Double Cover Reveal!

Here they are, the new covers for In the Blood and Beneath the Skin!

 

e-book ISBN 978-0-9944511-0-1

paperback ISBN 978-0-9944511-1-8

A snake.  A lion.  A return.

In a time when magic is feared, Lady Oriabel Dominax has no choice but to conceal her healing powers while she cares for her father’s struggling estate. One touch of the Witch’s Tree shows her visions of witches hung and burned at the very hands of the people for whom she cares, the people who love her. But with the arrival of a new lord, a man hiding secrets of his own, falling in love might be one wrong move too many.

Incarcerated for an unspeakable crime, fearless warrior Lady Ottilde Dominax is plagued by mysterious dreams of her sister’s death. When a hooded figure offers her the chance of escape, although untrusting, she does not hesitate. Racing across nations to reach Oriabel, her journey is cut short by an encounter with a wedowyn, a formidable beast which she has no chance to overpower alone. Though it is not death that greets her,  but something far worse.

Blackmail, betrayal, and murder are only the beginning as a darker magic is awakened. And someone has plans for the Dominax twins, plans more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine.

 

 

e-book ISBN: 978-0-9944512-2-4

paperback ISBN: 978-0-9944512-3-1

Abandoned, betrayed, and wanted for murder, Lady Oriabel Dominax is a witch on the run. The deadly magic now awakened inside her is hungry, and it is all Oriabel can do to control it. With no choice but to trust strangers as her guardians, she quickly discovers not everyone is who they say they are and the very magic she fears might be her only weapon to protect those she loves.

Since rescuing her sister from certain death, Lady Ottilde Dominax’s only goal is to keep Oriabel safe and alive. Not an easy task when both the enemy and their so-called allies are hunting them. Placing all her trust in the very man who held her prisoner, Ottilde must open her heart and mind to a future she could never have predicted, a future guided only by love and survival.

Life, death, and tragedy lie ahead as the Dominax twins set out on a perilous journey to safety. But knowing they are mere pawns in someone else’s game means fighting for family is all they have left.

Speaking to Hope

In the past year I’ve discovered something about myself. I’m not sure if it applies to other people, but if it DOES, I hope this post will help them.

Yesterday when I was driving home, I was listening to an eAudiobook checked out from my local library (shout out Norman Public Library!) when I felt this overwhelming sense of dread and depression. The feeling center on the book coming through the speakers and I promptly shut it off, opting instead to listen to one of my music playlists. I won’t give the title of the book because I don’t want to give anyone a bad impression of the book or the author. The writing in this book is deliriously beautiful and the author has a wonderful grasp of plotting and characterization. But it was a very, very, very grim story. Totally to be expected in much of high fantasy today. But as I sat listening to it, I kept thinking, “Is this all there is too life? Endless strife, death, violence, sadness, and failure?” While lovely, the story was unleavened with humor or tenderness. None of the characters cracked jokes or engaged in frivolous, witty banter. No one held another character’s hand or spoke sweetly. I’m not talking about romance. I’m talking about human interaction not based on surviving or gaining the upper hand. And so, I shut the book off and had to take a deep steadying breath.

This sort of thing has happened before. I’m going to name the next two titles and their authors since they already enjoy tremendous success and strong reputation (my puny words aren’t going to hurt them a wit, plus one recently passed away). When I tried to read The Exorcist by William Blatty, I had to stop at the point where Reagan interrupted her mother’s dinner party by peeing on the carpet. In the days I attempted to read that novel, I felt enclosed in dark cloud, the rest of the world was muffled and far away.

The other time I noticed something like this happening was when I attempted Stephen King’s It. Anyone who has even seen this book on a library/bookstore shelf knows that it is MAMMOTH. And, while there is some humor and human tenderness in It, the horrible things endured by the characters just snowballed in my mind until I felt like I was drowning in sorrow and negativity. I got about half-way through before I had to put it away with a shuddering sigh.

It’s difficult for me to say exactly why I had such visceral reactions to the above books. I know I have a hyperactive imagination – just listening to someone describe the plot of The Grudge left me with terrible nightmares the following night! As a child, I would suffer night terrors that caused me to clamber into bed with my sister for protection almost every night. I’ve scared myself into insomnia imagining terrible things happening to my family or myself. So, as you can imagine, I usually avoid the vast majority of the horror genre.

Too, I suffer from depression, which often distorts reality in unexpected and destructive ways. Throw in some mind-bending reading material and we’re talking event horizon here.

But the recent incidents I described above did more than frighten me. They opened a pit inside of me on the edge of which I teetered with arms flailing. Physically, I felt my shoulders bowed, an increase in exhaustion, coupled with an overwhelming anxiety.

Mentally, I was unable to see anything clearly. All interactions with others were filmed in a dark screen that caused me to interpret minor disagreements into irrevocable breaks. My view of the world was steeped in hysteria.

What I’ve learned from these experiences is that, as someone with a sensitive and tenacious imagination (once I see something I can never UNSEE it, for good or ill), one  that will hold on to a powerful image and shake it like a dog with a sock toy, I need to be careful and consume material that speaks to my hope. My depression and anxiety already has a stranglehold on much of my life – it’s ended friendships, damaged familial ties, caused financial fallout, and impaired my physical health. If I feed it, it only grows hungrier. But if I surround myself with experiences that speak to my hope, I’m better able to internalize hope.

Now, this is not to say that I want to deny the darkness in the world – only delusionals attempt that. What it means is that I cannot combat that darkness by drowning myself in imaginary darkness.

I, like many people, carry a natural shadow inside myself and introducing more darkness into my mind only deepens, strengthens that shadow. While making sure I get daily doses of figurative (and literal) sunlight ensures the shadow, while not dispelled, is kept to a minimum. This allows me to look on the bad things of the world with an eye toward fixing them – not giving in to them.

Again, I’m not sure anyone else will understand what I’m trying to say here. And I’m not even completely sure what the real point was. But it felt like something I needed to share. Speak to your hope and it will, in turn, speak to you.

Release Date is Upon Us!

Hey all, the release date for Beneath the Skin (book 2 of the Witchbreed) is coming this June. I’m now collecting names for those who would like to receive a digital ARC (advanced reader copy) in exchange for an honest review. I have permission to offer the first book, In the Blood, as well if you have not already read it.

The review must be posted no more than a month after receiving the book on a PUBLIC site like Amazon/Goodreads/public blog.

ARCs can be issued in multiple formats depending on which you would prefer.

Shoot me a note through the Contact tab if interested!

Startling Poetry: from Aelinos

 

I chose two very short poems,  from the book Aelinos* by Jai M. McGrainer, a chilling and original volume. Definitely recommend you pick up a copy!

 

*By the way, “aelinos” means a “dirge” or “a song of suffering.”

 

Something Like an Apple

when everyone else thought my life had been taken,

you held silent vigil to pray I’d waken.

You hoped a kiss might bribe The Reaper to forestall;

the gods were silent, and I was dead after all.

 

Sufferance

A customer reprimanded me on

the day you put my dog down,

“Hey there, doll face, smile more!”

 

 

Book Review: In The Blood by R.L. Martinez

Thanks Book Bud for the the wonderful write-up!

The Reading Bud

27689746Author: R.L. Martinez
Release Date: March 21, 2016
Series: The Witchbreed Series
Genre: High Fantasy, Magic Realism
(Magic Elementals > Wizards, Witches & Shapeshifters)
Edition: E-book (mobi)
Pages: 356
Publisher: Lake Water Press
Source: Publicist (via NetGalley)
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

The Warrior
The war between Dosalyn and Roanaan has ended, but a new battle begins for prisoner-of-war, Ottilde Dominax. Dreams of her witchbreed twin sister are visions of death and betrayal. Driven by their grim warning, she escapes her captors and races across nations to save her sister.
But she may arrive too late…
The Witch
Oriabel Dominax has kept her healing magic secret while she cares for her family’s struggling estate. But the arrival of a new lord with secrets of his own, the discovery of a dark and addictive magic, and threats from a cruel blackmailer push Oriabel closer to disaster.
Through…

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Last Giveaway!

Okay, that post title is a bit misleading. I’m sure I’ll do another giveaway in the future. But this will be the last one for the  foreseeable future. Starting tomorrow (March 17th) click on the book image below and whoosh on over to the giveaway page. Then enter for a chance to win one of ten signed print copies. I’ll also send some awesome swag with the book!