Tag Archives: high fantasy

Monday Morsel: You Have To Run – an Excerpt from BECOMING THE DEMON

What Price A Lie
What Price A Lie

“Did you hear me, Alloran? You have to run. The first thing he did after his confirmation was label you a public menace. If he can’t kill you, he will have you silenced.”

Her words broke the paralysis gripping him, and he gasped at the cold shock of this pronouncement. He spun to start gathering together various item.

“There is no time!” Ashraque hissed. “I saw the guards halfway here, and I had to run to beat them.”

Alloran froze. “But I—”

Ashraque followed his desperate glance to the next room, where his private texts, some of them containing damning research, were hidden.

About BECOMING THE DEMON

Not all doors lead to places a man should go.

Desperate to rescue Dek from the fifth circle of hell after abandoning him, Alloran’s task is complicated when he is forced to go on the run again. Bereft of all resources, Alloran enters into the shady world of loose morals and stitchers—black wizards hiring out their services to the highest bidder. When a strange woman presents him with a lucrative but criminal opportunity, he must ask what Dek’s life is worth to him — or is it the chance of a challenge he cannot defeat that tempts him into the criminal underbelly of the city?

Gisayne is fixated on avenging her father’s murder, but Alloran, consumed by his need to rescue Dek, will not help her. Alone, she hunts the deadly wizard Ladanyon, but when the trail leads her back to Alloran, she must fight to save him—but is the greatest threat to Alloran from the black wizard or himself?

Blinded by his determination, Alloran risks crossing a line to become the very thing he fights against.

Monday Morsel: Not All Doors Lead To Places A Man Wants To Go

What colour is your magic
What colour is your magic

I’ve been quiet a long time, I know — getting On the Edge of Death finished nearly wore me out, more than I had realised, and for almost two months I wallowed in doing nothing except reading Scottish crime fiction — yes, tarton noir is this fantasy writer’s secret vice.

But I am back writing, if not as consistently as I’d like, and what I’m working on now is Becoming the Demon, part three in The Seven Circles of Hell. In fact, it’s almost half done. So I’m going to start sharing bits with you as part of my Monday Morsels series again, and I’m going to try to get back to finish telling you about last year’s trip to Scotland. If I’m honest, I’ve avoided that because I’m homesick for Scotland, and thinking about it, about how long it will be before we go back, makes my chest tighten up painfully. It will probably be 2021 at the earliest.

So, instead of dwelling on that, here is the opening page of Becoming the Demon.

Monday Morsel

The diagram appeared to delineate a gate, the stark black lines innocent in their simplicity; but not all doors lead to places a man wants to go.

Alloran hunched over it at the central worktable in his laboratory, sketching in a new line, with Gisayne peering over his shoulder.

The laboratory door banged open, the sound of the wood striking the stone reverberating through the room’s small confines. Gisayne jumped, jerking away from Alloran like a guilty lover, even though they’d only been huddled together over the diagram.

Alloran straightened, casually covering the image with a hand. Then his brain caught up with his reflexes; it was only Ashraque. He let out a long breath, and moved his hand away. Even if Ashraque had not already known what he was about, the planned out lines of sulphur and magnesium for a hell-gate were disguised with a code. The diagram instead spelt out the use of certain woods for its construction; ash for magnesium, oak for the sulphur. Concealing it, even casually, had been the stupid act of a guilty man.

“You scared the hell out of me, Ashraque,” he said.

“You should be scared.” Her words came out a gasp, and she paused, leaning against the door, winded. Her usually immaculate platinum blonde hair was falling from its pins, and her white pillbox hat was askew.

“What’s happened?” he asked.

“You have to run.” She straightened, jamming a pin back into her hair before the hat fell free. Her amber eyes were alight with intense anger. “Valgon has been elected to the position of Lord Wizard. The guards are already on their way.”

About BECOMING THE DEMON

Not all doors lead to places a man should go.

Desperate to rescue Dek from the fifth circle of hell after abandoning him, Alloran’s task is complicated when he is forced to go on the run again. Bereft of all resources, Alloran enters into the shady world of loose morals and stitchers—black wizards hiring out their services to the highest bidder. When a strange woman presents him with a lucrative but criminal opportunity, he must ask what Dek’s life is worth to him — or is it the chance of a challenge he cannot defeat that tempts him into the criminal underbelly of the city?

Gisayne is fixated on avenging her father’s murder, but Alloran, consumed by his need to rescue Dek, will not help her. Alone, she hunts the deadly wizard Ladanyon, but when the trail leads her back to Alloran, she must fight to save him—but is the greatest threat to Alloran from the black wizard or himself?

Blinded by his determination, Alloran risks crossing a line to become the very thing he fights against.

More News

I don’t have time to write twice weekly on this blog anymore, so for the time being the blog schedule will be Monday Morsels on the first and third Mondays of the week, and Touring Scotland posts on the second and the fourth. If there are five Mondays in the month, that fifth one is mine 🙂 Also, watch out for some more Seven Circles of Hell news coming up soon!

Do You Want To Contribute to a Fantasy Heist?

Wrong Way Around

I’m writing Becoming the Demon, the third installment in The Seven Circles of Hell. This one’s a heist story, where Alloran finds himself contracted to steal from the world’s most secure magical vault.

What magical security do you think he should face? What puzzles must he solve? What traps imperil him?

Write your suggestions in the comments and I’ll consider them for inclusion!

About Becoming the Demon

Not all doors lead to places a man should go.

Desperate to rescue Dek from the fifth circle of hell after abandoning him, Alloran’s task is complicated when he is forced to go on the run again. Bereft of all resources, Alloran enters into the shady world of loose morals and stitchers—black wizards hiring out their services to the highest bidder. When a strange woman presents him with a lucrative but criminal opportunity, he must ask what Dek’s life is worth to him—or is it the chance of a challenge he cannot defeat that tempts him into darkness?

Gisayne is fixated on avenging her father’s murder, but Alloran, consumed by his need to rescue Dek, will not help her. Alone, she hunts the deadly wizard Ladanyon, but when the trail leads her back to Alloran, she must fight to save him—but from the black wizard or himself?

Blinded by his determination, Alloran risks crossing a line to become the very thing he fights against.

Cover Reveal ON THE EDGE OF DEATH #fantasy

I am pleased to present the cover art for On the Edge of Death, Book 2 in The Sundered Oath, by very talented artist Sam Keiser.

Ebook Art

edge-of-death-2

Full Wrap

edge-of-death-1

I love it! What do you think?

About On the Edge of Death

All the Left Hand of Death wants is something to call her own, but is the price too high?

Ellaeva, the fated avatar of the death goddess, is desperate to track down her missing family but the trail is decades old. Instead, she discovers her battered and bloodied sister priestesses driven across the Jerreki border on pain of death. Ellaeva must turn aside from her personal quest to investigate the murders, only to find her parents have been taken into the heart of the conflict.

Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn, is the only living person she trusts to help her infiltrate the enemy stronghold and uproot the horror they find there, but their chequered past threatens the mission. Accompanying him is his crown prince, the one man Lyram wants dead above all others.

Now Ellaeva must face down the darkness in her soul before a dark god is brought into the world.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.

If you haven’t yet read Book 1, In the Company of the Dead, what are you waiting for?

Here’s what some people are saying:

“Some of the most notable fantasy authors create powerful reads with slower beginnings that lead up to a crescendo of gripping action – such as this story… Much like the acclaimed fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss’s productions, In the Company of the Dead evolves slowly for the first few chapters… perfect for the fantasy fan seeking depth, who appreciates a slow build-up before the fiery action begins. Such an audience will find this perfectly fits the definition of an epic saga: sweeping, complex, and ultimately engrossing.” ~ D.Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“In the grand old tradition of High Fantasy, this dark and doleful tale cannot fail to please lovers of Tolkien, Jordan and Mallory. It harks back to the Good Old Days of fantasy, when heroes were heroes and were concerned more with honour and the eternal than with sex and witty one-liners. Caught in a tragic juxtaposition, a hero and heroine tread out their doom, although at the end of the book, a slight ray of hope pierces the gloom. I could hardly put it down.” ~ Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

“If you’re a fan of epic fantasy with a romantic twist along the lines of Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings, I think you’ll enjoy this book quite a lot. Loaded with characters, action, magic, deception, murder, and (my personal favorite fantasy component) an evil Necromancer, this book is quite the thick read, filled with characters that make the book seem real…I definitely see this as a book that the more you read it, the more you’ll glean from it. Ballintyne does a great job at creating quite the epic world and I know things are going to get deeper and more action-packed once this series is complete. If you’re looking for a hefty, deep, complex fantasy novel, definitely check this book out.” ~ Nebula of Books

On the Edge of Death releases in April, 2017, so you’ve got until then to catch up! In the Company of the Dead is available from all major retailers. Get your copy here.

Half-Price Birthday Sale – High Fantasy Novella, Confronting the Demon, One Day Only

Lorna Suzuki


My high fantasy novella, Confronting the Demon, is on sale for $0.99c for March 20 only.

This novella has got it all – romance, mystery, magic, and monsters. If you’re looking for something with the adult reader in mind, this book is for you. It’s a short read for the time-poor, but if you like to hang on to characters you like, fear not – there’ll be at least three more novellas featuring our heroes.

About Confronting the Demon

For lovers of Jacqueline Carey, Brent Weeks and Storm Constantine – fantasy with mystery, romance and a paranormal twist.

The powerful wizard, Alloran, lurks in the stinking muck of the back alleys of the city of Ehsan. Posing as a common labourer, he struggles to hide from his lover, his best friend, the authorities – and his past.

But beneath the garbage of the backstreets he discovers a new horror: a trail of gruesome bodies, gnawed on by demons, and left gift-wrapped for him to find. Someone is brutally murdering people from his past, and threatening to finish with his lover, Gisayne. What dark secret from Alloran’s youth cripples his ability to fight back?

In a world where hellcats stalk the shadows, and a flaming demon lays waste to the citadel of the wizards, Alloran must risk losing himself to a powerful addiction, or abandon Gisayne to hell.

Also including bonus story A Magical Melody
 
When a lethal spell is stolen from a locked and warded room, Avram must hunt down the thief before the song of power buries a city of innocents beneath a thousand tonnes of ice.

Praise for Confronting the Demon

“Ballintyne is a masterful storyteller who manages to get you caught up in the book almost instantaneously… I actually enjoyed a good fantasy novel that didn’t take days and days to read, but still offered the opportunity to get caught up in its world and story.” – Tracy Riva, Global eBook Awards Judge http://tracyriva.com/

“This story wasn’t quite what I expected; it was better! The first pages surprised me, reminding strongly of THE WAY OF SHADOWS by Brent Weeks (the scenes, setting and story feel). I was immediately drawn in.” – Dr. S. Drecker

“Ballintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned page” – Bella Doerres

How would you like to read?

On my Kindle


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Epub Ereaders

iStore

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