Series Spotlight – The Rise of Aredor & The Wildcat of Braeton

This week I’m doing something different: a series spotlight on two amazing books by author Claire M.Banschbach as part of her relaunch blog tour! In January, Claire had the terrible news that her publisher was going under, so she decided to go indie! Check out her relaunch of her first book (The Rise of Aredor) and the launch of the second book in the series (The Wildcat of Braeton)! Also, scroll down for free stuff!! 😀


 

Rise of Aredor Webcover

The Rise of Aredor

Lost in a foreign land and separated from his family, Corin does his best to survive as a slave in the household of a Calorin lord. With newfound friends he fights for survival in ambushes and wars. For one act of bravery, he is awarded his freedom and returns to a home that has been invaded and ravaged by the Calorin armies. When Corin sets foot on Aredor’s shores, he has one goal in mind: find his family. He is driven into the forest, where he is reunited with childhood friends. From the shelter of the woods, they begin a spirited rebellion against Corin’s former cruel master, who now holds sway over Aredor. Follow Corin’s path in his quest to free his imprisoned brother, find a father who has vanished, and ultimately free his country in The Rise of Aredor.

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Excerpt from The Rise of Aredor:

“What’s going on here?” A voice demanded in Calorin.

“Corin, there’s someone out there!” Trey whispered.

“Who’s in charge here?” Another voice asked.

From inside the storeroom, Corin’s heart lifted as he heard the slurred speech of the men. They’re drunk! he realized. He grabbed a flagon off the shelf.

“I hate this stuff,” he muttered and took a deep draft. Spluttering, he took another drink.

“Corin, what are you doing?” Trey hissed.

“Keep working. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Corin clapped his shoulder. Liam and Martin watched bewildered as he staggered past them toward the soldiers.

“That’d be me,” he slurred the words. “Lieutenant Hamíd, at your service, boys!”

The soldiers looked at him through slightly unfocused eyes.

“I’m Lieutenant Zafir, and this is Lieutenant Hamzah,” one said. “What are you doing out here so late, Hamíd?”

“We were supposed to leave earlier, but they didn’t get the wagon loaded in time.” He jerked a thumb back at his companions. “You know how lazy those cavalry soldiers can be.” He took another pull at the flagon as Zafir and Hamzah voiced their agreement loudly.

“We were just going to the tavern. You should join us, Hamíd!” Zafir said.

When Corin hesitated, Hamzah clapped him on the shoulder.

“Come on! You’ll have plenty of time before these buffoons get the wagon loaded.” He took the flagon from Corin and drank.

“You’re right!” Corin took the liquor back. “There’s no reason I should have to stand out here in the dark while they work!”

“Aye, you look like you work too hard already!” Zafir said. The three of them roared with laughter.

“Don’t send someone after me when you’re done. You’ll probably take all night!” Corin raised his voice as he gave the order to the other “Calorins.”

Trey’s salute told him that he understood. Relieved, Corin draped a friendly arm around Hamzah’s shoulder as they made their way toward the tavern.

 

What is he doing?” Martin asked Trey.

“I hope he knows. Come on, let’s hurry with these.” Trey slung another bag up to Liam.

An hour passed and there was no sign of Corin. Liam scanned the street anxiously. They had finished filling the wagon almost half an hour ago.

“The sentry will be along any minute,” Martin whispered to Trey. “What do we do?”

“Wait,” Trey replied, equally uneasy.




Want a chance to win free ebooks and other swag??

Giveaway Graphic

What you could win:
The Rise of Aredor and The Wildcat of Braeton, a set of 4 notecards of the series artwork, and the grand prize is a paperback set of the books + 1 notecard of choice!

The giveaway will run from 9/28-10/4.

ENTER TO WIN NOW




 

Wildcat of Braeton Webcover

The Wildcat of Braeton

His term of service to Lord Rishdah now complete, Aiden returns to his home in Braeton. As he travels he hears rumors that trouble plagues Braeton. Clan Canich is being attacked from within. He arrives, determined to save his father, his brothers, and his Clan from the treachery of one man.

A year has passed since the Calorins were driven from Aredor and Corin is struggling to rebuild his country. Despite the peace, a fear haunts him that the Calorins aren’t far away. The Hawk Flight takes to the forest again to defend the borders against a possible attack from the neighboring country of Durna and its Calorin ally.

As Aiden and Corin struggle to adapt to their new lives they know one thing for certain – war is coming to the North!

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Excerpt from The Wildcat of Braeton:

“Ranulf came here too. I would have sent men, but we were in the middle of helping the Aredorians with the Calorin War,” Laird Dandin said. “And now this Adalwulf threatens Durnian invasion if we send men. Forgive me for saying, but I think Laird Gòrdan would only see the Clans coming tae help now as an attack on him. There would be war in Braeton.”

“I understand.” Aiden hated it, but he could understand.

“So what are you really here for?  I know you don’t want sanctuary.” Laird Dandin’s look urged him to be honest.

“I have no patience left,” Aiden said. “I’m going tae stop Adalwulf. But I can’nae do it on my own. We need the Clan back.”

Dandin sat at the table. “How is your father?”

“My father…” Aiden paused. “He is controlled by Adalwulf. He banished William and has almost disowned Ranulf and myself.”

“I didn’t know it was so bad,” Dandin said.

“My Laird, I’m not asking for your help. I just need tae know how many of Clan Canich are here.” Aiden leaned forward on the table.

“I’d say around forty. You’re going tae raise the Clan?”

“That is my intent, although it never should have come tae this.”

“The men here obey the command of a man named Artair. Convince him, and you’ll have your men,” Dandin said. “But I warn you, that will be no easy task. You are welcome here for as long as you need.”

“Thank you, sir,” Aiden replied gratefully, hoping he did not require the Laird’s hospitality for long.


Cool Trivia about The Wildcat of Braeton:

Random Fact 6

Want more random facts? Visit the other blog stops for more!



Two great books, and guess what?? Today is your lucky day!

Sale pic

For THREE DAYS ONLY, get The Rise of Aredor for only 99 cents!!



About the Author:

Claire M. Banschbach is a native West Texan. She discovered a deep and abiding love for fantasy and science fiction at a young age, prompting her to begin exploring worlds armed only with an overactive imagination and a pen while obtaining degrees in Kinesiology from Texas A&M and Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University.

She talks to fictional characters more than she should while struggling to find time for all their stories. She currently resides in Arlington, TX where she works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

You can connect with her on Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram

 



Thanks for stopping by and checking out Claire’s new books! Need more of the Aredor Universe? Try Claire’s short stories on her blog! Happy reading!

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My Review of The Beginning: Breath of War

I received BoW as an ARC and was asked to do a review of it! R. Malak was previously featured on the Infinity Flower Publishing blog. Read his post here.

Cover

Synopsis:

“The Beginning” is a mixture of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and survival.

Devastated by war with unknown creatures, Talmen a roamer searches for his long lost brother in the hopes of re-uniting his broken family.

Cora a resourceful ranger trained in both stealth and marksmanship heads out with her new squadron to eliminate a threat posed to her home by an Orc WarHorde.

Togran Ka leader of the WarHorde finds himself embroiled in ancient rivalries and blood feuds. His attempts to adapt to human weaponry, causes much hate amongst the believers of Sezrath.

Lucy and Rollo siblings abandoned by their parents, make their living selling items they have scavenged and repaired to any surviving human settlements. Opposite sides of the same coin, Rollo is a cheerful boy with the glow of innocence still about him and Lucy an overprotective cynical woman, who fears for the future.

The Mother a creature of pure malevolence and vileness seeks to cleanse the world.

My Review:

Wow! What an adventure!

When I started reading Breath of War, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. From the very beginning, R. Malak had me hooked with Talmen’s struggle just to survive the day. There was so much action, with battles that left me feeling like I was the one being chased by monsters. Malak also includes an awesome insight into the society and minds of the monsters, to the point that I almost felt sorry for them. Almost. The twist at the end really threw me for a loop and left me with one burning question: When is the next book coming out??

If you love dystopian futures mixed with fantasy monsters and epic battles for the survival of the human race, then this book is for you! And remember, this is just The Beginning.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s not your normal, run-of-the-mill fantasy, even though it features orcs, goblins, and other bad little monsters with teeth and a craving for human flesh. I was surprised initially by the amount of detail that Malak puts into the battle scenes (and they make up probably 90% of the book!), but I think that’s what makes this story so compelling. These people are not just living in a changed world, they’re fighting every moment to stay alive and try to adjust to the beasts that have taken over. I really liked that it gave this book a dystopian feel, while still maintaining the fantasy.

The orcs and their society were really interesting to me. The way Malak writes them, we see that they aren’t just mindless beasts; they have wants and desires and they have to maintain status or risk being turned on by their brethren. It lends an empathy to these creatures that is otherwise lost in most fantasy.  It’s nice to see that the bad guys have brains and aren’t just slobbering death-machines.

The ending really threw me for a loop, but I won’t spoil it here by talking about it! 🙂 There’s a massive plan beginning to unravel, involving all the races, and, like I said in my review, this is just The Beginning!

Overall, I give R. Malak a solid 4-star rating.

If you would like to read this book, it’s available now on Amazon for pre-order and will be available on Kindle Unlimited!

Follow R. Malak on Facebook and Twitter, and check out his behind-the-scenes posts on Wattpad, including a history of the orcs!