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Friday, June 30, 2017

The War Queen Book Tour + Giveaway

by J.M. Robison
Altarn, believing Kaelin is trying to take her land, rides to an ally to ask for help in the coming war against him. But war launches in her absence, though it’s not Kaelin’s and she, in fact, needs his help instead. Kaelin is wounded in battle, but if she lets him die, can she fight the enemy on her own? Or if she saves his life, will he try claiming her kingdom like he planned, or her heart?
He exhaled and leaned back, crossing a boot over one knee. “It’s different for Ruids. We discuss warplans every week because of our pirate problem. The mood is different, the light in our eyes is different. It’s life and death we speak of, and that holds a special kind of ceremony we honor in our speech, in our manners, and our dress.”
“Why would my dress not honor this ceremony?”
“It might…except you look like a damn princess. I don’t know about Blindvar, but we killed our princesses long ago. Your people don’t want a princess. They want a war queen. A princess can’t handle the emotional responsibility of sending people off to their deaths, but a war queen can.
“You’d be surprised how willing your soldiers would be to die for you, so long as you did it without crying as they march away. They need to be reassured you’ll hold your ground when they cannot.”


What inspired you to write this story?
I went for a walk one day. Well, actually it was at night. 1 am to be exact. I love the allure of darkness. I lived in Pocatello, ID at the time, about a stones-throw from the campus grounds. Above the ISU’s campus is a hill, and on this hill are 4 Greek-looking pillars. If you google “pillars in Pocatello, ID” you’re bound to see a picture of them. The journey of my walk ended at these pillars, and as I was sitting beneath them, looking across the landscape, I formed a story in my head, because I’m a geek and had no life (I still don’t). I imagined that a god fell from heaven onto these pillars which is why they are “broken”. (They appear broken to me, anyway, because only 3 of the 4 pillars are connected at the top.) I thought, “That would make a great story!” So what did I do? I went back to my apartment. And went to bed.

What was your favorite part to write?
Oh boy. There are so many. I loved writing Altarn’s and Kaelin’s chapters. I loved them so much that in my 1st draft, I wrote all those chapters first and then wrote the priestesses’ chapters (I write my 1st draft by hand). When I typed up the 2nd draft, I had to rearrange the chapters and put them in order. But if I have to narrow it down to one part, I’d say when Altarn challenges Kaelin to a duel.

What was the hardest part to write?
Gildeon and his confrontation with Hulian on the battlefield. I could never decide how I wanted that confrontation to go.

How did you come up with your characters?
I believe I am not a writer, that I am, instead, an historian for other worlds. So being, characters often find me. Altarn and Kaelin introduced themselves fully fleshed out and ready to go. Because Altarn needed some people on the side-lines to cheer her on, I created Ratavia to be her friend to share female issues with, and I created Japheron to understand her issues that come with being a soldier and playing the political game. Torren and his weightless humor I created to contrast against Kaelin’s firmer, more serious persona.

Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?
Oh, I love this question. The book is a YA historical fantasy based on Victorian Era England (1842) and is called The Last Wizard. Here’s a synopsis:
The last wizard is captured by three men who steal his amulet to harvest the magic for themselves. Since the church of 1518 England is on a wizard hunting rampage, the three men imprison Zadicayn to keep him hidden from the church because his amulet won't work if he is dead. Zadicayn's last spell will keep him alive until someone frees him.

Brynn isn't fooled when Reuben dies of a heart attack. She's convinced her best friend was murdered, and the map he leaves for her in his will only fires her suspicion. Thinking the map will lead to his murderer, Brynn follows it despite this corset-restricting era of 1842 England which already has her locked into an early marriage. But the map doesn't lead to Reuben's murderer. It leads her to a key which unlocks a 324 year old wizard.

Brynn refuses to believe Zadicayn's claims, despite his era-displaced Old English dialect, until Zadicayn's amulet is found in the keep of her soon-to-be father-in-law. Now she's in danger for freeing Zadicayn because her fiancé's father poisoned Reuben for trying to do the same thing, and getting attracted to the wizard isn't helping her delicate mess, either. But this attraction is nearly in vain, because upon Zadicayn's death a creature from an alternate world will infiltrate our own and consume humanity. Employed by the Fae who give magic, Zadicayn pleads for more wizards. So far, they've told him no and he's running out of places to hide from those who want his amulet back and from the church who's on the hunt again to purge the world from the last of the magic.

J.M. Robison has been writing the histories of fantasy worlds for 16 years and authored 7 novels. The War Queen is her debut book – more books on the way, to include The Last Wizard and The Lost Gods (see her “Books” tab above to read more about them) - and she has no other claim to fame; growing up in Bennington, ID (Good luck finding that on a paper map), she didn’t know what wireless internet was until she was 21. Having joined the U.S. Army at 17 with a deployment to Afghanistan and Romania, and working as a Deputy Sheriff, she’s seen a lot of people and been to a lot of places; the evidence of which frequently bleeds into her writing. She loves and uses essential oils. She makes her own shampoo, lotions, laundry soap, face wash, and toothpaste.
Find her online:

J.M. Robison will be awarding a War Queen t-shirt (man or woman sizes) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting me on your blog, and a thank you to Kim for showing interest in The War Queen. I always hope my books will be a pleasant release from reality.