Tag Archives: historical fantasy

Book Tour: Blood Isle by Mark Stone @calasade

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Blood Isle: Calasade Series virtual book tour featured by Happy Geek Media


Excerpt of Blood Isle: Calasade “In the Pit”

Wearing nothing—

—teeth chattering—

—trapped in a pit—

—staring at the beams of a moon that never seemed to move—

—cowering.

Weeping.

Growls from outside rose in pitch and bordered on screams of a tortured person. The beasts making those spine-chilling noises stood upright on powerful hind legs, their bodies brown, hairless, gargantuan, heads horned. She had seen the caged animals after her captors whisked her off a ship and up a mountainous incline but before they lowered her into this prison, the pit’s mouth a symbol of freedom and blinding fear. She could do nothing save die if a creature broke loose to leap inside with her. The beast’s fangs would shred her; its claws flay her. The mere thought forced her to squat, as if cowering might provide safety.


Character Profile

Name: Caderyn Fortis

From: Fors, Calasade

Age: 30ish

Hair: Dark Brown

Eyes: Brown

Height: 5’ 10”

Body: Muscular

Physical Condition: Muscular, but he has not aged particularly well. His body shows signs of the battles he’s fought; face reflects hard life he has led.

Mental and Emotional Condition: As an alcoholic and sufferer of depression, his mood swings can be radical. He focuses too much on the past, the elevated life he’s lost, but at least accepts responsibility for losing it. Guilt weighs on him and often gets in the way of his finding a happier lot in life because he feels he does not deserve happiness.

Achievements: He excelled as a soldier and found success as an exquisitor (head policeman) in Polus, the capital city of Fors. His family achieved noble status.

Defeats: He was fired from being an exquisitor and unceremoniously quit the military after witnessing the brutal raping of a boy. He has lost his nobility and become addicted to gambling and drink.

text-divider-blood-isle about-the-book-blood-isle Blood-Isle-Illustrated-Book-Calasade

Blood Isle, Calasade Series

by Mark Stone

Genres: Greco-Roman, Illustrated, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Mythology, Romance

248 Pages

Release date: May 18, 2015

text-divider-blood-isle Calasade is a Greco-Roman Fantasy world that was in development for over five years. The world of Calasade has enough in common with Ancient Rome and borrows enough from Greek and Roman mythology that it will seem familiar, but also offers plenty of its own lore so that it is something new and different, the latter especially true when the world of Calasade and its tales are compared to fantasy taking place in worlds based on Medieval Europe. A love of fantasy tropes intertwined with the unique helped bring Calasade and Blood Isle to fruition. You will find neither the knight in shining armor nor the never-do-good evil sorcerer. The people of Calasade in Blood Isle are not so different than us in that they belong squarely inside the gray box of existence. As such, each and every one is capable of heroic acts one moment and dark ones the next depending on what’s at stake and the means available for acquiring their goals. Blood Isle is an illustrated novel. While part of a series, it is like all Calasade stories and can be read as a stand-alone. Thank you for taking the time to check out Calasade: Blood Isle. text-divider-blood-isle purchase-links-blood-isle

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Follow the Blood Isle Tour here

May 18th: Happy Geek Media Launch/Unique Excerpt/Illustration

May 19th Wren Michael’s Blog Spotlight/Illustration/Playlist

May 20th Flight of the Dragon Character Profile/Illustration/Unique Excerpt

May 21st Ivy Trellis Books Review & Illustration

May 22nd Photography, Poetry & Indie Authors Illustration & Playlist

May 25th DRC Promotions Unique Excerpt & Illustration

May 26th Tasha’s Thinkings Guest Post

May 27th The Writer’s Journey Author Q&A & Illustration

May 28th Desafio in the City Unique Excerpt & Illustration

May 29th KP’s Cafe Review/Playlist/Illustration

May 30th Happy Geek Media Review & the Works

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Author Mark Stone of Blood Isle and the Calasade series

Mark Stone splits his time between the United States and Spain with his greatest inspiration, his wife. Having written award-winning Flash Fiction, he is now a novelist writing tales mostly of Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery. He will sometimes get a wild hair and venture into other areas—namely, Weird Western and Historical Fiction. Look for the latter in the near future. Most of his stories are based in Calasade, a fantasy world heavily influenced by Ancient Rome. text-divider-blood-isle social-media-blood-isle-calasade

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Blood Isle: Calasade Tour hosted by…

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Happy Geek Media Blood Isle Virtual Tour


The Anubis Gates: A Review by Ciara Ballintyne

The Anubis Gates



1802 – the Egyptian gods are a diminished force, and the power of magic fades. Sorcerers, wielding magic only at great expense to their own bodies, attempt to restore the potency of their power by bringing the gods, in all their glory, forward in time. Instead, they succeed only in tearing rents in the fabric of time – the Anubis Gates.

Brendan Doyle, a minor American scholar specialising in a little known poet, William Ashbless, is carried from London, 1983, through the gates of time to 1810, ostensibly to serve as a Coleridge expert. The journey is organised by J Cochran Darrow, a wealthy recluse specialising in odd-ball projects, and funded by the ten guests, each of whom has paid a premium for the privilege of witnessing a lecture by Samuel Coleridge in the flesh. 

The plan consists of a straightforward there and back again journey of only a few hours, but it goes awry when Doyle is kidnapped by an Egyptian sorcerer, intent on learning who is using the gates in time, and how. Having missed his ‘return flight’, as it were, Doyle finds himself stranded in 1810 London, penniless and alone.

While not unlikeable, Doyle is stranded, destitute, and terribly desperate – a desperation which drives him to take ill-considered risks and make less-than-intelligent decisions. But it is his very isolation, his very desperation, that draws me to him – can the reader conceive of many worse situations than to be stranded out of time, in a strange culture, with absolutely no means of support?

I have very little concept of what London was like in 1810, but Powers paints a compelling picture with few words, creating less an image of the physical place, than a sense of the people who populate it; the desperation of its denizens, the danger they exude, and the grinding poverty that drives many of them. That sense, that feeling, creates a more visceral setting than any mere description of buildings could do. 

This is not to imply the book lacks description, for Powers describes events, and many settings, with phrases evocative enough to turn me green with envy. 

London is peopled with a host of characters – who can Doyle trust? Who might he rely on in his time of need? Knowing exactly where the poet, William Ashbless, should be, he hopes to appeal to that man’s generosity, but the poet is mysteriously missing. Has Doyle upset the events of history by returning from the future? 

What of the clown, Horrabin, who offers Doyle a job amongst his beggars? His very name hints at horrible unknowns. Is young Jacky more trustworthy? He warns Doyle away from Horrabin, and suggests a place amongst the rival beggar crew. Can Doyle use the Egyptian sorcerers to return to 1983? What does he have to bargain with, except his own life? What of Dog-Face Joe, a rumoured werewolf-type serial killer, to whom Doyle comes perilously close? 

And who, on the streets of 1810 London, is whistling Yesterday by The Beatles?

Events come dangerously to a head when the poet, Ashbless, reappears in a startling and unexpected way, setting Doyle’s feet on a path that takes him even further into the past, and then eventually to Cairo. Events now follow the course of history Doyle is familiar with, and he begins to anticipate what comes, thinking he knows how events will unfold – or does he?

The book careens from one disaster, to another ill-conceived decision, to bizarre and yet wildly appropriate plot twist after plot twist. The foreshadowing is impeccable – the clues are there if you know to look for them, but you won’t, until events come to pass. Instead, each new revelation, each new horror, each new clever outcome, will keep you turning page after page to find the answers until, before you know it, you’ve finished the book. 

If I were to tell you any more, I’d ruin all the surprises, and they are well worth the wait. They are many, and they are varied, and each new discovery delighted me at its appropriateness, at its suitability, at the way in which each of the puzzle pieces fit neatly together – until the picture, of which Doyle only has a vague outline from 20th century history books, becomes a complete illustration rendered in loving detail. 

I read this book in about two days – it was literally unputdownable. The story is exceptional, and the book well-written. The odd waver in the writing barely caused a hitch in my stride, so desperate was I to resolve each conflict, only to find I had dove headfirst into the next. 

If you didn’t read this book for Club Fantasci, then you must. 5 stars – I give this book 5 stars. Do you know how often I say that? 

Not very often at all. 
~

If you missed October’s Hangout and the discussion of The Anubis Gates, you can find it here.  Also, don’t miss the review of The Anubis Gates by my fellow Club Fantasci co-host, Dionne Lister.


Don’t forget to join us next month for Club Fantasci’s Hangout. November’s Book of the Month is The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice, so the Hangout will be limited to 21+. I expect discussions may get a bit scandalous!

In other news, my short story is now available for purchase as part of the anthology Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, available here at Amazon and Smashwords


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might as well join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign up for the newsletter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us.

The Anubis Gates: Club Fantasci Hangout

The Anubis Gates: Club Fantasci
Club Fantasci convened by Google+ Hangout on Saturday night to discuss The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Discussions ranged from the evocative quality of the descriptions, to issues with plot pacing – too fast, just right? It got a bit Goldilocks and the Three Bears there for a bit. Then Dionne got philosophical and existentialist when she decided to turn the discussion to time paradoxes, to the point where I suggested she might be better off having the conversation with a scientist who specialises in that field, instead of poor little me! 

When we unveiled next month’s book, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice, the conversation got a bit naughty and turned to foot fetishes and whipped cream. 

You can find the whole discussion here

Reviews by the hosts will also shortly be available at the Club Fantasci website, and don’t forget to stop by Goodreads and join the Club Fantasci discussion boards.  


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven’t already. If you’re finding yourself here often, you might as well join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign up for the newsletter.

Don’t forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us.