Moonlight Reflections (“Sun’s Rival” Tease & Giveaway)

With a week and a day ‘til the December 2nd release of the “The Sun’s Rival (Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales)” – (although, BIG HONKING NEWS, the Kindle e-book is now available for pre-order, whee-ha!) – here’s a peek at what’s coming in the novella – as well as a chance to win one of Wilderhark artist Yana Naumova’s gorgeous bookmarks!

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“Enjoy the clear skies while you can,” the voice he despised above all others spoke from behind him. “It won’t last forever.”

“Nothing does,” said Lumónd – in a considerable act of self-will, keeping the sudden tension in his jaw out of his voice. He cast a cool glance over his shoulder. “You’re up late, brother. Is it for no reason other than to follow me?”

His brother advanced ‘til they stood side by side, then took just one step more. Lumónd couldn’t even be certain whether the show of dominance was done deliberately, or if it was simply Raeóryn being Raeóryn.

“I expect we’re both here with the same motive,” said the golden king. “Room to breathe.”

Then you ought to have stayed inside, Lumónd thought frostily. For the two of them together, there was never room enough.

If Raeóryn felt the same way, he refused to show it – only inhaled long and deep, then released the air in a satisfied ahhh. “The day went well,” he observed.

Lumónd nodded, conceding the statement’s truth. The princess and her parents had responded favorably, as of course no one had ever doubted they would; not with his dazzlingly charming brother doing most of the talking. On occasion, the conversation drew onto the verge of turning in a precarious direction. Raeóryn’s aforementioned dazzle had deflected most of it. When necessary, Lumónd had discreetly taken care of the rest – particularly during dinner, at about which time he could see his brother’s naturally persuasive energy begin to fade.

If all went as hoped, everything would be made known soon enough, with no more need for secrets. Until then, best to keep quiet certain… irrelevancies. For now, Princess Laraspur would remain in the dark.

Lumónd, art gallery size

Laraspur. Lumónd closed his eyes, his mind’s eye gazing upon the sleeping princess. Her hair tumbled across her pillow, framing the pale circle of her peaceful face in the moonlight. His heart trembled at the very sight of her.

“Stop that.”

Raeóryn delivered the command like a backhand. Lumónd held unflinching.

“Why?” He slid his eyes around to point at his brother behind lashes raised only partway. His mouth’s corners curled upward, defiant. “Just because you can’t?”

“Because,” said Raeóryn, his gaze hot enough to blister, “she is not yours.”

“Nor is she yours.”

A dismissive sniff of a breath. “Don’t let’s play games, little brother. We both know there is no question—”

“Oh, none at all,” Lumónd said bitterly. “There never is, with you. Everything in your world is so perfectly ordered. Dawn in the east and dusk in the west. Spring follows winter, and summer, spring. And given a choice between you and me, certainly no young woman in possession of her senses would choose me.”

“And we will assume,” said Raeóryn, in patronizing tones, “that Princess Laraspur is in possession of her senses and shall remain so, will we not?”

Lumónd refused to dignify that with a response.

Raeóryn tipped his head back, contemplative gaze on the patterns of stars overheard. “I do wonder,” he mused, “why you even bothered to come here.”

With a shake of the head like a shrug, he turned on his heel and departed, leaving Lumónd alone with the empty night.

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I dunno, guys – looking at that utterly stunning Lumónd bookmark, there might be someone out there willing to choose him over their senses. (*coughs* *volunteers as tribute* *coughs*) And as of now, that author-signed bookmark is up for grabs. I’ll tell you how to win it, after a quick word from an advance reader on why they love “The Sun’s Rival”, as quoted from Goodreads*:

“I adore how [Shipley combines] fantasy, adventure and romance into a story I can’t put down. I have read all the Wilderhawk Tales and each one is better than the last.” – Kim Matura

*Speaking of Goodreads, I’ve got another giveaway going on over there. (Does my mad generosity have no end?!) From here ‘til Release Day, enter to win one of five beautiful paperbacks of “The Sun’s Rival”! …or order it now. Either’s awesome. ^_^

And now, the question of the day: What choice(s) have you made in spite of sense, and how’d that work out for you? ^^

Answer below, and one commenter (chosen at random one week from today) shall win the prize. Good luck to all entrants, and here’s counting down the days until “Sun’s Rival”s release!

Time-Honored Traditions (“Sun’s Rival” Tease & Giveaway)

With one month ‘til the December 2nd release of the “The Sun’s Rival (Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales)”, here’s a peek at what’s coming in the novella – as well as a chance to win one of Wilderhark artist Yana Naumova’s gorgeous bookmarks!

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“A tradition of strange adventures, you say?” Raeóryn tipped his head in interest. “And what was the nature of your adventure, Princess?”

“Oh, I haven’t had any.”

“…Yet,” Raeóryn suggested.

Laraspur’s brows drew together in a pensive frown. “I’m not altogether sure I want one. I wouldn’t mind traveling to far-off places, as I daresay that much would be all very exciting. But whenever my parents talk about it – or, rather, don’t talk about it – just for a moment, their eyes turn so weary and sad, it makes me wonder at adventure’s cost. I think… I think they must have come very close to losing each other.”

“And the thought of losing someone you love frightens you?”

“Of course,” said Laraspur, brows now rearranged in an expression of confusion. “Does it not frighten you?”

“Frighten? No.”

“If that does not frighten you,” Laraspur said slowly, “then either you have never known fear, or you have never known love.” She stared him full in his molten eyes, though it almost hurt her own eyes to do so. “Which is it?”

Raeóryn, art gallery sizeRaeóryn gazed back at her intently. “I have never known fear,” he said. “And I have never known love, until the moment I saw you.”

Laraspur’s heart fluttered wildly. Until the moment I saw you… It was almost enough to wipe her mind of every other thought.

Almost.

“What of Lumónd?” she managed to ask. “Do you not love him?” Perhaps one could not expect everyone to feel as close to their brother as Laraspur did to Ionquin, but surely Raeóryn and Lumónd must feel some love for each other.

For the briefest of moments, fast as her parents’ weary sorrow, she saw something flare behind the king’s eyes. “I will not speak ill of my brother to you,” he said. “It would not be seemly, given that we both seek your hand. But I will tell you there is no love lost between us. There is a reason it is customary for a kingdom to have only one king.”

“Is there a reason yours has two?”

Raeóryn turned to face the east once more, his eyes tightening ever so little. “Welken is a very large place. Larger than you might imagine. It was determined long ago that so great a realm ought not to be ruled by one king alone, and so it has always had two. I, personally, do not see the sense of this. I would be fully capable of managing all of Welken on my own; though, of course,” he added, the resentment leaving his face in an instant as he smiled down at Laraspur, “I should be very glad to have a queen at my side.”

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Phew, is it just me, or does gazing at that super-hot Raeóryn bookmark kind of raise the temperature around here? ;D And as of now, that author-signed bookmark is up for grabs. I’ll tell you how to win it, after a quick word from an advance reader on why they love “The Sun’s Rival” (as quoted from Goodreads*, where you can totally add this upcoming Wilderhark Tales to your “want to read” shelf):

“Beautifully written, The Sun’s Rival lives up to the series’ reputation! It brings a delightful mix of old, familiar characters and introduces intriguing new ones who leap off the page right into the mind’s eye! In a nice change of pace we get to spend a bit of time with some of our favorite characters relaxed in their normal (for fairytale royalty) lives. This story brings wonderful depth to the family dynamic, highlighting sibling relationships in particular, both healthy and unhealthy. … The Sun’s Rival does not disappoint!” – Chelsea

*Speaking of Goodreads, I’ve got another giveaway going on over there. (Does my mad generosity have no end?!) From here ‘til Release Day, enter to win one of five beautiful paperbacks of “The Sun’s Rival”!

And now, the question of the day: What’s an adventure, great or small, that you would love to have?

Answer below, and one commenter (chosen at random one week from today) shall win the prize. Good luck to all entrants, and here’s counting down the days until “Sun’s Rival”s release!

Rewan Tremethick’s Halloween Prize Draw

My archnemesis—

The dreaded Technology Fiend?!

No, no, not that fell creature from the pit. I’m referring to my friend, fellow author, and Best Nemesis Forever, Rewan Tremethick.

“Phew, okay. What about him?”

He’s organized an opportunity for you to win books, that’s what! Check out all the authors who’ve come onboard and brought a free title along with ‘em. (Including an advance copy of a certain Wilderhark Tale…)

Rewan Tremethick Halloween Giveaway

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Fallen on Good Times

Rewan Tremethick – “Fallen on Good Times” (paranormal detective Noir set in 1920s America)

Fairy tales are warnings. Legend is history. Monsters are real.

America, 1920. The city of Pilgrim’s Wane. The people on the street can be dangerous, the ones in the shadows even more so. Private Detective Laslo Kane is giving up. But then a brutal murder drives a terrified investor to offer Laslo a life-changing sum of money to solve the case.

The fee could set Laslo up for the rest of his life, assuming he still has one when he’s finished going up against the most dangerous crime family in the city.

Can Laslo survive and claim his fee, or will earning a living be the death of him?

Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

About the Author:

Rewan (not pronounced ‘Rowan’) Tremethick is a British author who was named after a saint. St Ruan was invulnerable to wolves; Rewan isn’t. Rewan is a fan of clever plots, strong women who don’t have to be described using words like ‘feisty’, and epic music. He has dabbled in stand-up comedy, radio presenting, and writing sentences without trying to make a joke. He balances his desire to write something meaningful by wearing extremely tight jeans.

Website: www.rewantremethick.com/fallen-on-good-times-novel

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rewantremethickauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rewantremethick

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dEaDINBURGH

Mark Wilson – “dEaDINBURGH” (dystopian zombie horror)

Edinburgh, 1645:

The bubonic plague rages. In a desperate attempt to quarantine the infected, the city leaders seal the residents of Mary King’s Close in their underground homes.

2015:

Mary King’s Close is reopened, unleashing a mutated plague upon the city residents.

The UK government seals the entire city. Declaring it a dead zone they seal the survivors inside alongside the infected. dEaDINBURGH is declared a no man’s land, its residents left for dead and to the dead.

2050:

Joseph MacLeod, born onto the cobbles of the Royal Mile and stolen from the clutches of the infected is determined to escape the quarantined city. Under the guidance of former –marine Padre Jock, he leaves the confines of the city centre and hones his archery and free-running skills.

Alys Shephard, born into an all-women farming community believes a cure lies in the south of the quarantined zone. The finest combatant in the dead city, Alys burns with anger. The anger of an abandoned child.

Something much worse than the infected waits for them in the south, in the form of a religious cult led by a madman named Somna who collects gruesome trophies and worships the dead body of a former celebrity. Added to this, the enigmatic Bracha, a supreme survivalist and sadistic former-Royal with his own agenda stalks the teenagers.

A self-contained story, dEaDINBURGH is a character-driven Dystopian/Horror novel, exploring the human capacity for good, evil and for survival. Inspired by George A Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’, the works of Robert Kirkman and Jonahan Maberry’s ‘Rot and Ruin’ series.

Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

About the Author:

Mark Wilson is married father of two, born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire and currently living in Edinburgh with his wife, their son, Patrick and baby daughter, Cara.

Mark left Bellshill Academy in 1991, qualification-free. And worked his way through a huge number of jobs including, window-cleaner, delivery driver, Levi’s salesman, microbiologist and cinema usher.
Mark returned to full time education nine years later, earning his Highers and a degree in micro-biology before entering teaching.

Mark currently teaches Biology in a Fife secondary school and is founder of Paddy’s Daddy Publishing, a company he set up to assist Scottish authors. He writes in his spare time, in lieu of sleep.

As well as his autobiography, Paddy’s Daddy, Mark is the author of four fiction novels. Bobby’s Boy, Head Boy, the bestselling Naebody’s Hero and dEaDINBURGH. His novels have been well received and feature Scottish characters. Mark has several other books in progress. Somebody’s Hero (sequel to Naebody’s Hero), Prophets (an irreverent look at the return of Moses and Jesus), ML4 (a YA time-travel novel), a follow-up to dEaDINBURGH and the thriller, The Man Who Sold His Son.

Mark is also co-founder of Paddy’s Daddy Publishing

Website:  markwilsonbooks.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/markwilsonbooks

twitter: @markwilsonbooks

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Undead at Heart

Calum Kerr – “Undead at Heart” (Zombie/Alien invasion)

It is a sunny afternoon in the heart of England and all seems normal. But when a burning truck flies through the air and lands in the middle of the road, it changes Nicola and Tony’s lives for ever and sends them on a breathless journey into darkness. In the company of other refugees, on the run from aliens and zombies, this is the story of their desperate attempt to find safety in the midst of chaos.

‘War of the Worlds’ meets ‘The Walking Dead’ in this novel from Calum Kerr, author of ’31’ and ‘Braking Distance’.

This book also includes a bonus extra – the short-story ‘Judith’.

Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

About the Author:

Calum Kerr is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing. He is director of the UK’s National Flash-Fiction Day and has published two collections of flash-fictions with more on their way. He lives in Southampton with his wife, step-son, two cats and a dog.

Website: www.calumkerr.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/calumkerrwriter

Twitter: www.twitter.com/calumkerr

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The Memory Game

Sharon Sant – “The Memory Game” (YA ghost story)

If there is a hell, I think maybe this is it.

Weeks after fifteen-year-old David is killed by a speeding driver, he’s still hanging around and he doesn’t know why. The only person who can see and hear him is the girl he spent his schooldays bullying.

Bethany is the most hated girl at school. She hides away, alone with her secrets until, one day, the ghost of a boy killed in a hit-and-run starts to haunt her.

Together, they find that the end is only the beginning…

The Memory Game is a ghost story like none you’ve seen before.

An Amazon bestselling eBook

Amazon UK / Goodreads

About the Author:

Sharon Sant was born in Dorset but now lives in Stoke-on-Trent. Aged eight she wrote a poem about ET, which received the ultimate praise of being pinned onto the classroom wall, and from that moment on she knew she’d never stop writing. She graduated from Staffordshire University in 2009 with a degree in English and creative writing. She currently works part time as a freelance editor and continues to write her own stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes across many genres, when not busy trying in vain to be a domestic goddess, she can often be found lurking in local coffee shops with her head in a book. Sometimes she pretends to be clever but really loves nothing more than watching geeky TV and eating Pringles. Young adult novels Sky Song, The Young Moon and Not of Our Sky (the Sky Song trilogy) and Runners were all released in 2013 to glowing reviews. The Memory Game is her sixth novel. She is currently working on a series of Runners prequel stories, the first of which is scheduled for release early 2014. To find out more you can follow her on Twitter where she’s always happy to chat.

Website: www.sharonsant.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sharonjsant

Twitter: @sharonsant

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Sun's Rival Cover, front

Danielle E. Shipley – “The Sun’s Rival” (Wilderhark Book 5, YA Fairytale)

Next to the uncommon beauty of her sisters, Princess Laraspur feels invisible, until she learns the two most powerful kings in the world have their eyes fixed upon her. But the ensuing double-courtship goes horribly awry, requiring Laraspur to brave the secret perils of earth, sea, and sky, on a quest that will try the very essence of her being.

Coming December 2, 2014 / Goodreads

About the Author:

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself.

…Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them.

She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it.

Website: www.deshipley.com

Blog: You are here!

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Danielle.E.Shipley.Author

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DEShipley

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Winner takes all on Halloween, so add your name to the raffle today!

The Sky-Light’s Shadow (“Sun’s Rival” Tease & Giveaway!)

With two months ‘til the December 2nd release of the “The Sun’s Rival (Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales)”, here’s a peek at what’s coming in the novella – as well as a chance to win one of Wilderhark artist Yana Naumova’s gorgeous bookmarks!

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Chancing to look upward, Laraspur spied a small, pale shape in the sky – a half-disc of shadowy white in the expanse of blue. The sight bestirred a memory. A dark, warm whisper of a long-ago night.

The sun envies the moon, her ear remembered her father’s tender murmur, because the moon can stay in the sky all day and nightIt is just that we cannot always see his light, because the sun shines so much brighter…

That was how she felt today, Laraspur realized. Rendered invisible by the brilliance of her sisters. Outshone by their impossible beauty. The moon nobody saw for the light of the sun.

Staring at that faint shadow-light above her, Laraspur whispered: “I see you.”

Laraspur, art gallery size

“Lar?”

Turning, Laraspur beheld her brother stride over to tower above her. “What are you doing out here?” he asked. “The party’s inside.”

Striving to keep her tone light, Laraspur replied, “I just felt like being alone, for a bit.”

“Would you not rather dance?”

“Not really,” she lied.

One princely eyebrow lifted in an expression of smiling invitation. “Not even with me?”

“Don’t be kind, please,” said Laraspur, turning away. “I’m sure you have your pick of girls with which to dance.”

“Who’s being kind?” said Ionquin. “I want to make all the other young men jealous when they observe that I am partnered with the most graceful dancer here.”

Laraspur was not fooled for a moment, but gave him her hand nonetheless. If nothing else, any young ladies looking their way might be made to feel jealous – so long as they were unaware that the dancers were brother and sister…

Besides, Laraspur adored dancing. Loved losing herself in the movement. As she spun ‘round the terrace with Ionquin, the skirts of her perfect dress swirling around her, Laraspur felt her self-pity melting away, and could even imagine that someone watching her right then could find her beautiful – little knowing that two someones were doing precisely that.

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Make that at least three someones; looking at the Laraspur bookmark pictured above, I can certainly find her beautiful! And as of now, that author-signed bookmark is up for grabs. I’ll tell you how to win it, after a quick word from an advance reader on why they love “The Sun’s Rival” (as quoted from Goodreads, where you can totally add this upcoming Wilderhark Tales to your “want to read” shelf):

“This is a beautiful, creative retelling of Psyche and Cupid, with elegant, gorgeous imagery. Powerful as a sunrise, but gentle as moonlight, this story will sweep you away on a storm. With the return of favorite characters, and the introduction of several new ones, The Sun’s Rival is a lovely addition to The Wilderhark Tales, and probably my favorite book in the series so far.” – Kimberly Kay

And now, the question of the day: When do you feel most beautiful?

Answer below, and one commenter (chosen at random one week from today) shall win the prize. Good luck to all entrants, and here’s counting down the days until “Sun’s Rival”s release!

The Face of Five

Happy (belated) blogiversary to me! September 1st of 2011 saw the very first Ever On Word blog post, and just look at what all’s happened since then: More than 4.5 hundred posts in the archives, blog hops and blog tours, hosting guests and being hosted, pics, gifs, Will Scarlet holding my Saturdays hostage… and, of course, intermittent hurrahs to do with whatever professional publication things are hitting the market. Case in point: Today I am elated to reveal the cover of the fifth book in my series of fairytale retelling novellas. Behold!

Sun's Rival Cover, front

Next to the uncommon beauty of her sisters, Princess Laraspur feels invisible, until she learns the two most powerful kings in the world have their eyes fixed upon her. But the ensuing double-courtship goes horribly awry, requiring Laraspur to brave the secret perils of earth, sea, and sky, on a quest that will try the very essence of her being.

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The Sun’s Rival (Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales)

I cannot sing the praises of my cover artist loudly enough. Yana Naumova, you knock my socks off harder every time!

Since this cover-revealing anniversary has got me in a festive mood, here are five fun facts about Wilderhark Tale number five!

1) I actually drafted this book ahead of Book Four, because I had an inkling about where I wanted to take this chapter of the series, whereas Gant-o’-the-Lute had yet to divulge his plans for “The Song Caster”.

2) Unlike the other Wilderhark Tales to date, my main inspiration for “The Sun’s Rival” wasn’t a fairytale, but the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche.

3) This is the first Wilderhark Tale driven by sibling relationships, of both the positive and, erm, not to be imitated varieties.

4) It is really hard to compile these five facts for you, because so much of the cool stuff I want to tell you does not comply with the rules of my spoiler-free zone. So I just really need everyone to read this book upon release so we can discuss it freely, okay?

5) This young adult romance adventure is slated to share a book birthday with another publication of mine; J. Taylor Publishing’s “One More Day” anthology (featuring my short story, “A Morrow More”) launched on a December 2nd, too!

“The Sun’s Rival” is currently available to add to your Goodreads shelves (you can do so here. Anytime, now. At your leisure), and will be ready for purchase no later than the official release date of December 2, 2014. ‘Tween now and then, keep your eyes open for excerpts, bookmark giveaways, and any other awesomeness my brain may come up with at the last minute (like it does).

ALSO, I am currently seeking folks willing to give e-ARCs (advance reader copies) of the book an early read ‘n’ review! Qualifications are minimal: Just do your darnedest to read “Sun’s Rival” and post your honest opinion of it (on Goodreads, your blog/social media platform of choice, and Amazon/Barnes and Noble.com), preferably before or on the book’s release date. Interested parties may leave a request in the comments section below or shoot me a message via my contact page.

Thanks in the meantime to all the awesome people who are helping me share the face of “Sun’s Rival” all over the interwebs; you guys get all the Cyber Brownies of Gratitude. ^_^

So-o-o-o? What’s everybody think of the cover?! 8D