Faithless Blog tour

Faithless Blog Tour Banner

So You may already be familiar with Faithless from the amazing Cover reveal that I hosted last month. Read it here if you forgot.

So As you may know the first book in the Ironfire legacy introduced readers to the world of Sekastra, where shifter races dwell. Readers of Lawless are already familiar with dragon shifters. Today author Janeen Ippolito is here with a Be Our Guest Post about the second major shifter race. Unicorns.

When Peacemakers Go Dark: Death Unicorn World Building

             MapOfSekastra

 In the world of The Ironfire Legacy, each continent or major area has their own shifter race: dragons, seals (re: selkies), (were)wolves, and (death) unicorns. Out of all of the races, the death unicorns have the hardest history—and my inspiration came from a combination of existing mythology and realities.

              Unicorn horns. Unicorn hair. Powdered unicorn hooves or emulsified unicorn ears. All common ingredients in potions in a lot of fantasy and fairy tale worlds. But what if the unicorns were sentient? What if they were shifters? What if they had souls—in fact, what if they were the most soulful race on the planet? Suddenly, using their body parts as ingredients sounds downright barbaric and disturbing—similar to the persecution of those with albinism in Africa.

I explore the persecution of unicorns in my fluffy-with-a-dark-side short story in the humorous romance anthology How To Catch A Unicorn. But that story takes place hundreds of years before The Ironfire Legacy series, in the country of Elotrin, located to the south of Sekastra. And within those hundred years, a tenuous peace gives way to a genocide of unicorns, both for their body parts, and also to prevent them from opposing the bad guys who fear unicorn soul magic.

            Unicorn of Judgment (1)  The unicorns took the adjective of “death” both to honor the losses of the genocide, and to own their new natures. They chose to use magical enhancement to weaponize themselves and protect their people from utter annihilation. Their soul-empathy, used to comfort, was turned into a method to induce terror. While unicorn blood still heals, death unicorns can also secrete a substance that coats their horns with deadly poison. In battle mode, their eyes flash red, their aura smells of sulfur, and they are foes to be reckoned with.

              But as a people, they still deeply grieve what was done to them, and what they have now become. After their queen, Maira Ukerys, destroyed their foes, the death unicorns fled to Sekastra. At that time, they were received into the Scepter of Justice, the fifth city-state that had been the home of the dragons. The old dragon king and queen, as well as the ruling dragon-human council, were wary about the refugees, but finally gave them a reservation of land called the Lost Refuge and agreed to let history record that unicorns were extinct. And this is where the death unicorns have lived for fifty years, seldom venturing out of their refuge. Always careful and secretive and haunted by their past. Death unicorns live for at least two hundred years, so the genocide is fresh in the minds of the elders, and those memories are passed around in the herd as a whole.

 

              Rather grim, hm? Well, within their herd, the death unicorns are still deeply caring and compassionate. During the dragon-human war, some death unicorn healers would emerge from the Lost Refuge and aid the injured soldiers and spies among the Lawless. And they refuse to fight on behalf of the Lawless, as they still hold true to the Rule of Harming: for every injury or death inflicted by someone, that person must equally heal or save another person. 

              Yet, there are some among the death unicorns who resent their refugee status. Who are wary of the dragons. Who see this time of wartime upheaval as a perfect opportunity to claim what was taken from them decades earlier. A home.

              And such individuals are very dangerous, indeed…

 

Janeen-016About the Author

Janeen Ippolito believes words transform worlds. She creates writing resources and writes steampunk fantasy. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com

 Social Media Links

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About Faithless

FaithlessCoverFullSizeOne wild night, Shance Windkeeper discovers he’s married to a death unicorn.

But that’s the least of his troubles.

As an agent for the Lawless, Shance is working with dragonshifters Kesia Ironfire and Zephryn Nightstalker, trying to end the dragon-human war and the organization that masterminded it. While on a mission in the Scepter of Knowledge, the Lawless is hit with a devastating death unicorn attack.

Out of the wreckage new allies emerge: Lirome Ukerys, and his twin sister Maira, the death unicorn queen – Shance’s long-lost wife.

Recently freed from captivity, Maira is fighting to regain control of her herd. Lurien Alistil, a rogue death unicorn, has bespelled the Scepter of Knowledge and taken Maira’s son. When Kesia unexpectedly challenges Lurien to a public debate over the fate of the city, the Lawless has a chance to break the usurper’s hold. To obtain vital information they must infiltrate her lair – and as the husband of the death unicorn queen, Shance Windkeeper is the perfect prize to go in.

But Lurien’s power is stronger and more insidious than they realize. And if the final pieces of her plan fall into place, not even Shance’s newfound Talents and knowledge will be enough to stop her.

A steampunk fantasy adventure with much intrigue, unexpected romance, sudden tragedy, and a snarky cat-dragon.

  Purchase Links

AmazonBarnes & NobleKoboiBooksSigned Paperback

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41743098-faithless

 

Facebook Party

For those who are interested there is a facebook party tonight (10/19/18) to celebrate the release of Faithless.

 

Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1123291547833648/

 Celebrate the launch of Faithless: The Ironfire Legacy Book 2 with featured author Janeen Ippolito and guest authors Angelique Anderson and R.J. Metcalf! Get your fill of steampunk, dragons, adventures, and more (re: death unicorns and a cat-dragon) with this fun-filled evening that includes giveaways, games, and an exclusive reveal or two. 

Hosted by Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester and Uncommon Universes Press!

 

Amber Eyes Blog Tour: A guest post

Hello, you may have noticed that this blog was dormant for a while. The reason was because I work retail so I pretty much died after Christmas. But I’m better now and ready to share more awesome books with you. The first of which is S.D. Grimm’s newest fantasy novel, Amber Eyes. And it’s on tour.

 

About the Book

Destiny can be cruel

Darkness retreated from the light of the scarlet moon, but has since grown even stronger. The Mistress of Shadows has found a new pawn—one that may be the key to unlocking the door to her underground prison. Now evil threatens to escape its shackles and destroy the land.

In the aftermath of loss and betrayal, Jayden’s fight with the enemy still isn’t over. But while she isn’t sure she can stop the Mistress alone, leaving her friends might be the only way to keep them from being consumed by the darkness.

With lives hanging in the balance—and no time for error—can Jayden make the right choice?

AmazonBarnes & Noble Christianbook.com

About the Author

S.D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Spotify

Instead of an interview or a review I was evil and told S.D. that she could steal my blog to talk about what ever she wanted. A segment that I am unashamedly calling: Be Our Guest Post.

Be Our Guest Post: S.D. Grimm

 Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog today! I am so excited to be here.

 So I’ve been thinking about some things that I could share about Amber Eyes that are basically non-spoilery but also touch on the heart of the story. One thing that came to mind is the phrase I put on my special Amber Eyes bookmarks: the dragon will rise.

 Dragons! The good ones are amazing. The bad ones are terrifying. They’re a fascinating embodiment of the fantasy genre. And yet that dragon on the cover of Amber Eyes is clearly creeeeeepyyyy.

 And so perfect for the story. When I saw the cover the first time, that dragon made me quiver inside. Because it’s so … perfect and scary!

 I think a lot of Scarlet Moon is about overcoming fears. And that plays a part in Amber Eyes, too. But more than that, Scarlet Moon is about overcoming fears that the characters will face—outer dragons—while Amber Eyes is about characters facing the fears of what they might become, aka inner dragons.

 In Amber Eyes, they’re battling their inner dragons while also facing the very real monsters in front of them.

 I think it’s evident in that I chose the title “Amber Eyes” for a few reasons. You can see from the very awesome dragon on the cover (thank you, Kirk DouPonce for the AmAzInG cover) that it has eyes of amber. And it’s ferocious and scary and dangerous. There are other characters in the novel who are also those things, and while they may be pulled toward darkness, not all of them will accept that call.

 So they’re like two sides of the same coin. Two paths in the same wood. Two ways a character could go. That’s what it’s like for us when we make choices that we have to wrestle with at a soul level, though, right? We have to decide which path to take. Which choice to make.

 Sometimes it’s the right one. Sometimes it’s not. And that’s at the heart of this book. Struggling with choices. Living with consequences. And choosing the right path. Just. Like. Life. Dragons are dangerous either way, but there are good ones and bad ones.

 I think that’s why Amber Eyes was so fun and yet hard to write at times. Because it’s hard to watch the characters you love make choices you know in your gut are wrong. But watching them become stronger, wiser people because of the lessons they learned through those mistakes is so satisfying. So I hope you enjoy going through those moments with my characters. Following them on their journey toward hope. Growing with them. Cheering for them. Watching them face their dragons. And everything in between. I am so excited to share this with you.

***

Thank you S.D. Grimm for the amazing guest post. I admit when I gave you free rein, I was really hoping for dragons. You did not disappoint. In case you didn’t know S.D. also makes really cute dragon figures that she calls Grimmlies. Check out this picture she included.

Fun Author Pics

Rumor is that she’s giving some away at her Facebook Party. Keep scrolling for a Giveaway link for a chance to win not only a Grimmlie but paperback copies of both Scarlet moon and Amber Eyes.

Facebook Launch Party

Calling all book readers! Join author S.D. Grimm as we chat about her fantasy novel Amber Eyes on January 30th from 8 PM to 11 PM EST (6 PM CDT and 5 PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with SD, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Nadine Brandes, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Sara Baysinger will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.

RSVP Today

 

Giveaway

Want to dive into a new world? Enter to win a signed copy of both Amber Eyes and Scarlet Moon, a grimmlie dragon of the dragon on the cover (made by the author), a charm bracelet (made by her Captain America), and a $10 amazon gift card. (US only. Sorry!)

>>> Entry-Form <<<

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 22nd

Tuesday, January 23rd

Wednesday, January 24th

Thursday, January 25th

Friday, January 26th

Saturday, January 27th

Monday, January 29th

Tuesday, January 30th

Wednesday, January 31st

Thursday, February 1st

Friday, February 2nd

Saturday, February 3rd

Monday, February 5th