Fantasy Cover Reveal—Vassal by Marissa Ames

Originally posted on Blue Harvest Creative:

We are very excited to present our cover for Vassal, the second book in the critically acclaimed Tir Athair fantasy series by BHC author, Marissa Ames. The Tir Athair series is a historical-based fantasy series. The first book in the series, Minstrel, is currently a finalist for best fantasy novel of 2013 in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

Vassal_M_Ames_Cover-(Final)

 Front cover for print and eBook

Available in trade paperback and eBook September 20, 2014

Cottage cover illustration painted by the author

Blurb:

Who holds your loyalties?

Tir Athair still battles the north, and refugees still face torture for trying to flee oppression. As heiress to Fief Collum, Aislin knows her position is tenuous. She adheres to even the most unjust laws so her liege cannot revoke her land. When her uncle sends six burly men to work on her fief, she is wary of his intentions and their identities…

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Cover Reveal: A Life Unexpected

We are very excited to reveal the cover for A Life Unexpected, by BHC author Sara Daniell. A Life Unexpected is the first book in the Holly Nather series. Holly Nather is a young adult, action-adventure series with a touch of romance!

Life Unexpected

Front cover for print and eBook

Cover model photograph taken by the author

 

Blurb:

Visions Come Into Play…Secrets Have Been Told…Choices Must Be Made

Holly is just your typical college student. She goes to classes during the day and spends her nights either hanging out with friends or wasting an embarrassing amount of time on social networking. Her life is ordinary, nothing interesting or extravagant. That is – until she meets Luke. This enigmatic and on-the-verge-of-stalker guy brings excitement into her dull, routine life, introducing her to a world outside of her own…A world of magic…A world called Terre. As the saying goes: “With knowledge comes power” and with power comes danger. Holly is quickly and unexpectedly thrown into a life of chaos, a life that she believed to only exist in science fiction films. Visions of this day have finally come into play, secrets have been told, and choices must be made.

 

A Life Unexpected Releases September 26th, 2014

 

Other upcoming releases in the Holly Nather series coming soon

Book 2 – Cohen’s Tale

Book 3 – Daughter of a Monarch

 

Don’t miss Sara at the Queen City IndieCon, October 24th and 25th

Check out the event site here

 

Connect With Sara

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Zombie Flash Fiction: On Domestic Soil

This piece was written as part of a promotional contest for J. Whitworth Hazzard, who prepares to release his four Dead Sea Games books within one print compilation. The flash fiction contest is judged by Miranda Kate. See the link below to read the other entries.

Returning_Home,_New_York_Times,_1919

“Returning Home” 1919, New York Times

On Domestic Soil
by Marissa Ames
486 words

We returned from the Great War, certain no worse horrors existed than we’d witnessed in Europe. Dead French children, lying in pieces after German invasions, could not compare to American children, walking in pieces after the Spanish Flu.

Ten months we waited in Nantucket. Olive drab wool hung from bodies that had been strapping before the draft. Farm boys and dockworkers, we had obeyed Woodrow Wilson and defended the world. We swore we could see Lady Liberty from the coast if we squinted. We wanted to kiss our mothers, for the war was over. Ten months, because of a pandemic on domestic soil.

We only knew what the dots and dashes told, brief code testifying of a plague ravaging young bodies. A flu threatened to exterminate New York before the next decade. It took fathers and mothers, and boys too young for the draft. It would take us as well if we left Nantucket.

For ten months, the officers wouldn’t let us rest. We trained like Germans on the Western Front, building trenches out of bricks and wood. They claimed the next war would not be in the countryside. Our bayonets stabbed straw dummies. Aim for the head, they said. Always the head.

The dots and dashes stopped. A final four words: All dead. Feeling sick.

We boarded the ship home, clutching scarred bayonets. Ghost ships drifted in Long Island Sound. Sailors shuffled on deck, ignoring our hails. The officers refused to stop. Dead, they said, though the sailors still walked. Bodies floated in the East River, bloated and stinking. Still they twitched and swam.

New Yorkers roamed Times Square, all dead. Rotting hands clutched newspapers, as if the bodies remembered they still had jobs to do. Women shuffled through the streets with dried blood on their hobble skirts, testifying that hobbling for fashion had been their downfall. Bowlers and fedoras tumbled in the wind, kicked by the mindless ambling of corpses in spats.

With khaki cloth tied around our mouths, we slunk through the streets. Keep quiet, the officers said, until safe within the trenches. Keep your bayonets ready, else you fall the same way as did the previous platoon.

That platoon had not known what to expect, the officers said. The dots and dashes never mentioned an appetite for flesh, or inhuman speed despite rotting limbs. We found pieces of the previous platoon, leftover after the dead had eaten their fill. Those pieces walked or crawled, draped in olive drab, searching for more flesh to consume.

Within trenches built before that platoon fell, we whispered and prayed. For our mothers, we said. For President Wilson, and the United States. An attack developed by an enemy more human than our former patriots would give us the advantage. Strike hard and fast, the officers said. Aim for the head. Always the head.

We raised our bayonets high, to defend the world before the next decade began.

 

Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with the Spanish Flu

Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, ill with the Spanish Flu

Did you enjoy this story? Read the other entries, contest rules, and information regarding the Dead Sea Games books HERE!

Like my story? Kickstart the zombie apocalypse by publishing Dead Sea Games.

Want to write like me? Personal coaching and critiquing by Miranda Kate.

J.A.Mes Press Accepting Flash Fiction Submissions For Halloween Anthology

marissaames:

There’s less than a month left to submit, and this goes toward an amazing charity.

Originally posted on Blue Harvest Creative:

If you love thrills and chills, J.A.Mes Press invites you to submit your creepy creations for its 2014 Halloween flash fiction anthology entitled In Creeps The Night. All proceeds will benefit Mothers Without Borders. Deadline for submissions is August 14, 2014.

JP

J.A.Mes Press is a publishing company dedicated to finding and promoting new and up-and-coming authors with a focus on anthologies. J.A.Mes Press is a non-profit endeavor conceived to enhance writers’ careers and outreach through professionally published works. All royalties benefit the charities individually chosen for each anthology. Writers who contribute to our publications experience the benefits of getting their work out to readers. In 2013, we produced the anthology Tales by the Tree, which is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

We are proud to collaborate with the professional design team of Blue Harvest Creative to produce books that writers can proudly include on resumes without incurring any out-of-pocket…

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Call for Artists

troubadours

The day is fast approaching. Vassal: the Second Book of Tir Athair will be available in two more months! If you live in Reno, you can buy the print version on September 20th at Grassroots Books, Reno’s best independent bookstore!

To celebrate the release, I am teaming up with Grassroots to coordinate a medieval street faire for the enjoyment of all Tir Athair fans and Grassroots customers. Join us September 20th for entertainment, demonstrations, and books from me and other local authors Jean Booth and Kurt Winans. We’ll have storytellers to entertain the kids while parents shop, and even food vendors to help you through your midday hunger.

We invite you to a lineup that already includes Old World Spinning by Beck, storytelling by emerging author David Nightingale, acrobatics by marital artist Nancy Bouffiou, Renaissance-inspired music by Jaidyn MacDonald, and singing by the Nielson Princesses. The schedule is almost full, but we have a few spots left.

I’m looking for demonstrators. I need:

  • actors
  • artists
  • singers
  • dancers
  • musicians
  • educators
  • craftsmen
  • anyone who can represent medieval, Renaissance or Old World skills for the enjoyment of others.

We intend to publicize this event with press releases, sign twirlers in medieval garb, Facebook and Twitter announcements, and professional posters designed by Blue Harvest Creative and placed in local independent stores and coffee shops. We even hope to attract media coverage. If you participate in this event, your organization will be noticed!

This is an outreach gig, not a paid gig. You may hand out information for your venues or sales endeavors. We’ll provide a large bowl labeled “Ye Olde Tips” to help you out. Per Grassroots’ needs, we cannot offer you space to sell your own products. We also cannot involve the public in any demonstrations which may be dangerous, such as combat or acrobatics. You may involve the public in the more innocuous arts and crafts. We will ask all demonstrators to sign waivers.

If you would like to take part in this fun opportunity for artistic outreach, please message me at marissaames4@gmail.com or on my Facebook author page! Let me know what demonstration you wish to offer, and we will see if we can add you to our lineup.

But hurry! This schedule must be finalized by July 31, 2014!

If you are a Tir Athair or Grassroots fan, watch this blog or my Facebook page, or sign up for Grassroots’ newsletters to get updates on the street faire. We hope to see you there!

Book Signings and Renaissance Faires

Who says Reno doesn’t have culture?

This Sunday, I’ll be signing books at the Nevada Opera Renaissance Faire, alongside local authors Jean Booth and Kurt Winans. Also available are books from award winning authors who write with a fantasy edge: A.D. Trosper, Hannah Steenbock, Katie Jennings, LaDonna ColeNatalie Gibson, and Sophie Moss.

Would you like free signed books? Read on to find the secret buzzwords!

Nevada Opera’s Renaissance Faire

An Artown Event

  • Sunday, July 6, 2014
  • 10am to 9pm
  • Wingfield Park (on the river)
Ren faire color

Banner by Blue Harvest Creative

An excerpt from Vassal, available September 20th, 2014:

Aislin marched arrow-first into the hall. The sun, now peeking full into the window, danced along the high points of the men’s faces. They reacted the same as all men did when facing Aislin’s bow. Their somber expressions became dubious, and they retreated a step.

Darrion demanded, “What do you want?”

The same husky voice rasped, “We seek wheat and rye.”

Immediately Darrion replied, “We have stores to share, if you are needy.”

Aislin’s arrow sagged. She didn’t often feed beggars, for she rarely had ample food for her own fief. “What do you—No, we don’t. We have to plant.”

“I’ll take care of this,” Darrion said.

“But we don’t—”

“I said—” He set a hand on her bare shoulder. “—I’ll take care of this.”

Shrugging his hand away, she lowered her bow.

The men stood patiently. One, blond with long hair tied back in a tail at the base of his neck, carried an axe slung on his belt. The other, with a mane of dark, scrubby wool on his face and his chin, carried a one-handed arming sword. They watched Aislin’s bow, but they did not approach.

“The grain is in the barn,” Darrion said. “Allow me to retrieve my boots, and I’ll fill a sack for your journey.” Passing by Aislin on his way back to the room, he whispered to her, “Try not to shoot them.”

Her mouth fell open, and her head turned to watch him leave. One of the intruders shuffled his feet. Aislin aimed her arrow at him and cocked her elbow back. “Don’t move,” she snarled.

Did you catch the buzz word? In case you didn’t:

I’ll be giving a swag bag to the first person who approaches our booth and proclaims, “I seek wheat and rye.” Within Vassal, those words promise trust within a secret and illegal organization. On Sunday, they might win you a signed copy of Minstrel, swords and tiaras for up to 5 children in your group, and a tote bag courtesy of Blue Harvest Creative.

Author Jean Booth is also offering a swag bag. Visit her website for her buzz words:

Please drop by the Renaissance Faire. Listen to amazing music. Visit vendors for some tantalizing food and unique wares. And come see us! We’re offering a free sword or tiara for every two books you purchase, and have many stories to suit your personal tastes.

“What do you like to read?”

Cover Reveal: The Ter’roc

Cover Reveal: The Ter’roc

We’re revealing the new beautiful cover designed by Blue Harvest Creative for The Ter’roc: Evolution, an epic science fiction novel about an ancient race of aliens that created the human species thousands of years ago. Steeped in science, historical fiction, philosophy and biology, this book introduces an intriguing new dimension to our own world and worlds beyond.

 

And now…the reveal

 

In 3,

 

2,

 

1…

 

turroc

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

This novel is a continuance of the most popular story from Ruins of the Mind, the science fiction anthology of short stories written by Jason P. Stadtlander and published in June of 2012.  The Ter’roc: Evolution is the first in a three-part series which contains references to ancient structures such as the pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge and more, but reveals the larger purpose behind these structures steeped in mystery—purposes often wondered about but never before revealed.

When a teenage tomboy named Shawn ventures into a storm drain near the railroad tracks in Swampscott, Massachusetts, she stumbles upon more than a few blue glass pieces she is foraging. She comes face to face with Sam’loc of the alien ter’roc species, the initial link to discovering ancient hidden truths and a key revelation concerning humanity’s past. This initial face-to-face with Sam’loc draws Shawn unexpectedly into a world never before encountered—knowingly at least—by others. In the process, she is called upon to challenge more than she ever thought possible and rises to the occasion in ways she never expected.

The ter’roc and ishkan are ancient alien species which seeded the Earth with humans tens of thousands of years ago. These two species have remained hidden, however, watching over and guiding us unobtrusively when needed. Only now are they making themselves known to help defend Earth against a threat too powerful for humans to fight alone.

Along the way, we will find that there is much more to humanity than simply being human.