The Final Paladin Blog Tour: A Dive in Review

Hi everyone, I’m super excited to be hosting a stop on the Blog tour for The Final Paladin by T.J. Akers.

First a little about the book:


Final-Paladin-by-TJ-AkersLife for Peg Bowman is rough in the infamous slums of Five Points, New York, but her brother’s murder changes everything.

Thrust into incredible worlds beyond any story she’s ever heard, Peg meets Sir Godfrey, an eleven-hundred-year-old knight from Charlemagne’s court, trainer of Paladins. He reveals to Peg her family’s ancient obligation to protect the Key of Apollyon, a relic of immense power. She is the last descendant of the Paladins and his only hope for keeping it safe.

When Godfrey confides her brother was murdered because of the Key, Peg rejects her calling and demands revenge, a luxury she can ill afford as otherworldly creatures seek her death to claim the Key’s power for themselves.

Can Godfrey and his faithful retinue—Chim the Hobgoblin, Rebecca the Jewish Maven and healer, and Jack the sometimes human and sometimes seven-foot Black Dog—keep her safe and convince her that her calling is worth pursuing? Or will she succumb to the Key’s lure and wield it for revenge?

The Final Paladin releases November 14th and you can purchase it here.

TJ-Akers-HeadshotAbout the Author:
T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers.
Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult sections. Librarians have always been his heroes.
He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical. Learn more at www.tjakers.com.

Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way I’m sure would like to know what I thought after reading The Final Paladin.

Dive in Review of The Final Paladin by T.J. Akers:

Wow, that was not what I was expecting.  But not in a bad way.

From reading the back cover, I was expecting Indiana Jones and the last crusade. What I got was Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton. If you’ve seen either of those movies then you have an inkling of what I’m talking about.

 The Book starts out in a dark alley in New York city, then ends up spending a great deal of time in the Ether. The land of the Fairies. A Topsy-turvy place where nothing is as it seems. Though do to certain name dropping I suspect the comparisons to Wonderland were done on purpose. 

 The story is fascinating, the world building intriguing and the characters engaging.

On the world building: I thought the bits set in 1900’s New York were well done. I got the sense of how gritty and dangerous it was for Peg in the slums, with gangs and dirty cops on every corner.

On the Fairy world: I could easily get into deep spoiler territory here. Needless to say there are lots of references to not only Lewis Carroll, but to other classic folk tales and other literary works. You’ll either get them or you won’t. If you get them jolly good. If you don’t I think you can still enjoy this book.

 My favorite character is Jack. He can turn into a gigantic black dog at will. (Note: not a werewolf.) He is also charming and witty and impulsive and short tempered. He is also mysterious. Jack’s backstory is only touched on in the book. I want to know more about him.

Surprisingly I liked Peg too. I am always cautious of books where men write Female PoVs. Sometimes they come across as a little off. But Peg was spot on. She is not a male in a dress, nor is she some weak stereo type. Peg is Strong and can hold her own in a world (literally) out to get her.

 What I didn’t like: there was very little I didn’t like but one thing I would change is Archie. His death is the catalyst for the whole story. And we never see him alive. It’s isn’t a spoiler to say this: he’s already dead in the first chapter. We never get to see him, and as a result, I just don’t really care very much that he’s dead. (Well until the end anyway, but still that’s more curiosity than caring.) Drat! I hope that didn’t count as a spoiler.

The ending will leave you wanting more and maybe wondering what did I just read?

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

 Be sure to visit the rest of the tour stops:

·    Monday, November 6th, Visual Post, Liv K. Fisher, www.livkfisher.blogspot.com

·    Monday, November 6th, Review of The Final Paladin, Gretchen Engel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com

·      Tuesday, November 7th, Guest Post, Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com

·      Wednesday, November 8th, Interview, J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com

·      Wednesday, November 8th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com

·      Thursday, November 9th, Visual Post, Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com

·      Thursday, November 9th, Review of The Final Paladin, Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com

·      Friday, November 10th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Steve Rzasa, www.steverzasa.com

·     (You are Here) Saturday, November 11th, Review of The Final Paladin, Cathrine Bonham, www.dolphin18cb.wordpress.com

·      Sunday, November 12th, A Sneak Peek of The Final Paladin, Lisa Gefrides, www.lisagodfrees.com

·      Monday, November 13th, Interview, Bruce Weller, www.bruandmir.com

·      Tuesday, November 14th, Release-Day Feature, T.J. Akers, www.tjakers.com

·      Wednesday, November 15th, A Writer’s Best Friend, Jebraun Clifford, www.quillsandinkblotts.wordpress.com

·      Thursday, November 16th, A Celebration of The Final Paladin, Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com Don’t forget: (Facebook Party Day)

·      Friday, November 17th, Guest Post, Bokerah Brumley, www.superbokerah.com or www.bokerah.com

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The Whispered Tales of Graves Grove

So you may have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of book releases on this blog. Well I hope you aren’t sick of them because I have another one for you. This time it’s a comedy/horror anthology.  Perfect for the Halloween season.

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Graves Grove isn’t your ordinary town…

Nestled within the folds of the Canadian Rockies, Graves Grove probably isn’t the picturesque place you’d like to stay for long. Peculiar things happen here. The citizens seem normal superficially–they function well enough. But each one is deeply disturbed, wrapped in secrets and neuroses which drive them to strange behaviors.

And then there are all the missing children. And why is everyone afraid of that sycamore tree?

The Whispered Tales of Graves Grove is an anthology of stories taking place throughout the history of this mysterious town, from its founding to its future. Read them…if you dare.

Here are the Graves Grove Amazon links: KindlePaperback, and even Hardcover.

Proceeds will benefit Reading is Fundamental. A non-profit that helps improve literacy skills and brings a love of reading to kids across America.

And wait until I tell you the best part.

Inside the Whispered Tales of Graves Grove you can find the short stories:

“The Canadian Cottingly” and “Fairy Troubled”

(I’ll give you one guess what those are about.)

Why are these two stories so special? Well, because they were both written by me.

Hooray for being published.

But don’t just read it for my stories. Graves Grove also contains stories from lots of other authors too.

If you are looking for a spooky collection of stories to entertain you and make you laugh, then purchase the Whispered Tales of Graves Grove and support a for a good cause.

 

 

FANtastic interview for Lawless blog tour

Hey remember when I hosted a cover reveal for an amazing, steampunk fantasy novel about Dragonshifters? Oh, you don’t, Click here.

Well anyway, it’s out now!

 

You can buy it from these fine retailers:

Amazon  Apple  Kobo  Barnes & Noble  Signed copies here: Uncommon universe press.  

The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.

 Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.

 Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia’s crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate–and are sentenced to death.

 Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what–and who–blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she knew what ‘betrothed’ and ‘arranged marriage’ meant.

 But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper–secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself.

 A steampunk fantasy adventure with a side of quirky romance and snark.

This blog tour is super special because the author is hosting a scavenger hunt, and I am one of the stops.

ScavengerHunt

I’m actually the last stop. To find the rest of the clues you need to visit the other blog tour stops marked with *.

Sept. 21* – Laura A. Grace – Unicorn Quester – Author Interview 

Sept. 22* – Josh Hardt – Character Interview

Sept. 25 – Annie Douglass Lima – Realm Explorers

Sept. 26* – Anna Tan – Steampunk, Fantasy, and Cultures

Sept. 27* – Fanni Suto – Author Interview

Sept. 28 – Leanna Shields – Character Chat

Sept. 29 – Kessie Carroll – Book Spotlight

Sept. 30* – Bethany Jennings – Character MBTI

Oct. 1 – Melissa Sasina – Book Spotlight

Oct. 2 – Alexander Preston – Book Review

Oct. 3* – Kyle Shultz – Character Interview

Oct. 4* – Cathrine Bonham – FANtastic Interview

Oct. 5 – C. S. Johnson – Book Spotlight

Oct. 6 – Kara Swanson – Character Interview

And now to get the seventh and final clue you must first read this FANtastic interview with author Janeen Ippolito:

C: Hello Janeen and thank you for taking the time for this FANtastic interview.

Let’s start with Steampunk. What does Steampunk mean to you?

J: Oh man, steampunk means possibilities. I was already a history nerd in addition to a science fiction and fantasy nerd, so when I discovered there was this whole subculture of alternate Victorian history with anachronisms? Be still my beating heart! And then when I learned it had expanded to other fun anachronistic time periods with alternate history, it just made my life better.

 C: Do you have anything to say to those who would disqualify your novel from the steampunk genre, simply for having dragons in it?

 J: *shrugs* Nah. Everyone’s entitled to their preferences. Live and let live. And I choose to live with dragons.

 C: Who wouldn’t choose to live with dragons? Especially, superpowered shapeshifting Dragons.

 Your characters have unique Talents. Kesia can shapeshift. Zephryn can cloak, and Shance has windpowers. If you could possess a talent from your story world which one would you pick?

 J: Oh man, I had so much fun with the Talents! Oh dear. Probably wind powers. I’ve always wanted to control wind currents. I blame my favorite comic being X-Men. Go Storm!

 C: If you find yourself suddenly sucked into your own story world, which character would you most want to be your companion and protector while there?

 J: Kesia Ironfire all the way. Sorry Zephryn and Shance. Y’all are great, but Kesia has the most resources and abilities because of SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.

 C: Yes Kesia would be my choice too, because of all the, [SPOILERS]!

 OK, while we are on Characters, I know you can answer this.

  Dream cast and . . . GO!

 J: Woohoo!

Kesia

 

 Kesia Ironfire – Rachel Bilson. I love the sweet face with that mischief. Kesia is so often underestimated because she looks so *nice*.

 

 

Shance

 

 

Shance Windkeeper – Alex Pettyfer. As soon as I saw his face, I knew he was Shance. Equal parts capable, strong-willed and romantic, with that edge of pretty-boy.

 

Zephryn

 

 

 

Zephryn Nightstalker – young Masood Ali Khan. I found him on Pinterest and immediately knew he belonged in the story. It was one of the few times where a ref came to me at the same time as the actual character.

 

C: Yes to Alex Pettyfer. I can totally see him as Shance.

 Lawless features a pretty unconventional love triangle. What are your feelings on love Triangles in speculative fiction? Are the themes in Lawless meant to reflect a more realistic approach to love?

 J: I’m a huge fan of messy relationships in fiction and that includes romantic relationships. In my mind, nothing makes a character’s day worse like romantic difficulties—and I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so I can’t leave the feels out of any story! As a student of culture and anthropology, I’m also fascinated with how one approaches love and affection reflects in individual personalities, whether or not they’re even involved with anyone.

 Okay, now you’re getting some flag-waving.

 Love triangles don’t have to be some weird, sappy thing where two guys inexplicably fall for the same girl. In many works of classic literature they are used in ways that create real stress and tension in the plot, and unsatisfied love can lead to great character growth! One of my favorite love triangles is in A Tale of Two Cities—which also takes place during a time of great upheaval and conflict (aka, The French Revolution). The love triangle only adds to the stress and character journeys, rather than being a fantasy pipe dream.

 AND I’m also a pragmatist who constantly observes others. I’ve seen love triangles play out in Real Life. Astonishingly? There is often far less drama. People can be like adults and get over themselves. They can even be friends with the “winners” and go on to have healthy lives, with or without Significant Others. So yes, I wanted to show more of that side of love triangles. And that doesn’t mean it’s easy. What does it look like to have to make your brain stop seeing this person as a potential lover and instead see them as a friend? Pretty awkward sometimes. But all of that is part of character growth, which adds a different kind of fun tension.

 Unless I’m body-snatched, I’ll always have some romance in my fiction, but I’ll always take unique angles that offer new perspectives on tropes, further individual character development, and increase the intensity and friction in the overall plot. Again, more of A Tale of Two Cities instead of Twilight.

 C: Not only are the characters and the plot of Lawless amazing, it also takes place in a pretty unique world. I have to say, I love your story world, and I want to live there.

 From conception to final draft, how long did it take you to refine?

 J: Oh man, I started brainstorming it in around February 2015. It first started with about 10,000 words in what will now be Book 3. Then I kept building the world and thought I’d write this other story to explore it—that story ended up being Book 2. And I already had ideas for Book 4. And when I fully realized what the dragon-human war was, I knew I had to write Lawless as Book 1, and that I needed a final book to round up the series. So then I outlined all five books in one afternoon, and shortly after I started drafting Lawless.

 C: Okay let’s just get this out in the open, Lawless is the first book in the Ironfire Legacy, how long will this series be and, most importantly, how long am I going to have to wait for the next book?

 J: The Ironfire Legacy will be five full-length novels, with at least two novellas. The novella, Priceless (Book 1.5) which follows the journeys of two compelling side characters, should be out in late winter 2018. The next novel, Faithless (Book 2), should be out in late summer 2018!

 C: Wow I can’t believe I have to wait so long, next summer feels like an eternity away. Anyway that you for stopping by and for having such FANtastic answers to my questions.

Janeen

 

 

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She’s also an experienced author coach, editor, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, geeky TV, and brownie batter. A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter: @TheQuietPen, Facebook, Instagram: janeen_ippolito, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com

 

 And now for your final clue:

 

You have until the end of the Facebook release party to enter.

And it’s Tonight! October 4th, 9PM til midnight.

So get your thinking caps on and get those answers in. The winner will be announced on Thursday with the rest of the giveaway winners from the party.

Don’t forget to RSVP to the event.

 

Once upon a Princess blog tour and a FANtastic interview.

Once Upon A Princess Blog Tour

Hello dear readers,

Today I am adding even more books to your reading pile, by introducing you to an entire series at once.

The good news: all of the books are available now, so you can binge read it all without waiting for the next one to release.

The better news: The first book, Beauty’s Curse, is a free ebook on all reading platforms. Get it here: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28781837-beauty-s-curse

If free is not enough to tempt you, read this blurb:

About Once Upon A Princess Saga

“I have better things to do.” 
“Like what?” Rose asked. “Waste your life on a fool’s journey, under a silly girl’s orders?” 
“I have never considered saving your life to be the same as wasting mine, Rosary.” He came and stood in front of her, the ease of his presence replaced by an unusual heat rather than familiar warmth. Rose had never before been bothered by the six inches he stood taller than her, but all of a sudden the shadow of his strength imposed itself on her. 
The cursed beauty of the moonlight revealed the clarity and sharpness of his eyes as she gazed up at him. “What if you did waste your life though? What if?” 
“If I have wasted my life, I have wasted it on you. Willingly.” 

 For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

 On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

 Enjoy this novella series retelling of the Sleeping Beauty, with new characters, new plot twists, and plenty of action and adventure. Perfect for teen and young adult historical fantasy readers.

 Once Upon A Princess Saga

The series is four books: Beauty’s Curse, Beauty’s quest, Beauty’s Gift, and Beauty’s Kiss.

Want to participate in a treasure hunt?

 At the end of each book in this series is a special collectible clue. Collect all four books, and get all four special prizes, FREE!

***

To help celebrate the completion of her series, I asked C.S. Johnson some FANtastic questions:

Me: The Once Upon a Princess series is called a Historical Fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Can you define Historical Fantasy for us? What makes this version Historical?

 C.S: I tell people that this fairytale is set in between the historical European historical world with a few imaginary kingdoms thrown in. I have Greece and the Romani nations, and I have plenty of other references to history (Aragon, Gaul, etc.) but Rhone, Rose’s kingdom, is made up, and so are a few of the others. So you still have the socio-economic barriers of the Middle Ages, but you also have a mishmash of magical creatures, different species, and supernatural creatures. There are also issues with religion, politics, and social concerns just like there would be in real life. 

 If I had to put it on a map, I like to think it’s the part of land between Ireland and England the rest of Europe that’s now underwater. I think it’s a great way for all the fairy kingdoms and the pixies to hide their homes.

 Me: Good definition. Beauty’s Curse did have a very historical feel to it. And I like that idea of the faerie realm being underwater.

 How many versions of Sleeping Beauty did you research before deciding on how you wanted to tell your own story? Was there one you feel inspired you more than the others?

 C.S: I feel bad about this one, because I really only researched the Grimm fairy tale and the Disney version, and of course, the slap-dash post-modern nightmare that Disney made with Maleficent a few years ago. I hate things from all of them, to be honest. I especially hated how the princess is more or less at the mercy of other people’s choices from the very beginning. I don’t think any teenager princess would be willing to take that, no matter how charming and graceful and beautiful she is. 

 Me: Never feel bad for watching Disney movies. While we are on the subject of movies . . .

  If your series were made into a movie tomorrow, do you have a dream cast ready to give the director?

 C.S: I don’t really have a dream cast. I’m in love with my imagination, and I tend to live there for my entertainment needs more than I do here. 

 Me: Okay, I will let the director know, you prefer to use unknown actors. ;-D

 Your series features Fairies and magic, but it also has priests and Christians and scripture. How did you reconcile using these two seemingly different forces (God and magic) in the same story?

 C.S: This is a fairly consistent stance I have when it comes to faith. It says in the Bible that man is different from the Stars and Angels, and Jesus was unique in that he made himself like humans rather than the others. Angels have supernatural abilities and jobs, so I don’t see anything wrong with including angels, like Amalia, in my stories. I actually used the premise about the Stars for my fallen star superheroes in The Starlight Chronicles. It says in the Bible that humans are not meant to play with sorcery or consult with witches, and I really take this to mean that we, as humans, are not meant to play with or try to use magic. But for other creatures, especially magic and (so far as I know) imaginary ones?  I would see their magic as an innate trait, as Mary says, and like any ability, it would have limitations and rules placed on them by God and reinforced by their consciences. Of course, they would be fallen creatures, as we are, and they live in a fallen world, as we do, so they would have mostly-good and mostly-bad characters, same as humans do, because we are capable of both. I don’t see the two forces as competing forces, in the end; for me, God would have had to have designed them and granted them that free will and ability.  

 Me: I love that answer. And I have always been fascinated with the idea of stars as beings, more than just superheated balls of burning gas.

 Beauty’s Curse makes reference to at least one other classic fairy tale. If you could live the life of a Fairy Tale Princess, which one would you pick?

 C.S: If I could pick one, it would probably be “Beauty & the Beast.” I love love-hate stories. They’re really so good because they have a better understanding that people are at odds with other people, and when people come together, they become better people. I’m a very strong believer that love makes you a better person, even if it’s painful. Especially if it’s painful.

  Me: The perfect answer. I also adore all things Beauty and the Beast. Which begs a question. . .

 Now that Rose’s story is finished, are you planning on tackling any other fairy tales?

 C.S: I like fairy tales, I really do. I like the simple truth of their stories. I like that good and evil are brought out into more obvious terms, and I like that there is a lot of hope and redemption through courage and honor. But I don’t think I’d like to rewrite any other specific ones. Writing this one started out on a half-dare, from my students in my English class, when I explained how much I didn’t like Sleeping Beauty that much as a story. 

 I will say I’m still going to write them, but I like to borrow different elements from them and try to come up with my own scenarios. For example, Eydis: The Island of the Dragon Bride, is my latest novella, and it borrows things from the Atlantis myth, dragon myths, the traditional ‘damsel-princess-in-distress’ trope, and parts of Icelandic and Bermuda folklore. Ultimately, I like to ask my audience difficult questions—about faith, about life, about reality and how we can really know things—and I find fantasy and fairy tales are very lulling ways to do this without getting people angry (or angrier, in some cases.)

 Me: I love that you want to write original stories. Rose’s story was definitely the most original retelling of sleeping beauty I have ever read. Thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about your series.

 ***

CS Johnson             About the Author

C. S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

 Website // Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Google Plus 

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 25th

Book Spotlight – The Twirling Book Princess

 Tuesday, September 26th

– Book Spotlight – Michaela Mills

 Wednesday, September 27th

– FANtastic Interview –You are here

 Thursday, September 28th

– Book Review – Amanda’s Books and More

 Friday, September 29th

– Author Interview – Aconite Cafe

 Saturday, September 30th

– Book Review – Rachel Poli – I read. I write. I create.

Author Interview – Official Blog of Shannon A. Hiner

 Monday, October 2nd

– Author Interview – Liv K. Fisher

– Review – Mom with a Reading Problem

 Tuesday, October 3rd

– Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

 Wednesday, October 4th

Book Review – A Book A Day

– Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

– Author Interview – So Few Books

 Thursday, October 5th

Book Review – True YA Book Blogger

 Friday, October 6th

– Author Interview – Lands Uncharted

Book Spotlight – Rachel Lopez

Once Upon A Princess FB Party Banner – FACEBOOK PARTY – 8:30PM EST

 Saturday, October 7th

– Book Review – Rachel Poli – I read. I write. I create.

– Book Review – Official Blog of Shannon A. Hiner

 Monday, October 9th

– Wrap-Up Post – Unicorn Quester

Lawless cover reveal

Today on the blog I am participating in a cover reveal for a very exciting new novel.

 Lawless By: Janeen Ippolito hit my rader for two very important reasons. It is a steampunk fantasy WITH DRAGONS!!!

Read the awesome blurb below:

 The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.

 Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.

 Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia’s crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate–and are sentenced to death.

 Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what–and who–blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she knew what ‘betrothed’ and ‘arranged marriage’ meant.

 But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper–secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself.

 A steampunk fantasy adventure with a side of quirky romance and snark.

 So when Janeen was looking for help revealing her gorgious cover I raised my hand and shouted, “I volunteer.”

 So without further ado:

LawlessCover

AHH, IT’S SO AMAZING!!

 Now having seen that amazing cover art, naturally you want to read it right now. Good news, it comes out the 29th of September. That’s this month! But until then you can pre-order it from these fine retailers:

Amazon  Apple  Kobo  Barnes & Noble

 Signed copies here: Uncommon universe press.  I highly recommend this option.

 Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list!

About the Author:

IMG_20170726_062222322 (2)

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She writes quirky nonfiction world-building and writing resources, plus she’s an author of speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She’s also an experienced author coach, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com

 UUP Facebook Page  

Janeen Ippolito Facebook Author Page

Website: http://www.janeenippolito.com

Twitter: @TheQuietPen

Instagram: janeen_ippolito

 LawlessAvailableSept29

Cosplay on a budget and on the fly: Part 2

So the costume is coming together. But the deadline is looming ever closer. You aren’t quite sure if you’ll get it done in time. Then of course you have to remember to pack the sucker.

Here are my top costume ideas for heading out in character on the fly.

 I was going to take pictures of each of these, but it’s 90% humidity where I’m at so I don’t feel like having a fashion show right now.

 Idea #1) World’s biggest fan.

 You have that one fandom, the one where it’s not just an obsession, it’s a way of life. You don’t just have the cosplay, you have the quote tee, the character tee, the printed leggings, the socks, the watch, the shoulder bag. Your entire wardrobe basically. Use it. Your devotion is your cosplay. You are — The World’s Biggest Fan!

 But, what if you’re a devote of multiple fandoms?

 Well put on a little bit of everything and call yourself Random Fandom.

 The beauty of this is that even if multiple people use this idea, there will never be two exactly the same.

 Idea #2) Hitchhiking through the galaxy.

 Did the airport loose your luggage? Did you forget, in your packing flurry, to pack you costume? Or did you just plain run out of time?

 Throw on a bath robe/pajamas/anything that looks like you just escaped your planet blowing up. Grab a towel and slap the words DON’T PANIC on the back of the closest available book/book like thing. You are now from Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. Which character? Does it matter. It’s a big galaxy with many hitchhikers. Make up a name.

 Idea #3) It’s so Modern.

 Just think about all of the modern characters who wear Jeans and T-shirts. The Twilight characters, the Supernatural guys, a Doctor Who Companion all of these are just modern clothing with a few accessories. You could be the Storybrook version of your favorite Once upon a time character.

Twilight is super easy — just throw on a little body glitter.

Warning:  Do not use Body glitter in 90% humidity. 

 Idea #4) Guys clothing is so much easier.

 Why gender swap, when you can just go as a boy?

I am comfortable enough in my femininity that I can wear men’s clothing and pretend to be a man for a couple hours without having a crisis of identity.

 Lets face it ladies, cos-playing men is so much easier than women.

How about the Beast instead of Belle? That peasant top and black Capri, would be a great post transformation prince costume.

But if you are a guy, gender swapping is still totally an option. It would be easy for you to grab a Blue shirt and a white vest to play Bel. Bel, short for Bellemy maybe? Grab a book, place a rose in that button hole and done. Though if you want to wear the dress, I’m not judging.

Yes I am still waiting for a guy willing to play Bel to my beast. Or I can be Belle, i’m really not picky. Now taking applications for next year.

 So there you have it. My best ideas for super fast, super easy cosplay.

 Who have you always wanted to be?

Cosplaying on a budget and on the fly: Part 1.

The 2017 RealmMakers conference in Reno is at the end of this month. Some people dress up for the annual costume banquet. If you are like me you probably don’t have a lot of money to spend on extravagant costumes. Yet at the same time you really want to be clever and original.

Are you running out of time to get your costume together? Did you spend all of your money on that Plane ticket to Reno? What if I told you, you can still have an amazing costume without breaking the bank?

Are you interested?

 Good, I have three rules for you:

 1) Cosplay does not have to be screen worthy, just recognizable.

 moms sd card 051

Is the piping on the sleeves correct? No, it’s just yellow felt. Is the the badge accurate? No, I literally printed the first image from google onto card stock and taped a safety pin on the back. Blue shirt, black slacks, black men’s under shirt showing through the top.

Can anyone look at this costume and not think Star Trek? No and that is what what makes this a costume win.

 2) Regular clothes can be a costume.

 Using ready made clothing saves time on sewing. Using clothes from your closet or goodwill saves money. Altered clothing will hold up better than most costumes. Clothing is machine washable, and after your event it can go back into your closet for instant reuse as anything. Instead of taking up space between fan events.

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Black slacks, recycled graduation robe as a wizarding cloak, and a novelty shirt that I found at Walmart. But you could use a white button up shit and a grey cardigan. Add any house colored tie for extra realism.

 Rule 3 the last and greatest rule: Cosplay is meant to be fun.

In spite of  rule one’s best intentions some people will not get it. That’s okay. We do it for it the people who will get it. 

If your costume is stressing you out, then maybe you need to step back and rethink your design. Can it be simplified? Can you get away with something more abstract?

Maybe you are trying to cosplay a fandom you have no passion for because friends wanted to group cosplay.

Or maybe you were told that you could never cosplay that character you love because you are the wrong Gender, Body Type, Hair Color or Race.

Do not let anyone keep you from that fandom you love. You can be anything you love.

Refer to rule one and do the thing!

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