The new book from one of my favorite indie authors, H.L. Burke, is a departure from her usual fantasy and steampunk genres, but promises to be just as awesome. The first in a superhero series, Reformed is coming out May 1st, and is currently available for preorder for only 99 cents!
And check out that cool cover art!
Once a villain, always a villain?
Optimistic and idealistic superhero Prism is determined to redeem her father’s legacy by rebooting his super villain rehabilitation program. To do so, she sets her sights on Fade, the relapsed super villain who was the reason the government canceled the original program in the first place. However, when she petitions for Fade to be released into her custody, she finds out things might not be as simple as she thought.
Convicted of an unforgivable crime, Fade received a choice: surrender to trial and possible execution or endure a memory erasure so he could start fresh. Now with no recollection of his time before incarceration, Fade doubts he has the ability to be anything but the villain the public believe him to be.
A series of attacks by a mysterious power-swapping villain points back to Fade’s past and the crime that cost him his freedom and memory. With her father’s legacy and her own reputation on the line, even Prism has to wonder: can a villain truly be reformed?
About H.L. Burke
Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.
An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.
Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.
She is the author of a four part fantasy/romance series entitled “The Dragon and the Scholar,” the Award Winning (2016 Realm Award for Young Adult Fiction) Nyssa Glass Steampunk series, and MG/Fantasy “Cora and the Nurse Dragon,” among others .
Happy Monday all, it’s wet and snow-covered here in New England, but my current read is a thrillingly dark adventure and today’s stop on the Whispers from the Depths blog tour!
Joyful and blessed are Voice-bearers, for
the Heavens have set them apart.
gifted with the Voice, Betka and her people are enslaved. Only they can control
the dangerous spirits that haunt the waters, but they are forced to serve under
cruel taskmasters. Betka has little hope of freedom from her service or her own
They toil for the goodness of others.
A powerful water
spirit terrorizes the castle where Betka’s sister is serving. Betka is assigned
to the crew sailing to face the foe, and she fears for the only family she has
Rage is found nowhere in them.
beleaguered, flooded castle, a new threat awaits—a magic more powerful and
horrifying than anything they have ever seen. Loyalties will be tested, and
enemies will become desperate allies.
Betka is their
only hope of escape—if she can subdue the wrath that endangers them all.
She who wields the waters for revenge drowns herself tenfold.
C.W. Briar writes fantasy that’s dark but hopeful, filled with wonder
and humor along with the suspense and creepiness. His favorite stories
are the ones that make him both smile and perch on the edge of his seat.
By day, he works as a systems engineer, testing or even riding on
trains, airplanes, and helicopters. At night, when not writing, he
prepares fancy dinners and shows off his awesome corgis. He’s a graduate
of Binghamton University and lives in Upstate NY with his wife, three
kids, and secret stashes of chocolate.
Let CW tell you more about Whispers from the Depths and his process in this interview we did for his blog tour!
How did you come up with the idea for Whispers From The Depths?
I wanted a story where water is a sentient threat that invades a castle. I paired that with the exploration of how love can overcome evil, and the story grew from there.
Which books or authors have influenced you the most?
Beowulf was a huge influence on this story. Anyone familiar with that poem will see it in the conflict, the warrior culture, and the gritty tone. Beyond that, I drew inspirations from Michael Crichton and a variety of horror authors in portraying the suspense and action. I don’t know if I can say Brandon Sanderson is an inspiration for the magic, but his portrayal of magic is something I consider a benchmark to measure up to.
What is your writing process like?
(slower than I like)
I’m not a 100% plotter, but I do have to know the themes and major moments in the story before I write. Once that’s settled, I write toward whatever major moment is ahead of me. I have to squeeze in writing time around other demands in life, so my time is heavily broken up.
Part of the reason I’m slow is that I’m a sculptor rather than a painter. I can’t slap words on a page, see what comes up, and overhaul it later. I prefer to explore and plan away from the computer, then make real progress once writing. That’s why I don’t make a lot of major story changes once a first draft done (but I do polish the prose quite a bit).
What gave you the most difficulty when writing Whispers From The Depths?
The story grew after initial edits came in. I expanded a few scenes and character arcs. That required me to reassess everything to make sure it flowed smoothly. That was probably the biggest headache.
What is your favorite writing fuel?
Physically, coffee, even though I’m not a big fan of it. I drink caffeine, including tea and energy drinks, but mostly coffee.
Mentally, I’m fueled by topics that make me think. Articles, sermons, heavy discussions: those things inspire the themes.
I keep mentioning themes because they really are the bones on which I build story. I have something I want to explore and discuss, and I weave a narrative that represents it. When someone says something that makes me think, by brain starts recreating it in story form.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from this book?
I like to write stories with subtext, but it’s not critical to pick up on it. It’s okay if someone reads the book at a surface level and simply has a fun time. I hope I leave them breathless. Beyond that, I hope the story makes them think. I hope they reconsider how they interact with other people, especially those they don’t get along with.
What’s your next project?
I have two short stories coming out in anthologies this year and a couple more out for consideration. As for novels, I have two underway. One is a gothic horror/comedy/mystery. The other is a very different kind of project, but I’m keeping it under wraps for now.
Whispers from the Depths just released on February 19th; check out Briar’s tale for yourself, and look for my review coming soon!