Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to the Stone of Darkness Blog Tour Stop for Fantasy Author Resa Nelson

Hello Muses and Fallen Friends,

     We have a very special guest author today. Please welcome Author Resa Nelson, creator

of the Stone of Darkness fantasy series. Not only do we have some great cover love going on

today, but we also have an interview, excerpts, and a chance to win a mini ebook. So without

further hesitation let me introduce the Stone of Darkness's fantastic cover and blurbs.

About the Author:

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for
Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
Resa lives in Massachusetts.

Synopsis for The Dragonslayer’s Sword (Book 1)
For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.
Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.
Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?

Synopsis for The Iron Maiden (Book 2)
Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it’s her duty. She’d rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer’s sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn’t a decision she can make just once. It’s a decision she must make every day.

Synopsis for The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)
In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.
Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.
Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.

Book 4 will be published in November 2012

Let's Take a Moment to Get Know More About Ms. Nelson's Writing World...

Do you have a specific writing style?

People have called my writing style “transparent,” meaning that you don’t really notice it when you’re reading.  I love that because I want readers to sink into my novels and feel like they’re part of the story.  When I write, I feel like I’m actually in the world of the novel.  It’s as if I’m in the thick of the story, completely surrounded by it, and I’m writing down everything I see happening.  I want readers to feel the same way – except they don’t have to write anything down!

How did you come up with the title?

The Stone of Darkness is Book 3 in my Dragonslayer series.  Book 1 is called The Dragonslayer’s Sword, and the title refers to the work of my main character Astrid, a female blacksmith who makes weapons for dragonslayers, specifically to the first sword she makes.  Book 2 is called The Iron Maiden, and it’s what a character calls Astrid – she’s a blacksmith and she works with iron.  The Stone of Darkness is about a black stone that seems to have magical powers, and Astrid spends a lot of Book 3 trying to find out exactly what the stone is, what its powers are, and why it has come into her life.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes!  It all comes from my feeling troubled by people who think they’re helpless.  I see too many people choosing to believe they’re helpless when they’re really not.  In Book 1, Astrid learns that she must decide who she is before she can stand up inside her own skin.  That basically means that each of us gets to decide what kind of person we are and how we live our lives.  All of the books in the Dragonslayer series explore that idea in different ways.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Eoghain Hamilton is an Irish short story writer whose first book of short stories is called A Celtic Darkness.  They’re modern-day literary ghost stories.  He reminds me of writers like Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allen Poe.  His stories are full of mood and atmosphere.  I think he’s someone to watch.

What are your current projects?

I recently finished writing Book 4 in my Dragonslayer series, which is scheduled for publication in November.  That means I’ve wrapped up that series, which is something I’m still getting used to.  Since finishing that book, I’ve been writing a bunch of short stories.  I currently have a short story at an online magazine called Buzzy, which is free to read (http://buzzymag.com/the-hidden-people-by-resa-nelson/) and another story that will be coming out in an anthology called Mortis Operandi within the next year.  I’m outlining my next novel, which will be a blend of very near-future science fiction and mystery.  But when it comes to novels, readers can always count on my main character being a woman who is smart, courageous, strong, and willing to overcome any problems that come her way.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I’m lucky enough to be a graduate of the Clarion SF Writers Workshop.  This program gave me the tools I needed to become a published author and lots of support.  Many of my classmates have been extremely supportive for many years.  And some of the most supportive people in my life are people who graduated from other Clarion classes.  It’s kind of like a big family of writers.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I love reading mystery/thrillers, and my favorite author is Harlan Coben.  First, he’s the master of plots that twist and turn.  My readers tell me that they love the twists and turns in my books, so I think reading his work has been a good influence on me!  I also love his characters.  It’s so easy to love them and want the best for them.  Coben’s characters feel real and relatable.  They’re the kind of people I like to hang out with in real life.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I don’t have to, but I find that travel helps me a lot.  I often model my worlds on ancient societies, so going to places that have ruins and learning about them makes a huge difference.  Because I set my Dragonslayer series in a setting similar to the Viking era, I wanted to see as many places as possible that were impacted by the Vikings.  Over the course of many years (mostly before I started writing the series), I traveled to Iceland, Ireland, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and several of the islands off the coast of Scotland.  All of this gave me a much better sense of the Viking world and had a very big influence on the series.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing Book 3 (The Stone of Darkness) was figuring out where to end it because there’s no lapse of time between Books 3 and 4.  But the hardest part of writing the series was ending it!  I moped around for the longest time when I was ready to start writing the last book because I hated the thought of not spending time the characters I’d come to love.  But by the time I ended the series, I realized that there’s an opportunity to create a spin-off series, which is something I’m seriously considering.  Whether or not I write it depends on whether my fans will want the spin-off series.

Thank you for taking the time today to connect with the Seraphine Muse's wonderful readers. I wish you the best of luck in all of your writing endeavors and feel free to come back and visit us anytime!

Thanks so much for hosting my blog tour!  I’m so grateful for the chance to connect with your readers.

Where can readers find your online homes?
Author Blog:  coming at the end of this year
Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Resa-Nelson-The-Dragonslayers-Sword/122200661871
Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1998294.Resa_Nelson
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/ResaNelson
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Resa-Nelson/e/B002C78D2Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Barnes&Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/resa-nelson
Any other sides you wish to list:
Goodreads Giveaway:
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories: 
Author website:  http://www.resanelson.com

Is your book available in print, ebook, both?
Both.  If you buy directly from my publisher (Mundania Press), you can get a 10% discount at checkout using this code:  MP10



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