annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Given the political events of this week, I find myself moved to pull Boosting the Signal back out of hiatus. So, effective immediately, I am now open for submissions as outlined on the Boosting the Signal page.

I will continue to accept submissions from channels I have had open before: Carina Press authors, NIWA, the Here Be Magic crowd, authors I personally know, etc.

But moving forward, I am especially interested in submissions for progressive fiction of any stripe. If you’re a QUILTBAG author and you have some work to share, I want to hear from you.

As always, Boosting the Signal is a promotional column, not a review column. It is an opportunity for authors to get creative with putting out some hooks to interest potential readers. As such, you are not obligated to send me a copy of your work, but I will certainly not turn down free ebooks if they are offered. (I encourage you to keep print copies for reviewers, though!)

Any questions, talk to me.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Today’s Boosting the Signal is the latest installment of The Epherium Chronicles, from fellow Carina author T.D. Wilson. Because yay, SF! T.D.’s been on Boosting the Signal before with a prior installment of this series, and now, we’re revisiting his protagonist–who has the larger goal of the safety of humanity jammed up against how he must report on the death of a friend.

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Echoes

Echoes

EDF Dreadnaught Armstrong
High Orbit
Tau Ceti 3
Tuesday, March 11
Earth Year 2155

James Hood stared at the blank screen of his terminal. An hour had passed with him sitting at his desk, and he hadn’t typed a single word of the letter he intended. In truth, he didn’t know where to start. As a warship Captain, he had written many letters over the past several years to family of fallen crew members under his command, but this occasion was altogether different. This message of condolence was for a close friend and the circumstances of his death were shrouded in conspiracy.

Hood stood from his comfortable chair and shook his head in disgust. EDF Command had created different magnitudes of elite cover ups in the past, often to hide to the unfortunate intangibles that the public couldn’t properly digest, but this time they fabricated a façade to promote a sense of order among the rank and file. The truth behind the falsehoods was that the brass was scared. He couldn’t believe that Admiral Grant, the supreme commander of the EDF fleet, would actually go along with it. The mere reality of that fact made the pain in his heart even greater.

Turning away from the terminal, Hood walked over to the nearby viewport and stared down at the lush green planet below. He was certain many in the upper echelon of the EDF had no idea what was orchestrating the unrest back home, but after what his people experienced on the planet surface, he had a pretty good idea now. There was a horrible darkness stalking humanity, and Hood was certain that the recent events on Earth were at its direction. This new enemy’s long term goals were still unknown, but it has the power to feed on people’s fears and turn friends into bitter enemies.

The Tau Ceti star appeared on the horizon of the planet and its warm light bathed the sky below in a yellowish orange glow. Inspiration swelled within Hood. Just like the life giving power of the nearby star, his people had managed to thwart the darkness at the new colony. The thought of their victory gave him renewed hope. He didn’t have all the answers, but he had faith they would be revealed when Earth and the EDF needed them most.

Hood spun on his heel and returned to his desk. His fingers struck the letters on the digital key pad with vigor. “Victoria, it is with deep regret that I must confirm to you the news of the untimely death of your husband. Russell died doing what he always hoped he would—saving a life of a friend…”

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Buy the Book: Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Carina Press

Follow the Author On: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)

Straight-up SF is a rarity in the Carina Press catalogue, and so I’m pleased to give some signal boosting help to Timothy S. Johnston, who’s been writing the SF thriller miniseries The Tanner Sequence. Book Three of this, The Void, releases on March 30th. And his protagonist, homicide investigator Kyle Tanner, has a very clear and very urgent goal: escape.

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The Void

The Void

Lt. Kyle Tanner, Homicide Section, Security Division, CCF
2403 AD

They say in our society that if you just follow the rules and shut up, everything will be fine.

No one gets hurt.

No one dies.

No one’s hauled away for days of torture, the worst part of which is watching your own family slaughtered.

Just shut up and obey.

It’s easier said than done.

You see, when abuse of power is going on all around you every single day, it can get to you. You start to fantasize about what you could do. How you could hurt them. How you could make them pay for the things they’ve done. But most important, you start to plan. What would it take to get away from them? To just … run?

The military rules the human race now. They control every aspect of our society. From art to commerce to travel. It’s the most restrictive time in the history of humanity.

The fact that I’m a lieutenant in the military doesn’t exactly make it easy for me. I try to tell myself that at least I’m doing some good. At least I’m helping people, helping families.

But they don’t really seem to care either. It’s understandable. After all, they’re in survival mode too. They just don’t want to get noticed for saying or thinking the wrong things. That would be bad.

I’m a homicide investigator. I try to set things right, to give families closure. It’s how I get some peace of mind in this life. But when civilians see me coming, wearing the jet-black uniform of the Confederate Combined Forces, it wrenches at their guts. They don’t see a savior.

They see a killer.

I want to run. I want to get out of this crazy society.

The fact that I’m an officer will help, along with the fact that on this final mission I have a way out.

“Transport this serial killer to Alpha Centauri,” my Commanding Officer had ordered me. “Take this ship — it’s a two week trip each way.”

Now they’ve given me a way to escape. My lover Shaheen wants to run too. She wants to get on that jumpship with me and just cruise into the dark loneliness of deep space. Disappear together.

But if I decide to run, I know they’ll follow.

They’ll hunt me down until I’m dead.

But I have to try.

I can’t handle this life anymore.

But I can hear them screaming in my head right now.

Run, Tanner. Run.

We’ll be right behind you.

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Pre-Order the Book On: Carina Press | Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Nook | iBooks (US) | iBooks (CA) | Kobo (US) | Kobo (CA) | Google Play

Follow the Author On: Official Site |Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Page Turner)

As I promised in the Boosting the Signal post for Well of Sorrows, here’s the companion post for Book 2 of the series, Leaves of Flame! And since this is Book 2 of the series, the Colin of this book has far different goals than the Colin of Book 1. As you can see in the piece Joshua has sent me for this book! Enjoy!

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Leaves of Flame

Leaves of Flame

I wanted to thank Angela Korra’ti for the chance to signal boost my novel LEAVES OF FLAME, the second in the series, here at the blog. This is an epic fantasy, with the first book called WELL OF SORROWS (available now) and the third book, BREATH OF HEAVEN, written but not yet released. Here’s a little scene featuring Colin, the main character, and what’s motivating him in LEAVES OF FLAME. If it piques your interest, then check out the books, available from Baen in ebook format, and on the Kindle and Nook. Hope you enjoy!

*******************

The White Fire of Aielan’s Light burned bright and cold in the depths of the mountains of the Alvritshai. The flames licked upwards from the stone, without source, tendrils brushing the ceiling, acting exactly like a regular fire, but silent and a pure white that caused Colin’s eyes to ache as he stared at them, entranced. But if the Alvritshai knew he was here, inside their most sacred shrine—if they knew his purpose—

He shook himself, then knelt, pulling his backpack from his shoulders and setting it on the floor. From within, he drew out a bundle of cloth, which he laid on the floor, shoving the pack aside. He tugged the cloth aside, revealing a length of heartwood, gifted to him by the forest itself, as long as his arm. It had been soaking in the waters of the Lifeblood for years in preparation for today. Tonight, he intended to forge it in the white flame, in Aielan’s Light. He needed to imbue the heartwood with the fire’s protective power. He hoped that the Lifeblood would give it the wood the strength to survive the forging process.

And if he succeeded . . . if he succeeded, then the three races of the New World—human, Alvritshai, and dwarren—might have a chance against the destructive darkness of the Wraiths and the Shadows.

Reaching forward, he grasped the length of heartwood, felt a pulse of response from deep inside as it recognized him, recognized the power that flowed through him, and then he stood. Holding it before him, he closed his eyes and gathered himself before stepping into the white flames. They wrapped around him, enfolded him in their cold silence, seeping into him, judging him. He’d stepped into their fires before, been judged, so now he reached out into the fire’s presence, formed his intent in his mind and beseeched the fire to help him.

The races needed protection. The Shadows had awoken, had learned to expand their influence beyond the prison of the Well within the forest. They were a plague upon the land, led by Walter and those that had been turned by the Lifeblood to their cause—led by the Wraiths. The races were vulnerable, were being attacked on every side as the Shadows fed upon them. They and the Wraiths needed to be stopped. They needed to be destroyed. They needed to be imprisoned again. And only Colin could do it. But he needed the Lifeblood and the Fire and the permission of the forest. He needed their sanction.

And so he asked, and permission was given. The forest provided the heartwood, the vessel, and the bane to keep the Shadows and Wraiths at bay. The Lifeblood provided the healing, the strength to sustain the warding for decades, for longer if necessary. And the Fire provided the soul, the consciousness to recognize those tainted by the Well.

He felt that consciousness seeping into the heartwood. Reaching forward, he guided it with purpose, felt it take form, felt it merge with the heartwood, with the Lifeblood, combine into something more. But it needed power. It needed to last, and so he forced more and more of the flame into the wood. It surged through his body, throbbed from his fingers into the wood, until the wood was engorged. Yet it needed more. If it were to last, it needed more, and so he let the flow continue, until he felt the heartwood trembling beneath his grip, until his arms began to shake. He fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face, gasping, the Fire around him billowing higher in utter silence—

And then the heartwood split beneath his fingers with a shivering hiss and exploded.

Crying out, he stumbled back out of the flame and collapsed to his side. Lifting himself up, he roared in defiance, hands clenching into fists over the splinters of wood that remained, then sagged forward into hitching, frustrated sobs.

An hour later, he picked himself up and gathered together his pack. He stood staring at the White Fire of Aielan, jaw set, teeth clenched. He would have to try again. And again and again and again, if necessary. Because the three races still needed protection from the Shadows and the Wraiths. Because they were still dying by their hands, by Walter’s hand. And no one understood how devastating the Shadows and Wraiths could be. Would be. Because no one, other than Walter and the Wraiths, had drunk from the Well and knew its insidious power besides Colin.

And he meant to stop them, even if it meant sacrificing his own humanity to do it.

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Buy the Book: Baen | Baen Bundle With Book 1, Well of Sorrows | Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Follow the Author On: Facebook | Twitter | Official Website

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)

I don’t often do Boosting the Signal posts for books that have been released via traditional publishing–but for Joshua Palmatier, I’m making an exception! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Joshua a couple of times, and more importantly, I’ve had the pleasure of reading his book Well of Sorrows. (You can find my review of same here.) The problem? Not enough people have had the same pleasure. When Well of Sorrows was released, his publisher had, due to prior sales numbers, asked him to release the book under a pen name, Benjamin Tate. Now that series has a new home at Baen, and the first two books of the series have been re-released under the Joshua Palmatier name. If they sell well enough, Baen will release Book 3. And I’m here to tell you: if you like epic fantasy, give this series a look. Joshua’s here today to introduce you to his character Colin! And stand by–a post is coming for Book 2, Leaves of Flame, too!

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Well of Sorrows

Well of Sorrows

I wanted to thank Angela Korra’ti for the chance to signal boost my novel WELL OF SORROWS here at the blog. This is an epic fantasy series, with the sequel called LEAVES OF FLAME (also available now) and the third book, BREATH OF HEAVEN, written but not yet released. Here’s a little scene featuring Colin, the main character, and what’s motivating him at the beginning of WELL OF SORROWS. If it piques your interest, then check out the books, available from Baen in ebook format, and on the Kindle and Nook. Hope you enjoy!

*****************

Colin chucked a rock at the chunk of driftwood bobbing in the ocean waves along the strand near Portstown. It missed, plopping into the waves shushing onto the pebble beach. He reached for another, but heard Karen calling, “Colin?” from behind him.

“Here!”

He waved and she headed toward him, the breeze coming off the water flinging her hair behind her. He couldn’t help but smile as she settled down onto the salt-bleached log beside him, grabbing her own handful of stones.

“Have you heard?” she asked, excitement threading through her voice as she threw her first rock. “They’re going to send everyone in Lean-to out onto the plains to form a new settlement! My father’s already packing up our things. What little we have.”

“I know. My father’s the one they want to lead the expedition.” He should be more excited. They’d traveled across the Arduon Ocean to the New World, leaving Andover and the brewing Feud between the Families behind, only to discover that the feud had already spread to the newly discovered continent. The land of freedom and opportunity had been anything but, the age-old prejudices alive and thriving here.

The new expedition would give Colin’s family—and all of those in Lean-to—the chance to escape it all, to head into the unexplored plains to the west in their covered wagons and create a new beginning for themselves, one without the Families looming over them. Some of the Portstown representatives would be with them, of course, and the trading company that was funding the settlement, but it wouldn’t be like living in Portstown.

If you could call it living.

And he’d be rid of the governor’s bastard son, Walter. Colin rolled his shoulders, still aching from his stint at the pillory. His skin felt tight from the sunburn, pulsing with its own heat, but the pain was fading.

Karen lobbed another stone and they both heard it knock hard into the wood. She cried out in delight, leaping up and dancing in the sand before dropping back down beside him in laughter. It faded into gasps, then settled into steady breathing as they both stared out over the dark water sparkling with sunlight.

“Maybe this is what my father needs,” Karen finally said, her previous exuberance tainted with faint sorrow. “You know, to get over my mother’s and sister’s deaths on the ship.”

He twined his fingers in hers. “It will help. I’m certain of it.”

She smiled and squeezed his hand, then abruptly stood, pulling him up after her. She was taller than he was, and half the time he didn’t know what to say to her, but it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered except getting her, her father, and his mother and father away from this gods-forsaken town and its bitter governor. Even if it meant heading onto the plains, where anything could be waiting for them.

“There’s so much we need to do,” Karen said, dragging him toward the blade-grass that lined the beach, toward the ramshackle Lean-to built by the refugees from Andover that the governor wanted nothing to do with. “So much to plan, to pack.”

She pulled him up the dune and stood tall at the top, staring out over the rumpled land that spread out to the horizon, her face lit from within by a desperate hope. Colin saw that hope and felt his chest filling with a hard determination. This was their chance. This was what they’d been waiting for. The governor had tried to beat it out of them, had tried to force them to leave Portstown, but they’d held on. And now…

Now he’d been forced to give them what they wanted. And there, at the top of that dune, Colin vowed to himself that he’d do everything he could to keep Karen and his own family safe, that he’d protect them as they forged out onto those plains and started fresh. He’d protect them no matter what.

Even with his life.

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Buy the Book: Baen | Baen Bundle With Book 2, Leaves of Flame | Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo |

Follow the Author On: Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

One of the reasons I signed on with Carina Press for the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy was their willingness to publish same-sex fiction. Bonus if it’s SF–like Chaos Station, the new release by author team Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen! Even more bonus when a character named Julian is involved. As y’all know, I do like me some Julians! But Jenn and Kelly’s Julian is rather more of a clotheshound than mine. I can hear Nine-fingered Rab coveting his wardrobe now. And as for what this Julian wants, he definitely appears to be a man with acquisition on his mind.

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Chaos Station

Chaos Station

Julian pulled at his shirt cuffs until an even centimeter of fabric peeked out on either side. The satiny gold offset the blue of his suit perfectly. It was a very particular blue—like the light captured within an arc of electricity. The smart fibers embedded in the material added just enough shine. He would stand out in this suit. He would be a commanding presence.

It was a pity the only notice he might attract would be the scruffy crew of that most annoying corvette. What did they call it again? The Chaos? Who in their right mind would christen a ship with anarchy!

Breath whistled between his lips. Julian shut his mouth and adjusted his cuffs again, aware the strain across his shoulders had pulled them askew. Then he tweaked the collar of his shirt to make sure the deep vee aligned with the point of his pendant. He caressed the solid gold cocoon and it warmed beneath his touch. When he let it flop back against his abundant thatch of chest hair, the heat was pleasant against his skin.

He was no uncouth mercenary. He was a man of substance and stature. He would not be bested by a ragtag team of bounty hunters. They couldn’t even dress sensibly. Well, the one… The tall, dark and handsome one. Zander Anatolius. He obviously had taste, but he’d been keeping the wrong company. He did not belong aboard a ship like the Chaos. No, a man of his pedigree had a much greater worth. A much greater value. With those skills and that name…

A slow smile stretched his mouth. Yes. Emma might have seemed like a prize, but she had merely been his entry ticket. And now it was time to cash her in.

He checked his reflection one more time and took a moment to admire what he saw. A man had to dress for success, did he not? What lay beneath might count for something, but when it came to first impressions, surely clothes made the man.

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Buy the Book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Carina Press

Follow the Authors On: Official Site

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

I don’t often get queries for Boosting the Signal from authors I don’t already know–but this one came to me from Sharon Black, who approached me asking for help promoting her debut romantic comedy. “But Anna,” I hear you cry, “you don’t read contemporary romance!” That’s true, usually. But I’ll cheerfully say that a) she did catch my interest talking about how this one’s set at a newspaper, and I do have a personal history involving newspaper employment, b) Ireland is always a win, and c) her cover’s rather adorable. So let me turn this over to Sharon’s protagonist Charlie, who’d like to have a word with you all! Because she’s definitely a girl with some goals.

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Going Against Type

Going Against Type

AN OPEN LETTER TO READERS OF BOOSTING THE SIGNAL, FROM CHARLOTTE ‘CHARLIE’ REGAN, THE PROTAGONIST IN GOING AGAINST TYPE.

Dear reader,

My name is Charlotte. My friends and colleagues at the paper usually call me Charlie, so you can too. I’m a 29 year old Dublin girl. Most importantly, I’m a sports reporter for a national Irish newspaper, Ireland Today.

Which isn’t easy. I mean, the work is fine. Better than fine. It’s great. I adore sports. Even wanted to be a professional soccer player, until I injured myself. And I’m not afraid to go after the big stories. I’m surrounded by men—they do dominate sports reporting. So I have to prove myself.

And a few weeks ago, it paid off! The editor gave me a shot at writing the new sports column, Side Swipe. It’ll be written anonymously—which is fine by me. For the moment.

I can almost feel the other reporters looking over my shoulder. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are great. Recently, some of us even spent a weekend in the West of Ireland, surfing in the Atlantic. Loved it!

But any reporter worth his salt would do pretty much anything to get his own column.

What’s a girl to do? Well, I’ll tell you what this one’s going to do. Write the best damned column I can. Week after week. Which is why it has to be spiky and sharp and controversial. No holds barred. What I have I got to lose?

Only the column! Because if I’m not careful, I’ll lose it to somebody who thinks they’ve earned it, just because they’ve been here the longest.

And when I’ve put my stamp on it, they’ll have to give me a by-line, right? Because by then, they won’t want to let me go.

Which would be straightforward enough, if a rival columnist hadn’t declared war! No sooner had my first column appeared, than The Squire let loose on me. The Squire is the gossip columnist at The Irish People. I don’t know who he is, of course, because his scathing column is anonymously written. But I loathe him.

A couple of years ago, he went to town on a friend of mine, when her marriage was in trouble. Her celebrity husband had been having an affair, and that despicable man at The Irish People ran the sordid details for weeks in The Squire.

Anyway, he had the nerve to attack me! I had merely pointed out the stupidity of professional footballers, getting involved with big brand sponsorship. Fashion, in particular. I mean, I’m a huge sports fan. I’m just getting a bit tired of seeing my football heroes modelling briefs. Not to put too fine a point on it, I only want to see balls going into the back of the net!

But back to The Squire. Whoever he is, he’s picked the wrong girl for a fight. Because, as I said before, this girl isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

Thing is, the whole thing has escalated, and it’s turned into this weekly war of words. It seems everyone is following us. Broadcast media, social media, you name it. Which is a lot of pressure!

Of course, I’m absolutely determined to win. There is no way I’m going to let this arrogant slime, whoever he is, get the better of me.

The other exciting thing that’s happened, is that I’ve met somebody. He is seriously hot! Derry Cullinane. Tall (the guy must be a foot taller than me), dark and dapper. He’s actually a fashion writer for The Irish People. Which is a bit weird, I must admit. But this man is not only comfortable in his own skin, I think he actually enjoys being surrounded by women. Although maybe it’s not that shocking. He’s definitely a bit of a player.

Funny thing about our first meeting. I was covering Ladies Day at The Galway Races, and this guy steps back on my foot. He apologised, but he had the cheek to suggest that I might have been standing too close to him! Anyway, when I bumped into him again later that day, he told me he’d read Side Swipe‘s racing tips and had lost €1000!

He asked me straight out who wrote Side Swipe, by the way. I told him I hadn’t a clue. Pretended I was just there to write about the fashion. There was no way I was owning up to getting that one wrong!

I nearly blew it though. We met a few weeks later, through mutual friends. When he told me he worked for The Irish People, I started ranting about how much I hated The Squire. You’ve never seen anyone change a topic of conversation so fast. It’s a wonder he asked me out at all.

I don’t really understand why he did. You have no idea, we are complete opposites. I just don’t think I’m his type at all.

But right now, I deserve a bit of fun in my life.

And after my last boyfriend, I have no intention of getting hurt again.

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Buy the Book: Tirgearr Publishing | Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Follow the Author On: Facebook | Blog

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Shawna Reppert has quite a bit in common with me–fellow Carina author, fellow NIWA author, and fellow writer of urban fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve actually already featured this book, before on Boosting the Signal, but that was while she was running the Indiegogo campaign for it. Now the book is out and available, and Shawna’s sent me another piece for the book. This time, her character Chuckie would like to have a word with you!

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Raven's Wing

Raven’s Wing

Hi, Chuckie here.

I know I’m not the first image that comes to mind when you say the words ‘Guardian International Investigations.’ I’m built like a scarecrow and my defensive magic isn’t much better than above-average. You’re more likely to find me on a computer than at the gym. I’m an oddball even for GI-squared, and that’s saying something.

I mean, my boss’s ID may say ‘Abigail Andrews’, but everyone calls her ‘Sherlock’, as much for her pipe and her tweed as for her brilliant deductive skills and her Anglan accent.

My partner, at first blush, might seem like what the Joint Council had in mind when they set up GI-squared. Cass Greensdowne once clocked damned near a four-minute mile and she can outlift about half the men in the department. But it’s the strength of her magic and her creativity in using it that make her stand out. So, poster-girl Guardian material—except that she learned her chops apprenticing to Corwyn Ravenscroft back when he was still a dark mage. Of course, she didn’t believe at the time that he was a dark mage, no matter what anyone said, and—well, that’s a long story.

I have been accused of rambling.

So, I know I’m not the hero of any tale, and I’m okay with that. Heroes always catch the worst of whatever goes down. Honestly, when I see what Cass and Raven go through…though Raven would never admit to being a hero, he totally is. He risked not only death, but horrible death, to take down William, and took himself past the point of exhaustion to finish the job. Damned near killed himself.

He’ll tell you that it was atonement, or enlightened self-interest, blah, blah, blah. Just like all those cases he’s helped us with, the ones he’s worked night and day on, the ones where he’s saved lives, those were just because he was bored and needed the intellectual stimulation. Yeah, right.

And I’m rambling again. Cass, if she were here, would be glaring at me to warn me to get to the point already.

So, you asked me about my goals. Which I take it is a more polite way of asking what a scrawny geek like me is doing working for Guardian International Investigations. No, don’t bother to apologize, I get it all the time and, frankly, it doesn’t bother me. Much.

The thing is, as smart and as fast and as good at magic as the heroes are, there’s some things they can’t do. Let’s face it, given a Mundane computer, half the mages in the city don’t know a mouse from a mainframe. But there is a certain criminal element, mostly young and up-and-coming, that know how to interface computer knowledge with mage skills. I know, ’cause I used to be one. I was only out for a laugh, but I did some pretty major damage, and I’d like to think what I’m doing now makes up for that in some way. And hey, maybe I can stop some kid someday before he does something he’ll regret the rest of his life.

(Yeah, I know I seem all happy-go-lucky, but I still have nightmares sometimes.)

Even when someone isn’t getting creative with magic and Mundane technology for all the wrong reasons, the computer’s a useful tool in getting information fast, and that’s useful if you need to know now how many heirs there might be to a certain bloodline if only those heirs are capable of using a magical artifact that’s gone missing. Like, say, the Ravensblood.

I’m like the smith who shoes the knight’s horse before some fairytale battle. I may not be a hero, but I help make the heroism happen. And that’s good enough for this geek.

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Buy the Book: Amazon (Kindle and Paperback) | Barnes and Noble (Paperback) |

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

First up, I had a couple of excellent Boosting the Signal posts this past Friday! Cory Dale sent me an excerpt from her new release Demon Fare, and Jake Elliot, fellow member of NIWA, came by to tell me about his “mock-epic” fantasy The Wrong Way Down. Check their posts out if you missed ‘em when they went up!

***

Second, Bone Walker has a release date! AND A COVER! \m/ The ebook edition will be officially releasing on February 3rd! The official Bone Walker page has been updated accordingly! And the cover is now included on the homepage as well!

And as soon as I have a viable test mobi, I will be putting the book up for pre-order on Amazon. Other pre-order links will be following as soon as I can make them.

All hail Dara for her cover work and Kiri Moth for the art!

***

Third, speaking of Bone Walker‘s march to release, I have already asked current proofreaders to get any noted typos back to me by Wednesday the 14th. Because Dara needs to commence work on the print and PDF versions ASAP in order to maximize our chances of having the print edition ready by Conflikt. So if you’re proofreading and you didn’t already see a request about that, do please get back to me by Wednesday!

On a related note, however, if you’d like to sanity-check ebook formats for me, stand by. As soon as I have a viable test mobi, I will need it tested on any and all available Kindle devices. I personally own a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ and will be using that for testing purposes. But all other types of Kindle will be welcome.

Likewise, I have two Nooks: a Nook HD and one of the new 7″ Samsung Nooks. I also have a Kobo Mini. Both will be used to test. If you have other type of Nook or Kobo device, though, those would be helpful.

AND, any iOS device owners comfortable with using iBooks OR Android device owners comfortable with getting books onto your devices, testing from you would be welcome too. Though tablets will be most useful once we have the PDF ready to test.

***

Last but not least, don’t forget, Faerie Blood remains on sale for 99 cents to celebrate Bone Walker‘s imminent release! It will remain on sale until the end of February, at which point I’ll bump the price back up. So if you haven’t gotten the ebook of Faerie Blood yet, now would be a REALLY good time. ;D

And if you’re so inclined, do please spread the word about the sale! The sale price applies wherever Faerie Blood‘s ebook edition is sold, and I will honor it for any requests to buy the book directly from me as well!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Page Turner)

Jake Elliot is a fellow member of NIWA, and he gets today’s second Boosting the Signal post so he can tell you about his ‘mock-epic’ fantasy The Wrong Way Down. What’s a mock-epic fantasy? I’ll let him explain! Take it away, Jake!

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The Wrong Way Down

The Wrong Way Down

Thank you, Angela, for giving me a place to talk about my ‘mock-epic’ fantasy, The Wrong Way Down. What is ‘mock-epic?’ Many characteristics of this series hold true to the fantasy genre, however, it reads with a different spin. My heroes could be heroic and have the right stuff, but they can’t quite become heroes. In fact, their mission is so dire, and the world needs them to win, but every foot forward is one step closer to their graves. So therefore, this tale is ‘mock-epic.’

In chapter three of The Wrong Way Down, the story’s heroes receive two scrolls to be delivered to the nearest military garrison. The first scroll is read, but the second one is never opened. These are the words written upon the unopened scroll—

Dear Priest Betrum, my old friend,

I don’t know how to begin this letter, for it tells the worst of misfortune. Without easy words, High Priest Marcel was murdered this morning before dawn. I know this information is staggering by its own weight, but the ‘why’ of his death is far worse.

We are in deep trouble out here. I don’t know anyone else within the Church who I can turn to with this, so I’m turning to you, my most trusted brother in faith. I entrust you to invite whichever Superior you feel can adequately respond to the gravity of our situation. I am at a loss as to who to contact. The holy scepter we’ve been entrusted to keep secure is gone. LeSalle’s Grace was stolen this morning.

It is a delicate line we stand on, protecting Grace while continuing to display the divine relic has been a tradition provided at our temple for over 400 years—now broken. This morning, thieves using a hook and rope climbed into Grace’s display room, where subsequently, they murdered Marcel as he prayed. Marcel—our friend and teacher for twenty-four years—cut down in cold blood.

We are still at a loss to figure out how this crime transpired. We were awakened at the time of occurrence. The room to LeSalle’s Grace had been barred from the inside. It took Priest Horace several attempts, but on the third thrust he broke the door-jam with his shoulder. There, through a window no bigger than a crawlspace, at least one burglar escaped down a rope tied to a grapple. Now Marcel is dead and Grace is gone.

Truly, by the blessing of the divine, we found one thief lying unconscious in the middle of the room. My best guess is she—the unconscious thief—touched LeSalle’s Grace. As you know, holy power of that magnitude will sunder the ‘misaligned.’

Maybe thirty minutes ago she regained consciousness, but her only response to our questions is a mouthful of obscenities. As if she were spawned from a devil, she tempts us to break our vows of pacifism. My subordinates are on a slippery edge—I’ve had to call them back twice. By the gods, Betrum, I saw the animal rise within my own clergy—our compassion is but a shallow well.

Since this woman refuses to cooperate in any fashion, I’ve decided to have her escorted to Blackmire Garrison. By the time you’ve received this letter, the woman will have been broken by the garrison inquisitor. I’ll send instructions to the fort commander to forward the interrogation report directly to you. She’ll act tough for a bunch of priests, but I doubt she’ll last a minute under an inquisitor’s blade. God, please forgive my betraying thoughts. However, it is quite possible you’ll receive the inquisitor’s report at the same time this note arrives.

Call upon me as needed, I am in ever-loving service to our God and Church. I will tend to the spiritual injuries of my staff, and as any new information arises, I will keep you informed.

My prayers keep you in mind,
Ellund Saiwel,
High Priest at the Temple of Dawn’s Mystery

Popalia is a young priestess. She is the unlucky girl to be assigned the mission of delivering two letters and a rebellious thief to the local military outpost. Assisted by a servant at the temple, Popalia’s mission is a long-shot that goes horribly wrong—and after that, it gets worse. They’ll be waylaid by a backward group of wild elves, chased through the woods by a relentless bear, surviving all of this only to be duped by a gang of shifty thieves, finally seeking uncertain protection with the unscrupulous Ascolan Brothers’ Mercenary Team. This fun story begins when the heroes fail—over and over.

Welcome to The Wrong Way Down.

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Buy the Book: Amazon (Digital and Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback)

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Cory Dale, a.k.a. Karen Duvall, has released her latest book: an urban fantasy set in a version of New York that blends demons, steampunk-style tech, ghosts, and witches. It sounds like great fun, and today she’s got an excerpt to from the book to share with you that lays down some clear goals for her demon protagonist Henry Paine. Check it out!

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Demon Fare

Demon Fare

“Your neighbors don’t seem to like you very much.” The woman hadn’t stopped smiling.

The word “neighbors” sounded like “naybehs.” A Southern girl. Henry sighed and backed his way into the apartment, sweeping out his hand to welcome her in.

“Thank you,” she said and stepped inside.

The woman had guts, he gave her that, but he questioned her intelligence. He outweighed her by a good hundred pounds, though that hadn’t stopped her last night. The bruise on the back of his head was gone, but not the memory of how it got there. She obviously wanted something else from him and he was curious to know what it was.

“I’d offer you coffee, but I’m fresh out,” he lied, inhaling the luscious scent of his morning brew.

“I prefer chicory.” She gazed around the apartment, not bothering to take off her coat, which meant she didn’t intend to stay. Good. But she did unbutton it and flapped the lapels to fan herself. “You keep it mighty hot in here.”

“My kind like the heat.”

She nodded as if she understood. “Nice kitchen, though that’s the oddest-lookin’ refrigerator I’ve ever seen.”

The robotic arm on the fridge unfurled from its side, two eggs clutched in its steel-clawed hand. It angled as if to throw them straight at the woman’s head.

Henry stepped in the way and scowled at the fridge. It seemed to know more about her than he did. “What is it that you want, uh…”

“Wanda. Wanda Snow.” She stretched her fingers to grab the pinwheel on the table and it flew out of reach, twirling up to the top of the bookcase. “Your little spy is a nice touch, Mr. Paine.”

“How do you know my name?”

“The cab company where I traced your possessed steam car told me you lived in this building. But no one would give me your apartment number. Thanks to your spy—” she glanced up at the bookcase —“I knew just where to look.”

Wanda stared down at his copper heater and it scuttled underneath the bed. It was scared of her. Why?

“Lady—”

“The name’s Wanda.”

“Whatever. Look, you’re upsetting my machines and you stole my demons last night. I’ve been patient, but if you don’t tell me where my boxes are right now, I’ll—”

“You’ll what?” She didn’t sound so pleasant now. A thick strand of hair braided into her bun began to glow a vibrant shade of green. “Please tell me, Mr. Paine. What will you do?”

He didn’t know anything about this woman, but his demon intuition told him she was dangerous. She was up to something, and it had to do with the demons she’d stolen.

He locked eyes with her, his will funneling through him like water through a rain spout. He poured it directly into Wanda.

Her smile faltered and she scowled. “What are you doing?”

“I only want to make you happy, Wanda.” His eyes sizzled in their sockets. “And you won’t be happy until you tell me where you stashed my boxes.”

“Can’t.” She swallowed and in a choked voice added, “Must send them back to Hell.”

“But they’re here to help people.” He meant every word, though his intention was to soothe whatever had aggravated her into taking his Vox to begin with. “They want to be here.”

She shook her head. “They can’t understand. It’s not right.”

It was Henry’s turn to scowl. “What’s not right?”

A thin line of blood trailed from one of Wanda’s nostrils. That wasn’t good. She had to stop resisting him.

It was vital she tell him where his Vox were. Those boxes held the future. They represented progress for the modern world. And most of all, they were tied to his family’s livelihood.

Wanda launched herself at him and he caught her by the elbows. Her right hand pressed against his chest, fingers splayed over his heart. “Stop,” she whispered.

“I will. Just as soon as you—”

There was a tugging sensation beneath his skin, then beneath his rib cage. His heart pounded, the muscle cramping and then opening, as if to release something from inside. Part of him felt compelled to return to the Earth’s center and the molten core where the source of his being still lived. It hungered for half of him, his demon half, pulling at one part of his soul while the other part clutched desperately at his humanity.

He gasped. “No!”

They stood locked together in a stalemate of power. If he didn’t release her, she’d die. If she didn’t release him, his demon half would leave him forever. And he’d surely die without it.

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Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

Dragonwell Publishing has had a few titles featured here before, and they’re back now with another: Jonathan L. Ferrara’s new offering, The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin. If you like some angels and demons in your reading, you might want to check this one out. And as villains go, you don’t get much more old-school than the original fallen angel himself.

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The Blackwell Family Secret

The Blackwell Family Secret

Thousands of years gone since I fell from grace, condemned for eternity in the City of Demons. Humans fear me, demons worship me, but Nicholas Blackwell threatens me? The orphaned brat with nothing but his family’s dark secret to haunt him thinks he can stand a chance against the first fallen angel? Protected at his school by my noble brother, Gabriel; these days blending within humanity as a janitor of a Catholic boarding school. He is more pathetic than I remember him to be. Never fear. I have a plan to lure Nicholas to me. An ancient trick I’ve used before: the forbidden fruit. One bite and he will unleash the Seven Deadly Sins, sending him on his journey through Demonio. I wonder how he will handle himself against my Princes of Hell while hunted by demons, and terrorized by evil. But if he succeeds, perhaps he is more valuable to me groomed as my appreciate rather than another soul trapped in the Valley of Death. Let’s see if Gabriel can protect him now.

But the girl who accompanies him on his quest against sin… She troubles me in so many ways. She knows more than she leads on. Amy—a teenage girl, or perhaps something more? Either way, my true concern lies with Nicholas’s affection for her. She teaches him the virtue of humility when it is the sin of Pride that must conquer him if he is to embrace his family’s legacy.

It’s not just Amy, it’s those betrayers hidden in my city. They call themselves the “Risen”. Stupid fools who think they’re clever. I was the one who devised defiance! It was I who began the rebellion! Yet these “Risen” believe they can do what I did to my Father? They had better pray they find their inner divinity before I pick them off one by one.

Nicholas Blackwell, what foolish lies his parents led him to believe. So naive it was to trust them. They kept so many secrets from their precious boy; a secret that has fooled the entire world for centuries and has the power to change life itself. Nicholas, make rightful your sin from indulging in the forbidden fruit. Find me and I will reveal to you the secret your parents took to their graves. All it takes is just one bite. I, Lucifer, await you.

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Buy the Book: Amazon | Dragonwell Publishing | Barnes & Noble

Follow the Author On: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Now that I’m >this< close to finishing edits on Victory of the Hawk, I am now officially pulling Boosting the Signal out of hiatus. (As y’all might have guessed given that I put up a post today!)

So I’ll be putting out the word via my usual channels to solicit pieces. Any fellow writers reading this, if you’d like a Boosting the Signal date, talk to me!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

I’ve mentioned fellow Carina author Susanna Fraser to y’all before–and I have indeed featured her before right here on Boosting the Signal. I’m delighted to have her back for her latest release with Carina, a romance novella just in time for the holidays. If Christmas-themed romances are your cup of spicy, aromatic tea, then you really can’t go wrong with a Fraser.

A Christmas Reunion is the story of star-crossed lovers reunited at Christmas just a week before the heroine is set to marry another man. For today’s post, Susanna’s stepping into the point-of-view of that other man—the perfectly wealthy, charming, and suitable Sir Anthony Colville.

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A Christmas Reunion

A Christmas Reunion

I need a wife. Whether or not I want one hardly matters.

Other gentlemen have the luxury of delay, or even of never wedding at all should true love fail to enter their lives or if the thought of a settled existence does not appeal. Those gentlemen either lack entailed property or have trustworthy heirs for it already, brothers or nephews or cousins who will take good care of their lands and dependents should it come to that.

I am not so fortunate. The cousin who would inherit Colville House, and with it responsibility for the health and well-being of my tenants, my lands, and my mother and sisters, is a rogue and a wastrel of the first order. Every day that I go without fathering a healthy, legitimate son and heir and, ideally, an equally healthy younger brother for him, is a day everything my grandfather, my father, and I have worked for decades to build remains at risk of utter ruin.

Lady Catherine Trevilian seemed an answer to my every prayer. She is a clever and self-possessed young lady of excellent birth, ideally suited by both family connections and inclination to be a great political hostess as well as the mistress and patroness of my estate. No, I am not passionately in love with her, but nor is she with me, so there is no imbalance there. We are friends, we can talk for hours, we can make each other laugh, and until today I was confident we would be happier together than ninety out of a hundred married couples in Society.

But today I saw her with Captain Gabriel Shepherd, the baseborn and penniless poor relation of the family who became Catherine’s guardians after her father’s demise. They had not seen each other in five years, the good captain having been driven into the army after the two of them were caught kissing under the mistletoe, if you please! I would happily regard this as a mere youthful indiscretion—after all, who of us hasn’t experienced desperate calf love at sixteen or eighteen or twenty?—except that neither of them can tear their eyes from the other for any length of time, and last night I saw them passionately kissing on the staircase.

I would never wish for Catherine to be unhappy. By any logical measure I would be a better husband for her than Captain Shepherd. Who knows if that grand Romeo-and-Juliet passion of theirs would last if she actually married him and had to live an everyday life with a man so far beneath her in birth and fortune? With me she would always have safety, stability, and a secure place in the world she was born into.

Yet I will never be able to offer her that passion, that wild intensity of feeling. And now that she’s tasted it again—and as a woman grown, no longer a girl barely out of the schoolroom—will she truly be content without it?

Still, I need a wife most desperately. I wish I knew the right path to follow.

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Buy the Book: Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | AllRomance

Follow the Author On: Twitter | Blog | Facebook | Newsletter Sign-Up

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Book Geek)

I know Cecilia Tan via the Outer Alliance mailing list, and so when she put out a call for help promoting a title she’d re-acquired rights to, I told her, sure, send me something for Boosting the Signal! So this is another out-of-band post, a bit delayed since I’m still neck-deep in editing and also in Canada this week. However, here’s Cecilia’s post for The Siren and the Sword. Her protagonist’s goal? Make it through his first year of a secret magical university hidden in Harvard–and deal with both his emerging bisexuality and his emerging magic.

This piece is an excerpt from the book, and lays down the beginnings of both of these goals. Check it out, and if you go check out Cecilia’s book, tell her Boosting the Signal sent you!

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The Siren and the Sword

The Siren and the Sword

From The Siren and the Sword: Magic University Book One by Cecilia Tan

Another student came up to their table in the dining hall, a pale-skinned boy with black hair. Kyle stared as the newcomer slid his hands over Michael’s shoulders and Michael tilted his face upward for a quick kiss of greeting.

They made almost a matched pair, though Michael’s cheeks were a little rosier and his hair like straight silk, while the other’s curled in small black tendrils. “Who’s your new friend?”

Michael kept looking up at his friend. Boyfriend, Kyle corrected in his mind. “His name is Kyle Wadsworth. Seems to be a bit of a late bloomer.”

The newcomer extended a hand to Kyle, who shook it. “Frost. Timothy Frost.” Had his hand felt cooler than Kyle expected? Or was it— “Frost, like…”

“Robert Frost, yes. Hmm, Wadsworth, eh?”

Michael shook his head and spoke as if he’d read Frost’s mind. “He hasn’t been assigned a house yet. Or shown any magical aptitudes.”

“That is curious,” Frost said, moving away from Michael and taking the empty seat on the other side of Kyle. “No party tricks? No visions?”

Kyle opened his mouth to say “No, I…” then stared in disbelief as Frost snapped his fingers and a few fronds of some kind of plant appeared in the palm of his hand. He opened Kyle’s limp hand and dropped them into his palm.

“You seem less than impressed?” Frost’s eyes were ice blue.

“I, um, I’ve never seen anything like that before…?” Kyle stammered.

“Not a botanist either, I would guess,” Frost said with a sniff. He snapped his fingers again and Kyle jumped as the long fuzzy stalks in his hand suddenly developed ice crystals.

“How did you do that?” Kyle said, too amazed to worry about the sneer Frost was giving him.

“He invoked his Name,” Alex said with a dismissive wave. “Yeah, I’d call that one a party trick, Frost.”

Frost shrugged. “I’ll always be able to prove who I am though, won’t I? Put your eyes back in your head, Wadsworth. If they fall on the floor, they’ll get dusty.”

“How many times did the bell ring for you, Frost? Once?” Alex said, a toothy smile on his face.

Frost’s pale cheeks reddened, but he didn’t say anything in return. He stood smoothly and returned to standing behind Michael’s chair, running his hand over Michael’s silky dark hair possessively.

Michael looked up at him again. “Fourteen,” he said.

“Are you sure?”

“According to Kimble, anyway.”

Frost’s eyes narrowed. “The cards will decide,” he said with a shrug. “I’ll see you later, darling.” They exchanged another very quick kiss, then Frost left.

The two girls were glaring daggers at his Frost’s back as he went and that made Kyle feel a bit better. “Honestly, Michael, I don’t know what you see in him,” one of them said.

Michael shrugged. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Apparently not. But really, fourteen? Kyle, that’s amazing.” She had wavy red hair with blond highlights and reached across the table to shake his hand. “My name’s Marigold, but I can’t make marigolds come out of my ass.”

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Buy the Book: Riverdale Ave | Amazon | B&N | AllRomance

Follow the Author On: Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

This is another out-of-band Boosting the Signal post, which I’m doing mostly to support the 2014 NIWA anthology, and because I can! So y’all remember I’m in NIWA, right? There’s an anthology coming out TODAY! It’s called Underground, and one of the participating authors, Roslyn McFarland, sent me in a piece called “Soldier Boy”, which is a prologue to her piece in the anthology. Enjoy!

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Underground

Underground

Soldier Boy

Prologue

How long has it been?

Swords rose and fell accompanied by a cacophony of sound: the clashing of steel, the thudding impact of a weapon meeting its mark, the screams and moans of the dying. As a soldier of Scotland, ’twas my duty to play the part as directed by my superiors. This primarily involved the bloodying of my hands, an occupation in which I did not revel despite my unusual—let’s say, aptitude.

Then came the change.

Years? Decades? Centuries? So long since I’ve even bothered to keep track, I have no idea.

The pervasive harmonies of trauma and war stilled as soldiers returned to their homes or were committed to the grave. I stand alone amid the echoes of their memory. I don’t know why. Why me? Why this trail, this path, this lake? Mine is not to know, only to protect. I assume that’s what I am, what I do. A protector. Any who come upon me shouldering the mantle of darkness or bearing a soul full of anger and fight, soon meets the specter I cannot. Death will come to call within a fortnight, claiming yet another soul not my own.

Therein lies the crux of the situation. Though neither food nor drink pass my lips, rest also purely optional despite my ceaseless wanderings, I do not die. I live. Alone. Endlessly alone. Human contact is as surreal a concept in my waking days as the possibility of an endless sleep claiming me in the night. It doesn’t happen. It can’t happen.

It is my destiny. My curse.

I walk through the mists and weeds along green shores, forsaken, the burden of the souls lost by my hand weighing down each step.

Then she came.

The lass with the bright eyes and fiery spirit, who either doesn’t know my tale or doesn’t care. Whose odd accent and stranger clothes, products of a new era, do nothing to disguise the strength of a soul bearing its own heavy burdens. Whose touch, soft skin, cocky yet kind smile, blow warmth through the husk of what I am, relighting embers I thought long since withered away, buried by the ash of time and death.

How long has it been, since I felt the warmth of human touch?

How long before my curse takes her?

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Anthology Blurb

What does “underground” mean to you?

This anthology from the Northwest Independent Writers Association presents fourteen “underground” stories, each with a different interpretation of the titular theme. In these pages, you will visit a murderer’s hideout, walk the road to the afterlife, plunder a dragon’s lair, uncover a mysterious archaeological artifact, glimpse human existence after an environmental apocalypse, and delve deep into dark secrets, crime syndicates, forbidden worlds, sacrifice, and the human psyche.

Featuring stories by:

Mike Chinakos • Amber Michelle Cook • Pamela Cowan • Jake Elliot • Jonathan Ems • T.L. Kleinberg • Jason LaPier • Maggie Lynch • Roslyn McFarland • Cody Newton • Dey Rivers • Steven L. Shrewsbury • Dale Ivan Smith • Laurel Standley • Jennifer Willis

The Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA) supports indie and hybrid authors and promotes professional standards in independent writing, publishing, and marketing.

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Buy the Book: Amazon (print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Kobo

Follow NIWA On: Official NIWA Site | Twitter | Facebook

Follow Roslyn McFarland On: Facebook |

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

I meant to get this posted a few days ago, for which I apologize–this is what happens when I’m flattened by dental surgery! But that said, this is another book with a crowdfunding campaign to which I’d like to draw your all’s attention, especially as the Indiegogo campaign is down to its final hours.

Shawna Reppert is a fellow Carina author, and like me, she’s got some self-pubbed work as well. She’s gotten some high praise for her first solo effort, Ravensblood. Now she’s looking to publish the sequel, and is calling on potential supporters to back her up right over here. Hours are counting down, so go give her a look, won’t you?

And in the meantime, here’s a Boosting the Signal piece that Shawna sent me! Of this piece, Shawna says: “Since Raven’s Wing is written with three POV characters—Raven, Cass and the villain (not gonna tell you who it is, you have to read the book) I thought it would be interesting to let one of the secondary characters have a say. Mick MacLean volunteered.”

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Raven's Wing

Raven’s Wing

Mick sat at the kitchen table, nursing a cup of rewarmed coffee, listening to Raven’s soulful piano-playing in the next room. The boy was good, not quite concert-pianist quality, but only an educated ear could hear the difference. If Raven had devoted himself to music instead of the Art…but may as well say that if a sheep had gills, it’d be a fish. The Three Communities, and likely the rest of the world as well, had reason to be glad that Raven had devoted himself to the study of magic, whether they chose to acknowledge it or not.

Even in his younger days, Mick would have been no match for him, and he’d been formidable in time. Back in the day when he’d left his outback home and traveled to another continent to help the Three Communities bring down William’s father. Much as his boy had helped to bring down William himself.

Only Zack had never come back.

Raven still looked at him as though he expected to be blamed for Zack’s death, or maybe just for surviving when Zack had not.

Life had taught Raven to expect unfairness. Mick was determined to teach him to trust in kindness, as well. Ana had started the lesson. Cass, he knew, tried, but it was different with lovers, more complicated.

He liked the man. At first, for the sake of Zack, who had befriended him, and for Ana, who had mentored him and worried over him. Later, on his own merits.

Oh, there were bigger-scale reasons to offer the man sanctuary. Whoever had stolen the Ravensblood was powerful, cunning, and surely up to no good. Mick would do anything in his power to head off another William.

Or William himself, returning. They never had found the body.

But if the last Mage Wars had taught Mick anything, it taught him that if you lost sight of the small stuff, the human stuff, while focusing on the big picture, then you risked becoming the thing you fought.

He still wondered if Giles would be alive today if he hadn’t pressured him harder to get out. If he’d made more of an effort to be a friend to the man instead of a handler, maybe Giles would have taken his pleas more seriously. He asked himself if his failure to do so came from holding the life of a dark mage more lightly than he would have another source’s.

In all these years, he hadn’t been able to answer that question.

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Support the Book on Indiegogo at: Indiegogo Campaign | Sample Chapters

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Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

Oh, this one’s near and dear to my heart, you guys. Chrysoula Tzavelas is Tribe, and I mean that literally: I met Soula back in the day when she was a player in my Willowholt tribe on Two Moons MUSH, when her character Calmwind was the love interest of my character Wayfound. No fewer than four of us out of the Willowholt—myself, Soula, S.L. Gray, and of course the inimitable C.E. Murphy—became writers post-Two-Moons. So it gives me distinct pleasure to feature Soula on Boosting the Signal now!

And in particular, to feature her forthcoming book Wolf Interval, the latest in her series with Candlemark & Gleam. They’ve got a Kickstarter in progress RIGHT NOW to fund the publishing of this book, with nine days to go as of this writing. So if you’ve read Soula’s prior work, or even if you haven’t, take a gander at this piece about Yejun, one of the supporting characters in the book. And then go check out the page for the Kickstarter! Talk to us, Yejun!

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Wolf Interval

Wolf Interval

I never really tried to run away from home. Hell, it never even occurred to me when I was a kid. I didn’t want to run away; I wanted them to love me like they loved my little brother. That didn’t really work out. But, hey, that was then. Life moves on. By the time I was a teenager, I’d been swallowing all that bull about how I would probably die any day for years, about how my differences were a sickness that would destroy me, or possibly I was actually a demon. It wasn’t until I was almost eighteen that I realized I was doing fine. I was just different and nobody knew how to deal with that.

That’s when Senjen showed up. Man, Sen—short for Ascención—was something else. She was this tiny Latin American woman with sparkling eyes who seemed to know everything. Jen was her girlfriend, and they wanted to do what nobody else had ever even considered: they wanted to teach me about how I was different. They wanted to teach me to control those differences rather than be controlled by them. Yeah. You can bet I went with them like a shot.

It was great for a few weeks. We picked up another guy, Cat, and we were going to help Sen on this epic project involving the Wild Hunt, which is on a countdown to escape and tear things up real soon now. And after we saved the world, Senjen—and maybe Cat—and I were going to do a world tour while they taught me about their amazing world.

Sen was over six hundred years old. That’s old. She was born before Columbus brought the European invasion to North America. She’d seen the whole world turn upside down over and over again, and her eyes still sparkled. She never stopped laughing. Jen, on the other hand, was just 38. She was human like me. She told me, later, that Sen’s kind could live forever if nobody killed them.

But somebody did. Something. My grandmother called me a demon sometimes, but she didn’t know anything outside of her book and shows. I’ve seen a real demon now. I’ve felt the fires they can call. I’ve seen the wreckage they leave behind, of buildings and bodies. Sen is dead, and Jen…Jen is worse. There’s just Cat and me now to stop the Wild Hunt and I’ve got no idea how we’re even going to find them.

What’s left of Jen says there’s hope though. There’s a girl she heard about. She’s a little like Sen and a little like me, and apparently she can find anything if she puts her nose to it. We’re going to have to find her first and convince her to help us. For her, we know where to look. They want me to talk her into this, because Cat’s got to keep taking care of Jen. But…I’m not the most convincing guy out there so…wish me luck?

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Buy the Book: The book’s not yet available, but you can support its Kickstarter here! And Candlemark and Gleam has a cover reveal post up about it here!

Follow the Author: Official Site | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

Oh, this one’s near and dear to my heart, you guys. Chrysoula Tzavelas is Tribe, and I mean that literally: I met Soula back in the day when she was a player in my Willowholt tribe on Two Moons MUSH, when her character Calmwind was the love interest of my character Wayfound. No fewer than four of us out of the Willowholt—myself, Soula, S.L. Gray, and of course the inimitable C.E. Murphy—became writers post-Two-Moons. So it gives me distinct pleasure to feature Soula on Boosting the Signal now!

And in particular, to feature her forthcoming book Wolf Interval, the latest in her series with Candlemark & Gleam. They’ve got a Kickstarter in progress RIGHT NOW to fund the publishing of this book, with nine days to go as of this writing. So if you’ve read Soula’s prior work, or even if you haven’t, take a gander at this piece about Yejun, one of the supporting characters in the book. And then go check out the page for the Kickstarter! Talk to us, Yejun!

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Wolf Interval

Wolf Interval

I never really tried to run away from home. Hell, it never even occurred to me when I was a kid. I didn’t want to run away; I wanted them to love me like they loved my little brother. That didn’t really work out. But, hey, that was then. Life moves on. By the time I was a teenager, I’d been swallowing all that bull about how I would probably die any day for years, about how my differences were a sickness that would destroy me, or possibly I was actually a demon. It wasn’t until I was almost eighteen that I realized I was doing fine. I was just different and nobody knew how to deal with that.

That’s when Senjen showed up. Man, Sen—short for Ascención—was something else. She was this tiny Latin American woman with sparkling eyes who seemed to know everything. Jen was her girlfriend, and they wanted to do what nobody else had ever even considered: they wanted to teach me about how I was different. They wanted to teach me to control those differences rather than be controlled by them. Yeah. You can bet I went with them like a shot.

It was great for a few weeks. We picked up another guy, Cat, and we were going to help Sen on this epic project involving the Wild Hunt, which is on a countdown to escape and tear things up real soon now. And after we saved the world, Senjen—and maybe Cat—and I were going to do a world tour while they taught me about their amazing world.

Sen was over six hundred years old. That’s old. She was born before Columbus brought the European invasion to North America. She’d seen the whole world turn upside down over and over again, and her eyes still sparkled. She never stopped laughing. Jen, on the other hand, was just 38. She was human like me. She told me, later, that Sen’s kind could live forever if nobody killed them.

But somebody did. Something. My grandmother called me a demon sometimes, but she didn’t know anything outside of her book and shows. I’ve seen a real demon now. I’ve felt the fires they can call. I’ve seen the wreckage they leave behind, of buildings and bodies. Sen is dead, and Jen…Jen is worse. There’s just Cat and me now to stop the Wild Hunt and I’ve got no idea how we’re even going to find them.

What’s left of Jen says there’s hope though. There’s a girl she heard about. She’s a little like Sen and a little like me, and apparently she can find anything if she puts her nose to it. We’re going to have to find her first and convince her to help us. For her, we know where to look. They want me to talk her into this, because Cat’s got to keep taking care of Jen. But…I’m not the most convincing guy out there so…wish me luck?

web-page-separator

Buy the Book: The book’s not yet available, but you can support its Kickstarter here! And Candlemark and Gleam has a cover reveal post up about it here!

Follow the Author: Official Site | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)

Boosting the Signal continues to technically be on hiatus on the grounds that I am frantically trying to pull the last of Victory of the Hawk out of my head. HOWEVER, a few folks have asked me to run pieces for them anyway! And I said sure, as long as they could get me completed pieces without me having to make any tweaks to them.

One of those people is fellow Carina author Sheryl Nantus, who y’all may remember sent me a piece for her Carina release earlier this year, In the Black. Sheryl’s back now, because Book 2 of that same series has released! Folks, I give you In the Void. In this piece, we’ve got one of the crew of the Belle having a sneaky suspicion about the goals our next hero in the series had better be setting for himself. Take it away, Sheryl!

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In the Void

In the Void

Diego! Mon ami! How’s it going…yeah, I know it’s been a while since I got in touch. Been a busy few weeks on the Bonnie Belle but I guess you heard about that. Bad business, crazy business with one of the girls getting murdered.

You got it all? Man, that’s fantastic. Your buddy was cool but I told him I’d rather deal with you direct ’cause we’re buddies. Yeah it was a bit of a lie but he was getting a bit too greedy asking for a tip and between you and me I know he gets enough of a cut. Besides, I like dealing straight-on with my suppliers.

I’ll pass on your condolences to Bianca along with the new curtains. She’s taking it hard but who can blame her? Still life goes on like the Guild wants and we’re turning and burning hard for every landfall with Captain Keller taking us in the black and keeping us safe.

Keller? She’s a damned good captain, better now that she’s gotten a bit o’fun with Marshal LeClair. I know we’re not supposed to know but he keeps coming ’round to inspect the Belle and make sure we’re all fine and ends up in the Captain’s cockpit more often than not, if you get my drift.

It’s good for her and for him and for all of us—well, maybe not Sean. He’s one of the boys, a fine medic and a sweet Irish who’s been around almost as long as Kendra. I think. You know they don’t like to talk about where they been or what they were before signing up to be a Mercy man or a Mercy woman.

He’s got a look about him like when a gear’s been worn down, the edges catching but not quite right—you get what I’m saying? I know it’s tough for everyone out here on the edge but he’s looking a bit more frayed than usual. Sometimes he gets this look and I know he’s not here on the ship and he sure as hell isn’t a Mercy man. He’s gone elsewhere and it’s got to be an awful place from the expression on his face. Then he comes on back to us and makes a joke and tries to hide from the pain.

Can’t blame him for getting tired of being out here. He’s getting older and there’s not a lot of old Mercy men. I know, I know, mature men are better lovers and all that but Sean’s getting to the point where he’s gonna have to figure out what he’s all about without the Belle.

Anyway, thanks for the supplies. I know the Dragons appreciate our business and you know I appreciate you coming out here to meet me. I’ll probably have a bigger list next time—got two cabins empty and I just know the new courtesans are gonna want to redecorate and that’s bad for me and good for you.

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Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Carina Press | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Follow the Author On: Twitter | Facebook | Official site | Goodreads Author Page | Goodreads Book Page

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

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Anna the Piper

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