Monday, August 18, 2014

Announcing the Fall Into Fantasy Tour! 8/25 - 12/15

It's August, and that means Fall is almost upon us! To celebrate the cooler weather and keep your mind off any back to school blues, we've put together the Fall Into Fantasy Tour. This tour celebrates the wonderful fantasy books that you can dive into--right now!

But what's a tour unless we are giving away free stuff? That's right! Each week, we will be giving away some awesome prizes from the author being featured. And to wrap things up at the end of the promotion in December, we're going to have a huge Facebook party all weekend long featuring these authors and more!

Want to get an idea of what is ahead? Check out the calendar below!

August 25th: The Darkness & Light series by K.L. Schwengel

September 1st: How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser

September 8th: The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore 

September 15th: Shadows of Serenity by Marsha A. Moore

September 22nd: The Curse Merchant by JP Sloan

September 29th: The Ragnarok Prophecies by Ayden K. Morgan

October 6th: The Daath Chronicles by Eliza Tilton

October 13th: The Heirs of War series by Mara Valderran

October 20th: Salvation by James Wymore

October 27th: Strings by G. Miki Hayden


November 3rd: The Shadow Series by Anna Hub

November 10th: Between by Lisa Swallow

November 17th: Darkness Watching by Emma Adams


November 24th: Bound by Kate Sparkes

December 1st: The December People series by Sharon Bayliss

December 8th: The Disciple series by L. Blankenship

December 15th: Evensong by Krista Walsh

Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here! And be sure to check out these awesome blogs that will be hosting the tour for us:

Bilbo's Book Ends
Katie's Stories
Book Crazy Gals
Read Me
Kelly P's Blog
SW Fairbrother

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour? 

  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
  • If you are an author that wanted to take part, be sure to add Mara on Twitter or Facebook to hear about other promotions you can get involved with.

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cover Reveal! Deceptive Cadence by @KatieTeller1 #newadult

Hello, lovelies!

I'm very happy to be taking a moment away from the festivities in Houston to help reveal the beautiful cover for Katie Hamstead's soon to be released new adult romance, Deceptive Cadence!

Cadence awakes in a hospital to find her husband and daughter dead, killed in an earthquake. So when her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time with all the knowledge she has, she accepts, desperate to prevent their deaths.

She shoots back eleven years to her fourteen-year-old self, and faces high school all over again. She is determined to do everything better, including preventing the loss of her best friend and not dating any of her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. Her main focus is on her future husband, who she won’t meet for several years.

But James Gordon crosses her path. While she wishes to remain single, the bad boy pursues her. He threatens to disrupt everything that is to come as she begins to develop unwanted feelings for him, and distract her from her original goal: to save her future family.

Isn't the cover just gorgeous?! You can find Deceptive Cadence on Goodreads.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter, and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

You can learn more about Katie and Deceptive Cadence on her website, or on  FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Myth or Monster Monday: Cerberus

Hercules and Cerberus, Photograph by Maria Daniels.
Cerberus, offspring of Typhon and Echidna, was a massive three-headed dog with a mane of snakes and a serpent's tail. In Greek and Roman mythology, Cerberus guarded the entrance to the Underworld, allowing the deceased to pass through the gates. A few brave souls, like Orpheus, managed to sneak past Cerberus into Hades after lulling the beast to sleep, but no spirits were allowed to return to the upper world on his watch.

When Hercules went mad at the hands of Hera and murdered his sons and wife, he sought penance. The Oracle at Delphi informed him that he should report to King Eurystheus to serve for twelve years. Hercules was advised that, during this period of service, he should undertake any task the King wished. Hercules initially completed ten tasks, two of which were deemed invalid by the King for various reasons (in one, Hercules intended to accept pay for the completion of said task, and the other was completed with assistance). As a result, two new labors were set, the final of which was to capture Cerberus.

Hercules proceeded to sneak into the Underworld in search of Hades to ask Hades if he could borrow Cerberus for a bit. Hades agreed on the condition that Hercules capture the animal without weapons. Hercules was cool with this condition. Within short order, he overpowered Cerberus and dragged him back to Eurystheus.

Eurystheus was duly impressed, and quite possibly terrified of the massive beast. He fled, requesting that Hercules return Cerberus to the Underworld. Upon completion of this task, Eurystheus promised to free Hercules from his service.

Cerberus was returned to Hades, and Hercules went on to other adventures. And Cerberus went on to guard the Sorcerer's Stone and many other important things throughout the course of literature and history. ;) 


FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches)

Today's Myth or Monster Monday is going to be a little different. Instead of looking at a myth or a monster, we're taking a look at something that's a little of both. A real book that, for years, was used to gain false confessions and condemn accused "witches" to death with no evidence. 
Imagine for a minute that it is the 1800s (C.E.) and somewhere between “40,000 and 100,000″ otherwise ordinary people lie dead. They aren’t from the same place, or even the same time period. Their lives unfolded over the course of centuries, often never touching one another, and yet they are forever linked together.
These thousands were the innocent victims of the Inquisition, accused and condemned for imaginary crimes. No one knows exactly what caused the Inquisition to get so out of control, and perhaps that is one reason it has continued to be such a controversial subject throughout the years.
The Inquisitions originally began in France in 1184. The first of the Medieval Inquisitions was called the Episcopal Inquisition and is believed to be in response to the "Cathar heresy" sweeping southern France. It was so named because the Inquisition was led by local bishops called episcopos. Catharism was a “dualist religious movement with Gnostic elements that originated around the middle of the twelfth century” (Cathar, 2006). The Roman Catholic Church branded the Cathars as heretical and quickly moved to stamp out this movement.
During the earliest of the Inquisitions, torture and execution were not the norm. Instead, those wishing to confess and recant their heresy were allowed a month of grace and then given a light penance. By 1254 though, the accused were given no right to counsel and torture was being permitted by Pope Innocent IV.
By 1486, Heinrich Kramer had written his infamous treatise on the prosecution of witches, the Malleus Maleficarum. This book, though eventually condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in part, was used for centuries as a tool for torturing those viewed as guilty. And it didn't take much for one to be judged guilty of practicing witchcraft.

Due to hysteria and the outright fear of witchcraft, little more than an accusation was needed in many places. The Malleus encouraged Inquisitors to convince accusers to speak as informers, since 1) witchcraft was supposedly done in secret and an accuser would not have actually seen the acts, and 2) because of the perceived danger of being named an accuser. This made it far easier to condemn the accused because actual evidence was no longer needed.
Once the accusation was made, Inquisitors would sweep in to gain a confession. The Malleus Maleficarum told them exactly how to do that, starting with knowingly depriving the accused of justice by continually delaying the proceedings, stripping her naked for examination, and then binding her with cords. Once bound, the Malleus instructs the Inquisitors to "apply her to some engine of torture; and then let them obey at once but not joyfully, rather appearing to be disturbed by their duty. Then let her be released again at someone's earnest request, and taken on one side, and let her again be persuaded; and in persuading her, let her be told that she can escape the death penalty" (Malleus Maleficarum, Part 3, Question XIV).
Torture included things like tying rocks to her feet and tossing her into the lake. If she was innocent, she'd float. If she was guilty, she'd drown. You can guess how many floated. They would also poke her with various instruments, being careful not to draw blood. If she bled, she was innocent. If she didn't, she was guilty.
Those that survived the torture (those who didn't survive were viewed as having confessed by failing the tests) and confessed were then forced to confess outside of torture. If she failed to comply, the Inquisitors were instructed to bring additional torture devices to her, and inform her that unless she confessed once more, she would again be tortured. Fearing the threat of further torture, and reassured that she would not be put to death, many confessed.
Those who did were then told the only way to escape death was to accuse others. Hundreds of people took this thread of hope, accusing thousands more of imaginary crimes. And unfortunately, the thread quickly frayed beneath their fingers.
After others had been named, the accused would be burned at the stake anyway either by the same judge (Inquisitor) who convicted her, or by a ruse in which he would recuse himself and another judge would be brought in to condemn her to death.
Today, most see the Malleus Maleficarum for what it was: an instruction manual for the murder of innocent people. But the Inquisitions didn't end until the 1800s, when thousands had been wrongly convicted and killed by methods provided by the Malleus Maleficarum. Eventually, the church outlawed the book, but that didn't stop the Inquisitors from using it. Six additional printings were issue before the 1700s, each with an endorsement by an authority (such as the pope). While those endorsements are questionable at best, they did what was intended at the time, and increased the popularity of the treatise.
You can read the Malleus Maleficarum here. The various portions on gaining confessions are located in the third section of the treatise.


FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Stricken

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!

I'm beat, but I wanted to get this teaser posted for you since it's been a while. This is unedited, of course. 

I also wanted to remind you not to forget the giveaway happening through Saturday. Even if you aren't planning to attend the Houston Indie Mashup, you could still win a swag pack. So, get those entries in! The details and Rafflecopter can be found in this post

* * *

Aubrey paced across Kaeden's living room, his cell phone clutched in her hand. Her aunt's voice shook on the other end of the line, words spilling from her lips in a breathless jumble. Aubrey could barely keep up.
"Wisconsin? I thought you never wanted to go back. How bad was this car accident? Are you in trouble, Aubrey? Just say…. Oh, I don't know, say ducks if you are. I'll call the police for you; tell them you've been kidnapped. Where are you?"
"Mel, I'm fine," Aubrey said when Mel broke off to take a deep breath. "I haven't been kidnapped, and I'm not being held hostage."
"Are you sure? I mean really sure, Aubrey? John called me, you know. He said your friend looked dangerous. Is he in a biker gang or something?"
Aubrey stopped pacing and pressed her forehead to the cool glass of the wall-length window, staring out into the backyard. There were no trees out there, and few plants. The entire area had been covered in concrete, with uncomfortable looking benches and target boards lining each side of the concrete lot. A practice field, Kaeden had told her when she asked. The concrete lot looked cold and uninviting to her.
"I'm sure, Aunt Mel," she said, closing her eyes. "Kaeden has been good to me. He's helping me deal with things."
Mel didn't speak for a moment and then, "I didn't even know you had a Kaeden in your life." She sounded hurt.
"He's only here temporarily. He's a part of my past, nothing more." She didn't lie, not exactly. Kaeden was part of her past in a roundabout way. A present reminder of a past she'd like to forget. She didn't have the energy to explain that to Mel though.
"There wasn't a car accident, was there? You're going back because of your dad, aren't you?"

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million.