Tools of a Thief

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author D. Hale Rambo and her fantasy novella Tools of a Thief

Author’s description

How do you stop being a thief? Zizy assumed quitting her job, stealing from her boss, and flitting magically across the continent was one way to give it a go. Getting in and out of sticky situations is typically Zizy’s specialty. A little spellwork here, a pinch of deception there, and she’s home free. Quick-fingered, fast-talking, and charming the gnome knows traveling across a shattered continent won’t be easy. Still, she has the skills to keep herself from getting killed.
Too bad she was followed on her one-way trip. Pressed into a mission she can’t say no to, Zizy feels desperate, out of place, and as lonely as before. But when she meets a charming book hoarder with bold curiosity, Zizy can’t help but want to bring her along on this one last job. She’ll just hide her past, her present, and complicating info about herself. What could go wrong?

About the Author

Hale Rambo is an avid reader, Pathfinder/Dungeons & Dragons player, bubble bath connoisseur, and author. She has been writing and creating other worlds since she was old enough to mark them on her bedroom wall. As a dungeon master and in life, D. Hale Rambo believes in the fun of morale bonuses, inspiration, and always using cover. Get updates on the series, say hello, or debate with her about the versatility of gnomes at http://www.dhalerambo.com .

Find the Author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dhalerambo
Twitter: @therambogeeks
Instagram: @therambogeeks

Buy the Book

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Tools-Thief-Decisions-Kairas-Book-ebook/dp/B08TM9DFNC/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding 1 of 3 print copies of the book (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Zizy was taught growing up that expanding the Vault had been a request of the gnomes creator, the Trickster. The gnomes had built three glorious cities over the course of the last hundred or so years. Arovein, their original city, Zumi to the southwest along the coast, and Hadu on the northwest coast. All built in the tunnels and caverns of the Vault with small trading settlements above ground. But everything else after that had been gnome ingenuity. The waterworks pipeline, the spellwork-powered carts, the mechwork creatures—all made life grand for them. Enabled them to focus on their particular pursuits and research without worry for the busy motions of just living life.

She missed the clanking of metal as someone walked down the street testing out some new contraption. She missed her favorite tavern. Discussing over mugs of brewbeer what new idea a friend had thought up and watching—or sometimes being—the one who had agreed to be a tester. She missed being in charge of her daily life. Zizy let the pang of homesickness for Zumi and her old life wash over her.

What the minds of her people could come up with would be mesmerizing to a Brix. Simply astonishing. Or frightening, if they were ignorant sticks in the mud. She had encountered many like that since she entered their lands, those who saw her and understood she wasn’t like them. Some had been polite and ignored it when interacting with her. But others, scared beyond sense, had been more harmful and even attacked her unprovoked. So she’d tried to pass straight through, not standing out, with only mild altercations like yesterday’s.

But then there was Laysa. Something about this Brix was different, intriguing, and though Zizy had thought, as she drank in the inn the evening before, that the best way to avoid Emba’s bad side was just to do as she said, the spark of defiance she felt every time she saw Emba had reared its head. Her mind returned to Laysa off and on all night. The way she didn’t hesitate to ask and answer. The volley of words she seemed happy to spill. Zizy sensed she could talk for ages, and Zizy wasn’t unhappy, she mused, at the prospect of talking to her again. Around in circles Zizy went, drink after drink, until she just decided to do what she was best at: ignore all reasonable suggestions and do what she wanted anyway.

Thank you!

D. Hale Rambo — we appreciate your sharing your book Tools of a Thief with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Virus of Beauty

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author C.B. Lyall and her YA fantasy novel, The Virus of Beauty.

Author’s description

Ugliness is power, and the Virus of Beauty is spreading causing panic throughout the witch population.

 

Wilf Gilvary is a teenage wizard who is terrified of using magic. When his father dies under mysterious circumstances, Wilf is plunged into the middle of a political struggle between the witches and wizards in the Magical Realm. He’d rather play soccer than practice magic, but he’s forced to make a choice between the life of a normal Hong Kong teen and one of wizardry after a powerful virus begins to decimate the witch community. The cure is spellbound in a journal Wilf inherited from his father and when his friend Katryna contracts the virus, Wilf understands that he must overcome his fear of magic to unlock the journal’s secrets – but will it be too late to save her?

About the Author

Carolyn Lyall was born in Stockton-On-Tees, United Kingdom. As a child Carolyn growing up in Northern England in the sixties Carolyn loved sports, reading and amateur dramatics. She joined a renaissance group, practiced the broadsword and dreamed of visiting other worlds. Her passion for what could be drove her forward when faced with everyday struggles. Her first memorable skirmish with gender inequality came at nine-years old when she was told that only boys were allowed to play soccer. In response, she simply refused to do any classwork until they changed their old-fashioned policies. She won that battle.

At the age of 18, she took a role as typist for a nursing school in Middlesbrough. She then moved to London and enrolled in night school. She was quickly recognized for her ability to fit in anywhere and for not being afraid to push back on the predominantly male leadership. She eventually became a project manager in software development and micro-computers, bridging the gap between computer programmers and management.

Her dream to travel was finally realized in 1990 when she moved to New York City, USA with her husband and the first of three sons. This was the steppingstone to a lifelong adventure that has taken her and her family to India, Belgium and Hong Kong.

Raising her family in multiple countries around the world, she saw that each move, while a shock, was an opportunity for her sons to redefine themselves against new challenges and different cultural norms. Now, that her sons have left home, Carolyn has used her passion for the fantastic to create a world where every day gender inequalities are at the forefront of a world ending conflict. She shares this story through the eyes of a young man who is suddenly thrust into this new world along with all of his own woes and prejudices. The introduction to this world is in Carolyn’s debut YA fantasy novel, The Virus of Beauty, due to be released July 31, 2019 under C B Lyall.

Carolyn has published two short stories in an annual anthology by 25 Servings of Soop. She wrote a number of articles for the American Women’s Associates Magazine.  Fueled by her love of the works of Terry Pratchett, Sarah J Maas, Cassandra Clare, Brandon Sanderson and others, Carolyn has completed a number of writing courses, which included a Master Fantasy/Science Fiction writers course with Gotham Writers’ Workshop, a YA Voice class and Advance Novel Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.

Author Trivia: Four Things C.B. Lyall Cannot Live Without

A laptop – During hurricane Sandy we didn’t have electricity for 13 days and at first it was difficult to get gas for the car. Fortunately, we did have a gas fire to heat the room and I had a gas stove to cook on. I spent my days writing on my laptop, reading and playing music.

My friends and family – During COVID-19 it has been great to still see people over zoom. It isn’t the same, but the social contact is essential.

My husband and children – they are what makes life so special. I couldn’t imagine life without them.

Books – I have a lot of old friends here. They’ve traveled around the globe with me. I love them being with me.

Find the Author

Website: cblyall.com
Facebook: @CarolynBLyall
Twitter: @cblyall
Instagram: @carolynlyall

Buy the Book

Amazon buy link

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Katryna hurried along the dimly lit corridor. Its dark, stained carpet and peeling paint reflected the building’s location. This wasn’t a part of town she usually visited. The balconies and entrance might have a view of the market square, but at the back of the building pulsed the Veil. The swirling gray mist had separated and protected the witches of Mathowytch from the citizens of Kureyamage for over fourteen years.

She unlocked the door of a studio apartment crowded with chintzy, overstuffed furniture. A cat lay sprawled along the back of the sofa in the sunlight, licking his paws. Katryna wrinkled her nose at the smell of cat and decay. Flies buzzed around the cat’s dirty food bowl, and she zapped them, hoping the frail old witch wouldn’t be upset with her use of magic.

Griselda lay on the bed in a fetal position, whimpering. Katryna sat down next to her in a wooden, high-backed chair. She reached to rub Griselda’s back, but then pulled back. It might not be safe to touch the old witch.

“Can I get you something to eat?”

Griselda shook her head and remained facing the wall.

There seemed to be very little Katryna could do. Perhaps that was why Ermentrude had forgotten to add Griselda’s name to the list of new cases to visit. However, her mother had been distracted before she left. Ermentrude might be among the city’s most powerful witches, but she made time to visit the sick whenever she could. Her mother’s hard outer shell hid a soft center of community spirit. The problem was, Ermentrude expected her daughter to pick up the slack whenever she disappeared on a new, urgent assignment for the Witch Council.

Thank you!

C.B. Lyall — we appreciate your sharing your book The Virus of Beauty with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

 Looking for More?

This week I’m featuring two more YA fantasy books on my other blog. Check out the series Magical Beasts and my review of A Fairy’s Quest.

Company Assassin

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Claudia Blood and her  novel, Company Assassin.

Author’s description

It’s Duff Roman’s eighteenth birthday, but no one is lighting candles.

 

Turning eighteen in the orphanage on Kalecca means starvation for those who aren’t hired into a Family. Outside the Family compounds lies the jungle. And in the jungle lies death. And Relics—the only real currency on Planet Kalecca.

 

The orphans are Duff’s family, and he’s sacrificed everything to keep the orphanage running, even his chance to move on. Now, at eighteen, he has no choice but to leave. Without him to bring in extra money, the orphans will starve under the Company’s control. Duff’s only chance to save them is to find a spot on an independent crew and hopefully find a Relic to sell.

 

A seemingly chance encounter with Z, leader of the most feared independent crew, offers Duff his opportunity to score a Relic. And offers Z a chance to relieve the guilt he feels over his past.

 

But a company assassin has plans to lay waste to Duff’s future, and the orphanage as well.

Guest Post on Character Creation

There is a ton of advice about how to create characters. I’ve seen questionnaires, character sheets, and archetype cards. Even methods where you write a job and adjective to start.

I started playing D&D I the third grade. So I’ve created hundreds of characters for D&D campaigns over the years. The nice thing about that process is the templates and combination choices are laid out for you. I’ll create a favored soul because the party needs a healer. But I don’t truly know them until the first battle or difficult choice.

So for me, the stats on a page are not enough. What color their eyes were didn’t play into if my new favored soul runs into battle and drags out a downed comrade or is hyperventilating in the corner.

I think of character creation as a process to get to know your characters. So for me being a pantser, I have to interact with them to make sense of who they are.  Almost like when you meet a person for the first time. Very few people come out and give you their life story. (Most of us would run away from those that do over-share with the flimsiest of excuses.)

So I will journal from their POV about whatever is bothering them at the moment.

I will put them in a scene and apply pressure to see what they do.

I will interview them. This can be fun if you can get someone else to ask you the questions and you answer as the character.

Yes, I will need to write down what color their eyes are and other quirks, but this tends to come out later. After I’ve determined if they sneak away when the going gets tough, or sound the battle cry and join the rest of the party in battle.

About the Author

Claudia Blood’s early introduction to Dungeons and Dragons, combined with her training as a scientist and a side trip into the world of IT set her up to become an award-winning author of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Find the Author

Website: http://www.ClaudiaBlood.com
Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorClaudiaBlood
Facebook: http://bit.ly/ClaudiasAdventurersFB
Twitter: twitter.com/AuthorClauBlood
Instagram: instagram.com/authorclaudiablood
Short Story give away for newsletter sign up: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/knyz61msub

Buy the Book

https://books2read.com/CompanyAssassin
https://books2read.com/HorizonFound
https://books2read.com/TimeRift

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Matilda from Chapter 4

Matilda sat at the table and threaded the needle. The demon alarm still buzzed in the background. She’d given the kids their assignments and tried to act as normal as possible. She didn’t want them worried about Duff or the demons since even the orphanage had company supplied protections. As long as they stayed in the orphanage, they should be fine.

Miss CuddleBug, Sheila’s doll, needed some surgery. Usually this sort of activity would calm Matilda. She checked her nails and saw the distinctive purple at the base that meant her nanites were activated. She took a deep breath and used the mantras her father had taught her.

Peace is within my reach.

Breathe and breathe again.

“Will Miss CuddleBug be well?” Sheila stood on her tip-toes to see her dolly on the table.

“I’ll get her fixed up.” Matilda stroked Sheila’s hair. Sheila’s complexion grayed. Matilda snatched her hand back. She had to be careful with the little ones when she was this worked up.

Thank you!

Claudia Blood — we appreciate your sharing your book Company Assassin with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.