Blog Tour: The Black Hawks – David Wragg

Blog Tour: The Black Hawks – David Wragg

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Copy of book cover (74)Dark, thrilling, and hilarious, The Black Hawks is an epic adventure perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.

With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.

Prepare to join the Black Hawks.


 1. For those that haven’t checked out The Black Hawks yet, how would you sum it up?

Hi! The Black Hawks is a work of (extremely) low fantasy, about a young man who falls in with a feeble prince and a dysfunctional mercenary company, and tries to save the kingdom in his own inept but well-intentioned fashion. It has intrigue, shocks, ambushes, wolves, weather and a whole lot of furious swearing.

2. What was your inspiration for book?

The story is both a misty-eyed love-letter and a contrarian take on the kind of fantasy I grew up reading. It’s firmly quest fantasy with a journey (both geographical and emotional) at its heart, but also a reaction to all the things I found wearing or just a bit naff about Classic Fantasy Works – the main character has no particular skills or knowledge, he’s just a young fellow with some ideals, and most of the characters in the world are just trying to get by.

3. What drew you to writing fantasy books?

I adore genre fiction, and my early life was steeped in all things fantastic and science-fictional. I grew up on SFF books, pen & paper RPGS, board games and video games (I dread to think how many hours I’ve sunk into computer RPGs over the last decade alone), and I couldn’t imagine writing anything else. Second-world fantasy in particular is fascinating as a way to explore themes and ideas – the other side of the coin from SF in that regard – but sometimes you just want to put characters in ridiculous situations and enjoy what happens next.

4. What was the writing process like for the book? Did you map everything out or just let it flow?

I wrote the first draft in 2015, when I was young and full of hope, based on an idea that had been kicking around for at least 5 years before that (I wrote some other stuff in-between as practice). I mapped out what I thought would be a quick-ish outline, spent several months reading research (13th Century Georgia and northern Turkey, for reference) and drawing up maps and family trees, then went for it. It took about 9 months, and stuck *more-or-less* to the outline. Then after a quick hiatus to have another child, I started planning the sequel.

5. What have you found hardest about writing The Black Hawks?

The opening. One problem with having an idea in your head for a long time is that it becomes part of your narrative bedrock, never to be questioned, and the rest of your work builds up from there. This can make it a real challenge when you realise that the weakest ideas are the earliest ones, and they could do with tweaking or replacing, because you’ve built a ridiculous narrative house of cards on top of it and the slightest change will bring the entire plot crashing down. I hope I’ve learned something from the process!

6. What are you working on next?

Black Hawks 2 is now with my editor, and I’m currently working on a standalone follow-up in the same world, set a while after the events of the second book. It’s set in the wild, untamed plains to the far north, and is a sort of fantasy western: think True Grit meets Terminator 2, with a bit of Fury Road thrown in, but with swords.

7. Finally can you recommend a good book you’ve read recently?

A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Somatar. It’s both a ghost story and an adventure, with spectacular, lyrical prose and an abiding respect for the power of the written word at its core, and about the closest thing to a literary hallucination I’ve experienced.

Massive thank you to David for answering my questions – The Black Hawks is publishing today from HarperVoyager.
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Blog Tour: Nexus – Lindsay Cummings & Sasha Alsberg

Blog Tour: Nexus – Lindsay Cummings & Sasha Alsberg

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The Androma Saga #2
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Publisher: HQ Stories
Pages: 544
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.


Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.

Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.


 1. For those that haven’t read Zenith, can you sum it up in three words?

L: fearless space pirates 🙂

S: Blood. Friendship. SPACE!

2. What is the process like for writing the books – do each of you focus on particular characters or do you collaborate on everything?

L: This was a very collaborative duology, where we both worked together on FaceTime and Google Docs, so we could do a lot of the plotting together, (and laughing a lot), and then kind of alternating throughout each POV as we went.

S: For Zenith we wrote on top of each others writing, so we each worked on every character together. Meanwhile for Nexus, we each took a few characters each and wrote 4-5 chapters from each POV then would switch with each other. Both ways worked for us!

3. How did working on Nexus compare to working on Zenith?

L: ZENITH was done in 6 weeks, whereas NEXUS had over a year of time to work on! Second books are difficult, so we’re grateful for that extended time to get the book to where it needed to be!

S: It felt very different because as an author, you cannot expect all books to be done the same way as the last. It was tricky finding that happy medium. We had less time to write Zenith but Nexus almost felt like a (good) upward battle. We learned a lot…and deleted a lot.

4. What was the inspiration behind the story?

L: we just wanted to write a series about friendship, specifically female friendships that don’t turn sour. Our own friendship helped spark the idea!!

S: Friendship and our love for space. We wanted to create a book where girls could be friends without turning against each other. We also just wanted to have an epic space opera with a diverse cast of characters like they do on Firefly and Star Wars.

5. Now that Nexus is about to be released, what are you working on next?

L: I have an upcoming book (stay tuned on info for that!!) full of outlaw girls and alien horses, dark magic and mayhem.

S: Im working on an urban folklore fantasy novel called Project Red (no the official title). You can follow my progress on it over on its IG page: @Projectredbook 🙂

6. Finally can you recommend us a good book you read recently?

L: I’m really loving Maureen Johnson’s TRULY DEVIOUS series. It’s a great mystery!

S: THE CHOSEN by Taran Matharu! So. Good. Its about a group of kids who suddenly disappear, just to be transported to another world and from there, things get really EPIC. It has lost history, dinosaurs, an *amazing* cast of characters and an ancient, unknown evil who is playing puppeteer.

Massive thank you to Lindsay and Sasha for participating in this Q&A and make sure to check out the other stops on the tour!

Blog Tour: King of Fools – Amanda Foody Q&A

Blog Tour: King of Fools – Amanda Foody Q&A

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The Shadow Game #2
Release Date: May 2nd 2019
Publisher: HQ Stories
Pages: 602
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.


book cover (44)Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.


1. For those that haven’t had the chance to read Ace of Shades yet, what three words would you use to describe it?

Casinos. Magic. Gangsters.

2. Ace of Shades was such a hit with fans, how did it feel writing the second book?

I wrote the first draft of it before Ace of Shades released, so I was really just writing it for me–all the story elements I wanted to explore, all the ways I hoped to see these characters grow. The hardest part was wanting to blab about all the new characters and new things that happen when readers were still experiencing the first book for the first time. I’ve felt more of that pressure in writing the third book. I know there are characters readers really want to see survive or end up together, but whatever happens, I hope it still lives up to their expectations.

3. What was the process like for writing King of Fools – was it different to Ace of Shades?

Very! I originally wrote Ace of Shades in high school, and it was rewritten over and over again throughout a span of five years. King of Fools was drafted in two months. I wrote King of Fools as a more experienced writer, and as a book that was already contracted for publication. There was less time, fewer readers, and set deadlines. Still a deeply rewarding experience, though!

4. What was the inspiration for the magic system in the series?

My initial idea was magic as currency, but I still wanted to create the sort of world where people had powers. Thus the currency had to come from one of those powers–the power that the world valued the most. That was how I created the backstory for this world, the Mizers, the Revolution, everything.

5. The cover designs for all of your books are beautiful, did you have much input into their designs and what was your reaction when you saw them?

I had the most input on the King of Fools cover. I think this was because there were a lot of delays on the manuscript’s editorial process, which meant my design team needed to put together a cover without actually knowing what was in the book, so I got to be the authority. I suggested the color and the stripes, mainly. And I wrote the tagline. Kathleen Oudit at Inkyard made it all come together.

6. Now that King of Fools is about to be released what are you working on next?

The final book in The Shadow Game series, Book 3, which releases Fall 2020. I’m also thinking a lot about what comes after–I have a lot of ideas.

7. Finally could you recommend us a good book you read recently?

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman–a creepy woods aesthetic, lovable and memorable characters… and a book happened to be written by my best friend. 10/10 would recommend.

Thank you so much to Amanda Foody for answering my questions and be sure to check the other stops on the tour!