Category Archives: books

Have some FROSTBLOOD Fanart!

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Meet my version of Ruby, Frostblood’s fiery heroine!

fireblood_by_pinguicha-dam6s2e

For those interested in specifics: this took me around 20 hours on Photoshop. I used my go-to stock account, faestock, for a pose reference because hands and I do not get along well.

FROSTBLOOD will be out in January 2017 from Little, Brown (US) and Hodder & Stoughton (UK). It’s a lovely, amazing book, and deserves to be read so add it on Goodreads!

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IN THE BLOOD Blog Tour!

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In  The Blood Banner 540 x 200

 

In the Blood: The Witchbreed, Book One by R.L. Martínez

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Lakewater Press
Date of Publication: March 21, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-0-1
ISBN: 978-0-9944511-1-8
ASIN: B019X8WCWI
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: app. 122,000

 

ebookinthebloodgirl

Blurb

The Warrior

The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.

But she may arrive too late…

The Witch

Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster. Through it all, the Witch’s Tree calls…

Cover Artist E.L. Wicker

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Excerpt

“296.”

Angry hisses and mutters rippled through the assembly at the announcement of Ottilde’s number.

The guard at the front of their formation watched with a bored expression as the other inmates spat at her feet. “King Killer,” the woman next to her hissed. Ottilde swallowed and her grip on the heartstone tightened. Chroy had not been a king when she threw her knife into his throat, not yet. But he had been their future, their hope.

Ottilde raised one hand into the air. “Here.” The commotion died down after he called a few more numbers and Ottilde let out her long-held breath. She loosened her fingers from around the heartstone.

They came away aching with the force of her hold.

When all the prisoners were accounted for, several inmates broke formation to walk to the dining house for breakfast. The guards, however, growled at them to remain in line, shoving some of the slower ones back into place.

Ottilde frowned at the change in routine, and peered around. Prison Chief Wilder Coomb strode towards them on the other side of the wire fence that formed the front of the yard, his adjutant close at his side. One of the guards unlocked the yard gate and stood back as the Chief entered.

Wilder Coomb was a formidable man. He might once have been handsome, but life had bullied him viciously. His shaved head sported a deep, curling scar on one side of his scalp, while his face and neck carried similar gruesome marks. One earlobe was missing, which gave his head a cock-eyed appearance when viewed straight on. A jagged horizontal line along his neck indicated someone had tried to cut his throat at one time. But Ottilde believed the most impressive scar lay behind the patch over his left eye.

The silvery tail of the wound snaked down his cheek and neck to disappear in the stiff collar of his forest green officer’s coat. Upon reaching the front of the prisoner formations, he folded his hands behind his back and swept a contemptuous eye over them. Ottilde could only imagine what he saw as he stared at them, the ragged unlucky soldiers taken prisoner during the recent Pleinour War. For a moment, Chief Coomb’s hard, dark eye settled on her and she lifted her chin, refusing to show him how much he intimidated her. But his gaze moved on, and she sensed the subtle shift of discomfort in the prisoners around her when one of them felt the whip of his gaze.

He held up a sheaf of folded papers; a letter, judging by the regular creases. “Queen Kuonrada has fled and Deauxerr has vanquished her armies.”

The prisoners shuffled and muttered. The cold air warmed with the force of their anger and humiliation. Ottilde kept her eyes on Chief Coomb’s face, though she felt a good portion of their collective rage focused on her. She knew she held blame for breaking the back of Roanaan’s fighting spirit.

“Over the last several weeks,” Coomb continued, “those with authority in such matters have considered what to do with you all. I have a list of officers and knights to be traded for Deauxerr soldiers now held by the remnant of Roanaan’s military as an act of diplomatic faith. Step forward when I read your number. You will be readied immediately for transport to the exchange point.” He snapped his fingers and his adjutant took the letter from his hand, replacing it with a single sheet of dark paper. Coomb scanned it and shouted out prisoner numbers.

Ottilde’s breathing grew irregular with hope as each man or woman came forward in answer to the prison chief’s summons. But he reached the last number on the list without calling hers. Her stomach soured as she watched a contingent of guards escort the fifty or so fortunate prisoners from the yard.

Once the yard gate had shut again. Chief Coomb’s adjutant handed him another paper. “Now, King Talin of Deauxerr has decided to offer those of you with reports of good conduct and no criminal past the opportunity to swear fealty to the Deauxerr crown. Talin has granted you permission to return to Roanaan or settle in Deauxerr; also, you will be given a small subsidy to start your new life. If you wish to accept this offer, step forward when I read your number.” He sounded off another list of prisoners.

Again, Ottilde listened tensely for her number, though she knew how unlikely it was she would hear it this time. Coomb must have called a hundred numbers or more, but Ottilde estimated only forty prisoners stepped forward. They averted their eyes from those who remained in the formations. Another handful of guards led this group from the yard.

“As for the rest of you,” Coomb said, “you are to be moved to a civilian prison facility where you will no longer be my concern.” He folded his arms behind his back. “Remember, as long as you remain in this camp, or in the custody of my staff, you will obey Lachlas regulations. Everyone will appear for morning roll every day. You all know what will happen should even one of your numbers go missing.” He gave them a last menacing glare then stalked to the yard gate.

About the Author:

SONY DSCR.L. Martinez writes fantasy and science fiction with dark edges and corners. She began writing when she was in the seventh grade when her teacher assigned a creative writing project. She lives in Norman, OK with her husband, two young sons, a mouse-killing cat, and two naughty pooches.

Website – http://robinlmartinez.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RobinLMartinez
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/robin.l.martinez40
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8121315.R_L_Martinez
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/robinlm488/

 

Tour giveaway, enter HERE!

1 swag pack (book, bookmark, postcard, heartstone necklace) and 3 ebook copies

 

THE TSAR’S GUARD PARADE!

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Guard Banner (1)

Hiiii, everyone, and welcome to my tour stop for The Tsar’s Guard Parade, in honor of Evelyn Skye’s THE CROWN’S GAME! I’m suuuuper excited for this book and YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

The Tsar’s Guard Parade also includes a giveaway for an ARC of the book. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

So, without further ado, here’s my contribution: a portrait of Vika!

vika_for_evelyn

Bigger size here!
About the Book:

CrownsGame hc cTitle: THE CROWN’S GAME
Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

 

About Evelyn:

Evelyn Skye head shot high res

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram

 

 

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME. International.

Rafflecopter code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

A piece of Truthwitch fanart!

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A piece of Truthwitch fanart!

One of my favorite authors — the AMAZING Susan Dennard — has a new Fantasy book coming out in January called TRUTHWITCH. Before Truthwitch, she wrote the Something Strange and Deadly series, which I absolutely loved. Also, she has a website littered with advice for writers, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read through all of it. Especially the synopsis post. OH THE DREADED SYNOPSIS.

Anyway, I offered to draw some portraits for Susan, because, like I said, she’s a) awesome and b) I would’ve ended up doing them anyway because I can’t help myself. So here is my version of Safiya fon Hasstrel, Truthwitch extraordinaire!

safiya

(alternative version can be found here). Iseult, Merik and Aeduan to come!

My literary tattoos

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As some might know, I have two tattoos based on my favorite book, George Orwell’s 1984. They both mean a great deal to me and so, here they are for the world to see!

This was the first one I got. “Room 101”, because it’s the part of the book that’s touched me the most and I wish I could write something like that.

This one combines my love for Computer Engineering and the book 1984. The QR code stands for “Sanity is not statistical”, one of my favorite quotes of the book and one that’s very dear to my heart for personal reasons.

My next tattoos shall be the N7 symbol, an eight-note (behind my left year) and the question “What can change the nature of a man?” on my back.

Book Review: BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

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In Bitterblue, everything is connected. Old characters return in an amazing fashion (particularly Fire). Characters you might overlook become important when you least expect them and character who’s endeared themselves to you in the beginning, might not to matter much later on. But, like the title says, the novel is about Bitterblue and, while you might think it’s not enough… it is. Bitterblue is an amazing, strong character and by the end of the book I wanted to know more about her.

I really loved this one. Full review on Burn Bright!

Today’s Camp…

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Late at night, Audrey sat by the window and looked up at the starry night sky. God, she wished her life was different. She wished she wasn’t just average at everything. Everyone excelled at something, but her? She was a master of nothing.

A star fell. Scientifically speaking, the star had died millions of years ago and only now could you see it from Earth. But some people—those who didn’t care about science and preferred to live their lives with pretty little tales,—believed that, if you saw a falling star, you should wish upon it.

Audrey didn’t believe it would do anything. The star was dead, after all. But as the star disappeared into the horizon, she thought of how good it would be if things were different. How good it would be if she finally found her calling, her passion, her one special talent, the one thing that would set her apart from everyone.

She knew it was stupid, but she thought it anyway.

Book Review: SPECIALS by Scott Westerfeld

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Tally’s brainwashing is sublime. You can feel it, taste it even and it’s repulsive – even more so because you know she’s wrong and you can’t do anything against it. She is disgusted by Zane, someone she loves, and she can’t do anything about it. It’s revolting that they took something like that away from her.

To wrap up the trilogy! Read it in full at Burn Bright!

Book Review: PRETTIES by Scott Westerfelt

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From there, the novel flows quite nicely. Like in Uglies, there is never a dull moment in Pretties. The plot is tight and intriguing and the way it ends is even more fantastic than its predecessor’s. You might even say I enjoyed Pretties’ plot even more than I did Uglies’. The first book was good, but the second one blows it out of the water.

Full review on Burn Bright!

Book Review: A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray

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The book is terrifically well-written. The prose is fluid and the descriptions are quite nice. It’s also very accurate historically, from clothes to customs to the way people talk. For instance, women are only supposed to learn what they need to please a husband, a thought that was quite common in the 19th century, and some of the girls (not all) fight against this stereotype. It’s not a feminist book, not by a long shot, but it’s not chauvinistic either. It has a balance about it, and that balance fits.

Full review on Burn Bright!