Tag Archives: fantasy

Cover Candy #10: (On Fire!) It’s a good thing cover candy isn’t bad for my health, because I consume a lot of covers. With my eyes, that is! I look at covers of every genre, and I am always fascinated by the stories they tell. Do they match what’s inside?

Cover Candy #10 (On Fire!)

It’s a good thing cover candy isn’t bad for my health, because I consume a lot of covers. With my eyes, that is! I look at covers of every genre, and I am always fascinated by the stories they tell. Do they match what’s inside?

If I pick up a book with spaceships on the cover, I want spaceships. If I see one with dragons, I want there to be dragons inside the book. Proper labeling. Ethical labeling. I don’t want to open up my cornflakes and find that they’re full of pebbles… You need to respect the reader enough not to call it something it isn’t. ~Margaret Atwood

What a chore to have to make sure the innards match the outers… (wink wink)

I’m taking part in the Reading Challenge on Goodreads again, toning my goal down a bit this year because there is a lot going on in my life, not the least of which are plans for publishing more books. In fact, I should be editing right now!

On with the show, then, and this time we’re looking at covers with fire on them. As usual, I can’t vouch for the contents of the books represented below. We’re only here for the eye candy!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

Cover Candy: On Fire!

Cover Candy  #10: (On Fire!) It’s a good thing cover candy isn’t bad for my health, because I consume a lot of covers. With my eyes, that is! I look at covers of every genre, and I am always fascinated by the stories they tell. Do they match what’s inside?

THE TINKER KING

~Tiffany Trent~
This is the original cover.
Kindle pages: 321
Publisher: Saga Press
Pub date: 11 Feb. 2014
Genre: Steampunk
Artist: (unknown)
Amazon link

Cover Candy  #10: (On Fire!) It’s a good thing cover candy isn’t bad for my health, because I consume a lot of covers. With my eyes, that is! I look at covers of every genre, and I am always fascinated by the stories they tell. Do they match what’s inside?

QUEEN OF FIRE

~Anthony Ryan~
Kindle pages: 643
Publisher: Ace
Pub date: 7 July 2015
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Artist: Cliff Nielsen
Amazon link

Cover Candy  #10: (On Fire!) It’s a good thing cover candy isn’t bad for my health, because I consume a lot of covers. With my eyes, that is! I look at covers of every genre, and I am always fascinated by the stories they tell. Do they match what’s inside?

WHERE LOYALTIES LIE

~Rob J. Hayes~
Kindle pages: 374
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pub date: 26 May 2017
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Artist: Alex Raspad, Shawn King
Amazon link

Cover Candy  #10: (On Fire!) It’s a good thing cover candy isn’t bad for my health, because I consume a lot of covers. With my eyes, that is! I look at covers of every genre, and I am always fascinated by the stories they tell. Do they match what’s inside?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Which cover is your favorite of the three?
Share one of YOUR favorite covers!
Do you have a favorite cover artist? Who is it and where can we find them?

I just read Nightrage Rising (The Unseen Chronicles Book 2), and wow, what a great adventure! I’m not just saying that because author P.S. Broaddus is a member of A Drift of Quills, either. He’s a darned good writer.

Book Review: Nightrage Rising, by P.S. Broaddus

I just read Nightrage Rising (The Unseen Chronicles Book 2), and wow, what a great adventure! I’m not just saying that because author P.S. Broaddus is a member of A Drift of Quills, either. He’s a darned good writer.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links it won’t cost you a cent, but I’ll get a small affiliate commission, which helps keep my computer running. Thanks!

REVIEW of Nightrage Rising

Once again, Mr. Broaddus has given us an entertaining, fast-paced tale of magic, intrigue, and adventure. A sequel to A Hero’s Curse, I liked this book even better than the first—and Parker has done a fine job of making it stand on its own.

The story tackles a challenge common to young and old alike: choice. Essie desperately wants to be able to see. Understandably, that desire influences her thoughts and actions. Nightrage offers her that possibility. Much to my delight, Nightrage remained shrouded in mystery through most of the story. Were they villains or heroes?

Essie has to learn for herself, but she is not alone. Her friends are more understanding and reliable than she imagines, and she finds support in an unexpected place. As with the purpose of Nightrage—and Essie herself—not everything is what it first seems to be on the surface. There is a wonderful depth in this story, and in the way it explores friendship, power, pride, and our perceptions of the world around us.

Finally, the ending promises further adventures with Essie and her friends without leaving us dangling from a virtual cliff. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series!

SUMMARY
Nightrage Rising, by P.S. Broaddus

 

Essie Brightsday is blind.

But that hasn’t kept her from curses, dragons, or rock basilisks in the past. Now her family lives in the bustling capital of Plen, a far cry from their small farm tucked against the Valley of Fire.

As a shadowy anarchist cult grows in the city, a scheme to pit the slums and the trade districts against the protectors emerges—a plot to ignite a civil war and reduce the capital to ashes. A dangerous game ensues as Essie, her talking cat Tigrabum, and best friends Illiana and Sam attempt to thwart Nightrage and save her city, guaranteeing this adventure will be just as eventful as the last…

This book is for you if you:

  • Enjoy well-developed, realistic characters
  • Like fast-paced adventures with depth
  • Are looking for Flinch-Free Fantasy

This book is not for you if you:

  • Don’t like talking animals
  • Want a casual, leisurely read (It’s hard to put down!)

I just read Nightrage Rising (The Unseen Chronicles Book 2), and wow, what a great adventure! I’m not just saying that because author P.S. Broaddus is a member of A Drift of Quills, either. He’s a darned good writer.

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Have you read this book?
What did you think?
What are you reading now?Share in the comments!

Cover Candy #08: The One with Dragons

Cover Candy #8 (The One with Dragons)

Are you ready for a little Cover Candy? Sometimes cover art is so yummy you just want to eat it up—and that’s a good thing!

Well, maybe not physically. There are better ways to get your fiber, and digital munching might be… electrifying.

But admit it: if the cover art on a book whets your appetite you’re much more likely to have a taste of what’s inside.

What do you say to these covers with dragons? Continue reading Cover Candy #8 (The One with Dragons)

A Drift of Quills: TV We Love #1

A Drift of Quills: What’s Poppin’ our Peepers?

Hello, and Happy Spring! The daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding (in the northern hemisphere, anyway!), and A Drift of Quills are branching out. We usually talk about bookish things, but this month we’re exploring a different format of entertainment: television. What programs do you think grab our interest and get our brains working overtime?

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

 

I remember going through a period of time several years ago when I was bored with television. Oh, sure, there were some decent dramas to watch, and maybe few good action programs, but my speculative fiction soul positively yearned for fantasy and science fiction and the pickin’s were extremely slim.

So-called “reality” tv is definitely speculative—and certainly beyond belief—but I’d rather clean house than subject myself to watching those… Continue reading A Drift of Quills: What’s Poppin’ our Peepers?

Cover Candy #07: Three (more!) Beautiful Book Covers

Cover Candy #7

It’s time for a little Cover Candy book lovin’!

What does it say that I haven’t read any of these yet? They’re all on my humongous TBR list. That’s a step, right?

I usually end up spending more time writing than reading—though once I start reading I’m likely to keep right on going and forget to write! January has been rough. I’ve been sick. Ugh. On the bright side, it opened up some reading time, and my towering stack is now seven books (and a half!) shorter. I’m taking part in the 2017 Reading Challenge on Goodreads again—that gives me a push, too!

So. Covers. Continue reading Cover Candy #7

Blood and Shadow is Now Available!

I am thrilled to announce that Blood and Shadow, the first novel in the Mage’s Gift, is now available on Amazon! It’s taken a lot longer to get here than I’d planned, but we’re finally there, and book 2 is not far behind. No, really.

Blood and Shadow: A vengeful mage. A powerful gift. A naive youth. (Join the journey today!)A vengeful mage. A powerful gift. A naive youth.

Sherakai never wanted to become a warrior like his father and brothers. Satisfied with being fourth in line to inherit title and responsibility, he wants only to be Master of the Horse. But on the eve of his sister’s wedding, a terrible gift arrives and Sherakai’s course changes forever. His magic is the key to secrets he does not know or understand, and he must learn to fight to escape a future he doesn’t believe in. Now he must use what he hates to regain what he loves.

The regular price will be $3.99, but for TWO DAYS you can pick it up for the intro price of $0.99! (This universal link will take you to your Amazon store.)

Are you hungry for a taste of what’s to come? Enjoy a short excerpt here: Blood and Shadow…

A Drift of Quills: Lunch Date With an Author

A Drift of Quills is sitting down to a virtual lunch, each with the author of their choice. Who do you think we’ll choose and why? Read on to find out…

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Choosing a single author to sit down and have a chat with is as bad as choosing your favorite book! Or color! Or child! There is a spectacular list to choose from, and stalking up and down between my bookshelves left me dizzy with indecision.

A Drift of Quills Goes on a Lunch Date with an AuthorIf I were to choose someone from the past, what kind of language and societal hurdles would we face when we tried to communicate? That’d be a whole conversation right there, but let’s assume we’ve been endowed with translation devices so we’ll both be on the same page (pun alert!). In that case…

I still had to hem and haw, and eventually decided that I’d use the same criteria for choosing my favorite color: It depends on what it’s for and how I feel at the moment. I might change my mind completely next week.

Today’s lunch will be al fresco at The Cheesecake Factory, and Mr. C.S. Lewis will be joining me. I’m not sure how much talking I’d do—I’d be such a bundle of nerves that I’d either clam up or babble. Probably the latter—but I would be happy to listen to what he has to say!

Author C.S. LewisHow did he come to write The Chronicles of Narnia? I struggle with “length”; how did he accomplish (so beautifully) “shorth”? How did he go about the process of writing, and how did he discover what worked best for him? What does he think of the world today—and would it prompt him to write a series of dystopian novels? What did he give up to write (because we all have to give up something), and does he think now that it was worth it? Who in his past most influenced his writing? How did he feel about JRR Tolkien’s criticism of his Narnia books?

We might have to stay until breakfast…

P.S. BROADDUS

“P.S.Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
PS’s website

During a recent interview, I mentioned my favorite storytellers, and I even had to decide which author I’d want as company in a submarine. This go around it’s lunch with an author from the past. Over hamburgers, we’d talk about habits and describe growing up. We’d finish off with a milkshake and chat about what informed their writing.

It’s a heavy decision, obviously. I mean, you have to agree on where to eat. My pick may surprise you, but I think you’ll follow my reasoning. (What reasoning would that be, exactly? Click here to find out!)

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

This might be the most difficult question presented yet! There are so many logistics to consider. If I choose someone no longer living, just how would the two of us arrange this lunch? Where would we meet? On this side of the divide? Or the other? (Oh, imagine!) If I choose someone whose native language is neither English nor Sarcasm (which is to say, not one I speak), how will we understand one another? Use some instant translation program? (Oh, I can see the problems arising from that already!)

Even assuming all the “how and where” details can be arranged, I have to consider whether I’d rather have lunch with a famous historical figure/politician who also happened to have a gift for words (See where Patricia is going with this here!)

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How about you? Who will you have to lunch (or drinks, or any other meal)?
What will you talk about? Give us a peek in the comments!

Image by Unsplash via Pixabay is licensed under CC0 1.0
PS Broaddus, Quills new team member!

A Drift of Quills: Welcomes P.S. Broaddus to the Team!

Welcome to another edition of A Drift of Quills, bringing you fact, fantasy, and… a brand new team member!

When we had Parker—who publishes as P.S. Broaddus—as a guest a few months ago, we talked about Tackling Writing Challenges. We liked his style and his wonderful sense of humor so much that we hunted him down and trapped him in a dark corner invited him to join us as a full-time team member. Much to our surprise delight, he agreed!

By way of introduction, P.S. (Parker) has kindly agreed to be the subject of a mini-view: one question from each of us. (Is it cheating that they’re multiple-part questions?)

And, just as I suspected from the telltale gleam in his eye, he’s another pea in the pod. Er… writer in the ream! Hack in the stack?

Okay, before I get carried away and start doing Dr. Seuss impressions, let’s hear from Parker!

Robin: What is your most recent published work? Do you have a favorite character from it? If so, who, and why?

Parker: My most recent published work is my debut novel A Hero’s Curse, book one of the Unseen Chronicles. It was published this past Christmas, with the audiobook having launched last month, over the 4th of July. A Hero’s Curse follows the adventures of Essie Brightsday, a young blind girl, as she attempts to find her kingdom’s lost king. The nature and structure of A Hero’s Curse pushed Essie and Tig, her sarcastic talking cat to the forefront of the story. They get the most screentime. Essie is a fascinatingly complex young lady, and Tig’s dry, sarcastic humor is so akin to my own I can’t help but like him. But there are several characters who I really enjoy. Illiana, the cheerful and bubbly friend Essie makes in the Kingdom Above the Sun is unbreakable. She is a glass-half-full type character and she always makes me smile. King Mactogonii and Queen Leonatrix are interesting and powerful characters with tangled histories. I can’t help but want to know more about their past and their future.

I am working hard on book two in the Unseen Chronicles, with high hopes for another Christmas release. The structure of book two is completely different from A Hero’s Curse. Rather than a quest or journey structure, the story is a mystery, set in one city. There isn’t a lot of travelling and there are a ton of characters! Here’s my favorite part. Many of the characters I loved so much from A Hero’s Curse are back, but this time we get to see them developed in a way we didn’t get to in book one.

Robin: Secret? “Dry, sarcastic humor” is a prerequisite for becoming an official Quill! Scroll down to find links to Parker’s website and book—But don’t miss his answer to The Next Important Question!

Patricia RedingPATRICIA REDING

Author of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

This is a particularly exciting time, as we Quills just added a new member, Parker Broaddus, who publishes under the name, P.S. Broaddus. And wouldn’t you know it? Parker, like Robin, is blessed with an incredible sense of humor. (Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit like chopped liver . . .)

In celebration of Parker’s joining us, we’ve decided we would interview him. Here are his initial comments. (Did I mention that he has a sense of humor?):

Patricia: What are your earliest memories of reading as a child? Did you visit a library regularly? A book mobile? How did that impact your life as a reader and/or writer?

Parker: (Read the answer on Patricia’s website!)

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Be sure to go visit P.S. Broaddus on his website, and don’t forget to check out his middle-grade book!


Website
A Hero’s Curse

A Hero's Curse, by PS Broaddus

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Reader or writer, who is your favorite fantasy character? Why?
Do you have any questions for Parker? Ask away in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: Scarlet

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Scarlet, by Stephen R. Lawhead…

You may recall that I talked about re-reading Hood (Book 1 of the King Raven Trilogy) not too long ago. Once again, I loved it. Lawhead sets the tale in Wales and in an earlier time period than our current translations—and gives a fantastic explanation of why he did so. He is one of the few writers who can wax lyrical without losing my interest. He writes beautifully: the people are fabulously characterized, the settings are beautiful.

Rhapsodizing over one of the lovely paragraphs populating the book, I considered tossing away my own keyboard.

But then I didn’t. I’m still trudging along with my own story. I may have to reread the entire series several times. Education, yanno…

It was with a sense of keen anticipation that I began the next book in the series: Scarlet, which is, of course, told from the viewpoint of the famous Will Scarlet (one of my favorite characters in most interpretations of the story). This one is told from the first person viewpoint, and I’m so looking forward to how he handles that!

Scarlet, by Stephen R. LawheadMy Teaser 

Scarlet: by Stephen R. Lawhead
Genre: Fantasy / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 8, 2008)
Find the Author on Twitter and Facebook
Available on Goodreads and Amazon

“My leg is on fire again today. It pains me ferocious, and I am in no mind to suffer Odo’s irritating ways. I watch as he bends his nose to the scrap of parchment and scratches away for a moment. ‘So now,’ I say, ‘while we’re about it his name is not Robin, as you would have it. His name is Rhi Bran—that is, King Bran, to you.’”

~Page 65

Description

After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest–and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion–Will joins the heroic archer and his men.

Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging—unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.

That, of course, he will never do.

Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.

From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.

Want to Play Along?

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tell me—what are you currently reading? 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Cover Candy #06

Cover Candy #6

There’s nothing like looking at some good Cover Candy to get me inspired to read! I have to be careful, or I’ll end up with even more books in my TBR Pile.

The ones I’ve chosen this time are wildly different: gritty, whimsical, and classy. They’re all dark-colored (does that make a theme?). I like them for completely different reasons, but I find each of them intriguing.

As usual, I can’t vouch for the contents of the books represented below. We’re only here for the eye candy!

Cover Stars

Cover Candy #06

ACID

~Emma Pass~
Kindle, 386 pages
Delacorte Press
March 11, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Artist: Larry Rostant

Cover Candy #06

The Chaos of Stars 

~Kiersten White~
Kindle, 293 pages
HarperTeen
September 10, 2013
Genre: Fantasy
Artist: (unknown)

Legacy of Kings, by EleanorHerman

Legacy of Kings: Blood of Gods and Royals #1 

~Eleanor Herman~
Hardcover, 432 pages
Harlequin Teen
August 18, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Myths and Legends
Artist: (unknown)

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Which cover is your favorite of the three?

Share one of YOUR favorite covers!

Do you have a favorite cover artist?