Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fortress of Mist by Sigmund Brouwer

In the second book of this series, we find Thomas of Magnus going about the daily routine of a typical king. However, he feels a gnawing in his bones that something isn’t quite right. The air around him screams of him being watched and he cannot find seclusion even in his own thoughts. This troubled king hopes for peace but knows that it will cost him dearly in the end.

He is haunted by the loss of Isabella who he developed feelings for prior to her death. Thomas hopes to see his missing friend Katherine again who helped him claim his throne without even one loss of life. While on the verge of trying to figure out a mystery involving his love Isabella, he is forcibly thrust into an unwelcomed and unexpected war with the Scots as demanded by the Earl of York. Unfortunately, he must leave his city while his reign is enshrouded in uncertainty in order to keep favor with the Earl and not invite further danger to his already shaky rule.

Faced with being the new kid among the battle-hardened lords of the regions that are under the Earl of York, Thomas must prove himself to be capable of not only of fighting this war, but ultimately turning the tide in this battle. He faces betrayal on all sides without having one friend to protect or give him good advice as everyone else is watching him closely to see how he will handle all these trials and hardships. His resolve and heart are put to the test once again. He never seems to get a break as he fights one battle after another in order to stay alive not only in the camp but also in the real battle with the Scots.

One good thing that comes from the conflict with the Scots was the opportunity to discover true identity of his enemy. He learns that they call themselves Druids and they are dark priests that live on the isle of the Celts. They overthrew the old rulers of Magnus and are determined to regain control. Thomas is now beginning to unravel the mystery behind the Druids and the ways in which they impose and keep their rule of oppression over the people in his city. He is more determined than ever to ensure that Magnus doesn’t fall to their evil ways, and that he remains king of the city that was once ruled by his parents.

Even though Thomas is ultimately left to fight this war with the Druids on his own, hope is still alive in the form of another group who is keeping a close eye on him. This other group hides themselves just as well as the Druids, but they do offer help to Thomas when he is in dire need of it. They are known as the Immortals. They will not reveal themselves until Thomas has made his choice of whether or not to join the Druids. If Thomas decides not to join the latter, they will show themselves to him and become his allies. He can win this battle with their help, but the choice as always lies with Thomas.

This is a fast-paced novel, jam-packed with all the essential elements of a wonderful story. I got lost in the writing and found myself walking next to Thomas, wishing that I could tell him not to lose heart. I sometimes forgot that these were just fictitious characters and not the people that I became friends with during the reading of this book. It was disheartening when I read the last word in this magical tale, knowing that a large pause awaits me before finding out what happens next. I hope with all of my heart that the series will end with Thomas finding out who his friends really are and that he is not alone. I dream of the day that his eyes will be opened and Thomas will perceive what I am beginning to see and understand — that he is surrounded by hope and love.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Herbwomen of secret lore
The World of The Staff & the Sword
The Readers of the cast lots
The Watchmen, elite warriors
The Clergy of power


1/23 - Backing Books - Herbwomen Beginning
      the herbwomen were the seeds of a reformation      
1/24 – Christian Novels – Review – World Creation
"I elected to use a setting I knew very well: Rock Island State Park in Tennessee. It’s a beautiful place with waterfalls and lush hills and rugged terrain".
1/25 – I Am a Reader, Not a Writer – Readers Patrick Carr on Origins 
If I didn’t come up with some kind of limitation, I was going to have a book filled with the equivalent of a bunch of super-wizards

1/27 – Reads to Reels – Watchmen Beginning
Why do the men of the watch wear black? How come none of them have last names?
1/28 – LDS & Lovin’ It - Clergy Origins
I decided to name the collection of benefices the judica. In Latin, judica means judge. So the catch phrase of the benefices became “Judica me Deas” which would be the equivalent of “Judge me, O Lord.”
1/29 – Proud Book Nerd - World Visuals
I am very much interested to see where this series is going, and will be eagerly waiting for Book 2, The Hero’s Lot.
1/30 – Open the Page - Herbwomen Goals
we find that the herbwomen had perhaps the biggest secret of all
1/31 – Wonderings of One Person – Review - Readers Goals
Errol became my Luke Skywalker and I needed to come up with an Obi-wan Kenobi.


2/3 – Simple Wyrdings - Watchmen Elite Warriors
I really really liked this book!
2/4 – Bookworm Lisa – Review – Clergy Goals
This book is very well written and appealing.
2/5 – Passion & Life – Readers Excerpt from Patrick Carr
This is probably one of my favorite excerpts from the entire series. It was so much fun to write...
2/6 – Kari’s Crowded Bookshelf – Review Herbwomen Visuals
I like how the whole book had a very medieval feel to it... I couldn't put it down.
2/7 – Coffee, Books & Me - Readers Visuals

2/8 – Backing Books – Review – World Goals
Errol is perhaps the most realistic hero I have ever read about.
2/10 – Letters to the Cosmos - Watchmen by Patrick Carr
The next guy, Merodach was easy. As soon as I described him as having hair so blond it was almost silver and blue eyes, I knew Rutger Hauer was the perfect model. I loved him in the movie “Ladyhawke.”
2/11 – Colorimetry – Clergy Excerpt
"Only a fool could fail to see you have a story to tell and I would not have it said that I kept an injured man on his feet."
2/12 – ADD Librarian Herbwomen Excerpt
Sometimes a book comes along that you didn’t know you were waiting for until you read it, and somehow your world is more complete.
2/13 – Worthy 2 Read – Review - Watchmen Excerpt
Forsaking their names, they called themselves the watch and... swore an oath never to outlive their king in battle again.
2/15 – Pieces of Whimsy – Review - Readers Excerpt
I was hooked from the first page. I fell in love with the writing, the style and the way the words flowed. The story also grabbed from the beginning, it was exciting and adventurous and deep, and I couldn't stop reading!
2/17 – CTF Devourer – Review
 The best spiritual reference is actually the night Errol stays with the priest he delivered a message to. Not having gone this long without a drink in years, he is sick the whole night through, but rather than the judgment and condemnation like he receives from his local church leader, this priest shows compassion and grace, promising and following through on the promise, to help Errol through the night.
2/18 – Pause Time - Readers Visuals
I'm a difficult reader to please within the fantasy/medieval genre, because I'm not really into it... Now I'm pleased to say that A Cast of Stones is another one of the rarities  that manages to captivate me with its world and that Patrick Carr is definitely one to watch.
2/19 – A Backwards Story – Review – World Excerpt
Sudden pains shot through his calves and he grimaced, struggling against unaccustomed weariness. He shouldn’t be tired. He’d run this trail and others as difficult a thousand times.
2/19 - Christy’s Cozy Corner – Herbwomen Excerpt

Errol stepped toward the herbwoman. Her head rested against the bars in front of him, her eyes milky with blindness.
One shriveled hand stretched through, touched him on the face. It was warm. A voice too soft to carry past the bars greeted him. Old eyes gazed at him in wonder. “You’ve been touched by Aurae. Thank the creator! I did not know any of the solis yet lived.” She paused. “Deas’ hand is on you.”

2/20 – Min Reads & Reviews – Watchmen Excerpt

“Errol Stone.” 
The lieutenant nodded. “An orphan."


2/25 - Winner TBA

Jill Williamson – Review 

Enter to WIN for 3 More Days!!!

Grand Prize (USA):  Print copy of entire series of three books (#2 & #3 as they are published) + A Cast of Stones Mug + Lend your name to a character in book #3!!

2nd Prize (USA): Print copy of A Cast of Stones

International Entries: eCopy of A Cast of Stones

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and sponsored by Bethany House & the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Welcome to The Little Seer Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for my debut novel The Little Seer! This week only at each blog tour stop, you will find a different piece of information about this new speculative supernatural novel, including book excerpts, interviews, book reviews, and an inside peek into the making of this novel, which hit #3 and #5 on Amazon’s Kindle Bestseller Lists for Christian Suspense and Occult / Supernatural this week. And to cap it off, I’m giving away a signed copy of The Little Seer here for one fan. Thank you so much for your support! Give the whole novel a try in e-book or paperback. I hope you like it!


The Little Seer Blog Tour

Feb. 17-22: Laura K. Cowan, Author: Laura K. Cowan
During the blog tour, I will be hosting a giveaway of a signed paperback copy of The Little Seer on my website, as well as posting up-to-date info about what’s going on each day on the blog tour. Check out the details below on the giveaway!

Feb. 18: Malcolm R. Campbell, Book Reviewer/Blogger: Malcolm’s Round Table
Malcolm R. Campbell at Malcolm’s Round Table often reviews fantasy titles as well as speculative fiction, so I will be guest posting over on his blog about what spiritual speculative supernatural fiction really is, and how it relates to the popular fantasy genre. Should be good!

Feb. 19: Amber McCallister, Book Reviewer/Blogger: The Wonderings of One Person
Amber McCallister of Wonderings of One Person often reviews speculative titles such as The Little Seer, and will be offering her insights in to the book as well as an excerpt from the text for those of you who haven’t read it yet. Stay tuned.

Feb. 20: Erin El Mehairi, Book Reviewer/Blogger: Oh for the Hook of a Book!
Erin will be conducting an interview, to give you a different angle on The Little Seer, and how such a strange story came to be written at all.

Feb. 21: Bruce Hennigan, Speculative Supernatural Author, Speaker: Bruce Hennigan
Bruce Hennigan is a writer of spiritual speculative supernatural novels and other related works similar to mine. He will be hosting a book review and inside peek into the making of The Little Seer on his website for the first stop in this mini blog tour. Come check out his work, and get a chance to peek over my shoulder.

Visit Laura's blog post to find out how to enter her giveaway!

Here is my humble review for this book. I can't say enough good things about this story! 

Excerpt from The Little Seer

By Laura K. Cowan


From Book I: Exodus

Aria found herself lying on the hard ground. She checked herself for injuries. Nothing seemed to be sprained or broken.
                “What are you doing out here all alone, little girl?” a woman’s voice asked abruptly.
Aria jumped to her feet to find a pale, dark-haired woman in a glittering red sari standing next to a large tree. Her hand caressed the trunk, making her heavy silver rings and bracelets shimmer in the low light.
She smiled, but it came out sort of upside down, with deep grooves running down the sides of her mouth.
Aria took a step back.
The color of her eyes was very dark, such a dark gray that her eyes almost looked black.
                “I—I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there,” Aria stuttered. “Was that carousel yours?”
                The woman laughed a deep, growling kind of laugh.
“You shouldn’t be all by yourself out here. You never know who is in a forest like this.”
She laughed again, and her sari slipped away from her feet, revealing gold, pointed shoes. They quickly faded to a bright orange, and Aria tasted blood on her tongue. The sense of a dark presence only intensified when the woman moved toward her again.
“It’s you!” Aria gasped, stepping back. “You were in my house!”
The woman sneered. The darkness of her pupils flooded the whites of her eyes, so they were ink black from lid to lid. She blinked quickly, like a reptile.
“What do you want with me?” Aria cried, scrambling backward. “Who are you?”
The soulless black eyes of the sheep bird flashed in Aria’s mind, and suddenly she knew it was all the same force. The same evil.
“You seem confused,” the woman replied.
Aria was confused, but she realized in a moment of clarity that it was the wood, or the woman—or something—that was making her confused. She struggled to think clearly.
“Are you the bear, too?” she asked. What other frightening creatures had she faced down in her dreams that could have been this woman—this thing pursuing her?
The woman chuckled. “You can’t blame all of your insanity on me,” she hissed. “The darkest creatures in your dreams come from deep inside you.”
                “I need to go,” Aria said. She stumbled backwards and tripped over a log.
                “Where will you go?” the woman asked, towering over her with another upside down, black-eyed smile.
                “My daddy’s house isn’t far,” Aria replied. She peered through the trees and finally spotted what she knew was the western edge of the forest. Her head was feeling clearer now.
                “Your daddy? He left you in here all alone? Not a very nice daddy, I don’t think,” the woman smirked. “Come with me.”
She reached out for Aria’s hand, but Aria pulled back.
                “I’m not alone!” she said.
                “No?” The woman waited for her to explain herself.
                “No.” Aria stood to her feet.
                The woman’s manner changed. “I see,” she said, scowling.
                “I have to get out of here,” Aria repeated, searching the underbrush for the path.
The woman raised her hands and hissed, “Well let’s see if you can get out of this!”
She thrust her hands toward the ground. A foul-smelling breeze lifted a cloud of dead leaves off the forest floor at Aria’s feet.
Something inside Aria shouted, Run!
An invisible force pushed Aria back onto the path, where she took off toward the west. She tore through the forest, crushing the plants underfoot and pounding the hard ground with her feet. Whispers swirled behind her and pursued her as she fled. She looked over her shoulder and caught a glimpse of dark winged shapes hurling themselves through the forest canopy behind her. The creatures snapped through thick tree branches and shrieked to each other in a strange language.
Aria could just barely make out the edge of the tree line, where some light from the dwindling sun filtered through the trees. She headed toward the light as fast as her feet could manage.
Something tore at her shirt, but she didn’t turn to see what it was. She could feel hot breath on the back of her neck and could picture talons reaching out to slice through the flesh of her back.
She ran for her life.
                She ran until the trees thinned out, and headed full-speed for the light of the setting sun.
Then she found herself airborne where the ground fell away beneath her, and she fell through a rainbow-lined mist.