Book Tour: Curse of the Gods #rabtbooktours #CurseoftheGods #RLMcIntyre #YAFantasy

YA Historical Fantasy

Date Published: 09-21-2021

Dare to defy the Gods?

The Gods demand absolutes, absolute devotion to a prophecy Seanait wishes wasn’t real. Ever since her riastrad awoke she has trained for her seventeenth birthday and the beginning of her destiny. With only a few months left, she is ready to return home to Ulster but when Romans invade Caledonia she can’t leave the land defenseless. Taking up arms next to her best friend Eion she is ready to defy the Gods and save lives. A chance encounter with the seventh fae prince of Amanthia, Cillian, awakens a dream that could change everything.

Cillian has spent nearly a year running from the trials for the crown of Amanthia. He wants nothing to do with the faelands who see him as a monster because of his Primal magic. He’s determined to never return but when Gods meddle in the fates of fae and humans alike everything will not go to plan. In order to survive the war with the Romans and their own destinies, Seanait and Cillian must depend on the one thing pulling them closer, their uncertain hearts.

This is YA historical fantasy series based on the Irish myth of Cu Chulainn.

 

About the Author

I am a new author who started my self-publishing journey this year in 2021. Curse of the Gods will be my fourth book this year but not my last. I live in the Philadelphia area with a house full of crazy cats you can see on my Instagram or website. I’m a long-time reader and fantasy fan. Anything with strong female protagonists pulls me in.

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Guest Post: Ariadne Unraveled by Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalFantasy #AncientGreece @ZenobiaNeil @maryanneyarde

Ariadne Unraveled by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: July 7, 2021

Publisher: Hypatia Books

Page Length: 345 pages

Genre: Mythic retelling/Historical Romance

Ariadne, high priestess of Crete, grew up duty-bound to the goddess Artemis. If she takes a husband, she must sacrifice him to her goddess after no more than three years of marriage. For this reason, she refuses to love any man, until a mysterious stranger arrives on her island.

The stranger is Dionysus, the new god of wine who empowers women and breaks the rules of the old gods. He came to Crete seeking vengeance against Artemis. He never expected to fall in love.

Furious that Dionysus would dare meddle with her high priestess, Artemis threatens to kill Ariadne if Dionysus doesn’t abandon her. Heartbroken, the new god leaves Crete, vowing to become better than the Olympians.

From the bloody labyrinth and the shadows of Hades to the halls of Olympus, Dionysus must find a way to defy Artemis and unite with his true love. Forced to betray her people, Ariadne discovers her own power to choose between the goddess she pledged herself to and the god she loves.

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Universal Amazon Link: https://books2read.com/u/bwolxG

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09647R6CF

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09647R6CF

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09647R6CF

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09647R6CF

From the Author…

We’ve all heard that history is told by the victors, but it took me a while to realize that this applies to the ancient world and Greek mythology as well.

I’ve long been fascinated by the Minoans, Crete and the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, though I always had questions about it. The myth goes that Minos, a son of Zeus, was given a beautiful white bull as acknowledgement that he was king. Minos was so in awe of this beautiful bull that instead of sacrificing it, he put it among his own bulls and sacrificed another in its place. In anger, Poseidon made Minos’s wife Pasiphae lust after the bull. She got the famous engineer Daedalus to make a wooden cow that she could hide inside… and nine months later the Minotaur was born.

This story has always been strange and disturbing. Years ago I joined an amazing Facebook group that focuses on Modern Minoan Paganism—a testament to how powerful Minoan culture is. At some point, a member mentioned how this story of Pasiphae, queen of Crete, lusting after a bull was a great story to tell about one’s enemy. What a way for a patriarchal culture like Athens to insult a powerful witch-queen than to say she lusted after the bull and bore a monster. What a fantastic story to tell that the monster demanded the sacrifice of Athenian youths, and that the cultural hero Theseus was the one to kill the monster and free Athens from this horrible blood sacrifice.

What better way to slander one’s enemy than to tell this story and to have it be believed and recorded thousands of years later? I was inspired by this idea because I’ve always been interested at looking at history from different perspectives. We currently think of Crete as part of Greece, but Minoan civilization was its own culture for a very long time.

I’ve always been interested in Dionysus and the conflicting myths about his origins. About five years ago, I read Bacchus: A Biography by Andrew Dalby. In my other novels about the ancient world, I’ve made a few jokes about how all children with unknown fathers are said to be the children of gods. Andrew Dalby recounts how Dionysus’s mother Semele was impregnated by Zeus. The story I had always heard is that Semele was tricked by Hera in disguise to ask Zeus to give her a promise. Once he promised, Semele asked him to show himself in his true form. Zeus begged her not to, knowing seeing his essence would kill her. But Semele insisted and even though Zeus tried to show only the slightest bit of himself, she was incinerated. Zeus scooped the essence of Dionysus up, tore open his thigh and carried the baby to term.

What I didn’t know until I read Dalby’s book is that there was another story that Semele, pregnant by a palace slave, claimed Zeus was the father. When lightning struck her bedroom, everyone thought it was divine retribution for her lies. I began to imagine a young Dionysus, unsure of his godhood. Unsure of what kind of god he wanted to be.

My latest novel Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling is a look at the conflicting myths of Ariadne and Dionysus, but it’s also a kind of coming-of-age story for Dionysus. Dionysus is the last god to become an Olympian and the only Olympian who is a demi-god. This gives him a rare opportunity to be different from the other Olympians.

Another huge inspiration for me to write Ariadne Unraveled was to reimagine Ariadne herself. She is often mentioned as a sidenote in Theseus’s story. She is portrayed as a pawn—a princess who falls in love with a stranger who is her father’s enemy. She helps Theseus kill her half-brother the Minotaur.

In most versions of the myth, Daedalus, is the one who gives Ariadne the thread to help Theseus escape the labyrinth. Ariadne has no agency and no motivations for the things she does. Then, after sacrificing everything for the Athenian hero, he abandons her on Naxos.

Some myths say that Athena told Theseus to abandon her or that Dionysus came to him in a dream and claimed Ariadne for himself. In all the myths Ariadne is nothing more than a girl, a daughter of the king, the lover of the hero, the wife of the god. I wanted to give her back the power a Minoan priestess would have possessed. I wanted to tell a Greek myth from a Minoan perspective. And I wanted to re-empower women in the ancient world and depict Minoan culture not as a patriarchy as we often see in the Hellenistic world, but as a culture where women have freedom and Ariadne had her own motivation and strength. I was inspired to write Ariadne Unraveled to tell a story that was written by the victors from the other side and give a mythical woman back her power.

About the Author

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes historical romance about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com

Social Media Links:

Website: www.zenobianeil.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZenobiaNeil

Facebook: www.facebook.com/zenobianeilauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zenobia.neil/?hl=en

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zenobianeil 

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/zenobia-neil

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Zenobia-Neil/e/B01KY86Q46

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15661007.Zenobia_Neil

Release Blitz: We Cry the Sea by Glenn Quigley #LGBTQ #historicalfantasy @Glennquigley @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: We Cry the Sea

Series: The Moth and Moon, Book Three

Author: Glenn Quigley

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 03/15/2021

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male, Female/Female

Length: 102500

Genre: Historical Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Action/adventure, Age-gap, Bears, Bartenders, Established couple, Illness/disease, Over 40, #ownvoices, Pirates, Sailors, Tattoos, Fishermen, Criminals, clockpunk

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 Description

After the explosive events of The Lion Lies Waiting, life has returned to normal for burly fisherman Robin Shipp. That is until the innkeeper of the ancient Moth & Moon approaches him with a surprising proposal, and an unexpected arrival brings some shocking news that sends Robin on a perilous journey alone.

While he’s away, his lover, Edwin, anxiously prepares for the birth of his first child with his friend, Iris. Her wife, Lady Eva, must travel to Blackrabbit Island for a showdown over the future of the family business. Meanwhile, Duncan nurses an injured man back to health but as the two grow close, the island’s new schoolmaster makes his amorous intentions clear.

Robin’s search for answers to the questions that have haunted his entire life will take him away from everyone he knows, across a dangerous ocean, and into the very heart of a floating pirate stronghold. Pushed to his limits, Robin’s one last chance at finding the truth will cost him more than he ever imagined.

Excerpt

We Cry the Sea
Glenn Quigley © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Finding a gull in one’s bathroom has a way of bringing into sharp focus just what massive beasts they truly are. They certainly appear large when harassing people at the seafront, or circling overhead, but coming face to face with one in a domestic setting really shows them in a whole new light. It wasn’t actually using the privy, of course, though its demeanour suggested it could have if it wanted to. Rather, it seemed content to simply sit there and wait out the bad weather.

It wasn’t until Robin Shipp approached that it began to caw and squawk furiously, flapping its wings with an air of indignity, as if protesting at him having the temerity to walk in without first knocking. Which, in all fairness to the gull, he had done, but then it was his lavatory and up till that point he’d never known it to be frequented by any type of wildlife whatsoever.

Despite his name, Robin had little affinity for, or interest in, birds. Especially gulls. He found them pests, for the most part. He was a fisherman and spent more time than he’d like trying to shoo them away from his catch. This one in particular was known to him as the Admiral, one of a pair of seagulls who fought a never-ending battle for supremacy of the harbour. Robin stood there, in the whitewashed room, shouting at the bird to leave for a good five minutes before accepting it wasn’t going to be quite so easy.

He slowly slipped off his woollen overcoat and held it open, advancing as cautiously as his enormous frame would allow, then flung it quickly over the toilet. The gull was not amused, nor was it shy in expressing as much. After some kerfuffle, Robin managed to bundle it up in his coat, fearful the whole time of injuring its wings. He didn’t like gulls, but he’d never be needlessly cruel or violent towards them either.

He wrestled the creature out of the room, across the narrow hall, and into his bedroom. The doors to his balcony were open. The method of admission, he suspected. He shook his coat open and the gull tumbled out, mewing loudly, before plodding to the balcony and flying away into the rain. It looked back to squawk at him one last time. An insult, Robin was certain. He shut the doors and sighed. He was late.

He pulled closed the front door of his tall, thin house and trudged down towards the harbour. He tugged his flat cap low over his eyes though the weather was already beginning to ease. With his meaty thumb, he rubbed the palm of his left hand. Injured the previous year, on the night of the winter solstice, it had never properly healed. His hand was always stiff now, with a deep ache and a white, weblike scar. Rubbing helped as he found it seized up if he neglected it too long, especially in cold weather. He’d been advised by the local doctor to keep rubbing it as often as possible as it kept the blood flowing, or some such.

Robin didn’t really understand the mechanics of it. He’d been eager to resume fishing after the worst of the winter season had passed but quickly discovered his efforts hampered by his injury. He tried to pass it off as a minor inconvenience, but deep down he knew it was serious. He’d been a fisherman all his adult life, and before. He’d started when he was a young boy after his father had died and he couldn’t imagine any other way of living, didn’t want to imagine it, even. The hurricane of the previous summer, just over a year ago, had turned his whole world upside down and while he couldn’t have been happier about it, the upheaval had been daunting. What he craved now more than anything was some peace and quiet.

With his bull neck, jug ears, and hooded eyes, Robin had never considered himself an especially attractive man, so quite what the undeniably handsome Edwin Farriner saw in him, he couldn’t rightly say. Yet there Edwin was, sheltering from the rain against a market hall pillar, waiting for him. He was tall, though not as tall as Robin, in his early forties, so ten years Robin’s junior, with receding and close-shaved ginger hair. His smile never failed to light up Robin’s heart.

“You’re late,” Edwin said. “He won’t be happy.”

“Ho ho! When is ’e ever ’appy?”

The rain stopped and the clouds broke. They stood gazing at the roof of the Moth & Moon, shielding their eyes from the midday sun. Atop the enormous inn, workers hammered nails and sawed wood. A framework was coming together—six sided and spacious enough to comfortably fit ten men. Robin pulled his cap lower and cupped a hand around his mouth.

“Oi! Duncan!” His deep voice carried clear across the little harbour. “Time to eat! Come on!”

From the rooftop, Duncan Hunger waved and began to climb down the many ladders strapped to the rain-slick tiles. The Moth & Moon was expansive and ever-changing. A hunk of wood, glass, and lime wash, which seemed to regularly sprout fresh bay windows, bud whole new rooms, and blossom balconies. Its roof, or rather roofs, rose and fell like the sea—a tiled wave here, a slate swell there—and took some skill to navigate. Duncan grasped one of the numerous chimney stacks and used it to swing himself around to firmer footing. When his boots finally touched the ground, he shook raindrops from his coat.

“You’re late,” he said.

“Only a little!” Robin said. “I ’ad a visit from the Admiral.”

“It’s all well and good for you two to swan up whenever the mood strikes you,” Duncan said, “but some of us have work to be getting on with.”

Robin chuckled again. Duncan’s natural state was irked, and he never needed a particular reason to complain. He cleaned all the lenses in his unique spectacles with a handkerchief. Small, round, and fixed with multiple thin armatures, they were of Duncan’s own design. He was forever fiddling with them, setting first one lens in place and then another. Robin wondered if Duncan would be forced to add even more arms with even more lenses as he grew older. Duncan was Edwin’s age but a couple of heads shorter. He was squat, burly, with wavy black hair, long sideburns, and an expression that indicated he had somewhere more important to be, so if you wanted him to stay, you’d better make it worth his while.

“’Ow’s it goin’?” Robin asked, pointing upwards.

“Slowly,” Duncan said, fixing the spectacles back into place on his button nose. “We should have been finished with the basic frame by now. The others are dragging their heels.”

“Nothing to do with you resetting the wood every ten minutes and telling everyone they’re doing it all wrong?” Edwin asked.

“Whoever could have told you such a thing?” Duncan asked. “It’s a gross exaggeration and a terrible slight on my good name. Can I help it if I’m a perfectionist? I want this new bell tower to stand the test of time, to be…”

Duncan trailed off and pointed out to sea. “That boat’s coming in a bit fast, isn’t it?”

Robin turned and squinted before reaching into the pocket of his long, navy-coloured overcoat from which he produced a battered copper spyglass. He extended it to its full length. The glass was a touch foggy, but it was enough to determine a single occupant at the helm of the lugger.

“Can you see who it is?” Edwin asked.

“No,” Robin said. “I can’t see ’is face. But whoever ’e is, ’e needs to slow down or ’e’ll run aground.”

Robin ambled down to the pier, quickly overtaken by the much sprightlier Edwin and Duncan. All three men frantically waved their arms and shouted, trying to alert the sailor to the danger. The sailboat began to turn, taking it away from the harbour and straight towards the headland. Straight towards the rocks.

With a terrifying crack that landed like a lightning strike, the boat splintered against rocky outcrops, and its occupant was flung into the water. Without a moment’s thought, Robin ditched his cap, overcoat, and jumper. He hopped around, pulling off his boots, before diving into the sea. Edwin followed suit. They splashed about in the choppy waters, unable to find the man.

“Robin!” Duncan said. “Over there! To your right! No, the other way… Starboard, man! Starboard!”

Robin kicked his massive legs furiously to avoid being dashed against the rocks himself. With one deep breath, he dived beneath the surface to search where Duncan had indicated, but there was no sign. Underwater, Edwin was pointing furiously. Robin turned to find the figure of a man floating limply. Together, he and Edwin grabbed the victim and brought him to the surface. Robin’s lungs were burning, and he gasped for air.

Once ashore, they lay the drowning man on his back. He was breathing and coughed up some seawater. Blood poured from his left eye, dying part of his white beard crimson. He was huge, as big as Robin himself. A crowd gathered around them. Robin brushed the man’s lank hair away from the wound.

“Easy, easy,” Robin said. “You’re safe now. What… Wait. Vince?”

“Hello, brother,” Vince said. His usually growling voice was weak and cracked.

“Let’s get him to the inn,” Edwin said.

“No,” Vince said, grabbing firmly onto Robin’s arm. “Too many people.”

“We’ll take you to my ’ouse, then,” Robin said. “It’s not far.”

They loaded Vince onto a borrowed cart and took him up the steep slope of Anchor Rise. He placed one huge arm across Edwin’s shoulders, the other across Robin’s, and together they all sidled through the blue front door of Robin’s home. Scarlet dots gathered on the black and white tiles of the hallway floor as blood dripped from Vince’s eye, yet still he stared at the oil painting on the upstairs landing. Once inside Robin’s front room, they put him by the fireplace and wrapped bandages around his head and leg. They would have to do until Doctor Greenaway could be summoned.

“I didn’t recognise you under all the hair,” Duncan said.

“Haven’t had much chance to get it cut,” Vince said. “Been busy.”

“Too busy to visit us, like you said you would.”

“Here now, aren’t I?”

Edwin handed him a mug of water and Vince sipped it, then pawed at his throat, obviously in some discomfort.

“How did you end up running aground?” Duncan asked.

Vince sipped his drink again but said nothing.

Robin frowned. “Vince? Did you ’ear ’im? What—”

Edwin coughed and placed his hand on Robin’s arm. “Let’s just give him time to get his head clear. He’s obviously had a terrible shock.”

Robin had only met Vince once before, around the same time he’d injured his hand. Before then, he didn’t even know he had a brother. They’d promised to stay in touch, and they did, after a fashion. A couple of short letters had been exchanged but nothing more.

“Well, you can stay ’ere as long as you like, of course,” he said. “My ’ome is your ’ome.”

“How’s he going to manage all those stairs with his leg the way it is?” Duncan asked. “You’d be better off staying with me, I suppose.”

Vince growled something approaching gratitude. “Help me up,” he said.

“You don’t ’ave to go right now,” Robin said, as he once more he let Vince lean on him.

“Hallway,” Vince said.

Robin guided him back out onto the black and white tiles. Vince pointed at the painting upstairs.

“Who’s he?”

“Oh, right, you never met ’im. It’s our dad, Captain Erasmus Shipp,” Robin said. “It were painted a few years before ’e died.”

Vince shook his head. “Can’t be Dad.”

“Why not?”

“Because just this morning, I saw that man in Wolfe-Chase Asylum.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Glenn Quigley is a graphic designer originally from Dublin and now living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He creates bear designs for http://www.themoodybear.com. He has been interested in writing since he was a child, as essay writing was the one and only thing he was ever any good at in school. When not writing or designing, he enjoys photography and has recently taken up watercolour painting.

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