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More Adventure Than Ever!

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More Adventure Than Ever!

Lots of news and three new short stories start Spring off with a bang!

First, the stories:

In the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures:

Storm Surge—When the caravan is beset by danger and a black beast stalks the shadows, Jonmarc Vahanian fears he is being stalked by a blood mage with a dangerous vendetta.

Bounty Hunter—Three bounty hunters come prowling around the caravan.  Are they after Jonmarc, or does one of his fellow travelers hide an even darker secret?

And in the Deadly Curiosities series:

The Wild Hunt–When a strange relic shows up in town and people start dying, Sorren and Dietger battle dark forces and the hounds of Hell.

Storm Surge and Bounty Hunter are available on Kindle, Kobo and Nook.  The Wild Hunt is currently only on Kindle, but stay tuned—it will be released for Kobo and Nook later this year. At just .99, they’re a cheap thrill!  (And if you haven’t checked out the rest of my short stories on ebook, take a look—there’s a new one every month!)

Next, new books coming!

Reign of Ash, the sequel to Ice Forged, will be out in early 2014.  Blaine McFadden and his friends will be back, and the fate of magic—and the Continent—rests in their hands.

News Flash! I’ve just signed a contract with Orbit for at least two more Ascendant Kingdoms books, so you’ll be seeing more of Blaine after Reign of Ash!

Catch me if you can!

May 24-26 I’ll be at Balticon in Hunt Valley, MD, and then May 31 – June 2, catch me at ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC.

Later this year, you can find me at DragonCon in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend, Philcon in West Orange, NJ in November, and in October I’ll be in the Big Easy for ContraFlow, a new con for me in New Orleans!

June 21, I’ll be hosting the annual Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek online event, your first glimpse of excerpts from Reign of Ash, brand new blog posts, podcasts and interviews.  It’s always plenty of fun, so be sure to watch for more details!

If you’re interested in writing and you’re in the Charlotte area, I host a monthly writing Meetup group on the second Wednesday evening of the month.  Hope you can join us!  Details are here: http://www.meetup.com/Thrifty-Author-Publishing-Success-Network/

If you can’t come to the Meetup group, I host a different discussion topic every month on Goodreads.com.  Sometimes we talk about writing, sometimes we talk about things we love about the books we’ve read—come and play with us!  Details here: http://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin

I hang out on Facebook and Twitter, so if you’ve got questions or just like to talk about fandom, favorite shows, books and movies, join the conversation at Facebook.com/TheWinterKingdoms and on Twitter.com/GailZMartin.

Thank you…and a small request

Thank you very much for reading.  If you didn’t read, there would be no need for me to write.  And out of all the things you can choose to read, thank you very much for reading my stories.  It’s an exciting thing to share the world that’s in your head with others and have it become real to them.  You make that possible, and I am very grateful.

And now a small request….if you’ve enjoyed the books and short stories, please help others find them by adding a review on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Indigo, Waterstones or your favorite online booksellers, or on Goodreads.  I truly appreciate it!

I hope to see you soon, online or at an event.  Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three All-New Short Stories Now on Kindle (And coming soon to Nook, Kobo and iBooks)

NL Short Story Ice Forged Bannerby Gail Z. Martin

Now that Ice Forged is in bookstores everyone (and topping the Amazon charts on both sides of the Atlantic—thank you readers!), and the sequel is already in the hands of my editor, it’s time to unveil new short stories coming each month to ebook!

If you like pirates, magic, vampires, and cursed objects, try my new Deadly Curiosities Adventures.  The first two stories, Vanities and Steer a Pale Course, are now on ebook—with more all-new, never-before-published stories to come.

If you liked my Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle series and want more Jonmarc Vahanian excitement, I’ve got new stories just for you, starting with Raider’s Curse!

Ever wonder how Jonmarc Vahanian became the most dangerous warrior of his generation? How he earned the bounties on his head? What really happened in Nargi?  And where he got that scar? My new Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures take you back to the beginning, and I’m planning to tell his story all the way up to where he meets up with four young men running for their lives who need to hire a guide.

And if you haven’t grabbed Ice Forged, what are you waiting for?  It’s in trade paperback wherever books are sold, and also on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks.

Here’s more about those new short stories….

The Deadly Curiosities Adventures

This series of adventures spans over 500 years, from the 1500s to modern day as a small cabal of vampires and their human helpers battle supernatural enemies to find and destroy dangerous magical items and keep the world safe from dark forces.

Vanities—Jewel thief and newly-turned vampire Sorren sets out to steal a priceless brooch possessed by an ancient evil before it sets the Black Dragon loose in medieval Antwerp.

Steer a Pale Course—Two young fishermen in post-Revolutionary America are forced to retrieve a deadly object from an ancient burial mound or face the vengeance of raiders who have taken their village hostage.

The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures

Soldier. Fight slave. Smuggler. Warrior. Brigand lord.  If you’ve met Jonmarc Vahanian in the Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings Cycle books, you don’t really know him until you take his journey.

Raiders’ Curse—The legend begins.  When sea raiders threaten the villages along the Margolan coast, young Jonmarc Vahanian risks everything to save his family.

“Like” my Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms page to get all the news first when new short stories are ready to post plus con photos and other news—or just hang out and chat!

Are you on Twitter?  Follow me @GailZMartin for updates on signings, funny stuff and sort-of witty conversation.

Join me on Goodreads for a new writing-related group every month—we talk about favorite books, how to get published, and other stuff you won’t want to miss.  Friend me at http://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin

Come hang out with me at a con!

I’m everywhere from New York to Arizona in the coming months—and I do it to talk with readers!  So come by and see me!

  • Feb. 15 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Books a Million at Cotswold from 1-3
  • Feb. 16 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Barnes & Noble in Pineville, NC from 2-4
  • I’ll be back in Roanoke for Mysticon Feb. 22 – 24—Ice Forged Launch Party is Saturday night!
  • I’ll be at Lunacon March 15 – 17 in Rye Brook, NY
  • Look for me at the Arizona Renaissance Festival (near Phoenix) signing books March 23-24
  • I’ll be at Ravencon in Richmond, VA April 5 – 7.
  • Going to Balticon in Hunt Valley MC May 24-27
  • Come see me at ConCarolina in Charlotte, NC May 31 – June 2
  • I’ll be at Dragon*Con Labor Day weekend!

That’s all for now—but watch for new short stories, updates on upcoming new books and new signings and events on Twitter and Facebook.  And whether you stop by at an event or catch me online—let’s connect!

May I ask a small favor?  If you enjoy the books and short stories, please tell your friends, share a link on Twitter or Facebook or put a review on Amazon.  I’d really appreciate it!

Thank you for reading—because readers like you give me a reason to keep on writing.

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Ice Forged is In Stores Now!

Ice Forged

Ice Forged is in stores January 8!

Ice Forged: Book One in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga is now in stores!

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…

I’m going to be partying with readers to celebrate Ice Forged’s release throughout January and February—and beyond. Here’s where to find me!

I’m hosting three Ice Forged launch parties with refreshments, prize drawings and book signings—join me for the fun and surprises at Arisia (Boston), Chattacon (Chattanooga) and Mysticon (Roanoke)!

• Jan. 9 – 16 I’ll be hosting a discussion on Goodreads about end of the world fiction—join us! http://bit.ly/Vfo2Dd
• Jan. 11 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Barnes & Noble at Birkdale, Huntersville from 5 – 7 pm
• Jan. 12 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Books a Million in Concord Mills NC from 1 – 3 pm
• Jan. 18 – 20 Arisia in Boston —Ice Forged Launch Party is Saturday night
• Jan. 25 – 27 Chattacon in Chattanooga, TN —Ice Forged Launch Party is Saturday night!
• Feb. 1 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Barnes & Noble Morrowcroft (South Charlotte) from 7-8:30
• Feb. 2 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at Park Road Books in Charlotte from 2 – 4
• Feb. 8 – 10 Shevacon in Roanoke, VA
• Feb. 15 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Books a Million at Cotswold from 1-3
• Feb. 16 I’ll be signing Ice Forged at the Barnes & Noble in Pineville, NC from 2-4
• Feb. 22 – 24 Mysticon in Roanoke —Ice Forged Launch Party is Saturday night!
• Mar. 15 – 17 Lunacon in Rye Brook, NY
• Look for me at the Arizona Renaissance Festival (near Phoenix) signing books March 23-24
• Apr. 5 – 7 Ravencon in Richmond, VA
• May 31 – June 2 ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC
• Labor Day Weekend Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA

I’ve got some more surprises coming for you in 2013!

• Be part of the conversation on Goodreads as I host a new discussion every month. We’ll talk about writing, publishing, fantasy, favorite books and more—and you’re invited!

• I’ll be bringing out all-new short stories throughout 2013—a new one every month on Amazon. Explore my Deadly Curiosities universe of cursed objects and intrepid thieves (think American Pickers meets The Exorcist across 500 years).

Jonmarc Vahanian is back! Find out how the brigand lord of Dark Haven became the most feared warrior in the Winter Kingdoms in my new series of short stories—new on Amazon in early 2013!

• If you dream of writing your own bestseller, join my Thrifty Author Meetup Group—now both live and virtual so you can participate wherever you are! We meet live once a month in Charlotte, NC, but starting in 2013, Meetup group members can join in on the Goodreads discussion as well—new topics each month!

“Like” my Winter Kingdoms page on Facebook and follow me @GailZMartin on Twitter—I post live from cons and signings, and let you know where there are extra signed copies!

• My GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com will introduce a whole new slate of author readings and interviews—drop by and meet the pros!

• If you like the paranormal, drop by my DisquietingVisions.com blog, where I post each week along with my co-bloggers J.F. Lewis (urban fantasy), Crymsyn Hart (paranormal erotic romance), and Tina McSwain (a bona fide ghost hunter).

I’ll be a guest on these blogs over the next few weeks, so please visit and comment!

•RT Book Reviewer

• Civilian Reader

• BookLifeNow

• Fantasy Book Critic

• OrbitBooks.net

• WritersFunZone.com/blog

http://anneejohnson.blogspot.com/

http://roxannebland.com

http://vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com

http://www.freethewriterinside.com.

• Monday, January 14 http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com/2013/01/author-interview-gail-martin.html

• Monday, January 14, http://www.ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/

• Wed. January 23rd http://www.terribruce.net

• Thurs. January 24th http://www.twfendly.com

• Thurs. Jan 24  http://anneejohnson.blogspot.com/

• Fri. January 25th http://emlabonte.blogspot.com/

• Mon. January 28th http://ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/

• Tues. January 29th http://deanswritingtime.blogspot.com/

Read an excerpt from Ice Forged here: http://a.pgtb.me/JvGzTt

 

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Days of the Dead—Get Ready for Ice Forged!

Welcome to my annual Days of the Dead Online Event. As always, I’ve got lots of treats—excerpts (from my own stuff plus some of my friends), audios, and even some giveaways for your first chance to get an advance copy of Ice Forged three months before it’s in stores!

For any fan of the supernatural, this week is the best time of the year.  Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos all in one week—what’s not to love?

What’s up this year?  For starters, Ice Forged—the first book in my new Ascendant Kingdoms series—will launch January 8.  It’s available now for pre-order, but you can read four different excerpts for free on my Days of the Dead partner sites—and three sites will be offering giveaways where the lucky winners can get their hands on a copy right away!

I’ve also got two new short stories in two different UK anthologies, Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane (from Solaris Books) and The Mammoth Book of Women’s Ghost Stories.  And even better, I’ve got free excerpts!

Drawings for signed copies of Ice Forged, so make sure you enter—you can’t win if you don’t play!

What are you waiting for?  You can get in on all the Days of the Dead fun on a treasure hunt/Trick-or-Treat just by visiting these sites.  And please, “like” my TheWinterKingdoms page on Facebook when you visit to get the goodies!

Here’s where the action is:

Remember—each partner site with an excerpt from Ice Forged has a different excerpt!

I’ll end with my favorite childhood blessing:  “From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night—good Lord, deliver us!”  (Even better, deliver the books so we can read all about it!)

__________________________________________________________

Why We Love Scarred Heroes

For me, people who have sailed through life to adulthood without any scars are not lucky, they’ve been deprived of life’s most valuable lessons—how to get back up again when you’ve been knocked flat on your ass.

The trick, of course, is to come to an understanding with your scars so that you learn from them but they don’t control you.  Depending on what caused the scar, that can be trickier than it sounds.

I believe everyone who lives past infanthood gets a few scars along the way,  but some people really do seem to live a charmed life, affording them no more than the emotional equivalent of a scraped knee, while other people end up in body casts.  You might think that the people who have coasted through unscathed are the lucky ones, but in my experience, folks like this often lack a level of empathy, making them incapable of really identifying with other people’s traumatic experiences.  That kind of pain, because it’s outside their personal experience, even by extension, seems impossible for them to understand.  Without being able to identify with someone else’s pain, loss or suffering, it’s impossible to truly care.  At best, these charmed-life folks are a little clueless.  At worst, they’re unsympathetic or judgmental—or indifferent.

All my heroes have scars—deep ones.  Without those scarring experiences, they would not rise to become heroes.  They wouldn’t have been prepared by the same life experiences, they wouldn’t have had to face their own shadow-side, and they wouldn’t have gained the courage that comes from knowing what you’re truly capable of withstanding.

Under extreme circumstances, some people collapse.  Others take an every-man-for-himself approach.  Heroes find something in themselves that will not give in, and resolve to leave no one behind.

Real heroes aren’t the people who get themselves out of danger.  They’re the ones who go back into dangerous territory—real or emotional—to bring others to safety.  In real life, they’re the fire fighters or soldiers or police officers who go into a dangerous situation when everyone else runs the other way.  They’re the grief counselors and coordinators of battered women’s shelters and safe houses for abused children who are willing to stare evil in the face to save someone, because more often than not, they’ve lived the battle themselves.  They’re the suicide hotline people, the AA leaders, the people who are there to call when there’s no one else to turn to. They’re credible because most of the time, they faced the dragon and lived to tell the tale—and then they turned around and went back into the fire to make sure others also get to safety.

My heroes have paid a high price, and they’ve earned their scars.  But their personal survival isn’t what makes them heroic.  It’s that, when given a choice, they turn around and put themselves in danger to save others.  Those are my kind of heroes.

Please enjoy this excerpt from “The Low Road,” my short story in the Spells and Swashbucklers anthology: http://www.4shared.com/office/CQ5Af400/An_Excerpt_from_The_Low_Road_b.html

And an excerpt from “Buttons”, my short story in the Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane here: http://www.4shared.com/office/20nwnf1S/Buttons_excerpt_1.html

 

 

 

 

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It’s time for the Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek of Ice Forged on June 21—and you’re invited!

Ice Forged won’t be out in bookstores until January, but you can get a first look at the cover and read four different unique excerpts, plus plenty of other free downloadable fun like interviews and blog posts in my Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek event June 21!

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…

Ice Forged is Book One in my brand new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga.  Ice Forged will be available in stores and online world-wide in January 2013.  But you can read an excerpt here, plus get exclusive Q&A, interviews and other online goodies by visiting the partner sites, which are listed on my web page.

During the Hawthorn Moon event, you can find never-before-released excerpts, interviews, audio, and other goodies on a variety of great fantasy sites that have agreed to be part of this debut party.

Here’s where to find the goodies:

OrbitBooks.net—First look at the cover art for Ice Forged plus a Q&A with me about the new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga series.

SFSignal.com—Exclusive guest blog post:  Things I Learned from Writing Fantasy

BookLoons.com—Exclusive excerpt #1 from Ice Forged in early July

MagicalWords.net—What Level of Insanity Inspires an Author to Start Writing a Brand New Series? Posts 6/29

SciFiChick.com—Exclusive excerpt #2 from Ice Forged posts 6/22

FreeTheWriterInside.com—Exclusive excerpt #3 from Ice Forged

TheWritersLens.com—Why and How I Write—exclusive guest blog post

http://SandraSaidak.com/ –What are the challenges of creating a new series? Why is the Ascendant Kingdoms set in a post-apocalyptic medieval world?  Read my exclusive blog post and find out!

Twitter.com/GailZMartin—Directions to all the goodies that are part of the sneak peek event!

Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms—A free short story, “Vanities” that’s never appeared before in the U.S. (Please “like” the page while you’re there!)

DisquietingVisions.com—an interview with Ice Forged main character Blaine McFadden

GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com—Brand new audio of me reading an excerpt from Ice Forged

MySpace (GailZMartin) and my ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer newsletter—an interview with courtesan/spy/assassin Kestel Falke.

And on my AscendantKingdoms.com web site, you’ll find the following “party favors”:

  • And exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1 of  Ice Forged (one of four different excerpts)
  • An interview with master thief Verran Danning

Thank you for checking out my Hawthorn Moon sneak peek party.  Enjoy!

 

Interview with Verran Danning, master thief and sometime musician

Q:  Rumor has it you were exiled to Velant for theft.  Is that right?

A:  Really?  Well, maybe, if you count the time I stole that guard’s drink. No, wait.  I stole the wagon full of ale that was headed to the tavern where the guards drink.  Something like that.  Of course, it could have been for playing off tune in a crowded bar, although I like to think I do a bit better than that, most nights.  Then again, it might have been when I slept with the wife of the captain of the guard….really, does it matter?

Q:  And you met Lord Blaine McFadden during your transport?

A:  Well now, that’s a bit of a sore point.  I met a guy who called himself “Mick” when we were both on the boat to Velant.  Didn’t find out for six years that he was a bleedin’ lord!  By the gods, you go through prison with a fellow, pool your wages to set up a homestead with him and four of your best mates, and then out of the blue, you find out he’s a bleedin’ lord!

Q: Do you think Blaine McFadden can bring back the magic?

A:  Damned if I know.  But that vampire mage seemed to think so.  And that assassin sure seemed to think so.  I mean, have you ever heard about someone sending an assassin after a convict?  Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire, I always say.  Mick’s a decent sort, for a murderer and all—but, from what little he’ll say about it, which isn’t much, the other fellow had it comin’, so it’s not really Mick’s fault about the killin’. Anyhow—magic?  Didn’t have much myself, but I missed it once it was gone.  So if there’s a way to bring it back, I’m in.  Never say Verran Danning passed up a good story…or a drink.

Interview with Kestel Falke,  courtesan, spy and assassin

Q:  You were once the most sought-after courtesan in King Merrill’s court.  How did you end up a prisoner in Velant?

A:  (Shrugs) Things can change so quickly at court.  Kill the wrong person, and everyone gets touchy.

Q: You met Lord Blaine McFadden in Velant?

A:  I met Mick at court, although he doesn’t remember.  That’s all right.  I’m good at keeping secrets.

Q: Rumor has it you share a homestead with McFadden, court-martialed soldier Piran Rowse, condemned murderer Dawe Killick and thief Verran Danning.  Isn’t that a little…cozy?

A: Let’s get this straight right now.  We’re housemates, not bedmates.  The boys and I have an understanding.

Q:  You’ve earned your Ticket of Leave and become a full colonist in the Edgeland colony.  Can Edgeland survive without Donderath?

A: I won’t lie to you.  It isn’t exactly comfortable up here, even when the supply ships come on a regular basis.  Commander Prokief up at the prison skims off the best of everything, and leaves the colonists with the dregs.  But then again, it’s not like Donderath goes out of its way to provision us, either.  We’re Merrill’s oubliette, remember?  We’ve got more herring than we know what to do with.  We can grow crops.  We survived Velant.  We’ll make do.

Q: Can Edgeland survive without magic?
A:  Well now, that’s the real question, isn’t it?

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Coming up next….

This month, you’ve got the opportunity to download the full short story, Steer a Pale Course, for free for a limited time.  I hope you enjoy this story, which takes place in my “Trifles and Folly” fictional universe, quite a departure from my full-length fiction!

June is always a big month online, with my Hawthorn Moon online sneak peek of the next book’s cover art.  You’ll get your first look at Ice Forged’s cover, plus excerpts and lots of goodies.

In June, you’ll have the chance to download a different full short story, Vanities, for free (again, for a limited time).  This story originally appeared in a UK anthology, The Bitten Word.

Once the short stories no longer appear for free on Facebook, they will be available for .99 on my www.ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com web site.

Enjoy!

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Watch for me at Balticon!

Once again, Ravencon in Richmond VA was a fantastic event.  From the steampunk Darth Vader to the wealth of panels to choose from, to the great dealer room, it’s always a well-run con and a darn fine party.

Personal panel schedules were not available when I checked in, so I started the con by showing up at the wrong panel (they let me stay), but I had a blast anyhow.  One of my favorite panels was on the “magical middle class”—characters in Harry Potter who weren’t main characters, but who kept the world running.  It was the perfect topic for a panel, and we had a full room with people who were not afraid to participate—which is ideal for those of us upon the panel who don’t want to do all the talking.

One of the evening highlights was an invitation-only scotch tasting party where I learned a lot about both scotch and Scotland.  As usual, the Capclave and Barflies parties were both well attended and great places for free-wheeling discussions.  And although I didn’t make it to the Belle Morte concert, I have it on good authority that it was fantastic, as was the masquerade, which I did attend.

Next up is Balticon, where I have a short story in the Spells and Swashbucklers anthology that will be having its launch party.  I hope to see you there!

I’ll be a panelist at Balticon in Hunt Valley, MD over the Memorial Day weekend, so please look for me!

My short story, “The Low Road” will be in the Spells and Swashbucklers anthology that will be having its launch party at Balticon, so that’s definitely an exciting element of the weekend for me.

If you’ve missed my latest signings, there should still be some signed copies of my books at Park Road Books and at the Books A Million in the Cotswold plaza in Charlotte.

What I’ve been up to!

In addition to being a panelist at Ravencon and Balticon, I’ve actually gotten some writing done!  I turned in a new short story, “Buttons” to Solaris Books for their “Magic” anthology.  I’ve completed the line edits for Ice Forged, and sent those back to Orbit.  And I’m making good headway on Reign of Ashes, the second book in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga.

I’ll be working on Reign all summer, but I also owe a short story for a steampunk anthology, and am looking forward to writing that.

Otherwise, there have been some book signings, my monthly writing Meetup group, and family time.

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The Dread, Book Two in The Fallen Kings Cycle, is now available!

The Dread is the conclusion to the struggle for control of the Winter Kingdoms that began in The Sworn.  For those who have read my Chronicles of the Necromancer series, it’s the sixth book following the lives, struggles and adventures of Tris Drayke, Kiara Sharsequin, Jonmarc and Carina Vahanian, and the rest of the crew.

As plague and famine scourge the winter kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods.

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living – and the dead –- as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.

Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it’s the latter, could even the Summoner-King’s sorcery prevail?

So is this the last book in the Winter Kingdoms?  No.  But I’m going to step away from these characters for a while and give the survivors a much overdue rest  (the action of the six books takes place over the course of about two years, so they’ve earned it).  Later this year, I’ll tell you more about what comes next, but for now, I’m very excited to share the rest of the story with you and take you along on the dark and dangerous road to save the Winter Kingdoms.

Here are some extra goodies in celebration of The Dread’s launch:

  • “Like” my WinterKingdoms page on Facebook and enter to win a prize package of signed books, foreign editions and rare Advance Review Copies  http://on.fb.me/yRGfHD
  • Watch the video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teyvxnIEITg
  • Four excerpts to get you started:
  • Excerpt #1 http://www.4shared.com/document/aypH5jjv/An_excerpt_from_The_Dread_chp_.html
  • Excerpt #2 http://www.4shared.com/document/W7IBgFfL/An_excerpt_from_The_Dread_chp_.html
  • Excerpt #3

http://www.4shared.com/document/E7QlVWJc/An_excerpt_from_The_Dread_chp_.html

  • Excerpt #4

http://www.4shared.com/document/xHN5lNvM/Dread_Excerpt_4.html

  • Order from Amazon through my link at www.TheWinterKingdoms.com and get special bonus downloads from a slew of my author friends!

And I’ll be out and about with The Dread, so catch me here:

  • Reading and signing at SheVaCon in Roanoke, VA Feb. 16 – 18
  • Launch party at Mysticon in Roanoke, VA from 7 – 9 pm in the Con Suite on Feb. 24
  • In-store signing at the Barnes & Noble at Carolina Place Mall, Charlotte NC on Feb. 4
  • In-store signing at Books-A-Million at Concord Mills, Concord, NC on Feb. 11
  • Watch for more in-store signings to come!

I’d love to hear from you—please comment on my blog or on Facebook, and of course, I always really appreciate it when you forward my posts to your friends.

I hope to meet you at a convention or signing this year.  Enjoy!

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Days of the Dead—Or should it be Days of the “Dread”?

Welcome to my annual Days of the Dead Online Event.  This year it’s more exciting than ever, with new book giveaways, free chapter and short story excerpts, guest author downloadable goodies, a new book video, new audio readings and all-new interviews with five of the baddest bad-ass vayash moru (vampires) in the Winter Kingdoms!

For any fan of the supernatural, this week is a time of mystery.  Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos all in one week—you just know something big is going to happen.

What’s so special?  I’m looking forward to the launch of The Dread, book Two in the Fallen Kings Cycle.  It’s available for pre-order, but you can read four different excerpts for free on my Days of the Dead partner sites.

I’ve also got two new short stories coming out in anthologies in 2012—Spells and Swashbucklers with DragonMoon Press and a UK anthology that I can’t name yet.  But you’re going to get never-before-seen sneak peeks at these two stories plus two other short stories of mine that I’ve never offered excerpts of before.

There’s also a brand new book video for The Sworn and The Dread and it’s premiering during this tour, too.

Several of my author friends have also provided excerpts as Trick-or-Treat goodfies.  You’ll find download links sprinkled throughout the partner sites.

Four different partners are doing drawings for signed copies of The Sworn (and other prize packages), so make sure you enter—you can’t win if you don’t play!

The Broad Pod from Broad Universe has an all-new audio reading from one of my favorite vayash moru scenes in the whole series, so please listen in.

What are you waiting for?  You can get in on all the Days of the Dead fun on a treasure hunt/Trick-or-Treat just by visiting these sites.  And please, “like” my TheWinterKingdoms page on Facebook when you visit to get the goodies!

Here’s where the action is:

  • Orbit Books (www.OrbitBooks.net)—book giveaway plus blog post and an interview with Lord Uri of the Blood Council and a chapter excerpt from The Dread, along with my new book video for The Sworn and The Dread
  • Solaris Books (www.SolarisBooks.com)—book giveaway plus an interview with Lord Gabriel of the Blood Council
  • DoubleDragon Books (http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/)—a Q&A with me about power and immortality
  • SciFiGuy.ca—a book giveaway plus interview with Kolin, helper to Lady Riqua of the Blood Council
  • MidnightSyndicate.com—fantastic music to listen to while reading my books (I listen to it while I write)—they’ll be doing another giveaway contest for The Sworn
  • Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/—a fourth excerpt from The Dread plus a book giveaway contest
  • The BroadPod (http://broadpod.posterous.com/)—A reading of one of my favorite vampire scenes in the Chronicles of the Necromancer series.
  • ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com—An interview with Lady Astasia of the Blood Council plus the Days of the Dead overview and a special Q&A with me about why I love the Blood Council, and a different chapter excerpt from The Dread, and sample chapters from books by several of my author friends—and the all-new book video!
  • TheWinterKingdoms on Facebook  (please “like” my page!) a downloadable excerpt for “Steer a Pale Course” and “Among the Shoals Forever”—two of my never-before-excerpted short stories, plus excerpts from books by some of my author friends.
  • DisquietingVisions.com—an interview with Laisren, vayash moru armsmaster at Dark Haven, plus a third excerpt from The Dread, download links for excerpts from several of my author friends and an excerpt to “Vanities”—another never-before-excerpted short story of mine with plenty of vampires! And a sneak peek excerpt from my brand-new Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (coming in 2013).
  • TheWinterKingdoms.com—pre-order The Dread and get free downloadable excerpts from more than a dozen of my author friends!
  • Twitter.com/GailZMartin—Links to two more of my never-before-excerpted short stories,  “Among the Shoals Forever” and “The Low Road”, plus links to downloads from some more of my awesome author friends!
  • MySpace.com/ChroniclesOfTheNecromancer.com —Yet a different excerpt from The Dread plus links to more author friend downloads!

Want to see the brand new book video for The Sworn and The Dread?  It’s right here (and please share it with your friends)!

Here it is—the brand new book trailer for my newest books—The Sworn and The Dread (Books One and Two in the Fallen Kings Cycle).  See it here first!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teyvxnIEITg

As plague and famine scourge the winter kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods.

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living – and the dead –- as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.

Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber

beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it’s the latter, could even the Summoner-King’s sorcery prevail?

Here’s the link to excerpt #2 of four from The Dread: A link to an excerpt from my new book, The Dread—available for pre-order now!  http://www.4shared.com/document/W7IBgFfL/An_excerpt_from_The_Dread_chp_.html

Remember—each partner site with an excerpt from The Dread has a different excerpt!

And as an extra Trick-or Treat goodie, here’s a link to a deleted scene from Scimitar Moon by my good friend, author Chris Jackson http://jaxbooks.com/jaxblog/?p=144

I hope you have a lot of fun and enjoy the free “treats” during this online tour—load up on lots of virtual goodies (without worrying about calories or tooth decay).  Enjoy!

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Interview with Astasia

In honor of my Days of the Dead blog tour, I’d like to introduce you to one of my vayash moru (vampire) characters from the Chronicles of the Necromancer and Fallen Kings series.  Vayash moru play an important part in my books, aiding–and sometimes opposing–Tris Drayke and Jonmarc Vahanian.

Here, I’d like to introduce you to Lady Astasia, the youngest member of the Blood Council.  She is beautiful, wily, and guided both in life and undeath by a strong sense of self-interest.  In the conflict with Temnotta, she has deserted her Blood Council colleagues to site with the invaders, making her and her brood outcast, and making the rest of the Council bloodsworn for her destruction.

Q:  What has immortality taught you?

A:  Most mortals are fools and the rest are liars and cheats.  Only the strong deserve to survive.

Q:  You’ve often set yourself against the purposes of Jonmarc Vahanian.  What are your intentions in this conflict?

A:  I would see him in his grave.

Q:  You’ve left the Blood Council, and some would say, gone rogue.  Now, the Winter Kingdoms face an outside threat.  Where are your loyalties?

A:  I want to see the palaces of the Winter Kingdoms burn.  I wish to see the power of the Volshe gain ascendance and to serve the ancient Nachele as they rise from their crypt-prisons to conquer.

Q:  What is your biggest disappointment about immortality?

A:  That the strength, speed and wealth I have gained as an immortal are not readily accepted by mortals as proof of the superiority of the vayash moru.

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