Hello readers and writers! My name is Marc R Micciola and I am a self-published author from Brampton, Ontario, Canada. I always enjoyed stories, soaking them in through any format possible. My favourite way to tell my own stories is through writing, and it took me a while to fully embrace that. Writing isn’t exactly the most practical career, especially fiction writing, so I was discouraged from becoming an author most of my life. My mental health hasn’t always been the greatest either, so I had to deal with anxieties and depressive thoughts too. Thankfully, I finally got into a place where I said “Screw it” and decided to really work on writing a book. It was during a time in my life where I was really working on myself, and I truly believe this book got me to where I am today. My two dogs, Rielly and Ace, keep me grounded and happy while my best friend Mackenzie keeps me motivated and positive. Oh! Silly me. I just realized I haven’t even mentioned the name of my debut novel! My very first book is named Ascension, and is the first book in a series named The Age of Shadow Saga.
Ascension is my baby. I’ve had ideas for books before, even managed to write out a bit of them too, but Ascension is my first full fledged novel that I have written and published. The story that I plan to stretch out over three books is very character driven, and it’s one of the reasons why I love it so much. The world Ascension takes place in is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but the characters are what makes the book shine. All these characters have grown and changed over the near four years of creating this story and the world surrounding it. Hell, I’m still working on the world! I’ve invested so much time and work into the worldbuilding of The Age of Shadow Saga that I could do countless books based on stories taking place hundreds and even thousands of years before Ascension. I tried to give the reader a glimpse of just how dense the history of this world is by describing relationships between nations and name dropping important moments in history. The entire story of Ascension is told in first person, via the point of view of five characters. Those character’s names are Iver, Einar, Otti, Elouera, and Sigurd. I’ve done my best to make each character unique in how they see the world and how they respond to certain events throughout the story. One thing I know I did well was having every character at the end of the novel be somewhere different than where they were when we are first introduced to them; emotionally, physically, and mentally.
I got my love for character chapters from George RR Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. The love and appreciation for writing in a first person point of view came from Mark Lawrence’s series The Broken Empire. I had learned to tell stories in third person, but as the years went on I began to truly fall in love with first person and the intimacy it brought to stories. Being inside a character’s head allowed me to really connect with them, experiencing the story in a more intimate way. This is why I went with first person for Ascension. I did a lot of research when it came to worldbuilding, but I also did some research for my characters. I wanted my characters to react to certain events in a genuine way, and I wanted to know what effect those events would have on their psyche. The search I went on actually helped me learn some things about myself too, so it was very worthwhile work. I really think that great characters make a great story, so I worked really hard to develop even secondary and tertiary characters that seemed as real as possible. When I write, I aim for a grounded experience without losing out of the wonder of a fantasy world. I think I did a really good job at bringing that goal to life with Ascension, and I can’t wait for you to let me know what you think. Enjoy your next read, enjoy the next story you write and always be true to who you are!
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Ascension (The Age of Shadow Saga Book 1) by Marc R. Micciola ~ Genre: Epic Fantasy
Many years ago, every race in Midstad came together to imprison a dangerous foe; however not everyone supported this decision and some swore in secret to set Him free one day.
Now, nearly two hundred years later the world is prospering during its longest age of peace. Elves are hidden away in their forests, dwarves live deep within their mountains, and humans have come together in a way which has never been done before. Life for every race is peaceful, until a mythical cult, The Black Light, makes their name heard in every corner of Midstad.
One violent day of assassinations sends elves, dwarves, and humans alike into a panic. The Black Light has shown themselves to be more real than many would have wished them to be, and they have named their leader; Iver, an heir to one of the human kingdoms.
Einar, son of the King of Hestferd, and his allies scramble to devise a proper response to this act of war. Their biggest worry? A name shouted by the assassins; Kemryr, the great foe who was imprisoned centuries ago.
Many believe him to be nothing more than a myth nowadays, but myths seem to be becoming very real as of late. Einar’s father wishes to learn more, and so he turns to a secret friend for help. Together, Einar and his father seek out answers while Iver and his followers continue to carry out their plan in the hopes to reach their ultimate goal.
I live in Ontario, Canada with my two dogs Ace and Rielly. When I’m not entertaining those two goofballs, I’m usually watching hockey or a movie.
Night time is usually when my writing time begins. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember; writing when the sun out just seems near impossible now!
Writing is my main passion, but I do have many others. Photography, Pyrography, spending time with my friends, watching hockey while eating pizza, and of course enjoying some family time are all things I love doing.
I’m a huge advocate for removing the stigma around mental health and always try my best to support those who struggle with mental health, just like I do.
I am also the owner of Centaury Lilium Publishing, a company that assists authors in finding affordable and reliable services in order to self-publish their books. It’s a young business, but I’m hoping to help even just one author achieve their dream.
Tainted Truth (The Wolf Riders of Keldarra Book 1) by Nathalie M.L. Römer ~ Genre: Epic Fantasy
Begin your journey in the land of Keldarra…
It’s a land on the brink of war. Who wins it depends on which side is stronger: truth or the lies of thousands of years of deception and manipulation. But whose truth? What lies? That’s for you to find out in the first book of this nine-book series!
When truth and lies have been used as a weapon. When you fight an enemy from the past using lies, and truth becomes the weapon with which you fight that enemy.
The story takes you to an ancient land under siege. The history of Keldarra is long but forgotten. A distant past when someone knew the Wolf Riders would rise. They also knew they would come to an end.
The Truth: Words spoken.
Still spoken to speak a lie.
Each individual has a reason for wanting change. But can the reasons co-exist without clashing? Can truth prevail when each of them exists because of lies? When they discover similarity it reveals a hidden past, a past that means so much more than either knew.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Nathalie is a published author, based in Sweden, and born and bred in the Netherlands, with roots squarely planted culturally in Britain and Curaçao. She primarily writes epic fantasy, futuristic science fiction, mysteries, romance with a twist, and is now venturing into fairytale retellings, dystopian stories and much more (just keep visiting to see where stories take you and the author alike). And Nathalie describes her style of writing as unapologetically wordy, because she has discovered that the best part of writing is weaving a world that’s interesting to explore, to discover its back story, to meet its people, and find out what makes them tick. Nathalie weaves each world with her own experiences into the stories, and will touch on various causes and situations that speak to her…
I guess you’re curious about the books I write so I decided to include an essay about my books, and more specifically TAINTED TRUTH which are featured on blogs participating in the book tour from Silver Dagger Book Tours.
The direct inspiration for writing a “hero’s journey” style of series comes from my gaming background. Before embarking on creating the world you’ll discover with the pages of the books in this series I played (and still play) World of Warcraft (as well as occasionally dabbling in other MMOs). I began playing at the end of 2006 as a direct result of the “lore” of the game, then as I became more familiar it created a sense of urgency to turn an idea of a hero’s journey I had on my mind for over a decade into a story of some sort. Late in November 2014 I sat down and longhand wrote a story that’s now part of Chapter 67 of TAINTED TRUTH. The poem called “The Truth” that you’ll encounter as you read the book evolved a few weeks later. There came a day when I thought, “I can create a big world too.”
Like in the story of the game I wanted a conflicted world with opposite factions, but never wanted an exact copy of the game. The story takes in account the complexity we find in our own twisted world. The question of things being “morally grey” is explored through the reactions from the characters to the world Keldarra they live in. My view is as follows in terms of who I write about – the good guys will have a few bad guys among them as no one is always perfectly good, and the people perceived as the bad guys (in this series it’s the Wolf Riders) will have people in their midst who don’t like what fate threw at them. Not wanting to go political, but to me there’s irony in such words as “There are good guys on both sides” when I wrote about such things long before they were uttered at the media. My world is a reflection of our world; I write about the good things from our world and I write about the bad things. A world such as Keldarra will be as complex as our own, so the people you meet as you read the story is a fraction of who lives in Keldarra, but they reflect the people you never see or meet. Though, on this latter, I have plans for stories beyond The Wolf Riders of Keldarra that will flesh out some of these “other people.”
The two most prominent characters you’ll meet is Marrida and Alagur. Marrida is an Acolyte at the Temple of Ruh’nar under the governance of Elder Sharriba, its leader. When the story begins you’re immediately in the middle of an attack by the Wolf Riders. One Wolf Rider is Alagur, who is wounded and Marrida gives him shelter. When Marrida needs to enlist her uncle’s help in getting Alagur safely from the city she opens a can of worms about who she is, why she goes to the Temple of Ruh’nar and then is entrusted by family secrets her uncle and Elder Sharriba kept from her. She’s thrown in at the deep end when they send her on an errand’s run with Alagur in tow. Initially both Marrida and Alagur believe their just searching for a few answers, but it becomes clear quickly there’s so much more going on, and as their journey progresses the mysteries also deepen. They discover some disturbing realities that causes a turmoil to Marrida’s longheld beliefs about the Order of Truth, and they discover a plot…
And as Dr River Song of Dr Who would say: “Spoilers…” so that’s all you get of the story of the series…
The title TAINTED TRUTH is directly linked to the story in the book, and an explanation will be shown during the story’s evolution. Something tainted is something spoiled, broken, not pure, etc. That’s what the first book begins exploring when Marrida asks: “Why?”
And this question also is one I always ask as an author, “Why should I write it this way?,” “How can I tell the story in the best way?” and “What words describe the scene the best way?” Then I land on trying to imagine the person, and that’s how I end up scouring IMDB at actors and actresses for appearances and such so I have an idea how to describe people.
So yes, if I could choose who should play Marrida, I’d select Shira Haas whose performance in series Unorthodox reminds me of how imagine Marrida as a person. Marrida is a slender person with hair that’s similar to how I’ve seen this actress in the media… except Marrida has distinct blue eyes which is the first thing that Alagur notices when he dreams of an unknown woman. I guess my search goes on…
As for Alagur, they can dye Sam Heughan’s hair a few shades darker but he’s spot on in appearance for Alagur (right eye colour!), right height, and the right physique… Yes, a big fan girling here as I love him in Outlander.
If I could spend time with any character in TAINTED TRUTH I’d love to sit down with Joharan (Marrida’s uncle) who I kind of modelled on my late paternal grandfather who, in life, was someone who was always advising me, guiding me, comforting me. My grandfather could be stern too, but when he was in a good mood he was mellow and loving. If you want to meet my grandfather this is the person to pay attention to…
Right now, I’m closing on on finishing the editing/proofreading process of Book 2 STOLEN TRUTH that’s on pre-order on Amazon, and then will begin the work on Book 3 (that’s also on Amazon but not officially announced – announcement goes out at the end of the book tour). And at the end of June 2020 I completed the first draft of Book 4. There are five further books in the series The Wolf Riders of Keldarra.
A sneak peak spoiler only available to the readers of the blogs this essays appears on: when this series is over (at Book 9) it will not be the end of your journey through this world. I have a few spin series AND standalone books planned… (now the Dr River Song spoiler warning is in effect once more!).
Fun Fact : The wolf of Alagur, called Yalla, is entirely based on a German Shepherd I owned years ago, complete with the personality quirks, so if you see the wolf misbehave remember there was once a dog called Charlie who’d act out similarly.