Scott Marlowe
Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Guest Post with L. Blankenship: Magic System of Disciple

I love magic. It's probably one of the major reasons I was drawn to the fantasy genre from early on. So I was delighted when L. Blankenship let me in on the promotion of her new novel, Disciple, Part II, by agreeing to come on over and talk about the magic system she uses in the series.

Let's jump into it.


Magic for the saints of war

There is only one way to perform magic in the "Saints of War" universe of Disciple: using kir. The people don't think of it as magic, since minor kir-mages are common enough. It's just a part of life.

What are kir-mages?

Eight out of ten people could learn to use kir to make a simple charm -- a small magic spell that does one thing, such as create a match-sized bit of fire. Whether those eight ever have the chance, or the kir available to them, to learn such a thing is a different question entirely. Most do not, unless they live in an unusual kingdom like Wodenberg.

One of ten people cannot spin even one simple charm. The ability to shape kir into charms is innate, then trained through practice and will. Some people simply do not have it.

So far, we've described ninety percent of all people. The remaining ten percent can be divided into four levels of kir-mage.

Disciples can master three or four "standard" charms, usually within a certain area of expertise. At the level of Blessed, kir-mages can see beyond formulas and begin to design their own charms. Their efforts are more complex and flexible, though still limited to themselves or those they can directly touch.

Disciples and Blessed are sought out by Elect and Saints; they're trained to the limits of their innate ability and given positions of authority as befits their skills. Saints create a minor bond with their Disciples and Blessed, through which they supply their followers with kir.

Of the gifted ten percent of all people, six are Disciples and four are Blessed -- or not quite four. Elect and Saints are rare things, only a fraction of a percent of the population, but they do exist.

Elect are not limited to charming themselves, or through touch. Their charms can be stable enough to exist until cut by another kir-charm. Elect can weave large, complex, and deadly charms. It's said that the only limits on an Elect are his own wits and that last, vital step to becoming a Saint.

That would be binding kir-founts to oneself.

What are kir-founts?

Founts are places where kir wells up from the earth. This raw stuff of magic always rises up in conjunction with water, regardless of whether a water spring "ought" to be in a given place or not. Why kir rises where it does is an open question, as well.

Any living being can feel kir, when it's as strongly concentrated as it is in a fount. People and animals are naturally drawn to founts, and drinking the kir-laced water is invigorating for anybody.

But only Saints can fully tap that power and bind it to themselves so they can call on the fount's large reservoir of kir at any moment. Their skill at shaping kir into charms is so strong, so detailed, and so instinctive that once they have a fount -- or more than one -- at their command, they are gods.

Well, not truly. They are Saints: sacred, powerful, practically immortal. The people of this world don't need gods.

Saints then distribute the fount's kir to their bound Elect, Blessed, and Disciples. And they guard their founts jealously; Saints struggle for control of more founts, to kill their fellow Saints and harvest their wisdom, and surround themselves with kingdoms full of followers to do this with.

What is kir?

It is a compressible, reactive, malleable, yet indestructible… essence. Kir is green in its normal state, golden when compressed, and can turn white-hot at certain levels of focus. Under a kir-mage's will, it can be shaped like clay, or like steel, and yet it can rush like water, like wind, through the mage's being. A shield woven from kir can stop any steel blade, and yet one snick from a kir-knife and it melts away like so much fog, back to the earth from which it came.

Disciple is a gritty fantasy romance about a teenaged girl, Kate, learning to use her kir-magery to help defend her homeland -- its saints and founts -- against a vast empire.

Back cover of Disciple, Part II

The prince first kissed Kate Carpenter for fear of missing the chance if they didn’t survive the journey home through the monster-prowled mountains.

Now that kiss seems like a fever dream. It’s back to work for her, back to the fellow physicians jealous of her talents and the sneers of an infirmary director who wants her shipped off to some tiny village. Kate means to be on the front lines to save lives. She’s worked too hard to overcome her past to let them deny her the chance to serve her homeland when the enemy’s army reaches their kingdom.

The grand jousting tournament is a chance to prove she can manage combat wounded, and at the royal Solstice banquet Kate means to prove she isn’t an ignorant peasant girl anymore.

But the prince’s kiss still haunts her. Their paths keep crossing, and the easy familiarity they earned on the journey home is a welcome escape from their duties. It’s a small slip from chatting to kisses.

This is no time to be distracted by romance -- a vast and powerful empire is coming to slaughter anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical fount.

Kate ought to break both their hearts, for duty’s sake.


  Disciple, Part II on sale now
along with Disciple, Part I
at all major online retailers

More information, updates, and extras at Disciple of the Fount

Sample of Part ISample of Part II

Disciple, Part III coming in late 2013

Disciple is complete in six parts and will make a lovely doorstop
when all 400k words have been published.

Goodreads links:

Disciple, Part IDisciple, Part II

Goodreads giveaway!

Begins Monday April 15

I'm giving away a bundle of BOTH paperbacks:

Disciple, Part I and Part II.

One week to enter!

Guest Post with Nicolette Andrews: Getting to Know Diviners

Nicolette Andrews is celebrating the release of her new book, Diviner's Prophecy. To help out, I invited Nicolette to take a guest spot on the blog here. We both thought a post on some aspect of the world of Diviner's Prophecy would be a great idea, and so let's read what Nicolette has come up with.

Today Scott has given me the opportunity to introduce to my world and more specifically go into what my main character from ‘Diviner’s Prophecy’ is and as you may have already guessed she is a diviner. What is a diviner you may ask, well I am happy to elaborate.


A diviner, in the world of Diviner’s Prophecy, is a woman born with the ability to see into the past and future through visions. She would utilize several different methods to obtain these visions which I will go into a little more depth about later on. A diviner woman is characterized by her black hair and violet eyes.

Diviner’s History:

At one time, diviner’s were sought after by kings and enjoyed much wealth and influence. But due to some scandal in the House Diranel, the family of diviners, they lost influence and power and their line became nearly extinct. (You can read more about House Diranel’s fall in Diviner’s Prophecy.)

Tools of a Diviner:

When a diviner is seeking guidance from the past or trying to divine the future, she uses several different tools.

· The scrying dish: a saucer filled with water which when looked into reflects the observers face, for a diviner this tool can be used as a gateway through time, transporting the diviner into a different time and place. For a skilled diviner, they are able to manipulate the images and draw forth specific events and people.

· Herbs: When a diviner is called upon to read a person’s dreams, either to interpret reoccurring dreams or even get a reading upon a persons in most desires and fears, a hallucinogenic combination of plants is used to both induce a trance like state and calm the patron.

How a Diviner sees into the Future:

A diviner sees into the future through visions both with a scrying dish and without, at times a powerful vision can overwhelm a diviner and they go into a trance like state where in the message or vision would be revealed to them. This can be inconvenient at times, as it incapacitates the diviner. A diviner may also be shown visions through her dreams as well, though these are less common.

I hoped you enjoyed this lesson on diviners and thanks again to Scott for letting me talk about them! If you want more information, check out my novel Diviner’s Prophecy, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords .

Image of Nicolette AndrewsNicolette Andrews, a romantic fantasy author, lives in San Diego California with her husband and two daughters. Apart from a good book, with healthy doses of romance, fantasy, intrigue and mystery. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters and her husband. She can often be found enjoying the California sunshine but she is usually behind a computer screen working on her next novel.

You can find more info about Nicolette and her writing on her web site, Facebook, or Twitter .

Find out when the next Alchemancer book and other stories come out by joining my mailing list!

Guest Post by Elizabeth Baxter: The Last Priestess

Today I'm helping Elizabeth Baxter celebrate the release of her new fantasy novel, The Last Priestess. Below you'll find a bit more about the book as well as an excerpt. Help Elizabeth make this is a successful launch by clicking through the links below to follow, like, etc., and why not pick up a copy of The Last Priestess while you're at it?

There is a name that is uttered only in whispers. The Songmaker. A ruthless rebel mage, he is bringing civil war to the once-peaceful kingdom of Amaury, enveloping all in a tide of violence. For Maegwin, a tormented priestess, the path forward lies in forgiving her temple's enemies—but she dreams only of revenge. For Rovann, a loyal mage haunted by his failures, salvation might be found in the unthinkable: defying the very king he swore to protect. If they are to succeed they must form an unlikely alliance. For someone must stand against the Songmaker. Someone must save Amaury from his dark designs. But first, they’ll have to learn to trust each other.

And so a magical fantasy of darkness and redemption begins.

Read an excerpt:

“Sho-La,” Maegwin breathed.

The goddess’s face was ageless. She had alabaster skin and long hair the color of a raven’s wing. Her eyes were black holes that opened into nothingness, voids that led down, down, into the in-between.

Maegwin gasped in sudden recognition. Her heart thudded with fear. She had seen this face before, at midday, as she dangled from a rope and fell into darkness.

Will you abandon your vengeance?

Maegwin hadn’t recognized Her then. She did now. This was the Dark Goddess, the aspect of Sho-La that reveled in despair and terror.

“What has been done to you, my child?” the Dark Goddess whispered.

Maegwin opened her mouth to speak but fear stole her words. Worship of the Dark Goddess was outlawed in the order of Sho-La. The shadowy rites of her followers had no place in the worship of the Blessed Mother.

Image of Elizabeth Baxter

About Elizabeth Baxter:

I've been a bookworm since I was five years old. The first book I ever read was about a boy going shopping with his mum. I picked it up from my brother's bedroom floor and suddenly those strange shapes on the page made sense. I could read! Hallelujah! I was soon working my way steadily through the school library and it wasn't long before I realised that stories about dragons, elves and great big talking lions were by far the most interesting. And that was it, my obsession with fantasy fiction was born.

I wrote and published my first book when I was six. This was a rip-roaring adventure tale called “The Golden Pheasant,” about, well, a golden pheasant. I wrote out three copies on bits of paper pulled from my school books, bound them in covers made from old cereal boxes, and gave them out to my teachers. And that’s it. I was a writer!

When I’m not writing I enjoy playing tennis (badly), playing the guitar (very badly) and watching cricket whenever I can. I’m also intent on cramming as much world travel as I can into one lifetime. Funny, but my list keeps getting longer. You can never see it all can you?

Places to connect with Elizabeth Baxter:

Author blog:

Amazon author page:



Guest Post by Tracy Falbe, Character Profile: Jafe, bodyguard to a princess

I'm delighted that the very first ever guest post on my blog belongs to Tracy Falbe, author of the Rys Rising fantasy series. In celebration of the conclusion of the four novel series, Tracy is making stops all over as part of her Feel Real Fantasy Blog Tour and giving away prizes, too! Find information below on how to enter to win a $25 Etsy gift card and download a free eBook of Rys Rising, the first novel in the series.

Today's guest post features a profile of the character, Jafe. No one can explain Jafe better than the author who created him, so take it away, Tracy.


Today’s stop on the Feel Real Fantasy blog tour celebrating the completion of the Rys Rising series by Tracy Falbe introduces readers to Jafe, bodyguard to a princess.

Age: Late teens
Physical appearance: Dark skin, black hair, brown eyes, slight mustache, average height
Special skills: Paying attention, not getting killed, good fighter, loyal, smart
Magical items: None

Jafe started his career as a respectable warrior, but he served a lord who fell out of favor and was defeated. With a few fellow warriors led by an experienced veteran, Jafe escapes into the wild lands beyond villages and towns and becomes an outlaw. His little band is hired to serve as bodyguards to the rogue Princess Demeda who has embraced the outlaw life. She’s only sixteen at the time, and Jafe easily becomes smitten with his extraordinary employer. Her ambitions are firmly fixed upon a notorious warlord, but Jafe remains captive to his growing love for her.

In her employ he takes incredible journeys through many tribal domains and fights in the wars between the magical rys and tabre. For years he stays vigilant as he protects Demeda, but gradually he comes to resent his unrequited love.

Author’s feelings about the character:

Jafe is the nice guy who sticks around hoping to get the girl on the rebound after she has broken up with the jerk she adores. He’s a girl’s best friend. Attentive. Helpful. Respectful. Heroic. His game is the waiting game. He hopes that time is on his side. Although Jafe is a minor supporting character throughout the epic, he has some dramatic and crucial scenes. I enjoyed writing him. I imagine some men will recognize his position and relate to his predicament. He’s a good man caught up in a brutal world. He does not want to be a bad person but he ends up committing some bad deeds, but he does them for love.

Rys Rising seriesFrom Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II

Demeda got her cloak and boots and summoned Luci and her bodyguards. When she explained to them that they were going to meet Onja, apprehension stunned them and only Loxane’s impatience roused them back to action.

Demeda encouraged her companions with a confident smile. She slung her bag over her shoulders and reached automatically for her gloves then stopped. She was supposed to flaunt her royal birth now. Shame unexpectedly stung her for casting away her noble heritage for the outlaw life. Now her blood seemed to be dragging her back to duty, and her love of freedom squirmed in fear.

Everyone started into the hall but Jafe stopped Demeda at the door. He shut it for privacy. His hand was on her shoulder and his needy fingers pressed through her layers of clothes longing for her skin.

“Don’t go,” he whispered.

Demeda looked up at him. Jafe was a temptingly handsome young man, and close to her age. Only a thin mustache outlined his shapely lips. His nose was upturned and small and his brown eyes were flecked with gold and uniquely attractive.

“Amar has summoned me,” Demeda said.

“This could be a trap. They might want to kill all royal blood,” Jafe warned, and the treachery that had ruined his former lord colored his premonition.

She lifted a hand to display a tattoo and said, “I’m to show the people my royal loyalty to Onja. I’m needed.”

“You’re needed for a parade, but then what?” Jafe said and then he put his other hand on her and pulled her close. “I’ll get you away from here. I love you, Demeda. Don’t take this risk. Let’s get away from these people. They’re wicked.” He trembled with his passion.

Jafe moved a hand up her neck until he held her jaw. His touch was tender but lustfully urgent. With his lips coming closer to her, Demeda imagined her life with him. Jafe would be kind and attentive. Of that she had no doubt, and the simplicity of his loving affection beckoned her. What woman would spurn the chance for the uncomplicated devotion of a good man?

But Jafe had no wealth or power or home. He was a mercenary, discarded by society after the disgrace of his petty lord. He had no shelter or prestige to offer. And if she ran off with him, her disobedience to Amar would bring both their deaths.

Start reading Rys Rising for free

Tracy Falbe invites you to give her characters a chance to feel real to you. The Rys Rising fantasy series is driven by magic, passion, bravery, ambition, conquest, and defeat. Rys Rising: Book I is a free ebook and hopefully your gateway to an epic reading experience.

Start reading Rys Rising for free and enter the prize drawing by visiting the link or using the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway