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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SHADOWS OF UPRISING Release Day!!!

The Ides of March are upon us, and as one does on the Ides of March, one stands before one’s fellow members of humanity and declares that one is introducing a really cool big deal!

Please don’t stab me. I don’t want to ruin my toga.

For those of you who’ve never read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, forget all that and just focus on the below information.

I’m releasing my new book today(!!!), and I’ve been reeling about the dizzying heights of delirium and happiness. Look at the pretty thing! 🙂

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So, down to business. If you haven’t yet read Mark of Four, snag your copy off of Amazon, on sale today for .99! And then, be sure to order Shadows of Uprising, because you’ll want to dive right into that one after you finish Mark of Four.

Second, if you are into giveaways (and I am), I’m holding a giveaway at Goodreads as well as one on Instagram (shoemakertamara). Click on the link and/or follow me on Instagram for a chance to win a free copy of Shadows of Uprising.

Third, tell your friends about these books. Independent authors rely on reviews and word-of-mouth grassroots advertising to make a living. Even a minute of your time and one line on Amazon can make the difference between this book making it onto Amazon’s mysterious “promotion lists” and watching it sink out of sight forever beneath the massive weight of millions of competing books. 😉

Shadows of Uprising

Alayne Worth possesses the Vale, an object of mysterious power coveted by other Elementals. Danger shadows her every step when this secret spreads. As she grieves the sudden death of her boyfriend at the hands of the notorious Shadow-Caster, Simeon Malachi, Alayne unravels the mysteries of the Vale and her past.

When she returns to Clayborne to pursue her Elemental training, Alayne is plagued by disturbing visions that predict a dark future. As an ominous Alliance of pure-blood Elementals spreads intolerance across the Continent, Alayne’s visions show evidence of the truth—and reveal a deadly danger to her loved ones. Alayne must conquer her fears and use her power to muster a secret uprising that will obliterate the only way of life she’s ever known.

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Four Elements. Four Powers. Four Paths.

Shadows of Uprising Cover Reveal!

Scheduling’s a bear, y’all.

I had a lovely plan, pure beauty. I released Mark of Four, the first book in my Guardian of the Vale trilogy, on November 30, 2015, and I had every intention of waiting eight or nine months until I was ready to put the next book on the shelves.

In the meantime, I was going to put the second book in my Heart of a Dragon trilogy, Embrace the Fire, on the market around March 2016, approx. nine months after the release of Kindle the Flame.

But, due to writing factors, editing factors, readership factors, ease factors, and one slightly bent spoon, I’ve decided to switch around my releases. Now, Shadows of Uprising will release on MARCH 15, 2016, and Embrace the Fire will come  out in JUNE (fingers crossed) 2016.

If you haven’t yet read the first books in either of these trilogies, take your chance now! These next ones in both trilogies intensify the action and the plot considerably, and you’re not going to want to miss it. 🙂

And since I am so excited about Shadows of Uprising, and it just hit me today that March 15th (the Ides, y’all) is right around the corner, I’m going to let you have a peek at the cover. I think it fits really well with the first cover. What do you think?

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MARK OF FOUR Cover Reveal! Squeeeeee!!!!!

I was entrenched in the life of a mystery writer when the seed of an idea for a young adult fantasy speared me with all its scintillating glitteriness, and I couldn’t help myself. I leaped from the safe platform of the genre with which I was familiar and landed in the murky waters of a genre in which I had no clue what I was doing.

At the time, there was no way of knowing the journey the book would take. When I finished it, I was vaguely dissatisfied. I’d poured my soul into that book–my love of the YA fantasy genre is deep and real, and I felt that the book fell a little short of what I wanted it to be. However, I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I sent it off to my publisher, who agreed that there was some work that needed to be done, so I took it back for another round.

That was only the beginning. I went through round after round after round of editing, throwing in fixes for what I felt was a shaky story structure. The story improved, but it was never strong.

I finally polished enough to try for a larger traditional publisher. So I put the manuscript aside, and drafted query letters. Synopses. Outlines. Bios. Whatever agents wanted, I wrote. I sent queries and sent queries and sent queries. 175 queries and nearly nine months later, I had gotten one request for a partial paper manuscript, and when I went to the post office to mail it, my post-office-demolition-expert children distracted me so greatly, I mailed an empty envelope to the agent.

Obviously, they didn’t request a full manuscript after that ordeal.

I attended a Writer’s Digest conference in New York City last fall where I had the chance to pitch my book to as many agents as I could within an hours’ time. Querying had been spectacularly unsuccessful–I couldn’t imagine that the conference would garner anything more, but I was willing to try. I went, met seven agents, and got six requests for partials of my manuscript.

I was so excited! I came home and immediately sent it off. From those six, I heard back from three, two with detailed explanations of how they loved the story, but felt that they had accepted something similar to it recently, and one that wanted the full manuscript.

I sent the entire manuscript to the agent and settled in to wait. While I waited, I wrote another book, Kindle the Flame (released in June of this last year), and in the months that passed as the agent considered my manuscript (it usually takes about six months), I experienced a massive transition in my worldview regarding publishing.

It used to be that traditional publishing was the only mark of a credible author; self-publishing platforms had at one time only been a place for people to publish things that would otherwise have been skipped over by the larger traditional publishers.

But the market has turned on its head in the last few years. Self-publishing (while still including those who write a story and toss it up for sale without proofreading or editing) now includes names from NYTimes bestselling authors as well. Self-publishing has morphed into a respectable publishing option.

As all the facts, figures, and fancies flooded my head during that six month time period as I waited for the agent to respond to my manuscript, I decided that I didn’t want to go the traditional route. Not with this book.

So, at long, long last, I decided to put the book out under my own name. I sent the book to a fabulous editor, who figured out the intrinsic weaknesses that I never could shake, helped me peel my story apart and put it back together again in a much stronger fashion, and am now finishing up the final edits on it.

MARK OF FOUR releases on NOVEMBER 30, 2015!!! Three months from now! I sincerely hope you’ll take a chance on this book. It’s the first in a trilogy (that’s already written), and will resonate with people of all ages, I think, even if it is geared for the young adult market.

Now I’ve got to show you the brand spankin’ new cover for it! I am beyond excited about it. It’s beautiful, and I absolutely love it. Below that, I’ll post a description of the book so you can start getting as excited as I am.

Hahaha! Or a fraction of how excited I am. 😉

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SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD ALAYNE WORTH is an Elemental Water-Wielder. All she wants is to master her talent and live a normal life, but the sudden escape of a feared criminal leaves her family reeling and threatens to keep her from achieving her dreams, especially when the criminal’s reach pushes too close to home.

Secret pasts, strange powers, and tense relationships weave a tangled net around her. As she leaves home to cultivate her skills at an Elemental training center, she clashes with a disturbing reality: both good and evil forces covet Alayne’s unusual gifts, and each side is willing to do almost anything to obtain them. As Alayne confronts the battle for the power she possesses, she must discover the truth of who she is.

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Four Elements  Four Powers  Four Paths

MARK OF FOUR

Bond of Blood and Fire: The Beginning of Kindle the Flame’s Journey

From “Once upon a time” to “The End”, KINDLE THE FLAME is now available for sale on Amazon at $4.99 per ebook or $12.99 for paperback. Let me hear a resounding WOOHOOOOOO  from the ranks! *cups ear* Okay, I did hear a loud one, but that may have just been me.

My first fantasy!

No, I did not really start the book with “Once upon a time.”

Yes, I did end the book with “The End.”

Yes, there will be a sequel. In fact, there will be TWO more books, because trilogies kind of rock. Yes, I’m writing as fast as I can, and no, I can’t WAIT to share the next book with you.

But I will wait.

Because I want you to read Kinna and Ayden and Cedric and Sebastian’s story from the beginning. The feedback I’ve gotten from advanced-copy-readers has been phenomenal. Can I brag on the group of people who dropped everything to read my story? They’re amazing, y’all! Check out what they have to say on Amazon and Goodreads!

And then, don’t forget to move your cursor up to that little button that says, “Add to Cart.” Because I’m not too proud to beg–or at least ask very nicely. 😉 Want to leave a review? That would be awesome, too. I count on feedback from my readers to help make my books the very best they can be (and reviews don’t hurt sales either).

And now, because I’m so excited that today is release day and my book is now for sale, for your own pleasure, I’m including a sneak peek from the book–the dramatic beginning that sets up the rest of the story 450 years later.

Drums rolled deeply across the valley, each shuddering BOOM underscored by an answering glance from the surrounding craggy cliffs. Dragonfire flickered in spurts from the mouths of the four Great Dragons, while their kind paced in the background. The bonfire in the center of the valley glinted off of their metallic scales like a thousand eyes that glared in silence.

King Aarkan bowed to the gathered Seer Fey on the far side of the bonfire, whose delicate faces were painted with grim expressions. Their matriarch, with her ankle length green plaits, bowed low in return.

“My lord King,” she greeted him.

“Wendren,” he acknowledged. He turned and bowed to the four Dragons. “Dragon Council.” Their smoky eyes flickered in the firelight, steam arching from their nostrils as they in turn dropped their heads before him.

King Aarkan glanced at his men. At his gesture they melted silently back into the darkness that blanketed the valley. The King raised his voice above the crackling flames. “We meet here, Dragons and Fey, out of mutual need. The rebel forces gather power on the borders of my kingdom and wreak havoc among my outlying counties. Civilians flee their homes seeking aid, aid that I can give, but not without help.” He motioned toward the huge beasts who watched him with unreadable expressions.

“Dragons, you too have been slaughtered by the thousands, poached for the value of your scales in providing mail and plate for the rebels.”

A resounding hiss rose from the ranks of Dragons the valley over; flames shot into the air as angry roars ruptured the darkness.

“Seer Fey, these same rebels attack your homes and level your dwellings as they drive you from the western mountains, seeking the gold that streaks your lands. They strike not only your hale and strong, but your children and your elderly. As King and Master of the people and the creatures of this land, I say that this cannot continue!”

His words thundered in the air. Dragons’ roars mixed with the shouts of Seer Fey. Behind Aarkan, his men began a rhythmic stamp on the earth, their greaves clanking in tempo with the drums that accompanied their treaty.

The terms, they all understood. A blood pact between Dragons and men would seal the fiery line of inheritance; the pact would grant kinship of the King and all his lineage to the Dragons forever. The Seer Fey would set themselves and their magic as guardians of Aarkan’s blood, and so, together, form an unbreakable bond to protect the kingdom for all generations.

The King approached the bonfire, flanked by two of his men. Sliding the cooled end of an iron rod from the embers, he pulled it out, held it high. Its sharpened point glowed fiery orange in the air.

The four Dragons stalked nearer the blaze, shuddering deep growls from their throats. Together they lowered their muzzles to the ground as Aarkan moved toward them.

“For Peace!” he shouted, bringing the searing tip down to his forearm, ripping into the sensitive skin above his wrist. His flesh hissed and smoked, but Aarkan made no sound. His blood roiled, black in the firelight, coating his arm and dripping into the dirt.

He moved to the line of Dragons. “For Prosperity!”

The first, a Poison-Quill, huffed smoke around Aarkan’s frame as the King drove the iron blade into the Dragon’s exposed snout. Dark blood rolled across the beast’s nose, flowing over the side and onto the ground. Aarkan laid his own dripping arm onto the snout and then moved to the Nine-Tail.

“For Trust!”

Into the Nine-Tail’s snout went the blade. The Dragon did not move, though a low rumble shook his throat. The King rolled his blood-soaked arm across the wound and moved to the Ember.

“For Amity!”

The Ember roared. His flaming head arched toward the sky, towering over Aarkan before pride pulled him to the ground, stilling him when the blade sliced his hide. Again, King and Dragon completed the blood connection.

Aarkan moved to the Mirage whose mirrored scales refracted the bonfire into a million blazing images.

“For enduring lineage!”

The blade came down, and the blood mixed. Lightning forked the sky and thunder rolled in time to the drums’ deep BOOM, BOOM that had picked up in intensity as the ceremony drew to an end.

Aarkan turned, holding his bloody fist to the sky. Wendren raised both arms and faced the heavens.

The drums stopped. Dead silence fell. “Great Star, Light of all lands, it is completed.” Wendren’s voice was milky with age, but the words still rang clear across the valley. “The Seer Fey prove themselves faithful.”

Once more lightning rent the heavens. A single forked bolt split the bonfire; a searing cloud of ash and flame arced hundreds of lengths into the air. The resounding crack of thunder hurled man, Fey, and Dragon to the ground.

In the silence that followed the thunder, Wendren stepped toward the brilliant embers. Mindless of the heat, she pulled an object from the flame bed, holding it high, her green-eyed gaze meeting Aarkan’s across the flames.

“Our vow to you, oh King. With all the power of our taibe, our ancient magic, we bestow upon you this amulet, to ward off evil, to restore good. It is a sign of our oath to you. The Seer Fey will guard you and your lineage forever. Your children and your children’s children will hold the heat of flames in their fingers.”

And one more time, because the cover is soooo pretty:

Kindle the FlameA girl who never fit in, a young man forced into an outcast’s life, a boy raised without a community, and a ruler who holds the key to their destinies…

Kinna has a Pixie she can’t train and a head full of doubts. Her worst fears come true when she fails the Tournament entrance test. She flees her Clan in disgrace, inexplicably drawn to a Mirage, a rare Dragon she has no business training.

Ayden is cursed—anyone he touches turns to ash before his eyes. He hides amongst the Dragon Clan with the only creatures he cannot hurt. When Kinna frees his favorite Dragon, his world turns upside down.

Cedric grows up in isolation, fostered by an outcast Centaur. When tragedy strikes, he ventures into a strange new world of Dragons, political intrigue, and magic.

Sebastian’s country hovers on the brink of war. Chased from his rightful throne, he schemes to retake his kingdom by any means possible, even if it threatens an ancient agreement that underpins the foundation of his realm.

Only by examining their pasts will these four find their futures. But will they survive the fires of discovery?

Click here to purchase.