Game of Thrones Writer Posts Free Fantasy Books on Instafreebie

Author J. M. Sloan has put a world of free fantasy at your fingertips. The former Game of Thrones video game writer is making several of his fantasy books available on Instafreebie, including his upcoming novel “Death Marked”.

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Sloan is the author of the Falls of Redemption trilogy, an epic military fantasy series shaped around the warring history and legends of Ancient Greece. The series includes Land of Gods, Retribution Calls, and Tears of Devotion, as well as a prequel titled Blades of Gresva. Blades of Gresva is currently available on Instafreebie, as is Falls of Redemption: Episode One and other stories. Falls of Redemption includes the first installment of the trilogy, plus some stories exclusive to Instafreebie.

Blades of Gresva

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Falls of Redemption

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In addition to getting a taste of Sloan’s military fantasy saga, you can also check out a sneak peek at his latest work, Death Marked. Death Marked is the first book in the urban fantasy Modern Necromancy series. Rohan Evans’s world was turned upside down when he lost his fiancé, Senna, in a tragic accident. He misses her so desperately that he’s resorted to the dark arts to bring her back.  It’s a fast-paced chase around the world that will keep you on the edge of your seat and fear the dead.

Death Marked

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https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.instafreebie.com%2Ffree%2F9I59l&h=UAQHDwz-HAQFbwAeoX-CRvj4ikz8YUAYypo4MP6lrTJ1beg

Right now, you can a sneak peek of Death Marked on Instafreebie right now, and coming soon the book will be available exclusively in it’s entirety for a full month before being available on Amazon.

Military fantasy and urban fantasy for free? What could be better? Head on over to Instafreebie and discover J.M. Sloan’s works today!

Author Spotlight: J. M. Sloan

So for the final Author Spotlight of the Fall Conclave Festival, I’m very pleased to welcome J.M.Sloan…

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 First, tell me a little about your book/ books and why you wanted to write it/ them

 The Falls of Redemption trilogy is epic military fantasy, loosely based on Ancient Greek wars in the way that Game of Thrones is based on the Wars of the Roses. It follows two cousins in alternating point of view (POV) chapters. They both love the same woman, but face hurdles in a time of war that cause their pursuit of this woman to be complicated. That’s where the story starts, because then it becomes so much more – it’s the tale of one of these cousins who is taken against his will and forced to fight for a Spartan-like group of warriors, and then his journey when he’s must choose between the brothers in arms he has learned to love and the woman of his dreams. What I love about this series is the way the characters come first, with hints of magic behind a curtain at first, revealed slowly until BAM! The magic system comes out swinging.

 What inspired you to write your first book and why?

 I started writing the Falls of Redemption trilogy back in 2010 when I was waiting for the next Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) book to come out. Those books were so amazing, I felt compelled to attempt to write a book that would touch and inspire people in the same way George R.R. Martin’s books did with me. This made it feel especially amazing when I found myself working at Telltale Games on their Game of Thrones title.

 Are the experiences of your characters based in part on someone you know, or on events in your own life?

 My grandma was always asking me to write about my military time and travels, so instead of writing a journal or memoir, I thought I would write a fictionalized version of my bootcamp experience. I had taken a class in my international relations MA program on the Peloponnesian War, and loved it. So it made sense to combine these two ideas – a military fantasy novel based on Ancient Greek wars, that in some ways tells my story of going through boot camp and the years that followed.

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 Of course, the book changed drastically and totally took on a life of its own, but you could certainly say my military time has greatly influenced my writing. In fact, my other books have strong military aspects – the little girl in Back by Sunrise loses her father to the military, and Allie Strom’s mom is in the military (kind of) in Allie Strom and the Ring of Solomon.

Out of all the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite to write? Is this character a main character or one of the side characters?

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 Allie, from Allie Strom and the Ring of Solomon is quite fun. She’s a strong, young, protagonist, who reminds me of a cleaner version of Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. She thinks she just wants to be a normal girl starting 7th grade, but situations dictate otherwise. 

Is you book part of a series, and if so, how many will there be?

All of my books are series. Land of Gods is the first in a trilogy, or was meant to be. But now I have book 4 outlined, and it could be the start of a new trilogy, or it could be a standalone, depending on how long I want the book to be.  

What are you working on now?

In addition to my 4th book in the Falls of Redemption series, I’m working on a modern necromancy series with Michael La Ronn. The first is going to be released exclusively on Instafreebie, so stay tuned! 

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Who do you look up to as a writer?

I am a humungous fan of Brandon Sanderson. He was another huge influence in getting me into writing, with his book Elantris and his Mistborn trilogy. On top of that, he does the Writing Excuses podcast, which is a tremendous help to all writers, and served as an inspiration to me starting my Creative Writing Career podcast. 

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Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?

Of course everyone should read The Princess Bride, if for no other reason than to see how it differs form the movie. It’s an entertaining read. On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers is another favorite of mine, because it’s a pirate novel with magic – you can’t get much better than that!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Remember that nothing is as simple as it might first appear, in a book, and that, if you think something make sense, you’ll probably soon find a reason for that. Enjoy the read! 

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@JustinMSloan

Author Spotlight: Chrishaun Keller Hanna

The next author in the Fall Conclave that I’ll be featuring is Chrishaun Keller Hanna, author of the Allazar Universe.

First, tell me a little about your book/ books and why you wanted to write it/ them

The Allazar Universe is a universe I created because I wanted an urban/contemporary fantasy series that happened during the day with dry streets and a place where I could explore just about any genre and have a solid foundation worldbuilding-wise. I have two imprints so far:

Tales of Allazar (that would be “Black, Gold, & Sage” and “Spilt Milk”) is an anthology imprint that explores life in Allazar through the eyes of normal people there. These are smugglers, young people helping their friends, etc. ToA is as close as I get to literary and it still is heavy fantasy flavored.

Allazar’s The Coursers is an action adventure imprint that features Duquesne “Duke” Cole as she chases down token that the dead use to return to the living. This is a more humorous running and gunning type series, like Stephanie Plum if she was a bit more skilled at her job.

 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?

I was an early reader (about 3) and I always told stories and wanted to write, though that was not my first love. My first love was art and I wanted to be a comic artist.

What inspired you to write your first book and why?

As I mentioned above, I wanted to be a comic book artist and told this to the guy at the comic book shop that I went to nearly every day after school. We would talk about story and why that was more important than the art, how making subtle and bold changes in the traditional of stories changed the tone, and why the world needed that. I listened and started writing stories based on my D&D characters (and still do, but I will get to that in the next question) and I realized that I enjoyed it more than art, even though I never told that guy that. But he was Brian Michael Bendis, so I guess I didn’t have to tell him…

Are the experiences of your characters based in part on someone you know, or on events in your own life?

Yes… and no. A situation in the real world is always affected by the culture of the world and by the filter of the characters that live there. I enjoy taking a situation that I have gone through and exploring how someone in Allazar would react to it. For instance, if you asked the dudest, manliest man in Allazar if he was gay, he would have no idea what you were talking about. Not because same-sex relationships don’t exist – because they do- but it would never to occur to him that that was a line of demarcation. He would say,” that’s not a lifestyle, that’s a type” and leave it at that. And that’s because the big taboo is not sex, but greed and how much power you have. All that to say that experiences come from real life, into the filter of Allazar and sometimes end up being very different.

As for the characters, there are several that come from my real life, and I often asked the people that I based them on to name them. Once again, their character goes through the Allazar filter, and they end up very different people. Amani “Manny” Phallo for instance, is based on a friend that is a devout Christian but ended up being an atheist (that is, he doesn’t believe that he is a created character, while others are aware that they have been in other stories and D&d campaigns) in my books… but that is a story in and of itself.

Out of all the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite to write? Is this character a main character or one of the side characters?

My flagship characters (Micah Leigh, Amani Phallo, Duke Cole). They’re flagship (that is they drive a series) because they are fun to write and fun to explore Allazar with.

Micah deals with being once a revered warrior in her former life but now seen as a threat to this modern world and how that affects her identity and how and why she helps the world at large.

Manny lets me explore being a man in a matriarchal and matrilineal society. He was groomed to a leader, then became male during puberty (all Allazarians are born female) and lost a lot of privileges. Watching him deal with that and fight to have a full life in the face of the world’s culture and still fighting monsters is compelling.

Duke is my smart-ass and rebel that somehow fails her way upward. She lets me see how bad you can mess up a situation by yourself and still get the job done.

Is you book part of a series, and if so, how many will there be?

Tales of Allazar is an ongoing anthology series, so there will be other trilogies following other characters. Sage’s story will end with “Red Strand”, which comes out in December. From there, we will follow a young Deveron boy Madhur as he is compelled to “honor kill” (there is no honor there) himself and with the help of his friends, tries to return to the land of the living in “Ether Moon” and in late 2017, we will follow Phe-et “Phe” Union as she adjusts to her new life as she is falsely declared a Sanguine and loses her Citizenship in “Griefeater”.

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The Coursers will also be ongoing series for now. I have six stories plotted out for Duke and the Team, including a crossover with Sage Allecoure.

What are you working on now?

Finishing up Sage’s story “Red Strand” which will be out in December and the second and third parts of Duke’s origin trilogy (“Instruction Manual” out in October and “Bound with Twine” out in November)

Who do you look up to as a writer?    

Writers, famous or not, that put in the work consistently and publish consistently. What we do is not glamorous or easy, but for some of us, it is the only life that we want to have. And they are to ones I look to I need encouragement!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

So, so many things… but if I tried to change them all, I would be releasing a book a year, and I am all about that pulp writer life! At some point, you will just have to call the book done, give it a kiss on the forehead and push “publish.” Then you take the “should’ve’s” and use them to write your next book.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you choose?

I am one of my characters… I am the Story Mother, and I pop up in the books to determine what stays and goes in Allazar. The backstory is that in real life, all my notes and earlier stories were destroyed, and I needed to recreate it from scratch. So I talk to friends, other writers, and characters (except Manny…) about the book in the book.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Simply thanks for the support as I start my writing career! I look forward to hearing from you and encourage you to provide feedback through reviews and responses to the Gazetteer! And as the Etherians say, You Are a Bright Light!

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You can find out more about the Allazar Universe and Chrishaun Keller Hanna, check out her Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Chrishaun-Keller-Hanna/e/B01FLML2D0

Daughter of the Flood – https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Flood-Coursers-Book-Allazars-ebook/dp/B01F6SCKHG/ref=la_B01FLML2D0_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473910452&sr=1-1

Tales of Allazar: Black, Gold & Sage – https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Allazar-Black-Gold-Season-ebook/dp/B01F325JMI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Tales of Allazar: Split Milk – https://www.amazon.com/Spilt-Milk-Tales-Allazar-Season-ebook/dp/B01GPKIW9O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

Author Spotlight: J.L. Hendricks

This week I’m participating in a special Fall Conclave Promotional Festival, in which authors of PNR and Fantasy, like myself, work together to publicize each other’s work on numerous platforms and in a variety of ways.

Today, I’m featuring the first of three interviews this week with fellow authors, and leading us off today is author J.L. Hendricks!

First, tell me a little about your book/ books and why you wanted to write it/ them

I have two series right now, and two more in the works. But for the first one, The Eclipse Series, I was helping an author and while beta reading for him he asked me if I ever thought about writing, which I had a lot! But never thought it was something I could do. He talked me into trying it and My Eclipse Series was born.

The Eclipse Series is about a battle that takes place on Earth, in the LA area, between Vampires and Fae Warriors. In my world, the Fae and Vamps are from a planet in another dimension. They are fighting back home over who will control the planet, and they bring their war here to Earth. The Vampires, or rippers as they are called back home, come to Earth to kidnap humans to use as fodder for their war. But due to our sun, the rippers become vampires here and they also need the humans for food. A young woman gets in the way and ends up killing a vampire, which shouldn’t have happened, so she is taken to Fae headquarters and not allowed to leave. When she was fighting the rippers she was injured and that injury is actually killing her. In order to save her, the Fae have to perform something that hasn’t been done in almost 200 years and is no longer allowed. This woman, is saved and she ends being the girl of an ancient prophecy is who is supposed to save her people from the threat of the rippers. There are a lot of fight sequences and some travels that help our reluctant hero and her two saviors to get closer. Which ends up becoming a love triangle issue. I would call this more of an urban fantasy/paranormal adventure romance. I like to mash up genre’s, makes it more interesting.

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My other series will release its first book on Sept 22! That book is called Worlds Away and is a Sci-Fi Alien Abduction Romance, but it would be PG-13 if made into a movie. I understand that most of the genre is pretty spicy, but I thought it would be fun to write a book in that world and make it mostly clean so everyone can read it. This is the story of a homeless young woman who is abducted by a smoking hot alien commander who believes our heroin, Paris, is his fated mate. Commander Venay also abducts about 200 other humans to bring back as either slaves, or mates. While this is a romance and will have an HEA, there is also some action and adventure along the way. Another alien species wants the humans for themselves so they attack Commander Venay’s ship and force it to crash land on an alien planet. This gives Paris and the other humans a chance to get away, but not is all that is seems. These new aliens may be even more dangerous than the ones who abducted the humans to begin with. What will Paris and the rest of the human population do?

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?

I have always enjoyed writing stories. But writing reports and papers for school or work? Not so much. I did start writing a book when I was in 8th grade and ended up throwing it away. It was garbage! And I always thought after that it wouldn’t be something that I could do, even if I wanted to do it. Until I met Michael Anderle who invited me to his 20BooksTo50K group. Back then it was just six of us, but it grew really quickly and now we have almost 800 people in our group! Everyone is so helpful and I couldn’t be where I am today without their help and guidance!

Are the experiences of your characters based in part on someone you know, or on events in your own life?

My characters are based on my imagination. They are people or aliens I would love to either meet or be someday. I don’t think that any of them are based on people I know. But I have used my friends’ names for characters I have killed off! In books 3-5 in my Eclipse series, I borrowed names of friends and family to use for “red shirts”, characters that have a small role but get killed off. A few names in book 5 came from a FB party I did where I asked for names of people to kill off, and I have a list of names now to kill! It was a lot of fun and everyone wanted to die glorious and painful deaths. Which is pretty easy when you are fighting vampires.

Out of all the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite to write? Is this character a main character or one of the side characters?

Out of all of my characters, I would have to say that B’Lana is my favorite to write, but Paris is a very close second and she might overtake B’Lana when she gets her second book. B’Lana has really grown as a person and she has had two extremely good looking and tough men want her. She also gets to do some pretty wild and crazy things, like visiting another planet in another dimension, and fighting off vampires. Paris however, has an extremely handsome and tough alien commander who will do anything to have her. And once they are mated he will never stray from her or want another woman. Alien mating is such that once that bond is performed, there is nothing that can break it short of death. He also has a bit of a romantic side and knows how to ballroom dance. Ok, that last item is probably something off of my list of a perfect man, but it fits for Venay quite nicely.

What are you working on now?

Worlds Away is the first book in a new trilogy I am writing. If it goes over well with the readers, then there will be the possibility of another book or two. Most likely I will start another series in that genre.

The Eclipse series is planned as a very long running series. Currently there are 5 books, but I have also just finished a new book for a spin off series in that universe. The new trilogy will be Origins of the Eclipse with books 1 titled, The Eclipse of Time. I also have a few other spin offs for that universe that will open up doors to new worlds in different dimensions. One of those is a shifter world.

How do you choose when/ which characters die in your books?

In the Eclipse Series I have killed off quite a few characters, but in Worlds Away, I have not killed off many, yet. The strange part is that I like to kill characters, but Worlds Away mostly wrote itself and the book didn’t want a lot of death and gore, however there is some of that in this new trilogy. Paris does have to kill the second alien species, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise with that one! In the Eclipse Series, we are battling vampires, so you have to kill off a lot of characters. Most are true “red shirts” who are there only for that one book and to be someone to kill off. But there are a few who have grabbed our hearts and must die. In book 5 I kill off an awesome character. One of the reviewers said she loved how it happened and it was appropriate, so I am very pleased with that scene. I did however, cry when I wrote it and again when I re-wrote it. I really like that character, but she was always intended as a “red shirt” so she had to go eventually.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

If I had this to do all over again, I would combine books 1 & 2 to make it a full length book. Books 1-4 are novellas, so making them into two full length novels would be better, I think.

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?

One of the biggest things I have learned so far is that you have to just do it. We all have things we dream about doing but for some reason don’t. Stop that thinking and just do it! It is better to have tried and failed, then to have never tried at all.

Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?

There are two series that I am just in love with right now, A Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, and The Snow Queen books by KM Shea. Both of those authors can write some seriously awesome action scenes and then throw in romance to make it all work so well. I do love them both so much!

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Author Bio for J.L. Hendricks:

J.L. Hendricks is a new independent author. The Interdimensional Saga series is her first one and she is very excited to share Book 1, Eclipse of the Warrior.

Her latest series which comes out later this month is a PG-13 version of the hot Alien Sci-Fi Romance genre! She thought it might be fun to write in that world while still keeping it mostly clean for everyone to read. Let her know what you think!

She is very proud to have served in the US Army before she went to college. Earlier this year she decided to finally write, and finish a book, because of a few friends who encouraged her to do so. She hopes her stories entertain you and can bring a laugh on occasion.

Actually, it was her roommate’s cat who talked her into staying at home to be her minion all day long! Pyper truly believes that J.L. is here to serve her alone.

Come and chat with J.L. on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/JLHendricksAuthor/

And check out her Amazon author page at: https://www.amazon.com/J.L.-Hendricks/e/B01DYIKP22/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473372591&sr=1-2-ent

But don’t forget her website and blog at: http://jlhendricksauthor.com/

And you can get Worlds Away on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Away-Sci-fi-Romance-Abduction-ebook/dp/B01KSMIOPM/

In Memoriam: 9/11… Fifteen years…

Today is a day of grief and remembrance… of patriotism and love… Today we commemorate 15 years since the horrific and tragic events of 9/11… It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, the memories still so fresh within our minds… the scars, healed but very present still in my beloved Manhattan… the field in Pennsylvania resting amidst fog and a glooming peace…

We all deal with grief in our own ways… whether we experienced the events directly, or through our viewing of the tragedy, we have all had to come to terms with what happened and with the new world we live in.

I’d like to share a piece that I wrote… It is an excerpt from one of my books and deals very pointedly with the events as experienced by the character speaking.

**This piece is graphic in its descriptions of the experience of the events of 9/11… Please be advised of this before you read it!

A little background… this excerpt takes place during an inquest, and includes a Lady Justice (it’s set in the UK), as well as a barrister and the character being questioned**

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The Lady Justice held up her hand. “Silence, Mister Warwick. Please continue, Miss Gardener.”

Kate took a deep breath. “I remember… Everything… Because it’s impossible for me not to. I have an eidetic memory. Once I have seen something, experienced it I never forget it. I don’t have to think about it to recall it. It’s just there.”

Warwick was incredulous, dramatically so, as he motioned to the papers in his hand. “You expect us to believe your version of what happened because you claim to have a clinical condition that is not, in fact, proven to exist?”

Kate smirked. “I wouldn’t expect you to believe me, but you’re welcome to test me if you want.” This was dangerous, and as soon as the words came out of Kate’s mouth a little twinge of regret seeped in. She’d opened the door… Now she’d have to deal with the consequences.

“Before you were employed by the Forensic Science Service, you worked as a crime scene photographer for the New York Police Department, correct?”

“Yes.”

“For… Ten years?”

“Yes.”

“Tell us about your first case.”

Fuck. Kate hoped that they hadn’t seen her wince, because she felt like she had obviously winced. Glancing around, she noticed everyone looking at her, waiting expectantly for her to respond. And she had to.

Kate swallowed hard, took a deep breath, moistened her lips… and began…

“When I got to the scene, the dust cloud was beginning to dissipate. A light breeze had come up and was blowing the cloud off the island. Everything was covered with dust… the cars, the people, the signs, the windows. Alarms were going off everywhere.

“I got close to the site… stuff was crunching under my boots. When I looked I saw glass and concrete pieces and shards of bone. The flesh had been burned away by the impact and the super-heated air. It was like Pompeii, or something.

“Then I heard a pop, a loud pop, and something wet hit me, hit my face. I reached up and wiped it off. It was blood and … brain matter. And I turned and saw what was left of the man who had hit the ground a few feet away from me. The there was another, a few feet beyond. Then there was a third behind me. People started yelling and screaming… And then there was this incredible grinding sound… crushing, rushing, like a massive roll of thunder. Then we were running from the dust, and the smoke and the heat, and the smell, and the cremated remains of the people left in that building.

“Nobody knew what was happening. Then later, when we knew…”

Kate trailed off and blinked away the tears moistening her eyes. She could see the expression on the faces of the Lady Justice… Warwick… Pierce… Parris… Wait a minute, when did he come in? What is he doing here? She shivered slightly, trying to pry herself from his intense gaze so she could finish this with the final blow.

Kate glanced at the Lady Justice briefly before continuing. “I don’t excuse what Neville did. It was wrong, vicious… but I understand why he did it. When horrific violence is done to you, to those you love, to your country, your idealistic sense of mercy goes out the window. You only want justice, vengeance… On whatever terms you can get it.”

The room was silent, though Kate thought a couple of women on the jury might be crying. She didn’t dare look. Tears were like yawns and vomiting… Once you heard them, saw them, you could pretty much guarantee that you would go from observer to participant in seconds. And Kate didn’t want to cry… Not anymore. She sighed, focusing on her hands in her lap, twisting and turning her fingers restlessly.

“Are we done here?”

-De Profundis, Gabriella Messina

#NeverForget #NeverForget15YearsLater