Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gail Z. Martin's Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peak Blog Tour: Excerpt + a Giveaway

Morning, everyone! All around awesome author Gail Z. Martin has two new releases out and I'm lucky enough to be taking part in the blog tour to promote them today.

Here's more about the tour from Gail herself:

From June 21-June 30 I'll be doing my annual Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event blog tour, and I hope readers will stop over to my website, find out what all is going on and where to find the posts, giveaways, contests and fun events. And of course, please look for The Shadowed Path at your favorite bookseller!

The Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event includes book giveaways, free excerpts, all-new guest blog posts and author Q&A on 22 awesome partner sites around the globe. I'll also be hosting many of my Modern Magic co-authors guest posting on my DisquietingVisions.com blog during the tour. For a full list of where to go to get the goodies, visit www.AscendantKingdoms.com.

So today I have an excerpt of The Shadowed Path, a link to a second excerpt for you to check out, and a fantastic giveaway as well (be sure to read through to the end to enter). But before we dive into The Shadowed Path, which is part of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, here's a bit about the book from Goodreads:

These are the untold tales of Jonmarc Vahanian, hero of Gail Z. Martin’s best-selling Chronicles of the Necromancer series.

Jonmarc Vahanian was just a blacksmith’s son in a small fishing village before raiders killed his family. Wounded and left for dead in the attack, Jonmarc tries to rebuild his life. But when a dangerous bargain with a shadowy stranger goes wrong, Jonmarc finds himself on the run, with nothing ahead but vengeance, and nothing behind him but blood.

Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand lord. If you’ve met Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle books, you don’t really know him until you walk in his footsteps. This is the first segment of his journey.

The Shadowed Path is out now from Solaris.

An Excerpt from Raider’s Curse, part of The Shadowed Path
By Gail Z. Martin

Jonmarc took off running. At fifteen, he was tall, just a bit over six feet. Years of working alongside his father in the forge had given him a strong back and muscular arms. A mop of chestnut-brown hair hung in his brown eyes, and he pushed it out of the way as he ran.

A worn path led to the open shed that was his father’s forge. Jonmarc could hear the steady pounding of his father’s hammer on the anvil. The sound echoed from the hills, steady as a heartbeat. He skidded to a stop just outside the doors.

Anselm Vahanian swung a heavy hammer in his right hand while his gloved left hand turned the piece of metal on the anvil. Sparks flew around him, landing on the long sleeves of his rough-woven shirt, his gloves, and his leather apron. The forge smelled of coal, iron, and sweat. To one side lay two swords Anselm had completed for a client in the village. On a table lay a variety of farm tools—iron pots and pans, and hoops for the cooper’s barrels. Jonmarc had helped to forge several of the pieces, though he longed to work on swords, like his father.

“Mother said to tell you to wash up for dinner,” Jonmarc shouted above the clanging.

Anselm stopped and looked at him. “I’ll eat supper later. You know I can’t stop in the middle of something when the iron is hot.”

Jonmarc nodded. “I know. I’ll tell her to put a plate aside for you.” He paused, and Anselm looked at him quizzically, waiting for the unspoken question.

“Have you talked to any of the fishermen lately?” Jonmarc tried to make the question sound off-handed, but Anselm frowned as if he caught the undercurrent of concern.

“You mean the talk about raiders,” Anselm replied, and struck the iron he was working.

“Do you think it’s more than just talk?”

Anselm didn’t answer until he put the iron bar back into the furnace to heat up. He was Jonmarc’s height, with a head of wiry dark hair and brown eyes that glinted with intelligence. A lifetime in the forge had given him broad shoulders and a powerful physique. His profession also showed in the small white burns that marked his hands and arms, scars too numerous to count. Jonmarc had gained a few of those burn scars too, but not nearly as many as his father. Not yet.

“Maybe,” Anselm replied. “The real people to talk to are the traders. Their ships go up and down the Northern Sea coast, stopping at all the villages. I always get news when I trade iron with them.”

“Have you heard anything?”

Anselm turned the iron rod in the furnace. “Some. One of the villages on the other side of the bay burned. Everyone was gone when the traders came. No way to know why or how. Eiderford, down the coast, did have a run-in with raiders a few months ago.” He eyed the iron, and turned it one more time.

“So there are raiders,” Jonmarc replied.

Anselm shrugged. “There are always raiders. But there’s less to attract them here in Lunsbetter than in Eiderford. We’re not a proper city, and we’re as like to barter as deal in coin, so there’s less to steal.”

Unless they want food, livestock, or women, Jonmarc thought. And there are enough people who trade with the ships that there’s probably more coin here than anyone wants to admit.

“There’s a garrison of the king’s soldiers beyond Ebbetshire,” Jonmarc replied. “Can’t they stop the raiders?”

Anselm shrugged. “They can’t guard every village along the coast,” he said. “And they’d have to know for certain when a raid was planned.” He shook his head. “No, we’re on our own.” He paused.

“Don’t worry yourself about it,” Anselm said, drawing the rod out of the furnace and placing it on the anvil. “We’ve doubled the patrols, and the fishermen are on alert.” He grinned. “And tomorrow, those swords are going down to the constable and the sheriff. We’ll be fine. Pump the bellows for me. The fire’s grown cold.”

Anselm stood in front of a large open furnace filled with glowing coals. Jonmarc pumped the bellows that were attached to the back of the furnace, and the coals flared brighter, flames licking across their surface. Anselm lifted his hammer to strike the iron. “Now get back up to the house. Your mother’s waiting. Just save some for me.”

“I’ll make sure of it,” Jonmarc replied. The clatter of the hammer drowned out anything else he might have asked. He stepped out into the cool night, and started back up the path to the house. His stomach rumbled and he fancied that he could smell the stew. But the worry he felt when he went to the forge had not lifted; if anything, his father’s comments increased Jonmarc’s concern than the warnings about raiders were not mere tales.

If father says the men are keeping their eye out for trouble, then that’s the end of it, he thought. Naught I can do. But he remembered his comment to Neil about keeping the axe sharpened, and on the way back to the house, he detoured into the barn. Thanks to his father’s craft, they were well-stocked with farm implements.

He walked over to the space his father used to butcher meat. Butchering wasn’t a pleasant job, but it was necessary, and a task with which Jonmarc was well acquainted. He had learned the craft from his father, practiced enough that it no longer made him lose his dinner to be awash in blood and entrails. His father had taught him to strike swiftly and cleanly, to block out the death cries of the terrified livestock, to go to a cold place inside himself until the job was done. He had even learned a few tricks of the trade, like how to hamstring a panicked animal that was likely to kick or buck. But nothing about how to fight men.

On the wall hung an impressive variety of knives. He selected a large butcher knife with a wicked blade as well as a smaller boning knife, and made his way around to the back door, hiding the knives among his mother’s herbs before going in for supper. Tonight, when everyone was in bed, he would come back for them—one for him, and one for Neil. Just in case the men were wrong.

If you want to see more stories about Jonmarc Vahanian, check out The Chronicles of the Necromancer series and The Fallen Kings Cycle books, as well as the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures on ebook.

©2016 Gail Z. Martin all rights reserved. No duplication or reprint without written permission.

As for Gail's second new release, she's part of a fantastic new collection: Modern Magic: Twelve Tales of Urban Fantasy edited by Christopher Golden. This is an ebook box set featuring twelve different authors, including Gail whose contribution is Trifles and Folly - 10 Deadly Curiosities Adventures short stories collected together for the first time!

Here's a smidge about the collection from the Goodreads description:

12 complete book-length works by masters of dark urban fantasy … a walk on the wild side, into the shadows, where things go bump in the night and the hour of the wolf never ends. Featuring NY Times Best-Sellers, USA Today Best-Sellers, Bram Stoker Award Winners, Nominees, and Amazon Best-Sellers like Christopher Golden, Rick Gaultieri, Jennifer St. Giles, Julie Kenner and Gail Z. Martin! 

As promised, Gail has provided a link to an excerpt from Trifles and Folly, which you can find here.

About the Author: Gail Z. Martin is the author of The Shadowed Path (Solaris Books), Vendetta: A Deadly Curiosities Novel in her urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC (Solaris Books); Shadow and Flame the fourth and final book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books); and Iron and Blood a new Steampunk series (Solaris Books) co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

She is also author of Ice Forged, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven, Dark Lady’s Chosen); The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn, The Dread) and the urban fantasy novel Deadly Curiosities. Gail writes three ebook series: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures, The Deadly Curiosities Adventures and The Blaine McFadden Adventures. The Storm and Fury Adventures, steampunk stories set in the Iron & Blood world, are co-authored with Larry N. Martin.

Her work has appeared in over 30 US/UK anthologies. Newest anthologies include: Robots, The Big Bad 2, Athena’s Daughters, Heroes, Space, Contact Light, With Great Power, The Weird Wild West, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Alien Artifacts, Cinched: Imagination Unbound, Realms of Imagination, Gaslight and Grimm, Baker Street Irregulars, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens.

Find her at www.AscendantKingdoms.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at DisquietingVisions.com blog and GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com, on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin and free excerpts on Wattpad http://wattpad.com/GailZMartin.

Now, as promised, there is a BIG giveaway here courtesy of Gail. I get to offer up two copies of The Shadowed Path and two copies of the Modern Magic collection today! So that means four winners total! 

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopters below before Monday, July 4. And yes, you can enter to win both titles. (Open US only.) Good luck!


traveler said...

Thanks for this great feature. Sounds intriguing.

Jennifer C said...

Fantasy isn't the typical genre I read, but some of my favorite books have been fantasy, so I do like to read them...You always share the best books with us, Becky, so I'm eager to read something from Gail Martin.

TRM5507 said...

The Shadowed Path sounds like a book I might enjoy - just added it to my GoodReads list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

Jeannie D. said...

The Shadowed Path sounds interesting.

Samuel Lubell said...

This looks like an interesting collection. Sometimes dark fantasy means horror and sometimes it's fantasy that's not happy every after.