Wednesday, May 10, 2017

VBT + #Giveaway: Harbingers by Ellis Morning @EllisMorning @GoddessFish

by Ellis Morning
GENRE: Science Fiction/Fantasy


The Quest Continues To Stop A Killer "Curse!"

Dame Jessamine is a knight errant with a spaceship for a steed, a woman of science in a galaxy rife with superstition. Follow along as she continues her mission for truth within the barony of Nidaros!

A mysterious crop-withering blight spreads through the barony's soil. The court magicians have blamed two siblings of spawning the crisis through witchcraft. Convinced of their innocence, Jessamine has rescued and now secretly harbors Verahl Naustvik aboard her spaceship. Meanwhile, his sister Thordia flees to the Harbinger, a crashed space station from the distant and more enlightened past.

Approaching the Harbinger is an act punishable by death, but Jessamine won't let that stand in the way of a second rescue. Thordia, and the Harbinger's surviving technological secrets, may be Nidaros' only hope against the blight. Jessamine prepares to embark—only to be betrayed and set upon by vengeful court magicians.

Now, one wrong word or gesture will lead to deadly charges of witchcraft. Jessamine must protect the Naustviks and brave the Harbinger, all while striking a balance between ritual and reason. If she can't maintain the peace long enough to discover a cure for the blight, the entire barony will starve—unless its far-off masters decide to "restore order" with military action first!

Harbingers is Book Two of the Sword and Starship series of science fiction/fantasy adventure.


Outside the barracks, Ingvar, Pontus, and I stared out into the starry night. Colorful flashes pierced a single point in the sky at irregular intervals—some strong, others flickering. Some were as short-lived as fireflies, easy to miss if one weren’t looking directly at them. Most were green and orange, with the occasional burst of red.

I held my breath while puzzling over the matter. Stellar phenomenon, meteor shower? No, it seemed much closer than that. Explosives? But silence reigned in their wake. Ingvar and I had found the Naustviks’ house full of Shipbuilder holograms and lighting devices. Could this be more of the same, wielded by adepts or others with adequate knowledge? But usually, such objects and knowledge were rare.

There was a more mundane possibility: fireworks. Metal salts like calcium chloride, ground into a powder and introduced to fire, burned up in a dramatic display of color. My mentors at the Enduring Flame Beguinage had introduced me to tricks like that, specifically labeling them tricks. Adepts performed such stunts, too, but called them “magic.”

At my side, Ingvar frowned. “They seem to hover right over the capital buildings.” He referred to the three Shipbuilder structures at the core of Nidaros’ capital: the Baron’s estate, the adepts’ keep, and the storehouse.

“Unseen. Never thought …” Pontus trailed off nervously. He stood ahead of us, his reaction invisible.

“Pontus?” Ingvar prompted. “Is there something I don’t know about?”

The lieutenant faced us, fists clenched at his sides. The right one slowly ground his wishing beads into dust. “Last week, the boys on night watch whispered about a vision like this. They convinced the next night’s shift to be on the lookout, but it never repeated itself. Forgot about it until now.”

“Wherefore didn’t anyone tell me?” Ingvar asked.

“We know not to bring you a ghost tale unless we have the ghost on a leash, sir.” Pontus tossed his head over his shoulder. “Is that close enough?”

Ingvar scowled toward the flashing lights again, saying nothing.

Interview with Ellis Morning

1. What inspired you to write Harbingers?

There are a lot of answers! It’s a common question, so I hope to give partial answers over the course of this tour that will eventually form a big picture.

Star Trek has been a huge influence for me throughout my life. Harbingers takes place in a galaxy where a spacefaring civilization once flourished, then collapsed. That earlier civilization is similar to the United Federation of Planets, but with significant differences. For one, while there’s lots of extraterrestrial life, humans appear to be the only intelligent spacefaring species. For another, they had different priorities, and their technology went down different paths as a result. I’ll let you read the book and see the differences yourself. :)

2. Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in Sword and Starship or what you have planned for the future?

I anticipate there will be at least one or two more books. I’ll write as many as necessary to tell the story I want to tell. Actual details, I’m not as sure about right now, but I hope to keep answering old mysteries while constantly raising new ones.

3. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Harbingers?

The characters’ struggles, relationships, and development are what I try to focus the most on. In Harbingers, you’ll find people who are likable but flawed, people who have limits but push past them when needed, people who agree on what the end result should be but disagree on how to get there. Rivalries, friendships, feuds, romances—they’re all present. The characters are practically a part of my brain at this point. When drafting, I let them tell me what they want to do and how they’ll react to things.

4. You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

If I had to choose just one, I’d narrow it down to Mark Twain. I completely love how he was informative and humorous at the same time.

5. If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?

I’d skip ahead real quick to see if Starfleet exists, because if so, I want to sign up! If not, I’ll rewind a few thousand years to see ancient civilizations at their heights.

6. Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

Yes! I have one cat named Lockheed (since he’s a sleek little stealth hunter). He’s absolutely my buddy. He gets me out of bed in the morning, hangs out with me on the couch every evening, and falls asleep at my feet at night. :)

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.

Thanks so much for having me! :) Feel free to chat me up in the comments section, or visit my blog:


Ellis has always loved staging adventures in her head before going to sleep each night. When she was twelve, she started putting these adventures on paper.
For the next twenty years, she wrote with varying degrees of seriousness, but always as a hobby. In that time, she fell in love with Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, the original Star Trek series, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Science fiction became her favorite domain to work in, but she also enjoyed reading fantasy, horror, Western, and detective stories, and incorporating their elements into her work. One of her favorite things to do was make people laugh.

Ellis denied being a writer for decades. But then she sold articles to The Daily WTF, and a short story to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. After quitting her full-time job to finish her first novel, it was time to own up to writing as her calling. She's currently an editor at The Daily WTF, and having the time of her life penning novels and short stories.

Author LINKS:



$20 Amazon or B/N GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, and thanks to everyone reading this post! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have. I plan to stop by later this evening to answer any comments that come in. Thanks again! :)

Bernie Wallace said...

What is the best book that you read last year. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!

Mary Preston said...

A great interview. I always like to know the inspiration behind a book or series.

Bea LaRocca said...

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!
I hope that this has been an enjoyable and successful tour for you. I'm looking forward to reading your stories.

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