A former warrior caught between gods and priests must fight for the survival of his family in this dark epic fantasy debut, set in a harsh arctic world inspired by Scandinavian indigenous cultures.
On the forbidding fringes of the tundra, where years are marked by seasons of snow, humans war with immortals in the name of their shared gods. Irjan, a human warrior, is ruthless and lethal, a legend among the Brethren of Hunters. But even legends grow tired and disillusioned.
Scarred and weary of bloodshed, Irjan turns his back on his oath and his calling to hide away and live a peaceful life as a farmer, husband, and father. But his past is not so easily left behind. When an ambitious village priest conspires with the vengeful comrades Irjan has forsaken, the fragile peace in the Northlands of Davvieana is at stake.
His bloody past revealed, Irjan’s present unravels as he faces an ultimatum: return to hunt the immortals or lose his child. But with his son’s life hanging in the balance, as Irjan follows the tracks through the dark and desolate snow-covered forests, it is not death he searches for, but life.
Monika Šimkovičová's Vigil was published by Publixing in November 2017.
Information about Monika Šimkovičová (in her own words):
"It may seem that I started to write just recently, but the truth is quite the opposite. I’ve been writing since my childhood. First it had been some poems but soon I realised that it’s not the right thing for me. My first poem, the one about the very first Czechoslovak cosmonaut, was literally understood by no one...
When I was 8 and I wrote Hands off from Vietnam, my teachers were bringing me to all the military bases around and I had to recite it...
So I gave up on poetry and started to write short stories instead. Some of them even made it into a real book. But that was just the beginning.
In 2015 I finished a novel called Roden24, which was published as an e-book in Slovak, Czech and English. And at the same time it was also published as an audiobook narrated by the leading Slovak actors.
And that was the time when when Roden started to grow up. It even overtook his older sister Aluni, which has been waiting last 5 years to be finished. The novel VIGIL was born."
Information about Vigil:
An amazing discovery! One pill replaces 9 hours of sleep.
The future belongs to those who do not need to sleep.
The future belongs to Vigils.
Homo vigilis. Vigils. A new human species that does not need any sleep to live. Vigils never need to rest, they never feel tired and as opposed to the Sleepers - ordinary humans - they don't tend to get sick.
In addition, their sense of smell is perfect. They appear to be flawless, there's nothing lacking...
...maybe except for the inability to dream. But who needs dreams for their everyday lives?
A book about imagination being stronger than all knowledge, about dreams being more powerful than reality.
I sit at the computer with great determination. I think: I've been in it from the very beginning. Who else should leave a message for future generations, if not I? Who could possibly be more objective? I plunge into that dreary silence. Then I draw the curtains again, make myself a sickly-sweet coffee and get down to writing. Maybe my next opus will not bear the seal of genius, but it certainly will be noteworthy for its topic.
As fate has decreed, I am in fact the only Vigil in the world who is capable of sleeping.
A REVIEW OF MONIKA ŠIMKOVIČOVÁ'S VIGIL
Zoë Sumra's The Wages of Sin was published by Elsewhen Press. The digital edition was published in June 2017 and the paperback edition in July 2017.
Information about Zoë Sumra:
Zoë was born in London, but spent her later childhood living in Lancashire, where she started writing novels at the age of twelve due to extreme boredom. After completing the obligatory epic fantasy trilogy in her teens, she spent four years at the University of St Andrews, where she learnt to fence both foil and sabre and cemented her passion for space opera. She now lives in London with her husband, their daughter and a collection of swords. Zoë writes when she’s not fencing, looking after her daughter, or working as a print controller for an advertising company.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about The Wages of Sin:
The second book in the Underside series
One young woman dies and another vanishes on the same chilly spring night. Connor Cardwain sees no reason to link his cleaner Merissa’s murder to a mystery anchored within a high-end warship sales team, but reconsiders his position when he realises both women were connected to a foreign runaway.
Armed with an enterprising widow, an imperial spy and his own wits, Connor sets out to find the missing woman, in a city streaked with vice and a planet upturned by other ganglanders’ ambition. If he fails to beat arms dealers, aristocrats, pirates and human traffickers at their own game, he and all his team will pay the price – and the wages of sin are death.
The Wages of Sin is graced with a fantastic cover by artist Alex Storer.
A REVIEW OF ZOË SUMRA'S THE WAGES OF SIN
Ira Nayman's The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There was published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in June 2017 and as a paperback edition in August 2017.
Information about Ira Nayman:
In his past lives, Ira Nayman was, among other things: a cave painter whose art was not appreciated in his lifetime; several nameless peasants who died before their 20th birthday during the Dark Ages; a toenail fungus specialist in the court of Louis XIV; and Alan Turing’s scullery maid.
In his current incarnation, Ira is the creator of Les Pages aux Folles, a Web site of political and social satire that was 11 years old in the first week of September, 2013 (that’s positively Paleolithic in Internet years!). Three collections of Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) stories (Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used To Be, What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys and Luna for the Lunies!) which originally appeared on the Web site have been self-published in print. Two new volumes of ARNS stories – The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Market Lateralization and The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide To Sex, Love and Robots were published in 2013. Ira has produced the pilot for a radio series based on stories from the first two ARNS books; “The Weight of Information, Episode One” can be heard on YouTube.
Ira has also written a series of stories that take place in a universe where matter at all levels of organization has become conscious. They feature Antonio Van der Whall, object psychologist. To date, four of these stories have been sold. “A Really Useful Engine” has been published in Even Birds Are Chained To The Sky and Other Tales: The Fine Line Short Story Collection and “Escalation is Academic” has appeared in the anthology UnCONventional. “If the Mountain Won’t Come to Mohammed” can be found in Here Be Monsters. “Thinking is the Worst Way to Travel” has been accepted into Explorers: Beyond the Horizon. Several other stories in the series are currently awaiting editorial decisions at various publications.
Ira’s Web Goddess tells him he should make more of the fact that he won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest. So, Ira won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest.
In another life (but still within this incarnation) Ira has a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research which was conducted entirely online. He also has a PhD in Communications from McGill University. Ira taught New Media part-time at Ryerson University for five years.
Whoever created the Karmic wheel has a lot to answer for...
Information about The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There:
Being the fifth novel in Ira Nayman’s Multiverse series (aka the Transdimensional Authority series, which is misleading because book four of the series was mostly about the Time Agency – honestly, if you blinked, you would have missed the appearance of the Transdimensional Authority, and if you didn’t blink, well, Elsewhen Press accepts no responsibility for the cost of the surgery to rehydrate your eyes), in which we once again follow the intricate web of events that unfold in a Transdimensional Authority investigation (oh! – so we could have stayed with the other series name after all – it’s not easy keeping track when these sentences can be the size of a Sherman tank!).
Why would someone, apparently chosen at random, have their consciousness swapped with someone else in another reality? How would someone, apparently chosen at random, have their consciousness swapped with someone else in another reality? Why would another three persons, apparently chosen at random, have their consciousness swapped with three other someone elses in another reality? Why would the entire bridge crew of a starship, apparently... well, you get the picture. What will happen to all these very confused people? How does the Alternate Reality News Service get scoops on these events so quickly? Why are their reporters acting so dodgy – do they have something to hide, or just issues? Who are the Pops, and can they help? Does the editor know what’s going on, and if she does would she even tell Noomi (our favourite TA investigator)? What was that noise from her office when Noomi was ‘interviewing’ her? Why am I asking you these questions when you haven’t even read the story yet? Or have you? Why are you reading this blurb if you’ve already read the story? Are you looking for an alternate reality, or just alternative facts? This is fiction you know, we tell it like it is. If you want alternative facts you better try a news service... or a politician. Oh, and if you’re looking for a news service, you could always consider the Alternate Reality News Service.
A REVIEW OF IRA NAYMAN'S THE MULTIVERSE IS A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, BUT I WOULDN'T WANT TO LIVE THERE
Lars-Henrik Olsen's Erik and the Gods: Journey to Valhalla was published by Aurora Metro Books in July 2017.
Information about Lars-Henrik Olsen:
Lars-Henrik Olsen is a Danish author. His oeuvre spans both children's and youth and adult books. He has written books about animals and nature, Nordic mythology and several historical novels. Among his more notable books are the Erik series. His books have been translated into a total of 13 different languages. In 1976 he published several nature books including Life in the sea: a food chain and Life in the forest: a circuit. His debut fiction novel was Wolves and then followed a series of books with animals and nature as a theme. In 1986 he was awarded The Danish Bookstores Auxiliary Society of Children's Book Prize for Erik Menneskeson. In 1988 this was followed by The dwarf from Normandy which won Denmark's school librarian Society of Children's Book Prize. Since then he has written a wealth of children’s and youth books, many of which are inspired by the Vikings, Norse mythology and medieval times.
A film is now being made of the Erik and the Gods in Denmark.
Information about Erik and the Gods: Journey to Valhalla:
The Gods have been fighting an endless war with the Giants and they’re slowly losing their powers.
During a terrible storm, Thor appears to Erik, an ordinary 13-year-old boy.
He sends Erik and his daughter on a mission to the Land of the Giants where they must find a Goddess with magic apples.
But time is running out.
Can Erik rescue the Goddess from the Giants and prevent the End of the World?
A REVIEW OF LARS-HENRIK OLSEN'S ERIK AND THE GODS: JOURNEY TO VALHALLA
Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by David Michael Williams.
About the author:
David Michael Williams has suffered from a storytelling addiction for as long as he can remember. With a background in journalism, public relations, and marketing, he also flaunts his love affair with the written word as an author of speculative fiction. His most recent books include the sword-and-sorcery trilogy The Renegade Chronicles. The Soul Sleep Cycle, a genre-bending series that explores life, death, and the dreamscape, debuts on Jan. 30, 2018, with the release of If Souls Can Sleep.
About If Souls Can Sleep:
First he lost his daughter. His mind may be next.
After years of being haunted by the day his little girl drowned, Vincent faces a new nightmare, one that reaches into the real world and beyond the grave.
If Souls Can Sleep introduces a hidden world where gifted individuals possess the power to invade the dreams of others. Two rival factions have transformed the dreamscape into a war zone where all reality is relative and even the dead can’t rest in peace.
GUEST POST: The best books make readers want to become writers by David Michael Williams