This is my stop during the book blitz for Trials and Tribulations, these are two anthologies set in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage universe. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 February till 5 March. You can view the tour schedule here.
Trials (Rogue Mage Anthology #1)
By Faith Hunter, Diana Francis, Misty Massey, Lou J Berger, Ken Schrader, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, Tamsin Silver and Melissa McArthur
Genre: Anthology/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: November 28, 2016
21 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix.
The Rogue Mage world began long ago, when the epic battle between the High Host and the Darkness was won and lost. TRIALS takes fans of Thorn St. Croix into the past, before the opening pages of BLOODRING. These stories, set in Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing dangers unimaginable. And they must save the world all over again.
If you ever wondered what happened between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans, dragons, and their creatures before the series, now is your chance to delve deeper and wider. TRIALS features new short stories from nine authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.
TRIALS will be followed soon by TRIBULATIONS, and then by the omnibus TRIUMPHANT.
TRIALS Authors: Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, Lou J Berger, Ken Schrader, Spike Y Jones, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Christina Stiles, Tamsin Silver, Melissa McArthur.
TRIBULATIONS Authors: Faith Hunter, Jean Rabe, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, and Lucienne Diver.
You can find Trials on Goodreads
You can buy Trials here:
- Barnes & Noble
The Trials Authors:
Lou J Berger
Spike Y Jones
Set in Stone Excerpt
6 PA / 2018 AD
Holy Amethyst reared back in the cockpit of her wheels, her eagle face forward, beak raised in screaming challenge. Her hands gripped the arms of her chair, talons scoring deep runnels in the gold. Her mate, Zadkiel, was taken. She saw it as it happened, a vision strong and true.
She felt the Darkness as it slithered across his wings, burning, scorching deep. Zadkiel screamed in agony. The Aqua Dragon and his minion, Forcas, swept forward, leathery wings beating the air, throwing dark lightning, dark energy so dense it covered the seraph scent like a flood. Her vision of Zadkiel, her awareness of him was . . . gone. Never since they mated had he been so far from her that she couldn’t sense him. The space in her mind that he had occupied was an empty chasm.
She whirled to the throne of the Most High and screeched a prayer. The Light of the throne, the holy Shekinah, the cloud of glory, rested on its sapphire base, pulsing with power, with incredible might, hanging above the singing throng. She knew the Most High felt Zadkiel’s pain. She knew He could help him. Yet He let her mate suffer.
She screeched in agony, howling above the song of the gathered seraphs. The other three cherubs stared at her across the holy Shekinah. Their singing fell silent. Below them, the throng that sang to the glory of the Most High fell silent. Disquiet filled the holy square. A hush seeped through the smoke of the holiness.
Amethyst screamed again. “Help him,” she prayed. “Assist him,” she begged. “Save him!” she demanded. The Light did nothing—did not even seem to hear her—as the Most High had not listened to their pleas in long years.
Amethyst powered up her wheels, the rings speeding into smooth rotation, one rolling east to west, another north to south, and the others from Heaven to Earth in oscillating harmony. “Holy Amethyst, no! Wait,” Holy Citrine screamed. With a final screech, Amethyst powered her wheels away from the throne—away from the Host—away from the Light of the Most High.
With a roar of power, she dropped through the golden streets, scattering seraphs, and pointed the nose of the ship down, aiming for the River of Time. Calculating the descent and the angle of impact, she hit the River and cut through the glowing water. And out the other side, into the atmosphere of Earth with a boom of displaced air.
The scent of battle whipped by her, smoke and blood and death. She rotated, bringing her lion face to the fore. Sniffing. It had been long and long since she’d scented battle, not since the battle when Michael and his lieutenants, and the wheels to which they were bound, fought the Red Dragon and defeated him.
She pointed the wheels at the Earth, at the mountain that appeared just below. This close, she could sense Zadkiel once again. And she could smell humans—human blood. She blasted the rock with light, exploding granite away, revealing a chamber of a hellhole. She dove the wheels down, into it, screaming her mate’s name, burning the spawn of the hellhole to vapor.
The rock closed over her as she bored deeper, dust flying. From a tunnel a dragon appeared, wings spread, the Aqua Dragon, his body scaled and glistening with dark energies. And he cast a sparkling net of Dark power over her. A trap.
Tribulations (Rogue Mage Anthology #2)
By Faith Hunter, Lucienne Diver, Spike Y Jones, Jean Rabe and Christina Stiles
Genre: Anthology/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: December 30, 2016
17 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix
The Rogue Mage story began with the post-apocalyptic novels BLOODRING, SERAPHS, and HOST, when epic battles between Thorn St. Croix and the forces of Darkness were fought. TRIBULATIONS (Rogue Mage Anthology Vol. II) takes place during and after the series timeline. These stories and vignettes, set in Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing Darkness and an uncertain future.
The relationships between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans grow deeper, and the battles with dragons and their creatures grow more dangerous. TRIBULATIONS features new short stories from five authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.
TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS will soon be followed by TRIUMPHANT—the paperback omnibus (both Anthology Volumes I and II in a bound format).
TRIBULATIONS Authors: Faith Hunter, Jean Rabe, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, Lucienne Diver.
You can find Tribulations on Goodreads
You can buy Tribulations here:
- Barnes & Noble
The Tribulations Authors:
Spike Y Jones
Interview with Tamsin Silver
You can visit Tamsin her website here: www.tamsinsilver.com
1. What was it like to play in the Rogue Mage World?
I’ve never done fan-fiction so I’ve never had to play by another writer’s world-rules before. I found it both fun and challenging (in a good way). What I loved was that when I had an idea for something different that I’d not seen done before in the books, I could come to Faith with it and say, “Hey, what about this?” and she was open to the idea and we could talk about it. That rang true for both magic and working with the map over in the southeastern hemisphere and then up into Jerusalem. With land/water masses having changed, that affected where my boat could/couldn’t go.
2. Was it hard to develop your character within the confines of the Rogue Mage world?
I didn’t think so, which surprised me, actually.
We were given a copy of the Rogue Mage Players Handbook (aka an RPG handbook) to read, and I think that set us all up to succeed. Unlike reading a novel and jotting down notes of what the world rules are, they are all in one place when you have an RPG book. I’ve gamed before, both table-top and live action role play (LARP), so I’ve read these types of books before and built characters from them, so my main character leaped off the page for me, loud and proud and in my face. Which, for me, is normal. I always start with character on anything I write. After I have a good idea of who they are and what their issue is, I move on to, “where are they?”
They say write what you know or do a ton of research…but with this world being Post Apocalyptic, we don’t know ANY of it, so that opened it up for me/us. I knew two things from the start. 1) I did NOT want to be in America, or my main character to be pale skinned, so that was my starting point. 2) I wanted a female protagonist since the novel I’ve been crafting for the past year is historical fiction with mostly men and a change for me would be helpful, for both stories.
In order to not be in America, I started with reading page 18 of the RPG Handbook, where it gives info about what the Post-Apocalyptic Earth looks and runs like. It tells you where the Enclaves are, where the Realms of Light are, and where the problem spots were. I was looking for those problem spots...for I wanted to use specifics that Faith had come up with as the basis for the conflict in my short. Once I found one that interested me (two, actually), I saw how they could intertwine and had my starting point...a hint to which is the photo at the top of the questionnaire.
3. Tell us about your character (species, etc.).
What’s funny is that I didn’t realize until now that I never considered writing anything except a mage. LOL! I could’ve too…but maybe Chopra was just too loud in my head. As far as picking what kind of mage she was….well, that depended on choosing where my story would take place and what the allergies were for the different types of mages.
I knew I needed her to be a scrappy fighter. I wanted to explore writing a young person who was rash, impulsive, who had good intentions, but held a level of courage that got her into trouble. She had to be someone who saw herself as a protector as well as being honorable, only to learn that not only was she was neither; that staying true to her word wasn’t always possible or her choice. Learning those things about yourself are hard lessons and it changes you. I wanted it to change her. Loss leaves its mark…even more so when that loss is both external and internal.
The early version of the story (titled, Mettilwynd), when I just started doing some free-writing, Chopra was the same age she is at the top of our story, but she was returning home to find all of her family gone…taken to the Enclave without her, and she was going to have to find them and “save” them…in reality needing to save herself from dangers from where she was to where they were. But once I understood the Enclave creation more, I realized that might not work like I wished.
In the end, I still separated her from her family…but instead of them being taken from her, she was taken from them…and that when it came down to it, she must decide between herself and getting to see them again or choosing to sacrifice her own happiness for the good of others…and the cost of that choice.
4. When your story was finished, how did you feel about your character and story?
This has a two part answer:
First and foremost, I’m not a short story writer, proved here by the length of my answers to these questions! LOL! But seriously, I’m a world builder, a novelist. I write 120K books on my phone with one thumb over 5 months. I’m THAT annoying person. HA! So, though I was humbled, honored, and elated that Faith asked me to do this project, I wondered why on earth she’d choose me, of all people, to write a short for her. No one had bought one of my shorts yet at that time (though I have another one out at this point) and I suspect I won’t be doing another for a while. That said, the beauty of writing here is that the world has already been built. Faith Hunter fans already know the world…so that saves me some words…kind of.
Secondly, I am very proud of the work I’ve done on this story. Faith is who I want to be when I grow up. I learn from her every day, even when she doesn’t know she’s teaching me things, she is. To get to write a story with her tutelage has made me a better writer. My fight scenes in this story alone are some of the best I’ve ever done, and the characters are ones that I wish I could watch a TV show about each week…even after editing this 100 times. Usually, when you have to re-read your own work a lot, you get sick of your characters and are like, “I need a break from you people!” I don’t feel that way with this one. I could sit down tomorrow and pick up where this story left off…or pick up before this story happened, and have a blast hanging out with Chopra some more. I feel there’s a lot more she has to say, and I hope I eventually get that opportunity.
5. Tell us about your other projects!
As mentioned above, I have a short that just came out in an anthology where proceeds benefit the LGBTQ Community of North Carolina called, We Are Not This. My short is called, “The Color of Love” and you can learn a bit about that project and see links to buy it by going HERE.
I also have a web series that I did a few years ago that has some activity going on right now. Skye of the Damned is releasing the show’s soundtrack on December 2nd and the DVD of Season One on December 25th. That’s really exciting! Plus, I’m in talks with someone about taking the concept of the SKYE world and doing something more with it…so that’s a big thing in my world. Head on over to the website I've linked for more info on the show...or just visit the music page if that's your jam.
But mostly, I’ve been working for the past year on a Historical Fantasy novel called, The Curse of Billy the Kid. This stems from the popularity and feedback I received on my short story, The Curse of Scáthach. We all have heard of Billy the Kid. I know I had. But I’d never known why he became so famous or what started it all. When I started researching this for a short, I thought, “There’s a full novel here.” Those that I submitted the short too agreed as well. So that’s what I’ve been doing: researching the Lincoln County War of 1878 and writing a fantasy book about it where I keep the history as close as possible. In fact, I’ve been to New Mexico for research 3 times in the past year and a half and have bought enough books that my Amazon account now recommends wild west books to me more than fantasy novels. LOL!
I finished the first draft of the book in July and am currently doing the second draft. My hope is to, now that Mettilwynd is finally off to the presses, so to speak, that I can finish the Billy novel soon, send it to my editor, then do another draft or two and begin to submit it to agents and publishing houses. You can follow my journey with history, pictures, and videos on the book’s Facebook page if you want by going HERE. I often find when I write the story of Billy Bonney, Dick Brewer, and the Regulators that I am super nit-picky about facts and struggle to get those down in order properly, but when it comes to writing the characters…they just are there, in my head, telling me where to go and what to say. I hope I do them justice. I pray I honor them well.
That all said, I also have other Urban Fantasy books out…head on over to the home page of my site, www.tamsinsilver.com, and see if any of them tickle your fancy. For if you like Mettilwynd, you’ll enjoy the Windfire series and the Sabrina Grayson novels as well, I think.