Author Blog Tour Guest Post & Review: In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock

Wecome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on T. Frohock's blog tour for In Midnight's Silence, the first in her Los Nefilim series! If this novella about angels and daimons on the verge of Civil War in early 20th century Spain sounds like your time of book, it's currently available for Kindle and Nook for just 99 cents!! It would make for a great summer beach read!

I asked T. why she choose to set her Los Nefilim series in early 20th century Spain, and she provided this lovely guest post to explain some of the historical background that inspired her story. Take it away T.!

Researching Spain and the Spanish Civil War

I’ve been getting this question a lot, and I really appreciate the opportunity to get all my various thoughts in one spot.

Why Spain?

The answer is really easy. Generally, when I write a novel, the characters come to me before the story. I had an idea for a character named Guillermo, who was Spanish. The novel was set in 1348 in Aragon. I didn’t realize at the time how much research I would have to do in order to familiarize myself with Spain, but it really turned into a wonderful experience.

The reason I chose to set that first novel on the Iberian Peninsula had to do with another storyline that I’d developed for the book. The characters were Nephilim (Nefilim in Spanish, hence the series name), and they reincarnate with the memories of their past lives intact. This particular group was in Jerusalem during their firstborn lives. When the Romans conquered what is today Israel, and instigated the diaspora, some Jews fled to the Iberian Peninsula. Since people migrated in that direction, I wondered if maybe souls would, too.

I had intended for that novel to be the beginning of a series, and I wanted to bring those characters up through the Spanish Civil War. However, other projects took precedence, so for a while I forgot about Guillermo, Diago, and Miquel along with their entwined stories. Meanwhile, the seeds for Los Nefilim were there, germinating while I worked on other projects.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, that novel didn’t sell. I went on to write other things, but I never forgot the characters or their stories. Last year, I was asked to write a novella, and since the original story was in limbo, I talked with my agent about resurrecting the characters in a new story for the sake of the novella.

I never considered changing their nationality. By this time, these characters were Spanish in my mind. I also wanted a more modern setting, and changed the protagonist from Guillermo to Diago.

I have a strong background in World War II history, and initially started to place the story in that time period; however, it seemed kind of ridiculous to thrust them into World War II when, being Spanish, they were much more likely to be involved in the Spanish Civil War. Guillermo del Toro's exquisite Pan's Labyrinth really intrigued me, because he managed to capture the brutality of the period without losing the beauty and magic of the Spanish people and the country. After Pan’s Labyrinth, I watched The Devil’s Backbone, which was another film by del Toro, also set during the Spanish Civil War.

I got my hands on several histories of the Spanish Civil War and began to research the period just prior to and during the war. I set the story in Barcelona, because the city is old and has such a spooky history. Ghosts and vampires and poltergeists haunt the city, so I figured what were a few more Nefilim, angels, and daimons? The powerful religious history of Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain just fit the world that I’d built for my Nefilim and their magic.

I used several histories in order to reconstruct the time period. If you’re interested in reading more about Spain and the Spanish Civil War, here a few:

The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor

The Franco Years by Jose Yglesias

The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic: A Witness to the Spanish Civil War by Henry Buckley

Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (second edition) edited by Olivia Remie Constable

Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance edited by Josiah Blackmore and Gregory S. Hutcheson

The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, Revenge by Paul Preston

The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century Spain by Paul Preston

About T. Frohock

Web site: http://www.tfrohock.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/T_Frohock

BIO: T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. Her other publications include everything from novelettes to short stories. She is also the author of the novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale. Her newest series, Los Nefilim, is coming from Harper Voyager Impulse and debuts in June 2015 with the novella, In Midnight's Silence.

T. lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.

In Midnight’s Silence
T. Frohock

Harper Voyager Impulse
I received a copy of this novella from the publisher in return for being on the blog tour
Released June 23, 2015
128 pages
Fantasy / Novella / Angels

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…
Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can't get to him directly, they do the one thing he's always feared.
They go after Miquel.
Now, in order to save his lover's life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world's next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.
A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock's In Midnight's Silence shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he'll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.

T. Frohock’s world of In Midnight’s Silence is one hiding a dark underbelly where daimons and angels fight for control and power. At the start it feels familiar and like the real world, so it becomes jarring when suddenly a deep mythology becomes hinted at and characters’ histories are alluded to in passing references. For awhile I honestly believed I’d picked up the series in the middle and had to continue to reassure myself that In Midnight’s Silence was the beginning. There just seemed like so much had happened before that I wasn’t privy to that I should already know.

Diago was born from a daimon and an angel, and refuses to pledge to anyone side of the battle looming over early 20th century Spain. He lives and loves a Nephilim named Miquel, who fights on the side of angels, but mostly they live in a small apartment in Barcelona and work their jobs as a music teacher and a guitar player. That is until an angel kidnaps Miquel in order to blackmail Diago to do a deadly errand for him.

Diago’s world is one where supernatural beings have magical powers, primarily through music. This was a unique take on magic with characters humming, whistling and singing to fight their enemies. It produces an interesting imagery and allows for those on the same side to create harmonious music as their fight battles. I really enjoyed the idea of music and tones as magic, though there isn’t really much explanation on how things work. It just creates a mysterious, often dark undertone to what could have otherwise been unexplained and basic magic.

Diago is a conflicted figure, happy in his life though caught in the middle of a bigger picture. When he discovers a son he never knew he had, he becomes more conflicted, but also becomes a more heroic figure. Miquel is less formed, seen only as the lover to fight for and not so much as a character of his own, but in a 128 page novella, it’s difficult to truly fill out the secondary characters.

In Midnight’s Silence gives a glimpse to a much larger world that deserves a much larger book. This felt like a promotional prequel to something bigger coming out. The world is dark and intriguing with shadows of darkness everywhere ready to pounce on our heroes. The magic system provides an atmospheric nature to a short story that made me want more. This is an interesting introduction to a new take on angels and demons fighting for the fate of the world.

I received a copy of this novella from the publisher for being on the tour. All opinions are my own.

Review: iD by Madeline Ashby

If you're interested in hearing more about Madeline Ashby and her Machine Dynasty series, she'll be stopping by Working for the Mandroid tomorrow for an interview!

iD
Madeline Ashby

Angry Robot
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Released June 25, 2013
320 pages
Robots / Science Fiction

Find it on Goodreads

Order it from Amazon

THE SECOND MACHINE DYNASTY 

Javier is a self-replicating humanoid on a journey of redemption. 

Javier's quest takes him from Amy's island, where his actions have devastating consequences for his friend, toward Mecha where he will find either salvation... or death. 

File Under: Science Fiction [ vN2 | Island in the Streams | Failsafe No More | The Stepford Solution ]

Last week I reviewed vN, the first book in The Machine Dynasty series, a book that blew my mind with its take on the usual humanoid robot conceits. In this world, robots could grow and reproduce themselves depending on how much they ate. It opened with little Amy eating her grandmother after her grandmother proved that the failsafe for all vN didn’t exist in their robot line. It became a road trip adventure full of robot on robot violence with a fair share of human collateral. The climax alone was so twisted and unexpected that I read it multiple time to really understand it. It was an awesome work of robot crazy.

SPOILERS FOR vN FOLLOW

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Stacking the Shelves (6): Furies, Super Heroes, & Aliens

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently. I've also cross posted this through The Story Siren's In My Mailbox.

It's bit a really awesome couple of weeks full of furies, science fiction, horror and comics! These are the books that have wandered their way into my house over the last few weeks.

 

For Review

 

Furious by Jill Wolfson

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Thank you to the wonderful people at MacMillian, Henry Holt and Roaring Book Press for sending me these for review.

 

Won

Four Corners Dark by William McNally

I think I won this book. It was shipped from CreateSpace with an order form and no mention of who or where it came from. So thanks to whoever sent it my way!

 

From Netgalley

The past few weeks have been exciting in my inbox. Here are a few titles I've gained access to recently.

         

Green Lantern, Volume 2: Revenge of the Black Hand by Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke

Justice Leage, Volume 2: The Villian's Journey by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee

Superman: Earth One, Volume 2 by J. Michael Straczynski & Shane Davis

Alternity by Mari Mancusi

Unearthed by Rebecca Bloomer

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

 

Blog Tour Review: Pretty When She Dies by Rhiannon Frater

Welcome to part two of the Working for the Mandroid stop of Rhiannon Frater's Pretty When She Kills blog tour. Earlier today Rhiannon stopped by to do a short Q&A with us. Now we have a review of the first book in her Pretty When She series, Pretty When She Dies. Later tonight - fingers crossed - I'll have a review up of the sequel and focus of this blog tour, Pretty When She Kills.

Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel (Unabridged) - Rhiannon FraterAlso remember that we're giving away an e-book copy of both books over on the interview with Rhiannon, so make sure to go enter. If you'd prefer to listen to Pretty When She Dies, it has just recently become available as an audio book. You can find it through audible to the left.

 

Pretty When She Dies
Rhiannon Frater

Self-Published (2008)
226 pages
Adult / Horror / Vampires

Find it on Goodreads

Purchase it on Amazon

Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry...

... in a new, horrific, unimaginable way...

Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.

All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what's worse is that he's a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.

But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation... or her death?

I have to admit up front that I’m a bit biased when it comes to Rhiannon Frater’s vampire, necromancer, zombie series that starts with Pretty When She Dies because a predominant portion of the books take place in Austin. My life also predominantly takes place in Austin, so a lot of the backdrops used are places I’m well acquainted with and so I felt more submerged into the story than someone not as familiar with the Austin area might feel. Often Frater got really specific about minute locations that might seem a little random or unnecessary to a reader not as familiar with the local quirks of the area, but I found it to be an added fun element.

This is not a YA series. Scenes often quickly turned from action or drama into graphic vampire sex. The violence is equally graphic, and sometimes the two things merge into one giant not-young adult friendly ball of crazy. But in a good way. Frater is fantastic at managing to throw in numerous elements of urban fantasy and then balancing all these elements so nothing is wasted or forgotten. In this one book, we have vampires, vampire rivalries, secret frat orgies, zombies, zombie armies, reluctant vampire hunters, grandma mediums and necromancers. That’s a lot of pieces to put together into one cohesive and comprehensible story and Frater is fantastic at it.

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Review: Perception by Lee Strauss

Perception
Lee Strauss

ESB Publishing
Released September 12, 2012
234 pages
YA / Science Fiction

Find it on Goodreads

Purchase it on Amazon

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

PERCEPTION is a ( SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.

This is the first book in a planned three book series.

Zoe Vanderveen is a perfect blonde model, who is going to live for centuries and live within the guilded walls of the city made specifically for the wealthy GAPs, those genetically altered to live longer, be smarter and look more “perfect” than normal people. It’s a homogenous society built by her grandfather, who invented the genetic science that allows the GAPs to exist. Zoe has an older brother who has recently started acting a little fishy before he disappears without a trace, which is especially odd considering all the GAPs have microchips embedded into their hands to act as tracers, data cards and bank accounts all in one handy mobile location. His disappearance leads Zoe down a dark road to find truths about her family, her way of living and the outside world for which she is not prepared.

Lee Strauss has created a solid mystery with Perception in a world that is very much like our own with a bit of genetic modifications thrown in. Zoe is essentially representative of the very wealthy, who have everything and lack any knowledge of those who don’t have as much. She just happens to be a perfect genetic specimen. Noah, on the other hand, is from a poorer family and lives a more normal life; he could easily exist within the real world. By creating a mystery that eventually leads these two together, the story has two compelling, but somewhat opposite main characters.

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Author Tour Guest Post: Resa Nelson, Author of the Dragonslayer Series

Back in January author Resa Nelson stopped by Working for the Mandroid as part of her tour for the first two books in her Dragonslayer series. Now she's on tour in support of the third book in the series, The Stone of Darkness, and she's visiting us again. You can learn more about the Resa and the Dragonslayer series at her website, www.resanelson.com. She's also giving out a couple of short stories in her Dragonslayer universe to introduce new readers to her world. You can find the link to download the e-sampler at the end of her post. Now it's time for dragons!


Why Create Dragons Without Wings?

by Resa Nelson

My 4-book Dragonslayer series takes place in a world where dragons, ghosts, and shapeshifters are real.  But my dragons have no wings.  They don’t breathe fire.  And there are two different types dragons:  one is an overgrown lizard, and the other has the power to change between the shape of a lizard and the shape of a mortal. 

But why create dragons without wings?

When I write my novels, I feel like I’m really in that fantasy world that I’m creating, watching everything unfold around me.  It feels real.  It feels like something that could truly happen – or maybe something that already has.  I want my readers to experience what I experience.  I want to bring them in that world with me.  So I make my fantasy worlds as realistic as possible.

I did a lot of research for my Dragonslayer series (from taking a course in blacksmithing to learning how to use medieval weapons), and while making my way through stacks of history books about the Middle Ages, I came across something peculiar.  From Roman times until as recently as the 1600s, respectable people like government officials and priests have reported dragon sightings.

That got my attention.  I believe they saw something.  Maybe they mistook a real animal for a dragon.  Maybe they saw something like a pelican or a great blue heron flying in the sky and mistook it for a dragon.  Or maybe what they called a “dragon” is an animal that we know by a different name.  Could it be that what we know as crocodiles or alligators were once called dragons?

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Author Tour Guest Post: Megan Curd, Author of Traitor

I'm honored to host a stop on author Megan Curd's blog tour for Traitor, the sequel to her faerie adventure tale Bridger. Today Working for the Mandroid is hosting an excerpt from Traitor and I reviewed the first book in the series last week. If you'd like to see all the stops on the tour, visit the tour's webpage.

Also Megan Curd is giving away 19 ebook bundles that include both Bridger and Traitor. Stay tuned after the excerpt to enter to win. But first, the excerpt from Traitor.

 

Traitor
Megan Curd

Ignoring his mother’s question, Liam didn’t even bother to wipe off the green glob of spit that was now sliding down his nose. He instead brought the blade within an inch of the Changeling’s forehead right between its eyes. “Would you like to die, or do whatever it is that you Changelings do? All I require is a simple apology, one for Ashlyn and now one for me.”

A maniacal grin overtook Fred’s purpling face. “I give you nothing, but I will take your offer of death. An t-áadh na nGael tu.

Before anyone could react, Fred thrust his head forward with a sudden jerk and connected with the worm blade Liam threatened him with. Liam jumped back and dropped the Changeling from shock as Fred writhed on the floor from the worm blade that now burrowed its way into his body.

“Way to put the whole plan arseways, Liam!” shouted Desmond as he bounded forward and tried to stop Fred’s flailing motion. The Changeling wailed in agony as we watched the blade scuttle under its skin, leaving what looked like crimson contrails in the blade’s wake. Desmond grabbed the chair and lifted the Changeling and the chair in the air and frantically tried to untie him. Fred lunged forward and bit Desmond’s arm, drawing blood. Desmond yelled and let go of the chair, clutching his forearm. “Bloody hell, the little wank bit me!”

Fred flopped like a fish out of water still tied to the chair as he banged into the table and then the small hatch along the wall, causing it to crash to the floor. Plates and cups shattered as they connected with the grey stone floor and scattered across the room. A moment later he burst into dust, nothing but a pile of ashes remaining on the floor. The now still worm blade lay innocently among the ashes, broken plates scattered across the stone floor as well. One plate still bobbled back and forth as it came to a rest. It was the only sound in the room until it stopped its motion.

An t-áadh na nGael tu,” Liam whispered while everyone else remained silent, repeating what Bob had said. The way it rolled easily off his tongue made me think it was Gaelic, and I turned out to be right when Liam spoke once more. His voice was tired and strained as he gazed at the mess that littered the kitchen floor. “If the luck of the Irish is that we end up with a bunch of stinking Changelings in our kitchen, then we’ve hit the fekkin’ jackpot.”

 

If you'd like to learn more about the Bridger series and Curd, you can visit her website or check her series out on Goodreads, chat with her on Twitter at @MeganCurd or on Facebook here.

And now the giveaway! Enter to win Bridger and Traitor below.

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