Posts Tagged ‘norse’

Iron Axe finalSteven Piziks As promised, I’m really pleased to introduce Steven Harper, author of IRON AXE, the first book in a wonderful Norse-inspired series about an outcast, half-troll boy given an earth-shattering (or saving) mission by Death herself.  Publishers Weekly says of it, “Harper begins the Books of Blood and Iron series with an exciting and somewhat unusual quest… His reinterpretations of trolls, giants, and fae folk give this series opener a fresh feeling, while his nods to Norse mythology and folklore root it strongly in fantasy tradition. Readers will be eager to see what’s in store.”  If you want to see what’s in store, comment below for a chance to win the audio edition (via Audible) of IRON AXE!

For those who don’t know, I’ve represented Steven for a long time now…almost exactly a week longer than I’ve been married to my husband.  I started reading his work shortly before taking time off for the last minute wedding prep and literally couldn’t put it down.  I was haggling with the caterer and his publisher all at the same time.  (Can you say insanity?  Sure you can!)  As Steven Harper, he’s written the steampunk Clockwork Empire books for Ace (THE DOOMSDAY VAULT, THE IMPOSSIBLE CUBE, THE DRAGON MEN and THE HAVOC MACHINE), as well as The Silent Empire series and other books like WRITING THE PARANORMAL NOVEL (Writers Digest Books).  As Steven Piziks, he’s written original sf thrillers IN THE COMPANY OF MIND and THE CORPORATE MENTALITY as well as various tie-ins.  And today, he’s written for you about his…

Emergency Backup Fantasy World

When I was sixteen, I doodled a map of a city with a strangely-shaped harbor.  Eventually, I wondered what the country around the city looked like, so I doodled that, too.  Then, just for fun, I drew the countries around it, and eventually the continent.  By now I had so much time invested in it that I had to keep going.  I got some good drawing paper and colored pencils and put in the terrain and geography.  I worked out weather patterns.

Then I worked out the people.  Since I liked fantasy, the place became a fantasy world.  This country was ruled by elves.  This one by humans, but it was fragmented like Europe in the 1700s.  This country was for dwarves, and over here, merfolk.  I created gods and goddesses as well, nine of them in all.  The notes grew and grew, and I put them into a big blue binder.  Since I called the world Terra, the binder became the Terra File.

Over the years, I used the Terra File on and off.  It was a role-playing game for a long time.  I wrote a couple of short stories set on Terra, but nothing major.  Eventually, I put the Terra File aside and forgot about it.

Then I talked to my editor, Anne.  We were at World Fantasy Con, and she wanted to know what my next writing project would be.  I pitched several ideas, but none grabbed her.  Finally, in desperation, I remembered a short story I’d written years ago about an outcast teenaged boy who was half human, half troll.  I’d always wanted to write a novel about Trollboy, so I pitched that.  The setting was historical Norway, and I’d done a fair amount of research into Viking culture.

“Hmmm,” Anne said.  “I like the character and story, but Vikings are a hard sell.”

Think fast, Steven.  Think!  And I remembered the Terra file.

“Well,” I replied slowly, “I do have an emergency backup fantasy world.”

Anne blinked.  “You have an emergency backup fantasy world?”

“Doesn’t every author?” I said, and described Terra.  “What if I put Trollboy there?”

“I like it!” she said.  “Send me a synopsis, and we’ll talk.”

Back home, I dug out the Terra file and went to work.  A couple weeks later, I had my synopsis and was working on IRON AXE, the first novel in the Books of Blood and Iron.  Trollboy lives!

It pays to keep an emergency back up.

_____________

Steven Harper Piziks was born with a name that no one can reliably spell or pronounce, so he often writes under the pen name Steven Harper. He lives in Michigan with his family.   When not at the keyboard, he plays the folk harp, fiddles with video games, and pretends he doesn’t talk to the household cats. In the past, he’s held jobs as a reporter, theater producer, secretary, and substitute teacher. He maintains that the most interesting thing about him is that he writes books.

Happy New Year, all!  I hope your holidays were as wonderful and relaxing as mine.  You just can’t beat holding your new baby niece in your arms and having her tiny fingers clench yours.  Nope, you just can’t.

So much to celebrate this year, and I will in just a second, but I’m going to start off with a public service announcement.  GET YOUR EYES CHECKED.  Yes, seriously. If you’re anything like me, you put off taking care of yourself, especially for things that don’t seem massively urgent, like dental care, eye care, blood work, mammograms…  Well, the problem there is that sometimes you don’t catch things until they’re irreversible rather than early on when they can be more easily treated.  I usually order multiple boxes of contact lenses so that I don’t have to go back to the eye doctor for practically ever.  (The prescriptions themselves are only good for a year.)  So, it had been…far too long since I’d been in for an eye exam.  Luckily (not that I thought so at the time) my supply ran out in December, and I grudgingly went to the doctor, which is where I discovered that I didn’t have to suffer through the eye strain and fatigue that had plagued me for too long.  In short, I was having to work really hard to read.  The lettering all seemed too small, too faint, too fuzzy and by 8 pm, which is when I do a lot of my reading, my eyes wanted to give out.  They didn’t want to focus at all.  It was slowing me down, and as any of you who’ve read my blogs know, that’s just not an option.  Most days I’m tapdancing as fast as I can just to keep up with things.  The solution here was blessedly simple.  My prescription had changed, my astigmatism had changed, and I now needed to wear readers over my contacts.  Did I feel old?  Yes.  Did I get cute little reading glasses to make up for it?  You betcha.  So, no deep coded message here.  The take-away is that taking a little time can save a lot of time and strain and grief down the line, so, as Nike would say, JUST DO IT.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to introduce some just-released books that you might want to feast those eyes on!

spell blind SPELL BLIND by David B. Coe (hardcover, e-book from Baen)

“Coe brings deep knowledge of both fantasy and mystery to his well-structured first urban fantasy novel.” – Publishers Weekly

Book #1 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective hunts a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a private investigator on the trail of a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona. Justis is also a weremyste—a person with a wizard’s gifts and the ability to see into the paranormal world. Unfortunately, weremystes also tend to go crazy on the full moon—which is why Justis is no longer a cop. Hard to explain those absences as anything but mental breakdown. But now an old case from his police detective days has come back to haunt him, literally, as a serial killer known as the Blind Angel strikes again. His signature stroke: burning out the victims’ eyes with magic. Now the victims are piling up, including the daughter of a senator, and Justis must race to stop the Blind Angel before he, she, or it kills again. There’s only one clue he’s got to go on: the Blind Angel is using the most powerful magic Justis has ever encountered, and if he doesn’t watch his own magical step, he may end up just as dead as the other vics.

Iron Axe final IRON AXE by Steven Harper (mass market, e-book from Roc)

“Harper begins the Books of Blood and Iron series with an exciting and somewhat unusual quest… His reinterpretations of trolls, giants, and fae folk give this series opener a fresh feeling, while his nods to Norse mythology and folklore root it strongly in fantasy tradition. Readers will be eager to see what’s in store.” – Publishers Weekly

In this brand new series from the author of the Clockwork Empire series, a hopeless outcast must answer Death’s call and embark on an epic adventure….

Although Danr’s mother was human, his father was one of the hated Stane, a troll from the mountains. Now Danr has nothing to look forward to but a life of disapproval and mistrust, answering to “Trollboy” and condemned to hard labor on a farm.

Until, without warning, strange creatures come down from the mountains to attack the village. Spirits walk the land, terrifying the living. Trolls creep out from under the mountain, provoking war with the elves. And Death herself calls upon Danr to set things right.

At Death’s insistence, Danr heads out to find the Iron Axe, the weapon that sundered the continent a thousand years ago. Together with unlikely companions, Danr will brave fantastic and dangerous creatures to find a weapon that could save the world—or destroy it.

shades of the wolf SHADES OF THE WOLF by Karen Whiddon (e-book out now, 2-in-1 paperback out in March, Harlequin Nocturne)

Could she lead him to the one thing he’d missed when he was alive?

Ever since her husband died in Afghanistan, shape-shifter Anabel Lee has been haunted—by every ghost except the one she longs to see. But when Tyler Rogers appears, Anabel senses something different about him. It’s not just his piercing blue eyes or sexy voice. Even though he’s a ghost, Tyler is more real than anyone she’s met in years.

Tyler needs Anabel’s help. His sister has been abducted by a powerful warlock, and he can sense her light fading fast. Confined to the spirit realm, he needs to join his powers with Anabel’s to bring his sister back from the darkness. As they work together against time and magic, will they discover a passion strong enough to bridge this world and the next?

 

Happy reading!

 

freezewarning Tor.com has released an original novella by Susan Krinard in the world of her wonderful urban fantasy MIST.  For a treat, you can check it out on their site or download it for Kindle, Nook or other e-readers.

Blurb: As a nearly immortal Valkyrie, Mist is the guardian of the greatest of the Norse god’s Treasures—Odin’s spear Gungnir. But Mist believes all the gods are dead, and she’s slowly settling into a normal life in San Francisco. Just when Mist is ready to give up the duty the All-father laid on her, she meets a mysterious woman, Bella Stratus, and a man who helps her save Bella’s life: Eric Larsson, the perfect embodiment of a Viking warrior. He’s charming, good-natured, and nearly her equal in strength; and for the first time in centuries Mist has found someone she might be able to love… and trust. But even as Mist remembers the past she left behind and contemplates a new future with Eric, Bella warns her that she can’t fight her fate.

No matter what happens, no matter how hard she tries, she’ll never be able to escape the destiny that awaits her.

In other news, David Mack’s Star Trek: Destiny Trilogy is on special today only as an Amazon Daily Deal.  Each book is only $1.99, so you might want to get them while they’re hot!

Chloe Neill continues her wonderful Show Your Work Week with (*drum roll, please*)…ME!  Previous posts have been from Jennifer Estep and Jaye Wells.  Later today, Chloe will host Faith Hunter, followed by Yasmine Galenorn and Vicki Pettersson Thursday and Friday.  Really informative!

Also, the Crossroads Blog Tour rolls on with the chance to win a Grand Prize of a pre-loaded Kindle as well as a bonus prize for playing.  Today, Carrie Harris, P.J. Hoover, Patrice Lyle and I are up at A Life Bound By Books talking about hauntings, scares and sweets.  You can check out some previous posts, as well as the participating blogs (featuring other great authors like Amy Christine Parker, Molly Cochran, Jackie Morse Kessler…) on yesterday’s blog.

Whew, that’s enough for now!  (Though I also have to chime in quickly about how excited I am for next week’s releases: BLACK HEART by Christina Henry and STAR TREK: THE FALL: CEREMONY OF LOSSES by David Mack, but more about them as time draws closer.)