New Release – Rite of Wands

Genre: YA magical fantasy 

 – available now 🙂

Book Description
 THE RITE OF WANDS by Mackenzie Flohr

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

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http://www.bhcauthors.com/Books_Flohr_Rite_of_Wands.html

Excerpt

“Mierta!” Mortain shouted at the top of the stairs, hearing nothing but his own voice echo. Watching smoke drifting out of the open doorway, Mortain took in a deep breath and tried to slow down his heart. The aroma of acrid chemicals and burning flesh filled his nose.

“Mierta!” he shouted again. “Son, you all right?” He listened, hearing nothing more than what sounded like gasping breaths.

“Father,” Mierta mouthed in response to Mortain’s calls, unable to produce any sounds as he dropped to one knee. His heart was pounding. Each pulse matched the ache he felt in his temples. A deep burning pain seared through his chest every time he took a breath. It was like he was slowly being strangled and there was nothing he could do to stop it. The inside of his nose felt charred and his throat felt like he was swallowing tacks. He blinked, his eyesight blurring, the pain beginning to overwhelm him. Nausea built in his throat and droplets of sweat slid down the side of his face. He wished he could do anything to end the torture. He could not imagine dying would be much worse.

Mierta attempted to stand and tried to get away from the workbench. He managed a few staggering steps before his body was drained of all energy. He watched puffy white circling clouds fill his vision before everything was replaced by darkness.

Mortain felt his stomach drop at the sound of something breaking. “Mierta!” he screamed, racing down the stairs. “Mierta, answer me!”

When he reached the bottom, Mortain abruptly stopped, taking in the horrific scene before him. His son was unconscious; lying sprawled out on his back. What remained of a small culture tube lay shattered next to him, and chemicals dripping from a workbench bubbled and fizzled as they made contact with the hardwood floor.

Acidum salis, he thought, his eyes widening.

Mortain raised his arm to his mouth, careful to not inhale any of the smoke that was filling the room. He trembled as he came closer, observing the damage that had been done to the left side of his son’s face.

The skin was mostly raw red with patches of peeling burned black skin hanging off his face. Blood was seeping from some of the deep crevasses caused by the acid. Most of the damage was confined to the cheek and jaw area. His eye was spared any damage.

“Oh, my dear Lord,” he uttered, fear filling his heart. “My poor boy! What have I done?”

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About the Author

Mackenzie Flohr grew up in the heartland of America, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city of Cleveland had to offer.

From the time she could hold a pencil, Mackenzie was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, she and a childhood friend were authors and reviewers of their own picture books.

While following her love of adventure, Mackenzie found a second home, the Beck Center for the Arts Children’s and Teen Theater School. It was there that a world of wonder was only a script and a performance away.

Yet it wasn’t until she was on a trip to Indiana, viewing a Lord of the Rings exhibit, that the innermost desire of her heart became clear to her. She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making. She hopes The Rite Of Wands will do just that.

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How to find Mackenzie Flohr

Email –

mackenzie@mackenzieflohr.com

Author page at publisher –http://www.bhcauthors.com/Books_Flohr_Rite_of_Wands.html

FaceBook –

https://www.facebook.com/MackenzieFlohrAuthor

Twitter –

https://www.twitter.com/mackenzieflohr

Website –

http://www.mackenzieflohr.com/

SciFi Blog Tour – C. L. Feindel

Excited to introduce to you – C. L. Feindel

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Bio: C. L. Feindel resides in central Texas with her multi-talented husband, Noah. While traversing academia, civil service, and chronic illness in early adulthood, she founded the whole-foods blog ACleanPlate.com and now works as a cook, photographer, and educator. She pens fiction in her spare time, with a particular passion for character development and genre-blending. More info about her and her debut novel can be found at CLFeindel.com.

Summary, if needed: With its advanced weaponry, the ghost ship Revenant was supposed to turn the tide of the war… but went missing instead. Ten years later, the Federation’s hold on the three suns is firmly cemented and corrupt in every way, and any Separatist hopes or dreams seem to have gone the way of Old Earth and its dinosaurs.

Grayson Delamere was still a child when the war ended and she doesn’t much care why it was fought in the first place. In the cold, dark vac of space, most lives are short and brutal with or without the Federation’s interference. She’s worked hard and kept her head down, making her living as a mechanic on any ship that’d have her. If she’s broken a few laws and made a few enemies along the way, well, that’s just the way life is on the fringe of the Trisolar System.

But now, someone has discovered all of her dirty little secrets… and will hold them hostage to ensure Grayson’s help in the most dangerous job of her life: To recover the Revenant and rekindle the fires of rebellion.

Q: Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

A: I’ve been reading longer than I can remember, and I was always inspired by stories of all kinds–not just books, but movies, TV shows, and music, too. So it’s hard to go back that far or say what had the biggest impact on me as a young reader. But I do remember getting a lot of positive reinforcement from my teachers and parents at a very young age, like having my stories put in the school’s library, being allowed to read books of my own choosing while the class read from textbooks, or my dad taking me to the library every weekend even though he didn’t read himself. All of that encouragement and enabling had a huge impact and I’m so grateful for it.

 

Q: How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?

A: I feel like I work best when I’m suffering from insomnia. The midnight hours are wonderfully isolating for really diving into your world and your characters. Of course, that’s not an ideal time to be doing anything if you want to stay healthy enough to pay the bills. So I try to get it out of my system first thing in the morning while it’s still dark outside, or if there’s a minor thing that’s really nagging at me, I’ll take care of it just before bed. Being self-employed means I can do whatever I want whenever I want, but I try to stick to a predictable routine for the sake of my household’s health and sanity.

 

Q: Do you work with an outline or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

A: A little bit of both. I tend to be hyper-organized about everything in life and having a thorough outline to act as a prompt can help me sit down to write whether I feel inspired to or not. On the other hand, just seeing where a chapter takes you can yield some surprising results. Some of my favorite events were completely unplanned. So I try to go in with a loose outline and be open to whatever direction the story might take me.

 

Q: Is it the same way when you develop characters?

A: Pretty much. I like to start with a general concept–a lone-wolf mechanic with PTSD, for example–and that persona will grow as they interact with other characters or deal with curveballs from the plot. Sometimes my general concept winds up becoming obsolete in the process and I have to go back during editing to tweak that character’s history, which is fine. What I wind up with is inevitably better than what I started with.

 

Q: Any advice about what to do and what not to do when writing?

A: Everyone’s going to have their own needs, their own style. You’re going to have to experiment to find what works best for you both in terms of getting yourself to write and putting your best words on the page. But I think the best universal advice is to just get off the internet! I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted clicking over to Twitter or checking my e-mail when I needed to be bashing my way through writer’s block.

 

 

Writing Reviews That Help Readers AND Writers

Writers need reviews, this is an awesome blog on how you can improve your reviewing skills! thank you to Theodore for this!

The Writings of Theodore Ashford

As an author, it can be hard when approaching the concept of reviews. You know that other authors need them, crave them, but it’s also terrifying to sit down at a keyboard and actually type one up. What if you insult them and burn a potential networking connection? What if you say the wrong thing? How can you be the right blend of informative and not soul-crushing?

At least, that’s my process when I start thinking about reviewing a book.

This is why I came up with a slightly formulaic approach to writing reviews. It allows me to feel a little less like I’m just pulling star ratings out of a hat and feel more like authors have honestly earned the ratings I give them. It also gives my reviews a nice consistent feel, which is good for readers and friends who may actually trust my opinion.

I always see…

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SciFi Blog Tour – Alasdair Shaw

Introducing –

Alasdair Shaw grew up in Lancashire, within easy reach of the Yorkshire Dales, Pennines, Lake District and Snowdonia. After stints living in Cambridge, North Wales, and the Cotswolds, he has lived in Somerset since 2002.

He has been rock climbing, mountaineering, caving, kayaking and skiing as long as he can remember. Growing up he spent most of his spare time in the hills. Recently he has been doing more sea kayaking and swimming.

Alasdair studied at the University of Cambridge, leaving in 2000 with an MA in Natural Sciences and an MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics. He went on to earn a PGCE, specialising in Science and Physics, from the University of Bangor. A secondary teacher for over fifteen years, he has plenty of experience communicating scientific ideas.

 

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Where was your favourite reading spot as a child? Where is it now?

Then and now it is curled up in bed. Warm, cosy, and immersed in whatever world the book describes.

If you won ten million dollars tonight, what would you do?

Buy land with caves that currently have poor or non-existent access. Manage the land as nature reserves, with access consistent with conservation.

Set up a scholarship for true all-round students – high academic performers across arts and science as well as taking part in outdoor activities, music and sport.

Move somewhere nearer the mountains.

 

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When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I have a pretty good idea before starting. However, they do take on lives of their own, especially when they start interacting with other characters and the situations they find themselves in. A recent new character, Alexandra Seivers, was originally written as a man, but by I was halfway through The Perception of Prejudice she just had to become a woman. Hopefully I managed to correct all the ‘he’s and ‘him’s.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on a computer. As I have the files on Onedrive they are shared automatically between my PC, two laptops and Surface. Wherever I am when I find I have a little while to write I can access them.

Recently I have been taking a notebook with me when I go out walking. Sitting on mountains jotting down bits of a book is somehow very satisfying, even if my pen hand does get ridiculously cold. I take particular amusement form the fact that the notebook was part of a prize I won for ‘major contributions to A level and GCSE Physics publications’ (the several hundred pound cheque was the more exciting part when I opened the envelope).

Dictation seems to be popular nowadays, especially with the advances in speech recognition on computers. I find I cannot write well without having the text in front of me, and the many inaccuracies of homophones and punctuation seriously bug me. Also, I constantly edit as I go along, and rarely have a whole sentence in my head before it goes down. I have considered dictation might be useful when I am driving, however, so might try that out at some point.

 

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Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Given the two options, I’d say gift. Anything that allows you to communicate and share ideas and passion is a good thing.

 

The Two Democracies: Revolution science fiction series starts with Independence, and continues with Liberty and The Perception of Prejudice. His second novel, Equality, will hopefully be released in summer 2017, followed by Fraternity the year after.

 

You can sign up to Alasdair Shaw’s mailing list at http://www.alasdairshaw.co.uk/newsletter  and see what else he gets up to on his website at http://www.alasdairshaw.co.uk.

The Two Democracies universe intersects with our own at https://twitter.com/IndieAI and https://www.facebook.com/twodemocracies.

 

AudioBook Review – Secret of the Old Ones

I’ve lots on my reading list at the moment, but I had to take a little time out for this and it really didn’t disappoint. What I’ve come to learn of the genre and gotten to love is how some writers can blow it out the park. Not only with the in-game mechanics and deep worldbuilding, but with character and story.

Awesome e-book and a great listen while on the go!

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Luck Stat Strategy: Secret of the Old Ones, Book 1 | [Blaise Corvin]

“Fantastic!…. more please!”

This genre is fast becoming something I’m really starting to enjoy. These books take me back to my youth where some of the best times of my life where involved rpg and more with my friends.

So, my review follows. –

I never like looking over ‘synopsis’ or other bits of information and I did know that Blaise had posted parts of this on his site and even with his paetron. I’ve done my homework since I listened to Delvers, besides following Jeff’s Soundbooth Theatre and hearing parts of this audio over on there. So I’d some idea on what I was getting into even though I started it straight after a sci-fi.

This story starts off with some great action, there’s no slow build, we’re literally thrown in at a point where some people might think our MC’s already won the online game, so what am I reading on for, but don’t be fooled.

The deep world building and rich descriptions shine in here from that first few scenes, and I have to admit, that I thoroughly enjoyed this a lot more than his first novel. Maybe this is because as with everyone we all grow as writers the more we actually write. I don’t know, it just seems to me that there’s much more passion in here.

Where Blaise takes the MC from the opening is not only very interesting, but it’s also a journey that you go on with Trent/Vale inside the game and out of it because this is a very well balanced novel, with defined scenes from both parts of his life.

As the plot develops the contrast and reality of what happens to Trent in-game soon crosses over to his real life. These scenes to me really added to sympathising with him, his friend Bart and in the situation that they soon find themselves in together inside the game.

I found there were several nice plot twists and turns that I hadn’t guessed were coming. The other characters that were brought in, added not only the gaming mechanics that come with the genre, but they brought with them their own purpose, agendas and reasoning. This changed things up a lot and Trent had to make some quick decisions. I could get behind his way of thinking for some, but there was also one thing he missed and it came back to bite him in the backside.

Overall, so far this has been one of the most enjoyable books in this genre that I’ve had the pleasure of listening too. Jeff delivers on so many levels that he’s very hard not to enjoy. I think his female characters are so believable I find it hard to not picture another person in the booth with him doing the recording. (having seen it for myself I know his voices are all his own) and the accents are divine.

An excellent audiobook and the start of a series that I really think is going places. If you’ve not already checked it out on amazon, go do so now.

Thank you for the entertainment, and hurry up with more!