Sunday, November 30, 2014

BOOK BLITZ: "Doorway To Destiny" by Vanessa Finaughty & TC Southwell

With eight novels by TC Southwell and three novels and two anthologies by Vanessa Finaughty, this box set offers fantasy and sci-fi lovers escapism that will keep you up long past your bedtime. Dive into fantastic worlds and meet fascinating characters whose trials and tribulations will enchant and inspire. Discover how a vengeful assassin reshapes the fate of three kingdoms and share in a quest to discover the origins of mankind, then follow the tale of a young queen's fight to be free with the aid of a combat cyborg. Two short story anthologies spice up the fare with dragons, sorcerers and magic galore, and a child of another god strives to save his world from mankind's ravages. When a mortal dark god treads a tragic path as he rises to destroy the Overworld, a brave young girl risks her life to try to change his savage ways. Each hero and heroine takes a definitive step through a doorway to destiny as he or she seeks to right wrongs and save worlds.

Purchase Doorway To Destiny via:

Smashwords
iBooks
Barnes And Noble
Goodreads

Extract from Legends of Origin, Book 1: Sanctuary for the Devil by Vanessa Finaughty

Thirty-three-year-old Liam MacAskill hurried across the desert sand, imposing mountain peaks at his back, their size dwindling as he progressed. He did his best to ignore the howling wind ripping at his clothes and whipping his dark hair into his face, often stinging his eyes and blinding him. He ignored the relentless rain and hailstones, pelting his face and adding to the bruises and gashes he knew must cover him from head to toe. He also paid no heed to the throbbing in his wounded leg, knowing that to acknowledge its existence would empower it to control him. How pathetic it would be to escape Sah’s wrath only to be ended by a minor wound such as the one his captors had given him during his escape.
It was a flesh wound, really. Nothing more. Just the tip of a guard’s sword had slashed Liam’s left thigh, and it hadn’t hindered his escape in the least. In fact, the flash of pain he’d felt as the wound had been inflicted had made new adrenaline course through him, enabling him to overpower three guards – all at least twice his size, and armed with Earth technology, too. Making his way over the mountain range bordering the enemy palace was what had made the wound a problem.
Gensshei Mountains were usually easy to traverse, he’d been told – if you had a horse to carry you along the winding pathways for the three days it took to reach the other side. Liam had been forced to climb its towering peaks, causing his injured leg to go into spasm so many times he’d lost count, albeit saving him two days’ journey. The soldiers would have pursued on horseback along the mountains’ main path, splitting up to explore the narrower, lesser-used paths. He doubted they would have expected him to attempt the climb – or survive it.
A soft chuckle escaped Liam, and he choked it back, increasing his pace and lowering his head further to protect his face from the hail, although his neck ached from being in that position for almost twenty-four hours. He had not come this far to give himself away with insane, foolish laughter. Liam had nothing to laugh about, and he could be wrong – his enemies could, right at that moment, be climbing the mountains towards him. His leg throbbed more the closer he got to his destination.
The end of the desert came into sight.
Waves thundered just over the sand dunes ahead.
He was almost there. Almost safe. Just over the dunes, a short way down the beach, was the sanctuary he sought.
The sky darkened rapidly now as night came, and Liam found a new surge of energy as lightning fragmented the sky and a sharp thunderclap vibrated the ground. Everything forgotten but the need to reach the dunes, he drew his royal blue coat tighter around him, crossed his arms to keep it in place, then increased his pace to a jog, his bones protesting every movement. He had a bad feeling, and, the sooner he reached safety, the sooner it would go away. He hoped.

<><><>

Liam stood atop the dune, panting and staring down at the tableau before him in dismay. The beach below, which should have been soft, white sand, was covered in what looked like broken glass. Dark coldness crept into his heart, spreading its tendrils to chill him further. He looked down at his bare feet, already bleeding from the climb and walk through the desert’s sand. This was bad.
Gathering his senses, Liam made his way down the dune, slipping and sliding a few times. He bent to examine the shimmering sand, and frowned. It was glass. Shattered glass, covering his only route to safety. Safety, about a kilometre down the beach, where Gensshei Mountains wrapped around to meet the ocean. The dunes on either side were too steep for him to climb in his current condition, making this glittering carpet his only route. Liam cursed under his breath. How could this be? Despair grasped his mind as he straightened to gaze around in panic-induced madness.
The shattered pieces were all clear glass and all clean looking, with no indication of where they had come from. Liam’s frown deepened as he pondered his predicament. If he turned back now, he was a guaranteed dead man. He would never make it over the peaks a second time, and would walk straight into Sah’s men if he turned back to go along the path. Those being his only two options, Liam sucked in a deep breath, and, the decision not quite taken form yet, dashed onto the glass fragments in the direction of Tridor Monastery… where he could claim sanctuary under this land’s laws of God.
Liam barely noticed as sand dunes melted into scattered rocks, then solid rock face. His injured leg threatened to cave in, but he sprinted forward, focussed on speed and his destination. Being able to focus so single-mindedly was one of the many benefits he’d gained from daily meditation for the last three years – a requirement at the dojo where he had trained in Ki Aikido and Ninjitsu, amongst other martial arts. He’d hated it at first, but it had been a condition of employment at the private investigation company he had worked for up until recently… Up until he’d met Joshua.
The hail stopped abruptly, and, along with it, the hail and wind, almost as if nature held its breath to see if he’d make it, and his surprise slowed him for a moment, but he rectified that quickly. His coat came loose as he came around the beach’s curve, where a small natural harbour blocked the way forward. The wind came back with a vengeance and whipped his coat up into his face, causing him to stumble. Just then, his leg gave in and he collapsed on the sand, his lungs on fire and his heart beating wildly. He couldn’t feel his feet, which he figured was probably for the best.
Liam pulled himself onto his hands and knees. He glanced at the harbour’s enormous waves in front of him. Lightning struck in the distance. On the harbour’s far shore, something glistened as it snaked inland – a river? He blinked and it was gone. He looked to his right. The narrow stretch of sand that extended towards his right, leading back towards the mountains – what would be considered part of the ‘holy land’ the monastery stood on – was free of glass. Odd. A frown creased his brow again. When he tried to stand, Liam realised that his feet would take no more punishment. He caught a glimpse of one as he collapsed again; he couldn’t see his flesh for blood. He decided not to look at them again.
With a shuddering breath, Liam began to crawl towards the monastery. Walking along the stretch of sand bordering the harbour and up the short, gradually inclining pathway that led up the mountain towards the monastery would have taken a mere few minutes. Crawling along it, however, and in the middle of a strange mixed-weather storm, was another story. Liam grimaced as he dragged his feet along the sand. He was injuring himself further, but he didn’t care. The only thing he cared about was reaching the monastery. Everything would be okay then. The healers would heal him with their magic when he got there. Every time he moved forward, he was convinced he could go no further. Eventually, his knees gave in on him, too, and he heaved himself onwards with his elbows, determined to reach safety.
Liam finally reached the bottom of the mountain pathway. Without pause, he dragged himself along it. If he stopped, however briefly, he wouldn’t find the strength to continue. He knew this without a doubt. After what felt like days of torture, worse, even, than that he had endured at Sah’s hands, the monastery came into view, partly hidden by hanging tree branches and bushes. Built mostly into the mountain, the stone-walled monastery rose three storeys, with a round two-storey tower, the top floor windowless, extending from the roof in the centre.
Tears of relief streamed down Liam’s cheeks to mingle with rain water as he dragged himself towards the monastery at a faster pace, all pain forgotten. If he could just reach the front steps, he would be able to claim sanctuary. He collapsed just a few paces from the steps, his aching arms unable to take any more punishment. Just as the bitterness of failure was about to consume him, a voice called out nearby, “Look! Over there!”
Without warning, the wind picked up, tearing at Liam’s clothes as if trying to claim him for itself. Seconds later, gentle hands turned him onto his back, and he looked into the concerned blue eyes of a blond monk.
“He’s hurt! Call the healer!”
A second voice shouted something back that Liam couldn’t hear above the howling wind. He reached up, grabbed the monk’s collar and rasped, “Sanctuary. I claim sanctuary.”
Then he fell back and passed out.

<><><>

The blond monk, Arthean, looked down at the stranger, perplexed. From whom did he claim sanctuary? He was the second stranger in the last week to claim sanctuary here, and the first had fallen into a coma before they could question him. Before that, the last time anyone had claimed sanctuary at Tridor Monastery had been at least thirteen years ago, at which time it had done the unfortunate soul no good, as the Lord of the Land at that time had been a godless man named Kyain who had no respect for the law and had invaded the premises to claim his prize. Since sanctuary had meant nothing under Kyain’s rule, nobody had attempted to claim it after that, and, after the war that had seen the fall of Kyain and the rise of Sah, nobody had needed sanctuary. Sah ruled fairly, and none had ever opposed his rule.
So from what, then, did this stranger claim sanctuary? Arthean shivered violently and glanced back down the pathway to his left, then towards the harbour below. Both were empty. He stared down at the man again; his expensive-looking coat was torn so badly that it was now worth no more than rags, his right trouser leg was blood stained, wet sand crusted his eyes, his face was covered in red, rapidly swelling lumps – presumably gifts from the hailstones earlier – and his feet were caked in so much blood and sand that it was difficult to see the full extent of his injuries. Whatever he claimed sanctuary from, it was understandable.
Certhon – Tridor’s healer – arrived with two monks and placed the stranger on a stretcher to carry him inside. Arthean followed, sensing an omen in the second stranger’s arrival, as he had with the first. An omen more powerful than any he’d been sent in all of his thirty-five years. Whether it was good or bad was yet to be seen.

INTERVIEW WITH VANESSA FINAUGHTY:

1. What made you decide to put together a boxed set featuring both your work?

My co-author was invited to participate in a month-long iBooks promo for multi-author box sets, and she asked me if I would like to include my books. I obviously jumped at the chance – opportunities like that don’t come along often.

2. Can you tell the readers a little about what stories/novels you included in the set?

The first three books in my sci-fi fantasy adventure series, Legends of Origin, are included – the series revolves around the MC’s need to know mankind’s origins and his greater purpose in life. Also included are my two fantasy short story collections, Dragon Kin and other fantasy stories and Sorcery & Subterfuge – there’s a nice mix of light-hearted stories and more series ones, all of them including popular fantasy elements like dragons, magic and elves, and many introducing readers to new fantasy beings and creatures.

3. What is it about the mythological/fantasy world that intrigues you so much?

In fantasy worlds, the good guys almost always win in the end. That isn’t true for real life.

4. What inspires your writing?

Real events have inspired some of my short stories, but, when it comes to my fantasy stories and novels, each story usually starts with a vivid scene in my mind, and the rest just pops into my head as I write.

5. Use three words to entice readers into buying the boxed set.

Original fantasy adventure.

About Vanessa Finaughty:

Vanessa Finaughty is an author of many genres who now focuses on fantasy and science fiction. She’s published 15 books, of which 6 are fantasy. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’.
Vanessa has always been passionate about books, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write them one day. She loves animals, coffee and the smell of wet grass, and hates liars, sweltering weather and long queues. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, mythology, aliens and outer space, ancient history, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.

Find Vanessa Finaughty online via:

Official site
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

INTERVIEW WITH TC SOUTHWELL:

1. What made you decide to put together a boxed set featuring both your work?

My distributer, Smashwords.com, invited me to participate in Apple iBookstore’s major month-long promotion of multi-author box sets. As my friend and an up and coming indie fantasy/sci-fi author whose work I enjoy, Vanessa was obviously my choice of partner.

2. Can you tell the readers a little about what stories/novels you included in the set?

The box set has four of my series starters and the second books in those series, which are The Queen’s Blade, a six-book fantasy series about a vengeful assassin who changes the fate of three kingdoms, The Cyber Chronicles, a nine-book science-fiction/fantasy series about a damaged cyborg’s struggle to be free, The Broken World, a four-book fantasy series about an alien world’s rebellion against mankind’s ravages, and Demon Lord, an eight-book fantasy series about a mortal god’s struggle to use his dark power to do good.

3. What is it about the mythological/fantasy world that intrigues you so much?

It’s the ultimate escapism, as it transports its readers to alien worlds where they have exciting adventures with fascinating heroes and heroines who have magic powers or mind-boggling abilities.

4. What inspires your writing?

I’m a channeller, so the stories come to me complete, like a film in my head, and I write what I see, feel and hear. I have no control over the path the tales take or what my heroes and heroines do, which makes writing a grand adventure.

5. Use three words to entice readers into buying the boxed set.

Romantic fantasy adventures.

About TC Southwell:

T. C. Southwell was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the Seychelles when she was a baby. She spent her formative years exploring the islands – mostly alone. Naturally, her imagination flourished and she developed a keen love of other worlds. The family travelled through Europe and Africa and, after the death of her father, settled in South Africa.
T. C. Southwell has written over thirty fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as five screenplays. Her hobbies include motorcycling, horse riding and art, and she is now a full-time writer.

Find TC Southwell online via:

Official site
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the showcase and interview, Kelly. Much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete