These Aren't Your Typical Heroes
Heroes aren't defined by shining armor, golden crowns, or noble virtues.
Beggars, thieves, killers, children, and fools—a hero is anyone who takes a stand against oppression, abuse, and evil. Ragged though they may be, they hold their ground, defy hopeless odds, and conquer the impossible no matter the personal cost.
Eighteen bestselling and award-winning authors give you a look at what it truly means to be a hero: the simple act of standing up and making a difference, even to just one person.
Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at http://www.robertsonwrites.com or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.
It’s almost here! Chain Reaction, the second book in my urban fantasy series, Nite Fire, will be releasing soon. In the meantime, I’m super excited to share the cover with you. Inspired by a compilation of several scenes within the book, the cover features empathic shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, in her (mostly) human form. The artwork was created by my amazing cover artist, Alan Dingman.
If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.
Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have is questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?
Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.
Curious about the series?
Read excerpts at clschneiderauthor.com
Check out the trailer for Flash Point (bk#1) https://youtu.be/C041ClBpihI
Catch up with book #1 before book #2 comes out! http://mybook.to/NF1
Chain Reaction will be available for paperback and up for pre-order soon. Subscribe to my newsletter for information on the official release date http://bit.ly/2EgLFfr
C.L. Schneider is an award-winning independent author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons. Her published works include the epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, and Flash Point, the first book in her urban fantasy series, Nite Fire. Book two, Chain Reaction, will be released in early 2018.
Learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, join her Street Team, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.
All titles available in paperback or for Kindle. Read free with Kindle Unlimited.
Nite Fire: Flash Point (Bk 1)
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price (also available on Audible)
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne
But her enemies will not be so easily eliminated. She must turn to the one man certain to get the job done: the Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis.
The Hunter willingly accepts a fortune in gold to kill one of the richest men in his city. A mansion fortress and a private army should prove no match for his inhuman abilities.
But as he stalks his target, he unmasks a bloodthirsty conspiracy in the guise of a holy mission. If he doesn't stop the men responsible, the gruesome murders will continue and people—including those he has sworn to protect—will die.
Fans of Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie will devour Traitors' Fate!
Note: This book is a standalone that takes place after the events of Queen of Thieves Book 3. Suggested reading order:
Child of the Night Guild
Thief of the Night Guild
Queen of the Night Guild
I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist--words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I'm also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.
Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion,race, or lifestyle--it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!
In the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.
Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.
His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.
What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…
Come set sail with ghosts, gods, and sea monsters."
Get Your Copy Today!
A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.
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Dark times continue to plague the ravaged land of Veronia. Nicolai and Jewel have been captured, a powerful talisman falls into the hands of the enemy, and the might of the Kiman Empire sits on Tamore’s doorstep. In an attempt to protect Tamore from destruction, Leo “The Bloody Rose” stands with his army in one last, death-defying attempt to defend Veronia against the Kiman Empire. Outnumbered and facing off against sorcerers embedded within the Red Army’s ranks, Leo's stronghold threatens to fall.
After an honorable discharge from the military, Daniel moved back to Claremore, Oklahoma. In 2007 he began employment at his local Sheriff's Office. In 2008, Daniel was lent a book and after completing it, fell in love with reading fantasy/fiction and immersed himself in the genre. In 2013 he began writing his own novel and Tears of Blood (The Veronian Archives) was born.
Outside the realm of literature, Daniel has received numerous awards for his service in the military, and as a Law Enforcement Officer. In 2013 he graduated from American Public University with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. Daniel is an Oklahoma Defensive Tactics Instructor and a former amateur mixed martial arts, cage-fighter. Daniel currently lives in Claremore, Oklahoma with his girlfriend Pun, and their Chihuahua named Taco (Co-Author). He spends most of his spare time fishing, reading, and writing gritty, fictional novels......
To learn more about Daniel and his upcoming books, visit his website at www.daniellwelch.com.
I have the pleasure of introducing a long time friend, gamer, poet, and musician, Anais Chartschenko. Anais has an exceptional voice and frequently impresses me with her ability to express it in a variety of art forms.
Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works are below.
If you can expect anything from Chartschenko's poetry, it would be her works have a realistic grit that will leave you breathless after the last page is turned. This is a book that should be given to any parent, clinician, or individual who has been touched by residential treatment. I promise you will continue to flip through this treasure for a long time.
My review of The Whisper Collector:
The Whisper Collector is RAW; and you WILL find yourself tremoring at the end of many of these completed masterpieces. Years have come and gone since I have read poetry capable of clearly painting a picture of the path of humanness, giving color to the pain and suffering accompanying us on this lonely, troubled road. Chartschenko's words cut deep, giving breath of the very horrors many have witnessed, but have not had the strength to speak themselves. The prose within this collection have touched many of my own memories, curiousities, and base fears restricted to the long, dark hours during sleepless nights! I have listened to countless freestyle, raw readings of poetry on stages across the United States, and any poem within this collection would be a sound addition on that stage.
We lay in a tight row
Wrapped tight in
Blankets and thick
Getting our blood
Lay down, and close
My eyes to the other
Girls' gossip, they
Try to include me,
But I have nothing
To say in the morning
This is a strange torment,
Laying so close to the others
Trapped between laughter
And the talk of having to
Drink ensures or not,
Of having to go to an
Increased nutrition plan,
Of family therapy sessions
Coming at the end of the
When did you start writing?
As I recall, my brother suggested we write stories one lazy, summer afternoon. I thought the idea was ludicrous, but being the younger, I followed his lead. The memory still lurks in the back of my mind as one of the best. Over the years, Joshua has continued to push me to write, so it is only fitting that my first published work, Anaerfell, was co-authored with him.
That lazy summer afternoon was in about 4th grade. I started writing my first novel, a horror story which featured kids from my class. Unsurprisingly, I did not finish. A similar attempt with a fantasy novel in junior high brought similar results. Not until my fourth attempt at writing did I finish my first novel, completing it my senior year of high school. The final product still makes me cringe, but elements, themes, and even characters from that book still creep into what I write now.
After I had first put my highly illegible pencil to paper, I never really put it down again. While my brother certainly pushed me, he knows as well as I do that I don’t do anything I really don’t want to and his task would have been fruitless if I didn’t find something engaging in the task.
In the end, what motivates me to write is, well, everything about the process. I love putting down the first words as much as I do the last. I cannot help but getting swept away in the imaginary world I create with the characters I craft to face that world. I enjoy tropes as much as I enjoy turning tropes on their heads—one of my first pieces in the fantasy genre featured an evil Gandalf character, seeking to betray those he was meant to help.
However, the ideas and characters only inspire me as much as the words themselves. In fact, my family still pokes fun at me about reading the dictionary during my high school years. While I, like many of my contemporaries, list Tolkien as a major influence, I like to think I do so from the evidence of his philological background within his works rather than his epithet as the Father of Modern Fantasy.
Balvoc had always earned his bread with blood on his hands. But when he is forced to protect an amoral merchant to keep his wife safe, he must decide whether his wife's life is worth the havoc caused by Sin-sim's greed.
What genre do you write in and what made you choose this particular genre?
While much of my reading has been in Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, and Sword and Sorcery, I tend to lean (quite heavily) toward Dark Fantasy. I don’t know that I really chose Dark Fantasy. I simply realize that this is the genre in which I write. Because I like to play with certain tropes, I tend to lose traditional aspects that make me a writer of other subgenres. As I mentioned earlier, it is not so much that I dislike these tropes, but I cannot
I want to write stories I can stand behind with which people can identify. But I want my readers to have to think. I want more than simply a good book. I have read plenty of good books, at the end of which I can exclaim, “Thumping good read!” I then put down the book and never open it again. I don’t want to be in that stack. I want my readers to finish my story and immediately hand it to a friend (or stranger) and say, “Read this and then come talk to me. I need to discuss it with someone.”
Ambitious, I know.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I would like to say that I don’t, but it just wouldn’t be true. I have simply figured out an effective way of dealing with it for myself. When I encounter writer’s block, I usually end up pacing. I walk back and forth in my house and talk to myself. A lot. Usually I talk through the plot, themes, character motivations. And my workout ends with me spouting dialogue back and forth to myself. I have found that the most people deal with their problems by talking and if I let my characters talk to each other, I usually figure out what had me stumped to begin with.
What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
Start over. I have seen too many authors carrying the same novel around in their back pocket’s for years, trying to get it published without luck. They edit the piece over and over again, but can’t get it accepted. I am sure there are plenty of people who would like you to stick with your tattered manuscript, but throwing it out and starting over is usually best. If you are married to the story, read a chapter and re-write from memory. Don’t keep editing. You are a better writer at the end of your novel than you were at the beginning, but editing can only do so much.
My first published work is Anaerfell, co-authored with Joshua Robertson, in the Thrice Nine Legends setting. Heshayol is the second and final book in the story. Strong Armed was released in March 2016 in the same world, but is not related to the other two stories. Joshua and I have also published Blood and Bile, which takes place in a setting of my own creation.
J.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs and has an M.A. in English Literature. The first novel in his world, Blood and Bile, was released in 2017. Before completing junior high, J.C. had received his first box set of Dungeons & Dragons and devoured J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Since, he has been heavily influenced by a myriad of fantasy authors, such as Weis and Hickman, Robert Jordan, and Ed Greenwood.
A debt is owed.
Del Kanadis–indentured thief to the King of Fires–desires freedom above all else. When given the opportunity to repay his debt with a single job, he begrudgingly accepts, believing it to be a fool’s errand. His task: infiltrate a secluded village rumoured to hold a relic capable of defeating the Fire King’s enemies.
Living amongst the townsfolk and gaining the trust of those in charge, Del quickly discovers they know more than they’re letting on, and that perhaps the relic truly does exist. Upon discovering their ultimate secret, he realizes winning his own life back could come at the cost of everyone else losing theirs.
John writes all genres but prefers Dark Fantasy over most anything else. This is due in part to the fact that he likes it the best, and because it's awesome.
John prefers blue cheese over cheddar, cats over dogs, and will attempt to answer any question with sarcasm whether appropriate or not.
He completed his first novel The Glass Thief in 2017 and you should buy it. Or don't. He's not the boss of you.
If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing?
The Glass Thief will be self-published. I see advantages on both sides of the coin regarding traditional or self-publishing, but opted for self-publishing in order to control my rights, cover art, interior design and marketing strategies. As a self-publisher, I can decide the when and where of how I promote my books and that sense of control is very important to me.
How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from a very young age. I wrote my first story at aged six (complete with amazing (not really) crayon illustrations). It was about my hamster and his inevitable death, and so I’m entirely surprised my favourite genre to write is dark fantasy.
What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
I need to tell my stories. I have to get them out of my head and onto a page. There are some I never show to anyone but myself, and some I feel have a message others might gain something from. It’s this creative form of communication that keeps me going and gets me through the days when the words are difficult to get out.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favourite author is John Green. It’s his style of writing that I felt a connection to and his books helped me find my own narrative voice. For a while I was floundering with a lack of style and voice and it was through reading his novel A Fault In Our Stars that everything seemed to click for me, despite him not writing anything remotely close to dark fantasy.
What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
My genre is Dark Fantasy, and I’ve been told I could classify it under the sub-genre of Heist/Swashbuckling Fantasy. I think my narrative style makes it a little different than the usual dark fantasy tales. It is set in the middle ages but I use anachronistic language that borders on contemporary, and I also implement technology that didn’t exist during that time period such as magical firearms and a steam-powered suit of armour in one particular scene.
What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?
I think I pulled the inspiration for The Glass Thief from my own past, in that, I was a very different person a decade ago than I am today. A lesser person so to speak. The Glass Thief is a story about betrayal and redemption, and I wanted to write a story that showed no matter what your past entailed, you always have the power to set things right, if you truly want to.
Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?
The Glass Thief is the story of Del Kanadis, a thief who’s made a name for himself stealing elemental glass throughout his realm, but who owes a heavy debt to the King of Fires. The King of Fires is fighting his own war and requires a certain relic to defeat his enemies. He tasks Del to infiltrate the village where they believe the relic hides, and steal it. So the meat of the story is essentially Del gaining the trust of the villages to find the relic, and then royally screw them over by stealing it.
How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?
Too long. [laughs even though you can’t hear it]. The Glass Thief took me 4 years to write from concept to clicking Publish. The second book in the trilogy will go a lot faster because I know my character and their world better now, and I have a valid starting point to jump off from. I predict less than 2 years for book two.
Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate.
I don’t give myself any time limits. As writers, we struggle enough with self-doubt and motivation that I feel it’s borderline cruel to impose limits like that on ourselves. I suppose a self-imposed deadline does help some, but for me, a missed deadline is something I don’t want to deal with mentally.
How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?
I use simple names, despite writing fantasy. Single or double syllables put together for a pleasing rhythm when it rolls off the tongue. I love writing Fantasy but I also want it as accessible as possible to people who shy away from that genre. I’d love for more people to read Fantasy and so I want to make it easy on them if they decide to try it with my book.
What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing?
I’m a writer, when am I NOT quirky?
An Excerpt from The Glass Thief
A mouse would be hard-pressed to find a crumb of food in the kitchen. The floors were scrubbed, the table clean and polished, and the scent of citrus lingered in the air. No Glass Crown.
Upstairs was, as expected, equally tidy. Saria’s bedroom would seem chaotic compared to the order of Uri’s, and all she had was a bed and a book of poems. The sheets were pressed and fitted tight around a bed that’d hold no more than a single person. If Uri had anything going on with Renny, it sure as hell wasn’t going on here. Perhaps they rolled around on the floured floor of her bakery. An image both amusing and disturbing. No Glass Crown.
Del returned to the kitchen and grabbed a glass along with the bottle of wine beside it. He pulled the cork out with his teeth, spit it onto the floor and filled the glass, putting his feet up on the table. A small consolation for a fruitless search, but a deserved one nonetheless. He had after all saved Uri’s life. Continue reading...
Book: Fall of the Walker King (Walking Between Worlds, Book III)
Genre: Contemporary/Philosophical Fantasy
In the Walking Between Worlds trilogy and companion tales, the world of the Walker is finally revealed. Heroes that have lived in the shadows for thousands of years tell their stories at last, as a new story takes shape in present-day San Francisco. A new Walker is made that must undo centuries of damage as he risks everything in a desperate search for his lost love. One man must forge a path wide enough for everyone who walks between worlds, or see the way of the Walker lost forever.
The angels in heaven have capitalized on the situation rather than correct it, and the dragons in hell rule their realm with fire. Both forces stand against the Walker army as its new king is thrust into power and cast into danger time and again. From epic battles below to all-out war above, these brave patriots of the universe put everything on the line to save an unknowing world once more. If anyone can find a way, it is them . . . but time is running out, and the light is growing dim.
Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural, those who walk between worlds to help humans battle their demons. This is the spellbinding tale of a special group of people whose lives were changed forever when their eyes were opened to a new reality. Watch the ordinary collide with the extraordinary to test the mettle of their souls and the power of their love.
Step once again into the lives of Walker Paul and his trusted Guide Kris as they delve deeper into the meaning of walking between worlds and battling people's demons.
Walking Between Worlds; Book II: Rise of the Walker King continues the exciting saga begun in Book I. Now that the king has risen to power, he must look within and without for answers to save both himself and the Walker's world.
Walking Between Worlds, Book III: Fall of the Walker King brings the Walking Between Worlds trilogy to a breathtaking and explosive conclusion. Walk alongside characters old and new as they navigate Hellish realms where blood rains from the sky, and Heavenly worlds that would imprison or destroy their very souls.
- Stumbling Backasswards Into The Light is an uplifting autobiography, the tale of Jay's decision to question the answers he had been given and discover his own deeper meaning.
- Walking Between Worlds is an exciting and action-packed philosophical adventure, a darkly humorous romp through heaven and hell and the deeper meaning of all of the worlds we walk between.
- The Secret Society of Deeper Meaning spent 2016 exploring the softer side of zombies, and the deeper meaning of the archetype: could Mother Nature be saving us from ourselves? Sign up for free Zombie Zero short stories; and find out the deeper meaning of it all in Zombie Zero: The First Zombie and Zombie Zero: The Last Zombie
- 2017 will bring explorations of sleep, space, and supernatural thrills. Stay tuned for the The Ringer series; the first book, Ringing in a New Year, is out now. Dreaming the Perpetual Dream is a sci-fi story that Jay is released exclusively to the SSDM, one chapter at a time. The rest of the world will get their hands on this intriguing space tale in November 2017.
I am an award-winning fantasy author, known best for the Thrice Nine Legends Saga. Please take some time and explore the website, and feel free contact me. I love getting mail!