When the saints fail, the sinners step up.
Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.
Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.
To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.
For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.
The Thirteenth Hour is the first book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies’s website.
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The Devil Pulls the Strings follows a young man with uncontrollable panic attacks and time travelling abilities that send him on a race through time to capture a cursed melody. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
1) Honor the hero’s journey and infuse Slavic mythology and Baba Yaga in a modern day epic fantasy adventure.
2) Paganini’s association with the Devil.
3) The Rule of Three.
4) David Henry Sterry and Bonnie Solomon.
I wrote Chapter One Promise Me, because David Henry Sterry with The Book Doctors, read my first twenty-five pages, and said “You have to show the inciting incident, the joust, before Boone and Sapphire meet outside Stone’s brownstone.”
I wrote The Prologue, because Bonnie Solomon, Producer of Dreamworks’ SHREK and Walden’s THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, read my story and said “You have to show both secret societies before the joust occurs.”
For awareness purposes, there wasn’t a prologue in the first draft. However, without Bonnie’s suggestion, I never would created the prophecy scroll, or incorporated the domovoi into this story, or shown upfront the centuries old war between two opposing secret societies, or revealed why the horn gets blown at the joust, or created Pep, the runt domovoi, or Laureus the Scottish Warrior Laureus, or Lahash and Zakun, the steampunk vampire assassins.
Boone is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
1) Failure is not an option for Boone because all he’s ever known his entire life is failure and setback.
Boone’s development throughout the story shows he turns moments of failure into the catalyst for his success.
2) Boone discovers as the story unfolds it’s possible to work with, power through and overcome a circumstance, a condition, a disease or disorder.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
1) You can overcome insurmountable obstacles.
2) No one is defined by their circumstances, condition, disease, or disorder.
3) The power of a promise.
4) Everyone has a choice.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The next book Flynn’s Folly is a heist job gone wrong and its availability is TBD.
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Watch steampunk technology and high fantasy witchcraft clash in this heroine’s fast-paced, epic journey to rescue her father from dragons and reveal the evil secrets of the noble court.
On the run from the royal army in a giant mechanical centipede, sixteen-year-old Jade Sol embarks on a dangerous adventure to help her father escape from the Isle of Dragons—a land of untamed magic that some believe only exists in myth.
When Jade is cornered by soldiers, a mysterious witch named Miria Atkins rescues her, calling on spirits from a magical realm to channel their mystical energy into light and matter. Jade begs Miria and the sorceress’s mechanist brother, Dan, to join her quest.
The siblings resist at first, but their hearts soften when they hear of her father’s fate. Their own parents had attempted an expedition from Vansh to the Isle of Dragons years ago and never returned. Together, the trio of young heroes journey across the feudal countryside trek across the sea to become the first humans to reach the elusive Isle of Dragons.
Die-hard readers of Angelique S. Anderson’s Dracosinum Tales and Jessica Drake’s Dragon Riders of Elantia series will find L. A. Thompson’s writing magnetic, impassioned, and clever in this novel’s twisting plot. The first in a trilogy.
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Isle of Dragons follows a young girl who’s on a quest to free her father from a mythical island and must work with her new friends to make it there alive. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The original inspiration for me was a girl who leaves her sheltered life to discover a far bigger world than she had previously known. The driving force for her leaving that world became her father, and the characters she meets along the way become the gateway for Jade to expand her knowledge of the world and explore her own identity in ways she never had the opportunity to before.
Jade is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
As I mentioned, the main thrust of her character was leaving her sheltered and stifling environment. She refers to herself by her title of “Jade of House Sol” when she first meets Miria, because a part of her hopes that things can go back to the way they were. At first, she likes to think she’s only a temporary “ex-noble,” but that eventually becomes something she no longer wants to be associated with the longer she is away from that life.
So many parts of her identity were stifled or cut off from Jade in her previous life. And the story is about her learning about those parts of her herself and accepting them. She starts off thinking magic is just a tool she needs to use to survive, but she comes to enjoy it and embrace it as she comes to enjoy life again after leaving her stifling life in the royal court and just surviving while on the run. That’s why Jade calling herself a witch was the final step in her turning away from her old life completely.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
The themes of identity and embracing who you are were so central to the story for me. Jade is pressured to conform to the strictures of her society, and she finds herself movir central ng away from that on her journey. Magic represents a sense of connection with the world and each other, which is something that has been lost in the world through the actions of the Vanshian royal court. That’s something she finds through her relationships with Miria Atkins and her family. Jade’s relationship with her father will always be important to her and he functions as her central motivation for finding the Isle, but her family expands throughout the story to include the Atkins family. Miria is also driven by family, and her legacy. As the oldest child she’s had to shoulder the responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings and carrying on her parents legacy, something she feels the pressure to do increasingly throughout the book. Although, she does this through control and anger because she doesn’t feel a sense of control over her own life. Her journey is about gradually learning to let go of the need for control and embracing a sense of connection instead. So, I tried to weave the themes of identity, connection and family together through the magical elements and the characters journeys.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Isle of Dragons series, Isle of Dragons: The Hidden Library. The sequel explores the lore behind the Isle of Dragons as Jade discovers the means to ending King Jarrod’s plan through a library that has remained hidden from humans until now. I plan to release the sequel November this year.
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Isle of Dragons by L.A. Thompson is a unique fantasy adventure story combining steampunk with magic in some very interesting ways. The story takes the reader on one young girl’s journey, Jade of House Sol, to rescue her father — the only family she has left, from the mystical Isle of Dragons. Many dangers await her on the road to the isle, not least riding dragons, learning magic and battling a king. Rumor has it that Jade’s father has been taken to the Isle of Dragons — an island that could be myth or reality, where many have ventured, but none have thus returned.
The magical world Thompson has created with her writing is filled with fantastical creatures, steampunk machines and dragons. The heroine must travel to a variety of exciting landscapes, from mystical forests to deserts, all of them feel exotic and have a depth that makes them feel real. These descriptions are never a distraction from the narrative but rather serve to create an enchanting world that the reader will get happily lost in. Our heroine meets many new friends along the way. These provide interesting character interactions and highlight the kindness of strangers. Jade is a feisty and determined young girl who has genuine love and loyalty for her family and friends. She is a noble, or ex-noble as she likes to remind people, and her fall from grace is an interesting aspect of the story, and her character, that I enjoyed. Author L.A. Thompson has an ability to create depth and complexity in her characters, making them both relatable and authentic.
There are many positive themes explored in this young adult adventure tale that will be beneficial to young readers like perseverance and family. Another positive aspect of Isle of Dragons is how action-packed the storyline is. Whenever Jade ventures out, usually with Miria, they encounter some obstacle that sets the tension high and makes sure you keep flipping pages.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt that I had to discern all connections and motivations of the characters from dialogue and action sequences. I wanted a few moments where I was in Miria’s or Jade’s head and I got to listen to their internal thoughts.
Isle of Dragons is a fast paced adventure story with a fascinating plot that is filled with plenty of action and heart. This is a riveting novel that I think will appeal to fans of the steampunk or mythical fantasy genre. This book has definitely got me excited for the series.
Pages: 383 | ASIN: B08PDQVHXS
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Axel Lennart and the Ice World is a fantastical story that will grab your attention from the first page and will refuse to let it go. Set on a distant ice world in a galaxy far away, we’re introduced to the saga of Axel Lennart, a typical Regime grunt who, through a twist of fate, finds himself caught up in the nefarious worlds of dark magic and space politics.
Journey along with Axel on his sweeping tale of discovery when a mysterious stranger connected to the past he once lost reemerges and starts wreaking havoc on everyone around the plucky protagonist. His troubles are just beginning, however, as he’s also tasked with finding an ancient weapon of mass destruction before it falls into the wrong hands. Between being relentlessly pursued by the Regime’s henchmen to the ends of the galaxy and back and fending off murderous space nomads, it’ll be a race to the finish that our hero might not survive.
Axel Lennart and the Ice World is a gripping page-turner from start to finish, filled with enough sprawling action and compelling characters, including several androids, to keep you invested for its sequel. The author, D.M.Z. Liyanage, does a phenomenal job of world-building that the settings and dialogue seem to jump off the page with a life of their own. The premise might not be so original -a wayward orphan uncovering his hidden legacy- but the plot is far from predictable, even when it goes over familiar science-fiction tropes.
Thankfully, the book is also jam-packed with action sequences that could easily rival those found in Hollywood blockbusters so there’s never a lag in the story’s momentum. This factor allows the adventure to unfold as grandiosely as space operas often need to, giving the narrative enough time to weave an enchanting odyssey that is equal parts fantasy and futurism.
Sure, there are a few scenes where things simply seem to happen because of plot convenience or where some twists seem to come out of nowhere. Still, just chalk it up to dark magic since these moments won’t be enough to entirely pull you out of the story’s mesmerizing spell or put you off reading it to the end. If you’re a fan of Star Wars but wish it featured a bit more sorcery or mysticism, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of Axel Lennart and the Ice World today. You’ll be lost in the story before you know it!
Pages: 242 | ASIN: B08FQ272DR
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After escaping the Adversary, Shawna Keys is left alone in her quest to find her protégé, Karl, and stay alive, all while trying to find out who is truly the master of the world – in the second part of the serial Worldshapers. In this steampunk, Jules Verne-esque world, our protagonist learns how to deal with and use her unique ability to shape her fate as she enters a whole new world she knows nothing about.
Shawna Keys has a power that almost everyone has wished to possess at some point in their lives – the ability to shape and create things with just a thought. Cool, right? Not for Shawna. Being a Shaper is not that fun when you’re all alone in a world you’ve only ever read about in books. Torn by the constant pressure of not knowing who she can trust, Shawna has to rely on her brains and abilities in order to learn more about the world – and herself, in the process.
Master of The World is the second installment of the Worldshapers series. I would suggest reading book one because there is a lot happening. Luckily, Willet’s style of writing and meticulous skill of storytelling is very easy to follow, creating the feeling of a mutual flow between the author and the reader. This, in combination with the constant excitement and the connection to the great Jules Verne, is what makes this novel a splendid and detailed piece of fiction.
The thing that adds extra excitement when it comes to literature is fantasy-fiction novels. The reason is in the two key segments that these novels nurture: the appearance of a fascinating, almost parallel universe we’ve seen only in our dreams, but never had the privilege to experience; and the element of an almost childish fascination that keeps reminding us to take care of the fragile, unbroken, and innocent little kid that we all carry inside of us. Another criterion, which is not by any means less important than the others, are the skillfully crafted characters that ground us and let us know that, no matter how realistic it looks, we are still indulging in a fantasy world, created by an author that knows how to make that same world magically appear in your head. It seems as if this is exactly what the author has been aiming for in this extraordinarily-written book. Edward Willet has given us yet another rare piece of perfectly-combined fantasy and fiction in his book Master of The World.
Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07LDT9299
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Children of the Elements follows four children as they discover magical abilities only revealed when they come together. What was the inspiration behind the idea for this novel?
I really don’t know where the idea came from. I was super into Harry Potter, and I was seriously just laying on the floor one day and thought of it. When I finally started writing, I had been thinking about it for like two years and slowly building up a story line.
I felt that the characters were well developed and changed with the story. What were some driving ideals behind their characters?
Well, Brenna was the most like me, so she was easy. Dimitri was a lot like my “best friend” at the time. Adara is sort of the person I think I am growing into (my mom totally says so!), and Wyndham is kinda me when I am around new people!
What has been a motivating factor for you to become a young writer and how has your family supported you?
My mom published books that were doing really well, and I was like, “I wanna do that!” Then my mom gave me a copy of her friend’s daughter’s book (The Fairies of Waterfall Island by Emma Sumner who was only eight at the time), and I knew I could do it too!
But my mom kept on me because I get distracted easily. She’s a book editor and owns an editing company, so she helped me plot out the milestones and character arches and helped a LOT with vocabulary and avoiding repetition–like everything ending with “said.” Cuz I do that a lot…
This is book one in a series. Where will book two take readers and when will it be available?
Well, it’s gonna show us life in the Realm of the Gods and why it’s WAY more boring when everything is perfect! Dimitri is the main character in Book Two instead of Brenna. There will also be four new elemental characters (hint: rhymes with schragons!). And there will actually be four books total. With each Devins kid as the protagonist. I finished the rough draft already, but now it’s going through my mom before it goes through the rest of her editing team. Editing Book One took almost six months, so I guess I will be lucky to get it out by the end of this summer (2019), but that’s the goal. I hope to have Books Three and Four done by the end of 2019 too.
When twin girls, Brenna and Adara, move from posh Victorian England to a humble farmhouse in America, they quickly notice that all is no longer as it seems…
While Brenna has always had an affinity for water and Adara has always loved fire, the girls now discover they have some sort of CONTROL over these elements as well!
They learn how true this is when they meet another set of twins—boys named Dimitri and Wyndham who also live in their new town.
When the four children get together magical things start to happen!
But they aren’t the only ones who know about this power now…
Something sinister has been lurking in the town waiting for the moment the four children finally activate their newfound abilities.
You’ll love this magical steampunk fantasy by a child-author because of the lovable characters and non-stop action!