Friday, May 20, 2016

Book Blitz + #Giveaway: Forestium by Christopher D. Morgan @portallasbooks @XpressoTours


Forestium
Christopher D. Morgan
(Portallas #1)
Publication date: February 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed? 
Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.

 

EXCERPT:


Prologue

Melachor and Veloria stopped just long enough to catch their
breath.
Melachor felt Sandor’s forehead with his palm. The skin was
still damp and hot to the touch. The infant’s breathing had
become increasingly laboured and he was now gasping for breath.
Melachor stared at the tattered map, his hand shaking.
“Please, Melachor, we must rest.” Veloria leaned against a
grungy building with the infant limp in her arms, barely able to
stand. Her fatigued toddler whined as he clung to her.
Sandor continued whimpering. Time was running out.
Melachor shook his head and heaved a sigh as he caught his wife’s
eye. She clutched a protective arm around Jared’s shoulders. Both
of them feared their toddler might also catch this plague.
They peeked up and down the filthy alleyway. Screams rang out
from all directions. Pandemonium in the distance wrenched at
their attention but Sandor’s wellbeing was all they could focus on
right now.
“This way, Vel” he said, leading his exhausted family further
into the maze of backstreets.
People had been running for cover, and the winding alleys were now all but empty. The sun’s rays didn’t penetrate into these
narrow passages and a foul stench hung in the air. Shady figures
lingered in the shadows, and he felt eyes staring at them from
hidden corners.
The rickety, wooden buildings gave no outward sign of what lay
behind each door. Melachor knew it was unsafe to bring his family
here, but if Sandor were to stand any chance of surviving the
illness, he needed to find a Metamorph and quickly. The pox had
claimed so many lives already and time was running out for
Sandor.
Although no longer a Trader, Melachor had spent many years
travelling from village to village and was a good listener. It was by
no means clear whether the legends were true or just tales told by
drunks and con-artists. But these were desperate times. The map
was the only clue they had to help them find the mythical creature,
and it had led them to these backstreets. Melachor had risked his
life to get his hands on the map and he hoped it was not in vain.
Veloria clutched Sandor in one hand and clung to Jared with
the other. She shuffled closely behind her husband as he led them
through the muddy alleys.
The family reached an intersection. Melachor looked in all
directions, trying to find a familiar landmark, but his search was in
vain. It had been too long since he was last here in the Southern
Tip. Already one of Forestium’s largest settlements, it had grown
considerably in recent years.

  

Q&A with Christopher D. Morgan:

When did you first discover your love for writing? 

Actually, not until quite late in life. In fact, I was never very good at English when I was in school and writing was always a chore to be avoided at all costs. Being blessed with unintelligible handwriting wasn’t helpful either. Later in life, however, articulating myself through the written word became something I really started to enjoy.



Do you have a favourite place to write?

Not really, but it does have to be in a quiet environment. I’m very easily distracted. When I’m in the zone, I tend to quietly slip off to a cosy spot and get my nose down into the keyboard. I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies entirely from the family home. Often on the sofa, but sometimes on the bed or at the computer desk. I haven’t tried going to a writer’s retreat yet. Perhaps I’ll reserve that for a special occasion.



Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to? 

Oh yes. Typically, I’ll kick off a chapter with brief one-liners that describe the events to come sequentially. There could be anywhere up to 50 or more of these for a given chapter. I do this to map out the scene or chapter and then convert each one in turn into a paragraph or two. This process is repeated until all the one-liners are gone. That’s actually the hardest part, I think. I’ll then scour what’s written repeatedly, fixing and adjusting. Of course, that last part is never truly finished – ever.



Where did you come up with the name Portallas? 

Initially, it started quite literally from the word PORTAL. This quickly led to the word Portallas and the idea of having some sort of portal that would link worlds together. An interesting aside is that Portallas actually started out life as Portallus. Unfortunately, portallus.com was already taken, but portallas.com was still available, so a hasty name change took place. Despite the master plan I have in my mind, I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies deliberately to stand on its own merits as a standalone book.



Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

I have a real soft spot for Sarah, as do many others. She embodies many of the characteristics I’d wish for in my own daughter. She’s a strong, independent, resourceful and brilliant young woman – not to mention absolutely beautiful. Of course, she has her flaws. She tend to ramble on a bit (much to the annoyance of Andrew).



Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors? 

I’m still learning as I go but there are some things that I can advise others that may wish to follow in the path: - Go for it. Really, just do it. You may be pleasantly surprised. Even if you fail, it’s better to have tried and failed than to wonder for the rest of your life whether you could have done it or not. - If you are going to publish a book on a budget, don’t scrimp on the editing or the book cover – at least, make those your primary focus. Everything else is expendable when push comes to shove. - Don’t get conned. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as there will always be people looking to take advantage of someone with a need.




Author Bio:
Christopher Morgan is an author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. Much of his time is spent volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which are marketed through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees. 
Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age 20, he moved to The Netherlands, where he married Sandy, his wife of 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending 7 years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited around 40 countries to date. 
Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live. 
FORESTIUM is Christopher’s debut novel and is the first in the PORTALLAS series. 

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