The Binding – BBB

The Binding (Chronicles of Azaria #1)

By

Sam Dogra

What do you do when you can’t trust your heart?

The Binding

All seventeen year-old Eliza Bryant wants is to avoid a Binding — the ancient spell that forces couples into a lifelong bond. It cursed her sister, and for the last two years it’s tried to claim her, too. Her monthly hiding ritual worked brilliantly, until the night she ran into Ryan, a mysterious bounty-hunter. Now Bound to him, Eliza must spend every moment at his side, else she’ll transform into an Unbound; a lifeless husk without mind or soul.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s not looking to settle, and Eliza is dragged into his crazy life on the run. Still, she’s not going to take this lying down. Between grappling with the false feelings conjured by the spell and fleeing an unseen enemy, she plans to find a way to break her Binding; a feat nobody’s achieved in two thousand years. The key to her freedom lies closer than she thinks, and it’s deeply connected to Ryan’s past.

Reviews:

4.5 Stars. This exciting tale for New Adult/Older YA crosses genres making it difficult to categorise in any one area. Set in another world it has elements of sci-fi, fantasy and a just touch of steampunk. The characters are magnetic and quickly draw you into this exciting world where curses and magic become real. This passionate tale becomes unstoppable leaving you devastated that the second instalment is yet to be published – not a cliff-hanger, just totally addictive writing. – Tracie, Goodreads

Awesome! Can’t wait for the next one!!! – Molly Bonville, Goodreads

The Binding, by Sam Dogra, is an excellent read, with superb settings and characterisation. I really cared what happened to the main protagonist and the first person point of view, really helped me to become immersed in the story. Only one minor criticism.The, use of the word “to” instead of “at”. For example: “Ryan looked to the moon”, or “I looked to my lap”. This jarred me a little, but apart from this nitpick, this is an almost perfect story and one readers of all ages will enjoy. Highly recommended. – Kate Jack, Amazon

Links:

E-book UK and US

Paperback UK and US

Sam’s…

Website/blog

Facebook

Twitter

Artwork

About the Author:

Sam Dogra

Sam Dogra is a junior doctor working in the UK, and is currently training to become a General Practitioner. Between reviewing drug charts and X-rays, taking blood, saving lives and getting grilled by consultants, she also writes fantasy fiction and is a fantasy artist. She has co-written ‘Fated: A Timeless Series Companion Novel’ with author Lisa Wiedmeier, and has also published her first novel The Binding, and its sequel, The Parting, with a third book in progress.

She’s widely traveled, and has enjoyed her visits to France, Germany, Norway, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Rhodes, Turkey, Cyprus, Lesvos, India, Dubai, Australia, Canada and Idaho, Washington, New York, Seattle and Alaska, USA.Her other main interest is fantasy art.

In what little spare time she has, Sam also enjoys reading, baking, shopping, watching movies and anime, astrology, video games, collecting cuddly toy animals, and photography.

More Wyrdness

Just a brief update.

Firstly, here’s an interview I did a couple of weeks ago and forgot to tell anyone about. Oops…

Secondly, Wyrd Worlds, the free anthology of which I am part of, is now up on Amazon (UK and US). So that rounds off its availability nicely. Amazon, Smashwords, and many other large online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Sony, WHSmith, Kobo, etc. All for free!

Wyrd Worlds Cover

Yes, I know the cover blends almost perfectly into my background.

Healer’s Touch – BBB

Healer’s Touch

By

Deb E Howell

‘For Llew to heal, something must die’

Healer's Touch Cover

Healer’s Touch

BLURB:

Llew, a young pickpocket who lives as a boy on the streets of a wild-west mining town, finds her real problems begin when she survives the gallows. Forced to run, she persuades a group of fighters escorting a young girl to her wedding to let her travel with them across the badlands. On the journey Llew faces hostile tribesmen, desperate bandits and, the enmity of her own companions should they find out who and what she is: a girl, a fugitive, and a feared Healer. One of the fighters, Jonas, possesses superhuman prowess as a warrior, and carries the knife able to ‘kill the unkillable’; the knife that can kill Llew. Despite being of races at war for centuries, they are drawn to one another.

During the journey, they encounter Braph the magician, Jonas’ half-brother and potential nemesis. He pursues them as they journey across the sea to the continent of Phyos and at the moment Llew finally feels safe, he abducts her. He begins to take what is most precious to him: her blood.

Healer’s Touch is a mesmerising mix of fantasy, steampunk and Wild West adventure – and even a dash of romance!

EXCERPT:

“Llew!”

He gathered her to him. So alive moments earlier, now limp. All he could see was blood. It covered her hands, soaked her shirt and pooled on the ground. He clasped her chin, turning her to him. The touch sent a tingle through his fingers even as more blood gushed from her open throat and he jerked his hand away, letting her head fall back. His eye was drawn by movement in the grass. One of Llew’s hands had fallen to the ground and the grass around it was dying in an ever increasing circle.

Jonas swallowed down his revulsion and dumped her unceremoniously on the ground, jumping to his feet. In a daze, he reclaimed his knives from the corpses, taking them to the water’s edge to clean with vigorous sweeps of his fingers down the blades. He berated himself for even toying with the idea of getting involved with her. What did he really know about her? He knew her name. And now he knew all he needed to know.

He wiped the half-clean blades on his thigh, sheathed them in his vest and drew the big knife at his hip. He cradled it in his hands, watching the moonlight fly off as he tilted it back and forth. There was one purpose to this knife’s existence: to kill the unkillable. And there was no safer time to make an attempt on the life of an Aenuk than when they were already half dead.

Jonas turned from the water. The meadow was now like a hayfield. Each blade of grass, each leaf of clover, each dandelion had given its all to provide but a tiny fraction of the energy – jin, as it was known in Turhmos – needed to bring a person back from near-death.

She lay unconscious, but her breathing was steady now. He had limited time to act. He crouched beside her, knife hovering over her back right where her heart should be, assuming Aenuks had a heart. But this was Llewella. She wasn’t like the Aenuks he had faced on the Turhmos killing fields. She wasn’t trained to fight, to continue to fight, and to take the enemy with her when she faced final death. She was merely a girl doing what she had to do to survive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deb E Howell

Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction.

Deb lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with her family and a menagerie of pets.

LINKS:

Purchase Links:

Smashwords (ISBN – 978-1-909845-08-4): £2.99/$4.99

Kindle UK / Kindle US (ASIN – 978-1-909845-07-7): £2.99/$4.99

Paperback (ISBN – 978-1-909845-06-0): £9.99/$18.99

Please note that both the ePub format (the Smashwords link) and the paperback are available from other outlets too. Just do a web search for the ISBNs to find them.

Deb E Howell:

Website/Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Season of the Dead – BBB

Season of the Dead has arrived! This post-apocalyptic horror by Lucia Adams, Paul Freeman, Gerald Johnston and Sharon Van Orman is available now (links to follow).

Season of the Dead

“It is said that unto everything there is a season…these are the stories of a group of survivors during the season of the dead.”

Four individuals fight to survive as the zombie apocalypse crashes over the world in a wave of terror and destruction. Color, creed, and social standing mean nothing as the virus infects millions across the planet.

Sharon: a zoologist from Nebraska, USA, has worked with the virus, and has seen the effects on the human mind. She knows more about the virus than nearly anybody alive, and far more than she wants to. Gerry: from Ontario, Canada, he gets his first taste of the virus from inside a prison cell. Locked up after an anti-government riot, his prison guard transforms before his eyes into a flesh craving zombie. Lucia: a chemist from Pittsburgh, USA, flees from a furry convention dressed as a giant squirrel, and escapes from the city in a Fed-Ex van. She’s a girl who knows when to run and when to fight. Paul: thinks he can sit out the apocalypse in his apartment block in Dublin, Ireland, until the virus comes to visit, bursting his bubble and leaving him with no choice but to face reality or perish.

All four begin perilous journeys in mind and body as they face daily trials to survive: Four threads, four different parts of the world, one apocalypse!

Buy it now from Amazon UK or Amazon US!

On Goodreads

On Facebook

All Authors Blog Blitz

Today, I am hosting an author interview as part of an ‘All Authors Blog Blitz’, started on Goodreads. My own will be hosted by Patti Lavell. My guest is Max E. Stone, a thriller writer. So…here he is, I guess (just pretend there’s trumpets and things):


Let’s start with the obvious: tell us about your book, August To Life.

“August to Life” is the story of three families—the Warrens, the Bennetts, and the Johnsons—unwittingly and reluctantly thrown together by their children which forces them to deal with the secrets they’ve buried for years. And that’s just the beginning.

What led you to write in this genre? Would you consider venturing into other genres, and if so, which?

I’ve always enjoyed reading fiction and writing it is no exception. It’s an escape for me and gives me an opportunity to create something new. For instance, “August to Life” was the result of a series of traumatic incidents during my junior and senior high school years. During that time, escaping through fiction writing was all I really had to keep me sane. As far as other genre’s I would like to at some point do paranormal and maybe children’s books.

Thriller and mystery works seem to me some of the hardest fiction to write, with all the interconnecting threads and so on. How do you go about it?

You’re right. It’s not an easy genre at all because there are so many different threads of storyline that you have to clearly connect to create this yarn of one interwoven story and then you have to show the audience how its all connected. It took me years of practice with writing prompts, reading, agent rejection letters, and the like to have an idea of how to do it and even now, I learn something new every time I pick up a book by another author.

What kind of challenges did you come across in bringing this book to life?

Writing in a way that scared me was one of the most challenging aspects of bringing this to life. My mom, one of the smartest people and biggest book lovers I know, taught me that. I always let her read my drafts. I let her read the first draft of “August to Life” and she commented on how dialogue should go with the character at least in the context of the moment. From then on, I had to make sure I said what my character said, regardless of my feelings.

Another challenge was publishing. I didn’t know much about the self-publishing industry or publishing in general, which is another place my mother shined. She found all these details and information about publishing with Amazon and Smashwords. It helped me to get my voice heard so thanks mom 🙂

What lessons have you learned so far from your writing?

One lesson I learned was not to be afraid to be me. Sometimes what works for someone else may not work for you. For example, Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder were just two people who changed the face of music simply by doing what they did best: being themselves. My writing role model is Quentin Tarantino. He’s not afraid to say what needs to be said the way it needs to be said. His structure and dialogue is phenomenal.

If you knew everything you know now about writing, what, if anything, would you go back and do differently?

There are a few things, but mainly I would definitely read more of a wider range of authors both in and outside of fiction to see their different styles and tactics of reaching an audience and telling a story.

I’m pretty sure it was Elmore Leonard that said (but don’t quote me) that writer’s block is just another term for lazy. What do you think of that? Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, how do you get around it?

Well, I’ve never really considered it before. I have suffered from writer’s block before so I would have to both agree and disagree. You’re never truly blocked just because you don’t know where to go. Sometimes you just need to write or talk it out to get back on track.

Lastly, tell us anything else you want us to know: coming projects, tips, interesting facts about yourself… Anything.

“August to Life” is part of a series so you’ll be seeing more of the Warrens, the Bennetts, and Johnsons. The second in the series “The Bleeding” is a hard core thriller that goes into why one character is what he is and what he is planning next (if anything.) It will be available September 2013 and I will be posting updates and changes on twitter on my pages at @maxestone and @maxestonebooks as well as my blog “The Coloured Blog” on Tumblr at http://thecolouredbook.tumblr.com/


August to Life

‘Around, Around, and Around they go. Where the blood stops?…Who knows?’

August to Life is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US now.

The Place For Ebooks

I thought I’d make a quick post to plug a blog by John Harold McCoy, author of The Absence of Harry.

John has put (and still is putting) together a list of self-published books available on Amazon. I’ve read some of these and I know for myself that some of the writing from the listed authors is extremely good. And of course my own book, Shadow of the Wraith, is listed, so I have to share!

Have a look at the list and see what takes your fancy: The Place For Ebooks.

Try Kira For Free!

Kira, my steampunk novella will be free on Smashwords for the rest of the week.

It is available there for any e-reader, in a variety of formats. Even if you don’t particularly like steampunk, you won’t lose anything by trying it! And you might find you like my writing enough to get my sci fi novels…

As a New Year’s gift to help fill up your new Kindle, Nook, Sony reader, iPad or whatever e-reader you have, click through to Smashwords and give Kira a download! It’s rude not to accept a gift, remember.

Kira Cover

Witty & Clever Christmassy Title

Yes, my post titles are getting worse.

I think ten days was enough of a break. Now that Temple of the Sixth is out, I have started work on the third novel of the NEXUS series – with the working title of Rise of the Fallen. Yes, it appears every NEXUS title will be something of the something. Given that title, fans of the series may already be able to guess something about the storyline. As I mentioned in my last interview with Mary of Zigzag Timeline, the protagonist/s in this novel will probably not be expected.

I’m happy to be getting back to proper writing. Temple of the Sixth was actually written before I’d even started proper edits Shadow of the Wraith, so it wasn’t very fun to go straight from the gruelling edits of SotW to more editing on TotS (I really shouldn’t abbreviate that one; ‘TOTS’ just sounds ridiculous).

Granted, I did take some time out from editing to write Kira, which was entirely from scratch. That was written for someone else though, really, and so didn’t have the same feeling to it as writing the NEXUS novels does. I have been asked repeatedly if and when I’ll be going back to Kira’s world, by the by, and yes I will, but I don’t know when.

I have about 30,000 words of Fallen already written, I admit, but I changed so much throughout the first two novels, and had ideas of what needed changing in this one, that I have a huge amount to redo. At present, I’m just reading what I already have, with the odd edit, just to remember exactly what’s going on. I’m six (A4) pages in and enjoying it. So that’s a good start.

I have no idea when Fallen will be completed, let alone when it will be available, but it will give you all enough time to become familiar with the universe in Shadow of the Wraith and Temple of the Sixth! And you might even have some time left over to see what Kira’s up to.

Until my next post at an unforeseeable point of time in the future, near or far, Merry and/or Happy steal from the Pagans and give to the Christians and then lie through your teeth about it.

Temple of the Sixth

The second book in the NEXUS science fantasy series is now available! I might even give a second exclamation mark to it -> !

Presently it is available for Kindle on Amazon (UK and US) and for all other E-formats on Smashwords. Over the coming days, it will become available in e-formats from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Sony and Apple’s iBookstore. It will also, very soon, be available in paperback.

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book of the series – this is standalone. You don’t need to have read Shadow of the Wraith first, but if you have, you’ll get a little bit more out of it!

Keep an eye on the reviews page, as there are at least two review blogs preparing to post their reviews soon.

So lastly, here’s the cover and the blurb:

Temple of the Sixth Cover

When omens of the End Times appear across the galaxy, it signals the start of a war between two immortal forces – the Celestians and the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy have learnt and adapted since they last waged war, forcing the Celestians to enlist the aid of mortals to free a kidnapped god.

Thardriik Jhunassi Kortlyn III – Theak – was a private detective. For a day. Then came the incident with the dead puppy and the inevitable end of his crime-fighting career. Despite his flaws, Theak is a clear choice for the Celestians, and he is drawn into the centre of a battle that will decide the fate of the galaxy.

Time is something the Celestians’ heroes do not have as the Hierarchy’s infection spreads across countless worlds, bending every living creature to their will. With the heroes’ every step bringing them closer towards one final battle, there is only one question: can they defeat an ancient and immortal enemy?

Meet Juni

This is Juni:

Juni Lien

She does not like long walks on beaches, but she does like romantic candlelight dinners, because it’s that much easier to vanish into the shadows. She also likes long, sharp knives.

This portrait comes from the scene in Shadow of the Wraith, where Travis Archer goes to Juni’s hotel room to recruit her for his mission. She opens the door in nothing but her underwear and a silk robe, which she intentionally leaves open to keep Travis’ attention off the knife she’s contemplating sliding into his neck.

Mark Williams was did this art for me, and I’m very happy with the way it came out. I admit I wasn’t overly fond of the final face, and so cut the face out of his first update and merged it into the final scene, but that’s only because this face conveyed a sense of her character better.

It has already met with some unpleasant comments, sadly. But, at the risk of incurring more…what do you think of her?

EDIT: I have since made a few small adjustments, so this isn’t quite the same as the original you may see elsewhere.