Hi friends! Today is the Release Day Blitz for Blood Red Sand! I am thankful to partner with Storytellers On Tour to bring you the synopsis and giveaway for this exciting sounding new book!!
Bookish Quick Facts:
Title: Blood Red Sand
Author: Damien Larkin
Publisher & Release: July 6, 2021 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C.
Genre: Military Science Fiction, Alternative History
Here is the book blurb:
Mars will run red with Nazi blood…
After World War Two, Sergeant McCabe knew the British army could send him anywhere. He never imagined facing down another Nazi threat on Mars.
In New Berlin colony, rivalry between Generalfeldmarschall Seidel’s Wehrmacht and Reichsführer Wagner’s SS threatens bloodshed. The Reichsführer will sacrifice everything to initiate the secretive Hollow Programme and realise his nightmarish future for humanity.
McCabe, Private Jenkins, and the Mars Expeditionary Force must overcome bullet, bomb, and bayonet to destroy the Third Reich. While Jenkins fights to stay alive, McCabe forms an uneasy alliance with MAJESTIC-12 operatives known as the Black Visors. Will this be the final battle of World War Two or the first confrontation in an interstellar war?
**GIVEAWAY** There is an event-wide giveaway, so do check that out if you are Ireland/UK!!
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Novel. His next novel in the series Blood Red Sand will be released on 6th July 2021. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his current writing project The Truceless War.
Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 oh yes, to any fantasy fans
Here is the synopsis provided:
Aram Raythe has the power to challenge the gods. He just doesn’t know it yet. Aram thinks he’s nothing but a misfit from a small fishing village in a dark corner of the world. As far as Aram knows, he has nothing, with hardly a possession to his name other than a desire to make friends and be accepted by those around him, which is something he’s never known.
But Aram is more. Much, much more
Unknown to him, Aram bears within him a gift so old and rare that many people would kill him for it, and there are others who would twist him to use for their own sinister purposes. These magics are so potent that Aram earns a place at an academy for warrior mages training to earn for themselves the greatest place of honor among the armies of men: dragon riders.
Aram will have to fight for respect by becoming not just a dragon rider, but a Champion, the caliber of mage that hasn’t existed in the world for hundreds of years. And the land needs a Champion. Because when a dark god out of ancient myth arises to threaten the world of magic, it is Aram the world will turn to in its hour of need
It’s hard to encompass such a massive book, with so much going on, into a review like this
The plot & story: I find a few things unique about the plot, which for the book’s size, NEVER slowed down. 982 pages went by like nothing and I still wanted more of everything. It is told from rotating points of view over the span of about 10 years, where Aram and Marcus start as village boys and eventually become great warriors, fighting a war against old evils
Add in a morally gray and complicated villain, some truly evil archons, dragons, void creatures, sentient horses, bound mounts, trials and training, so much lore, a split world that makes sense, and I am just barely scratching the surface of things you’ll find within the story.
It starts with a prologue where a dragon falls in battle, an unnamed man standing solo against a much greater mage: it hooked me. This is an accurate description of my face once the prologue was explained in the book: 😭😭😭😭😭
The Characters: are actually some of the most interesting I have seen in fantasy.
Aram is somewhere on the autism spectrum, seeing the world in colors and knots. It was a joy, and sometimes a horror, watching him grow into his potential. Warning: ML Spencer is not nice to these characters, she breaks your heart about 20 times. I just loved Aram. He is a magic Savant, which hasn’t happened in 400 years and he has amazing innate magic
Marcus is the opposite of Aram… Someone impervious to magic. Every mage needs a shield, right? It was interesting to see this dynamic work together and how Marcus and Aram handled their individual and joint tragedies. It’s quite hard not to love Marcus when he takes a beaten, bullied Aram under his wing as a boy
Sergan: just see this motherf*cker in action. Will he redeem himself or just be an evil c*nt the whole time? You’ll have to read about how the sorcerers withOUT innate magic, obtain magical essence.
The dragons: to avoid spoilers just let me say that the dragons are amazing, with their own personalities, and their own battle scenes. There are a lot of side characters but they all add something special to the story, even if you have to wait for it
The Magic: there are so many layers of magic in the book. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen knot-based magical essence, and I was on board because it was a world-plausible explanation for Aram’s fixation with knots. The magic validated him, and he validated the magic, and it was amazing. There are also, then, obviously many dark ways to use magic…
…and the world below’s innate magic. The variations in the sorcerers abilities was interesting too. The good vs evil balances and Savant vs Impervious were both pretty cool ideas.
Ah cripe, what else … Plotting that you’d never guess. Family ties. Found family. The cutest tiny hint of romance (100% clean) ever. Did I say sentient quasi magic horses? More evil plots? 1200 year old snarky old men? Oh, warrior and mage training! Battles that never get boring? Heart breaking tortures and no feelings spared on the paths to redemption, alternated with *just* enough warm fuzzies to make everything beautiful? Balance is everything in this novel.
Just… You just have to read it. You really just have to read it
Hi friends! I am breaking my short run of blog silence with a Cover Reveal and book feature today! Thank you so much to Storytellers On Tour for having me in the group!
Norse, viking, and dark fantasy fans, listen up! I was hooked at dark viking superheroes and had to jump on this one!
Look at this freaking cover!
One more time: look at this cover!!!
Here is the synopsis for Windborn:
Drowning is only the beginning…
Edda Gretasdottir is a raider, a fell-handed shield-maiden, feared along every coast. Hers is a life woven in battle scars.
But she never wanted to walk the warrior’s path. All she wanted was freedom, to earn enough gold to buy her family their own remote farm, and to escape their oppressive chieftain. Now, she has enough plunder so that she can finally hang up her shield and live in peace.
That peace is stolen from Edda, however, when raiders burn her home, destroy all that she loves, and toss her, wounded and bleeding, into the ravenous ocean.
But the fates are cruel and this is not the end for Edda: she rises from the bloody surf as a Windborn, a cursed warrior whose supernatural gifts are a poor exchange for everything she has lost.
Fuelled by rage and armed with strange new powers Edda will hunt for whoever sent the raiders, for whoever is responsible for taking everything from her. She will show them the sharp edge of her axe… or die trying.
Windborn is a dark, character-driven Norse fantasy packed with emotion, deadly foes, and vicious battles.
Get your copy of Windborn now to hear Edda’s epic tale!
So yeah, how about that cover and synopsis!! Plus Benedict Patrick plugged the book and I have a huge soft spot for his Yarnsworld books!
You’ve seen the book, now meet the author!
Bio: Alex S. Bradshaw grew up in Kent in the UK and spent much of his childhood hiding (sometimes under tables) and reading a book.
He has always been a fan of epic stories (as well as dinosaurs and cake) so it came as no surprise to anyone that he went on to study Classics and Ancient History at university.
Now Alex works in publishing and has turned his hand to making epic stories of his own.
I see dinosaurs on his bookshelf!
I hope this post has garnered your interest in Windborn! The book releases on 4/28/21! I know I can’t wait to read it! Here are all the book and author links. Thank you again to Storytellers On Tour for having me on the cover reveal blitz!
Thank you so much, as always, to Storytellers On Tour for having me on their book tour for Kept From Cages by Phil Williams! Thank you as well to the author for my finished copy, all opinions are my own!
Title: Kept From Cages
Series: Ikiri, #1
Author: Phil Williams
Publisher & Release: Rumian Publishing, September 2020
Rate & Recommend: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 yes for fans of urban paranormal, thrillers, and sass!
Here is the synopsis:
No one returns from Ikiri.
Reece’s gang of criminal jazz musicians have taken shelter in the wrong house. There’s a girl with red eyes bound to a chair. The locals call her a devil – but Reece sees a kid that needs protecting. He’s more right than he knows.
Chased by a shadowy swordsman and an unnatural beast, the gang flee across the Deep South with the kid in tow. She won’t say where she’s from or who exactly her scary father is, but she’s got powers they can’t understand. How much will Reece risk to save her?
On the other side of the world, Agent Sean Tasker’s asking similar questions. With an entire village massacred and no trace of the killers, he’s convinced Duvcorp’s esoteric experiments are responsible. His only ally is an unstable female assassin, and their only lead is Ikiri – a black-site in the Congo, which no one leaves alive. How far is Tasker prepared to go for answers?
Kept From Cages is the first part in an action-packed supernatural thriller duology, filled with eccentric characters and intricately woven mysteries
The plot/story: there is so much going on in this book that the action is literally almost nonstop, from the first page. There are two separate storylines that alternate chapters, one being the gang of musicians and the other is agent Tasker. Both storylines are packed with action and I found myself more drawn to the musicians and the little girl.
Bits and pieces of the overall puzzle are brought into the action slowly, so it took a while to start learning what was going on but I was well entertained in the process! Eventually the two storylines start to connect and it’s an absolute whirlwind when they finally do.
The Setting: deep Southern Louisiana is apparently a really great setting for a paranormal clash between criminal jazz musicians and a mysterious, evil man with a sword. The heck were those demons?? Agent Tasker’s story ends up in Ikiri, a village in the African Congo that the toughest men out there don’t return from. Is it civil war or a front for something darker that is leaving all those villages slaughtered? Williams doesn’t waste too much momentum on setting but I never had any problem picturing the layout, and my favorite setting was definitely the homemade town on stilts. For the biblical flood when it comes, obviously.
Somewhere in between the plot and the characters are the supernatural elements too. Power from…a spirit? An energy? Zombies! Unexplained mass murders. Women in trees and a whole pack of apparently undead assassins…. Omg so much packed in that it almost got confusing at times.
The characters: ah gosh the characters are amazing. The band is a sassy group, especially Leigh Ann. I loved their banter and found family-ness, it seems like most od them have lost quite a bit and then found each other! Zip is a cool character once she comes out of her shell, a literally red-eyed child that may or may not be some kind of devil spawn.
Tasker is an agent that investigates magical energy, and he’s trying to figure out what the heck this giant corporation unleashed in the Congo. Why did a village in Norway look like a rabid mob came through? He finds a sort of partner, a super unstable assassin with an imaginary friend, who if not likeable is at least interesting. Tasker’s team is a motley bunch and it’s interesting watching him unravel the international mysteries surrounding … The Source.
Overall takeaways: Anyway – yes, I am totally on board with this. Each chapter has a little cliffhanger that makes the book REALLY hard to put down. I wondered about an English author trying to write Southern American slang, but he does a really brilliant job with the linguistics, then come to find he writes language texts! I would totally recommend for fans of paranormal anything, and fans of thrillers. Kept From Cages is different but totally worth the read, I’m on board for book 2 when it’s ready!
Phil Williams is an author of contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction, including the Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers and the post-apocalyptic Estalia series. He also writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English, two of which are regular best-sellers on Kindle. He lives with his wife by the coast in Sussex, UK, and spends a great deal of time walking his impossibly fluffy dog, Herbert.