Free on NetGalley for a Limited Time ~ THE WELL OF TEARS

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Let the revels begin!

Author Copies TKTTR

Today my author copies of THE KEYS TO THE REALMS arrived, and the party plans are finalized. So much excitement I can hardly stand it! Be sure to stop by the launch party TODAY, between 3 – 9 PM (PDT) and hang out with me and several special guests. We’ll be talking about world building and creating mythology and giving away swag. Here’s the link to the Facebook Event Page: The Keys to the Realms Virtual Release Party

And, there’s more! Want to read the first book in the series for free? For a limited time, my publisher is making the e-galley of THE WELL OF TEARS (The Dream Stewards #1) available to everyone for download – no device restrictions (you can read the e-galley on your e-reader, tablet, PC, or smartphone). All you need to do is click on the image below, and sign up for a *free* NetGalley account!!

Net Galley Freebie

THE KEYS TO THE REALMS Launch Party ~ are YOU going?

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Did somebody say PAR-TAY? Yup, that ‘s right. To celebrate the release of THE KEYS TO THE REALMS – The Dream Stewards Book Two, I am hosting a virtual launch extravaganza! There won’t be cake, but there will be SPECIAL GUESTS and LOTS OF SWAG!

Come and hang out with me and my friends as we discuss “Making Your Own Mythology”, chat about books, and giveaway books and other goodies. Here’s what’s happening and when:

  • What: Book Launch Party (Facebook Event)
  • Where: Facebook Event Central ( https://www.facebook.com/events/258360841001705/)
  • When:  Tuesday, April 22 from 3:00 – 9:00 PM (PDT)

Special Guest Authors:

3:15 PM – Mark T. Barnes (Best-selling author of the epic fantasy Echoes of Empire series- The Garden of Stones, The Pillars of Sand, The Obsidian Heart)

3:45 PM — Kate Maruyama (Author of the hair-raising horror novel Harrowgate)

4:15 PM – Roberto Rodriguez Calas (Author of several novels, including The Scourge and Nostrum)

4:45 PM – Melissa F. Olson (Author of The Scarlett Bernard Urban Fantasy Series - Dead Spots, Trail of Dead)

5:15 PM – Stant Litore (Best-selling author of the popular horror series The Zombie Bible)

6:15 PM – Teresa Frohock (Acclaimed author of the epic dark fantasy Miserere – An Autumn Tale)

6:45 PM — Denise Grover Swank (NYT and USA best-selling author of many novels, including her new Urban fantasy series The Curse Keepers. Look for her latest release The Curse Breakers (Curse Keepers #2) – on sale April 29th!

7:15 PM – Jodi McIsaac (Best-selling author of the contemporary fantasy series The Thin Veil – Through the Door, Into the Fire) 

7:45 PM – Steve McHugh (Best-selling author of The Hellequin Chronicles – Crimes Against Magic, Born of Hatred, With Silent Screams)

8:15 PM – Kate Danley (Best-selling author of the Maggie MacKay: Magical Tracker urban fantasy novels – Maggie for Hire, Maggie Get Your Gun, Maggie on the Bounty)

8:45 PM – Richard Ellis Preston Jr (Author of the extraordinary steampunk series Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin – Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders, Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War

Each of my author guests will be talking about their books and hosting their own special giveaways – and I’ll be offering a few prizes of my own. After all, I am the party girl ;).  Autographed books, themed swag, Amazon gift cards, and more. If you haven’t already sent in your RSVP – DO IT NOW!

Click on the link above or the image below, and we’ll see you there!!

TKTTR Release Party

GoodReads Giveaway ~ Have you entered yet?

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Have you entered the GR Giveaway yet? Don’t forget to request one of 5 autographed author copies – and be sure to add THE KEYS TO THE REALMS and THE WELL OF TEARS to your to-be-read shelf!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Keys to the Realms by Roberta Trahan

The Keys to the Realms

by Roberta Trahan

Giveaway ends April 22, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

New Website Reveal (Drum Roll, Please)

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You may have noticed the new fatanstical blog header above – if not, look up now. Isn’t it gorgeous?!! This is just a snipped of the amazing new website design I unveiled last week. The fabulous re-design, courtesy of Tammi Cole at Silivren Studios, is now available for your enjoyment – click through to peruse the books and other pages, and be sure to check back here on the blog for more exciting release news!

Roberta Trahan – The Official Author Site

30 Days to Launch & Counting: GoodReads Giveaway, Party Plans & More!

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Today we begin the countdown to the release of my new book, THE KEYS TO THE REALMS (The Dream Stewards: Book Two). In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting news, contests, book trivia and updates, and an invitation to my FB launch party!

We’re kicking things off with a GoodReads Giveaway! Up for grabs are 5 autographed copies of the book. Click the image below to be taken to the Giveaway page – and keep checking back here for more fun and games as we count down the days!

GR Giveaway Image

 

New Release Date Announced: THE KEYS TO THE REALMS (The Dream Stewards Book Two)

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I am excited to announce that the release date for Book Two of The Dream Stewards: The Keys to the Realms has been move up to April 22, 2014 !!

Also new on the Amazon book detail page are some special preview features. Click the cover art and follow the link to see the front and back views of the gorgeous cover art by Mark Winters and read an excerpt from the book. You can also pre-order your copy (in both ebook and print format):

 

…this quasihistorical fantasy should appeal to fans of Celtic Mythology and Arthurian tales.” (Library Journal)

 

AFTERSHOCK is Shaking Things Up in the UK!

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Great news! My recently released novella AFTERSHOCK is currently #1 in the UK (Science Fiction Short Stories)!!

Aftershock UK #1

 

If you follow my blog, you know that part of my earnings from the sale of each copy of AFTERSHOCK are donated to the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association. Every copy purchased contributes a little love to an important cause.

To learn more about the story, and the organization it benefits, read my release day post: Are You Ready for an Apocalypse?

AFTERSHOCK is available world wide. Just click the cover in the left hand sidebar to be taken to the Amazon buy page!

 

The History Behind the Fantasy ~ Hywel dda, the Ara Pacis, and a FB Party!

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Hywel ap Cadell, the legendary king at the root of the mythology in The Dream Stewards series, was an intelligent, learned leader who modeled his leadership after the successful rulers of reference in his day. A pilgrimage to Rome in the early days of his reign is often credited as the point of inspiration behind Hywel’s greatest legacy – the codification of a written body of law that long survived him.

The reach of the Roman Empire was vast, and has naturally inspired and influenced the writing of many of my fellow history lovers. Author friend Stephanie Dray has invited me to help her celebrate the release of her new historical fantasy. DAUGHTERS OF THE NILE!

Join me and many other historical & fantasy authors for a full day of fun discussions, contests, and prizes!

On January 30th, from 12pm EST to 10pm EST, an impressive roster of historical fiction authors and bloggers are hosting a Facebook party in honor of historical fiction, the 2,023rd anniversary of the Ara Pacis, and the release of Stephanie Dray’s newest book, Daughters of the Nile: A novel of Cleopatra’s Daughter.

Readers can win free books, lunch at the next Historical Novel Society meeting, swag, gift cards, and other prizes from some of the hottest authors of the genre. Please join us, and RSVP!

Guest Post ~ Urban Fantasy Author Melissa Olson

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Greetings, readers of Roberta! A big thank-you to my host for letting me take over her blog today. I write urban fantasies about a young woman who has –and I’m quoting from the Amazon page here – “a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces.” In other words, when a vampire or werewolf steps within range of her, they become human again until they move away. I call someone with this ability a null. Roberta asked me to share how I came up with this concept and built the system of magic in my novels.

I don’t know whether other fantasy writers come up with their worlds first and then their protagonists, but for in my case, the null idea came first. It began with my interest in a few different things: crime scenes, how the supernatural could ever stay hidden in a modern world, and of course, the movie Hellboy 2. No, seriously. There’s a sequence in that film where the characters wear special goggles that let them see the supernatural, all the things that are usually hidden from human eyes. I was fascinated by the idea of someone who could see hidden things, and for a while I worked on a main character who was a crime scene photographer.

I played with the idea for ages, but whenever I got into all the real mythology questions, I kept running into problems. More importantly, the more I developed the character, the less I was able to connect with her. Runa was a little too squeaky-clean and cheerful for me to spend a whole book inside her head. I had hit a wall. Back to the drawing board.

While I was researching crime scenes, however, there was another set of images that kept popping into my head: scenes from the short-lived 2007 television show Moonlight. Within that show’s mythology, whenever there was supernatural evidence, you could call a phone number and this group of uber-tough women would show up to clean it for you. As I remember them (granted, this was six years ago) those cleaners were classic screen badasses: black catsuits, leather, dangerously high ponytails, eyeliner to kill, the works. I thought they were a bit cartoonish, but I was very taken with the idea of the crime scene cleaner. Who were these women? I wondered. How did they get the gig cleaning up after other people’s messes? Why would they be invested in it? And why would they wear black leather catsuits?

I don’t remember the exact light bulb moment, but at some point it all came together for me. What if instead of seeing the supernatural, my protagonist undid it? And what if she used that odd skill set to clean up after the smarmy-ass vampires who ran around doing whatever they wanted?

And as soon as I put those ideas together, it was like a switch had flipped. Scarlett was born, fully-formed in my mind. She wasn’t a classic screen badass, or a cartoon, or cheerfully optimistic about life. She was moody and withdrawn and sarcastic. She was frozen in place, underappreciated, apathetic, and deeply, deeply noble. She had a lot of growing up to do, and more than anything, she needed someone to give her the chance to do it.

(Fun fact: I didn’t give up on Runa the crime scene photographer. I brought her back in book two as a romantic foil for Scarlett. She ended up having a much bigger part in the story than I’d first planned, and she’ll even make an appearance in book 3.)

But when I decided who Scarlett was, and what she could do, I was really just getting started. I still had to figure out the rules of the world around her, and guys, that is hard. Worldbuilding is hard. But I needed to work out how magic worked, and why nulls could undo it. I spent a long time considering where Scarlett’s powers might come from, and what would set my world apart from other urban fantasies. Then I had to make it all fit together in a way that made some kind of logical sense. (This process mostly involved explaining my ideas to my husband, who has a knack for immediately poking a hole in a plot problem. Then I’d try to fix that hole, take it back to him, and he’d poke another. Repeat.)  Here are the rules that I eventually came up with for Scarlett’s universe:

1. There is no other place. No Never-never, no alternate dimensions, no Heaven or Hell. There is only here.

2. To that end, there are no angels or demons. They do not exist – or at least, they don’t exist any more than they do in reality.

3. Magic is everywhere; a component of nature, a force of life. It’s not exactly the same, but if I had to compare it to an existing mythology, the one that comes closest is probably The Force.

4. Because magic is a force (small letter f), it has interacted with and affected evolution for millions of years. Evolution in general is a huge part of my mythology. (There’s more about this in A Brief History of Magic, which you can find on my website.)

5. There is something wrong with magic. For the last few hundred years or so, it had begun to fade, to die. (I know why, but I’m not telling you. That’s a mystery for later.) Around the time that magic began to fade, nulls began to appear on the supernatural scene.

6. There is no ruling leader, group, or organization for the supernatural world, which I call the Old World in my books. Although we live in a digital age, the world of magic is still stuck in a mindset that’s similar to the one used for settling the American West: you stake out an area and try to hold it. You have your own rules for within that area, and your own way of doing things. The world is too big, and the supernatural is too secret, for global or even national leadership.

7. There is only one law that applies globally to all of the Old World: thou shall never tell humans about the Old World. Humans who find out have to be either killed or converted. Since there is now something wrong with magic, which makes it less likely for someone to be able to become a vampire or werewolf, this rule has occasionally been relaxed a tiny bit when a human is particularly useful – but only for whoever’s in charge of that region.

There are, of course, a hundred other details about how things work, but these were the laws that I started with when I began Dead Spots. And they’re working for me – after the third book, Hunter’s Trail (fall 2014), I’ll be writing another book set in Scarlett’s universe, but with a different protagonist. I hope she’ll be every bit as fun to write as Scarlett has been.

~~~

Melissa F. Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where she eventually acquired a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, two kids, and two comically oversize dogs—not at all in that order. She is the author of Dead Spots, Trail of Dead, and the upcoming Hunter’s Trail.

To learn more about Melissa and her books, visit her website: http://www.MelissaFOlson.com

 

 

Exclusive Cover Reveal: THE KEYS TO THE REALMS (via The Qwillery)

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Today our friends at The Qwillery are hosting the EXCLUSIVE Cover Reveal of my upcoming release – THE KEYS TO THE REALMS (Coming May 6, 2014)!!

Click the link to view the full cover design (front and back) by up and coming fantasy artist Mark Winters – and enter the giveaway for a Reader Comfort Kit including a signed copy of the first book in The Dream Stewards series, THE WELL OF TEARS .

EXCLUSIVE!! The Qwillery Cover Reveal: THE KEYS TO THE REALMS

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