Blog Tour: Annie Douglass Lima’s Latest YA Adventure Tale

I’m excited to be part of Annie Douglass Lima’s blog tour to announce her latest young adult action and adventure novel, The Gladiator and the Guard, is now available for purchase! This is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, sequel to The Collar and the Cavvarach.

The Collar and the CavvarachFirst Things First: a Little Information about Book 1: 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

The Gladiator and the Guard

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

EXCERPT:

“Hey, it’s the new guy,” someone said, and heads turned. “What’s your number?”

“My number? Oh, um, I think they said I’d be Fifty-Eight.” A tasty-looking bowl of chicken and potatoes came within reach, but someone else picked it up, scooped some onto his own plate, and then passed it away down the table before Bensin could get any.

“So, you beat Ninety-Nine,” a Skeyvian gladiator across from him commented, his dark skin laced with pale jagged scars. “Soon as he gets out of the clinic, you better watch out. He’ll be out for blood.” He set down the vegetables he had just served himself, and Bensin picked up the dish, but the guy next to him plucked it out of his hands and sent it in the other direction.

“I didn’t actually mean to hurt him,” Bensin began, looking around for another dish of food. He was interrupted by derisive laughter from everyone within earshot.

“Fifty-Eight didn’t mean to hurt him! Ha! What kind of gladiator are you, kid?”

Bensin couldn’t think of an appropriate response. “Hey, could somebody pass me the chicken?”

“Dude, you better start meaning to hurt people if you want to make it here,” the burly Tarnestran beside him advised. “You can’t manage that, Gile will plan a blaze of glory for you sooner rather than later.”

Bensin wasn’t sure what the man was talking about, and his stomach was still rumbling. Everyone around him was eating now, but the serving dishes had all been passed down to the other end of the table.

“Gile won’t have to plan a blaze of glory for this one,” another gladiator predicted. “At this rate, he’s gonna starve to death first.”

* * *

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

 Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

About the Author

Annie Douglass LimaAnnie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

(See my previous interview with Annie here.)

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieDouglassLimaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/princeofalasia

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGoodreads

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnieDouglassLima

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnLinkedIn

Google Plus: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGooglePlus

Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Some things are too weird to explain. Now before I step into territory that’s way, way out there, let me preface it with the fact it takes a lot for something to be so off-the-scale that I can’t even explain it in a fictitious manner. After all, among other things I AM a science fiction writer who has come up with all sorts of things. But this is real. At least if you believe in stuff like astrology.

You may or may not know that I’m a professional astrologer, another hat that I wear when I’m not writing science fiction. Yes, I have a physics degree, and yes, I worked at NASA for over twenty years and yes, there actually is a thread albeit a tenuous one, holding those three things together in that they all involve space in one form or another.

8489944_sIn college I was “taught” that astrology was nothing more than myth and superstition and I believed them. I believed them so much that when I was writing a novel several years ago that had a physicist protagonist I decided to make his ex-wife into astrology to make her as annoying as humanly possible. Wanting my book to have the details correct meant I had to learn a little bit about astrology, so I found a used paperback copy of “Sun Signs” by Linda Goodman as a start. And much to my shock, I discovered that it worked!

It was several years before I got into astrology more seriously but a year or so before I retired I started studying with the International Academy of Astrology, eventually graduated from their professional training program and started practicing via my website, ValkyrieAstrology.com. This course of study took years and felt equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. I was astounded (and still am) about how much there was to learn and how much I didn’t know (and still don’t).

As a writer, I immediately recognized that knowing the characteristics of the different sun signs can come in very handy for developing characters. I even have a blog about it called “Creating Star Characters.” Then I did a character interview for Susanne Leist’s “The Dead Game” character, Shana Logan. I created the astrological chart from scratch based on how Shana acted in the book. It was apparent she was an Aries due to her impulsive sense of adventure and her bright, flashy manner of dressing threw some Leo in there, too. She was creative and multi-faceted in a way that hinted at a Sagittarius Moon. I plugged the data into my report software and a complete description came out that was very much as expected and surprised Susanne.

shanaloganNCSince the chart was fabricated entirely by me including selecting a birth date and tweaking the timing to fit, this wasn’t that much of a surprise.

Sometime later, however, in working with fellow author, Elle, Klass, it inadvertently went to the next level. Elle had given her characters an actual birth date and place as part of her character development process. First, I must explain that Elle is not an astrologer. She didn’t specifically decide that Eilida would have the traits of an Aries when she chose April 5 as her character’s date of birth. Having read the book (“Eilida’s Tragedy: Eye of the Storm Book 1”), however, I had already pegged her as one so had to smile when Elle told me the date. The character’s penchant for detail implied Virgo so I arranged her time of birth to provide a Virgo ascendant. I ran another natal report. Not only was the character’s backstory implied but it also included allusions to events to come in the next book in the series. We were both astounded

Having had that work so well, we decided to run a report for her antagonist, Evan O’Connor, as well. I gotta say he’s one of the nastiest villains ever to grace a fictitious page and I’m glad he’s not real. And lo and behold, the results fit him just as well, right down to his attachment to his mother.

CBS teaser 2Like I said earlier, Elle loves details, which is one thing that makes her such a superb writer, so she had dates of key events in her book as well so I ran what is called a transit chart and compared it to the character’s natal charts. (For those of you unfamiliar with astrology, a transit chart is the position of the planets at a given time and place. These interact with the horoscope of the person and create certain energies which fit the archetypes of events and situations around them.) Again, the fit was so accurate that it was downright creepy.

How could it be?

These were fictitious characters involved with fictitious events fabricated by a very human author yet they fit as well as if they were real.  Huh???

That certainly introduces some extremely interesting philosophical and metaphysical speculations. As an author myself, I know how characters take on a life of their own. After you’ve been writing for a while you learn to let them be born as opposed to created and watch them spring to life endowed with a personality that often brings surprises as you turn them loose within the framework of your plot. But how could these characters have a natal chart that then proceeds to fit the transits of subsequent events in a novel?

Frankly, I have no idea. I do maintain that whether real or not each moment contains a certain unique energy. As a physicist I believe that astrology’s mechanism resides in the mysterious world of quantum mechanics and the concept of quantum entanglement. When a baby takes its first breath, leaving his or her previous home in another dimension to be joined with a physical body, s/he takes the cosmic energy of that moment with him or her. Then, as the planets move through their cycles those changes are felt by the original imprint. I know that is probably a stretch but hopefully someday we’ll know for sure. Until someone comes up with something better it seems to fit.

To make a long story short, my astrologer persona, Whobeda, eventually became a character in Elle’s upcoming book, “Calm Before the Storm: Evan’s Sins,” to be released next week along with some of the astrology we pursued along the course of the story. You can find her interview with Whobeda on here blog here. The beauty of it is if any of her readers are into astrology they’ll recognize it as accurate, even if they go so far as to check the charts.

CBS award ebookWhile I may not be able to explain why it works, nonetheless it does. As a fiction writer myself I definitely plan to use this to my advantage in upcoming works. You can find “The Calm Before the Storm” via links below.

VIDEO TRAILER:

https://youtu.be/fVZG22ydbM0

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1FECDEx

Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook-x/dp/B015VD6856/

Amazon.ca – http://www.amazon.ca/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B015VD6856/

Amazon.com.au – http://www.amazon.com.au/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B015VD6856/

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/571520

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elle_Klass_The_Calm_Before_the_Storm?id=JlufCgAAQBAJ

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-calm-before-the-storm-evan-s-sins

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-calm-before-the-storm-evans-sins-elle-klass/1122731283

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/calm-before-storm-evans-sins/id1045083502