Blog Tour: Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

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Today, Sarina Langer is stopping by Writerly Bookish Stuff on her blog tour for her new release, Wardens of Archos. I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of book two in the Relics of Ar’Zac series, and what a sequel it was! There is also a HUGE announcement in this post. SQUEEE! I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you on Writerly Bookish Stuff!

36184683Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

Get your copy here: Amazon

Check it out on Goodreads here: Goodreads

I wanted to know a little more about Sarina’s journey from book one to book two, and I’m sure you do too. Guess what? I threw some questions Sarina’s way, and she is here to answer them today.

Congratulations on the release of book two in the Relics of Ar’Zac series. How does it feel to have two books out in the wild?

Pretty good, Kay. Pretty good.
I’m excited and nervous and scared to see what the first reviews made of it, so I’m feeling all the things, but it feels even stranger that I’ll be writing Book 3 in this trilogy next month. This time next year this whole trilogy might be over! I’m so relieved to have reached this point with Wardens – there was a point during the second monster edit where the work seemed never-ending – but that my first trilogy might well be over in another year is what really awes me. I’ll have written and published a whole trilogy. Me! A WHOLE TRILOGY!

You hear writers speak of ‘second book syndrome’. Did you experience this at all? Was the sequel harder to write than book one?

The opposite was true for this one, actually! I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote Sparrows (I expect this will still be true to some extent when I die aged 120 on some beautiful distant planet (science in the future is advanced, okay?) but I learned so much doing it, and I put all that new knowledge into Wardens. By the time I edited Wardens, I’d written the first draft of Darkened Light which I think is my strongest one yet, so everything I learned doing that went into editing Wardens. I’ve put a lot into it and I already knew a few things that needed to happen from Book 1, like advancing Cale and Rachael’s relationship.

What has been the best experience during your Wardens of Archos journey?

Hmmm, this is difficult. I’d say the #bookstagram community has been the most enjoyable part for me, I swoon every time I see a picture of my book. That’s closely followed by the feedback my critique partners and editor gave me during the developmental round. Edits are tough, all the more so on your own books, but their feedback made me realise that I had something good, and they helped me shape it further. It wouldn’t be the same book without them.

Will you share a teaser from book two, Wardens of Archos?

Gladly! This is one of my favourite scenes. Kaida explains the Midokan creation myth to Rachael:

  “Legend claims that, a long time ago when the world was new, magic was in all things. But there was an abundance of it, and it leaked out of nature, for the world could not hold it. This leak created beings strong enough to hold that much power, and it gave them wings so they could watch over the world like no other.”

   Rachael frowned. “You believe in dragons?”

   “Of course not. Dragons went extinct a long time ago, but this is only a legend, remember? Who can say how much truth it holds.”

   Rachael doubted it held any, but didn’t want to interrupt further. Ridiculous as the legend sounded, she became more interested in it the more Kaida told her.

   “The leak supplied the dragons with too much power, and some became greedy. They sucked the magic out of all things until there was nothing left, and nature shrivelled and died. But not all dragons craved more. They fought those who did, and a fierce battle raged for many years. Many dragons died. Those who were content with what they had outnumbered those who wanted more, and finally, after seven hundred years, the last greedy dragon was slaughtered.

   “Their magic leaked out of their bodies once more, and returned to the world. Where the soil had dried up before rivers now ran clear, and where the ground had died new life sprang forth. Eventually, people evolved from the magic that had returned to the world, and therefore everyone holds at least a small amount of the gift inside them. While not all wish to use it, or know how to, magic is in all of us. The dragons fought for peace, and equality. That is what we believe and what we wish to achieve.”

What do you have in store for the future? Is book three in the pipeline?

Book 3 will be a NaNo baby. I participated for the first time last year and loved it so much I had to come back! I’m even hosting prep sessions on my blog this month! I’m hoping to have the first draft finished by the time I go on a long, tea-filled break in December. Then in January, I’ll be writing the prequel novella. There’s just so much history I can’t explain in the trilogy, like why the old sorcerers destroyed their home and all knowledge with it. I’m hoping to publish both late 2018, but at some point before that I’ll be writing the sequel to Darkened Light. And of course I’ll be publishing Darkened Light in Spring.

I haven’t shared this with anyone yet, but since I’ll need to name my NaNo project soon anyway, there’s really no need to keep it a secret – Book 3 will be called (drum roll, please, if you would)…

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Blood of the Dragon

Thank you so much for having me, Kay! It’s always a pleasure to stop by.

It is always a pleasure to have you. A huge congratulations on the release of Wardens of Archos, and I shall be seeing you again tomorrow for your guest post on bullet journals. I can’t wait!


Author PictureSarina is the author of the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. The first book in the series, Rise of the Sparrows, was released in late May 2016. She’s currently working on the sequel and a new fantasy duology.

She’s obsessed with books and all things stationery, has a proud collection of over twenty notebooks, and squees every time she buys a new notebook, pens (hmmm, fountain pens <3) or highlighters.

In her free time she reads fantasy and sci-fi novels, plays video games, and researches human sacrifice traditions and the end of the universe.

Where to find Sarina & her books:

Website & Blog

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Pinterest

Newsletter


For use of content in this post, permissio0n must be sought from the author, Sarina Langer

 

 

 

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ARC Review: Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

book-review

Wardens of Archos (Relics of Ar’Zac #2)  by Sarina Langer 4.5/5

6tag_081017-065905Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself—

but her kingdom has other plans.

The Tramuran ambassador unnerves her.

The Krymistian lady is hiding something.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

There’s a chance that answers are hidden beneath the ancient Krymistian ruins of Archos.

If only she could be sure that her nightmares of Cephy are just that, and not something darker…

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.

Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC copy.

Review:

Langer is back with a bang. I have been patiently anticipating book two after devouring book one. Rachael finds herself dealing with her new role as queen, assassins, prophecy, dark magic, and awkwardness with Cale. I loved the awkwardness, it only heightened my need for them to grow and strengthen their relationship in the long run. I was a sucker for their relationship dynamic in book one, and book two played on that beautifully.

The world building is brilliant, and Langer’s writing style is incredibly visual. I could easily picture battles, the differing Kingdoms, and most importantly, those relentless Mothers. I was not left wanting in all things fantastical.

The relationship dynamics between Rachael and the sub characters were fresh and raw. Not knowing who to trust, following her gut, and developing friendships despite her self-doubt added more depth to the narrative. Kaida was a fast favourite of mine, despite Rachael’s frequent misgivings. I’m also intrigued by Reeve. More from him in book three, please.

There was a little repetition toward the start of the book, but I understand the purpose was to bring elements of book one forward to refresh the reader’s memory. The ending was brilliantly paced, and I was highly impressed with the revelation that I didn’t see coming, but upon looking back, I realised the clues were there all along.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Giveaway!!!

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I am currently holding a giveaway on my Facebook page. Three winners will win ecopies, sent direct to their Kindles, of both EVO Nation and Thrown to The Blue. That’s right! THREE winners!

You can find the giveaway and entry terms here.

Check out some reviews:

EVO Nation: Goodreads Reviews.

Thrown to The Blue: Goodreads Reviews.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Review: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

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The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson 5/5

16780461_1433774133340666_2063343453_nTricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson’s saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

Review:

By now, you all know what I think of Sanderson- master storyteller and narrative God! Yet, again he hasn’t failed to disappoint. What a conclusion. What a gut wrenching, heart breaking, euphoric, awe inspiring, way to end a series. Damn you, Sanderson. You both enthrall me and break my heart. There were times when I wanted to put the book in the freezer. We’ve all been there.

I can’t talk about this book without reviewing it as a whole in regards to the trilogy. Everything has finality, I felt satisfied with the conclusion, and I am glad that my husband encouraged me to start this series. Small characters in book one, naturally develop into important characters by book three. Don’t get me started on the amazing character development throughout. Of course, Vin and Elend are legendary to me, but Sazed, Spook, Marsh. As a writer, I have serious character envy. As a reader, I love them all.

At about 95%, one sentence made up of six words had me sobbing like a baby. Just a pre-warning.

I always rave about Sanderson’s world building because it is fully submersive. It envelops you in a reading bubble that is hard to pop, even when you have finished the book. I can’t wait to read book four. Book four is based on different characters in the same world, and although my heart hurts a little at the prospect of reading on without my much loved characters, I know I can’t miss out on Sanderson’s newbies.

The Mistborn series is not to be missed. Just telling you about it doesn’t do it justice.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

First Chapter Excerpt: Thrown to The Blue

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As it is Christmas, I thought I’d get in the giving spirit and give those who haven’t read Thrown to The Blue a teaser excerpt from the first chapter. Don’t say I don’t give you anything. Ha!

1Foretellings have no place for goodness, only greatness. Princess Ezrahli is far from good, but she is a great woman in a conventional Kingdom, followed by whispers and scorn. However, across the waters is un-convention, magic, and fable. Her existence has been foretold in the battle against dark magic, and destiny shall weave itself into her life because darkness cannot be fought with goodness, only greatness.

Smuggling and sorcery leads to adventure, and adventure leads to destiny. Reed is a prince of the streets, but what he lacks in title, he makes up for in skill; a skill that sets him on a path already written in fate. Can he be more than what is expected? Can he enable greatness in another and survive the process?

Vengeance is a motivator, but it can never be your friend. In the end, it will ask for sacrifice, and only the great will pay the fare.

Chapter One Excerpt:

There is about five litres of blood in the average human body and that amount covers good ground. The pool of claret stretches across the marble floor, over my bare feet, and runs down the stairs. Father was an obese man, I am unsure if fat men hold more blood than most, but I am utterly mesmerised.

I have been witness to a slaughter before now. The cow is stunned, and then the animal is cut open with the heart still beating. A waterfall of red gushes out of the beast along with a ghastly smell. It is quick, humane some may say, and effective. Father’s heart was still beating when his throat was cut, much like that animal’s, only, I felt sympathy for the cow.

I drop the knife into the sticky mess at my feet and lift my nightdress before it is spoiled. It is my favourite; hand embroidered lace imported from Jansani- a shame to ruin with that man’s blood.

Brenneth and his guards enter the vestibule below. Father’s drained body is a welcome sight for him. Although the guards look taken aback by the scene, as soon as Brenneth nods, they set to cleaning the mess; he is their King now, after all.

Their mustard coloured uniforms contrast vividly with the red. I reach out to touch the closest guard’s tunic and he springs away from me like a cat on hot coals. A show of strength is what keeps people obedient, fearful. There is nothing stronger than killing the King of Ye’Sande, one’s own father.

“Goodnight, Brother,” I say, stepping over Father and heading toward my quarters, leaving bloody footprints behind me.

“Beautiful dreams, Ezrahli,” Brenneth replies.


Thrown to The Blue is available from Amazon.

Find Thrown to The Blue on Goodreads.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Thrown to The Blue Update

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What a hectic ten days! I have been listening to the comments from my beta readers, choosing what to apply and what to ignore, and editing my eyeballs right out of my head. This morning, I sent the ARCs to my ARC reviewers and I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief.

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Thrown to The Blue is due for release on Nov 11th, so in just ONE MONTH! Eeekk. You can pre-order copies from Amazon Kindle now. I will probably do one more run through of editing beetween now and then, and my proof-reader will also be proofing my amendments. At least I have two weeks to complete this run through before I have to upload the final copy to Amazon to make good on my pre-orders. I can turn the burners down a little and go snail speed.

Now, what’s on my agenda?

Planning my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Yep, it is the day after release day, and 40 children will be attending. Why do I do these things to myself? It’ll be fine… I think.

Thank you to everyone for your continuing support. If you would like to receive an ARC copy for review, I’m happy to send more out.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIFs sourced from Giphy.com

Thankfully, I Keep Notes!

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About ten years ago, I had an idea for a children’s book. My love of YA/ NA/ adult science fiction and fantasy won out, and I put my children’s book idea on the back burner, but yesterday I started thinking about a particular character. I say ‘starting thinking’, when I actually mean that I couldn’t shake them from my mind for the whole day. This led to me trying to remember other characters, creatures, narrative ideas, and I knew that I have to persue this.

I never started drafting, but I remember taking extensive notes. I got myself in a bit of a panic, wondering if I could remember any of the details, certain that I got rid of the notes, but then I did some digging and rooting, and guess what? Not only did I save my notes, I had kept them in great condition, and was meticulous in writing my descriptions and explanations.

Thankfully, I keep notes and I do it well!

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A ten year old idea is now blazing in my mind with new concepts, characters, and a fresh perspective. I’m more than a little excited to crack on with this, but will do so when I find time alongside EVO Ghost because finishing the series takes precident.

I’m up for the challenge of writing children’s literature, and will definitely try the traditional publishing route for this one. Self published, children’s ebooks are even harder to market than YA and adult!


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.com

Ten Weeks, Ten Prompts, Ten Minutes #6

I am over half way through my ‘Ten Weeks, Ten Prompts, Ten Minutes’ writing exercises. The exercise is exactly what it says- I have ten minutes to expand on one of  ten prompts from my Narrative Prompts post.  Week six is a dialogue narrative prompt.

Prompt Six:

“This is fantastic. Do you know what this means?”

“It means I have finally gone insane. It was only a matter of time.”

“No, it means that Mum was telling the truth. Our Dad wasn’t technically a human.”

Jeez, Kai can be such an idiot sometimes. How can he find this even remotely advantageous? Fantastic is not a word I’d associate with our current situation. I hit him around the back of the head, and he just stares at me in shock.

“Take that stupid grin off of your face, wake up, and listen to what you’re saying. If Dad was… if Dad was an…”

“Say the word, Sadie. Alien. I think it’s you who needs to wake up. This shit is real and we’re slap bang in the middle of it.”

I press the heels of my hands into my eye sockets. “It also means that when we get tested, we’ll be carted off to the same place they took the Harrow brothers, and they’ve not been seen since. The government are scared Kai, I’m scared too. Are we aliens? What will happen to us?”

Kai throws an arm over my shoulder. “Have I ever let anything bad happen to you? We avoid the testing, and head to Grandpa’s cottage while we figure out what’s going on. I can’t explain it, but I have a feeling that we’re going to be alright.”

The room illuminates in a brilliant light, and popping noises of people teleporting fill the silence. Feet thunder up the driveway outside, and we have no time to react. We stand glued to the spot, staring at the door.

“It’s the army,” Kai whispers, gripping my hand. His confidence is quickly replaced with a shaking fear.

The door flies open and numerous figures file into the house. My eyes try to acclimatise to the immense light framing them. The last figure enters and shuts the door, turning on the light.

“Hey kids.” My Dad stands face to face with us. He hasn’t aged at all. What has it been- eight, nine years? Death has been good to him.

“Daddy,” I gasp, running into his arms. He lifts me off my feet, crushing me in a bear hug. He still smells exactly as I remember; soap and leather fill my nose, bringing tears to my eyes.

“Look at you, my little lady. You’re so beautiful. Happy sixteenth birthday for yesterday,” he says, grinning. Lowering me to my feet, he looks to Kai, opening his arm to him, but Kai steps backward.

“So, you’re not dead? Thanks for the heads up, Luca.” His use of Dad’s first name jars with me. He is hurting and confused, I understand that, but Dad’s alive.

“I’m sorry, Son, but it had to be this way. You’ll understand soon enough. Come on, wake your mother, we need to go,” Dad says, leading me out of the house.

I stop, craning my head to meet his eyes. “Mum’s dead, Dad.” He staggers a little. “We lost her nine months ago to breast cancer.”

He rubs his hand over his beard. “I’m so sorry, Sweetheart.”

I shrug. “Kai’s been looking out for me. He’s my legal guardian now.”

Dad looks at Kai like he’s seeing him for the first time. I can feel the pride and love oozing from his pores.

Kai barges passed us, and stares up into the night sky. “So, is that our ride?”

A shuttle hovers silently above us. It’s unlike any of the military shuttles I have seen before. It’s old, tattered, and no bigger than an Atmos Bus. Anxiety at boarding it grips at my chest, but if my Dad says we’re getting on that thing, we’re getting on it. Kai is already clipping on a port cuff, and vanishes before my eyes.


All works are the property of K.J.Chapman

Word Count Weekly #4

It has been a strange week. I’ve scraped by on my word counts for the first part of the week, fell five words short on Thursday, wrote with a rocket up my backside on Friday, and then dropped back down to the bare minimum again over the weekend.

  • Monday- 427 words
  • Tuesday- 417 words
  • Wednesday- 438 words
  • Thursday- 395 words
  • Friday- 1610 words
  • Saturday- 442 words
  • Sunday- 471 words

My little one is back to school tomorrow, so I expect to see a dramatic increase in my word counts. Only time will tell if I manage to do more than procrastinate next week.

Excerpt from this weeks writing:

I hold out my hand, stopping the darts mid-flight. He hesitates for a moment, staring at the fallen darts littering the grass. He’s hunting EVO, but I doubt he’s seen one of us use our abilities. I doubt he knows much about any of us. I guess it’s easier for them not to know. He’s just following his orders like a trained dog; not asking questions, not understanding the truth.


All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman