The Sea of the Dead Cover Reveal!

Loook at all of this beauty! Yes, that is a thunder storm over the Dead Sea in Israel and it is magnificent. I’m so proud of this book and I can’t wait for you all to read it! I’ll put the full description below BUT I wanted to list Five Things you can expect to see in the next installment of ‘The Magicians of Venice’ :
🌙 More background, stories and shenanigans about the Magicians (Zo’s previous life! Phaidros & Aelia try ‘playing nice’! Alexis and that One Time He Screamed in Existential Dread Naked in the Desert!)
🌙The Dead Sea Scrolls & morally dodgy obsessed academics.
🌙 Magicians Go Abroad & have Adventures.
🌙Unexpected Sea Monsters.
🌙Marco Dandolo & Lyca – The Team Up You Never Knew You Needed.
Here’s a full description but ❗️WARNING ❗️it does contain spoilers for Book 1:

The battle for Venice might be over, but the war is just beginning… Penelope’s and Alexis’s adventure continues in the second installment of The Magicians of Venice series. 

Penelope has accepted her role as the new Archivist for the magicians, but with war brewing with the priests of Thevetat and the tide of magic on the rise, she’s going to have to learn her way around her new and dangerous world if she has any hope of outsmarting their enemies.
When Penelope’s friend and fellow archaeologist, Tim, uncovers a scroll containing a magical secret lost in the Dead Sea for two thousand years, Penelope and Alexis must travel to Israel to find him before Abaddon and Kreios get there first.
To defeat Thevetat and his followers, they’ll need to find a weapon capable of ending him for good, and as her old life collides with her new, Penelope will pay the ultimate price to keep the secrets of the magicians safe.
🌙You can request an ARC here on NetGalley:
🌙Pre-order it here: (link in the bio)
BHC Press site: https://bit.ly/2Tn207S (This site has links to all the other sellers so check it out!)
🌙Add it to your Goodreads:  https://bit.ly/3bPKkZ2

I’m going to some more ‘The Sea of the Dead’ themed blogs between now and September and they will be as spoiler free as possible!

I hope you are all well and safe,

Ames x

February Update a.k.a. Atlantis is my Kink

Hey Everyone! I’m back!

If you saw my social media posts (fyi I tend to only hang about Instagram these days) you would’ve seen I went on a much needed social media hiatus and went full Hermit mode. The constant bad news stream was messing with my word count and anxiety too much so I had a big break to get my head back on straight. While away I had a big ‘Atlantis’ binge. You would think I would’ve had enough after writing 300 k words of ‘The Magicians of Venice’ series, but no, Atlantis is still one of my fave kinks. Also, because I was writing so much of my own interpretations of Atlantis I kind of forced myself to steer clear of any other Atlantis media as much as possible. So here is a round up of my fave Atlantis stuff from the binge-fest.

Okay so it’s no secret that I love Disney’s ‘Atlantis’ movie…so much so I went to buy it on Blu Ray only to discover THERE IS A SECOND MOVIE. I was shook that I had no idea of it’s existence! And its so freaking good. It has relics, sass, a freaking Kraken, Odin and lost cities. I loved it and watched these back to back more than once. And will again because Milo is just so nerd hot and its got everything I love.

I finally started watching BBC’s ATLANTIS, which is a really cool take on famous Greek myths like Herakles, the Minotaur, Medusa etc. I am almost finished season 1 and have season 2 lined up because its so much fun, the same way MERLIN was so hilarious and full of really good looking dudes. I love Greek myth retellings so highly recommend.

I watched ‘Aquaman’ again and still really enjoyed it despite the ‘Atlantis still being under the ocean’ trope isn’t my fave in the Atlantis tropes. I love the DC universe and Jason Momoa is just perfection and brought something extra to the character of Arthur. I’m not fussed on Amber Heard but its still a fun movie and love the idea of lost Atlanteans colonies in other parts of the world.

Moving into books, my absolute fan Atlantean myth retelling is without a doubt, Stephen Lawhead’s Taliesin. It’s book one of his Pendragon Cycle (my fave Arthurian myth books) and the first half is about Charis, a princess of Atlantis, it’s destruction and her being a refugee to Britain. Stephen Lawhead is next level with his Celtic Historical fiction and his take on Atlantis will always be my favourite. I got onto this series when I was 14 and very angry at the world and it pretty much inspired me to stop fucking about and get serious about writing fantasy. I could literally talk about this series forever so I’m going to stop here, but you’ll never regret picking up a Lawhead book.

I’m a sucker for indie romance and I love Domino Taylor (loved ‘Daughter of Fortune Series’), so when Amazon threw ‘Return to Atlantis’ at me I had to give it a shot. It follows the ‘Underwater Kingdom of Atlantis’ trope but also tied in alot of cool fantasy stuff like mermaids and shark riding and underwater battles. It has romance streak in it but it isn’t dominant, it really follows the main female character Kai and her journey so its more a fantasy with romance as opposed to romance fantasy. There is another book out so mind the cliff if you decide to pick it up. You can check it out here.

The next book on my to read list has been on it FOREVER is ‘Atlantis’ by David Gibbins. For obvious reasons, I’ve held off on reading a book about an archaeologist who is looking for remnants of Atlantis. Now that I have a draft of ‘The King’s Seal’ that I’m really happy with, I finally feel comfortable giving this one a go. I’ve been a bit reluctant too because of the male archaeologist/ historian/adventurer and ladies man trope isn’t my favorite (apart from Indie because INDIE PUNCHES NAZIS) … I’m willing to give it a go though because I haven’t read David Gibbins, and maybe I’m in for a pleasant surprise and not a cringe fest on how the main character describes and treats smart women in the story.

So that’s my Atlantis media round up. 

In other news I am busy trying to get my head in gear and write something that’s not ‘The Magicians of Venice’ but I haven’t settled on a project as yet. I have a lot of fun ideas and a few that scare the shit out of me, which is pretty usual for me. Also, I know that I’ll start receiving final edits and galley proofs of ‘The Sea of the Dead’ book 2 of ‘The Magicians of Venice’ that I’ll need 110% brain power for. I can’t WAIT to share this book with you. It was such a next level book for me in all areas of research, plotting, character development etc. It tried to kill me and I love it because of it. I really love Atlantis and magic and Venice, and I’m so proud of how the series has come together. I’m still getting people messaging me about how much they enjoyed ‘The Immortal City’ and this sparks endless fucking joy for me because I know how much it ramps up from there. You can read more about ‘The Immortal City’ here, and if you are reading it and enjoying please leave a review, as they help other readers find my books.

Cheers

Ames x

 

 

Flash Christmas Sale!

 

‘The Immortal City’ is currently in Barnes and Nobles 50% off Bestseller Sale from today until the 31st of December so the Nook version is only $2.99! Bargain! Also, if you are after a paperback or hardback you can get them 15% off at BHC’s online store.

Nook: https://bit.ly/2PsRB9g
Paperback: https://bit.ly/2EkIgtV
Hardback: https://bit.ly/36LbXQL

(Note: if you are a hardcore Kindle junkie don’t forget Amazon will price match if you request it 😉)

 

Description:

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years…

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.
As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

The Immortal City is HERE

The time is now! ‘The Immortal City’ is out in the world at last! I’ve talked about it a lot in vague terms and descriptions the past few months to avoid spoilers but no more. Over the next few blogs I’m going to be talking about the main players in ‘The Immortal City’; and today I’m starting with the Big Two: Penelope and Alexis. Don’t worry I’m still going to make these as spoiler free as possible, while giving you a bit of insight into who they are and how they wandered into my brain and developed into the characters you’ll meet.

Penelope Bryne started as a panic attack.

I had been thinking about writing an Atlantis book for a while, and having a female archaeologist as my protagonist, and I’d been working for universities / academia and had an insight into the daily struggles, but didn’t have a feel for her just yet. Then life got in the way.

I’m not a sharer, but I’m comfortable enough to say I was not in a good place anxiety wise in early 2017. My work place wasn’t a healthy one so I knew that it needed to change, and I was locked into a contract until May and thought I could keep it together and wait it out. In April, I started having public panic attacks. In restaurants that were too crowded, on the train going home from work etc and then as I sat holding in tears in the bathroom of a strangers house, at a party I’d been convinced to go to…there was Penelope. Anxiety filled and in the darkest place, feeling like a failure and unable to even control her own mind and body.

I started writing her, and I felt like if I could write a character and how she dealt with her anxiety, maybe I could figure out my own. Pen was doing yoga and meditation, so I got back into it and man, has it helped on so many levels. I’m not saying Penelope is a reflection of me, or that her triggers are the same, but writing her struggles as I went through my own was therapeutic. It still is. I wanted a character who had the panic attacks and anxiety, but still got up and did what she had to and manage it as best as she could. I wasn’t thinking of an audience at the time I planned and wrote ‘The Immortal City,’ I was thinking how as a reader I don’t see people with anxiety being the heroes. Yeah, sure, there are some that I’ve found where the character has anxiety, but it tends to mysteriously get cured pretty early on when they find the right man/place they belong/  the ‘source’ of their anxiety like magical interference. I’m going to tell you right now – Penelope’s anxiety doesn’t go away through the whole series because you don’t get cured of that shit, you only learn to manage it.

Penelope has an impossible dream– to find the historical Atlantis. This dream has shaped her life in all aspects as a daughter, an academic and as a woman. It’s impacted her relationships and drives her waking moments. I wanted a character to get a glimpse of achieving that dream and having it taken away, her hard work and research panned and her grant money gone. I work in a creative industry so I know a little bit about having the impossible dream, especially when it gets trodden on. I was also working closely with academics and seeing firsthand how they spend so much of their professional life trying to get grants, publish articles and get recognition for the work that they do and have the means to continue it. I’ve seen people burst into tears when they’ve been denied grant funding because it means they have to leave their research and go back to teach in order to pay the bills. I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with teaching or it’s a lesser vocation because it’s not, but I wanted to share this side of academia because you never see Lara Croft or Robert Langdon being forced to say no to an adventure because they don’t have the cash or means of obtaining it.

Penelope is absolutely the kind of person obsessed with her dream enough to leave her holiday to go to Venice because something pertaining to her research has turned up at a crime scene. While I don’t like to inflict talk of ‘themes’ onto readers, obsession in all its forms plays a big part in the Magicians of Venice series, and nearly every single character in is obsessed with something.

Okay, I don’t think I can say tooooo much more about Pen without giving out spoilers apart from adding she’s an Aussie and an only child. For a bit of fun, I’ve created a yoga flow for her that you can find below. It’s not intensive, as she uses yoga to calm down, and I’ve enjoyed putting this one together for anyone who’s interested. FYI – I’m not a yoga teacher, this is for fun, please practice safely.

Penelope’s ‘Calm the Fk Down’ Yoga Flow

  • Childs Pose
  • Plank
  • Forward Fold
  • Sun salutation
  • Mountain Pose
  • Warrior 1
  • Down Dog
  • Childs Pose

(ten rounds, 3 breaths for each move)

Alexis Donato started as a dream.

Before I had Penelope, I had Alexis. Penelope made me work to see her character and her motivations clearly, Alexis was a god damn freight train of ‘Here I am. Try to understand me at your peril. No, I’m not changing because you want me gentler, or easier, or less complicated.’ Alexis turned up in a dream, in fact a bunch of dreams. And yes, I know how lame this sounds, and yes, just because I had a cool dream doesn’t mean it makes a cool story. Dreams can be pretty bullshit but bullshit fertilises (as the saying goes).

Dream 1, came about as all of the Atlantis and research primordial ooze was percolating in my brain. In the dream I knew I was someone else. I wasn’t *me* but I was in Venice at night and someone stepped from the shadows and stabbed me as I was admiring the view from a bridge. I toppled into a canal and when I came to I was in a stranger’s house and that stranger was Alexis, who told me he was a magician from Atlantis. For those who’ve read ‘The Immortal City’ this scene may seem familiar although not in this form. It’s because I couldn’t leave this moment out of it.  Alexis had arrived and I woke up thinking I really shouldn’t eat so much before bed, but this character refused to go away. The following week I had about three different dreams including having coffee with him in the San Marco piazza. The bastard wouldn’t leave me alone and I knew in my bones I had one of my main characters. The weird thing was, once I had Alexis, every bit of random research I had scattered through notebooks all clicked into place. He was the keystone, the spider in the web, and the plot connected in the most surprisingly creepy way. Writing this series has been like that from day 1 and even now I’m in my third book things keep connecting randomly.

Alexis is a great character and one of the most fun I’ve ever gotten to write. I love writing about magicians and magic in general, so building the myth of Atlantis up around Alexis and the other magicians was such a blast. His duty has been to protect the other magicians and prevent mankind from learning the truth about Atlantis, so you can imagine him butting heads with Penelope who’s determined to discover the truth. He’s a general, a big brother, a son and he does his best to keep the other magicians in line. I really loved being able to use him as my storyteller, and crafting mini stories and memories was a way I could go to Atlantis without losing the book completely to full fantasy territory. Alexis has lived a LONG time, and there’s so much room as a writer to play with and use to develop layers and motivations.

I recently saw a reviewer describe Alexis as ‘part romance, part violence’ and its pretty spot on. He’s a scholar and a warrior. He doesn’t always play well with others but he’s loyal and fierce and damn charming when he wants to be. I’m shamelessly in love with Alexis. I’ve also created him a yoga flow because the poor guy has a lot on his hands.

Alexis’s ‘I’m Trying not to Murder these Magicians’ Yoga Flow

  • Mountain
  • Forward Fold
  • Plank
  • Upward Dog
  • Downward Dog
  • Warrior 2
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Crescent pose
  • Mountain

(seven rounds, three breaths per pose)

Developing Penelope and Alexis was night and day by way of process, but I love them both like crazy. They’ve really pushed me as a writer and have helped me through the last few years of anxiety and growth.

For those of us who are visual people, I really encourage you to check out ‘The Magicians of Venice’ Pintrest Board, its massive and gives you a good vibe of the series. Also, if you really want to know, Jade Taylor is probably the closest I’ve come to imaging Penelope in my head, and the model Maximiliano Patane for Alexis 😉

I hope you love them as much as I do! Grab your copy here and don’t forget to leave me a review 🙂

Ames x