All this week City Owl Press is hosing #OwlMadness where you can learn about some great authors and discover new books. Stop by www.cityowlpress.com for daily posts.
As part of this promotion, THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN will be only $0.99 all week! So now’s your chance to check it out, and if you’ve enjoyed it already–thank you!–share the news with a friend! (Find it on Amazon!)
Welcome to Realm Tramper, a mini-reboot of my author blog. Here I’ll continue to post status updates about my books, and interviews and tidbits on writing and writers. But I’m also going to post some insights into the places and characters that inspired elements of my writing, from my travels in Scotland and farther afield.
I’m starting with a castle featured in THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, Craigmillar Castle. This isn’t a play on my name but a real fortress in Edinburgh (and a really cool one at that!) Located on the outskirts of the city, it’s where royalty took refuge from plagues, nobility plotted murders, and the brother of one king was imprisoned for the practice of witchcraft.
I first explored the stone tower house and ranges of Craigmillar Castle as a college student, and the memory of it stuck with me–from the beautiful fields surrounding the “High Bare Rock”–a translation of Craigmillar–to the turreted towers and imposing keep. One of the coolest things about Craigmillar is the lack of crowds. As opposed to Edinburgh Castle, which has queues within queues spawned by other crowded queues, visitors of Craigmillar can roam the tower and walls as if they owned the place! (Note the complete lack of other visitors in my pictures.) And if that isn’t great enough, if one is inclined, they can walk the 4 miles between the two castles via some great parks and quaint suburbs, and really get a feel for the modern city.
When I needed a clandestine prison for the Fey Finders to hold Effie, I knew Craigmillar was the perfect place. With its history as a prison and place of nefarious plots, where better to have Effie confront the dastardly Edmund Glover?
Here’s a timeline of some notable events at the castle, along with a drawing of the castle’s layout:
A view of Edinburgh Castle from Craigmillar’s towers:
The ‘service of an archer’, an interior passageway, and the outer courtyard:
Have you ever been to Craigmillar? What did you think? Are there any other great places that stand out from your own travels? Let me know!
I had a great time meeting new fans at the Marion County Fair this past weekend. Thanks for everyone’s support and enthusiasm for THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN!
Here are a couple more reviews posted around the inter-web in the past week:
Suspenseful, intriguing and captivating plot with a great prose and a knack for engaging the reader. The book was a one sit read for me. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. The characters were well developed and deep with an original story.
– Read Day and Night Blog
I really enjoyed this book! Great plot, exciting suspense, and the danger of getting caught around every corner! Definitely recommend to anyone considering this book, or any fans of the genre!
– Adventures Thru Wonderland
Also, here’s a link to an interview I did with The Qwillery. In it, I talk about plotting, pantsing, and my writing influences.
From the review of THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN by I Heart Reading:
I really enjoyed this book. It’s unique. The setting is historical, but it’s also an alternate world, where we have both humans and fey. Despite that, it reads a lot like an epic fantasy novel, but with some steampunk elements added in that I really enjoy. I also liked the explenation of the fey lore, and how it was all tied up with the steampunk side of the story and fantasy side.
The writing was excellent, and the details the author added in didn’t just make the time period, but the whole world come to life.
Effie is an amazing character. I loved following her journey and seeing her change and grow. The book also has a lot of side characters which is pretty common for fantasy books, but here they all had distinct personalities, and I liked that. They didn’t feel like cardboard figures, but felt like actual people with feelings and emotions.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels, especially if you like reading about the fey and fey lore.
THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN received a great review today from Cecily Wolfe:
Well-developed characters and plot make this historical fantasy a true pleasure to read and become lost in. Readers looking for a strong female protagonist will find her in Effie, who is believable and likeable. A very unique and fascinating story – I definitely can’t wait for this series to continue!
I am so happy readers are enjoying the first installment of The Fey Matter series, and I hope the second will be in their hands within the year! I’m currently revising book II–as yet unnamed–and am eager to hand it over to my publisher (City Owl Press) by the end of summer!
It’s been an exciting week, with THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN trending up the charts, and interviews and guest posts popping up all over.
Garrett Calcaterra, author of The Dreamwielder Chronicles, and I had a great chat yesterday. (READ THE INTERVIEW)
Today, I spoke with author Tiffany Shand, author of the Shifter Clans series. (READ THE INTERVIEW) Here’s a small bit where we talk about THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN’s protagonist:
Can you give us a little insight into any characters in your latest book?
Effie is an orphaned Sithling—someone with both fey and human blood, and her kind are hunted by a government who has used propaganda to ostracize them from society. So she has instant adversity and enemies, but as an orphan, she doesn’t really know much about her own people, nor whom to trust. She’s curious to a fault, and it’s that conflict between her need for understanding and her need to remain safely hidden that drives her actions.
Still not convinced the book is for you? In that case, read Effie’s first adventure for FREE! All you have to do is click the link to download the original short story featuring “Effie of Glen Coe”. The download will let you choose several different formats for your reading pleasure!
The Laird of Duncairn e-book will be available for $.99 through May 28th, so make sure to get yours at the reduced price!
The kind folks at Bookwraiths have hosted a guest post for me today where I talk a little bit about the origins of the book and how its genre grew out of the story idea. Here’s a snippet:
“So what is The Laird of Duncairn? In the end, I’ve borrowed a little from alternate history—there are historical figures and events—a little from fantasy—there are fey and eldritch powers—and a little from steampunk—airships and steam carriages, aplenty! I use the term Gaslamp Fantasy to describe it because it blends a 19th century Victorian aesthetic with fantasy elements in place of science fiction. It doesn’t dwell on how a steam carriage works but rather delves into the mythology of trows and selkies. Nor does it expound on the different types and terms for costume and high tea but rather evokes some of the places I’ve seen firsthand.”
You can read the whole thing HERE.
Also, the folks at The Pursuit of Bookiness and City Owl Press have posted excerpts of The Laird of Duncairn. Read them at the links below.