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Kudalis: Storm Dragon

Coming June 19, 2014

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Karin knows she’s gone completely insane—nuts—absolutely batshit crazy, when she spots an insidious blue dragon twining through the trees at a rest stop in the Cascade Mountains. Despite agreeing to join her roommate at a psychic fair, she’s never believed in anything metaphysical. She’s pretty sure the Reiki treatment she succumbed to has brought on a frighteningly realistic hallucination—until they roll their mini-van in the middle of I-90, and she is rescued from the vehicle by the same monstrous blue figment of her imagination. 

She awakens to find that she’s been delivered to a cabin high in the mountains instead of to a proper hospital. The “doctor” looking out for her is more of a new-ager than a physician, and the people who own the house, including the urban highlander version of Fabio, don’t have any intention of letting her leave.

Faced with the unimaginable, and strapped to an all-too-real dragon, Karin must decide how to tame the beast or risk losing herself to it forever

 

Be sure to add Kundalis Storm Dragon by Frances Pauli on GOODREADS  and learn more about Frances Pauli and her books by visiting her WEBSITE

An Easter Treat: The Literary Easter Egg

 

   No Easter tradition is better loved than the egg hunt. Every year, children scurry through the house and yard, searching behind bushes and under chairs for eggs filled with goodies. After all, who doesn’t love a competitive adventure that has chocolate waiting at the end?

Grown-ups can find their own version of Easter egg hunts, although the treat at the end is (perhaps unfortunately) not candy. “Easter eggs” is the term used to refer to hidden content or messages. While Easter eggs originated in computer programs, they have since spread to other forms of media—video games, movies, artwork, and, of course, books. 

            So, what exactly is a literary Easter egg? Some common examples are inside jokes, secret codes, and subtle references. Any sort of unexpected, veiled surprise could be considered an Easter egg.

Many great stories throughout years have been dotted with Easter eggs, although you might not have noticed them if you didn’t realize you were on the hunt. Here are a few examples.

1.     Through the Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll’s famed work features an acrostic poem that spells out “Alice Pleasance Liddell,” the name of the real girl who inspired the fictional Alice.

2.     A Series of Unfortunate Events: This children’s series by Daniel Handler, pen name Lemony Snicket, is full of twists and intrigue, creating the perfect atmosphere for hidden Easter eggs. For example, in A Hostile Hospital, a list of names features anagrams of both Daniel Handler and Brett Helquist, the book’s illustrator. Another anagram is made from the pen name Lemony Snicket for the name of one of the characters, Monty Kensicle.

3.     Star Wars: In some of the Star Wars books, Han Solo mentions that he uses the name Jenos Idanian as an alias. This is an anagram of Indiana Jones, who is played by Harrison Ford—the same actor who plays Han Solo in the Star Wars movies.

$14.     Sarah Dessen’s novels: Popular YA author Sarah Dessen is known for setting her stories in recurring locations, and many of her characters run into each other across their books. Just to name a couple of examples, the protagonists of The Truth About Forever make a cameo appearance in Just Listen, and a character from This Lullaby is seen briefly in Lock and Key.

5.     The Great Gatsby: This literary classic opens with a poetic epigraph that begins, “Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her…” and is attributed to Thomas Parke D’Invilliers. While, generally, readers expect epigraphs to be quotes from other published authors, only true Fitzgerald fans would know that Thomas Parke D’Invilliers is actually a fictional character in Fitzgerald’s third novel, This Side of Paradise!

6.     Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: When J.K. Rowling received a letter from a young fan named Natalie who had a terminal illness, Rowling wrote the girl a letter detailing the rest of Harry Potter’s storyline. Unfortunately, Natalie died before receiving the letter. Rowling named a minor character in her honor; Natalie is a young student who is sorted into Gryffindor at the beginning of the book.

These are only a few examples of the various forms that Easter eggs may take in writing. Hopefully they provide inspiration for the kind of “treats” you can hide in your writing.

Easter eggs are beloved by readers because of the sense of fun and discovery they deliver. Entertain and challenge yourself by weaving hidden surprises through your writing as you create a literary Easter egg hunt of your own.

Happy hunting, and happy Easter!

The Zharmae Publishing Press will be closed from Friday, April 17 through Monday, April 20. While our offices are closed, we may not respond to inquiries, but please follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive any news or updates.

 

Announcing Anne Carly Abad

Zharmae is pleased to announce the signing of author Anne Carly Abad and her novel The Myriad Paths: The Light Bringer's Kingdom.

Path Liang is the last person you would expect to believe in spirits or the supernatural. Her father, Hector Liang, is the inventor of the Wireless Command System (WCS), a technology that amplifies brainwaves to operate machines and computers and has revolutionized the society of the Phillipines in 2066. By day Path is a talented badminton star, and by night she is a hypergamer, immersing herself in the super-fast WCS-enabled virtual world. 

But despite Path's best efforts, she has been haunted by a strange dreamworld since she was seven years old. Little does she know that she is a descendant of a powerful babaylan, shamans of ancient Phillippine society. Path will need all the help she can get to master her newfound powers. Demons, led by Lucifer himself, want to use her abilities in a new rebellion against Heaven.

Path is protected by Elantiel "Eli" Clementir, a revenge-driven young man with a mysterious connection to the angels and an ancestral magic of his own. As apocalypse looms ever closer, Path realizes their fates are more entwined than she could have ever imagined. To protect all they hold dear, Path and Eli must face their own families' tragic pasts and confront a cosmic rebellion a millennia in the making.

Anne Carly Abad combines sci-fi and fantasy in her new book, blending a futuristic world with mythology such as the Aswang, fickle and dangerous spirits of Phillippine lore. Abad has earned several writing awards, including third prize in the Diogen Summer Contest for Haiku, Senryu, Tanka & Haiga; Her short stories "Haze" and "Sage's Reckoning" won honorable mention in On the Premises Short Story Contest #20 (2013) and Q3 of The Writers of the Future Contest, respectively. Her work has appeared or will appear in Star*Line, Dreams & Nightmares, and Strange Horizons. Visit her blog at http://the-sword-that-speaks.blogspot.com/

The Light Bringer's Kingdom has an anticipated release date of January 2015.

New Release: Breakshield by J.B. Rockwell

The Zharmae Publishing Press recently released

BREAKSHIELD by J.B. Rockwell on March 27, 2014.

This debut fantasy release is an action packed

adventure with several twists and turns, sure to keep

you on the edge of your seat.

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Found at the intersection of life and the afterlife, the Between is a place where science and reason are replaced by magic and violence. It is a place where Typhon and his Huntsmen of the Dark Waste spread like a plague and where Talents go to die. 

The only thing standing in Typhon’s way is Morgan Quendalen and the people of the Shining Lands. They are sworn to protect the last remaining Talents, a precious few who teeter at the edge of extinction.  Morgan valiantly fights, protecting these last remnants of magic in a war he's not sure he can actually win. 

When Jamie Aster, a mortal Talent with undiscovered powers, is put under his charge, Morgan weighs his oath against a desire to save the Shining Lands. Could he kill a Talent if it meant saving his people?

Breakshield is out now and avaiable for purchase:  Amazon  |  TZPP Direct

 

We will be hosting a week long review only blog tour to celebrate the release of BREAKSHIELD. Go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1eDFreGv49_X0ZG-Vtia0qGqFIkHdcHXrl3F3OpZ7BkQ/viewform to participate.

About the Author

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J.B. Rockwell grew up reading fairy tales, folklore and mythology, as well as anything everything about ancient cultures and their history, and never lost her taste for any of it. Unsurprisingly, her college studies focused on anthropology with an emphasis on investigating mythical events and trying to tie them back to historical fact. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of jobs (much less money) in anthropology so after several years of low-paying, unsatisfying jobs, she went back to school and earned a very practical (and very boring MBA). Somehow that MBA landed her a job in IT and for the past twelve years she has been managing software systems and information technology development projects for the US Coast Guard, a job which is neither boring nor unrewarding. She continues to write in her spare time and has several short stories that have been picked up for publication. Born and raised in Connecticut, J.B. Rockwell currently lives in West Virginia with her husband and two cats, all of whom provide inspiration for her stories, whether they know it or not.

Announcing Sherry Palmer

 

The Zharmae Publishing Press is proud to announce the recent signing of Sherry Palmer and her book Life with Charley

Sherry Palmer is currently a member of the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee. In 2012 she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University, and most importantly, she is Charley’s mom. 

Take a journey into Sherry’s Life with Charley and learn all the joys of being a parent to a Down syndrome child who is full of life and love. And be on the look out for Life with Charley, set to hit the shelves this coming fall 2014!

You can learn more about Sherry at http://lifewithcharley.blogspot.com/

 

 

Author Signing: Justin Alcala

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The Zharmae Publishing Press is proud to announce the recent signing of Justin Alcala and his book CONSUMED. Justin is a remarkable author, poet, and freelance writer.  

When asked why he writes, Justin replied simply: " I would do it for free for the rest of my life. It is what I was made to do. I’m a storyteller .” When asked what inspires his more terrifying tales he answered, “I’ve always been the kid who gets excited for Halloween, Ghost stories and Grim Fairytales. Maybe that makes me macabre, but I kind of like it.”

Justin currently lives in downtown Chicago with his wife Mallory, their Great Dane, Poseidon, and their black, unlucky cat, Misery.

About the Book:

Detective Sergeant Nathaniel Brannick loathes the world he lives in. Trapped in London during a period of disease, crime, and insatiable vices, he fights to keep his humanity after his wife falls ill from consumption. In order to manage his grief, Brannick turns to opium, but struggles to keep his addiction under control while overseeing both his comatose bride and police work. Then one night as he returns home from work, Nathaniel stumbles upon an eerie messenger in his flat who warns of darker things to follow. The next day he takes a new case involving a victim who suffered from the same ailment as his wife. As he uncovers more clues, he cannot help but wonder if the practical man he once was has been altered by an investigation encompassed in the paranormal. That is until he meets the witch hunters and everything takes a turn for the worse.

CONSUMED is set to be released in October 2014

Learn more about Justin and his works at http://www.justinalcala.com/

Guest Post by Author Daniel Pike

Infinite World Building: The Concept of the Dream Box

When my lovely editor informed me in her rather nonchalant way that I would be guest blogging, one of the potential topics she tossed at me was the world building involved in creating the Dream Box series. I’m game (pun intended). In a way, the universe I’ve created is a kind of double-edged sword… you know, I really loathe that cliché. I mean, if you suck enough with a sword to get cut by your own blade, you probably shouldn’t be wielding one.

As you may have already guessed, I’m also a die-hard fan of the Fantasy genre. Because of this, I wanted to come up with a Sci-Fi universe wherein chivalric knights, magic, and impossible creatures could be included alongside the elements of a good Cyberpunk story. But I didn’t want it to stop there. After all, once simulation is involved, anything human beings (or, in this case, even aliens) can imagine would be possible to recreate.  Hence, the Dream Box—a gaming console that could provide virtually (pun so intended) any experience the gamer, or Linker, could desire.

I asked myself, Self, why would anyone create something like this? As a means of capital gain? As a political diversion? As a weapon? As a digital neurological network connecting all of humanity?

I decided on all of the above. And that’s where the second layer of world building—the concrete universe of the Dream Box series, what Linkers call the “Meat Space”—had to come in.

Who created the Dream Box network?

The Interplanetary Council, of course. What government wouldn’t love to get inside the heads of its subjects? Especially 300 years in the future after the potentially rebellious have scattered to the farthest corners of the galaxy?

What keeps the Linkers from simply staying logged in 24-7?

The government provides those it intends to pacify with more simulation than those it intends to be its agents. Red collars, the genetic inferiors, spend most of their waking hours either in labor shifts or in a subconscious state while logged into the Dream Box, therefore preventing them from revolting against the higher caste, the blue collars. Of course, everyone is equal in the system—in theory.

How does the government use the Dream Box to control its subjects?

System Administrators and A.I. constantly analyze Linkers’ neurological patterns to ensure that they aren’t sharing personal information or hacking Cyber, thus completely separating the dream world from the real world. Of course, there are mind hackers and encoders that are good enough to cheat the system without being caught. 

What’s the government’s end game?

To use the collective knowledge of the hive mind to find the missing pieces to a futuristic genetic puzzle that, if not solved soon, could spell the end of human evolution and the species as well.

So there’s nothing that could potentially go wrong here, right?

When a hostile A.I. life form evolves within Cyber and claims to be a new form of god, the slave masters become the slaves, and it’s up to those who truly know the Dream Box—the dregs of society, the genetically discarded—to save both the upper caste and the network from the horror they have unleashed.

The major payoff of a universe like this is that I get to play with where the lines between reality and fantasy blur while juxtaposing the living, breathing characters with their virtual counterparts, sometimes allowing them to develop in contradicting ways simultaneously. I do love a good paradox. And hopefully my readers will too.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day

The Zharmae Publishing Press would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! Our staff will be out of the office Friday, February 14th, through Monday, February 17th. During this time we won’t be replying to emails or responding to manuscript inquiries. Business will resume as usual on Tuesday, February 18th

But before we go, we wanted to share the cover reveal for J.B. Rockwell's upcoming fantasy release BREAKSHIELD

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Found at the intersection of life and the afterlife, the Between is a place where science and reason are replaced by magic and violence. It is a place where Typhon and his Huntsman of the Dark Waste spread like a plague and where Talents go to die. 
 
The only thing standing in Typhon’s way is Morgan Quendalen and the people of the Shining Lands. They are sworn to protect the last remaining Talents, a precious few who teeter at the edge of extinction. Morgan valiantly fights, protecting these last remnants of magic in a war he's not sure he can actually win. 
 
When Jamie Aster, a mortal Talent with undiscovered powers, is put under his charge, Morgan weighs his oath against a desire to save the Shining Lands. Could he kill a Talent if it meant saving his people?
 
Don't forget to add BREAKSHIELD on GoodReads and learn more about J.B. and her books on her Website

 

 

Battlefields of Silence

We are proud to announce the launch of Battlefields of Silence by William Tedford on this day January 23, 2014.

Book Description: When the surface of Earth was ruinously contaminated by radiation, it became a forbidden sanctuary. Though orphaned in the blackness of space, civilization struggled onward, persevering in sterile isolation. Now, centuries later, while the mighty space-faring superpowers war tirelessly for control of the solar system, humanity has adapted too well to its new home. None could survive exposure to a natural world.

Or so it was understood. 

In the midst of a catastrophic but ultimately meaningless wargame, faced with imminent death from every direction, one remarkable Jovan fighter pilot chose to die pursuing a dream: the dream to look upon the landscapes of Earth with his own eyes. What he could never have anticipated was surviving the experience. 

Faced with both unspeakable beauty and terrible hardship, Jon has the singular opportunity to gaze into the mysteries of the past, and to stumble into the embrace of humanity's future

 

Purchase your copy on Amazon  or buy Direct for added savings and don't forget to add Battlefields of Silence on GoodReads

New Author Signing: Levi HR Rosenthal

The Zharmae Publishing Press, together with Max Avalon, is delighted to announce the signing of Levi H. R. Rosenthal.

Rosenthal is one of our youngest authors, and at the age of sixteen is already creating compelling, multifaceted characters in a dark fantasy world.

His first series—about the wanderer Darius Gunn, and his trials and tribulations as he adventures across his country—is a unique endeavor, composed of many short stories that intertwine into a larger tale. The short stories will be released by Max Avalon in monthly installments, starting this December. Each year afterward, a collectible omnibus of the previous year’s stories will be released, swathed in all-new cover art by the talented Vincent Sammy.

Rosenthal is a writer, he says, “because I dream about the day someone out there will pick up my book and enjoy it. Writing is also my passion and my every thought turns into a possible book in my mind.”

He writes “stories that are as real as reality, but set in a different world or a distant future or a period of ancient history. That means your favorite characters might die!”

This particular story is the one he chose to write, he says, because “I wanted to write about a character who is not just your average, selfless, loyal, fearless hero. I wanted to write about someone who does what must be done but struggles to find his own path.”

And finally, what profound memories does he have from the writing process of these stories? The answer is key: “The story of Darius Gunn is not over. So I hope more ‘profound memories’ are yet to come.”

Read all about the author you’ll be returning to month after month in his brand-new interview, which is posted in the Authors section of the TZPP website. Afterwards, you can check out some of Zharmae’s other fabulous authors!

Mark your calendars for the first Darius Gunn short story, coming in December.

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