Tag Archives: musa publishing

Child or Woman? — Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE by S.G. Rogers

A muscle in Dane’s jaw rippled. “We must move faster. The longer she’s alone, the more likely it is she’ll encounter something dangerous.”

“She’s done well enough so far, no thanks to you,” Joe muttered.

Dane peered at Joe with narrowed eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’ve shown your distaste for Heather upon more than one occasion.”

“I would never let my personal feelings interfere with my duty to protect the child,” Dane exploded.

“Really? Then why is she lost?”

Dane hands formed fists at his side. As the two men squared off, Shimmer stepped in between. “Jovander, I’ve known Dane much longer than you have. You accuse him unjustly.”

“That is so,” Manny concurred.

“No, no. Don’t bother to defend me. It won’t make a difference. Jovander Chance has a deep seated resentment toward the royal class and doesn’t believe we could ever act unselfishly,” Dane scoffed.

“Forgive me for saying so, but this whole quest is selfish!” Joe yelled. “If it succeeds, you Ormvalders resume ruling the kingdom. Heather gets nothing except for a pat on the back. She’s the only one of us here who has acted in an unselfish manner.”

“You’ve acted unselfishly too, Joe,” Manny said.

Dane smirked. “No, he hasn’t. Haven’t you noticed? Young Joe is quite taken with the lass.”

Joe flushed bright red. “Don’t act so smug, Your Highness. I’ve seen the way you look at her.”

“First you practically accuse me of doing her in, and now you accuse me of having designs on the woman?” Dane thundered. “Make up your mind.”

“First you call her a child, and now a woman?” Joe pointed out. “You should make up your own mind.”

A long, smoldering silence followed in which nobody spoke.

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Now available in all e-formats from Musa Publishing HERE. Also available at Amazon. Coming soon to BN.com and wherever fine e-books are sold.

To return to Sweet Saturday Samples, go HERE

To add Tournament of Chance to your list on Goodreads, go HERE

To see the book trailer, go HERE

Improvisational Writing — S.G. Rogers

I love writing fantasy because it gives me the freedom to make the rules.  As a reader, however, fantasy works best for me when I can easily relate to what unfolds on the page.  As an author, then, I like to craft my worlds with what I call the –ish.  For example, in Tournament of Chance, the world is Earth-ish, and the era is Medieval-ish.  My historical accuracy is relaxed and fun, with a cinematic view toward composition.

(To read more of my guest post at The Writing Desk, click HERE)

~ S.G. Rogers

Idunn’s Secret of Youth

How did the Norse gods stay looking so fresh and dewy? A visit to the goddess Idunn was much better than Botox to the immortals. The lovely goddess was associated with fertility and eternal youth. What was her secret? An apple from Idunn’s orchard kept the gray at bay for the Norse pantheon known as the Æsir.

In the Prose Edda, a full-blown midlife crisis develops when Loki lures Idunn from Asgard at the behest of a giant named Pjazi. Pjazi then spirits Idunn off to his crib in the land of the giants, Jötunheimr.

The gods freak out as wrinkles and age spots began to appear on their formerly pristine bodies. A little sleuthing leads them to the usual suspect, Loki. Under threats of death and dismemberment, Loki agrees to rescue Idunn from Pjazi. Upon her return to Asgard, disaster is averted and the immortals are revitalized. The story ends well for everyone except for Pjazi, who is burned to a giant apple crisp when he tries to reclaim Idunn.

Eternal youth has allure, but chasing after it bit Pjazi in the ash.

In Dani & the Immortals, a drink from the long-lost Cup of Immortality has the same effect as a bite of Idunn’s apple. If you had the Cup, would you keep it to yourself or sell it to the highest bidder? And if you knew you had all the time in the world, would you still be able to live life to the fullest?

As for me, I think immortality might be a little overrated. As time marches on, however, I certainly don’t mind a teaspoon of applesauce now and again.

~ Suzanne
sgrDani&theImmortals6x9When the Cup of Immortality is stolen in Asgard, anger and suspicion is leveled at Dani Avery. Ordered from Asgard by Odin and –even worse– discovering Prince Rein has been betrothed to Leanna of the Faeries, Dani sets out to find the Cup and save Rein from an unwanted marriage.

Dani, Rein, and Emrys begin their desperate search for the real thief and the missing Cup. Unfortunately, the sultry and self-centered Leanna insists on tagging along, and causes them to run afoul of a ruthless crime boss who will stop at nothing to gain their silence…including kidnapping.

As the clock ticks away, Dani has to make a choice between continuing the search for the Cup or finding her missing friends. Will Dani unwittingly sacrifice Rein’s life in her attempt to save their relationship? Or will she deliberately sacrifice their relationship in order to save his life?

EXCERPT:
Dani and the Restive Forest Ljósálfar had left their mounts in a clearing a little way down the mountain. They’d fanned out as they crept toward the entrance to the cave. Dragon wriggled and strained to be free, but Dani held him back by his collar.

“Shh,” she whispered. “Not yet.”

“I can lead the charge,” Katt offered.

Dani shook her head. “It would be better to draw them out, Katt. We don’t know how many bad guys are in there.”

She whispered instructions to Dragon and set him down on the ground. The dog trotted around the boulder, barking and wagging his tail. As he drew closer to the cave, the ogres laughed and pointed.

“Look! It’s a doggy!”

Dragon stood up on his hind legs and danced around. The ogres clapped and giggled. Then the Pomeranian rolled from side to side on the ground. The ogres roared with appreciation. Dragon sat up and extended a dainty paw, as if to shake hands.

When the ogres bent closer, Dragon lit them up like a blowtorch. The ogres panicked. They abandoned their posts and tore down the mountain as if their hair was on fire—which it was. Afterward, the dog sat at the entrance of the tunnel and barked.

“Dragon, hush!” Dani whispered. “Come back here!”

After a long pause, Dragon whined, turned tail and ran. Ogres and dark elves poured out of the hole in the side of the mountain, armed to the teeth.

Newt aimed his bow. “That drew them out.”

Dani & the Immortals is available at Amazon!

 

 

Time Travel Mischief

What would you do if you were suddenly sent back in time?

I’m a sucker for time travel, probably as a result of watching The Time Machine (1960) as a kid. By today’s standards, the special effects in that film were archaic, but I found them dazzling. George (H.G. Wells) sat in his time machine and watched decades fly by through his workroom window. Then, when he goes waaay into the future, he finds the world has changed completely. What would you do if you were suddenly sent back in time?

Back to the Future (1985) was a cute look at time travel. Marty McFly is sent thirty years into the past, and finds himself dealing with his own parents. His very presence, unfortunately, disrupts events in such a way he begins to fade from existence…thus illustrating the time travel conundrum.

If you change the slightest detail in the past, what impact will that alteration have on events going forward? The law of unintended consequences would seem to kick in at some point. Even if you went back in time with the most noble of intentions, your actions might have extremely unpredictable and possibly undesirable results.

In my latest release, Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel, I have a little fun with the time travel paradox. Heather is accidentally sent eight hundred years into the past, with mind-bending repercussions. Her original goal beforehand was to restore the Ormarian monarchy. Once she’s part of history, however, can Heather prevent the downfall of Ormaria in the first place? Her opportunity to prevent untold misery and bloodshed may come at the cost of her own personal happiness.

Therein lays the dilemma.

If I could write down some sage advice in a time capsule and shoot it back to my younger self, I could very likely prevent some very painful episodes. On the other hand, those tumultuous times taught me a lot and shaped my character. Hmm…would I be doing myself a favor—or a mischief?

If you had the chance to change something in the past would you do it?

~ Suzanne

A hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

TOCDRSGRWhen a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?
Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel is available at Amazon.

Heather’s Disguise – Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE

A loud insistent pounding at the front door startled Heather awake the next morning. A few moments later, she heard Ustin having a row with her father in the kitchen. Heather’s mother, still clad in a dressing gown, stepped into the bedchamber. She held a lantern aloft.

“Get up, Heather.”

“What’s happening, Mother?”

“Ustin and Kitty are here.”

“Kitty, too?”

“Aye. Put on your hunting gear, quickly.”

Aghast, Heather stared at Rose, wide-eyed. “But I’m going to the
tournament today. I’m to wear my best clothes.”

“Don’t argue with me. Ustin says you’re in danger.”

“What?”

“There are men canvassing the town for you right now, so there is
no time to waste. You must travel in disguise.”

Heather grasped a hank of her thick auburn waist-length hair. “How
are we going to hide this?”

Rose produced a pair of shears. “We can’t.”

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

Now available in all e-formats from Musa Publishing HERE. Also available at Amazon. Coming soon to BN.com and wherever fine e-books are sold.

To return to Sweet Saturday Samples, go HERE

To add Tournament of Chance to your list on Goodreads, go HERE

TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE – Release Day

Today is release day for my fantasy novel, Tournament of Chance.  😀  Thanks for celebrating with me. ~ S.G. Rogers

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Excerpt:

“It isn’t wise to tell people too much incredible information at once,” Shimmer said. “I told them what they needed to know to keep them from rushing into an armed conflict they couldn’t win. They’ll learn the whole truth in due course.”

Heather cocked her head. “And this quest to Boravagg? Have you told me only what I need to know?”

Before Shimmer could answer, Dane, Manny, and Joe appeared. The sleek muscles of Dane’s bare arms and torso glistened from his recent swim. Blushing, Heather averted her eyes.

“I wish to be completely honest, Heather. This venture is horribly dangerous, potentially fatal, and with an uncertain outcome,” Shimmer said. “Knowing that, do you want to change your mind?”

Now available in all e-formats from Musa Publishing HERE. Also available at Amazon. Coming soon to BN.com and wherever fine e-books are sold.

From Reject to Release — Tournament of Chance

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

My romantic fantasy novel, Tournament of Chance (Musa Publishing) will be released Friday, September 28th.  I couldn’t be more pleased, especially considering its inauspicious beginnings.  You see, I originally wrote TOC as a short story (around 8,000 words).  I submitted the short to several magazines, and although the feedback was positive, I could not find a magazine willing to publish it.  Battered and bruised, I ordinarily would have chucked the manuscript into a folder marked REJECTS, licked my wounds, and moved on to something else.

But I just couldn’t let it go.

I liked the concept of a young woman striving to break through the glass ceiling between commoners and royalty by honing her skills as an archer. In the back of my mind, I knew there was more to the story than the 8,000 words I’d written.  So in between revising, editing, and promoting my other titles, I allowed the full-length version of TOC to unfold. Unlike other, more disciplined authors, I usually let my stories discover themselves.  As the novel moved along, I was actually quite shocked at all the twists, turns, and surprises in store for me.  For example, who knew time travel and shape shifters would find their way into the mix? It took about six months to finish Tournament, and it incorporates many of my favorite things – peacocks, lava tubes, caves, volcanoes, dragons, wizards, romance, and magic.  It also deals with some unlikeable qualities, such as deceit, treachery, false hope, envy, abuse of power, and pride.

So if it weren’t for the rejections I experienced, Tournament of Chance would never have been published as a full-length novel. Perhaps it’s the fighting Irish in me but when I get knocked down, I get up again…and then I write some more. I’m not sure I agree with the Nietzsche quote, above, one hundred percent of the time, but it’s better than the alternative.

Has rejection ever motivated you to succeed?

~ S.G. Rogers

A hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

DragonRebel-Cory2When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written.  The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Eyes of a Snake – Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE

“Today is a momentous occasion,” said King Chance, after he’d settled himself on a cushion. His booming voice resonated across the field. “Let the finalists for the Tournament of Chance come forward.”

“Your Majesty, I present Lady Felicia of the Valley and Heather of the Jagged Peaks,” announced Sir Fitzelle.

Felicia glided toward the king as if to greet an old friend, but Heather hung back. Now that the moment had arrived to actually meet the king and queen, her feet were frozen to the ground. Suddenly wishing for
invisibility, she forced herself to move toward the king’s canopy. All eyes swiveled in her direction as she stood next to Felicia. Murmurings and titters rippled through the royals at Heather’s appearance. Although Felicia ignored her altogether, the queen openly laughed, as did many of the courtiers. A rosy blush crept toward Heather’s hairline.

The king beamed at Felicia. “How splendid to see you again, dear girl.”

“And you, Your Majesty,” Felicia responded. Her smile showed the lovely dimples in her cheeks.

Queen Chelsea frowned — far less pleased to see Felicia than was her husband. King Chance next focused his attention on Heather. His welcoming expression did not slip one bit, but Heather was taken aback. His eyes resembled those of a cold, poisonous snake.

In Tournament of Chance, a hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written. The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

(Tournament of Chance coming September 28, 2012 from Musa Publishing)

To add to your to-read list on Goodreads, go HERE

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Preditors and Prey — Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE

Over the next week, Heather spent most of her waking hours with her bow and arrows. She practiced in a pasture outside of town. The field was surrounded by trees, which made it quite private—and isolated. The morning before the competition, Heather was working on accuracy. When her arrows were spent, she set off for the target to retrieve them.

Three strangers emerged from the forest. They fanned out, as if encircling their prey. Heather was schooled enough in hunting to recognize predators on sight. A ripple of fear traveled down her spine. Dropping her bow, she pulled her knife from her boot and searched for a means of escape.

“Oi, now, no need for that. Yer Heather, aren’t ye?  Such pretty red hair ye got,” the first man said. His lips pulled back over his teeth, blackened by poor hygiene and tobacco.

“Yer father done broke his leg. We come to fetch ye home,” the second said.

The third man said nothing, but he unfastened the bullwhip hanging from his belt and gave it an experimental crack.

“My friend don’t like yer little stickpin. Put it down, there’s a good girl,” the first man said.

Heather kept her eyes trained on the bullwhip. When the man pulled back his arm, poised to strike, she hurled her knife at his chest. Even before he’d hit the ground, she was sprinting past him toward the forest. Her only hope of evading capture would be to lose the other two men in the woods. Although she was fleet-footed, her assailants closed the distance in the open field rapidly. Several yards away from the tree line, the twang of arrows being loosed reached her ears…

A hunter’s daughter becomes the spark that ignites a revolution—in time.

When a beautiful commoner enters the Tournament of Chance archery competition, her thwarted victory sparks a revolution in the oppressive kingdom of Destiny. Although Heather never believed the legends about the restoration of Ormaria, after three shape-shifting Ormarian wizards awaken from a long magical slumber, she joins their perilous quest to regain the throne. Heather battles vicious predators and angry trolls to free the wizards’ magic, but at a horrendous cost. She is unexpectedly torn from the arms of the man she loves and hurled back in time to fulfill a prophecy not yet written.  The ensuing maelstrom tests Heather’s survival skills, wits, and endurance. Will she become an unwritten footnote in history, or can she trust the magic to lead her back to her one true love?

Tournament of Chance will be released on Friday, Sept. 28th, in all e-formats, from Musa Publishing.  Shortly thereafter, it will be available through Amazon, BN.com and wherever online books are sold.

To see the book trailer, go HERE