fantasy, History, Novels, paranormal, The Immortal City, The Magicians of Venice, Venice, World mythology, Writing

The Immortal City is HERE

The time is now! ‘The Immortal City’ is out in the world at last! I’ve talked about it a lot in vague terms and descriptions the past few months to avoid spoilers but no more. Over the next few blogs I’m going to be talking about the main players in ‘The Immortal City’; and today I’m starting with the Big Two: Penelope and Alexis. Don’t worry I’m still going to make these as spoiler free as possible, while giving you a bit of insight into who they are and how they wandered into my brain and developed into the characters you’ll meet.

Penelope Bryne started as a panic attack.

I had been thinking about writing an Atlantis book for a while, and having a female archaeologist as my protagonist, and I’d been working for universities / academia and had an insight into the daily struggles, but didn’t have a feel for her just yet. Then life got in the way.

I’m not a sharer, but I’m comfortable enough to say I was not in a good place anxiety wise in early 2017. My work place wasn’t a healthy one so I knew that it needed to change, and I was locked into a contract until May and thought I could keep it together and wait it out. In April, I started having public panic attacks. In restaurants that were too crowded, on the train going home from work etc and then as I sat holding in tears in the bathroom of a strangers house, at a party I’d been convinced to go to…there was Penelope. Anxiety filled and in the darkest place, feeling like a failure and unable to even control her own mind and body.

I started writing her, and I felt like if I could write a character and how she dealt with her anxiety, maybe I could figure out my own. Pen was doing yoga and meditation, so I got back into it and man, has it helped on so many levels. I’m not saying Penelope is a reflection of me, or that her triggers are the same, but writing her struggles as I went through my own was therapeutic. It still is. I wanted a character who had the panic attacks and anxiety, but still got up and did what she had to and manage it as best as she could. I wasn’t thinking of an audience at the time I planned and wrote ‘The Immortal City,’ I was thinking how as a reader I don’t see people with anxiety being the heroes. Yeah, sure, there are some that I’ve found where the character has anxiety, but it tends to mysteriously get cured pretty early on when they find the right man/place they belong/  the ‘source’ of their anxiety like magical interference. I’m going to tell you right now – Penelope’s anxiety doesn’t go away through the whole series because you don’t get cured of that shit, you only learn to manage it.

Penelope has an impossible dream– to find the historical Atlantis. This dream has shaped her life in all aspects as a daughter, an academic and as a woman. It’s impacted her relationships and drives her waking moments. I wanted a character to get a glimpse of achieving that dream and having it taken away, her hard work and research panned and her grant money gone. I work in a creative industry so I know a little bit about having the impossible dream, especially when it gets trodden on. I was also working closely with academics and seeing firsthand how they spend so much of their professional life trying to get grants, publish articles and get recognition for the work that they do and have the means to continue it. I’ve seen people burst into tears when they’ve been denied grant funding because it means they have to leave their research and go back to teach in order to pay the bills. I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with teaching or it’s a lesser vocation because it’s not, but I wanted to share this side of academia because you never see Lara Croft or Robert Langdon being forced to say no to an adventure because they don’t have the cash or means of obtaining it.

Penelope is absolutely the kind of person obsessed with her dream enough to leave her holiday to go to Venice because something pertaining to her research has turned up at a crime scene. While I don’t like to inflict talk of ‘themes’ onto readers, obsession in all its forms plays a big part in the Magicians of Venice series, and nearly every single character in is obsessed with something.

Okay, I don’t think I can say tooooo much more about Pen without giving out spoilers apart from adding she’s an Aussie and an only child. For a bit of fun, I’ve created a yoga flow for her that you can find below. It’s not intensive, as she uses yoga to calm down, and I’ve enjoyed putting this one together for anyone who’s interested. FYI – I’m not a yoga teacher, this is for fun, please practice safely.

Penelope’s ‘Calm the Fk Down’ Yoga Flow

  • Childs Pose
  • Plank
  • Forward Fold
  • Sun salutation
  • Mountain Pose
  • Warrior 1
  • Down Dog
  • Childs Pose

(ten rounds, 3 breaths for each move)

Alexis Donato started as a dream.

Before I had Penelope, I had Alexis. Penelope made me work to see her character and her motivations clearly, Alexis was a god damn freight train of ‘Here I am. Try to understand me at your peril. No, I’m not changing because you want me gentler, or easier, or less complicated.’ Alexis turned up in a dream, in fact a bunch of dreams. And yes, I know how lame this sounds, and yes, just because I had a cool dream doesn’t mean it makes a cool story. Dreams can be pretty bullshit but bullshit fertilises (as the saying goes).

Dream 1, came about as all of the Atlantis and research primordial ooze was percolating in my brain. In the dream I knew I was someone else. I wasn’t *me* but I was in Venice at night and someone stepped from the shadows and stabbed me as I was admiring the view from a bridge. I toppled into a canal and when I came to I was in a stranger’s house and that stranger was Alexis, who told me he was a magician from Atlantis. For those who’ve read ‘The Immortal City’ this scene may seem familiar although not in this form. It’s because I couldn’t leave this moment out of it.  Alexis had arrived and I woke up thinking I really shouldn’t eat so much before bed, but this character refused to go away. The following week I had about three different dreams including having coffee with him in the San Marco piazza. The bastard wouldn’t leave me alone and I knew in my bones I had one of my main characters. The weird thing was, once I had Alexis, every bit of random research I had scattered through notebooks all clicked into place. He was the keystone, the spider in the web, and the plot connected in the most surprisingly creepy way. Writing this series has been like that from day 1 and even now I’m in my third book things keep connecting randomly.

Alexis is a great character and one of the most fun I’ve ever gotten to write. I love writing about magicians and magic in general, so building the myth of Atlantis up around Alexis and the other magicians was such a blast. His duty has been to protect the other magicians and prevent mankind from learning the truth about Atlantis, so you can imagine him butting heads with Penelope who’s determined to discover the truth. He’s a general, a big brother, a son and he does his best to keep the other magicians in line. I really loved being able to use him as my storyteller, and crafting mini stories and memories was a way I could go to Atlantis without losing the book completely to full fantasy territory. Alexis has lived a LONG time, and there’s so much room as a writer to play with and use to develop layers and motivations.

I recently saw a reviewer describe Alexis as ‘part romance, part violence’ and its pretty spot on. He’s a scholar and a warrior. He doesn’t always play well with others but he’s loyal and fierce and damn charming when he wants to be. I’m shamelessly in love with Alexis. I’ve also created him a yoga flow because the poor guy has a lot on his hands.

Alexis’s ‘I’m Trying not to Murder these Magicians’ Yoga Flow

  • Mountain
  • Forward Fold
  • Plank
  • Upward Dog
  • Downward Dog
  • Warrior 2
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Crescent pose
  • Mountain

(seven rounds, three breaths per pose)

Developing Penelope and Alexis was night and day by way of process, but I love them both like crazy. They’ve really pushed me as a writer and have helped me through the last few years of anxiety and growth.

For those of us who are visual people, I really encourage you to check out ‘The Magicians of Venice’ Pintrest Board, its massive and gives you a good vibe of the series. Also, if you really want to know, Jade Taylor is probably the closest I’ve come to imaging Penelope in my head, and the model Maximiliano Patane for Alexis 😉

I hope you love them as much as I do! Grab your copy here and don’t forget to leave me a review 🙂

Ames x

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fantasy, History, magic, Novels, Research, The Immortal City, The Magicians of Venice, World mythology

‘A’ is for August and Atlantis

 

It’s exactly 1 month and 8 days until the release of ‘The Immortal City’ and so I thought I’d change the usual blog format up to talk about Atlantis, in particular, two historical figures that are mentioned in the book; Plato and Helena Blavatsky.

Let’s start with Plato, the Greek Grand Daddy of all Atlantis theory and the closest primary source that we have on Atlantis. For those who don’t know, Plato was an Athenian philosopher that was born in Greece around 423 BC. He is considered one of the most important figures in Ancient Greek History and was the student of Socrates. Atlantis appears in Timaeus and Critias, two of Plato’s dialogues, recorded conversations of a group consisting of Socrates, Critias, Timaeus, Hermocrates and himself. Plato writes about an ancient Athens as an Ideal State, and its conflict with Atlantis, an advanced, mighty island nation. The God Zeus decides to punish Atlantis for its hubris and in the process, ancient Athens is also destroyed (because Zeus is a jerk like that).

In the dialogues, Plato writes that this smackdown from Zeus destroyed ancient Athens and Atlantis 9000 years ago, and that its history was lost during the disaster. It’s not until Solon, a wise sage of Greece and friend of the grandfather Critias, traveled to Egypt, specifically to the learned priests at Sais, sometime between 590-580 BC, that the story of Atlantis is re-discovered.

It’s in Critias that the full story of Atlantis comes out; an island nation created and beloved by Poseidon, ruled by his ten sons. We get a lot of history about how it was constructed, the nature and intelligence of its people. They were well known throughout the Aegean and Egypt through trade and its military prowess. Long story short, the peace between Athens and Atlantis disintegrates and after the war, earthquakes and volcanos destroy Atlantis, pulling it into the sea in a single day and night. Athens is also destroyed in the earthquakes and flooding, which is why it’s only in Egypt that the story of the nation and its conflict survives.

Sorry guys, magical crystals aren’t featured at all in Plato 🙂

(FYI- if you want to know more about those, beyond Disney’s Atlantis flick, look up Edgar Cayce) 

So where does Thevetat and the conflict with the white priests/ magicians come into the story?? Well, that’s Helena Blavatsky’s area of expertise.

HPB, as she liked to style herself, is one of the most fascinatingly random figures involved with the Atlantis stories. Born in Russia in 1831, she was an occultist, philospher and co-founder of the Theosophical Society. She was a world traveller, who claimed she spent seven years studying in Tibet under Masters, she had a seance business in Cairo, lived in Paris and New York, and published multiple works including the 1885 book, The Secret Doctrine, The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy. This work contains HPB’s version of Atlantis, one vastly different to Plato’s. Claiming that she recieved the history of Atlantis in trances, it goes alot into the first men or root races (theories that the Nazi’s would eventually latch onto) but I won’t bog you down in the complex theory of these, only to say that the Atlanteans were one of them.

The Secret Doctrine also talks about how the downfall of Atlantis came about when some of their peoples started using bad magic taught to them by a demon called Thevetat. This demon worship and practices were opposed by good magicians/ priests and a war broke out, and continued right up until the day Atlantis was destroyed. It also descibes how some of the good magicians managed to get to ships and flee before the final cataclysm.

It was this idea that I really latched onto during my research into Atlantis because there was so much a fantasy writer could play with. It didn’t hurt that it already aligned with a lot of the ideas I had about a group of magicians that managed to escape from Atlantis and who have been stuck in a magically long life ever since. History, my friends, is always so much stranger than you can ever believe.

If you want to know more about Atlantis and ALL of the stories, theories, science, history and believers I highly recommend the book in the photo, Stephen P. Kershaw’s ‘A Brief History of Atlantis.’ I have used this book as a quick reference guide so much in the past years and it’s an excellent starting point for anyone interested.

It’s probably important to reiterate here that I’m a fantasy writer, not a historian, who has always been endlessly fascinated by Atlantis, and ‘The Magicians of Venice’ is the series in which I’ve had the chance to really explore my nerdiness.

There will be more Atlantis and ‘The Immortal City’ specially themed blogs over the next few months that will give you an insight into history, the characters, locations from the book and all my other inspirations. As I said it’s still a month before ‘The Immortal City’ is out in the world but you can learn more about it and pre-order it here, or at your fave local bookstore.

Ames x

p.s. Please note that the cards of Plato and Helena Blavatsky in my photos are from ‘Saints and Mystics’ reading card deck by the amazing Andres Engracia. The black and white pic of Helena is from Wikipedia. 

 

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July Update and Big Changes

Argh! 1 month and 26 days until ‘The Immortal City’ release! I thought I’d be less excited by now but the opposite is proving true – I AM PUMPED. I can’t wait until this baby is out in the world. It will be my first release with a traditional publishing house so I feel like everything is new and strange again – but in a really good way with supportive people around me. Speaking of support Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who has left reviews on NetGalley (omg you guys it’s hit 95 reviews) and any other blog/social media platform etc. I’m sharing the ones I see on Instagram and including them in my ‘Immortal City’ highlights because bookstagramers make the BEST pics. I can’t NOT share them. Seriously, I appreciate every single one. While ARCS are now closed don’t forget you can pre-order it here.

In other news I’m just about to hit 70k words of book 3 of ‘Magicians of Venice’ I’m trying not to freak out at how far I still have to go with it or rush through it to get that pesky draft 0 done. I have the time to go slower with this one and I’m really forcing myself to take the time to enjoy the ride. This series always takes so much more from me than any other books I’ve ever written but I’m already ridiculously in love with it and crazy proud how its coming together.

Here are some pictures of the street that my Magicians live on to celebrate. There will be location videos that I’ll also be sharing once the book is out as well. I hate the sound of my voice on camera but the places are far too pretty and awesome not to share.

While I was in Venice in November I really took the time to sit back, look at my plaftform and my writing process and I vowed to slow down in 2019, to take out the things that were stressing me out and not serving me. Some of the things was focusing on writing ONLY one book this year without killing myself to hit a dead line, cleaning up my brand, doing no university units, and in general taking out the things that stress me out.

On that note, you may have noticed a few changes around my site and Amazon etc. I have taken down ‘The Eagle Key’ and both of the ‘Western Wars’ books. Why? Mostly its because they aren’t really on brand. They are epic fantasy series experiments that I put up to see if they sold okay and if they did, I’d write more in those worlds. While I did have some enthusiastic fans, they never really sold, and I don’t really feel the need to keep writing in those worlds or growing / marketing them. I’d rather focus on The Firebird Fairytales Universe and other unannounced projects. I love writing contemporary fantasy / paranormal so they are the genres I’m going to write and focus on.

Another change is I’ve taken down my paperbacks from Createspace and Ingramspark. Why? Okay there are a bunch of reasons but mainly cost. Ingramspark are about to rise their prices again and because my books are large, and they charge per page, the cost of them were $18 USD as a base sales price, which means retailers were going to have to charge about $40 (for ‘Rise of the Firebird’ my biggest) to make any profit on them. That is insane. It comes down to me being an indie and not having the distribution discounts that other publishers have. Also there has been US Tax legislation and whole swag of other changes that have come in and to be honest? I literally can’t keep up with it all. Maybe in a few months if I’m swamped with requests for paperbacks, I’ll put them back up on Createspace so at least Amazon will have them, but I’m not planning on it. I’ve never really sold paperbacks, I’ve never promoted them either, so its going to be one less stress for me to worry about. This is not even mentioning the extra costs of covers and formatting that come with producing a paperback – money I could be using to get other books out digitally. Its a bummer but at the end of the day, I’m flexible to putting them back up again if there’s a need for it.

Enough boring bummed out stuff – I went to see The Cursed Child this month and it was INSANE. I’m one of the few people that didn’t read it and have managed to avoid most of the major spoilers because I really wanted to see the show. I was NOT disappointed. I was blown away. I go to a lot of musicals and theater and this was one of the best productions I’ve ever seen. The stage effects alone were fucking insane. I’m keen to keep the secrets but omg that shit was magical and I swear I almost peed a little when a frickin damn Dementor floated out of no where. I also got to go FULL Slytherin, I’m a 100% in love with old man Draco, I ship the hell out of Scorpious and Albus, and none of that should surprise anyone. It was the best day, and I really recommend anyone who has the opportunity to go to do it.

BECAUSE I watched Cursed Child and was in the mood for magic schools and fucked up chosen ones, I finally picked up ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell. I KNOW I’m the last person to reach this and fall in love but dudes…I AM SO IN LOVE. It was so much fun. I love the reluctant kind of crap chosen one trope and just ALL of it. Baz…do I need to say it? BAZ. I’m in love. I literally felt queasy when I was finished because I havent loved a book this hard in a really long time. I pre-ordered the hell out of ‘Wayward Son’ and counting down until November to get it in my hot little hands.

I haven’t had a huge amount of reading time this month because I’ve been wrecked (mid-winter darkness kicks my ass so hard) and also been using my spare time to focus on writing and researching (Gods Below so much research) but the other two books I’m keen as hell to finish off; ‘War’ by Laura Thalassa and ‘The King’ by Jennifer Armentrout. I have been waiting about a year for both of these so I’m trying not to go full crazy and read them all at once. There are a lot of mixed feelings out there by the Horseman series of Laura’s but I personally love them and the morally grey characters and fucked up situations they find themselves in. The world building and whole vibe of the books are insanely good – she has gone next level as a writer with them and I’m ecstatic and blown away. I really could rave about it for a good long while but I won’t because spoilers. But seriously…how hot is this cover? Probably my fave hot cover of the year so far. I rave about my love for Jennifer Armentrout a lot on this blog but I seriously LOVE her ‘Wicked Trilogy’ world – fae, hunters, New Orleans – how can I not be obsessed with it? ‘The King’ is a sequel to last years ‘The Prince’ and I nearly sobbed with happiness when I saw it arrive on my Kindle this morning. It’s like one novel split – just to warn you. I can’t wait to keep reading – Brighton is a great character and a lot of fun to read.

That about wraps me up, guys, this blog has gotten sooo much longer than I expected. Assassin’s Creed has released its final DLC and I’ve FINALLY got to Atlantis. I haven’t finished it yet so I’ll save my hard core fangirling until  next time.

Ames xx

 

 

Ancient History, fairytale, fantasy, magic, NetGalley, Novels, paranormal, Research, Reviews, The Immortal City, The Magicians of Venice, Venice, World mythology, Writing

June Update

June is almost gone, and I’ve been flat out as usual. The blog unfortunately is the first thing that suffers but if I can get to it before the month is out I count it as a win.

Okay first up… ‘The Immortal City’ got a good review in Publishers Weekly this month. It’s a big deal for an writer and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. The review tally on NetGalley has passed 70 this week which continues to blow me away. The book has good energy around it and it’s keeping me on point and excited with the release (2 months, 25 days and 13 hrs to go).

It feels like every week something is happening that’s  super exciting and I’m trying hard to create a steady routine around work and writing. Its been a real learning experience this year, focusing on only completing the one book and managing the different pace. I’m really glad that I cleared everything else because book 3 has been challenging to write around everything else thats happening. I’m nudging 60k words and its growing together but it really has taken me since March to find a rhythm with it. I’m hoping to get the draft done by September so I can focus on promoting ‘The Immortal City’ without worrying about a word count. I read a really great article by Erin Morgenstern about the challenges of writing ‘The Starless Sea’ and creating a bubble to create freely in without external distractions and pressures. I’ve been feeling that pretty hard lately and so I’m focused on getting book 3 finished by September so I can have that bubble to write as honestly and clearly as I can in it. I’m giving it my everything and even in draft form, I know its the best thing I’ve written.

This month I’ve also been to see the new exhibit at the NGV here in Melbourne: Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality and Cai Guo -Qiang. It was freaking AMAZING. I knew I’d nerd out over the warriors but I was surprised how much I loved Cai Guo-Qiang pieces (made with gundpowder on silk!) so much so I ended up buying a print for my office and a warrior for my desk. Here are some photos, including me all clean and out of the writing cave.

Saturday was also the Winter Solstice here in Melbourne and I ventured out to Her Royal Majesty’s theatre and watched a production of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” and had a blast! It’s one of my fave musicals and seeing it on stage was just incredible.

 

Apart from all that excitement, I’ve been reading some great books lately including:

Margaret Rogersons ‘Sorcery of Thorns’…okay EVERYONE has been on my case to read Margaret Rogerson and I finally cleared my TBR to jump into this one…I mean, sorcerors and sentiant libraries? I couldn’t say no to that even if I wanted to. I’m so in love with Charlie Bowater that I couldn’t resist that cover either. I really enjoyed this one, it was the perfect feel good read for my scattered burned out writer brain. And yes..I DID go and download ‘Enchantment of Ravens’ onto my Kindle straight after. They are charming, warm fuzzy reads that I know I’ll return to for whenever I need a comfort read. I’m hopelessly in love with Thorn but I’m only human. 

I’m also consuming all of Jennifer Armentrouts ‘Dark Elements’ series. Despite it being more YA than I’m really into, there’s enough going on out side of the school yard to keep me interested. The world building alone is so freaking good and as a 90’s kid who was obsessed with the animated ‘Gargoyles’ series you can pretty much put anything with a gargoyle in front of me and I’ll read it. Armentrout is usually a sure bet for me and its been perfect for a somewhat overloaded brain.

In other reads I’ve also just started ‘Djinn City’ by Saad  Z. Hossain  and have been laughing my ass off. It’s hilarous but also so clever its blowing my mind. It has, quite possibly, the BEST explanation for djinn magic I’ve ever seen. The world building, djinn society, the structure of it all, is seamless and perfect. I get so excited when I read something so good that I slow my pace right down just to appreciate it from a writer perspective as well as a reader.  I’m not done and I already am recommending it to every fantasy lover I know.

In gaming news, I’m still obsessed with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey DLC’s that they’ve been releasing. GUYS I’M IN THE UNDERWORLD. The next series I want to write is basically Greek Myth retellings and so my brain is melting everytime I get to sass Hades.  I mean….LOOK.  How  can  I  not  be  in  love.

There’s nothing else to tell except I’m now on Instagram. Twitter has never been a platform I’ve enjoyed so I’ve gone on a permanent hiatus over there and am focusing on Facebook and Instagram. I’m really enjoying the Instagram platform and it will hopefully be compatible for the videos I want to share come September of all the locations in ‘The Immortal City.’

Enjoy your June!

Ames x

 

 

 

magic, NetGalley, Novels, Pre-Order, Research, Reviews, The Immortal City, The Magicians of Venice, Upcoming Projects, Venice, World mythology, Writing

Early May Update

Holy crap it’s May already – HOW did this happen?

There hasn’t been a proper update on this blog for a while so here I am to give you all the news. Firstly, thank you thank you thank you to everyone who blogged, liked, re-tweet or requested an ARC for ‘The Immortal City.’ The response to the cover and the book itself has been amazing and over whelming and I’m so happy and excited for my book baby. It really was a passion project from the start which goes to show you should always write the shit that sets your heart on fire because that love and enthusiasm will shine through.

I’ve kind of been underground the past few months, except to make noise about ‘The Immortal City’, because I’ve been neck deep into writing the third book in the series. Seriously its the biggest book research wise I’ve ever attempted and it’s taking me a while to write because even though I researched everything to plan it..niggling things keep coming up that’s forcing me to go back and double check or dig deeper. I love the process and I have to remember not to freak out if the word count isn’t as high as it normally would be because its going to be big and I don’t want to rush it. It’s taken me two months to write part one which was only 32k words, and I feel like I’m only just getting into my groove.

Some cool stuff thats happened in the past month not Magicians of Venice related? I went and had an afternoon with Sarah J Maas and Lynette Noni as apart of the ‘Kingdom of Ash Tour’ here in Melbourne and yes I did freak out with excitement.

Guys you know how much I love Queen Maas, and afterwards she went to the top of my ‘Writers I Most Want to Have Drinks With’ list. She was rad and funny as hell, and it was one of the best writer events I’ve ever been to. I have photos but look…they are a bit shit because of lighting. I was there as a reader but also as an author because the idea of one day being on a stage really freaks me out so I’m always interested it seeing it done well.

I’m dying to read her new Urban Fantasy that comes out in Jan 2020 ‘Crescent  City.’ I mean, LOOK at that teaser. How pretty is that? I want. Also it will be cool to see her step over from epic fantasy into urban and give it her particular touch. 

OKAY. Fangirling Over.

Well, not quite over because I’ve read some freaking AMAZING books since I last did an update and I need to share.

First of all I got a copy of ‘The Immortal’ by Krishna Udayasankar. I have huge complicated feelings about this book. Here is a short description :

Professor Bharadvaj is more than just another whisky-loving, gun-toting historian-for-hire. Behind the assumed identity of the cynical academic is a man who has walked the earth for scores of years. He is Asvatthama – the cursed immortal, the man who cannot die. When Professor Bharadvaj is approached by the enigmatic Maya Jervois to search for a historical artefact unlike any other, he is reluctant to pursue it. The object in question, the Vajra, is rumoured to possess incredible alchemical powers, but the Professor does not believe it exists. After all, he has spent many lifetimes – and identities – searching for it, in a bid to unearth the secret to his unending life.

This book has the most amazing research I’ve come across in ages. As someone who has spent the past four years reading about magicians and alchemists and history for a book series, I was really excited to 1: be getting all the references and 2: being blown away how Krishna weaves them into plot. Throughout the book the protagonist keeps reiterating that he’s not a hero and he’s really not. It’s one of the rare times I’ve read a book where a character says that and doesn’t turn around and BE a hero. Its well worth the read but it will leave you thinking and processing it for ages afterwards. I still think I need to do another re-read to fully appreciate just how good and tricksey the plot and writing was.

The next book to blow me away in the passed month is ‘Wicked Saints’ by Emily A. Duncan.

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

I cannot express fully in wordage how much I love this book. A goth Slavic fantasy full of saints, monsters and magic. Holy shit. This book has everything I love. It’s about villains and anti-heroes and complicated beautiful monsters. I know its book one of a series and I can’t wait for the next installment. It’s no surprise it hit the NYT Best Sellers list because unlike my complicated love/hate relationship with Holly Black’s ‘The Folk of Air’ series (which is also about villains), Wicked Saints I connected to all of the characters and their motivations and fell in love with them and their world. 

Now this last one is not a book but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launched their Fate of Atlantis DLC last week and I’m blown away by it. Usually I will rave for hours about AC as it is (especially Odyssey) but to give me Atlantis and the Underworld ON TOP of it all? I cannot deal. The story telling is so good I’m freaking out every time I play it. AND ITS ONLY PART ONE. Just look at how pretty it is!! Its so cool to have the Greek Gods come into play and I swear if I don’t a chance to make out with Hades when I reach the Underworld I will riot. It makes my nerdy heart so happy to see Atlantis popping up right in time for ‘The Immortal City’ because yay Atlantis is the BEST.

Okay so thats all I got for. My life is all about writing ‘The King’s Seal’ and not much else. It’s awesome.

Ames x

 

fantasy, magic, NetGalley, Novels, Pre-Order, promotions, The Immortal City, The Magicians of Venice, Venice, Venice, Writing

The Immortal City Cover Reveal!

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god,

sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

The Da Vinci Code meets Discovery of Witches in this story of murder and magic…

Welcome to The Immortal City, book 1 in the Magicians of Venice series

 The Magicians of Venice is a fresh and exciting new treasure hunt series featuring magic, mystery, and romance in an exhilarating blend of history and dark magic. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Venice, fans of Indiana Jones and Robert Langdon will find a new favorite in Dr. Penelope Bryne, an anxiety-riddled academic. She’s fascinated with the city of Atlantis, much to the chagrin of her father and the academic community, and has devoted her life’s study to unlocking its secrets.

In The Immortal City, book one in the series, an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site with possible clues to the lost city of Atlantis. Determined to learn more, she agrees to help the police before the killer strikes again, and she heads to Venice in search of answers.

There she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, who challenges everything she thought she ever knew about Atlantis. As Alexis draws her into a dark and seductive world of magic and murder, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head to find the answers she seeks. With Carnivale in full swing, and time running out, Alexis and Penelope must work together to stop the killer and prevent a dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

Look how pretty it is I am dying!!! Also that’s not even the BEST news…DIGITAL ARCS (Advanced Reader Copies) and the pre-order are also available! Whoop whoop!

Book reviewers and bloggers interested in reviewing the book may request a digital ARC of The Immortal City. ARCs are available through NetGalley and at the publisher’s website.

 

The Immortal City releases on September 19, 2019 in hardcover, trade softcover, and ebook. Preorder is currently available from select retailers.

 

 

 

Now I can finally talk about it let’s talk about the inspiration behind the Magicians of Venice Series (don’t worry there’s no spoilers):

The Magicians of Venice is a three-book series and is the culmination of many weird pieces of ancient history and personal passions finally coming together.

I’ve always loved characters like Indiana Jones and Robert Langdon, but I wanted to write a story that turned the adventurer archaeologist trope on its head. It was important to me to create a female character that is not an oversexualised, badass Lara Croft figure. My character, Penelope Bryne, is an anxiety-ridden academic refusing to give up on the impossible dream of discovering Atlantis and who continues to be brave despite her failings.

I’ve always loved the legends and theories behind Atlantis and continue to this day to follow any new discoveries that might pertain to it. I wanted to play with some of the legends and mash them up with my own ideas and love of magicians, creating a story about survivors who become close to immortal because of the powerful blast that destroyed the island kingdom.

If there was ever a place that is so impossible and beautiful and could make you believe it was founded by magicians, it’s Venice. Even though my Venice obviously has many fantasy aspects, I wanted to ensure current issues were correctly portrayed especially concerning global warming, the MOSE project, the problem with cruise ships, and the impact that tourism has on the city.

While The Immortal City (book one) is mainly a magical, murder mystery, Sea of the Dead (book two) and The King’s Seal (book three) have a treasure hunt feel. As a student of ancient history, I’ve studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I knew about the discovery of a new cave in 2017 and was determined to write it into my book. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the scrolls, and I wanted to play into that while incorporating my own magical twist and theories of why the Essenes vanished.

I grew up on fairy tales and mythology, and wanted to not only write about a famous relic that I’ve always been fascinated with, but also one that mainstream entertainment hasn’t plundered, so Atlantis and other relics that pop up are going to be really unique.

Sounds amazing? Yes, it’s going to be a hell of a ride and one that I’m sure many of  you will get behind, and will fall in love with these new characters as much as I have! I’m so excited!

 

 

Don’t forget to use this pre-order link, it’s set up for you to just click on the link to your fave store so you don’t need to go searching for it.

Ames x

 

 

 

 

magic, Novels, Romance, The Immortal City, The Magicians of Venice, Upcoming Projects, World mythology, Writing

The Immortal City Cover Reveal Day

*ANNOUNCEMENT*

The Immortal City, Book 1 of The Magicians of Venice, is going to have its official cover reveal on the 9th of April!!! Eek! Cover party hurray!

Also, if any of you are book bloggers and would love to help me out, my awesome publishers, BHC Press, are hunting people to be a part of the Cover Reveal Day. They are also using it as an early call out for ARCs if you are interested in getting a copy. The Immortal City is about a female archaeologist and a magician hunting a serial killer in Venice. Theres murder, magicians, mystery, serial killers, Venice..all the good things in life (also a full description is below). If you are keen to help and get a sexy marketing package and an early ARC click on this link:

https://www.jotform.com/form/90795915…

Full Description:

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.