Joseph Nassise Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to The Great Undead War Blog Tour! My thanks to Angela for having me on today.

My name’s Joseph Nassise and I’m celebrating the release of my new novel from HarperVoyager, By the Blood of Heroes, which is the first book in the Great Undead War series that combines an alternate World War One with steampunk and zombies.

I’ve been focusing in on the characters, the setting, the genre, even zombie classifications since the start of the tour, so today’s focus is going to be on something a little different. Today I want to talk about THE SHARP END.

What’s THE SHARP END, you ask?

BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES has been described by Harper Voyager as “an alternate history zombie novel set during World War I that blends the take-no-prisoners heroic grit of Inglorious Basterds with the irreverent inventiveness of Dawn of the Dead…” Its main focus is a dangerous mission behind enemy lines to rescue a downed Allied pilot who has information crucial to the war effort. It combines horror, steampunk and gold ole fashioned action to create what reviewers are saying takes alternate history to “brilliant new heights” (Library Journal.)

BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES opens with the main character, Captain Michael “Madman” Burke trying to make some field repairs while in the trenches to his mechanical hand. He’s not happy with the result, feeling he’s done little but move some of the dirt from one set of gears to the other, knowing he needs a trip to the rear to get it cleaned properly in one of Nicolai Tesla’s laboratories.

The story quickly moves on to other issues and topics, but questions linger. How did Burke lose his hand? Why did he agree to replace it with a mechanical one? What the hell kind of war is he fighting anyway?

THE SHARP END is my answer to those questions. Think of it as BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES’ little brother. It is a prequel short story that I released as a stand-alone ebook in the days leading up to the launch. It is intended to introduce readers to both the setting and characters of BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES, by telling the tale of this seminal event in life of then Lieutenant Burke. Readers also get to meet Sergeant Moore, who eventually becomes Burke’s right-hand man and close friend.

The story is thirty-six pages long, which makes it more a novellette than a short story, to be honest, and focuses on the events that occur during the Battle of Passchendaele. Also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, this marked the first time the German army deployed poisoned gas as a battlefield weapon. That gas attack occurs in THE SHARP END as well, but the gas has been modified slightly…

Along with the story, the ebook also contains a timeline of events leading up March 1921, which is the setting for the series, and the first two chapters of BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES itself. Best yet, it sells for $1.99, so readers can check out a new writer they might not be familiar with without breaking the bank while still getting a taste of what the story will be like.

So come join the war effort! Check out THE SHARP END. If you find it meets your fancy, BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES awaits…

 

Courtesy of the author, I have a copy of By the Blood of Heroes: The Great Undead War by Joseph Nassise for two (2) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 15. I’ll draw names on June 16, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

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The Book of Lost Fragrances Blog Tour and Scavenger Hunt

M.J. Rose stops by SciFiChick.com today on her blog tour for The Book of Lost Fragrances which releases today! And keep reading for the next stop on her scavenger hunt…

M.J. Rose Guest Post:
Researching The Book of Lost Fragrances was a labor of love. One of the most wonderful parts was working with a famous blogger, Dimi of The Sorcery of Scent. He helped me find out about fragrances that have been lost to us and what they smelled like.

I thought it would [be] interesting for us to tell you about some of them.

Guerlain first focused on verveine (verbena) varieties to use in perfumes in the mid-late 1800’s. Eau de Verveine was released first in the 1870’s and made brief reappearances in the 1950s and the 1980s before being retired from Guerlain’s perfume portfolio. Eau de Verveine is the scent of high summer… sharp, uplifting notes of citrus-green lemon verbena flood the mouth with saliva with their crisp, energizing aroma. Below is a prickle of something darker – perhaps carnation or clove – which adds incredible depth. There is a dry, tea-like quality that emerges as the scent dries on the skin. This impossibly rare scent evokes feelings of long days at the summer’s end with the chirrup of cicadas ringing in the ears.

The most coveted and rare perfume from the Guerlain portfolio, Djedi was launched in 1926, right on the heels of Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. Presented in a flacon resembling a golden sarcophagus with its lid being raised, Djedi is an exploration into decomposition and decay. Gloomy and desolate, Djedi has a dry, arid quality like the shifting desert sands… a “closed over the ages” feel furnished by dry vetiver, oakmoss, musk, and leather. This olfactory requiem pays homage to fallen ancient Egyptian dynasties that have been lost to the sands of time.

COQUE D’OR is an exceptionally beautiful leather chypre created in 1937 by Jacques Guerlain. Soft florals tumble over a buttery leather accord which evoke thoughts of paper-thin hand-made gloves of extraordinary quality. Built over a classic Guerlain chypre base of sandalwood, amber and oakmoss… this perfume is pre-WWII finery at its best. A scent to be worn with cashmere, pearls and soft furs, but sadly one that has been out of production for the last 60 years.

Book Synopsis:
Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances–and of her mother’s suicide–she moved to America.

Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with its financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing–leaving a dead body in his wake–Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L’Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation – or is it just another dream-infused perfume?

THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

The Book of Lost Fragrances Scavenger Hunt:
The perfumer smelled death and history. Faint whiffs of tired flowers, fruits, herbs, and woods. Most of these he was familiar with—but he smelled other notes, too. Weaker. Less familiar. Only ideas of scents, really, but they mesmerized him and drew him forward, tantalizing and entreating like a lovely dream on the verge of being lost forever.

He ignored Saurent’s warning that he was entering uncharted territory— that there could be booby traps, serpents coiled and waiting— and Abu’s admonitions about lurking spirits more dangerous than the snakes. L’Etoile followed his nose into the darkness with just his single candle, pushing ahead of the general and everyone else, hungry for a more concentrated dose of the mysterious perfume.

He walked down the highly decorated corridor to an inner sanctuary and inhaled deeply, trying to learn more from the ancient air.
http://insatiablereaders.blogspot.com/

Marty Halpern Guest Post and Giveaway!

Twenty-six Stories, Twenty-six Weeks…
by Marty Halpern

Alien Contact was published on November 1, just a couple of months ago, but its history dates back to August 2008 when I first proposed this anthology to the publisher, Night Shade Books. You can read more about the anthology, including its genesis, on my blog, More Red Ink, on the dedicated “Alien Contact” page. Facebook users can also “Like” the Alien Contact Anthology fan page for the latest news, reviews, and giveaways.

* * *
By April 2011, I had finalized the story order for my Alien Contact anthology. So I was ready to announce the contents list. Most anthologists accomplish this by simply posting a list of the stories. SF news sites pick it up, as do SF bloggers and tweeters, and that’s how readers learn of an anthology’s contents. But a list is, well, a list — and boring.

I had already invested more than two years in putting together this anthology, and I was determined to maintain that energy level until the book was published. So, after a bit of brainstorming, I decided to blog about each of the stories — one story each week, in their order of appearance — over the course of twenty-six weeks, concluding by the end of October, just in time for the book’s publication.

I contacted the authors and asked them to contribute a paragraph or two (or three) — some thoughts on their respective stories, whatever they felt like writing — which I would include in the blog posts. Seven authors even gave me permission to reprint the complete text of their stories online; five of these stories were reprinted on my own blog, while a sixth was posted on io9.com and a seventh on nightshadebooks.com.

Since all of the stories had been previously published, I was able to include a graphic image of the cover art for the original publication of each story. Writing about each story also allowed me to share my own perspective as to why I chose that story, and provide some background on the authors themselves (particularly those with whom I had previously worked). I enjoyed writing these blog posts, searching out the cover art, traveling back in time, so to speak, through my own past experiences as an editor, and it gave me yet one more opportunity to read each of these twenty-six stories. And to tell you the truth, I’ve probably read each of these stories at least a half-dozen times and I have yet to become tired of any one of them.

As I suggested in the anthology’s introduction (also available online), if the reader thinks of Alien Contact as a DVD, then these twenty-six weeks of blog posts serve as the DVD extras.

Though I will admit that after the first four or five weeks of this story blogging, I realized the enormity of the project: twenty-six weeks…one-half of a year! At least I didn’t have to come up with new blog post ideas for the next six months.

Marty Halpern is a two-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award–Professional for his work with Golden Gryphon Press. Marty now freelances as an acquiring editor, anthology editor, developmental editor, and proof reader and copy editor, working directly with authors to prepare their manuscripts for publication, and working with independent publishers such as Night Shade Books and Tachyon Publications, as well as Ace Books and others. As well as independent publishers, independent book cover design help is out there for self-published authors who need help creating their own.
Blog “More Red Ink”: http://martyhalpern.blogspot.com
SF Editors wiki entry: http://sfeditorwatch.com/index.php/Marty_Halpern

Courtesy of Marty Halpern, I have a copy of Alien Contact for two (2) lucky winners!

For US residents only, one print copy of Alien Contact, signed and dated by editor Marty Halpern, and inscribed if the winner wishes. Book will ship directly to the winner via UPS, so no PO Boxes please.

For NON-US residents, an ebook edition of the anthology: the winner gets to choose either MOBI or EPUB format. (Note: there is a difference between the print and ebook editions: the Stephen King story is not included in the ebooks as the publisher doesn’t have the electronic rights to that story.)

To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends February 3. I’ll draw names on February 4, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

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