trades her soul for a chance #epicfantasy @DarkCommunion @GoddessFish

vbt_tourbanner_darkcommunion

Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to CJ Perry and his story Dark Communion!

~ * ~ BIO ~ * ~

My deep and abiding love of fantasy began when I was six when I first saw the 1981 film Dragonslayer on VHS with my father. He loved fantasy movies too, but didn’t have the courage to be a dork about it like I did. That movie was a gateway drug that led me straight to the hard stuff – CS Lewis. I was far too young for such potency but by the time I was ten I had read the whole series. That’s when I found my first Dungeons and Dragons group. When I started playing, my friends and I used pre-made campaign settings and published adventures, but I quickly grew restless with their limitations and trite story lines. I needed my own persistent world: something adaptable to my whim and that no one else owned.

Back in my day, there was no internet, so I took out every book about castles and medieval history from the school library and read them in Math class (I’m still terrible at math as a result). I came up with an entire world and brand new history. I read books on cartography and hand drew maps of my new world. I created a cosmology, a hierarchy of gods, and the tenets of their religions. I read the Dungeon Master’s guide a dozen times, and every fantasy novel I could get my hands on.

Then, one day, I sat down and told my friends, “Hey guys, wanna try my story instead?”

Even 15 years after the original D&D campaigns ended, former players tell me that they share our incredible stories with their children. I’m honored to say that most of those players still have their original character sheets 16-20 years later, and a couple have even named their children after them.

Now, I’m 39 years old and a loving father of 2 girls, and I still play those games on occasion. My passion has evolved into putting those ideas and amazing stories on paper for the whole world to enjoy. My first novel took me and co-author DC Fergerson 10 years to write and topped out at 180,000 words. Being too long and too complex, I finally ended the project and took its lessons to heart.

I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.

I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer’s Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson’s Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning.

Many, many years later, I am in the final edit and proofreading stage of Dark Communion, the first installment of the Shadowalker Chronicles. My role as a father of two girls heavily influenced the characters I’d known for over 20 years, shaping them into women that my own daughters could respect. My characters took on a depth and quality that brings them off the page and into the minds of readers, because they have become all too real. I was privileged enough to work on two careers at the same time to accomplish this feat – a fun-loving and involved stay-at-home dad, and a full time writer.

~ * ~ STALK ~ * ~

Website ## Blog ## Twitter ## Facebook

~ * ~ TOPIC du JOUR ~ * ~

I asked CJ Perry, “What is the best and most rewarding thing you find about being a writer? Want to share what you think is the worst and most frustrating thing you find about being a writer?” and here is the response.

I grew up in a housing development in upstate NY named “Valley Forge.” If you’re up on your American History trivia, that’s the name of the encampment in PA where the Washington and his men got snowed-in during the American Revolutionary War. From my Valley Forge home I had to do a solo two mile, all uphill, tour-de-leg-cramps on my bike to get to the deli in Central Valley, NY for cigarettes. (Sensing a pattern? Spoiler: Hills.) The way back was no better, all uphill.

The first time I told that story to my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, she said, “That’s impossible. It cant be uphill both ways.” Well, sure it can. I lived in a valley within a valley in the Catskills. Nothing was flat; not your living room, countertops, and certainly not the roads. Thing is, you only remember riding uphill. It’s what you spend most of the time doing, and it’s the part that sucks. Downhill: all you do is coast, and it’s over in a few seconds. Downhill is easy to forget.

Oh, what’s so great about being a WRITER? I don’t know, but writer’s block sucks.

Kidding, (mostly) but there is an answer in there: The best things about being a writer are the fleeting downhill moments where the words just flow, unimpeded by over-thinking or distraction. Characters, places and worlds just come together as my fingers dance over the keyboard, words and sentences in perfect harmony with the story. It feels like Im just sitting back, watching the story unfold, as much a new reader or spectator as anyone else that picks it up later. Those are the moments that I live for. They’re just harder to remember than the tedious days of writer’s block, grinding out a few hundred words that Im just going to throw away the next day. But it’s those moments of pedaling as hard as I can uphill that are both the most frustrating, and the most rewarding. Because, sure it was hard and I cursed and fought every inch up that mountain, but when I get to the top and look down the smile returns and the story flies beneath me as I cruise to the base of the next hill.

~ * ~ BLURB ~ * ~

mediakit_bookcover_darkcommunion

The minotaurs have kept Ayla and Deetra’s people in chains for 200 years. With nothing left to live for, and a death sentence in her womb, Ayla trades her soul for a chance to break the curse which holds her people in slavery. Armed only with her faith, she and Deetra start a revolution, and bring about the return of the Goddess of Darkness.

~ * ~ EXCERPT ~ * ~

The woman’s lips curved up in a smile but no lines formed in her cheeks. She looked like a living statue, and not one bit like her mother.

“Who are you?” Ayla asked.

The stranger leaned over Ayla, resting her palms on the altar. Her voice took on a hollow yet resonant quality. Her breath suffused the air with a heady fragrance like scented oils.

“I am the dark corner that hides those in need. The eternal ruler of the Abyss.”

“You’re a God?”

“I was once their Queen.”

“Am I dead?”

The Goddess kissed Ayla on the forehead with cold lips. “You are at His doorstep.”

“Where’s my mom?”

“The dead cannot hear your pleas. I have come in her stead, my child.”

Ayla never believed in the Gods. And if they did exist, she wanted nothing to do with any who would leave their people in chains.

“I’m not your child.”

The woman grabbed Ayla under the jaw, fingers digging into her cheeks. Her icy eyes remained impassive but her voice lowered threateningly.

“You are the daughter of Steelhorn, the grandson of Tor, who is my son. I am not just your mother, but the mother of every woman born from a breeding cabin.” The Night Goddess let go of Ayla’s jaw. The closest brazier’s flame shone blue in the Her black tresses. “I have waded through the River of Dreams to answer your call, and this is how you thank me?”

“I’m dreaming?” Ayla asked.

~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~

Amazon

~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~

CJ Perry will be awarding a $10 and a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to Win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule

~ * ~

CJ Perry, thank you for stopping by today!

Love & blessings to all! ❤
Jacey

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36 thoughts on “trades her soul for a chance #epicfantasy @DarkCommunion @GoddessFish

  1. Mary Preston September 19, 2016 at 2:12 AM Reply

    I enjoyed reading through the TOPIC du JOUR thank you.

  2. Goddess Fish Promos (@GoddessFish) September 19, 2016 at 4:42 AM Reply

    Thanks for hosting!

  3. Danielle Corrow September 19, 2016 at 10:25 AM Reply

    Cool cover! I can’t wait to read this!

  4. Peggy September 19, 2016 at 10:32 AM Reply

    Who are some of your favorite authors; what strikes you about their work?

  5. Rita Wray September 19, 2016 at 11:45 AM Reply

    The story sounds very intriguing.

  6. James Robert September 19, 2016 at 12:49 PM Reply

    Thank you for both the excerpt and giveaway

  7. CJPerry September 19, 2016 at 5:28 PM Reply

    Reblogged this on C.J. Perry and commented:
    Thanks so much for all the great stops on this tour and this beautiful post!

  8. […] Source: Ayla trades her soul for a chance to break the curse which keeps her people in chains. #epicfantasy @Dark… […]

  9. Cali W. September 19, 2016 at 5:41 PM Reply

    Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. 🙂

  10. CJPerry September 19, 2016 at 5:50 PM Reply

    I just got home and couldnt wait to get on here!

    @Peggy – My favorite authors are Margaret Weis, Stephen King, and CS Friedman.

    Weis because she was my first fantasy love in 1991 with Dragons of Autumn Twilight. I was a troubled teen looking for an escape and it came right when I needed it. Also, the Dark Disciple Series stars one of the most heroic female fantasy protagonists ever – Mina.

    Stephen King was the first and only author to really scare me. I read Pet Cemetery at far too young an age and it made me keep a nightlight in my room well into my teens.

    CS Friedman wrote the greatest anti-hero since Margaret Weis first introduced Raistlin Majere. Gerald Tarrant and his dark sense of honor kept me hooked on the Coldfire Trilogy from the first haunting page.

    @Rita Wray – Thank you so much! Im running a kickstarter for it and you can hear the entire first chapter of the Audiobook on the page. http://kck.st/2cIkQQO Also, Dark Communion has a preview available if you happen to have Kindle Unlimited. http://amzn.to/2c7QAiv It starts in a very dark place, but dont abandon Ayla in her darkest moments and you wont regret having faith in her. 🙂

    @James – The excerpt is from the second chapter, and a pivotal moment in her life. Im excited for you to learn more about her. Thank you for the compliment. 🙂

  11. CJPerry September 19, 2016 at 5:53 PM Reply

    Forgive the earlier post. Im still new to blogs. I know, I shouldnt be. lol Im getting better though!

  12. CJPerry September 19, 2016 at 5:55 PM Reply

    I just didnt know what reblogging was… I tried it, still dont. lol

  13. Victoria September 19, 2016 at 9:58 PM Reply

    Sounds like a really great book – thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. Mai Tran September 20, 2016 at 2:50 AM Reply

    Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

  15. Nikolina84 September 20, 2016 at 4:19 AM Reply

    This book is “my cup of tea”, looking forward to reading it!

  16. CJPerry September 20, 2016 at 5:34 AM Reply

    @Mai – It came from everywhere really… My friends and I played role playing games through our childhood. Some of the inspiration came from that. The song “Take me to Church” had a huge influence on the book. A

    @Nikolina84 – Thank you for the compliment! If you have kindle unlimited, there is a preview on amazon right now. http://amzn.to/2c7QAiv Or, if you dont, you can check out chapter one of the audiobook on my kickstarter page. http://kck.st/2cFQe2g

  17. CJPerry September 20, 2016 at 5:54 AM Reply

    @Mai – somehow I lost a piece of my answer 🙂 My daughter Elizabeth (17) helped me tremendously. She was my sounding board for ideas. When her face lit up, I knew I was on the right track. lol

  18. James Robert September 20, 2016 at 4:27 PM Reply

    Have a great Tuesday and thank you for the opportunity to win

  19. James Robert September 21, 2016 at 8:16 AM Reply

    I sure do appreciate all the work you put into bringing us great giveaways like this. Thank you so much!

  20. James Robert September 23, 2016 at 1:22 PM Reply

    Happy Friday! Hope it’s a good one for you and thank you for the opportunity at winning this giveaway

  21. James Robert September 24, 2016 at 12:08 PM Reply

    Hope your Saturday is terrific and fun! Thanks for all you do and for bringing us such great giveaways.

  22. James Robert September 25, 2016 at 3:33 PM Reply

    Hello! Back again to thanks for all the amazing giveaways given to us and I certainly appreciate all the work you put into this to bring us these giveaway. Y’all are amazing!

  23. James Robert September 27, 2016 at 5:09 AM Reply

    I missed yesterday, too many things going on but glad to be back again today. Thanks once again for the opportunity to win your great giveaways.

  24. James Robert September 28, 2016 at 8:51 AM Reply

    You’re awesome and I sure appreciate all the work you do daily to bring us these great giveaways. Thanks so much!

  25. James Robert September 29, 2016 at 7:58 AM Reply

    Sure hope your not tired of hearing from me again but want you to know I appreciate the opportunity to win. Thank you!

  26. James Robert September 30, 2016 at 2:14 PM Reply

    Friday!!!! The day so many look forward to and the start of a big work weekend for me. Thanks again for the chance at winning

  27. James Robert October 1, 2016 at 8:33 AM Reply

    Have a fun Saturday and thank you for the opportunity to win

  28. James Robert October 2, 2016 at 8:52 AM Reply

    Have a Blessed Sunday and thank you for all you do for all of us.

  29. James Robert October 3, 2016 at 7:58 AM Reply

    Happy Monday! We’ll make it a good one even if it is Monday. Thanks for the opportunity to win this giveaway.

  30. James Robert October 4, 2016 at 5:28 AM Reply

    Good Morning! Have a great day and thanking you again for the chance at winning.

  31. James Robert October 6, 2016 at 5:50 AM Reply

    Hope everyone who is in the path of Hurricane Matthew is safe and just want to thank you for this giveaway.

  32. James Robert October 7, 2016 at 5:47 AM Reply

    Enjoy your Friday and prayers for all those going through Hurricane Matthew. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  33. James Robert October 8, 2016 at 8:47 AM Reply

    I am off to work soon so stopping by, wishing you a great Saturday and saying thanks for the giveaway.

  34. James Robert October 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM Reply

    Finally, I am back I keep messing up but here today to say thank you for this giveaway

  35. James Robert October 13, 2016 at 10:37 AM Reply

    Have a terrific day and I want you to know I DO appreciate you bringing us these great giveaways, thank you.

  36. James Robert October 14, 2016 at 9:44 AM Reply

    Stopping by to say Good Morning on this fine Friday. Hope it’s a great one for you and thank you for this giveaway.

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