Sunday, October 20, 2019

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The God Queen (Rebirth #1) by M.L. Tishner


Title: The God Queen
Series: Rebirth, Book One
Author: M.L. Tishner
Publication Date: October 22nd 2019
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Science Fiction
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The return of the God Queen is not what everyone hoped…

Humans have long since spread their numbers among the stars. Now far, far into the future, war has torn the Tyre Star Cluster into two major political factions. The militant Dominion have gained the upper hand in the last decade with the murder of Niklaryn Ettowa, the progressive Federation’s champion. Some considered the war to be almost won.

Yet there are those who claim the war will not be ended by mortals…but by the rebirth of the gods.

Rei lived most of her life bartending on one Earth’s backwater towns. She daydreams of something more, traveling the stars, and destroying the man who murdered her brother Niklaryn. Her dream is within her grasp only if she accepts her fate as the God Queen.

Bronx is disillusioned with being a reincarnated god, let alone a reaper. He pays his penance by isolating himself and taking up the mantle of a combat medic. When the sister of his old mentor Niklaryn storms in to join the cause will he find something worth fighting for?

Together with others, they must help the Federation tip the scales in their favor, but clashing plans for the gods threatens to tear it all apart.

Jupiter Ascending meets X-Men in this epic New Adult space opera bursting with star-crossed romance, elemental magic, and an adventure across the star cluster, perfect for fans of A Spark of White Fire.

EXCERPT:
Rei meandered down the sidewalk, passing between the parked cars along the sidewalk and the low adobe buildings with curved aluminum roofs until she arrived at the business she owned with her mother, Coronta Bar, with its flickering neon sign of a blooming flower. They couldn’t afford a holographic sign, but Rei liked the way the flower shone at night. She pulled aside the deep green cloth that served as the door, feeling its rough texture in her hand, and entered.

Rei took a moment to let the events of the last few minutes settle around her. She didn’t hate living in Ballarat, right at the edge of the Great Basin—the one on Earth, not the famous one on Proxima Centauri II. Yet ever since the last election, Rei grew more and more anxious to leave. She didn’t mind living on a Dominion planet before, but her religious freedom wasn’t impeded on before either. Unfortunately, she didn’t know where she could go.

She pushed down those feelings and continued down the steps into the bar. The main body dove deep underground where it was naturally cooler.

It was a slow day, but there was plenty of laughter and talk that echoed off the walls and rang in her ears. It was a welcoming sound. The place boasted enough chairs and tables to fit most of the village, and to her left was the bar, a curved structure already filled with a few customers on stools. Her mother, Hotara, stood on the other side, filling orders with a speed and skill that bordered on magic while laughing at some joke.

Eyes shifted to Rei as she entered. Not all of them, but some. She was used to it. Most of the town inhabitants were capable of tracing their family lineage back several generations. With a population of no more than five hundred, their gene pool wasn’t large or varied. Almost everyone shared the same Ballaratan dark eyes and black hair, making Rei’s pale green eyes and brown hair an oddity. Of course, that wasn’t the only thing that drew stares, judging from the way their gazes looked her up and down, lingering a little longer than they needed, but it was one of them. It made her “exotic,” or at least that’s the way she put it.

Hotara, on the other hand, was considered more alluring with her porcelain skin, despite years under the harsh sun, and raven hair, which she always kept in a practical braid. Rei could count on one hand the number of times she had seen her mother’s hair loose. It cascaded like the shiny silks Rei saw in the market. Her mother’s face also had an ageless quality that made patrons always try to guess how old she was. At first glance, Rei and Hotara appeared to be the same age, but it was Hotara’s eyes that gave away her years. Rei couldn’t help but be jealous, especially of her mother’s lilac irises—an even rarer attribute to all the known planets of the star cluster.

Rei approached the bar where her mother poured several shots of Coronta—a deep violet liqueur Hotara personally distilled—on a tray sticky with the remnants of other drinks. Rei snatched two of the shots, quickly tossed back the first one, and gasped. The temporary burning gave way to warmth that started in her belly and flowed through the rest of her body. She sipped the second one slowly. All the while, her mother didn’t comment, simply pouring two more shots. She picked up the tray and handed it to Rei. “Table four, and I am taking those shots out of your pay.”

Rei took another sip. “You don’t even pay me.”

Her mother gave Rei an impish grin. “Oh damn, you’re right. Just take that tray, and there will be another one waiting for you when you get back to me.”

She did as she was told and returned to find Hotara holding another shot. Rei took it gratefully.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Rei let the burning liqueur warm her tongue before she swallowed and spoke. “There was an execution. The baker’s son who refused to convert.”

Hotara was silent for several seconds, staring at the far back wall. “Gods. What is happening to this town?”

“Apparently, I am to blame since I won’t fall in line. If I don’t convert and convince the others to do so, I will be the next sacrifice.” Rei leaned in closer to her mother. “It’s not safe for us to stay here anymore. We should leave, but I don’t want to leave Ballarat at the mercy of that a**hole.”

“We’re not leaving.” Hotara took the used glasses and ran them through the motorized brush, the soapy suds covered her hand. “It’s safer for you here. We can deal with the cleric together.”

Rei’s face fell. “Safer? Are you serious? He singled me out.”

“There are more dangerous monsters out in the star cluster than a cleric who has to pick on small women to feel strong.”

Rei leaned against the bar and crossed her arms. Her mother was referring to the stranger who’d been hunting Rei her entire life, who killed her parents.

Rei set down her unfinished shot and took the cleaned glasses from her foster mother to dry them before putting them back on the shelf. “You have yet to tell me who this monster is. An invisible threat was scary when I was a child, but I’m twenty-two.”

“I never told you who it was because I wanted you to have a normal childhood. I didn’t want you consumed by pursuing someone who will never find you here.” Hotara jammed a glass vigorously onto the brush.

“You told my brother.”

Hotara stopped and let out a loud breath. “And look where that got Niklaryn. He was so consumed with revenge that it killed him.”

The hair on the back of Rei’s neck prickled. “Technically he was murdered by his best friend—”

“Don’t get smart with me; you know what I mean. You are safer here. End of discussion.”

Rei sighed, reached for her unfinished shot, and kicked back the rest of it. There were few things that scared her mother and whoever hunted Rei did. That alone gave Rei pause. Without this unknown threat hanging above her head, she would have left to avenge Niklaryn years ago. Instead, she had to stay because her brother died to keep her safe. Perhaps Hotara was right, there was no need to run. They would handle the cleric—he was just one man. She continued drying the rest of the glasses while Hotara drifted between tables for more orders.

Rei’s gaze wandered around their little bar. Since the main room sat so low underground, the only lights came from old lamps stained from years of patrons smoking. The walls boasted a few old posters of bands who used to perform as they passed through. Other posters displayed advertisements, including one for the Ettowa Star Line—her family’s most well-known business endeavor: luxury starships. But they were relatives she’d never met. No one in her family was aware she hid out here. She didn’t dare even speak the name Ettowa out loud without Hotara worrying whose attention they would attract.

Rei used to daydream one of her relatives would find her and bring her back into the family, but the likelihood grew slimmer as she grew older. If an Ettowa were ever to come to Ballarat, now would be the best time. With their money and connections, Rei would use them to avenge her brother, or at least get away from the cleric. Yet, she knew she would never leave Hotara behind, and the stubborn woman refused to leave.

Across the bar sat one of their regulars, Sagitan Bronto, a retired Daer Knight, who wore his white hair short, which contrasted against his dark brown skin. His clothes fit his body well, accentuating that he was still in shape despite his age. For someone who spent a good part of the day at Coronta Bar, he rarely drank. He claimed he “simply enjoyed the company.”

He watched one of the popular video logs on his touch screen, his back to her so she had the perfect view.

Even though Rei didn’t hear what the reporter said, the flash of bombs in another nameless city gave her a hint of what Sagitan was watching.

“More news on the civil war?” she asked.

Sagitan turned and put the screen down on the bar. “Yes. Trappist V wants to become Federation, but there is a strong Dominion base. They have elections coming up, but the violent ones can’t wait. I’m interested in seeing how that plays out.”

Another image of dark figures in red robes appeared on the screen, along with the byline about Infiernen Jessar and his Infinity Dogs almost making an appearance on Trappist V.

“Hasn’t that man done enough damage? People should vote as they want, not because of fear,” muttered Sagitan.

Rei’s hatred for Infiernen ran deeper than his love of violence, and watching him use the same fear tactics as the cleric set her teeth on edge.

“Apparently not,” she muttered. Her hand reached for the ring she wore on a cord around her neck. It belonged to her brother and was all that was left of him. “I wish the god queen would hurry up and return. She could rid us of the Dominion, and we can get some peace and quiet. He can die first.” She pointed to the image of Infiernen on the screen.

“Who says it has to be the god queen?” asked Sagitan. “Or any of the gods? People can also move mountains, even if it is one stone at a time. You simply need to put yourself into a position where you can govern the change you want to see.”

“Me? I am pretty sure you heard Hotara. Putting myself in such a position would require I leave Ballarat, and I am not going anywhere.”

“Like I said, dear, one stone at a time. There’s good you can do here and still defy the Dominion.”

He was right. She hated the Dominion’s current war on religion, among other things, and they needed someone to teach them a lesson. She may not reach the likes of Infiernen, but the cleric was close enough. An idea formed her in mind. It was simple, but it would be a start.

“Hotara,” Rei called across the room. Her mother had been chatting with customers and her head jerked up at the mention of her name. “I hope you don’t mind getting less sleep tonight. I have a stone I want to move.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mari, a native Hoosier, currently lives in southern Germany where she entertains people with her adventures as an American expat in the Land of Beer and Pretzels on her blog as well as the adventures of her pugs, Abner and Roxy. When she’s not writing, Mari cooks, snowboards, dances to the beat of her own drum, reads late into the night, and binge watches Netflix with her husband. The God Queen is her debut novel.


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