Archive for July, 2013

A Book Review of The Curse Giver

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

It’s my pleasure to share with all of you this beautifully written review of The Curse Giver by Mayra Calvani, posted at Blogcritics.com on Sunday, July 21, 2013.

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Intrigue, romance and adventure await you in Dora Machado’s latest fast-paced, plot-twisting fantasy, The Curse Giver, just released by Twilight Times Books.

The story begins with our innocent healer heroine, Lusielle, as she is about to be burned on the pyre after she’s sentenced to death for a crime she didn’t commit. But just as the flames are about to engulf her, a mysterious stranger on a horse storms through the crowd and rescues her.

Brennus, Lord of Laonia, is tormented by the curse that has destroyed his people. To undo it, he must kill Lusielle in the most vicious of ways, for she is the one who bears the mysterious birthmark.

However, destiny plays a trick on them. Now together, amidst a world teetering on the brink of war, predator and prey grow too close for their own good. Passion flares as in a twist of fate, together, they try to defeat the terrifying curse and destroy the Curse Giver…

Lovers of dark romantic fantasy will relish The Curse Giver. This was a wonderfully entertaining, absorbing read. The stakes are high, the conflict compelling, and the sympathetic hero and heroine will make you fall in love with them. But the best thing about the novel is the writing itself. Lyric at times, Machado’s prose flows beautifully throughout the pages, bringing to life her fictional world in full, vivid detail.

The Curse Giver is a memorable adventure for fans of fantasy and one I can certainly recommend.

Find out more on Amazon or from Twilight Times Books.

Read my interview with the author here on Blogcritics.

The Curse Giver’s “Book Bomb”

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Do you know what a “book bomb” is?

I had no idea until a group of my fellow Twilight Times Books authors introduce me to the concept.

A “book bomb” is a gathering of authors and readers who get together to promote a new release on a particular day in the hopes of driving the book to the top of the charts. I like to think of it like a book’s coming out party. Did I tell you? I like coming out parties!

Today, Wednesday, July 17th 2013, we are doing a book bomb for The Curse Giver. If you’d like to join, it’s really simple. Just put up a little message announcing the book bomb on your blog, FB page, twitter or any of your social media outlets and run with it.

Here’s a few examples of what others are posting:

From the gifted Maria DeVivo, fellow fantasy author of The Coal Elf:

“BOOK BOMB!! Today is the day, folks!! Get your copy of Dora Machado’s THE CURSE GIVER at a special price of $3.99. Already making some waves with a ton of 5* reviews! Dark Fantasy at its FINEST!”

From TTB’s amazing fantasy author, Scott Eder:

“Bombs away! Today is the book bomb for Dora Machado’s new release, The Curse Giver. It’s a steal on Amazon at only $3.99. If you haven’t read one of Dora’s books, you need to check this out. She’s fantastic. Dark fantasy at its best.”

From the incredibly talented mystery master, Aaron Lazar:

“Okay, folks! Today’s the day to help rocket our talented author friend Dora Machado to the top of the charts! If you were considering buying The Curse Giver, come over and click on the left sidebar on MB4 (below) to get your eBook version. It has just gone on sale for $3.99!”

From brilliant Stephanie Osborn, Interstellar Woman of Mystery:

The Curse Giver, is being book-bombed by her fellow Twilight Times authors tomorrow! Twilight Times has put the Kindle version on sale for $3.99 already! Please join with us in supporting Dora, and have a look here (and tomorrow on my blog!) to learn more about this great new novel!”

From awesome Christine Amsden, the author of Cassie Scott Paranormal Detective:

“Guest blog and book bomb today. BOOK BOMB!! Today is the day, folks!! Get your copy of Dora Machado’s THE CURSE GIVER at a special price of $3.99.”

So there you have it. You are hereby officially invited to The Curse Giver’s coming out party. Hope to see you there!

Have a wonderful day.

D.

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The Story Behind The Curse Giver

Monday, July 15th, 2013

The Curse Giver was an accident, a professional indiscretion, if you will, conceived during one of my little escapades, and born out of unchecked passion. Yep, I might as well come clean. Even the most disciplined writer can be unfaithful to her projects, and no matter how thoroughly taken one is with one’s current novel, the danger for a tangent is always there when venturing into the world of research.

So there I was, researching one book, working hard to finalize the Stonewiser series, when I came across this insidious concept that kept disrupting my train of thought.

Now, to understand the story behind The Curse Giver, you must understand me and my writing habits. I’m not easily distracted. When I’m writing a novel, my brain goes into hyper mode. I’m disciplined, motivated and focused to the point of obsession, which is why The Curse Giver was such a surprise to me.

The subject of curses has always fascinated me, not only because curses are such a vital part of magic and fantasy, but also because they are so prevalent to the human experience. To be honest, I had always been intrigued by the subject, but didn’t delve into it, until one very late night—or was it very early morning?—when the wind rattled my window as a coastal storm blew in from the sea.

The clay tablets that popped up on my screen dated from 600 BC and were part of the library of Nineveh, also known as the library of Ashurbanipal, the oldest surviving library of cuneiform tablets. This is the same collection that gave us the famous Gilgamesh epic. Visually, the tablets weren’t much to look at, chicken scratches on clay. But the translated words had an impact on me.

“May all these [gods] curse him with a curse that cannot be relieved, terrible and merciless, as long as he lives, may they let his name, his seed, be carried off from the land, may they put his flesh in a dog’s mouth.”

I know, hardly an inspiration for most. Me? I immediately thought of the man who had been thus cursed, of the pain and hardship such curse would bring upon him and his people, of the character that eventually became Bren, Lord of Laonia in The Curse Giver.

From there on, the curses flowed before my eyes, mysterious ones from ancient civilizations in Egypt, India and the Far East; thin lead tablets dating from the Greco-Roman world, judicial prayers, secret invocations, warnings and love spells that streamed into my consciousness. I knew I should get back to my original research, and yet I was smitten with the subject.

There were curses quoted from the Bible, medieval curses, real and forgeries, Viking, Celtic, Germanic, Visigoth, Mayan, Incan, Hopi, you name it. There were ancient curses but also modern curses, some associated with Santeria, voodoo and the 21 Divisions, religions that are common in the Dominican Republic where I grew up.

Who would cast these curses and why? What kind of creature could be capable of such powers? What would motivate a person to curse another one? As I explored these questions, a character profile began to emerge in my mind, someone whose understanding of good and evil was very different from my own.

Sorting through the research, I could see that some curses had practical applications to make sure people did what they were told. They served as alternate forms of law enforcement in lawless societies. Some were obviously malicious. They were meant to frighten and intimidate. Some were more like venting or wishful thinking. It turns out that mankind has been casting curses since the beginning of time and will probably continue for as long as we have the imagination and faith to do so.

A new question formed in my mind. Once cursed, what could a person do to defend himself? A third character emerged from this question, Lusielle, a common remedy mixer, a healer of hearts and bodies, someone who didn’t realize the scope of her own power until it began to transform her life.

Eventually, I wrestled myself out of the trance. I had a book to write and a series to complete. I had deadlines. But my little detour had made an impact. The concepts were at work in my subconscious, coalescing into a new novel, fashioning these powerful characters who demanded their own story. My encounter with curses had been but a slight detour from my research plan, a tiny deviation, an indiscretion to my schedule, but the seed had been planted and The Curse Giver thrived, even if I didn’t know it yet.

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Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books, July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com or contact her at Dora@doramachado.com. You can subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/, sign up for her newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, go to http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html.

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Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/12AOH3Z

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16EbUzM

Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/14TXNbC

Interview with The Dark Phantom

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

5 Questions with The Dark Phantom

Hi everybody! I just did this interview for The Dark Phantom at http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/5-questions-with-dora-machado-author-of-the-curse-giver/

Q: Tell us why readers should buy The Curse Giver.

A: If you like fast-paced, plot-twisting, epic, dark, and yes—why not?—romantic fantasy, The Curse Giver is for you. In a world teetering on the brink of war and destruction, three lives collide, bound together by a powerful, terrifying, undefeatable curse: an embittered lord at the brink of death, doomed by a curse he doesn’t understand and tormented by a terrible secret; an innocent healer on the run, accused of a crime she didn’t commit, bearing a mysterious birthmark that commands her murder; and the evil curse giver who has already conjured their ends. The stakes are high—peace, healing and freedom or war, madness and horrible death. Somewhere between love and hate and justice or revenge, redemption awaits those who dare to challenge the tenuous boundaries of good and evil.

Q: What makes a good fantasy novel?

A: Fast-paced action, thrilling adventures and rich imagination perfectly balanced by deep, complex and engaging characters, intricate plots, and transcendental relationships that matter.

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: I sit down to write sometime between eight or nine in the evening and write through the night. I go to bed anywhere between three and six and sleep the morning away. I get up around ten or eleven and spend the afternoon editing what I did the night before and taking care of the business aspects of writing. The best part: It’s my schedule and I get to choose my office’s dress code, which, by the way, is a notch below casual, super comfy. The biggest challenge: Talk about not being a morning person!

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A: The amazing readers who come along in my adventures.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: Write like the wind, write often, diligently and continuously, write for yourself and, my favorite, write all the way to The End.

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Now available at:

Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/The-Curse-Giver-ebook/dp/B00DSUQL4I/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373559878&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Curse+Giver

Barnes & Noble.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-curse-giver-dora-machado/1115929771

Romance eBooks
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecursegiver-1228818-143.html