Wednesday, November 20, 2013

M.R. Mathias - Saint Elm’s Deep is featured in the HBS Author’s Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

Saint Elm’s Deep

The Legend of Vanx Malic

Author: M.R. Mathias


Here is what people are saying about Vanx Malic:

I felt like I was in a whole new world reading this book… The storyline was also amazing. I would recommend anyone who loves fantasy books to read this as you will def be swept into this world! - Avid Reader Reviews

(*Review of Through the Wildwood, Book One)

"You've (Mathias) already achieved much, much more than so many people who like to think of themselves as writers."

-- @Gollancz The Deputy Publishing Director of SF, Fantasy & Horror list of the Orion Publishing Group.

"When reading this book, I was reminded of several other fantasy novels that I have read previously. The author's style is individual, but it has the flavor of a Tolkien novel, or possibly Robert Jordan. I detected a great amount of affection in his deliverance of the characters, and their progress throughout the story was handled well. I must say that Vanx is quite a likeable rogue, and the way that the story begins certainly grabs the reader, pulling them into the story whether they like it, or not." -- Kindle Review (*Review of Through the Wildwood, Book One)

Entertaining, action packed, and witty. Overall a good second book that starts where the first left off and I look forward to the next. - Jacob (Review of Dragon Isle, Book Two)

Snippet from Saint Elm's Deep, The Legend of Vanx Malic Book III: “I’ve been listening to all your spook talk for days,” Kegger said quite clearly, but with a caravaneers crudeness to his words. All of the gargan accent that had been in his voice when speaking of knives and bows, during his battling with Chelda, was gone, as if it had never been there. “My orders were to get you to the Lurr and wait for you to come out.” He hefted his axe and thumbed the edge he’d been sharpening nightly at the fire. “I’ve got a good bit of unfinished business in them woods myself. Twern’t no frost bite that took his limbs. The tree that had my brother was real. I swear it. I had to cut him from it. It was foul smelling, and as evil as the Letch itself. It bled thick red blood, just like you or I would, where my ax struck. I hurt it, and it screamed right at me before it turned Sean loose. It weren’t no magic fairy tree. This was as black and cold as the Letcher’s own wrath.”

“But you saw no sign of the fae in the Lurr Forest?” Gallarael asked.

“If I did, I didn’t know what it was,” Kegger chuckled. “Deer, elk, bear, and wolf. I know their sign well, but I’ve never seen a fairy turd, much less been inclined to look for one.”

The Legend of Vanx Malic continues with Book Three, "Saint Elm's Deep" After finding a map on a grueling hunt, Vanx and his new companions decide to travel deep into the Bitterpeaks, where a fabled hoar witch's crystal palace supposedly sits hidden in a valley called Saint Elm's Deep.


Chapter One

“So, is it Vanx Malic or Vanx Saint Elm?” Darbon asked with genuine curiosity showing on his claw-scarred face.

A friend of theirs, the Princess of Parydon, had been poisoned, then potioned, and while under the influence of the substances had raked Darbon’s face. A quartet of gnarled lines ran from under his brown mop of hair across his mug to his jawline.

“It depends,” Vanx said thoughtfully. “On the Isle of Zyth we have only our name, then our village designation. Vanx Malic means ‘Vanx from the village Malic’. Here, in the human lands, family names and surnames have a greater importance.” Vanx finished the cup of ale in his hand with a gulp and then banged it on the dagger-marred table for more.

“Hold your mud,” the barmaid yelled over the noise of the tavern. Seeing that it was Vanx, her voice softened. “Oh, it’s you two. I’ll be right over.”

The room was starting to fill for supper. The great central hearth fire at the Iceberg Inn and Tavern was the biggest, warmest, and most hospitable in all of Orendyn. The tables were not too close together, and the floor was kept clean. The log and timber structure was cozy and homey feeling. It was also far enough away from the docks to keep the troublesome sailors from walking over. The hard coin from the trappers and caravan traders who worked outside the city’s protective ice wall, however, did find its way in. Lem, the owner, had just purchased a fat elk from one of the local hunters, and tonight the sign out front read: “Fannie’s elk stew, eat until you spew.” Under that, in smaller letters, there was another line scrawled on the board: “Vanx the bard, most nights after dinner.”

Fannie, the cook, could make grizzled snow turtle taste like frosted cake. Her elk stew alone would pack the place.

“I suppose here it is Vanx Saint Elm,” Vanx finally answered the question. He reached down to the floor and gave the middling puppy there a scratch behind the ears. He’d carried the pup in a chest-pouch called a papoon for a long time, but Sir Poopsalot Maximus, as the dog was affectionately named, had outgrown the rig. Poops could keep up on his own now. At the moment, the dog was perfectly content on the floor gnawing the elk bone Fannie had slipped him.

Fannie had grown fond of the dog after she’d shooed him out of the kitchen and slammed the door a little too quickly, accidentally shearing off most of his tail. After a few choice bones, and a few healthy bowls of cuttings, Poops forgave her. The two were now fast friends. Poops spent most of his days guarding the kitchen service door, while Vanx and Darbon roamed the frozen northern city.

Vanx, Darbon, and Poops had been staying at the inn for nearly half a year. Darbon’s facial wounds had been fresh when the ship arrived. His emotional wounds were far more tender, though. His first love, Matty, had been killed by an ogre’s spear, right before his eyes.

Vanx was half-Zythian and might live to be three or four hundred years old, if he didn’t get himself killed first. He was in no real hurry to move on. He was a bard, and the custom at the Iceberg was pleasant and appreciative. The owner wasn’t too demanding, either. Vanx and Darbon spent enough coin on their rooms that Lem couldn’t complain if Vanx only performed on the busier nights. After all, he just played for his supper. Everything else he paid for.

During his roaming, Vanx had met an old sailor who’d sailed with his infamous father on the Foamfollower. He spent a lot of his days buying the crusty seadog drinks down at the Mighty Mackerel while listening to tales of the great trader captain, Marin Saint Elm and his heathen ship witch.

Vanx had learned a lot. He was content to wait out Darbon’s grief, which finally seemed to be subsiding. For what Vanx intended to undertake in the summer, he needed Darbon clearheaded and healthy. It didn’t hurt that Poops would be almost fully grown by then, too.

“A warm spring meadow,” the barmaid said as she put down two fresh mugs of ale and took away Vanx and Darbon’s empties.

“Last time you said a field of summer grass,” Darbon snorted. “They are nearly one and the same.”

“No.” The barmaid, a cute round-faced girl named Salma, touched his nose with a finger, causing him to blush. “They are not the same.”

Vanx shook his head. He thought Darbon was too young to have suffered so much already. The boy couldn’t even tell Salma liked him, despite his scars. Vanx wasn’t sure, but he doubted the boy had seen seventeen summers. Either way, Darbon wasn’t over Matty enough to move along just yet.

Vanx was over fifty years old, but didn’t look more than a few years older than Darbon. No one but Darbon knew of his heritage, though. He’d had to tell Skully, the old man who’d sailed with his father, that he was Captain Saint Elm’s grandson, not his son. The old salt had dismissed the relation as doubtful, but as long as Vanx was buying the ale, the stories kept coming.

“A spring meadow is a livelier and lighter shade of green,” Salma was explaining. “Summer grass is dark and thick.” She turned her gaze from Darbon to Vanx. “He is starting to lighten up, I think. It’s as if he’s come to a great decision and the weight of making it suddenly lifted.”

Vanx lifted his brows in surprise and took a long swallow from his fresh mug of ale. “You might be right.” He nodded. “As soon as my friend here says he’s ready to move on, I think we will be on our way.”

Salma looked disturbed by this news, and her eyes shot back and forth between the two men. The smile never left her face, but it changed a bit. It went from genuine and hopeful to forced and unsure. Darbon didn’t notice, but Vanx saw it plainly.

“You’re not leaving for good, are you?” she asked.

“Where are we going?” Darbon turned to face his companion, oblivious of the girl’s reaction.

“Not too far, and not for too long.” Vanx gave her a knowing look that seemed to ease her worry.

“Where?” Darbon asked again.

Vanx was pleased to see eager curiosity in his friend’s countenance. It was a far better sight than the empty pools of grief that had haunted him the last few months.

“We’re going on a hunt.”

“Snow leapers, elk, grizzlies?” Salma asked.

“No, no, no.” Vanx’s smile grew even wider. “We’re going to hunt and kill a shagmarian saber shrew and have a tailor make us garments from its fur.”

Darbon was smiling ear to ear, causing his scars to lose their pinkish color. For a moment, they looked as if they’d been handed down from nature, as if he were some half-beast.

“You’re jesting right?” Salma asked dubiously. “Even if you find one of the mammoth drift moles, you will never be able to survive its wrath.”

“That’s what makes it such a fitting prey,” Vanx said, feeling his blood begin to tingle with excitement. “Anyone can kill an elk or snow leaper.”

“Never underestimate the wiles of a guy with eyes the color of iced jade,” Darbon told her.

“Oooh, that’s a good one.” Salma smirked. “But you’d better invite me to the spring dance before you go.” She touched Darbon on the nose again. “I doubt you two will be coming back if you run across a real saber shrew.” With that, she whirled away to attend another customer.

“Was she talking to me?” Darbon asked.

For a moment Vanx thought that the memory of Matty had struck, that the boy would slip back into his grief. The idea of another woman might be a bit much for him just yet. Still, Vanx had to try to coax him out of the slump.

“She was talking to you, Dar. She’s sweet on you, you know?”

“Ya think? Then why is she always talking about your eyes?”

“Yours are usually pointed at your toes, or at the bottom of your cup, and mine… Well, it’s not really a fair thing.” Vanx patted his friend on the shoulder. “Either way, it’s you she’s after. I’d hate for you to break her heart and not take her to the spring dance.”

“That’s over a week away. What about the hunt?”

“We have preparations to make, supplies to gather, and a party to round up. The way I see it, it will take seven, maybe ten men to bring a saber shrew down, and there’s only one man around here who can possibly put us on the track of one.” Vanx shrugged. “I’ve yet to secure Endell’s help, but I think he’ll do it for a fair share of the meat and a few of those golden Parydon falcons we have left.”

“’Tis true,” Darbon agreed with a chuckle. “He’ll do it for the coin, if he can stay sober long enough to lead us out of the city. You said we are doing this so that we can make coats out of the hide. Where we going that we’ll need them?”

Vanx had to admire Darbon’s perceptiveness. “I’ll let you know when the time comes, Dar. You may decide you don’t want to go on the greater journey. I might, too, after this trek into the frozen wild. Let’s just say this hunt is sort of a training run, an exploration to see just how inhospitable the land beyond the ice wall really is.”

“It can’t be worse than the Wildwood or Dragon Isle,” Darbon said with a chuckle.

“Never say it can’t be worse, Darbon,” Vanx said. “As soon as you do, it usually gets that way.”

Author Genre: Fantasy - Magic & Wizards

Website: M.R. Mathias Fantasy Author
Author's Blog: M. R. Mathias Connection Hub
Twitter: @DahgMahn
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: M.R. Mathias rose from unknown to award-winning, best-selling author at a pace most authors can only dream about. He is a prolific writer of epic fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories. Despite his busy writing, publishing, and promotional schedule Mathias continues to aid his fellow indie authors by posting about their books at Twitter and Facebook etc.

He shared his considerable knowledge of self-promotion in publishing The First Ten Steps. The book has become an important indie guide for navigating the often murky waters of using social media sites to get your eBook in front of avid readers.

Mathias has taken cross promotion to a new level in his "Indie Kindy" giveaways where he gives away a FREE Kindle Touch and or Kindle Fire loaded with independently published books. These events create a great deal of interest for the authors involved and to independently published books as a whole.

It is a pleasure working with M.R. Mathias and watching his amazing run at the top of the Amazon best seller lists.

Author's Book List
Billy Badass
The author pulls no punches in excellent scenes so descriptive you can almost feel the victims' terror and pain. Not that it's a blood bath, there is terrible violence but also horror built as much on suspense as on the portrayal of brutality. - The Book Keeper

This book is not your typical horror story. The author's work can be compared to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Like their books, this plot takes you to unexpected places. There are twists and turns that keep the reader guessing: ghosts slipping in and out of bodies both living and dead, shadows and bumps in the night are the least of the main characters' worries in this book. Fans of horror will not want to miss this creepy story. -- Readers Favorite International Book Award

Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Possession, murder, kidnapping, and redemption…well thought out plot that builds to a crescendo. I highly recommend this. Full Review: --Books-Treasure or Trash

The novel is a suspenseful page-turner with well-developed characters. Even Lucy the Rottweiler is a round character. The specters, too, have solid personalities… renders them even scarier. 4 of 5 stars. --ForeWord Magazine

Billy Badass
Thirty-one years ago, Bill Buxly, aka Buxly the Butcher, went to trial for killing his family. He was found guilty, and sentenced to die for those crimes. Now, Janet Hale, a recently divorced nurse, has purchased the house unaware of the brutal murders that took place there so long ago.

Can Lucy-Fur protect her boy from an angry ghost who wants to possess him? Can Michael fight through the madness and terror to find out what really happened? With the help of his babysitter and her Ouija board, he is going to try.

This isn't your average haunted house novel, this is a trip into the mind of a man who spent a few years in a solitary cell. Don't think you know what is going to happen, for in this creepy, edge of your seat horror/thriller not everyone is who they seem… even the dead.

Order the Book From: Amazon
The Emerald Rider - Book Four of the Dragoneer Saga
In the wake of the Confliction, the Mainland Frontier is trying to reestablish itself. Over a year has passed since their victory over the alien shape shifter and its vicious Sarax. Jenka was infused with powerful Dour magic and has assumed some of the alien’s intelligence, but immediately after the battle he disappeared with Crimzon, and no one knows when, or if, they will ever return. With little help from King Richard, who is intent to rule the islands and leave his side of the wall to its fate, Queen Zahrellion, and the other Dragoneers are struggling to make sense of their place in the world, while unbeknownst to them an evil witch is plotting terrible mayhem.

Jenka, saturated with magic to the point of near insanity, will have to focus just to stay in the world of the living. A deranged wizard, who pits magicked priests against the demons he summons, has Clover’s petrified form and no intention of giving it up. Jenka gave his word to get her back and must go alone, deep into the wizard’s temple to find her.

Valiant escapades, wicked battles, and heart wrenching loss await readers in this fourth installment of the bestselling Dragoneer Saga. Hold onto your dragon!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Dragon Isle - The Legend of Vanx Malic
Vanx, Trevin, and Darbon, along with Prince Russet and the crew of the Sea Hawk, sail to Vanx's homeland to find an old friend who just might know the wyrm lore needed to make their quest to Dragon Isle seem survivable.

Meanwhile Coll and Duke Martin have set their shadowy schemes in motion in Dyntalla where Quazar is keeping the princess from death with all he has.

What will King Oakarm do about Duke Martin's treachery when he arrives? Will Matty the one-handed whore get her wish? Can two High Wizards of the Royal Order hold off the ogres, and the even darker thing that is seeking the Bloodstone? And what will happen on Dragon Isle, where our hero and his friends have become little more than prey under the revealing light of Aur's Moon.

You can only find out by reading: The Legend of Vanx Malic Book Two - Dragon Isle

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Through the Wildwood - The Legend of Vanx Malic
A half-zythian bard named Vanx is in slave chains for bedding the Duchess of Highlake. The Duke wants him dead. This is bad news, for bad things can happen to an ill guarded slave caravan in the mountains. When the duke's men attack to kill the adulterous prisoner all hell breaks loose leaving Vanx only one way to go... Through the Wildwood

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Wizard and the Warlord - Wardstone Trilogy Book Three
The Wizard and the Warlord, brings the elves, dwarves, giants, and the dragons into the story again as our heroes, led by High King Mikahl and the great wizard Hyden Hawk, are forced to fight for the fate of the Kingdoms. This time, they do so against the horrid creature that Gerard Skyler has become, and the powerful legions of demon-beasts that he commands

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Sword and the Dragon - The Wardstone Trilogy (Volume 1)
Deemed One of the Top 10 indie Fantasy releases of 2010 by Fantasy Book Critic, and listed in the first ever Publishers Weekly Indie Select issue, the original 235k word epic title was written in longhand in a Texas prison cell by M. R. Mathias. "The Sword and the Dragon 2012" is a Fully Revised - Kindle Only - version that includes two Wardstone Short Stories, One is a piece of flash fiction called "The Blood of Coldfrost." The other is a Short Story called "Roar." Even cooler, this version can be read FREE if you are a member of Amazon Prime. The original version, with its many reviews and 4 Star Average rating, is still available.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools - The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two
Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two) Join Hyden Hawk Skyler, and some great new friends, on an adventurous quest, over land and sea, to find the Silver Skull of Zorellin. Fight with Mikahl, Ironspike, and fierce King Jarrek as they try to free the enslaved people of Wildermont from King Ra'Gren and his Dakaneese Overlords. Patrol the skies with Shaella, and her new black dragon, Vrot. With her father's spell books, and the Priests of Kraw, she decides to aid King Ra'Gren, while scheming to free her lover, Gerard, from the hellish Nethers. Demonic love, valiant battles, and foolhardy heroics await readers in this epic continuation of the 'Wardstone Trilogy' that was written in a Texas prison cell, by author, M. R. Mathias.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The First Ten Steps - To Take AFTER You Publish Your New eBook
The First Ten Steps - Ten proven steps to build a solid foundation for your ebook using free social networking by International Bestselling Independent Fantasy Author M. R. Mathias OK.... Your ebook is published. You did some tweets about it and you posted on Facebook. Now what? The First Ten Steps lays out several PROVEN methods for using free social media sites to get your ebook in front of eager readers. But more than that, after a few months of following the easy 10-15 minute a day steps, you will have built a solid foundation for your pen name and created the one thing new authors have to have

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Royal Dragoneers
Hold on to your dragon! An Ivory antlered demon called Gravelbone, has a plan for the humans who are invading his territory. Join some brave young men and a particularly clever magic wielding woman, as they traverse the wild frontier, and sail the sea to warn their king. Then hold on for your life as you tear through the pages, because the pure blood dragons they have befriended have a plan too!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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