Monday, June 25, 2012

Virtual Book Tour: Heirs of Prophecy by Michael A. Rothman

The Riverton family had been enjoying a simple summer vacation when, through a fluke of nature, they found themselves in a strange new land.

The Riverton brothers quickly realize that in this world, they have gained unusual powers. Powers that their parents fear will attract the attention of Azazel himself – the merciless wizard who brutally controls this world.

The two brothers soon learn that an ancient prophecy has finally been initiated by their arrival in Trimoria. As the heirs of this prophecy, they are destined to lead the armies of men, dwarves, elves, and even a misfit ogre against the prophesied demon horde.

Only one thing stands in their way.
The evil wizard who has learned of their presence, and has sent assassins to wipe them from existence.

I would like to welcome Michael A. Rothman to my blog.

Michael, where did the inspiration for your book come from?
My children inspired my writing. My first novel stems directly from a bed time tale I would tell my children that over time evolved and got more elaborate. So instead of making things up on-the-fly, I decided to write the outline for what ended up being HEIRS OF PROPHECY, TOOLS OF PROPHECY, and a yet-to-be-named book to follow (though I am partial to LORDS OF PROPHECY).

Of course, many of the characters within the story follow loosely on real people I know. It isn't a coincidence that my two children's names are Ryan and Aaron - and the personalities borrowed for the Rivertons are very reminiscent of them. In fact, I've been told that the parents in the tale, Jared and Aubrey are also clones of yours truly and my wife. Its shocking how things like that happen.  :-)

As to the inspiration for the other characters, I have always found myself partial to preplanning such things. I am an engineer by trade, so such things come as second-nature to me. However I'll admit that aside from some of the archetypes of the "bad guy" or the "good guy", many of the personalities that I have drawn upon are created somewhat organically as I start writing the dialog. For instance, with the character of Arabelle, who happens to end up being a much more major character in the follow-on book TOOLS OF PROPHECY - I purposefully introduced her as a very sweet character with a bit of a secret. That secret gets its first hints in the second book (which I won't divulge in this blog post), and suffice it to say that I dedicated an entire book to her alone that I am nearly finished with.

I have always enjoyed stories which leave what I might call little "Easter Eggs" within a plot line. Things that make you scratch your head and wonder "that's odd - I wonder 'why' they did that" - and I am very careful about ensuring that things always have a reason. That is one of the reasons why I am about to put the finishing touches on a prequel novel, PRINCESS INTERRUPTED which focuses greatly on elements that are hinted at in the first two books in the Prophecies series. I have yet to figure out which might be the best reading order of the story. Certainly, those that read the first two books (HEIRS, and TOOLS) will want to read the prequel and will have lots of "AHA!" moments that might want them to read the first two books over again. (Remember, I am a planner - so these things were planned to make you want to read it over again.) Also those that read the prequel first and then the first two of the Prophecies series will have a somewhat different experience. I suppose the jury will be out for a while to figure out which order is best, but I do hope people enjoy the tales nonetheless.

Regarding the other characters, I did note that they grow organically - however I tended to use some racial guidelines that I preferred. For instance, the dwarves might generally be considered boisterous and brash, although you will see some distinct exceptions to those rules. A reader will find the elves somewhat stoic and serious, and the humans you encounter will be somewhat all over the place - oftentimes inspired by real personalities I've encountered or organically inspired by an overdose of chocolate.  ;-)

Writers are usually influenced by what they've read, so inspirations come from all directions. I'll freely admit to being a huge fan of Tolkien, so touches of influence you might see are definitely there. Although I feel my approaches are different. There is some irony in that influence, because sometimes people will attribute influence, where none had actually occurred.  For instance, in some of the professional reviews I've received, I'll quote someone having said this of my upcoming novel TOOLS OF PROPHECY, "Borrowing some of the best concepts from works by others such as Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, and George R.R. Martin…"

I've said that I had influence by Tolkien, so there is no secret there. I literally laughed out loud when I saw the authors I've evidently been influenced by - let's be frank. If my name is ever mentioned in the company of the three aforementioned authors in any favorable way, I look at that as a huge compliment. I only know of the latter two authors, and have had their books on my to-be-read wish list, but ironically enough - never read any of their works. Maybe I should go ahead and do that, but when it comes right down to it, I'll freely admit that my influences that I've had tend to be more in the direction of Dave Farland, Brandon Sanderson, and of course - all of our favorite - Tolkien. 

Before I close out the topic of influences and inspirations (I may have strayed - so forgive me) - I did want to bring up Orson Scott Card. My youngest son has read him, but ironically I haven't. When I was writing my prequel novel that happens to have timelines that overlap with the first book in the Prophecies series he mentioned, "Umm - Dad, this is similar in concept to…" and I immediately forgot whatever title he mentioned, though I did ask about who the author was. So when the time comes, I tip my hat to Orson, my condolences to Anne's family, and wish Rail Road the best (George's nickname) - any similarities are coincidental, and any favorable comparisons are appreciated. ;-)

“Attend the throne room immediately!”
Heeding Lord Azazel’s call, Munson led the charge up the winding staircase to the top floor. There, he found his master awaiting them in a cold, barren room centered by an imposing throne carved of black stone. Torchlight danced in ominous patterns off the throne’s polished surface. The sound of Munson’s fellow soldiers pouring into the room echoed off the dank walls encircling them.

Munson took his place beside the room’s sole exit, bracing himself to endure more of the horrors that had become so commonplace of late. By now he had seen more of these interrogations than he cared to count. So he knew that this one, like all the others, would end in bloodshed. His gut tightened as he caught sight of today’s victim. The man crouched at the feet of his lord was a man named Farley, a man who had been Munson’s best friend since childhood.

“Please spare me, Lord Azazel!” Farley bellowed. Quivering, the prisoner reached out to trace his fingers over the hem of the wizard’s red robe.

Munson swallowed hard, praying that his master couldn’t sense from this distance the terrible pity he felt.

“I…I…,” Farley stammered. “I will never make such a mistake again.”With baleful eyes, Azazel studied the man groveling at his feet. He stood then to his full height, his robe billowing as he circled the prisoner. His otherwise handsome face parted into a menacing, almost hungry grin. “You will never make such a mistake again?” The wizard glanced at the soldiers all around him as if waiting for laughter. When it didn’t come, his face contorted into fury. “How many times have I heard that over the centuries?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I am an Army brat and the first person in my family to be born in the United States. This heavily influenced my youth by instilling a love of reading and a burning curiosity about the world and all of the things within it. As an adult, my love of travel allowed me to explore many unimaginable locations. I participated in many adventures and documented them in what will be a series of books, the first of which you have just read.
Some might put these books in the Fantasy genre, and I never had issues with this label. After all, the adventures were, without any doubt in my mind, fantastic. I simply quibble with the label of “Fiction” that some might put on these tales. These tales should be viewed as historical records, more along the lines of a documentary.
I’ve learned one thing over the years. Magic is real. Keep exploring, and you too will find your magic.
You can find Michael on line at these following places:

Website       Goodreads       Twitter       Facebook

Michael will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address.

For more chances to win you can follow Michael's tour and comment on those sites also. The more you commnet the better your chances of winning!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Minder by Sandra Cox Book Blurb Blitz and Giveaway

Minder by Sandra Cox

Among the northern tribes there is a legend passed down from generation to generation about shape-shifting Minders—guardians of the innocents—and how they came to be. 

It is said that nowadays only a handful of Minders exist, hunted to near extinction by a fearsome beast. Of the remaining Minders, only one wears a garnet-studded collar, the symbol of protection and royalty.  

Even when my aunt told me the story, and handed me an ancient garnet-studded band, I had no idea the tale applied to me.

After all, it’s only a legend…


At the cliff’s edge, I stopped and listened to the steady lap of the waves against the rocks. I sucked cold air deep into my lungs. Night sounds surrounded me. A purr of contentment rose in my throat. I’m getting used to the purr. It’s a great way to express pleasure.


I pivoted toward the house and saw my aunt silhouetted in the window, the light at her back. I lifted my hand. She waved back.

The wind shifted. I smelled a rabbit. My butt twitched as the perfume of warm flesh filled my nostrils. His rapid heartbeat pulsed through my ears. I forgot all about Aunt and went bounding into the forest.  

The rabbit saw me. With a frightened squeak, he hopped away, his little powder-puff tail white in the dark. I leapt after him and laughed with exuberance from the sheer joy of being alive.

The rabbit ran deep into the woods. I followed. Fear gave the bunny speed and he stayed just out of my grasp.

It happened gradually.  My joints began to stiffen. The hair on the nape of my neck rose. A horrific scent filled my nostrils and made my stomach flop. No longer the hunter, I’d became the prey.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA fantasy, crossover YA, historic and paranormal romance and metaphysical nonfiction.

Sandra lives with her husband, a menagerie of pets, and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina. She’s a vegetarian, enjoys kickboxing and loves nothing better than good book. 

You can find her at:

Twitter @Sandra_Cox

Now for the Giveaway!

Sandra will be giving away a digital copy of her novel, "Vampire Bay" at ever stop!

Additionally, she's running a contest on her blog ( as follows:  To enter the contest leave a comment on any posts in June, mention Minder and include your email address, and you're entered to win:
A set of butterfly pins
A Starbucks gift certificate
A book dedication
And a PDF download of Minder

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better their chances yopu have of  winning.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spotlight: Destiny Unveiled by Laura DeLuca

Gabriella and Darron thought their magickal battle was over when they defeated the evil warlock, Richard. When her Aunt Donna seeks Gabriella's help in rescuing her catatonic daughter from the Dark Coven, Gabriella discovers that her cousin holds a power within her that would be catastrophic in the hands of the evil witches. Gabriella's coven sets out on a journey that may be their last. Along the way, they meet new allies, face devastating treachery, and battle not only the Dark Coven, but the darkness within themselves. When Gabriella finally comes face to face with the cousin she never knew existed, her true destiny is unveiled, and the fate of the mortal world is in her hands

This is a sequel to the book Destiny.  Destiny Amazon Buy link and Destiny Trailer link

Author Bio
Laura "Luna" DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and three children. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Old high school friends would tell you she was always scratching in her notebook instead of paying attention in class and the children she used to babysit for always loved to hear her scary stories at bedtime. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  She loves writing young adult novels, because it keeps her young at heart. She is the author of three published works including Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, and Phantom, and has several more projects in the works.

Author Links:
Site        Twitter      Facebook      Goodreads


Darron was on the roof of a large building, elevated dizzyingly high over the road below. Other skyscrapers bordered it, but it was by far the largest building in the general area, standing several stories higher than it's neighbors. The few cars that dotted the street below looked like insects. Above him, the moon shone full, round, and red in the night sky. It was an autumn moon, a blood moon. By the light of that moon, Darron was able to see the practiced movements of six black-cloaked figures, who swayed to the steady beat of an invisible drum. Their shapes were obscure in the pale light, and it was impossible to determine if they were men or women because the dark, hooded robes they wore hid their features from view.

There was an altar erected in the center of a circle that was outlined in black charcoal. On that altar sat the normal tools of ritual: a black tipped dagger, a silver chalice, an incense burner, and multiple black candles. Darron owned similar items. They weren't frightening in themselves. But the altar, like the people who lingered around it, was outlined by a shimmering black aura. The vibrations they relayed were no less than evil. Their presence made Darron shudder. He watched in horror, as a silent and unwelcome spectator to the forbidden rights.

Four of the cloaked figures took up the elemental corners, preparing to call the Guardians. The Guardians answered their call, unable to ignore the summons because magick can't be divided into good and evil. It's both because nature is both, harsh and devastating yet beautiful and gentle as the need arises. It was just as easy for the dark witches to harness the destructive forces of nature as it was for Darron and his coven to call upon its life giving magick. Good or evil was in the heart of its master, not in the magick that was wielded.

A fifth cloaked figure, the apparent leader of the group, stood in the center of the circle with the dagger raised high above his head. The sixth and final coven member groveled at the feet of the leader, his head lowered in acquiescence. The hood of his cloak hid his face though he was no more than a few feet away from Darron.

"Brother and sisters," the leader proclaimed, his accented voice heavy with his foreboding presence. "Tonight in the wake of the blood moon, we come together to bring a new brother into our fold. He has completed the required tasks and proven himself worthy to join us in our work."

"So mote it be!"

The four other cloaked figures cried out in perfect unison. Their hands were raised to the sky in honor of the blood moon.

The leader picked up the chalice from the altar. He followed the path of the circle to all of the elemental corners, stopping at each of the robed coven members in turn. Each offered their willing hands to their leader, palm outward. Each welcomed the point of the black edged dagger as it dug into their open palms without so much as a gasp of pain. The high priest cut a clean line down the centers of the palms of his disciples, and they all squeezed their fingers against the open wound to allow the blood to drip into the waiting chalice.

After collecting the offering from his followers, the leader returned to the center of the circle and the waiting initiate. With one quick motion, he sliced open his own palm. He held his hand over the cup, letting his blood drip slowly into the chalice, until the wound miraculously healed before Darron's startled eyes. When the chalice was full, he carried it to the eager initiate who took the cup firmly into his hands and tilted it towards his lips.

"As this blood makes you one with our flesh, so your soul follows to become one with the darkness," the English voice intoned.

As the initiate drained the last of the liquid in the chalice, his hood fell away, revealing a blonde ponytail pulled back over a pale white face, made even paler by the outline of bright red blood around his lips. Darron watched in stunned, horrified silence as his own face turned to meet his gaze. Eyes turned as black as coals stared back at Darron with a grim smile of satisfaction.

"Rise Darron," the leader commanded. And as he spoke, he lifted the hood from his head. Rise brother of the Dark Coven."