Sanctum: Forests of Avalon follows a knight and his companion on a quest to save the dying world of Avalon. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
In our first book when we had Isolde come to Setesh, and she was a stranger in a strange land. For the readers – we wanted them to experience the “newness” of the world through her eyes. With Forest of Avalon – we wanted to create context for the audience to understand what kind of world she came from and how VASTLY different it was to Setesh in both culture & environment. Both CS & I are fans of Arthurian Fantasy so the concept of the land dying and being poisoned at its heart was our nod to those stories of old, as well as giving us an opportunity to put a spin on it.
How long did it take you to imagine, draft, and write the world your characters live in?
For Avalon – CS began in November of 2020, but then holidays and the world going politically crazy – we really started the engines again in early 2021 and finished officially in September/October. So basically 10 months to create new characters/creatures, personalities, as well as give the land of Avalon substance.
What character did you enjoy writing for? Was there one that was more challenging to write for?
While I can’t answer for CS – personally, it isn’t so much as a specific character – but the back and forth verbal sparring between the main & side characters. My goal is to always make sure that the characters you meet are more than two-dimensional cameos. I want them to seem like they have lives and responsibilities beyond their interaction with the main characters.
While both CS & I write for both Isolde & Tulok – the most challenging thing is ensuring that there isn’t any character bleed. If I write the actions of one character one way – I want to be sure that the attitudes and actions are consistent when I write. This way, when CS takes up the pen for her sessions – she can look back at that consistency, and know where she can go with her take. Since we don’t occupy the same living space, and have our own lives – we end up sending messages and DMs to one another asking why the other did this or complimenting the direction that was taken. Writing solo is one thing – but writing as a partnership is challenging but extremely satisfying when we’re in tune.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
We are currently working on the third book of the series (to be named) and ideally we are also aiming at completing it by the end of the year. So come December – watch out! Sanctum is coming for you once again!
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Isolde duAvalonne, as she is formally known, is out of her element. She has found herself in a land in which she does not belong and in which she isn’t truly happy. She, however, is not fully aware of this fact. When Safar takes her aside and tells her as much, Isolde realizes that her journey is far from over. There is something she must do and, more importantly, someone she must find. Isolde will not be able to rest until she reunites with Father Tulok. There is a mission awaiting them, and their companionship may prove to be the remedy Avalon needs.
Sanctum: Forests of Avalon is the second in a series by C.S. Kading and Tony Fuentes and takes an extensive look into the adventures of Isolde duAvalonne, a wandering knight and her companion, the Radiant Priest Tulok. Having begun their journey together in book one, the pair reunites in this novel to take on the atrocities being committed in Avalon. Isolde’s dreams are an integral part of the plot of Kading and Fuentes’s novel and provide stunning visuals for readers. Fans of fantasy and science fiction will appreciate the amount of detail in the authors’ writing. As the second book in the series, the author’s take extra time and care to catch readers up on the essential parts from book one, seamlessly melding the two books.
Readers will be left speechless at the twists and turns from one chapter to the next. There is no downtime, and there are no long stretches of wordy narrative. Each of Kading and Fuentes’s characters is a fantastic stand alone entity, well-developed, and exudes his/her own captivating personality. From Isolde and Father Tulok to the Fae who inhabit Avalon, they are all memorable in their own right and truly make the novel all the more extraordinary. Readers will not want to miss the introduction, it catapults them into the story. In the six short pages preceding chapter one, the authors take readers on a journey like no other. Moving from zero to sixty in a matter of a few sentences, it will leave you breathless.
Sanctum: Forests of Avalon (The Word of Sanctum Book 2), by C.S. Kading and Tony Fuentes, is a riveting read for those that enjoy Mythology, legends, science fiction, and a fast paced action packed fantasy series.
Pages: 524 | ASIN: B09LBCTQBV
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Dio in the Dark finds the Gods of Greek myth living among mortals, and when Zeus goes missing in Toronto it’s up to his son to find him. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Honestly, this story began as practice. I wrote a short story several years ago to experiment where I felt the Greek gods would fit into today’s world. It always felt incomplete to me, and I revisited it some years later, and it turned into this novella.
Dio is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Thank you! Dio was a challenging character for me to write for the same reasons that he experiences challenges in his life. How can one forgive their father for murdering their mother? How do you respect yourself when the only thing people like about you is the same thing everyone mocks? His story is very much about learning to accept himself as a god, while tuning into a sense of familial responsibility rooted somewhere deep within.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Acceptance of oneself, familial responsibility, and the long-lasting effects of trauma.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m working on the sequel to Dio in the Dark! It doesn’t have a title yet…or a release date, though I’m hoping it will be out by late-2022 or early-2023.
My next release is a children’s picture book called “City Kitties”. It’s scheduled to release on December 3rd, 2021.
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A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust
In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.
Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?
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In this modern take on classic Greek mythology, Rizwan Asad creates a world poisoned by darkness in this short novella, Dio in the Dark. Dionysus, “Dio,” is over thousands of years old, and yet, in the twentieth century, he has chosen to play the role of a young adult. Sadly, over the years, he has become moody and depressed; constantly at odds with his father, Zeus. Night after night he explores the city of Toronto going from one party to the next in a haze of alcohol-induced numbness and crowded by sweaty, dancing bodies. One night, after partying and drinking, Dio spots a woman tied to a bridge. He rescues the woman fated to be sacrificed to the darkness only to discover that without her sacrifice the world would be destroyed. With his father missing, it is up to Dio to save the world from an unknown entity.
The author’s passion and creativity are shown through his vivid, descriptive writing. Asad creates an air of humanity around the gods, displaying the worse and the best parts of people. For some minor characters, Asad stays true to their original depiction in Greek mythologies and does it well. Asad changed some of the stories and information from the original mythologies to conform to his story making this an intriguing twist. For example, Semele, the princess of Thebes was not tricked by Nyx (Goddess of the Night) but Hera (Queen of the Gods) when Hera discovered Zeus’ infidelity. Though, true to the mythology, after Zeus killed Semele, he sowed Dionysus into his thigh and gave birth to him. In Dio in the Dark, Hades is portrayed as one of many antagonists. His role in the story was a little confusing. It is hard to tell if it is Hades who kidnaps Zeus for the sake of a bargain he made with Apollo, or if it was Nyx, to prevent him from stopping the end of the world.
The structure of the story is similar to a murder mystery, revealing pieces of the story bit by bit making the reader want to read more. Asad has creatively recreated these stories and the reader can tell a lot of hard work and love was put into this novella. There’s no definitive antagonist and protagonist, though Dionysus is a strong contender for the role of protagonist. I would’ve liked for the story to have been longer so I could’ve learned more about the characters.
Dio in the Dark is a great short story that takes the reader on a mythical adventure.
Pages: 170 | ASIN: B09FFR4M6D
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Dancing the Labyrinth follows a young woman from an abusive background who discovers the veiled history of the Minoans. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The kernel of this idea came from a concern: How, as a mother, can I raise my son to be a decent human being? The unspoken part of this question is – ‘in a patriarchal society.’ Australia has escalating numbers of domestic violence, and because I am contributing to raising the next generation, I feel I have some accountability. As a theatre writer I was surprised the idea came as a novel, so I thought, having planned to live in Crete for a year, I would write it there. At that time I had no idea about the Minoans. So you can imagine my delight to find myself walking the paths of an ancient Matriarchal society. The more I researched, the more the story blossomed. I could never have written it anywhere else. Crete is a very strong land, and is very inspiring. It is full of stories.
Cressida is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
To be honest, it was always Cressida’s voice I followed. I have tamed her down a bit – initially she swore like a trooper. In writing, I believe there are aspects of oneself that seep through and I drew on my love of Greek mythology and some of the experiences I had in Crete – like getting sick and being told that “Kriti has me” – which it does. I also drew on my experience of running circus workshops for young women who were survivors. I used their experiences as appropriate. For example, traits such as anxiety, lack of self-worth and distrust. In terms of character development, I am aware of the stages of the ‘hero’s journey,’ and this worked beautifully for Cressida’s growth and development. I also included concepts from psychologists Carl Jung and Erich Newman.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
All my creative work tends to explore transitions. I am really interested in those undefined areas between boundaries where something is transitioning from one thing to another. In Dancing the Labyrinth one theme was the movement from matriarchy to patriarchy. The Minoans didn’t have any weapons for war and yet were the most advanced civilization in the Bronze Age. Patriarchy from the north brought violence with it. I also explored transitions in consciousness, where our mind shifted in ways of thinking: from the mystical to magical, introducing rational thinking, and because it was a different way of thinking we were unable to contain both. Vrados exemplifies this shift. This research drew on a great book called The History and Origins of Consciousness.
What can readers expect in the next book in the The Women Unveiled series?
I have just finished the first draft and started my editing process. It is called ‘the Bringer of Happiness.’ My pitch to date is: Imagine if Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a daughter who could time travel. This could be her story.’ I would be very happy with your feedback on this 😊
Sara floats into other people’s bodies. Through her we witness early Christianity – leading up to the Cathar’s massacre at Montsegur. It refers to Greek mythology, especially Persphone and Ariadne, and references the connections between the Eleusinian Mysteries and that of the Mysteries purportedly taught by Mary Magdalene in the South of France – Languedoc region.
My third book in the series will return to Cressida, and follow Ashtar as she leaves the community and establishes Delphi.
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Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dancing the Labyrinth, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, Karen Martin, kindle, kobo, literature, mythology, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Ylmi’s Saga: Legends of Karik, by Evan Oliver, is the second book in this thrilling saga. Book two begins with a lord of Vrania telling the tale of Ylmi One-Eye. Ylmi is a girl who learns to hunt for the survival of her family. The Jarl of the settlement, Unhost, exiles those who disagree with him and the dragon of the mountain. Unhost made a deal with this dragon to keep the gold found on their settlement. This deal is only the beginning, and the story catapults forward from there.
Ylmi’s character develops in intriguing ways throughout the story, starting out as a cautious girl and turning into a fierce dragonslayer who becomes Jarl of Dragonsrest. Along the way Ylmi bonds with other exiles and they hatch a plan to kill the dragon of the mountain. Together they slay the dragon, go to war, and give the settlement a true leader, and I loved every moment of this adventure.
The writing style is easy and fluid and keeps the focus on the action or characters. While reading you forget that this is a narration of Ylmi’s accomplishments. As a reader you can become immersed in the story and, while it does feel a little fantastic, it still delivers some hard hitting and entertaining scenes fit for Hollywood.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt that there was a lot of background and plot development to get through because this was the second book in a series. Ylmi and Karik’s character were compelling and well developed characters, but I wish all the characters in the book were so well developed.
Ylmi’s Saga: Legends of Karik is a rousing adventure story following a strong female character on a harrowing journey that is fun from star to finish. I would recommend this book to sword and sorcery fans looking for a epic young adult adventure inspired by Norse and Viking myths.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B0975JT7NV
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Dancing the Labyrinth by Karen Martin is a story filled with myths, legends, and goddesses. Karen has woven a tale of the past connecting flawlessly with the future by covering the bridge with a vision of the priestess. Dancing the Labyrinth is a story that makes you question your beliefs. I love tales which makes you broaden your horizons and forces you to see and experience something different, something that changes your perspective. Cressida, whose life changed when she arrived in her dream country of Greece, stumbling into a tomb where she experienced the parallels of the world, the past and the future. The experience was divine, yet gruesome.
Author Karen Martin describes the existence of a matriarchal society. Many religions claim it to be true, but Karen captures the essence of it. The transition that shifted society to a patriarchal and violent nature, the story tells this perspective through Pythia, Ashtar and Lydia. The Priestesses, the embodiment of the Mother, the Goddess. It’s a tale of time, conveyed to Cressida through her dreams. But the story doesn’t stop here. Instead, with the help of Angela, Cressida tries to understand and to decipher what happened to the civilization, the existence of the tomb. It is a harrowing story. With the suffering inflicted upon women, to the modern world. Greek mythology is famous all over the world, but the perspective on it in this book is unique and intriguing.
The story continuously switches writing styles. The book starts casually and with contemporary language and then switches to old an older writing style. Along with this we also get switches in point of views. The story is also filled with Greek myth references that will definitely appeal to readers who are familiar with the mythology.
Dancing the Labyrinth was a rewarding experience. I love a story where mythology meets science and the premise was refreshing and made for a riveting read.
Pages: 300 | ASIN: B0985T8VTH
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