Halayda Blog Tour and Launch Party

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We’re pleased to announce the Halayda blog tour! Check out the following blogs over the next couple of weeks for great interviews and behind-the-scenes info!

Blog tour schedule/links:

3/18: Brianna Merritt ~ Taylan character interview + excerpt/behind-the-scenes
3/22: Marisa Porter ~ Author Interview
3/23: Zachary Totah ~ Special Guest Blog
3/24: Annie Douglass Lima ~ Author interview – Realm Explorers
3/25: Lands Uncharted ~ Top 3 post
3/30: Laura Pol ~ Sylvie character interview
4/1: Janeen Ippolito ~ April Fools Day Fun with Halayda
4/3: New Authors Fellowship ~ Author Interview
4/4: J.M. Hackman ~ Special Guest Blog
4/6: Bethany Jennings ~ MBTI Character Post
4/8: H. L. Burke ~ Random Interview

Also, check out Halayda’s launch party on Facebook! There will be videos, games, and fun giveaways (including art prints of the Halayda cover, custom jewelry from author Sarah Delena White, awesome books from our guest authors, and a crocheted storm dragon).

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Want an exclusive autographed print copy of Halayda for a discount price? There’s still time to order! Click here or the picture of author Sarah Delena White below to get your own copy. Unsure? Check out early reviews on Goodreads!

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Author Interview: H. L. Burke

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This week we’re interviewing H. L. Burke, whose mythology/romance novel, Coiled, will release this summer. 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. Her obsessions include dragons and tales about inner beauty and character overcoming extreme circumstances, and she hopes her work reflects a sense of God’s great plan for those who seek Him. 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.

How did you get started writing?

I just sort of always have, dictating short stories to my mom, then scribbling in my diary. My friends and I had very elaborate set-ups for our tramping around the woods, and I was sort of the official “story keeper.” I’d write down our adventures. Throughout middle school and into high school, I would write and share my work with my best friend. Sometimes we’d sit at a library table, her reading scraps of notebook paper written in glittery gel pen as fast as I could fill them. I was always kind of “the writer” in my circle. 

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your books?

Enjoyment. Honestly, I just like to tell stories. I’m very much an “entertainer” personality, and I think stories are their own justification. We need stories. 

What inspired your story world in Coiled?

The decision to put this book in a world echoing ancient Greece was partially because the fairy tale, The Green Serpent, is very much inspired by Cupid and Psyche, and also because I wanted to play with the idea of the Gorgons and the larger than life but still incredibly fallible Greek gods. Once I started borrowing elements from Greek mythology, as well as the original fairy tale, the gaps almost filled themselves in. 

What fictional world do you most want to visit and why?

Middle Earth has the best options, a little bit of everything for everyone. I think I’d take Rivendell — right mix of magical and “homey.”

What mythological creature would you want to be?

It’s almost a given that I will say “dragon” here. I adore dragons. Dragons are so awesome… but I also love cats, so if there could be a mix of cat and dragon… cagon… drat… I’d take that. I’d be a winged cat with fire-breathing capabilities and a swishy-swishy tail. 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. I really hate driving. I’d do a lot of things if travel wasn’t involved. 

Favorite writing fuel?

Afternoon: coffee. Evening: red wine. I have an ongoing joke with my critique partners that I have two modes of critiquing stories: 1. ridiculously caffeinated, and 2. having had a glass of wine and filled with bad jokes. I like to make them guess which version of me they are dealing with.  

Favorite color?

Feels too common, but I do like blue. Matt (husband) knew this about me right away and used to get me mostly silver and sapphire jewelry. Now I would rather have more coffee. He got me a bunch of TARDIS stuff last birthday, though, and the TARDIS is blue. 

Thanks for joining us today!

Here is where you can find H. L. Burke online:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Thank You, Halayda Cover Reveal Team!

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Thank you to everyone who helped make the Halayda cover reveal a success! UUP is busy prepping for the launch on March 23, so stay tuned for details–and be sure to contact us if you’re interested in receiving an ARC or otherwise taking part in the launch!

Laura VanArendonk Baugh

H. L. Burke

Deborah Dunson

Deanna Fugett

Pam Halter

Rachel Kennedy Harbour

Bethany A. Jennings

Laurie Lucking

Sarah McConahy

Amy Brock McNew

McKellon Meyer

Sarah E. Ott

Laura Pol

Marisa Porter

Zachary Totah

Halayda Cover Reveal

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A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.

Coming March 23!

PREORDER EBOOK ON AMAZON

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Special Pre-order Price: $12.99, includes shipping (Normal is $14.99 + shipping)

Author Interview: Sarah E. Ott

This week we’re interviewing Sarah E. Ott, whose sci-fi/action novel, Exordia, will release this November. Sarah lives and breathes stories that involve high stakes and character-driven plots. When she’s not chasing plot bunnies or emoting over good literature, she can be found doing one of the following things: a) working as a kids ministry office administrator, b) driving her Prius to Dunkin’ Donuts, or c) curled up on a couch with a book and covered in live cats.

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How did you get started writing?

As soon as I learned to read and grasped the concept of storytelling, I was writing stories about everything—from horses to princesses to once, memorably, a girl who lived in a treehouse because her home burned down. I grew up living and breathing stories and literature, and that’s what established my deep love for storytelling.

(And don’t worry. The girl’s family rebuilt their home, though she continued to live in the treehouse, presumably because she liked it.)

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your books?

There’s an easy answer to this—a sense of wonder, the taste of a different world, a safe place to come home to at the end of the day—but the harder answer is this: I write to create art. The human part of me wants readers to find a friend in my snarky characters, to get a sense of what sacrifice and love mean, and to read truth between the lines of fiction. The creative in me knows that, once someone else reads my words, I relinquish all rights to their interpretation.

It’s up to me to create the art. It’s up to someone else to find meaning in it.

What inspired your story world?

Exordia was one of those worlds that grew out of necessity—the story I wanted to tell needed a certain backdrop. The earliest drafts were about a futuristic gang war buddy cop storyline, and as the story and world developed, that morphed into an Earth colony gone wrong. The colony worlds of Andre Norton’s many books, Mission: Impossible movies, and the visuals of the new Star Trek movies were influential in Exordia’s look and feel.

What fictional world do you most want to visit and why?

This question is decidedly unfair! I recently fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and I would love to explore all the unexplained eccentricities of London Below.

What mythological creature would you want to be?

A centaur, a la C. S. Lewis. (A destiny of star-watching? Yes, please and thanks.)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Telekinesis, probably. Or—not necessarily a superpower, per se—the way Root is plugged into the Machine in Person of Interest is pretty cool. (Infinite information?)

Favorite writing fuel?

Coffee. More accurately, my entire life is coffee-fueled. Also, Spotify informed me that I’ve spent over 10,000 minutes listening to music just in the past few months, so I think “music” is a safe answer, too.

Favorite color?

Just about the only two remotely “girly” things about me: my inexplicable desire to try every lipstick under the sun, and the fact that my favorite color has been pink for as long as I can remember.

Thanks for joining us today, Sarah!

Here is where you can find Sarah E. Ott online:

Website

Twitter

Instagram

 

2017 Event Schedule

We’re excited to announce our 2017 event schedule! This year, the UUP team will be vending at several awesome conventions around Pennsylvania, as well as the 5th annual Realm Makers conference in Reno, NV. Mark your calendars now and come find us at :

Erie Library Comic Con (Erie, PA) – May 13
We will be presenting a world-building workshop in the morning.

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Sci-fi Valley Con (Altoona, PA) – June 9-11

 

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Realm Makers (Reno, NV) – July 27-29

 

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Nittany Con (State College, PA) – September 23-24

Check back for updates! If you’re interested in having us at your event as teachers or vendors, feel free to contact us at uncommonuniverses@gmail.com

UUP’s 2017 Releases!

The UUP team is excited to introduce our 2017 publishing lineup!

Early Spring

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A downtrodden mortal alchemist and a jaded faerie king join forces to overthrow an ancient foe bent on reshaping the world’s destiny. Celtic mythology mash-up.

Early Summer

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In the vein of Eros and Psyche, two cursed souls find each other on a forsaken isle and together must shed the darkness inflicted upon them–or else live as monsters forever. Mythology/romance.

Late Summer

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A dragon convict must own her crimes and her heart to stop a hundred-year war between nations. YA steampunk adventure/romance.

Early Fall

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In the aftermath of the Quebec City attack, Melrose Durante must find his goddaughter Zurina Vectorix, who has turned rogue to hunt the ruthless vampire Conan Talamar, before she abandons her royal legacy for the sake of vengeance. Supernatural suspense/thriller.

Late Fall

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On an Earth colony where science reigns supreme, an ex-researcher, a technopath, and an ex-soldier must choose between saving victims of human experimentation or stopping the atrocities for good. Science fiction/action.