Wednesday, June 16, 2021

NBTM Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Frostborn by Michael Haddad @GoddessFish


by Michael Haddad



The Frostborn—the one destined to end the war, the one blessed by the magic of Aether—was supposedly nothing more than a hopeless fairytale, a myth lost to time. But as the centuries-long war between the kingdoms of Eljud and Surtrol forces Elias Jökull to evacuate his village, a run-in with the fearsome Gjallarhorn army awakens within him a dormant power long since forgotten by the people—a power signaling the existence of the Frostborn.

With such critical news, hope of victory against Surtrol becomes contagious, yet Elias's former life of slavery leaves him apprehensive about lending a hand to his own flawed kingdom. Even still, knowing the world will soon be in search of him, the newfound Frostborn must choose his allegiances quickly. And after encountering a ranked Surt captain, he does just that.

But while acting as a double agent, feeding intel to Eljud's southern enemy and working both sides of the same border, his conflicted self struggles to anchor his loyalty to a single kingdom as buried secrets begin to unearth.

The incessant clash between the north and south is soon coming to an end and Elias will have to find a side to stand on. The hard question is: which side? Everyone wants the Frostborn for themselves, but for how long can Elias let the world string him along?


She moves in front of him. “You’re going to get us in trouble.”

I’ll be sneaky, don’t you worry,” he says, placing a hand on her narrow shoulders to move her aside.

She would argue more if he was not already treading up the path, slipping past the tight groups of travellers while May is engaged in a discussion with another merchant. He shakes his jacket off, folds his arms close to his chest, and lets the coat cover the bindings on each of his wrists. Elias scans the moving sea of people, lifting onto his toes to peek over them. There is no sign of the praised soldiers anywhere, but he perseveres regardless.

He gathers up a pace just quick enough to gain ground, though slow enough to avoid unnecessary attention. Every few steps, he looks to either side and up ahead. Each look yields no promising results, and when the third time comes for Elias to straighten himself out to see, his body knocks against an arm.

A hulking man wheels around, the furrows around his mouth deepening in rage. “By Kaldr, watch where you’re going!”

Won’t happen again.” Elias eases away discreetly before his foot catches a slick patch of mud, threatening to trip him over.

He slams a hand against the nearest cart to steady his weight, but the jacket drops in the jolting movement.

The enormous man—who Elias now recognizes as a local fisherman named Eero—dives to grab the chains. “Looks like we have a slave on the run.”

He dips under Eero’s arm and the brawny hand snags air. Elias then pushes off the mud, readying his body for a sprint.

Without time to properly register, a jab strikes at the nape of his neck and another sinks into his gut. A foot then blurs at the corner of his eye, hooking behind Elias’s knee and bringing his body down to the mud, his back flattening over the ground. Pain bursts through his muscles, but he has no air to scream. He blinks through the swarm of black dots clouding his vision and heaves a ragged breath. His lungs are a brutal furnace of agony.

Stop the convoy.” The command comes from a different voice, one too laced with poison to be Eero’s.

Interview with Michael Haddad

What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always admired the way an author can fabricate entire worlds out of thin air. I also have a keen eye for seeing the beauty in words. I just think the imagination has so much freedom that no television screen or film production team can capture. I was never good nor had the patience for drawing and painting, so I turned to writing and kept my attention there. That, coupled with the thought of having people read and enjoy my literature, kept me going. I often think back to those moments in my English classes where we ended up discussing the intricacies of certain novels. It was eye-opening to discover those deeper meanings. At the time, I thought to myself that one day I may be an author that is studied as thoroughly as the books before me. It was an entertaining thought. I knew the idea was a stretch (and still is), but it made me want to become a writer even more. I write for myself, but a lot of my motivation comes from knowing I will have fascinated readers.

What inspired you to write Frostborn?

My drive to write Frostborn came from my drive to publish a novel. Becoming a published author has always been a dream of mine. I thought it was this impossible task that only the best of the best can achieve. However, it turns out that even a random young student like myself, who has a love for the craft, can publish as well. I certainly never expected this. Two years ago, I thought I wouldn’t have the time nor motivation to truly build something as amazing as Frostborn. But here I am!

If we’re talking about the specifics of the narrative, in terms of characters, plot, and setting, then a large majority of my ideas were inspired by previous fictional works. I was inspired by books, movies, and even imaginary adventures that I took through roleplaying. That last one is my guilty pleasure. As an example, my main character Elias is heavily based on a roleplay character I developed far before even beginning Frostborn’s manuscript. His name is Elias too. Although there are striking differences, it goes to show how inspiration can surface from just about anywhere.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Frostborn?

I have a decently sized cast of characters in Frostborn. I would like to think each are diverse and unique in their own way. When I plan out characters, I try to keep in mind that no one is perfect and no one likes to read about a perfect character. Perfect characters don’t leave room for inner conflict and moral ambiguity. I find they make the plot boring and should be cut out entirely. Even if it isn’t explicitly in the narrative, I try to incorporate a seed of darkness into most of my characters. For my MC Elias, his struggles are as clear as day throughout the read. However, I have other secondary characters such as Caliel Eira who harbors an ingrained darkness despite appearing to be all warmth and smiles on the outside. I also have a tendency to create characters who delight in their unorthodox lifestyle and who don’t give a damn about public opinion. They simply do what they must to get by. I like to put a spotlight on these types of personalities because they provide a sense of relatability for the readers. Hopefully, when my readers dive into the story, they can see what I’m saying firsthand.

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

I’d have to disagree, at least for me. I don’t have a favourite author, but I do have favourite works by certain authors. Although authors do have special and unique styles, some books can be masterpieces while others fall flat. If I find a story and I really enjoy it, I will support that individual story, but until I read and love most books an author writes, I won’t classify them as my favourite. I know this opinion of mine might be a little unconventional, but I think it works better for me. If I wanted to give an example, I would give Sarah J. Maas. I don’t read nearly as much as some others, but her Throne of Glass series was the longest I’ve read from any author. And the series was great! I was hooked. But I wouldn’t classify her as my favourite author because some of her other projects haven’t kept my attention.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

Some people want a book 2, a sequel to Frostborn. Others are interested in seeing a new book altogether. Personally, I’m at a crossroads. If I can make one thing certain, there will be a manuscript for the sequel. However, Frostborn ended with the potential to both keep going and stop right there. What I want to do is see it through and keep expanding on this world I’ve made. So, ultimately, whether I publish that manuscript or bury it and move on will be a decision for later. What do you think? If you end up reading it, please find me somewhere on social media and give me your opinion. I’d love the feedback.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

When flipping through the final product, I’m so shocked that there aren’t a dozen more fight scenes. My favourite part in writing is choreographing fantastic and epic battles. If they’re with magic, even better! The magic system in Frostborn allows me to be extremely flexible with people’s powers. I plan to get more specific about the magic system when pursuing the sequel to Frostborn. To sum up what we know from the novel, Aether is an energy that exists within everyone, however humans cannot weaponize or utilize this energy to perform feats of magic unless they are given what’s called a Gift. Gifts are when a member from the Order of Nine blesses an item with the waters from Urd’s Well, allowing the wielder of this item to tap into their inner Aether. The novelty of the Frostborn is that he does not need any Gift to tap into his power because he’s simply overflowing with it. There’s a lot of conflict in the story about Eljud keeping the Gift exclusive to its own army. It was super enjoyable to piece together this magic system and, during the read, maybe you’ll be able to learn more about it while catching the power of Aether in action!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hardworking university student and recent John Abbott College graduate, Michael Haddad doubles as a fiction author of the fantastic who throws himself into his own writing—who can't stop imagining new worlds, new ideas, new characters. His passion for roleplaying games has earned him his fair share of teasing, but he'd be lying if he said it didn't open his imagination. When not at his computer, typing away, Michael is often with his friends and family, losing terribly at tennis, hunkering down for movie marathons, and trying to get a good night's sleep. As someone born and raised in Montreal, he is no stranger to having ice rinks for streets and snow up to the knee—but that's nothing a warm cup of coffee can't beat.


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    Goodreads Book Giveaway  

        Frostborn by Michael  Haddad    



          by Michael  Haddad      


            Giveaway ends June 27, 2021.          


            See the giveaway details             at Goodreads.          

    Enter Giveaway


$15 Amazon/BN GC

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Michael Haddad said...

I'm sorry for the late response, but I just wanted to say thank you so much for hosting and offering a spotlight for my novel!