Sunday, April 27, 2014


Today we are bringing a YA Fantasy sponsored by
Goddess Fish Promotions,
from Author Kristen Taber,
The Aerenden Series.
While setting up for this promotion, through an email
or two I have suddenly found myself building a lovely
friendship with this Author, so presenting her work to
you today is extra special for me.
Kristen wrote all three books before releasing them,
helping to build in the continuity of the story.  I believe 
there are three more in the works.  While researching
Kristen's media and background I ended up on Amazon
(as is my usual to do with Authors I am hosting, I like to
know a bit about what I'm sharing here with you).  I began
reading the first book and let me tell you, five chapters
later I still didn't want to walk away, and if it were't for
my husband waiting for me I wouldn't have.  I
immediately ordered the book and unless something
goes terribly awry (which is highly unlikely),
this proves to be a tremendous read. We have a short
special post from Kristen regarding choosing names for
fantasy characters which should prove enlightening to
everyone including non writers.  There is a GIVEAWAY
with today's stop and continuing on through the tour of a
25. gift card and 10 audio versions to be awarded to
random commenters.  So you know what that means,
leave your comments, not only for a chance to win,
but to let us know you were here…thx,
and enjoy the rest of the tour, PLP.

Book One: The Child Returns

Seventeen-year-old Meaghan has no idea her perfect life has been a lie — until she witnesses her parents’ brutal murders at the hands of red-eyed creatures.

After nearly sharing their fate, she escapes with her best friend, Nick, who tells her the creatures are called Mardróch. They come from another world, and so does she. Now that the Mardróch have found her, she must return to her homeland of Ærenden or face death.

Left with little choice, she follows Nick into a strange world both similar to Earth and drastically different. Vines have the ability to attack. Monkeys freeze their victims with a glare. Men create bombs from thin air. Even Meaghan’s newly discovered empath power turns into a danger she cannot control.

But control becomes the least of her worries once the Mardróch begin targeting her. When Nick confesses he knows the reason they want her, she learns the truth behind the kingdom's fifteen-year civil war — a long-buried secret that could cost Meaghan her life.


Meg,” her father spoke again and her eyes filled with tears. His voice was no more than a whisper. “Trust Nick. He’ll keep you safe.”

She nodded, and then shook as her father gathered his last breath. The footsteps reached the top of the stairs. Her father shuddered into stillness, but she had no time to mourn before Nick grabbed her hand and yanked her out the front door.

Cold air bit her face. Black clouds gathered overhead, shadowing the day in darkness. A gust of wind whipped leaves across the yard, building small funnel clouds, but she ignored them. She focused on the back of Nick’s head, then on her car when she realized they would need it to escape. They had nearly reached the driveway before she remembered she did not have her keys. She skidded to a stop. Turning back toward the house, she caught her breath when she saw their pursuers exiting the front door.

There were three of them, each taller than the last. Dark brown cloaks covered them from head to foot and they all carried heavy wood clubs stained with blood. They moved with an unnatural speed and disjointed grace, as if they floated instead of touching the ground. A putrid, rotting scent emanated from them in waves. It rolled Meaghan’s stomach, pitching her breakfast mid-way up her throat before she controlled the reaction. Nick grabbed her arm and pulled her toward her parents’ SUV.

Buy Links for Book 1



Book Two: The Gildonae Alliance

Several months after Meaghan’s return to Ærenden, the kingdom’s war has taken a turn for the worse. The Mardróch army hunts the new King and Queen, destroying villages in its wake. And Meaghan and Nick, training for battle in their remote section of wilderness, are far from safe. Danger hides in shadows and behind innocent faces. Allies become foes. Each day is a fight to survive. But in the end, only one threat matters. And it’s a threat they never see coming.


THE WORLD streaked past, brown bark and evergreen mixed with the dirty sludge of winter. Meaghan leaped over the remains of a fallen spruce, and then dodged around a thorn bush. Her stride never broke. An ice patch appeared in front of her, pressing red and orange leaves into the ground, and she veered left to avoid it. She had almost missed this one, though heightened adrenaline had saved her at the last moment. She could not fall. She could not slow. Her life depended on it. 

Wind burned her cheeks and whipped her hair behind her. She ignored it. She also ignored the way her breath seared her lungs. She pushed harder, further than she had before. And she focused, straining her ears and eyes. An attack would come soon. She expected it, though she wished she had Nick’s sensing power to warn her when it neared. Without it, she had to rely on her training alone. She hoped it would be enough. 

Up ahead, vines hung motionless across her path. They could be harmless, but she could not take the chance. Without changing her pace, she grabbed a stick from the ground and threw it into the curtain of green stretching in front of her. The vines reacted, snapping and curling around the branch until it crumbled into splinters. She swerved off the path, circled around the creeper vines, and then hurdled when she realized a log blocked her path. An inch shy of clearing it, she caught her foot on a protruding branch. 

She hit the ground and rolled before springing back to her feet and pushing forward once more. Her ankle ached where she had broken it months before. Cold weather often brought a familiar pang to her old injury and tripping had increased that ache, but she could not allow it to stop her. She tightened her arms at her sides, increased her speed, and set her eyes on her goal—a white flag. Safety.

Buy Links for Book 2



Book Three: The Zeiihbu Master

Separated and on opposite sides of the kingdom, Nick and Meaghan face different pursuits which could change the balance of power in Ærenden forever.

While Nick trains the villagers to be soldiers, Meaghan and a small rescue party venture into Zeiihbu to find Faillen's young son, before Garon can use the boy's power to destroy those still fighting against his rule.

Everyone knows Meaghan could be on a suicide mission, but when Nick stumbles upon a secret concealed in one of the southern villages, he realizes that Garon might not be Meaghan's greatest foe. The enemy most likely to kill her is someone who has also promised to keep her safe.


Guest Post about naming characters in Fantasy:

Researching character names for my Ærenden fantasy series can sometimes take me as long as researching the general facts I need for my books (such as using a bow and arrow). Names help build a character’s picture in the reader’s mind, so they’re important to me. At times, I’ve used baby books or online sites to match name meanings to characters’ personalities. Faillen, for instance, is a variant spelling of the Irish name Fallon, which means “Of a Ruling Family”. He’s the Zeiihbu leader’s son. Likewise, Cal’s name means “devotion” in honor of his unwavering support of Nick (one of the protagonists). Other times, I pick names because they paint an image in my mind of my characters’ faces. Two of the Elders, Sam and Miles, are examples of this. 
When I can’t find names that fit, I’ll sometimes invent them, as I did for Maiyahla (Nick’s mother, who is known as “May” throughout the book) and Zeyed (the first great Spellmaster). Although I formed those names by stringing sounds together, other inventions have taken deeper thought. The name for Garon’s Mardróch took a lengthy brainstorming session. Initially, I had named them something else derived from Latin, but when a beta reader informed me another author had used the same name in her books, I went back to the drawing board. Since the creatures represent the Ærenden people’s nightmares, I spent weeks combing through folklore regarding bad dreams. Eventually, I discovered the Swedish word for nightmare, mardröm. I debated combining it with several other words, but finally settled on a Gaelic adjective for bad, droch. The end result gave me a harder sounding name than the one I had originally chosen, which I think better suits my monsters.

Oddly enough, though I’ve struggled with naming every other character in my series, the two main characters never gave me any grief. Nick and Meaghan appeared to me first in a dream. Since their names were spoken in the conversation I witnessed, I never considered changing them. I guess sometimes characters just name themselves. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kristen spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Kristen is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of Washington D.C.



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Buy Links for Book 1



Buy Links for Book 2



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  1. Thanks so much for having me, June. It's been an absolute pleasure getting to know you, too!
    You're correct, there'll be 6 books total. 5 for the official series and 1 book of short stories, many of them involving the ancient Aerenden people (such as Zeyed, the first great Spellmaster).
    I'm so glad you're enjoying the book! Can't wait to read yours :).

  2. This was sent using the contact form below by accident…here is the message.

    I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

    Rita Wray |

    1. Thabks for sharing that, June!
      Rita, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

  3. This sounds like it is an absolutely fabulous series.