Category: Blog Tours

Blog Tour: StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio

I have been looking forward to this post for so long!

Today I get to share my thoughts with you about StoneKing as part of the ongoing Blog Tour. Thank you to Fiery Seas Publishing and Donna for the opportunity to get involved!

Part of the reason this has been some time in the making was that before February, I hadn’t even read any of the earlier books in this series. So… I had some catching up to do! If there is anyone else new to the series and would like to learn a little more about my thoughts for the prior books in the series, Kinglet and Fiskur, you will note I have kindly (and unashamedly) provided links for my self promo for you to take a look at.

Are you sitting comfortably, ready to see where Kristan’s adventure takes us next?

StoneKing

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio
February 20th, 2018
Fantasy
The Gemeta Stone Book 3
Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

Book Trailer

 

 

 

 

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.
But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.
And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

 

My Thoughts…

StoneKing picks up a short while after Fiskur – Kristan’s anointed Reaches are now governing his realm whilst he returns home to Fandrall to restore his birthright.

Yet the StoneKing himself is as broken as the realm, and as he tries to take the troubles from everyone’s shoulders, will he break under the strain? He is certainly a different man. In Kinglet he is a young, strong, altruistic and stereotypically heroic in character – which couldn’t be any further from the truth now. He is physically weak and mentally tested as he struggles to master his magic, whilst everybody else succeeds in trying his patience. It is hardly surprising when the rocky foundations of control crumble, given that Kristan’s Reaches lack the experience required to rule the realm in his stead.

An unexpected journey as a result of a delegation visit and an even more shocking gift is the only reason that Kristan discovers any of the ongoing turmoil; it only goes to show how tenuous his control is.

I am not going to lie – I loved seeing Kristan fall from grace in Fiskur; not that I would wish the trauma he went through on anyone, but there would have been very little scope for character development if he hadn’t. I’m not a huge fan of tropes, some more than others, and I actually love this series more for breaking the stereotype. Nobody is as perfect as Kinglet painted Kristan to be, so the newfound dark elements of his mind and perspective lend a greater depth to his character. At the moment, his all-in-all expression of negativity creates a lot of conflict and uncertainty, but I cannot help but feel it has some greater part to play later on. Who can say, maybe Daazna created the tumultuous monster that will be his undoing?

I would say it helped a great deal that I have read the previous instalments to the series only a short time ago, but I found StoneKing incredibly easy to pick up. Also, given that by the third book the reader understands the fantasy world built by the author, the pace of the book seemed quicker to me. Whilst the text was still beautifully and vividly descriptive, the need to impart detail and explanation was not so prominent and that enabled us to get on with the action. I am not one for spoilers, so you will just have to pick up the book(s) to find this out for yourself!

The one thing that surprised me about the book was the distinct lack of presence of our main antagonist, Daazna. Instead it appears that Kristan has more than one enemy and maybe their future role could become more significant than we know. Personally, I would have liked to see even one chapter dedicated to Daazna. I want to know his plans!! Even just to serve as a reminder that he is still alive!

Much like in Fiskur, we are introduced to a number of new characters. I love Serle, aforementioned “inexperienced squire”. He is only a child, bless him, but I would go so far as to say he is practically incompetent at being a squire. There were times when he irritated Kristan so much and was so deflated at the whole situation that I just wanted to mother him and tell him it was alright. I also loved Nolle and her cheeky side. Even knowing the wrath she would endure from the StoneKing, she still pushed the boundaries far more than she should have. But then she could, because he needed her Wiche power. Both of these characters made refreshing additions and I hope to see more of them in future books.

I cannot wait to see what the next instalment of the series is and what difficulties Kristan and his friends encounter. Having read the first three books and really enjoyed them, I can hand on heart say that I will be following the series through to the end, whenever that may be.

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon  ~  Barnes & NobleKobo  ~  iBooks

 About the Author:
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa& The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.
Social Media: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

Blog Tour: Roll the Dice – Wayne Avrashow

Hi everybody!!
Today I am delighted to be taking part in another blog tour, courtesy of Fiery Seas Publishing. Take a peek at the Book Trailer here!
Roll the Dice.jpg
 
Roll the Dice bWayne Avrashow
Fiery Seas Publishing
November 28, 2017   
Political Thriller
 
Amazon    Kobo    iTunes    Barnes & Noble
 
 
Roll the Dice was published on November 28th, so I think I can speak for all book bloggers in congratulating Wayne for all his hard work. You can breathe a sigh of relief because it has all paid off!
Just how hard is it to get that first draft manuscript into a published novel? I was given the opportunity to ask the author about his experience…
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“Both processes: writing a novel and retaining a publisher were time-consuming, circuitous, thrilling roller-coaster rides with uncertain twists and turns.  I landed on terra firma and delighted to share the emotions of those rides.  I overcame the obstacles and now revel in the ultimate victory for an aspiring author—my novel Roll the Dice will be published November 28 by Fiery Seas Publishing.
My novel’s main protagonist is Tyler Sloan, a rock star who exits the stage to campaign for the United States Senate.  Sloan has a complicated and difficult relationship with his father Mike, who was a nationally famous politician. The novel has plot lines with intrigue, corruption and sexual tension between Sloan and his young, attractive media advisor Bree Baker.  A quick plug—the novel is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and in selected bookstores.
The first novels I remember reading were Ian Fleming’s James Bond series.  I love that genre, but the “write what you know” cliché is accurate.  I have no knowledge of that world; or the nuances of crimes and police work that Michael Connelly skillfully explores in many of his novels.  I do not hold the passion to create a fictional world such as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. 
I have been an attorney for more than two decades and volunteered in my first political campaign when I was 17.  Before I graduated college, I was the campaign manager for a successful Los Angeles City Council campaign.  I managed another victorious campaign and served on the staffs of those two Council members, including as Chief of Staff. I later served on two government commissions and in other roles in politics and government.
As an attorney, I draft legal documents, but needed guidance to write fiction.  It is not a skill set taught in law school.  I attended UCLA Extension courses on fiction writing.  I would encourage any aspiring author to attend classes, review online material, read books or view YouTube videos of a host of tutors, my choice is best-selling author Michael Levin, who skillfully explains the writing process.
The most important recommendation is to simply keep writing.  The goal is to write daily.  Just keep going.  I jotted down notes of interesting phrases, observations, and people I met. Exaggerate, combine, twist, mold and mangle these qualities for your novel.
Writing the book consumed years of my life.  I never suffered from “writer’s block,” but my legal practice is a time-consumptive occupation.   I rewrote Roll the Dice many times; it was an illusion when I thought the work was completed.
When I thought the novel was completed, I entered the manuscript in online book contests.  I survived the initial cuts in Amazon’s CreateSpace contest, but did not proceed as far as I hoped.  With my confidence muted, I did some research.
I went online and to the bookstore to acquire ideas on fine-tuning a novel.  I rewrote it, tightened it, reduced a character or two, combined or eliminated scenes and once again, thought I was ready.  The novel was completed.  It was done.
My first real success was when the manuscript was named one of the year’s best unpublished manuscripts in a Kirkus Reviews contest.  The novel was completed. Now it was done.
I had a fortuitous meeting with a friend, a former executive at two major studios.  I described the plot and main characters and asked for his input.  He suggested one substantial change; that the deceased father of my protagonist Tyler Sloan be alive and become a major character.  This one change added significant conflicts throughout the book.  I rewrote it again.  Once again, I was now certain the novel was done.
I sought out a literary agent.   Cue the drumroll— the Rejection Process began.  I reminded myself that the best-selling authors of our time were rejected.  John Grisham was rejected by 16 publishers and J.K. Rowling nearly matched it with 15 rejections.  The Beatles were rejected numerous times.  One Decca Records executive passed, and informed their manager Brian Epstein, that “guitar groups are on their way out.” Good call.
I only needed one agent and braced myself for the expected deluge of rejections. I was not disappointed.  One rejection was humorous.  An agent took some time to write on my query letter which was on my legal stationary, that he would, “never represent an attorney as an author.”  No profanity, but his comments were laced with insults as to the honesty of my profession.   That agent was likely to be pleased to reject: Grisham, David Baldacci, Scott Turow, Meg Gardiner, Linda Fairstein and countless other attorney-authors.   You have to smile.
More than one agent expressed an interest and I retained New York-based, Linda Langton of the Langton Literary Agency. Linda is perfect; supportive, smart and patient.  I was once again certain the novel was complete.
Linda was pleased, but believed the manuscript needed an editor to be commercially viable.  After the editor’s comments, I once again rewrote Roll the Dice.  One bit of advice to all aspiring authors; accept the input of a skilled professional.  I gladly accepted Linda’s advice and the editor greatly enhanced the manuscript.  With her guidance, the manuscript was transformed into a finished work.  The novel was now ready to be published.
I was very fortunate to have a skilled literary agent who located Fiery Seas Publishing to publish my first novel.  I have enjoyed a varied career in politics and law; however, the satisfaction of a publisher believing in my work ranks among my most satisfying career achievements.
I admit that even holding the book in my hand, there are times when I would revise certain sentences or phrases.   However, the novel is now complete.”
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Wayne Avrashow
About the Author:
Wayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.
His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.
Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms.  As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications.  In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.

Blog Tour: Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio

Hi everybody!!
Today I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in a blog tour, arranged by Fiery Seas Publishing. As a part of the tour, I am glad to provide you with an excerpt from Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio, which has just been published this month!
Fiskur
 
Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio
November 7th, 2017
Fantasy
The Gemeta Stone Book 2
Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC
 
 
 
 
 

With his family’s talisman in his possession, Kristan Gemeta is ready to face the Wichelord Daazna – but he has no inkling of the scope of Daazna’s power, nor the depths of his hatred.
With the recovery of his family’s protective talisman, Kristan Gemeta has found hope, courage – and perhaps even the first stirrings of love.  With the aid of Heather Demitt, her band of rebels, a shipload of Northern brigands and the legendary Kentavron, he readies himself to face the Wichelord Daazna.  But neither he nor his comrades realize the strength of Daazna’s power and hatred.  The Wichelord’s first blow comes from a direction Kristan least expects, with horrific, lasting consequences.

 


FISKUR EXCERPT #4

 From Chapter 17

 
Kristan swung. It was an efficient sideways blow that severed the boy’s head and sent it flying. For a breath or two the boy’s body stayed upright, twitching and spurting blood, then fell back. Kristan stood over him. His knees buckled for an instant, but then he recovered. He stooped and carefully wiped his sword on the boy’s blanket, then straightened up and looked at his friends. “That’s all,” he said, and sheathed his sword.
Melissa’s hands went to her mouth. Nigel made a sound of revulsion and averted his eyes.  “Astéria mou –” Torrin started to say.
Kristan’s face twisted into a snarl. “Do you object? Should I have let him go, so he could tell Daazna where to find us?”
“He was just a boy –” Melissa whimpered.
“You chose to come with me. All of you. No one forced you. No one ordered you.”
Olaf put out one hand, as if to pat him on the shoulder. “Now, Fiskur –”
Kristan threw up his own hand to ward of Olaf’s touch. “Don’t touch me. I’m sick of being mollycoddled; sick of being challenged. I will do what I must. If any of you don’t like it, then you can go your own way, do you hear me?”
He wheeled and strode off. Silenced by his outburst, they followed him back to their horses, tethered some distance away. They mounted up and continued north through the night, wordless and miserable.
As the sun rose, the woods around them grew unpleasantly still. Heather was sticky with sweat but left her hood on and her sleeves rolled down against the biting flies that swarmed around them. Near noon they paused to eat and rest, but no one had much appetite, and the flies and heat made sleeping impossible.
“How much further?” Torrin asked as they broke camp again.
“A day and a half…maybe two,” Kristan murmured thickly. He dragged himself into Malvo’s saddle. “We lost time when we doubled back.”
Sun and shadow…shadow and sun…
As they journeyed on, Heather closed her eyes against the flickering light. The muffled clop of hooves, the creak of saddles and the jingling of tack blended into a monotonous drone; half asleep, she thought of O Tópos, its vineyards and sun-warmed clusters of grapes, orchards full of meaty, succulent cherries and crisp sweet melons on the vine. She thought of walking barefoot on the cool green grass of the promenade; she remembered Kristan’s hand stroking her hair.  How long ago it seems, she thought, a lifetime ago. We were children, we were pure. Daazna took that from all of us. We’ll never be that innocent again. 
Tears stung behind her closed lids. One squeezed free and rolled down her left cheek, and as it did, she felt a breath of cool air along its track. She opened her eyes. Daylight was fading. A gust of wind rattled the leaves overhead. Beyond them the sky was thick with scudding greenish clouds.
“Storm,” Olaf said. “You can smell it coming in from the west.”
“How soon?” Torrin asked over his shoulder.
A spat of rain landed on Heather’s hand, another on her face.
“Right now,” Olaf said.


 
I hope you all enjoyed that little snippet of the book! If you would like further details of the book, the links are provided below!
Buy Links:   Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo  ~  iBooks
About the Author:Donna Migliaccio
Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.
Social Media:   Website      Facebook       Twitter      Pinterest
 
 
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