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Spark of Defiance
Games of Fire Trilogy Book 1
by Autumn M. Birt
Genre: Epic Fantasy
352 pages
Six months after a tragic war, the world of Myrrah has found peace.
But many of the heroes have not.
Wandering to avoid memories of lost friends and past actions, Zhao
reluctantly returns home to fulfill a promise to his sister. And to proclaim to
the elders of his people that their treatment of Air Elementals is
wrong. His homecoming is met with hostility but not for the reason he
expects. It is far worse.
To protect his gifted niece from a life of hardship and subjugation like
the one he endured, Zhao must rescue his sister. Even if she doesn’t
wish it. Quickly caught once again in events greater than he can
handle alone, Zhao struggles to prevent a personal conflict from
erupting into a larger battle. But friends are distant, and more than
a few are wrestling with new problems of their own.
Welcome BACK to the world of Myrrah full of elemental magic and epic
fantasy adventure!
A new trilogy begins in Games of Fire with book 1, Spark of Defiance.
Gates of Fire and Earth
Games of Fire Trilogy Book 2
415 pages
Success will destroy elemental magic.
Failure condemns this world and the next.
Named Guardian of the Elemental Spheres, Lavinia seeks the lost gates to
the spirit realm and their ancient guardians. But some of the
guardians have left their duties and those that have stayed may prove
as dangerous as her enemy, whose wrath threatens the world. To end an
ancient punishment inflicted on them by the Goddess for their role in
a forgotten war, the Ashanti will conquer this world and that of
spirit to gain power over death.
Lavinia must close the gates to stop the Ashanti, even though by doing so she
risks ending all elemental powers.
And the act has consequences greater than the ancient guardians imagine.
But one gate has a new guardian as
well as the old, and the last time he saw Lavinia, he tried to kill
her before she stole his power. And he’s been seeking revenge

Continue this epic fantasy journey begun in book 1 of the Games of Fire trilogy,

Spark of Defiance.
Friendships are tested as what is sacrificed is more than some are
willing to give. Welcome back to the world of Myrrah and meet the
Elementals of Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and Spirit who shape it. Pick
up book 2 of the Games of Fire trilogy, the
Gates of Fire & Earth,
today!

A New Goddess
Games of Fire Trilogy Book 3

The time has come to end their punishment or the world.

For nearly destroying the world in an ancient war, the Ashanti were
cursed by the Goddess Mhyrah with lifespans of less than a decade. To
regain normal lives for his people, Beh’kana, the Ashanti King,
will conquer death by gaining control of the source of all elemental
magic: the spirit realm. Even if he must burn the world to do so.
After all, he already killed his closest friend to gain the Ashanti
throne.
But his defeat at the Earth Gate nearly cost him his life.
Lavinia did not seek to be named Guardian of the Spheres when she touched
each to gain control of elemental power. But now that choice has
propelled her to being the key to stop the Ashanti. She controls the
gates that allow magic into the world. And she must close them or the
Ashanti will cross into the spirit realm and gain power beyond
imagination, enough to enslave or destroy the world they once sought
to rule.
But with the closure of each gate, an elemental power is lost.
Only two gates remain open. Magic is faint. Just when the fight grows the
most desperate. To win needed help, Lavinia has promised a man who
once tried to kill her best friend that she would open the gates and
restore magic again.
It might give them the power to fight the Ashanti or it will give their
enemy the world.
Discover the end to the epic fantasy journey begun in book 1 of the
Games of Fire trilogy, Spark of Defiance, and continued through book 2,
Gates of Fire & Earth. The
struggle for the power over life and death as well as all the
elements comes to a dramatic conclusion. Can a cruel ancient
punishment be ended without destroying magic or the world? Welcome
back to the world of Myrrah and meet the Elementals of Fire, Earth,
Water, Air, and Spirit who shape it. Pick up book 3 of the Games of
Fire trilogy,
A New Goddess, today!
Discover
the world of Myrrah- full of elemental magic and epic fantasy
adventure with the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy!
Find them on Amazon!
Autumn is a best selling author in fantasy, epic fantasy, and war – not all
on the same series though! She is the author of the epic fantasy,
adventure trilogy on elemental magic, the Rise of the Fifth Order.
Her newest series is Friends of my Enemy, a military dystopian/ dark
fantasy tale laced with romance. Friends of my Enemy was released in
full in 2015 and is quite the story full of strong characters, tight
plots, and lots of action. Meanwhile, she is working on a new epic
fantasy trilogy, Games of Fire, set in the same world as the Rise of
the Fifth Order. The first book was released in March of 2016.

Author Q & A

Should you read the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy before reading Games of Fire?

You should definitely read Spark of Defiance, book 1 of Games of Fire, before reading the Gates of Fire & Earth. I did my best to lightly explain some of the pertinent events from the first trilogy, the Rise of the Fifth Order, in this new epic fantasy trilogy, Games of Fire so that you could start with Spark of Defiance.

But a few readers have said they got a lot more depth for having read the Rise of the Fifth Order first. They suggest you start there! It is certainly a great introduction to the world of Myrrah and the characters by starting with Born of Water, which is free to pick up. But I won’t say you absolutely have to.

Is Games of Fire a continuation of the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy?

The Games of Fire and the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogies are related in that they are set in the same world of Myrrah, utilize many of the same characters, and are full of elemental magic. Games of Fire begins with Spark of Defiance, which is set six months after the final book, Spirit of Life, of the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy ends.

New problems have developed, so the Games of Fire story line is stand alone trilogy with the same heroes from the first story. However a few events that happened in the Rise of the Fifth Order are the cause of the new challenges rising in Games of Fire. So the two series are linked, but each consists of a different set of adventures and issues to solve.

I’ve only ever heard of four elements, but these books have five even though it is based on elemental magic?

This is true! Five elements, air, earth, water, fire, and spirit is actually an eastern philosophy. I wish I could say I invented it. Lol. The difference really comes with the element of earth. Only dead things and soil can be controlled by an Earth Elemental, while plants or anything living (like the ability to change into another living creature) is something that a Spirit Elemental controls. Spirit Elementals are also able to control the other four elements, at least to some degree.

Part of the discovery in the Rise of the Fifth Order series is that the ability to control one element might indicate latent gifts in any element. However, it is always difficult to learn to control the element opposing your own. So a Water Elemental might learn to control fire, but only with difficulty! AND a few of the heroes have discovered that if you can learn to control fire, earth, air, and water then no matter what element you are born with, you can unlock some of the gifts of spirit.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
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Rhuna – Keeper of Wisdom
A Quest For Ancient Wisdom Book 1
by Barbara Underwood
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
In the ancient, mystical past when an idyllic Atlantis-like civilization
flourished, its people with exceptional powers could build giant
stone structures like the Pyramids, and transform elements such as
sand to stone and metal to gold with concentrated energy of the
mind.
This utopian Atlan Empire is rocked when one of its most preeminent
Masters rebels and seeks to subvert the ideals of Atlan society.
Roaming the countryside in a black robe, misusing his powers on
innocent people, he becomes known as the dreaded Dark Master.

 

On a distant and isolated island on the fringes of the Atlan Empire, a
young girl named Rhuna comes of age when she meets a man from Atlán
and learns that her father was an Atlan Master who was killed in his
attempt to destroy the Dark Master.
Journeying across oceans and ancient worlds, Rhuna learns to master her inherent
mental powers, transforming elements and summoning visions by means
of the Gazing of the Waters. Unlike her peers, however, Rhuna
discovers she has an extra power, namely the ability to summon
visions mentally, without incantations or powders.
When the Dark Master’s activities become a threat to the peaceful Atlan
Empire, the Atlan Masters come to realize that they cannot defeat him
without Rhuna’s special visionary powers to observe the Dark
Master’s activity and whereabouts.
The first book in this extraordinary Urban Fantasy series lays the
foundations of the Atlan Empire and Rhuna’s world, and even when
the Dark Master appears to have been defeated, secret and sinister
powers continue to threaten the ancient Utopia.
Rhuna- Crossroads
A Quest For Ancient Wisdom Book 2
This exciting second book in the Rhuna YA Urban Fantasy Series can also be
read as a standalone novel.

 

Some years have passed since Rhuna helped to defeat the Dark Master in her
new home of Atlán, and now Rhuna has a teenage daughter who
accompanies her on an assignment in Ancient Egypt to investigate some
disturbing reports.
She soon discovers an astonishing underground network of the Dark
Master’s followers, along with the secret group of Atlans dedicated
to stopping them. In the process of trying to carry out her
assignment, Rhuna is confronted with enormous challenges that could
drastically change her entire life and everything she has ever
believed in!
Rhuna – The Star Child
A Quest For Ancient Wisdom Book 3
This thrilling sequel to Rhuna: Crossroads is set in mystical Ancient
Egypt where Black Magic was developed by the followers of the
legendary villain, The Dark Master. As strange and frightening curses
plague the population, Rhuna discovers the underground organization
that performs this uncanny new magic, but she can only combat it with
the help of her long-lost father. Having learned from her father
amazing new skills to empower her on the Astral Plane, Rhuna once
again strives to preserve peace and harmony in the idyllic Atlan
civilization.

 

Far more challenging than fighting powerful Dark Forces, however, is
Rhuna’s personal anguish when her daughter becomes involved with
the leader of the Black Magic movement, and the once-perfect Atlan
society based on utopian principles begins to crumble all around her.
Shocking events escalate Rhuna’s world to a breathless climax as
she and her family undergo a momentous upheaval, and she is forced to
make great personal sacrifices for her loved ones.
Rhuna – New Horizons
A Quest For Ancient Wisdom Book 4
The fourth book in the series, Rhuna: New Horizons can also be read as a
standalone novel.
After sacrificing a life of comfort and security for her daughter’s sake,
Rhuna and her family go into exile and start a new life in the former
Atlan colony of Varappa. This faraway land is a frontier of new
technology such as air travel, loops in time and a society apparently
flourishing without a governing body of any kind.
On the surface, everyone appears to thrive in this liberated society,
but this kind of free thinking is fertile ground for the Dark Master
and his followers. Just when Rhuna and her family settle into their
beautiful new lakeside home, strange things begin to happen. Powerful
conjurers cause upheaval with their sinister magic, driving people
from their homes.
An isolated society claiming to adhere to the ways of the First Atlans,
appear to be fighting a losing battle against these followers of the
Dark Master. While attempting to find a diplomatic solution to the
escalating conflict, Rhuna faces great challenges in her personal
life. Aradin’s love for her has cooled off inexplicably, and
Lozira’s emotional wellbeing teeters on a precarious threshold. In
desperation, Rhuna combines her magical powers and Varappan
technology to do the unthinkable. What she does, however, is
forbidden, and brings about a rift between her and her own father.
Rhuna may have headed down a path from which there is no turning
back…

 GUEST POST FROM THE AUTHOR

The Writing Process, Some Advice, and how to Unwind

My writing process is fairly straight-forward, combining practical common sense with a bit of unbridled creative passion!  First of all, I glean all the information on my next topic (eg Rhuna in Ancient Egypt) from my stash of historical, New Age, spiritual, pseudoscientific books and take notes of the points I like.  From about 50 such points, however, I might only end up using half or less, but that’s fine.  In the beginning, I don’t have a clear idea of what I’m going to use, but if I have a nice long list of ideas/topics/facts/myths to choose from, then it’s easier to grab one as I’m going along.

Before I start writing, I formulate a general plot in my head.  Since this a series, I have a definite starting point (the cliff-hanger from the last book) and end point (the cliff-hanger leading to the next book).   I have some definite ideas what will happen between both points; not just in terms of events but how characters will be affected.

Once I have a fairly solid base line to follow, I allow myself to develop and add things as I go along, and this often happens almost by itself from Part II onwards.  Often I have Part I clearly defined in my mind before I get started, and this helps me lay the groundwork for the rest of the book, such as setting the scene, raising the new issues or problems Rhuna will be facing, and creating some suspense as to what will happen.

Usually I write to story in sequence, but at times I’ve been overwhelmed by new ideas or a description of feelings or events that happen further along in the story.  That’s when I let the creativity flow freely, and later I connect those scenes with the ones written in chronological order.

Some advice I’d gladly pass on to new and aspiring authors are these:

  • Be yourself. Don’t try to write in the style of a popular author, or even your favourite author.  You have to find your own inner voice and then let it shine forth.
  • Every word you write should come from your heart and soul – not your brain dictating how you think it should read. If you do this, readers will instinctively feel it and have an emotional response to your book.
  • Remember that books are like people: with some you immediately ‘click’; with others you just can’t gel. This goes for the books you read yourself, but also what to remember when readers don’t like your book.  Not everyone is going to like it, just as not everyone is going to like you personally.  That’s just the way it is.
  • If you are being yourself in your creation, then continue to be true to yourself. Keep writing and growing while doing the necessary promotion and marketing of your books, and your readership will grow:  slowly but surely.

Being creative can be more mentally exhausting that you realize, so it’s important to make yourself have a break before you feel the brain fog or mental block developing.  In my case, I have another creative outlet, namely art: sketching, oil painting, acrylic, watercolour, still life, portraits or whatever grabs my fancy.  I meet with other artists at the local Art Society’s studio once a week, and this is already a great little break when I’ve been writing or thinking a lot about a book.  Other times, I feel I need a week or two away from writing and just do paintings and sketches around home.

When I’m out of creative gusto, I play games: jigsaw puzzles (on the computer nowadays – much easier!) some hidden object mystery games and Super City on Facebook.  Other times just going to the park with hubby and the dog is enough unwinding for a few hours.  And believe it or not, doing some necessary chores and housework can also help to unwind mentally just by giving you some distance from the work you were focused on.

Barbara Underwood was born and raised in Sydney, Australia; the only child of
German migrants who provided a rich and diverse childhood
environment. Already in third grade she wrote a short children’s book
for a class project and realized that she was deeply satisfied with
creating stories. In sixth grade, for another class project, her
teacher was so impressed by the lengthy story she submitted, that he
commented at the end “I see we are going to have another author”.
Over the years Barbara kept writing one thing or another, but only as a
hobby while she pursued other interests and goals. In the 1990s, she
completed a correspondence course in professional writing, doing it
in her spare time after work. This led to having a few short stories
published, but what she really wanted to do was write a proper
novel.
At this time, Barbara had travelled extensively and gained a wealth of
knowledge and experience in subjects that held special appeal for
her, namely ancient history, myths and legends (such as Atlantis, the
builders of megaliths around the world), folklore (the belief that a
god-like race gave mankind its technology), human psychology and the
culture of other countries. What better subject for her first novel
than to combine all these elements into one big adventure!
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Mjolnir
by Brian James
Genre: Urban Fantasy
The Viking gods have been banished from Asgard by Odin. Today they make
the best of life on Earth. Thor is a professional athlete, Freya a
prostitute, and Loki sells cheap products on QVC. Lurking in the
background of their lives is a prophecy; one that declares that their
time is at an end. Ragnarok is about to throw the gods into a state
of civil war and the one who controls the hammer of Thor may be able
to change the arc of destiny.
Brian makes his home in Michigan safely out of bullet range of Detroit. His
work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press, World Poker Tour
magazine, Classic Rock magazine, and too many websites to list
without petitioning the good people at Amazon to expand the biography
word count limits.
Brian often brings his love of mythology into his writing. He enjoys the
act of taking characters created during the “Bring out your
dead”, plague ridden days of the dark ages and placing them in
our modern world.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

GUEST POST

 

Q: What is something unique/quirky about you?

A: I’m a political libertarian who doesn’t smoke or do drugs. I will only drink alcohol if it comes with a little umbrella in the glass. Also, I am looking forward to the day when I am old enough to scream at kids to get off my lawn with the sort of curmudgeon credibility that only comes with an AARP card.

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?

A: My next project is Romans Vs. Zombies. Most people don’t know that the ancient Romans once invaded Denmark. This was back in the days before the Roman Senate used Ginsu products to express their displeasure with Caesar. My next book builds on the factual events of the Roman incursion into Scandinavia and introduces the ancient world’s finest military force to draugrs, mythology’s first zombies.  

Q: If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

A: Screwing around with models. Not the kind with silicone in their chests, but the type that require glue and meticulous airbrushing. Of course, that could be the other kind as well, but not in this case. I have a backlog of models I haven’t had time to build yet. If I knew I was going to die, I would have to finish one or two, if for no other reason to satisfy my OCD leanings.

Q: Who is your hero and why?

A: I’m not sure I have a hero. Whoever performs Hafthor Bjornsson’s prostate exam would probably have to make the list. This is based on nothing more than his heroic lack of self-preservation instincts. But I can’t think of one person who stands out as a hero. There is more of a particular trait in some people that I find extremely heroic. I hate to quote a cartoon, but in MegaMind there is the line “The Megamind I know would never run from a fight even if he knew he had no chance of winning! It was your best quality.” It’s a rather silly example (especially considering that MegaMind is voiced by Will Ferrell) but the Spartans of Thermopylae, the British at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, Stephen in front of the Sanhedrin, and The Scottish under Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn. They all exhibited this quality. I find it to be admirable.

Q: What book do you think everyone should read?

A: This is obviously a subjective question and I’m sure depending upon who is asked the answers will range from books about Traveling Pants and Horse Whisperers to novels about sad old fishermen. Personally, I think The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a book everyone should read. Its smart, funny, and has characters that you get immediately attached to. In fact, the entire series qualifies as a “must read”. With the exception of the very last book. After Douglas Adams passed away, his publisher tried to squeeze one last nickel out of the franchise. The last book was written by someone who was “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike” Mr. Adams. Those of us who read that last book (I think there were three of us) will only be able to get the memory of that novel out of our heads with a shotgun.  

A: What kind of world ruler would you be?

Q: A terrible one. I would fall into the category of Frisky Despot. I’m not quite sure if the blood of the martyrs would be running through the streets, but I would have a chariot pulled by several hundred of those creepy hairless cats. I would also replace President’s Day with a Stan Lee Day and have David Hasselhoff declared Burgermeister Meisterburger of the Western Hemispere.

A: What do you do to unwind and relax?

Q: I build models, play board games, and find plot holes in popular movies. I also have a decades long search for the most epically horrible Hawaiian shirts that could be burped up from the seventh circle of hell.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Mjolnir?

A: The characters in Mjolnir are all gods from Norse myths. Just about anyone who has ever picked up a comic book will recognize them. Unlike their comic book doppelgangers, the versions in Mjolnir stay true to their mythological roots. For example, I have written Freya as a stripper and a high-class escort. I didn’t do this because she the Norse pantheon’s the goddess of love. I did this because in the myths she attained her most prized possession, the Necklace of the Brisings, by trading sex for jewelry with three dwarves. This trait would translate to the modern world as well. All the characters are still their mythological selves, applying those personality traits to contemporary times.

Q: Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

A: Great White Buffalo (Really White)

 

Q: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

A: A wise man once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I think his name was Larry. Anyway, I approach research and writing with the same enthusiasm that kids run to a bouncy or singles download Tinder. I enjoy the whole thing. If I had to choose a single aspect that was my favorite it would be creating little unexpected twists that change the direction of the story.

 

Q: Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

A: Let’s start with Thor. He is a worship junkie. Being adored is his crack. He’s also now an atheist thanks to the death of his wife, Sif. He reasoned that if a goddess can die, is she really a god? He still demands worship though, so he now plays professional football.

Odin lives his life looking down the barrel of a gun called the Ragnarok prophecy. According to this foretelling he will die in the final war of Ragnarok. His entire existence revolves around avoiding this fate.

Freya is just trying to get by in life as comfortably as possible without having to associate with other gods at all.

Loki, like Odin, has an eye towards Ragnarok. He engages in moves and countermoves in an attempt to be one up on his former blood brother, Odin. Survival is not his motivation though. He is looking for complete victory over the Odin and the other gods.