Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ragnarok Chronicles by Nicki J. Markus

Title: The Ragnarok Chronicles
Author: Nicki J. Markus
Length (print): 678
Genre: Fantasy Adventure/Mythology/Romance
Suitable: 16 years and above


For Ragnarok will be completed….
Nothing marks Cassandra out—except her visions. She’s only ever seen small, insignificant things. That is until the strange frost arrives.
With her normal life turned upside down, Cassandra is plunged into an extraordinary and terrifying world of Norse gods and rampaging giants, ancient feuds and broken prophecies.
A handsome stranger offers aid. But can Cassandra really trust him? More importantly, can she trust her own judgment when his slightest touch sets her heart and her body aflame?

Book trailer

First Experiences of Self-Publishing
Nicki J Markus
2015 marks a new stage in my life as a writer. Previously my work was published by others, but now I am branching out into the world of self-publishing for the first time with my new novel The Ragnarök Chronicles. My decision to self-published this work was twofold: 1) my story did not fit easily into the categories and word count requirements for most publishers; and 2) this book is my baby and means more to me than anything I’ve written previously, so I was keen on the idea of retaining complete creative control.
I was familiar with the process of self-publishing before I started, but new to formatting, cover design etc. I decided to attempt much of the production myself and this certainly required me to submit to a steep learning curve. I’d only made one-page documents in InDesign in the past, and now I was attempting a 678 page book. And then there was the cover design. I had a strong idea of how I wanted it to look, but it took several hours of fiddling with my Photoshop, using what little knowledge of the software I possessed, to produce the end result.
For a while all seemed to be going well. Then I hit the EPUB formatting. At first, all was fine, but suddenly my file was losing text and not letting me put it back in, and after several teary and stressful hours, I admitted defeat and sent the PDF to a professional to complete the conversion.
For me the moral of the story is: know your limits. I wanted to complete all the work myself, not least for the sense of pride at the end, but I also wanted to produce a book that was of professional quality for readers. So when it came to it, I bowed to my limited skill set and sought help, and that would be my advice to anyone else looking to self-publish. Be realistic and keep in mind what it is you want to achieve.
The journey from the first seed of the idea to the publication of The Ragnarök Chronicles lasted around eight months and involved a lot of work, a great deal of stress, and even a few tears. But it has all been worth it to get my story out there and share it with readers. I hope everyone will find it an enjoyable tale and find as much pleasure reading it as I experienced writing the characters and seeing it all come together.
Surtr gripped the arms of his throne, clenching and unclenching his muscles as he stared at Loki’s fast-retreating back. And retreating was certainly the word for it. Although the godling would doubtless try to convince himself otherwise, his nephew had not come out the victor on this occasion. Surtr imagined he was expecting to be attacked even now, and it could not be denied Surtr was eager to set his men on the little upstart. All he had to do was give the word and it would be over. There was no way the ragr could survive if forced to battle the entire court, regardless of the power Surtr had sensed flowing in the half-breed’s veins.
In the end it was the power that stayed Surtr’s hand. That kind of worship for the Æsir did not exist anymore—of that he was certain—so what was its source? From whence had the influx of magic originated? Loki was clearly up to something and Surtr did not like not knowing what was going on. They may have fought on the same side once, but Surtr had never trusted his friend’s sly son and he was not about to start doing so now. He doubted not but that Loki felt the same way about him. For that he could admire his nephew: the boy was not a complete fool. He would find out what mischief the godling was planning. Once he knew the extent of the ragr’s machinations he could decide on the best way of dealing with him. With the rest of the Æsir long gone, their bones littering Vígríðr, Surtr ruled supreme and had no further need of the pretender. Perhaps it was time Loki, Son of Laufey joined his chosen family in the dust.
Surtr waited until his attendants had closed the door behind his visitor; then he called over his head guard. “I want him followed. But subtly. Take the horse so you can move between the realms. Make no show of your presence, but go wherever he goes. I want to know everything he is doing, everyone to whom he speaks. Understand? The son of Fárbauti is not to lift a finger without my knowing about it.”
“My Lord, I am yours to command.” The guard gave a low bow, and then sped through the chamber and out into the courtyard beyond.

Buy Links:

Amazon US (Kindle):
Amazon UK (Kindle):
Amazon AU (Kindle):
Barnes & Noble (NOOK):
Kobo (EPUB):
Amazon US (Paperback):ök-Chronicles-Nicki-J-Markus/dp/0994234600
Amazon UK (Paperback):ök-Chronicles-Nicki-J-Markus/dp/0994234600
The Book Depository (Paperback):ök-Chronicles-Nicki-Markus/9780994234605

About the author

Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works.
Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of Asta Idonea and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing.
Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader and in her spare time enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.
Social media links

Author Interview
1. What made you decide to write?
I loved books from a very young age. When we were children, my mother would ask me and my sister what we wanted to do with her for the afternoon. Invariably, my sister would want to play with dolls and I would ask to read a book. So, you can see books and reading have been a lifelong habit.
For many years I wanted to be a writer, but never did anything about it. It was only after my move to Australia that I decided enough was enough: if I wanted it, I should do it. My first publications were several short stories that were released through Wicked Nights Publishing. From there, I released two novellas with Silver Publishing in 2011 and 2012. However, when both those publishers closed their doors, I found myself back at square one.
I had done a lot of editing work in the M/M genre, and when Wayward Ink Publishing opened and I started to edit for them, I decided to try my hand at something new and submitted to one of their anthologies. That story, The Raider, was accepted and was published under my M/M alternate pen name, Asta Idonea. Since then I’ve had several more short stories accepted by them, and I just sent in a novella for their consideration, which I hope to hear back on later this month.
Meanwhile, I did not neglect my mainstream writing and commenced my first novel, The Ragnarök Chronicles, as well as deciding to re-edit/rework my two older novellas for self-publication. One of those, Time-Keepers, came out in January, and the other, Day-Walker, will release in May.
I have a wild imagination, full of characters and stories, and I wanted to be a writer so I could share them with others. Hopefully readers will come to love the characters as much as I do!

2. Do you read in your free time? If so what if your chosen Genre?
Absolutely! Reading is a favourite pastime of mine; I only wish I had more free time for it than I do at present. I read fairly widely across the categories; although, I do tend to steer clear of chick lit and true crime. However, my favourite genres are literary fiction and paranormal/fantasy.
3. Do you prefer quiet space to write or with sound in the background?
Although I normally love music, I prefer complete silence when I write, to the point where I prefer to work on my stories when I have the house to myself—even knowing my husband is wandering around in the other rooms can be a distraction. I type in the study on our desktop PC, but I always edit from a printed copy, sitting in the chair by the window in my library/music room.
4. Do you share your writings with friends and family? Or do you prefer them to NOT read your work?
I love to have friends and family read my work. Generally my husband is the only one who sees things pre-submission. He’s my sounding board when I finish a first draft. He’s not overly literary-minded and doesn’t ‘critique’ as such, but he does give me an initial reader’s opinion on whether the story and characters are coming across well or if there are any plot issues. Other family members and friends will usually buy my books once they come out, and I send regular email/social media updates to them when I have something new on the horizon.
That said, my new foray into the world of M/M has been interesting. My parents still buy the books to support me, but I believe only my father has read any so far... my mother’s a little more tentative about that genre! They are both currently reading The Ragnarök Chronicles though. My mother is halfway through Book Two, but my father is still lagging behind in Book One.
5. What things do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Oh, I have tons of hobbies and interests—too many, probably, since I struggle to find time for them all! I am a keen linguist (I have a PGDip in Translation) and love learning new languages; although, I get less time to practise them all now I live in Australia and can no longer nip to Paris or Prague for the weekend. I’m interested all forms of the arts, and I enjoy sketching, singing, piano, flute, theatre and cinema. I also write letters to my pen pals, do cross-stitch, and love to learn about folklore, myth and history....

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