The She-Wolf of Kanta: Kyra McFarland

Meet the audiobook narrator behind Marlena Frank‘s upcoming novella The She-Wolf of Kanta!

BIO: Originally from the Midwest, Kyra McFarland has trained and worked across America and London. Some of her favorite theatre credits include Gilda Radner in Bunny, Bunny, Prince Charming in Gadzooks! Cinderella (in the style of British Pantomimes), and Olivia in Twelfth Night. Her voice work includes video games, cartoons, and, of course, audio books, though her favorite is her college thesis I’m Just Talking to Hear the Sound of My Own Voices. She currently calls Chicago home where she lives with her partner, Ethan, and cat, Aldonza. To hear more, visit www.kyramcfarland.com.

Spotlight: Justine Laismith

Introducing Justine Laismith who has recently signed her middle grade fantasy novel set in modern day rural China called Secrets of the Great Fire Tree with RCPIt is slated for release in November of 2018 under the imprint RadiantKids. Get to know Justine Laismith as an author.


Synopsis:

TBA


1. First, tell us a little about yourself. When did you want to become an author? What inspires you to do what you do? Who are you?

I first wanted to be a writer when I was seven. However, I never did well in English Language or Literature at school. This discouraged me. When it came to choosing subjects, my teacher expected me to take the Arts subjects, because “girls are better at them, while boys are better at Math and Science.” So I chose the Science options to prove a point. Nevertheless, I wrote poems and stories as and when they came to me, but these were for my eyes only. On rare occasions I shared them with a couple of close friends.

A few years later, a local boy, not many years older than me, made me cry. Afterwards, I knew I wanted to be like him. He made me cry with words on a page. Over the years, even though I pursued a Science career, the enjoyment of turning blank pages to words never left me. I channeled this into my work and wrote scientific papers on my research. After some years, I took a career break. With a break from science, the logical side of my brain took a back seat and let the creative side of my brain dominate. I started writing fiction again.

My writing inspiration comes from what I see around me, with a simple “What if?”. Then I try and answer that question.

2. What are some quirky and or unique aspects about you and your writing?

I grew up in Singapore, a country proud of its multicultural identity. This exposed me to a plethora of languages and Chinese dialects. While I call myself bilingual, I can understand, to varying degrees, Cantonese, Hokkien, Malay, French and Japanese. I am also part-Paranakan, which is a unique blend of two cultures: ethnic Chinese people who speak and practice Malay customs. When I wrote Secrets of the Great Fire Tree, I have subtly incorporated all these diversities.

3. RCP “was founded in 2016 to showcase quality fiction, diverse stories, and unexpected protagonists.” What does that mean to you?

I grew up reading books like Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. These took me to a world I never knew. I also read poorly English-translated books of Chinese stories, books highly rated in their original language but clearly lost in translation. For an English-speaking Chinese girl living in tiny Singapore in the Far-East, these reading experiences sent the message that good English books are only made up of authors and characters from traditionally Western culture. If I wanted to read books in English, I had to settle for stories I could not directly relate to. In other words, I had to read them as an outsider. At this point, I lost interest in reading.

Over the decades, globalization and immigration has resulted in several third-culture kids, never truly knowing their roots, nor knowing their mother-tongue at the same level as a native. By showcasing the stories and voices of protagonists from your conventional western worlds, RCP is filling a gap for readers seeking identifiable characters. At the same time, diverse writers can tell a story that, although is in a setting familiar to them, is not the traditional western backdrop. With good narration and an intriguing plot, they will take their readers along. In doing so, they open the readers’ eyes and break down the cultural and language barrier.

4.What do you think makes a great middle grade fantasy? How do you think your piece Secrets of the Great Fire Tree fits into or varies from that description?

I like stories that take me to a different world, but with links to our own world to make it relatable. This is why Secrets of the Great Fire Tree is set in modern day China. I decided to use superstition as a gateway to fantasy because they are deeply-rooted in many traditions. Pushing these boundaries allow me to be creative with something we practice out of habit; never questioning but no longer fearing the consequences. However, Secrets of the Great Fire Tree deviates from middle-grade fantasy because it is also, in part, a realistic fiction. Left-behind children is a reality in China, the flip-side of economic growth in the cities.

5. How has writing affected your outlook on things? Has it made you take chances or see things in a different light?

I now pay a lot of attention to my surroundings and how it makes me feel. Then I challenge myself to describe it in words. When I watch a movie or show, I don’t just take a seat and enjoy the ride. I think about what makes me root for the characters, or hate them. I also analyze how and why two personalities who started off with nothing in common come together as the story develops.

6. What are you most excited to share when it comes to Secrets of the Great Fire Tree? Ex). The world, the characters, a specific scene?

I am most excited about sharing the rural life in China. As I mentioned earlier, I see myself as a third-culture kid, who never really knew her roots. When writing this book, I carried out a lot of research and even traveled to China. China holds a quarter of the world’s population and consists of over 50 ethnic minorities. Naturally, I cannot tell everything in one story, but I hope I managed to give a flavor of this fascinating culture.

7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for aspiring writers out there, especially women and those writing middle grade fiction?

Writing is a journey. Enjoy it. Turning a blank page into words that tell a story is special, because you’ve created something new. Once I was told by a consultant that women don’t give themselves enough credit for their achievements. So this is especially for women writers: don’t be daunted by the fear that no one will like your work. Write what is in your heart. That passion will come out in your story and someone, somewhere out there will love it and feel glad that you wrote it.

Cover Reveal: Ignited (Dance of the Elements, #1) by A. M. Deese

Hardcover

ISBN-10: 1-946024-02-3

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-02-2

Trade Paperback 

ISBN-10: 1-946024-12-0

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-12-1

eBook (ePub Edition)

ISBN-10: 1-946024-13-9

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-13-8

Audiobook Edition

ISBN-10: 1-946024-03-1

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-03-9

ASIN: COMING SOON

AppleID: COMING SOON

BN ID: COMING SOON

Release Date: March 27, 2018 (February/April of 2018)

Synopsis:

A NOBLE DAUGHTER.

A FORMER SLAVE.

SCORCHED EARTH AND DANGEROUS GAMES.

“Jura imagined it sounded like rain.”

Juggling death is nothing new for seventeen-year-old Jura, daughter of the First of the Thirteen, successive rulers of the Republic of the Sand Sea. However, when a blood chain ensnares her father, she is thrust into the seat of power and forced to rule her elders.

To Tylak, water had never tasted sweeter.”

Jura must track down her father’s assassin and balance a country on the verge of collapse. To find the Prince of Shadows and uncover the truth, Jura puts her trust in Tylak, a former slave accused of stealing from the Everflame—a man she once condemned to death.

In a world where water is currency and enemies lurk around every corner, Jura will use her wits or risk igniting a world war.

Advance Praise:

Ignited is an amazing new fantasy where knowledge is power, but having dragons and shadow dancers on your side certainly doesn’t hurt” – Melody Greene, Goodreads Reviewer

“Defiantly recommend for anyone who loves fantasy. [I]f you read The Winner’s Curse trilogy and loved it…then you will love this book” – Fan-Girl-Tabulous

The World of Jangbahar: The Republic

A. M. Deese’s novel Ignited will be released on March 27, 2018. Cover design and edits to the manuscript are currently underway. To celebrate the second book in the RadiantTeen young adult imprint, and the first book in A. M. Deese’s Dance of the Elements Series, bi-weekly blurbs about the world will be posted here.

Tiphaine, a French artist, and cartographer, returns as the force behind this new fantasy map. The Republic is the homeland of Jura and is the current superpower controlling the delicate balance in Deese’s novel. The second map fragment featuring Kitoi will be posted on August 24th.


The Republic

Population: 976,763

Language: Jangba, the common tongue of Jangbahar

Flag/Symbol: Purple background with a golden flame at its center and thirteen black stars circling the flame.

The Republic of the Sand Sea sprawls across the majority of Jangbahar’s desert land and is made up of twelve provinces, each governed by their corresponding member of the Thirteen. The entire Republic is governed by the Thirteen. The First and Second govern over the capital city and the provinces circle the Everflame in a pattern that mirrors the towers of the Glass Palace. Despite its vast size, the Republic is sparsely populated with the majority of its population living in the southern provinces such as Toik, Nutir, Irst and Elek. Toik and Nutir are the two largest of the twelve provinces while Ish, governed by the Thirteenth, is the smallest and most impoverished.

The Republic was founded after a series of Border Wars left the desert lands depleted. The Border Wars were a series of battles over the borders of Kitoi and the seven kingdoms of the Sand Sea. The people fought over water and access to the Everflame. Thousands died in war after war as people were deprived of water and murdered over nothing more than grains of sand. The face of the war changed with the appearance of Gregor the Great who seized power with a super-army he controlled through powerful blood magic. His reign of domination lasted for forty-three years before he was killed by Josper the Usurper.

Though originally known as a usurper, he was also remembered as a bringer of peace. It was Josper who united the kingdoms and Josper who suggested the system of the Thirteen for the seven ruling kingdoms and the six ruling merchants. The kingdom was united and Josper signed treaties with the Is’ Le Sp’Ar islands that were ruled by the sea king and the kingdom of Kitoi, which sat on the outskirts of the Sand Sea.

The people of the Republic speak the common tongue and nearly 100% of the population worships the Everflame, an inextinguishable flame where the people go to burn their prayers. The Everflame is housed in a glass tower in the palace and the flames are used to provide light and warmth throughout the entirety of the Republic.

The palace, arena dome, and government buildings are all constructed by Fire Builders. Similar to Dancers, these individuals have the ability to manipulate fire from the Everflame down into the sand, heating it to such a degree that it forms a smooth glass. Favored by Josper during the Dawn of Peace, this architecture is featured predominately in city buildings and courtyards. Since then, glass has become the chief export of the Republic, although its people also trade in dragon parts and bactrian. The largest import remains water, it is traded between the Sea King and The First, the First ensuring that the life-giving substance is rationed out to all free citizens of the Republic.


The Everflame

The Republic of the Sand Sea was once a lush and fertile land until the Everflame appeared. It spun through the forest setting everything to flame and leaving nothing in its wake. Its fire was not like ordinary fire, intense heat scorched the land and its flames never ceased. Those who had the gift to manipulate the flame banded together and forced the flame into its current home. They built it atop a stone wall so it could not escape and spun glass walls around it so they could keep the flame in their sight. The flame proved valuable, its inextinguishable flame provided light, shelter, and warmth. The people began to thrive around the flame, worshiping it as their god. But there are whispers of what would happen if the Everflame was to ever escape, vague memories of the destruction it once caused.

Cover Reveal: Object Relations: A Novelette by Rebecca Lee

 

Trade Paperback

ISBN-10: 1-946024-06-6

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-06-0

eBook (ePub Edition)

ISBN-10: 1-946024-07-4

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-07-7

Audiobook

ISBN-10: 1-946024-28-7

ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-28-2

ASIN: B0716RHFHS

AppleID: 1253619936

BN ID: 2940157338435

Release Date: May 9th, 2017 (May/June of 2017)

Synopsis:

Object Relations Theory: A form of psychoanalytic theory postulating that people relate to others in order to develop themselves.

Through long divisions of interpretation, words sectioned into sentences. Uncomfortable, they bunched together, worried their independence lost. Together, all the words decided they should be bound in unison forever. Their books stain the beliefs that we continue to hold.

Rebecca Lee’s collection of vignettes demonstrates the various imaginary relationships of personified objects. From door knobs to smartphones, everyday encounters come alive.

Spotlight: A. M. Deese

Introducing A. M. Deese who has recently signed her young adult fantasy novels Ignited, slated for release in 2018, and Submerged, slated for release in 2019, with Radiant Crown Publishing. Desiree DeOrto Designs will handle cover design. Editing, map-making, and more will soon be underway. For now, get to know A. M. Deese as an author and the world of the Dance of the Elements series.

 

 


 

 

Synopsis:

A NOBLE DAUGHTER.

A FORMER SLAVE.

SCORCHED EARTH AND DANGEROUS GAMES

“Jura imagined it sounded like rain.”

Juggling death is nothing new for seventeen-year-old Jura, daughter of the First of the Thirteen, successive rulers of the Republic of the Sand Sea. However, when a blood chain ensnares her father, she is thrust into the seat of power and forced to rule her elders.

To Tylak, water had never tasted sweeter.”

Jura must track down her father’s assassin and balance a country on the verge of collapse. To find the Prince of Shadows and uncover the truth, Jura puts her trust in Tylak, a former slave accused of stealing from the Everflame—a man she once condemned to death.

In a world where water is currency and enemies lurk around every corner, Jura will use her wits or risk igniting a world war.


1. First, tell us a little about yourself. When did you want to become an author? What inspires you to do what you do? Who are you?

I’ve never wanted to be anything else. My aunt (who is only 8 months older than me) learned to read before I did and I remember being insanely jealous of the skill. I wrote my first story when I was around four or five years old. It was about dinosaurs. I’m pretty sure my grandmother has that yellow legal pad floating around somewhere.

2. What are some quirky and or unique aspects about you and your writing?

Well, when I get consumed by a scene it’s hard to think of anything else, I must write the scene down immediately! However, I don’t plot out my stories, I prefer to let the characters tell me what to say. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the characters don’t always know what’s best for the plot. Whenever I find myself stuck in a scene I go outside and pace around my deck, usually while on the phone with my (oh so patient) sister. I’m trying to get better at outlining but I fear it will always be a struggle for me.

3. RCP “was founded in 2016 to showcase quality fiction, diverse stories, and unexpected protagonists.” What does that mean to you?

I think in today’s world it is increasingly important to share diversity in fiction. We’re so fortunate to live in a world that can share information faster than it takes to whisper Google. I think readers are ready to meet unique characters who are a departure from the genre stereotypes. I find it easier to connect with protagonists with realistic flaws; no character is purely good or heroic and no character is purely evil. Ignited has several different points of view and readers discover its world through the eyes of characters from varying characters each with their own unique outlook on the plot.

4. What do you think makes a great young adult title? How do you think the first two books in your four book series Ignited and Submerged fit into or vary from that description?

If there is a formula for what makes a great young adult title I’d like to know it! I suppose what makes a title great is in its ability to clearly and quickly excite the reader and hint toward the book’s plot. I hope Ignited and Submerged give the reader a sense of action and excitement as well as give hints toward its plot.

5. How has writing affected your outlook on things? Has it made you take chances or see things in a different light?

Writing has given me a wider perspective, I tend to look at things from different points of view because I love diving into the minds of two differing characters. I also think it has affected me in the sense that everything is a story to me. I see or hear something and my natural reaction is what if

6. What are you most excited to share when it comes to Ignited and Submerged? Ex). The world, the characters, a specific scene?

I’m probably most excited to share my world. As a child, a favorite game of mine was “pretend.” Pretend I’m a unicorn, or pretend the ground is lava, pretend I’m a wizard… I suppose I never grew up in that way, I enjoy the process of creating a unique new world and sharing that vision with others. I hope the world of Ignited is a new experience for my readers. I want them to be intrigued by the mysteries of the world and lose themselves in its exploration. Although, I do also have a soft spot for a few of my characters, Kay already has a spin-off series dancing in my head.

7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for aspiring writers out there, especially women?

Don’t listen. Don’t listen when someone tells you you’re not good enough or when you receive a rotten rejection letter. Don’t listen to the inner guilt at the hours you spend writing (when you could be a better daughter, wife, mother, etc) Don’t. Listen. And never give up.

Fragile Chaos: The Realm of the Gods and Goddesses by Amber R. Duell

Gods of Old

Long before the world came into existence, there lived three Old Gods. But, as they began to fade, they regretted never having created anything worthwhile and feared being forgotten. With the last of themselves, they created a pantheon of six siblings that would do what they never had:

Ebris to guide the siblings.
Drea to create a world teaming with life.
Brisa to rule the unpredictable seas.
Leander to help souls find their place in the afterlife.
Astra to aid in matters of the heart.
Theodric to steer the living through their conflicts.

Ostran War

For thousands of years, the mortals worshiped their gods and goddesses, but with each generation, fewer believed in their existence. Ebris, like his creators, feared being forgotten, and pushed his siblings to do more for their worshipers. Drea, Brisa, Leander, Astra, and Theodric went along with their brother’s requests out of respect for him, but everything changed when Ebris ordered the continuation of the Ostran War.

Theodric began the conflict to reward the Ostran Emperor by extending his territory, but with every victory meant to end the war, Ebris forced Theodric to press forward until the entire east was embroiled in the bloody conflict. It wasn’t until the mortals assumed the war was a sign the gods had abandoned them that Ebris ordered its end.

Ebris ripped Theodric’s power away, calling him reckless and impulsive. None of the siblings dared stop Ebris for fear he would turn on them next. But, while no one crossed Ebris, the ordeal ruined their trust of one another. The gods and goddesses began to work as separate entities instead of one, and it wasn’t long until the disconnect caused mortals to turn away from their creators completely.

The 2017 Kármán (100km) Chapbook Prize Winner

The 2017 Kármán (100km) Chapbook Prize winner is L.C. Douglass! Her chapbook, Dark Palace, will debut next year. Stay tuned for more updates.


BIO: L.C. Douglass’ debut collection Ink of the Palimpsest will be published soon. While studying history at the University of Oxford, Ms. Douglass has published several poems and pieces of short fiction, including “Blind Silvester,” anthologized in Cyberwit’s 2017 volume, The New English Verse.

Gods and Goddesses: Theodric 

Realm of Theodric, God of War

A dirt path led away from the circular stone temple at the edge of Theodric’s realm, winding through a grassy field, and up a hill. A gray stone mansion at the top was surrounded by a circular wall. Passing under the entryway, the packed dirt gave way to fine black gravel that circled the interior courtyard. Turrets capped the corners of the twenty-eight room mansion.

Most of the rooms were covered in dust, and used for storage. Two bedrooms and a bathroom were used on the second floor by Theodric and his advisor, but the war room was occupied most frequently. High windows covered the back wall with seats beneath each. On either side of the doors hung an array of weapons—swords, guns, throwing knives—and, to the right, maps were tacked from the ceiling down. Books and scrolls lined shelves. The war table stood useless in the middle of the room. Theodric moved the colored glass pieces across the black base out of habit now instead of necessity.

Even in times of peace, Theodric was preparing for the moment that harmony shattered, but without his full power, he was no longer able to see things like he needed to. Hundreds of spies were scattered across the world to keep him updated. Three hundred male sacrifices were left living inside the outer wall. A sacrificial bride had never made it out of the main chamber of the temple.

Behind the mansion stretched a wide forest. Animals were no longer present, but a small brook laced through trees. Upstream, a waterfall spilled over the edge of rocky cliffs, filling a pool and feeding the brook. A mountain range began at the edge of the tree line, and didn’t stop until it reached the Between—a dark abyss holding the six god and goddess realms together. The threat of being banished into the nothingness was usually more than enough for Ebris to keep everyone in line.