Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Gail Z. Martin. This guest post is part of the author's Days of the Dead Blog Tour.

About the Author

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands and the upcoming Lucky Town.

Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at www.DisquietingVisions.com blog, on www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com Never miss out on the news and new releases—newsletter signup link http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj

GUEST POST: Heroes in Dark Places by Gail Z. Martin

Assassins. Outlaws. Mercenaries and smugglers. They’re the bad boys of epic fantasy—and often, the tarnished heroes. And I’ll admit, as a reader and an author, I can’t get enough of them.

What’s the appeal? I think that a lot of the pull of these heroes comes from the fact that they have to work outside a—usually corrupt—system to do the right thing. Note that I’m not talking about anti-heroes. These aren’t bad people; they’re good people who have to take questionable actions to do the right thing because the rules are rigged in favor of the bad guys.

That pretty much sums up all of my characters, regardless of whether they’re epic fantasy, urban fantasy or alternate history.

In my newest epic fantasy series, Assassin’s Honor, Joel Breckenridge and Garrett Kennard are King's Shadows, elite assassins serving the crown of Landria. When a shadowy itinerant holy man starts captivates the nobility with treasonous whispers, Ridge and Rett go rogue to stop the threat, save the kingdom and protect the king--while landing on the 'Most Wanted' list themselves. Their honor drives them to break some rules in order to do the right thing regardless of what others think.

Assassin’s Honor, by the way, is epic fantasy without the epic length. It’s a buddy flick epic fantasy, so think ‘Butch and Sundance as medieval assassins’.

Vengeance, the second book in my Darkhurst series, is also about honor-driven outlaws, this time medieval monster hunters. (I joke that it’s what you get when you cross Supernatural with Game of Thrones.) When undertaker brothers Corran and Rigan Valmonde became outlaw monster hunters and fled beyond the walls of Ravenwood, they thought they had defeated the source of the abominations that killed so many of their friends and loved ones. But the more successful they become at destroying the creatures, the more they realize a greater evil is at work – larger and more monstrous than they ever could imagine.

We love rebels who protect the average person. When the system is corrupt, then those who remain true to their honor and principles will be outlaws. We cheer for the underdog, and we have a deep emotional investment in seeing the bad guys brought down and get what’s coming to them.

That’s probably most true for Jonmarc Vahanian, the main character in The Dark Road, and a prominent secondary character in my Chronicles Of The Necromancer series. The Dark Road is the second collection of stories chronicling Jonmarc’s rise from the son of a blacksmith in a small fishing village to become the most accomplished warrior of his generation. The Dark Road picks up immediately after book one, The Shadowed Path. Jonmarc Vahanian fled from the raiders and monsters that killed his family, but when danger dogs his steps once again, he leaves the traveling caravan that gave him shelter to become a mercenary in nearby Principality. His fighting skills help him rise through the ranks, and draw the attention of a Nargi general—and the general’s undead mage. An old, unsettled score turns deadly, trapping Jonmarc in dangerous intrigue. He can save himself—and betray everything he holds dear—or die a hero as the raider’s curse holds true.

We love our rule-breakers and our tarnished champions, our outlaws and rebels because we see ourselves in their redemption arcs, in the way they recover from tragedy or build a new life from the ashes of the old. We cheer them when the speak truth to those in power and stick up for the little guy. Here’s to heroes!

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour at www.GailZMartin.com

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! All of my guest blog posts have links to free excerpts—follow the tour and grab them all! Enjoy this excerpt for Assassin’s Honor! https://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/books/assassins-honor/assassins-honor-excerpt/

Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway to win a Kindle Prize Package with a free copy EACH of — Tangled Web, Assassin’s Honor, Salvage Rat, The Dark Road and Sons of Darkness! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9751c04215/?

Let me give a shout-out for #HoldOnToTheLight 2018, back for more with new authors and fantastic new posts! 150+ genre authors blogging about their personal struggles with depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicide and self-harm, candid posts by some of your favorite authors on how mental health issues have impacted their lives and books. Read the stories, share the stories, change a life. Find out more at www.HoldOnToTheLight.com

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