Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The River Against the Sea by Z. Lindsey @GoddessFish

The River Against the Sea

by Z. Lindsey

GENRE: Action /Martial arts Fiction /Urban Fiction


Some heroes have swords. Essimore Darkenchyl has a pen. But it’s a magic pen.
Some wizards have spellbooks. Essie has Gossen’s Guide to Shipping Law. But it’s a current edition.
Some sailors have . . . experience. Essie has a new diploma and a year-long contract, and her people have won wars with less.
And that’s good, because between stolen weapons, a coup, and a strange disease creeping in around her and the crew, she might need to win a war.
In a world that blends traditional fantasy with the Age of Exploration, Essie knows a pen is mightier than a sword, especially since hers sometimes shoots lightning.
But what she thinks is a routine political dispute turns out to be something much, much more, and she may have finally met the one problem she can’t talk her way out of.

Purchase The River Against the Sea on Amazon preorders (for ebook) and B&N preorders (for paperback)


My cousin believes they’ll attack on One Wyrm.”

One . . . Wyrm?” Essie asked as she tried to adjust the ropes around her.

Bunts scoffed.

Didn’t you read your briefing?”

Essie felt the blood rush to her cheeks.

I read about the calendar, but it was confusing. It was like math, but it had this religious undercurrent going on. Did not like.”

The captain squinted at her and raised his lip in distaste.

Bunts, tell our bureaucrat what One Wyrm is.”

Heh,” Bunts said. He cleared his throat, then shrugged.

The captain squinted at him, too.

One Wyrm is New Year’s Day.”

New Year’s Day, of course,” Bunts said. “Those jerks.”

And what do you want me to do about it?”

Nothing,” the captain said. “Report that the cargo got handed over and let us go on our way.”

And if I don’t agree, you’ll throw me off the ship,” she said.

Bunts snorted.


The captain scratched his chin.

To be honest, I was just hoping you’d agree. If you don’t . . .” The captain puffed up his cheeks and stared at the ceiling in thought. “I guess we’ll lock you in the brig until the weapons are safely delivered and we’re back at sea. That’ll give me a good lead on any Agency cutters.”

She tried to adjust herself in her chair, but couldn’t do much, so she frowned. Slowly she turned to Bunts and gave him her best puppy-dog eyes.

Can’t you undo these bonds?”

Bunts shook his head.

Nuh-uh. I’m told you’re stronger than you look. And that you eat people’s hearts.”

Essie frowned.

Not raw.”

Interview with Zac Lindsey

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I have a lot of manuscripts lying around. This is the first fiction book I’ve polished. My favorite book that I’ve ever written is a little novela about a teenager growing up in the ghetto, but that will probably never see the light of day because it’s mostly personal.

My favorite fantasy book, though, is probably the third in this series, because that’s when the hero is at her strongest and the relationships that started in the first book are most developed. While the stakes are high like all the books in the series, the third is so far the funniest of the three.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

The first book describes Essie Darkenchyl trying to stay boring and centered in her mundane job while the world is shattering around her; the second deals with her unwillingly returning to her ancestral home and learning more about the creature that was broken into pieces by the god of death to create her people. It has one of my favorite villains that I’ve written.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

The first book can stand on its own, but hopefully you’ll enjoy the lead enough to pick up the second one. The second one has a bit more of the Empire Strikes Back-style ending, where there are more unanswered questions and a bit more drive for Essie to continue to look into the dangers facing her world.

I currently have a trilogy of books using the same character, as well as three other books in the same world but with different characters. I’ve got more plans for Essie, but the stories are set a lot later in her life, so they should be pretty stand-alone.

As a kid, I always found like, part six of fantasy stories in the thrift store and was annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on, so I have tried to make them mostly stand-alone, or at least stories that you can jump into without much prior knowledge of the previous books.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

As a writer it’s really important to know your world inside and out, but as a reader I often don’t care too much about fictional politics. I say that because my title has an in-world political explanation, but please don’t think that means there are sixty chapters of politics in the book. The civil war that Essie gets caught up in is between folks known as the “War Faction” and the “Peace Faction,” but despite their names, both are kind of jerks. The War Faction deals with international issues and the Peace Faction deals with local issues, so the river represents the Peace Faction and the sea represents the War Faction.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I wrote it after my wife had our kid. At first, the baby slept poorly so we couldn’t watch TV without waking her. So I wrote the book to read to my wife while the kid was asleep. That kept me on a pretty tight schedule--I had to have something new every night!

What does the title mean?

It’s based on an expression in the book, “When the river fights the sea, everyone drowns.” It’s a reference to the infighting between the two major factions on the islands.

What did you learn when writing the book?

I learned a lot about what makes my wife laugh. If she thought something was funny, I emphasized it in the plot. It’s not entirely a humor book. The last few chapters get especially dark before things get hopeful again, although I try to keep a little bit of snark even then.

What surprised you the most?

I set off to write a one-shot book, but I had so much fun and the world was so rich that I couldn’t help adding more to the story. So I was surprised to say the least when I sat down to write a sequel … then a third book … then a spinoff … then two other books with different characters in the same world …

Have you ever killed off a character your readers loved?

I try to have one major character death per work. I feel like that gives the world real stakes without making it a slaughter-fest. So, yes, if you end up liking my characters, know that any one of them but Essie could end up with a target on their backs. (Essie’s always got a target on her back.)

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

Since the Essie is deliberately based on my wife, I tried to read my wife’s reactions to events in the book and tweak the Essie’s reactions so they better fit her. But I actually try not to be too deep into my characters’ heads. I give them personalities and motivations and set them loose. They sometimes surprise me, and I like that better than being too close to them.  

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Zac Lindsey is an anthropologist and a linguist who focuses on the Maya people of Quintana Roo. Since childhood, he's had a not-so-secret love of weird, silly, and well-structured fantasy. When other people's parents were reading them picture books, his mom was reading him Terry Brooks. He typically writes hopeful and character-driven fantasy.

Today, he lives in Quintana Roo, Mexico with his wife, daughter, and various stray cats.

Connect with Z. Lindsey

Instagram ~ Facebook



$20 Amazon/BN GC 

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you so much for hosting today.

Z. Lindsey said...

Thank you for posting!

Marcy Meyer said...

Thanks for sharing. Sounds really good.

Edgar Gerik said...

"The River Against the Sea" by Z. Lindsey! I'm always open to discovering new books. I'll be sure to check it out and see what it has to offer.

CHickey said...

Sounds like an unusual story

Sherry said...

This sounds like a good book.

Daniel M said...

looks like a fun one