This past week we gave the spotlight to Bloodlines, the first book in Peter Hartog‘s Science Fantasy series, The Guardian of Empire City. Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Bloodlines through Peter’s…interview of sorts!
A native son of Massachusetts, Peter has been living in the Deep South for over 25 years. By day, he’s an insurance professional, saving the world one policy at a time. But at night, well, no one really wants to see him fighting crime in his Spider-Man onesie. Instead, Peter develops new worlds of adventure, influenced by his love of science fiction, mysteries, music and fantasy. Whether it’s running role-playing games for his long-time friends, watching his beloved New England sporting teams, or just chilling with a movie, his wife, two boys, one puppy and three cats, Peter’s imagination is always on the move. It’s the reason why his stories are an eclectic blend of intrigue, excitement, humor and magic, all drawn from four decade’s worth of television, film, novels, and comic books. You can learn more about Peter and his writing projects at peterhartog.com, or send him a tweet @althazyr.
It’s been twenty-five years since the Battle for the Archive. Peace reigns over the Silver Hills, and humans and Maer are preparing to sign their first trade agreement. Even warring tribes of the Free Maer have set aside old quarrels.
Sasha is a young scholar of mixed Maer and human parentage, traveling throughout the Maer lands collecting stories of the Ka-lar, the buried Forever Kings. She finds a reference in the Archive to a Ka-lar named Kuun, a scholar in life, who was laid down in an ancient brightstone mine, beneath a mountain said to be the home of the fabled Skin Maer. The lure of the tale is too strong to resist. Joined by some old friends, Sasha sets out to uncover secrets that have lain buried for over a thousand years. In The Place Below, the Maer Cycle comes to a close as the darkest mysteries of the Maer are at last brought into the light.
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
APRIL 18TH – THE KICKOFF
“Right now, science fiction and fantasy are everywhere. From books to television, the big screen to the Internet, there is a veritable pupu platter of media devoted to the telling of otherworldly tales. Whether set in the vastness of space, in a dragon-filled sky, or on a fast-moving train through a stygian winterscape, both genres artfully form bridges between our world and elsewhere. These tall tales engage us, showcasing not only the struggles between villains and heroes, but introspectively exploring hidden powers or realities within ourselves to help us see that identity doesn’t have to be defined by where we are now, but by who we can be. At times, these stories startle our senses, hinting at bright magic and frightening monsters, or what fantastical dreams may come. Further still, they might delve deep beyond the human condition, perhaps understanding life that isn’t carbon-based, or discovering a burgeoning consciousness that can see through dimensions and time, into even more outlandish worlds that could very well be right in your back yard.”
Beneath a Thousand Skies – review
“I had so much fun with this book from start to finish, and that ending!! This is the perfect read for anyone who loves science fantasy or wants to lose themselves in a wonderful, gripping, multi-genre read. I can’t wait to see what else Peter Hartog does within this world, and I will definitely be picking up any future books.”
Out of This World SFF Reviews – review
“This was a really gripping first book in this series and I already can’t wait to check out book #2. If you are looking for a more adult urban fantasy read with super cool technology, a captivating SF noir feel, intriguing mysteries, and monsters that can only be described as nightmares come to life, then Peter Hartog has written the first book in a promising new series that you should definitely check out right now. I had a ton of fun reading this and I feel like things are only going to get even better and crazier in the upcoming entries. An impressive debut for sure.”
@chapter.mjthomas – review + IG spotlight
“A great read that crossed all my expectations and delivered me an unexpected whirlwind of suspense and thrill. Just wow.”
FanFiAddict – reviews + interview
Justin: “For this to be his debut, I am really impressed with the level of writing that is on display. Hartog manages to navigate a complex murder mystery plot, while adding in loads of worldbuilding and character development. Each of the characters have their own demons (maybe literally?) that they have to face and watching the team come together and learn to respect each other, albeit sometimes grudgingly, was really satisfying.“
Manny: “As a final thought, when you create a shiny toy filled with electronic parts, add magic dust and grim creatures of the night and compile it all with a murder mystery, the result is Peter Hartog’s Bloodlines. Highly recommended.”
dinipandareads – review
“Bloodlines was a unique and refreshing dystopian urban fantasy thriller that kept me hanging on in nervous anticipation until the very end. Hartog’s writing was evocative and made it easy to imagine the scenes unfold before me as if it were a TV series (seriously, this would be an awesome show?)!”
Her Scribbled Thoughts – review + IG spotlight
“Easy to read, fun, fast-paced. This book is the caliber of a traditionally published gem, mixed with the freedom offered to authors through self-publishing. He was free to play but put a lot of skills on display in this book! Hartog is a new favorite of mine and I cannot wait for the next in series!”
Al-Alhambra – review
“This novel feels like an open-world sci-fi video game. It could do very well as a tabletop campaign if it was ever made into one. There is so much to uncover in this story. I will say this, Holliday is like Detective Miller from the Expanse.”
@theenchantedshelf – IG spotlight
Book and Nature Professor – review
“In my search for urban fantasy, I finally found a brilliant series. Bloodlines combines urban fantasy, crime thriller and magic woven into an exciting, page turning mystery. The pacing of the plot is excellent. It pulls you right in and keeps going at an even pace. There were no parts where I felt the story plodded along. Everything moves the story forward until the climax of the book. There were so many things I never saw coming and it was a fantastic read.”
After pouring two fingers worth of Angel’s Envy, I settled myself into one of the high-backed chairs of polished oak, appreciating the dancing hearth fire as it bathed me in its friendly glow. I saluted my august hostess, then sipped at my glass. The fortifying bourbon burned my throat, spreading comfortable fingers of warmth throughout my body.
The pleasantries out of the way, I focused my attention upon the task at hand.
“Thank you for having me, your Highness. It truly is an honor to be sitting with you tonight. I must admit that your doorman…or door-thing…or whatever you have stationed at the front door was very polite. Especially when it was made abundantly clear what might happen to me if I didn’t follow the rules of the Asylum.”
I smiled deprecatingly, then took another sip and plowed ahead.
“As for me, I’m just some damn Yankee from Massachusetts who moved down to Georgia in the mid 1990s. I grew up with Star Trek, MASH, the A-Team, Spider-Man and Daredevil comics, Indiana Jones, AD&D, and all the highs and lows of the 1970s and 1980s. To say my musical taste hasn’t escaped beyond 1989 is an understatement (excluding movie and television scores). I’m a sucker for Billy Joel, The Scorpions, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Duran Duran, Hall & Oates, Journey, RUSH…well, the list goes on and on.
These days, I’m the father of two boys (13 and 11), one golden retriever and three rescue cats. When I’m not working as a commercial property underwriter for an insurance company, I dabble at writing. Bloodlines is my first completed novel, with its sequel Pieces of Eight to be released in the coming months.
Music inspires me. Whether its song or score, lyrics or rhythm, I listen to music whenever I write. The sound divines the scene for me. I might be staring at a blank screen wondering what to type next, and then my subconscious gets caught up into whatever I’m listening. That’s when I feel the jazz. The magic of the creative moment. And everything moves.
I’m also inspired by a view. An endless expanse of blue without a hint of white. Dulcet waves lapping at a sandy shore. A scorched sky calling it a day.
Then there are my boys, my dog and my cats. They’re unique, so full of a vibrance whose energy is contagious. My boys are my light. My wife, of course, is my rock. My constant companion supporting me in my writing endeavors, putting up with my manic ‘imposter syndrome’, among other things.
All of these things inspire both me and my writing.”
I paused. My eyes grazed the fire, lost in its light.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” I asked, my reverie interrupted by my gracious hostess. “What would Detective Tom “Doc” Holliday do to end up in an asylum? Well, Doc fully expects to end up at one, given everything he’s seen through the Insight. That’s the name he’s given to the fickle clairvoyance he somehow possesses. Both a blessing and a curse. When you can see all the terrible and dark things hiding within Empire City, well, there’s only so much a mind can take.
Yet, there’s something about the magic of the Insight that just might protect him, too. He’s still discovering what it can do, and after meeting Deacon and Besim, seeing the shadow shrouding his adoptive little sister Leyla, and learning about Orpheus and her so-called Game, well, he’s too damn stubborn to give in to madness. At least, not yet.
It’s funny you should ask about an asylum in Empire City. The sequel has something to do with that…but I don’t want to spill the beans before the book sees the light of day. You’ll just have to wait for its release.
Anyway, if I were ever placed in an asylum, I’d love to be cooped up with Deacon Kole, the former Protector from the Confederate States of Birmingham. He’s the right kind of irascible and irreverent, enough to keep me laughing so hard I just might forget where I was.
But if I were locked up for eternity, I think my go-to book would have to be the annotated and collected works of Shakespeare. So many stories and sonnets to read, that I’d expect to find something new each time I rolled through the iambic pentameter.”
The fire’s light captured me. I stared ahead pondering life’s many mysteries.
“I love to write. I love crafting worlds and characters and scenes, and I want to share my vision with anyone and everyone. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or topple governments. I just want my readers to kick back and let their minds wander along the strange, magical and dangerous streets of Empire City. Have them settle in beside Doc, Deacon, Leyla and Besim as they hunt a killer and unravel a terrible mystery surrounding a woman with a bogus past. Maybe my readers will laugh. Maybe they’ll cry. Maybe they’ll jump up and shout when Special Crimes finally makes their move. I don’t really know. But I hope that whoever does read Bloodlines, they’ll walk away and feel like they’ve been entertained, if only for a little while.”
I sighed, finishing the last of my bourbon.
“Thank you for indulging me, your Highness—” I heard the telltale click of the door. Glancing about, I noticed I was alone. “Um, your Highness? Where are you going? Didn’t I follow the rules? And, um, why is the fire going out?”a Rafflecopter giveaway
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