giveaway to celebrate our June new releases. Even if you’re not a writer, this is still a fun contest you won’t want to miss!

Purchase Link

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Wanted by King Sebastian, Kinna, the long-hidden daughter of the assassinated King Liam, flees for her life, determined to seek out her twin brother and free him from Sebastian’s dungeons. Meanwhile, the King holds Kinna’s adopted father as collateral to ensure she keeps her betrothal to a man she does not love.

Once cursed by King Sebastian to turn everything he touched to ash, Ayden suffers from new, searing pain that heats his flesh in a different way. Searching for answers, he digs into the histories of West Ashwynd’s Clans, and his discoveries lead him to the Amulet he’d thought had rid him of his curse. When he finds a rare Mirage Dragon, hope for vengeance upon Sebastian fills him again.

Captured and stripped of his power as Dragon-Master, Cedric resists using his Dragon-speak to advance Sebastian’s political aims. When he escapes the King’s clutches, he resolves to find his twin sister, Kinna. But the enemy has a long reach, and Cedric’s chains are unrelenting.

Ice and agony torment Sebastian, King of West Ashwynd. His fury rages unabated as he prepares for war. When treachery leeches into his ranks, he turns against everyone he trusts. Sebastian believes he cannot be outwitted, but…

Kingdoms rise and fall; wars transform nations—Who can survive the fires of Dragons?

~~~~~~~~~~

For release day, a peek at the prologue:

Dark of Dusk and Magic

Time lost its steady cadence in the caverns where the woman crouched next to a guttering candle. The art of the heavens remained unseen here; she could not trace the tracks of time across the sky. The only marking of a day’s passage was the time it took for the daily candle to burn into nothingness, extinguishing at last with a silent puff of smoke, plunging her into deep blackness.

And then she would sleep. When she woke, another candle would rest in the holder, another day would pass in the weak flicker of warmth. The tallow pooled around the candle’s flame that cast shadows upon the cave walls where moisture dripped and moss crept. A quill shivered in her fingers, scratching across the creased parchment on the cavern floor.

Hash marks covered the wall, one mark for every lifeless candle, a representation of the elusive time. Somewhere, out there, a king sought her son, who, with others, had fled The Crossings, West Ashwynd’s capital city, after the Tournament. Death awaited him if he were caught, but a life on the run presented its own cage.

The woman raised a hand to her mouth, blowing a warm breath over her chilled skin, and returned to her script. The words, she thought, might never escape the cave, but the relief from their release kept her cold fingers at their task.

Dearest son,

I hear the Dragons in my dreams, but even waking brings no end to their fury. It troubles me greatly.

I hope you are well, and that you continue in the path set before you. My captors have yet to free me or to deliver messages; however, they allow me to scribble my thoughts onto parchment. I hope, someday, that you may receive this.

The Amulet calls to me, even from its hiding place. At times, the urge to take it and use it overwhelms me, and it is then that I am glad for the safeguards I’ve placed around it. It is powerful, son, and evil at times, drawing upon the darkness of the Seer Fey who chose power over peace. The Amulet, carrying traces of the Fey who have left the path of the just, draws all darkness into itself.

It is well that Sebastian no longer possesses it. The Amulet would ignite like dry grass beneath such a volatile temperament as his.

No longer is the Amulet the pure gift of the Stars. No longer is its power clean and self-contained. Both it and our peace were shattered when the Seer Fey divided.

The Amulet was meant for good, and some goodness remains within, but deep blackness tarnishes its power now. It has separated our people, my son, creating a rift that will never be healed. Those Fey who remain loyal to the tenets of our agreement with Aarkan are far fewer than those who deny them.

The opposition refuse to listen to me; they vastly outnumber the ones who remain faithful to the Bond of Blood and Fire. They did not listen to me when I told them my discovery—that the Amulet does not break curses, only redirects them. Instead, they enclosed me in their prison, and I am a captive of their greed. Guilt pierces me, my son. As you know, I gave the Amulet to one in order to break his curse, but instead, I have unknowingly only redirected it.

The greed of the Seer Fey Council holds sway at present, and I fear, the end of peace.

Stay strong, my son. May we never stumble from the course the Stars have set before us.

She set the quill on the stone floor and rubbed her aching knuckles. The tallow dipped lower in the holder, hardly illuminating the parchment, though the glow of her pink hair shivered in the flickering light.

She picked up the quill once more and signed her name with a flourish.

Lovingly,

Helga

Writer’s Ink: Bryen O’Riley

I first met Bryen O’Riley at a meeting of the Shenandoah Valley Christian Writers’ Group and was immediately drawn to her as a fellow fantasy writer. We kicked off a long and glorious friendship that included many scintillating conversations about odds and sundry writing details over late night greasy food, cabbage leaves, and writing strategies.

She’s stopping by my blog to promote her new book, The Gryphon, the second book in her Chronicles of Quat series, releasing on June 2nd. Pull up a comfortable chair in my virtual living room (I call the couch) and listen in!

Maude Pic

1.) Condense your book into three sentences for us.

In The Gryphon, Tad’s captors carry him to the Unknown Lands in the north to face certain death. Rynn is used by the Quatists to calibrate their ultimate weapon against the Fae. Etan is manipulated by the most evil man the world has ever known.

2.) What was the hardest part of writing this book for you? What part did you enjoy the most?

I think the middle book of a trilogy is tricky. *Editor’s note: Hear, hear! This is usually the place where the hero learns his skill and the conflict is set up for the next book, etc. I typically find middle books a bit boring and I really like action in my books so balancing all of that was hard.

The part I enjoyed most is linked to that. In my search for adding something new and fresh to the story in the second book, I introduce an entirely new people and belief system. I enjoyed revealing more complexity to my Science vs. Religion conflict in this second book of the trilogy.

3.) Who is your favorite character from this book, and what makes him/her your favorite?

I like Rynn the best, I think. She is my favourite from the first book too. I like her sacrifices and her struggles. The Gryphon allows the reader to see a little more into her past and her thoughts. It also shows her to have more depth than the first book which mostly focused on her role as a mother.

4.) What specifically do you enjoy about the fantasy genre?

I think, deep inside all of us, is a hero or heroine. Our monotonous existence in this time and place – pushing papers, pushing buttons, pushing strollers – doesn’t allow much chance for heroics and fantasy is a lovely respite into what our world should really look like.

5.) Since we’re such a visual culture: if you could direct your book in an adapted-to-screen version, who would you pick to play the roles, and why?

This is very difficult for me to do since I do not have television (and haven’t for 15 years!) I don’t know most of the new talent so most of these people are a bit older than they should be for the part but it will give my readers an idea…

Tad – Liam Hemsworth

Etan – Chris Hemsworth

Rynn – Catherine Zeta-Jones

Alastar – Bradley Cooper

Mikhail – Kevin Costner

Galen – Chris Pratt

Elisathaya – Alexandra Daddario

Chet – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

6.) Can you describe the process of how you built your story from the seedling of an idea into the fully-fleshed-out book that it is now? What was your original idea? How close is the finished product to it?

The original idea was just to have the conflict center around the belief in Science and the belief in Unseen things. I am a big critic of Science (the methodology itself) and wanted to write a story that focused on people who found Science impossible to believe in. The story itself has changed a bit from my original story which was about a sister and brother who originally discovered the Stone. However, I have written that story down in a prequel short story that I plan to release eventually. The decision to make the trilogy about later in history (2,000 years after the Stone was discovered) was pretty easy—that is where the most conflict in the story was found.

7.) What’s next for you? Another in this series? Or are you embarking on another journey with another series?

I do need to write the third book in this series but I also have a really fun idea for a romance (I write romance under the pen name Aletheia von Gottlieb). Honestly, I will probably work on finishing The Chronicles of Quat series since I have readers waiting for the ending! But on days when I’m not feeling it, I may allow myself to get sidetracked with the romance—sometimes the best thing for me to do when I’m feeling stuck is to work on something else for a bit and then come back.

8.) Quick Answers. Don’t think more than a second about these:

Peanut butter or Nutella? Peanut butter, but Nutella is close behind!

Paperback or ebook? Paperback

Applesauce or fruit cup? Applesauce (if homemade)/fruit cup (if there are no gross fruits — like oranges! — in it)

Rowling or Tolkien? Tolkien

Tea or coffee? Tea

Europe or Caribbean? Europe!

Chicken or beef? Beef

Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre? Pride & Prejudice (by a LONG shot!)

Swimming or skiing? Skiing!

9.) Any authors to whom you want to give a shout out? Who has been a part of your journey, an inspiration, so to speak?

I think the person I can credit with encouraging me to get serious about my writing, besides family, was Kay Walsh. She was the first person who looked at my work and said, “This is publishable.” I had always thought I was a decent writer, but who doesn’t think that? It was amazing for me to hear someone else, with such certainty, tell me I was good enough. Then it was she who sent me the information about a contest that fit the very piece she had complimented. I sent the story in and it was chosen. I am so grateful to Kay for her encouragement and support—I do not know if I would be a published novelist today if it weren’t for her.

Gryphon Cover

The mystical power of ancient Belief struggles to reclaim a world threatened by the new and equally powerful Science, while Happenstance and Prophecy manifest, and deliberate Ignorance threatens all.

The Chronicles of Quat trilogy continues as Tad is carried to the Unknown Lands in the north by strange men with even stranger abilities where certain death awaits.  Etan must keep a secret from Alastar, even as the man seems to have a sinister ability to force people to do his will.  Rynn’s captivity on the Isle of Quat reveals the largest threat the world faces—something even Alastar fears.

Some will fail.  Some will fall.  But all will strive.  And in the end, perhaps, the Gryphon will ride upon the wind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bryen read her first fantasy novel, The Eye of the World, at fourteen.  She has voraciously consumed fantasy novels (to heck with sleeping!) ever since.  Bryen is the author of The Chronicles of Quat series.  Visit her blog at www.bryenoriley.blogspot.com.

 

The Dragons are Coming!

Nearly a year ago, I released my first fantasy ever, Kindle the Flame. I had intended to put the second one in the trilogy on the market within six months, but various things got in the way (namely this book and this book), and I’m only just getting the sequel ready now.

But it’s here, y’all! June 1, 2016, exactly one year from the date Kindle the Flame came out, Embrace the Fire will be available on Amazon!

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If you’d like to pre-order the book (which is great for kick-starting my book into the higher echelons of Amazon’s ranking systems), check out this link here!

Need a reminder what Kindle the Flame was about? Check out the book trailer! You all invested in this series when you voted for me to win the trailer contest, and Dalitopia Media came through with a fantastic one. Seriously, check it out!

Now I’ll stop rambling so you can head over to that link and buy the book. 🙂 Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon when you’re done. I can’t stress enough how crucial reviews are for indie authors to get anywhere in the publishing business, and even a one-liner is quite sufficient.

Enjoy!

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Wanted by King Sebastian, Kinna, the long-hidden daughter of the assassinated King Liam, flees for her life, determined to seek out her twin brother and free him from Sebastian’s dungeons. Meanwhile, the King holds Kinna’s adopted father as collateral to ensure she keeps her betrothal to a man she does not love.

Once cursed by King Sebastian to turn everything he touched to ash, Ayden suffers from new, searing pain that heats his flesh in a different way. Searching for answers, he digs into the histories of West Ashwynd’s Clans, and his discoveries lead him to the Amulet he’d thought had rid him of his curse. When he finds a rare Mirage Dragon, hope for vengeance upon Sebastian fills him again.

Captured and stripped of his power as Dragon-Master, Cedric resists using his Dragon-speak to advance Sebastian’s political aims. When he escapes the King’s clutches, he resolves to find his twin sister, Kinna. But the enemy has a long reach, and Cedric’s chains are unrelenting.

Ice and agony torment Sebastian, King of West Ashwynd. His fury rages unabated as he prepares for war. When treachery leeches into his ranks, he turns against everyone he trusts. Sebastian believes he cannot be outwitted, but…

Kingdoms rise and fall; wars transform nations—but who can survive the fires of Dragons?