Ash and Echoes by Augusta Li

June 22, 2012

Will a fragile alliance between our heroes keep the kingdom safe? Ash and Echoes by Augusta Li, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Blessed Epoch: Book One

For the past few years Yarroway L’Estrella has lived in exile, gathering arcane power, but that power came at a price. Now it’s time for him to do his duty: his uncle, the king, needs him to escort Prince Garith to his wedding, a union that will create an alliance between the two strongest countries in the known world. But Yarrow isn’t the prince’s only guard. A whole company of knights is assigned to the duty, and Yarrow’s not sure he trusts their leader.

Knight Duncan Purefroy isn’t sure he trusts Yarrow either, but after a bizarre occurrence during their travels, they have no choice but to work together—especially since the incident also reveals a disturbing secret, one that might threaten the entire kingdom. But will it ultimately work in their favor?

When a third member joins the precarious alliance, it seems to cement the bonds between all three men. But the arrangement isn’t perfect: Yarrow knows the power inside him and fears getting too close. The mysterious newcomer was raised to believe love and trust are weaknesses. And Duncan struggles to accept them as they are. Saving their home will take everything they have—including the fragile relationship they’ve built.

Length: Novel
Genre: High Fantasy
Series: Blessed Epoch by Augusta Li

Buy as Paperback | Buy as eBook

Animal Instinct by Stephen Osborne

May 28, 2012

Can Duncan defeat the power of Eleazar’s skull and keep Ashton alive? Animal Instinct by Stephen Osborne, available from Dreamspinnerpress.

Sequel to Pale as a Ghost — A Duncan Andrews Thriller

Private detective Duncan Andrews has the home-team advantage when it comes to solving paranormal crimes: His best friend, Gina, is a centuries-old witch. His dog is a zombie. And his boyfriend, Robbie, is a ghost. Duncan certainly has his work cut out for him with this case. Someone’s been using the skull of a powerful wizard to control animals, and whoever it is, they’re not out to set up a petting zoo. For Gina, the case hits close to home—she knows just how dangerous it is, since the wizard was her father. Just when he thinks they’re close to breaking the case, tragedy strikes, leaving Gina in a coma. Then, after years as a ghost, Robbie finally decides to move on, leaving Duncan to protect young Ashton Marsh, the victim of several strange animal attacks. Suddenly Duncan is working without his supernatural safety net. Without his friends, can Duncan defeat the power of Eleazar’s skull and keep Ashton alive? Or will the struggle for his life end in broken bodies as well as broken hearts?

Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal: Contemporary Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Series: Duncan Andrews Thrillers by Stephen Osborne

Buy as Paperback
Buy as eBook

Under the Bed by Wayne Mansfield

May 9, 2012

When Tom is kidnapped Jonah must embark on a journey in a new world that exists under his bed. Wayne Mansfield’s Under the Bed, available from Dreamspinner Press.

There are always strange sounds to get used to in a new house, but this is a step beyond creaks and groans. Maybe Tom doesn’t notice the banging that comes from beneath the bed at night, but Jonah, his husband, sure does. Of course, he doesn’t discover the fantastic world down there until after Tom is kidnapped.

Underbedland defies Jonah’s imagination and excites his senses. He soon meets Jock Strap and his boyfriend, Peter Heater. In his search for Tom, Jonah also meets Penny Tration, a sorceress who reveals that her sister, Selma Granma, took Tom to live with her on an island in the middle of the Inky Sea. Unfortunately, the only way to get to the island is to stow away on the Wet Dream, a pirate ship crewed by blue pygmy pirates—the very pirates who kidnapped Tom.

But Selma Granma doesn’t just want Tom, she wants freedom, and she’ll do anything to get it. Before they can catch their breath, Jonah and his friends take on another mission: replace the power source that keeps Selma Granma confined to the island. The liberty and happiness of the residents of Underbedland hang in the balance.

Genre: Humor/Fairy Tales/Contemporary Fantasy
Length: Novella
Pages: 204

Buy as eBook (available formats: .epub, .prc, .prc, html, pdf)

Excerpt: The Dream of a Thousand Nights, by Shira Anthony

September 26, 2011

Here’s a sneak preview of the first of the dreams in “The Dream of a Thousand Nights!”  By the way, if you read the excerpt from “The Prince and the Jinn,” from the previous posts, you’ll probably recognize some of this, too.

Excerpt from Chapter Two (pre-publication, final content may change):

A soft breeze blew through the palace windows. Neriah inhaled the delicate fragrance of orange blossoms and stretched his arms over his head. “Are you content?” came a man’s voice from beside him.

“I…,” Neriah hesitated, unsure of his response. Warm lips pressed against his own; the taste was familiar and intoxicating. He was not unhappy, and yet….

“What is it you desire?” his companion inquired.

Neriah hesitated once more.

“I can give you anything you wish. Diamonds, rubies, land, women….”

“I have no need for those things,” Neriah answered, claiming the lips that had spoken those words.

“What, then? What do you desire, beloved prince?”

“I want to know your name.”

Neriah sat up in his bed and shivered. It had been the same dream now for weeks, although he had come to wonder if he hadn’t dreamed it long before and forgotten it. Each time, he would awaken out of breath, aroused, and with an emptiness that pierced his soul to its core. He could remember the intense passion his dream companion had awakened in his soul, but he could never remember the face of the lover in his dreams, nor did he ever learn his lover’s name.

“My lord,” came a soft female voice from the entrance to his tent, interrupting his thoughts. “May I bring you something to drink? Should I send your manservant to help you dress?”

“I need nothing,” he replied as he dismissed the servant girl. “Leave me.” She bowed low and backed away from his tent.

It was always like this—those who knew who he was would insist on doing everything for him—and he despised it. Despite his royal blood, he was more than capable of attending to his own needs. Years of living by himself on the run from his father’s men had taught him to guard his independence. He knew that the servants found him cold and unreachable, but he cared little. His place was to lead them, not to befriend them. In truth, he had few people whom he could call “friends” at all, and he preferred it that way.

He stood up, covering his naked body in a silk shalvar kameez of the deepest blue, edged with delicate gold embroidery, and stepped into a pair of red velvet slippers. He walked over to a low-slung chair in the center of the tent and sat, frowning and rubbing his chin. He had heard the men return from their night raid on the enemy encampment. He would wait for a report before deciding what his next move should be.

“My lord.”

“You may enter, Uryon,” Neriah said with a nod to the captain of his personal guard.

A tall, broad-shouldered man with short, dark hair and bright green eyes walked into the tent, bowing low. He wore a deep purple shalvar kameez and a red scarf wrapped around his head. At his waist was a broad sword with an inlaid hilt, along with a small, jeweled dagger. Neriah himself had given Uryon the dagger as a symbol of the trust he placed in his officer, and Uryon had not disappointed him—Uryon had, countless times, protected Neriah at great peril to his own life. The prince knew that he was fortunate to have men such as Uryon under his command.

“We were successful,” Uryon announced as he kneeled before Neriah. “Sheik Karana’s men are either dead or have fled into the hills. We have brought back the spoils of the raid.”

“Spoils?” Neriah ventured a slight frown playing upon his lips. “I have no need for spoils.”

“Nevertheless,” Uryon replied, “there were several women taken in the battle, along with a male slave, and three chests of gold. Your Highness must—”

“Make arrangements for the women to be returned to their villages,” Neriah interrupted. “You may send them back with enough gold that they will be provided for.”

“And the slave?”

“Is he friend or foe? What are his origins?” Neriah asked. Another loyal, able-bodied soldier would be a welcome addition to their ranks. Several of Neriah’s best men had been won in battles with the enemy. He had earned their gratitude and their loyalty in freeing them.

“He won’t reveal from whence he comes,” Uryon replied. “He refuses to speak to anyone but you, Your Majesty.”

“He knows who I am?” Neriah asked, surprised at this turn of events. His identity as Neriah, the banished Crown Prince of Tazier, was a secret known only to his closest followers and loyal servants. To others, he was known as Sheva, a wealthy sheik who opposed the rule of the current King of Tazier.

“No,” Uryon explained, “but he will not speak unless it is to our leader, Lord Sheva.”

“A spy, then,” Neriah said, his face darkening, “perhaps in my father’s employ?”

“It is possible,” the other man replied, “although if he is a spy, he is a crafty one.”

“How so?” asked Neriah.

“He had been kept to pleasure his captors,” Uryon answered, looking uncomfortable now. “Or so the women have told us. They appeared”—Uryon hesitated for a moment—“quite jealous of his charms.”

Hope you liked that! 

Shira

Release Day: “The Dream of a Thousand Nights,” by Shira Anthony

September 26, 2011

It’s finally here!  Release day!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally see “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” on the Dreamspinner Press “New Releases” page!  It’s been a three-year journey from the first bit of inspiration to publication, and I’m so happy to see the finished product at last.  The editors here have been fabulous to work with, and, oh what a cover from Anne Cain!  I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect image to capture the essence of the story of Prince Neriah and the Jinn, Tamir.

Cover by Anne Cain

Throughout the day today, I’ll be posting excerpts and writing about the inspiration for “Dream”  under the “excerpts” and “virtual book signing” areas of the DSP blog.  I’ll also tell you a little bit about the origin of the Jinn (a.k.a. “genies” or “Djinn”) and how their myth has evolved since ancient times.  I’ll tell you about my own version of the Jinn in both “Dream” and its predecessor, “The Prince and the Jinn.”

I’ll also be letting you know what I’m currently working on, and about my next book, “Blue Notes,” which will be published late this year by Dreamspinner.  And of course, don’t forget to purchase and download your copy of “The Dream of a Thousand Nights” here on Dreamspinner Press! 

Feel free to ask me questions of comment on the blog entries – I’ll be checking in throughout the day!

Peace,

Shira