Spotlight: On the Brink: A Dystopian Anthology

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One world. 12 possible futures. Pre-order your copy of this limited edition collection of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction for only 99¢!

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Mikhaeyla Kopievsky, Alison Ingleby, Michael W. Huard, et al.

From the ashes of the world that was, a new dystopia will emerge…

Join our gritty heroines and courageous heroes as they battle for freedom. Their societies are divided by politics and technology, devastated by war, climate change, toxins, and plague.

Fighting for the future will mean conquering their pasts, but not everyone is who they seem. In these futuristic worlds, every day is a fight for survival.

Discover 12 page-turning stories from bestselling and award-winning dystopian authors that will leave you shocked, fascinated, and entertained.

Will hope prevail? Or is the darkness just too strong?

Publication Date: 3 January 2018. Available for pre-order for $0.99!

Or add it to Goodreads today!

excerpt

From “Revelation: A Divided Elements origin story”, Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

ONE

It is easy to hate the flashy opulence of the apartments in Precinct 4. Their white bricks seem too pure under the brown Otpor sun, their large balconies and windows ostentatious in flaunting their riverside views. Still, Lira’s gaze lingers on them. She doesn’t have much of an imagination – Earth Elementals are bred to be useful, not creative – but it doesn’t take an Air Elemental’s mind to picture herself living in one of them. It’s not imagination that makes it easy, but desire; simple, pure, burning desire for something she doesn’t have, will never have, but wants nonetheless.

Slowly, she lowers her gaze from the upper-level apartments and turns back to the streetscape beyond. While the riverside apartments no doubt hold lucrative treasures to lift, they are too well-protected – by nearby Infrastructure Protectors, by patrolling Peacekeepers, and by the scores of Elementals that swell in the nearby streets and laneways. The better option is the row of apartments six blocks to the east.

Adjusting her backpack straps and hefting the weight into a more comfortable position, Lira heads south instead. She doesn’t need to case the apartments in nearby Precinct 12; she has been stealing from them since she was a Trainee. And besides, it is too early to return – she has already chanced her arm by hitting the apartments three times in the last week.

She will return to them in a few week’s time. Now, she needs to collect.

***

The narrow bridge over the Syn River leads Lira to the maze of streets and laneways in Precinct 5. The early morning sun seems hotter here, heating the oppressive concrete and steel and amplifying the stench of the nearby canals. She scrubs at the sweat pricking her brow, pushes up the sleeves of her grease-stained shirt and picks up her pace. Ahead, the streets splinter into a smaller maze of alleys and arcades, reminding her of the cracks that creep across the plaster ceiling of her apartment.

“You’re late.”

The voice murmurs to her from the shadows of an empty arcade. Lira slows her pace and steps inside. Yvgeny stands at the far end against the service door of an abandoned nutrient store, his fingers tapping against his thighs in that way of his when he’s anxious or frustrated or both. Yvgeny shares her love of the money, but his nerves don’t handle the risks as well.

Despite his weak constitution, his greedy eyes light up like wallscreens when he sees the next-gen, fully optimised glass screen she pulls from her polyprop satchel.

He reaches for it, but she pulls it back.

“Nuh-uh. I want to renegotiate our deal.”

“No renegotiation,” he says, gaze still firmly pinned to the screen. “We agreed on a two-day wage equivalent.”

Lira pulls the screen in tighter, tucking it under her arm. “For a second-gen, two terabyte model. This demands more respect. And by respect, I mean money.”

“Three-day wage equivalent,” he says, folding his arms.

“Five-day,” she counters.

He scowls, eyes twitching to the laneway beyond. His nerves are getting the better of him; these trade sessions are usually over by now  – every extra minute increases the chances of getting caught. If she were an Air Elemental, Lira would almost see him calculating the probability, weighing up the risk variables and offsetting them against the profits that were destined for his own account. But, as an Earth Elemental, all she sees are his greedy eyes and twitchy hands.

“Fine,” he says, reaching again for the device.

This time she relents, letting him pull the glass screen to his chest.

“But, I want more,” he continues. “If you can get me more, I’ll pay six-day equivalent.”

It is a better offer than she had hoped for. She nods slowly, not trusting her mouth to contain her enthusiasm. Earth Elementals are terrible liars  – all raw honesty with no grasp of subtlety or manipulation. She needn’t have worried  – Water Elementals, with their blinkered, microscopic focus and disinterest in all things social, are just as bad at reading emotional cues.

“Good,” Yvgeny says, stashing the screen away in his own satchel. “Meet me back here next week. And don’t be late.”

END EXCERPT

Pre-Order your copy for 99¢ on Amazon or add it to Goodreads!

about author

MIKHAEYLA KOPIEVSKY is an independent speculative fiction author who loves writing about complex and flawed characters in stories that explore philosophy, sociology and politics. She holds degrees in International Relations, Journalism, and Environmental Science.  A former counter-terrorism advisor, she has travelled to and worked in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Mikhaeyla lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia, with her husband and son. Revelation is the first origin story released in her Divided Elements series. Resistance (Book 1) and Rebellion (Book 2) are available now. Revolution (Book 3) is in development and expected for release in 2019.

You can follow Mikhaeyla on Bookbub or sign up to her author updates newsletter for exclusive content and giveaways.

 

 

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Failsafe Fan Box ~ Epilepsy Awareness

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Back in May I published Failsafe, a YA SciFi novel featuring a main character who lives with epilepsy. The book itself was dedicated to the Epilepsy Foundation, an amazing organization whose mission…“is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.”

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November is Epilepsy Awareness month. To show support for this organization’s important work and in honor of Failsafe’s heroine, I partnered with awesome vendors to create a Failsafe Fan Box.

ALL PROFITS – 100% of them – are going to the Epilepsy Foundation.

The fan box is loaded with goodies, including:

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Pic by Lili at Utopia State of Mind (utopia-state-of-mind.com)

– A signed copy of the book

– An exclusive book sleeve

– A 6×9 double-sided character art print

– “Open Sky” – an exclusive candle tailored to a scene in the book
by FlickTheWick

– Two magnetic bookmarks of Failsafe’s main characters
by Dreamy&Co

– Custom-made “Alarm Red” druzy earrings

The box is available for international shipping too.

To have a look at the individual items, head over to the Etsy shop I set up.

You can also see a blogger’s unboxing on her YouTube channel.(URL: https://youtu.be/pi7IWhKQqnE)

If you’ve never purchased something on Etsy, they are a secure site where you can check out as a guest (no registration required) with multiple payment methods, including PayPal (which also has a guest option).

I made a limited number of these boxes because of overhead and the work involved in packing/shipping. Once they sell out, I literally can’t make more.

I’m a little over halfway through my stock and to my goal! I hope you’ll consider helping me to make a difference by raising funds for this truly worthy organization – and get some quality bookish swag in return! Again, 100% of profits are going to the Epilepsy Foundation, so if you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift, this is the one!

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Book Sale: The Fractured Empire

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Hey all! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and snagged the best of the leftovers when no one was looking 😉

I wanted to send a quick note about a great sale going on for the first book in a YA Fantasy series. For a limited time The Fractured Empire will be on sale for only 99¢ (also available on Kindle Unlimited)

The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for two very different people, the world is still upside down.

For Adelaide, her sister’s death has left a gaping void. The one thing she believes will dull the pain is to take the only piece of her sister she has left to the place they’d sworn they’d go together — the Ever Falls, a natural wonder that splits the world in two. But the journey is perilous and not everyone who seeks the Ever Falls survives.

Clark never imagined his father would be blamed for the Silent Explosion. Now, he must find a way to clear his family’s name. As a member of an activist group, he’s ready to steal a powerful amulet in exchange for the chance to interrogate a Professor of the Empire. Brash and maybe a little too confident, Clark embarks on a mission that puts his own life at risk.

But Clark isn’t the only one after the amulet.

When the ancient artifact attaches itself to Adelaide, essentially painting a target on her back, Clark and Addie’s worlds collide. Tensions rise as they work together to stay alive… and resist the temptation to kill each other before their enemies have the chance.

***

So, if you’re looking to wind down from the holiday, the crazy Black Friday shopping, or just need a fun read to lose yourself in, pick this one up while the 99¢ sale is on!

An Urban Fantasy Series Coming Soon!

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Author and good friend A. C. Spahn has a new urban fantasy series coming March, 2019 that should immediately be added to your TBR list. I am one of a lucky handful of folks who got to read an advanced copy of book one and believe me when I tell you that you NEED this book! A unique magic system, an awesome group of characters, loads of action, conflicted heroes, frightening adversaries – It’s all here!

I give you the cover reveal and synopsis for Enchantress Undercover, Book One of the Arcane Artisans Series

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Adrienne Morales is a hunted woman.

Stalked by Voids—people immune to magic—and pursued by a deadly past, Adrienne wants nothing more than to avoid spells and sorcery. Her powers as an enchantress make that impossible. Every few days she must release the magic gathering around her, or it’ll steal her sanity. The only way to stay alive is to practice her magic in secret, hiding enchantments in works of art she sells in her craft store.

When a firebreathing psychopath controlled by enchantment tries to burn down her store, Adrienne unleashes her powers to stop him. Unfortunately her battle has a witness—Adrienne’s handsome business partner. Turns out he’s a Void, and sworn to a Union that executes rogue magic users. Worse, the firebreather isn’t the only victim to pop up around San Francisco. Someone is using magic to create monsters and destroy minds, and the Void Union wants them dead.

Now Adrienne must capture the rogue enchanter before they ruin more innocent lives—and before the Voids punish her for the rogue’s crimes. But Voids aren’t the worst thing chasing her. Every enchantment she crafts makes it more likely her past will track her down. And if it does, madness will be the kindest fate awaiting her.

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I mean, LOOK AT THAT COVER, right?? And the story is as delicious as it sounds. Scheduled publication is March 18, 2019. Don’t wait – Add this one to your Want-To-Read shelf on Goodreads right away!

Cover Reveal! New Series! Fantasy!!

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I’ve been waiting to share the cover and synopsis for book one of The Bitter Sea Trilogy, my upcoming fantasy series. I’m so excited it’s finally time!!

 

Without further delay, have a look!!

 

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After a violent storm destroys her ship, Isaura Johansdottir knows better than to hope she’ll be rescued from Eisland’s vast Failock Sea. Adrift and alone, her plans to start over lost, it’s a tragic conclusion after the disastrous end of her marriage—until she’s saved by Leonel, one of the merfolk, a creature long believed extinct. In repayment for her life, Leonel enlists her help to investigate the Failock’s mysterious and deadly plague of squalls. But when Isaura discovers Eisland’s ruthless new Lord commands the storms, her life will be in more danger on land than it ever was at sea.

As guardian of the Fathoms, Leonel must find the cause of unnatural storms ravaging the tidal currents and destroying the sea life. There are rumors of dark magic stirring in the Orom Abyss, the resting place of old, vanquished gods who tried to submerge the land millennia ago. Yet without proof, no one in King Ægir’s court will listen to him. And if it’s discovered he broke the Blue Laws to save a shipwrecked landweller, he might not survive the consequences.

As storms spread, Leonel and Isaura uncover secrets as forbidden as the bond that grows between them. Betrayal lurks in the restless sea, and when ancient powers lay siege to Eisland’s coast, the truth may be drowned along with everything else. 

***

This cover is another masterpiece of the amazingly talented artist at Seedlings Design Studio. I am in awe of Jenny’s work and I honestly can’t rave enough about it. Everything she touches becomes a stunning work of art.

Based on Norse ocean mythology, Beneath Cruel Fathoms is scheduled for release in the spring of 2019. There will be teasers and fun pre-release goodies leading up to it! I’ve updated the book’s page on Goodreads and you can add it to your TBR list today :):):)

 

And suddenly it’s November

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Hey everyone, it has been a while since I posted last, hasn’t it?

No, I haven’t ditched the whole blogging thing, though now you see why I stopped actively accepting review requests. What have I been up to? Well, aside from the general distraction of the world devolving into daily insanity…

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I discovered CloudLibrary! It’s a Kindle Fire app to access ebooks available through my local library. Now, you all know that I support indie books on this blog, but I do read trad pub books as well–When I can afford them because those suckers are usually $10 each. Sure, that’s not a ton of dollars but when you add a few of them together it turns into serious expense. Because of this I’ve had to be really, really selective on what I buy which means there are a ton of titles I wanted to read but couldn’t. Guys, this is why libraries exist and why they’re an extraordinary part of the community. I finagled the app onto my device, linked into my library and it was like…

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…like someone flung open the doors to a jewelry store and said, “Go ahead, take any pretties you want. Enjoy them a while, and when you’re done, come back for something new.”

Not gonna lie, there was squealing. I’m not prone to high pitch noises, but I was making them. SO, I’ve been reading these past months. And reading. And reading. And, let’s see…yup, reading. I’ve got a large TBR pile and a marvelous dent has been forming in it.

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Aside from reading, what else have I been up to?

I’ve also been writing. And writing. And writing. I’m hoping to publish two books next year – one in the Spring and one just before winter. This goal requires actually writing the actual words to finish the books, thus my long absence on the blog front. Kind of a bummer because I like blogging but time has to be found somewhere.

HOWEVER

I am happy to report that you’ll be hearing from me more this month because I have a couple of big reveals coming. I’ve been working on a project since August that I’ll finally be able to unveil to you in the coming week or so. I’m really excited about it!!! Can’t tell you more than that because…

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But the reveal is coming so stay tuned!

Also this month, I’ll be doing the cover reveal for Beneath Cruel Fathoms, the first book in The Bitter Sea trilogy, the new fantasy series I’m working on.

And meanwhile – yes, this is a long post, but news builds up after a few months;) – I wanted to draw your attention to an awesome new installment of the Uncharted Realms by Jeffe Kennedy. Her latest, The Arrows of the Heart, was a great read based in her Twelve Kingdoms fantasy world. Definitely recommended!

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Love this cover. If you haven’t started this series, begin with the first book The Mark of the Tala, one of my favorites.

That’s all for now! More posts coming soon:)

 

Summer Reading Event

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Fantasy author K. M. Shea has been running a pretty amazing summer reading event over on her site, collaborating with loads of authors to host awesome giveaways and free books.

For August, she has brought 70 authors together to participate in a huge BookFunnel giveaway of novellas and short stories. These are all classified as “clean” reads (no sex and minimum violence and language) and are 100% Free :):):)

Click here to head on over and see if there’s something new for you to try!

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Crying Suns

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Couple of quick things to tell you about as we head into the weekend:

First, I’ve put Insurrection: The Complete Omnibus on sale for 99¢ for a few days (also on Kindle Unlimited). Space battles, chases, escapes, true love, blasters — sometimes a love of blasters — all at a discount;)

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Second, for you gamers out there, I want to draw your attention to a seriously awesome indie game called Crying Suns. If you’re a fan of FTL, this is DEFINITELY a game you want in on. It’s in the final days of their Kickstarter campaign and the demo is unbelievably amazing. All the same fun and freedom of choosing your own adventure from FTL, but with more story. Kotaku has given it a rave review as well.

Check out the trailer:

Woah, right?? And the game play is as fun as this looks. The creators poured their heart and soul into this one, and it shows. We’re already contributors at my house and just had to signal boost. Support for independent creators is how epic games come about, so if you’re able, please consider giving them yours.

Go to Crying Suns Kickstarter campaign

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Guest Post: Challenging the Collective Identity

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Anela says: I’m excited to kick off a series of guest posts from awesome women authors of science fiction. Women fill science fiction as readers, writers, and characters in stories, though do not often receive equal recognition in this genre. Today, I welcome author Mikhaeyla Kopievsky as she examines gendered stereotypes and the ways in which science fiction has served as a vehicle to challenge them.

Take it away, Mikhaeyla!

Challenging the Collective Identity

Just a little while ago, on 14 July, I released the second book in my Divided Elements series, Rebellion. I thought it was kind of fitting that Rebellion was published on Bastille Day, since it is a dystopian tale of revolution set in a post-apocalyptic Paris. Interestingly, 14 July is also celebrated as International Non-binary Day – which similarly held a nice symmetry, since my book is centered on challenging the identity stereotypes society imposes.

As someone who has always strongly identified as female and as a feminist, but not particularly feminine, Non-binary day got me thinking about how gendered identity – like all types of identity – is both a deeply personal and a deeply cultural concept. And that authentic identity is forged in the way we both embrace and challenge the cultural stereotypes of that collective identity.

Collective identity is a tricky thing – by its very nature it is a generalisation; a broad-brushed characterisation of a shared experience, perspective, and values-system. Changing the way we view that characterisation (and opening up opportunities for challenging it), requires changing the narrative…

And what better vehicle for doing that than actual narratives?

Science fiction has been creating mind-bending narratives for decades and there are likely hundreds of examples that show stereotypes being challenged and reimagined. Today I want to share with you my favourite examples of gendered stereotypes turned on their heads by scifi books and movies:

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  • Sarah Connor (Terminator) – ‘Mother’. Sarah Connor is not the kind of mother you’d find in a Norman Rockwell painting and yet she is nothing if not fiercely maternal. Sarah debunks all concepts of passive, gentle motherhood and instead gives us a mother lioness.

 

 

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  • Ellen Ripley (Alien) – ‘Damsel in Distress’. Ellen Ripley is on a distant, unfamiliar planet when her entire crew is decimated by a really freaking scary alien. Ellen is not a kick-ass, alien-killing ninja (a la Emily Blunt’s Angel of Verdun in Edge of Tomorrow) – she is just a woman who is left alone and who must survive with the skills, knowledge and resources available to her. She is not super-human, but she finds a super-human strength within her to win her battle with a formidable foe and make it out alive.

 

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  • Ann Burden (Z is for Zacahariah) – ‘Dreamy Schoolgirl’. Ann, a teenage girl who is left alone on her family’s farm in the wake of a nuclear fallout, undergoes a rite of passage when her isolation is interrupted by the arrival of Loomis – an older man who appears with a radiation safe-suit and ideas on how to survive. Desperate for company and impressed by his confidence and credentials, Ann nurses him to health and fantasizes about eventually marrying him, falling into line with his ideas and directions. Over time, she starts to harbor doubts about the man and his ideas and when he turns aggressive and violent, rather than capitulate to submission, Ann takes control of her life and claws back her own agency.

 

  • YT (Snowcrash) – ‘Sweet Sidekick’. YT (Yours Truly) is a savvy, self-assured skateboarding courier who is more the reluctant hero than the book’s actual protagonist, Hiro. YT is a world-weary fifteen year old, who wears a dentata (anti-rape device), frequently thinks about sex, throws herself into the path of danger, and still loves her mum.

 

  • Nyx (God’s War) – ‘Pure Warrior’. There are many stories about women warriors who are righteous and just and almost Madonna-like (holy, not musical) in their pure quest for victory. Not Nyx. Nyx is a ruthless mercenary who kills for money, not morals and not loyalty. She is not the one to save the cat, she is one to save herself.

 

Each of these examples show how good science fiction can challenge what we think we know about a shared experience and collective identity. I see aspects of myself, my sister, my mother, and my friends in all of these characters – and I love that they broaden my understanding of what being female is and can be.

Challenging gender stereotypes creates a more dynamic and fluid understanding of identity and allows us to create more personal reflections of the cultural stereotypes that have previously limited us.

I hope to read, and create!, more amazing and interesting and unique female characters that continue to challenge and inspire me.

Anela says: Thank you so much for this insightful post, Mikhaeyla!

Readers, where have you seen science fiction confront or confound gender stereotypes in books/TV/movies/games?

Don’t forget to check out Mikhaeyla’s gripping Sci-Fi series Divided Elements below!

Love thought-provoking and subversive science fiction? Check out the Divided Elements series, where forging your own identity is the most dangerous form of revolution.

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From the moment you are born, you are conditioned to know this truth: Unorthodoxy is wrong action, Heterodoxy is wrong thought. One will lead to your Detention. The other to your Execution.

Two generations after the Execution of Kane 148 and Otpor’s return to Orthodoxy, the Resistor’s legacy still lingers.

In this future, post-apocalyptic Paris, forbidden murals are appearing on crumbling concrete walls – calling citizens to action. Calling for Resistance.

When Kane’s former protege, Anaiya 234, is selected for a high-risk undercover mission, Otpor is given the chance it needs to eliminate the Heterodoxy and Anaiya the opportunity she craves to erase a shameful past.

But the mission demands an impossible sacrifice – her identity.

While the growing rebellion will change the utopian lives of all Otpor’s citizens, for Anaiya it will change who she is. As the risk of violence escalates and every decision is fraught with betrayal, will Anaiya’s fractured identity save her or condemn her?

Winner of a 2017 OneBookTwo Standout Award, Resistance (Divided Elements #1) is free for a limited time. Rebellion (Divided Elements #2) is now available as an ebook from all major distributors.

Get your free Cocktail Companion Guide and deleted prologue by signing up to Mikhaeyla’s newsletter.

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MIKHAEYLA KOPIEVSKY is an independent speculative fiction author who loves writing about complex and flawed characters in stories that explore philosophy, sociology and politics. She holds degrees in International Relations, Journalism, and Environmental Science. A former counter-terrorism advisor, she has travelled to and worked in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Mikhaeyla lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia, with her husband and son. Divided Elements is her debut offering.