Oct 2, 2015

Blog Tour: Skinshifter by Alycia Christine

Welcome to my tour stop for Skinshifter, the first in the Sylvan Cycle series by Alycia Christine. This is a high fantasy novel and the tour runs September 28 - October 9 with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.


About the Book: 

 Skinshifters are a curse. The Asheken deadwalkers proved that fact when they used skinshifters to spy against the Sylvan races during the Second War of Ages. Now, after three centuries of peace, the deadwalkers have found a secret way back onto the Sylvan Continent and this time they seek not just to conquer their enemies, but to enslave them body and soul. When the Feliconas Clan suffers the deadwalkers’ first raid, one werecat—a skinshifter who has concealed her abilities—survives the massacre. Even as Katja struggles with her grief and guilt over her murdered kin, she must unite with other Sylvan refugees to defeat the deadwalkers before they can butcher and defile the other races. But can this skinshifter trust her newfound allies or will their secrets prove even more treacherous than her own?


Skinshifter Novel Excerpt #5: Of Zombies and Dryads

The road ahead split toward the southwest and the east. Katja saw gray shapes congregating on the eastern fork and realized that the zombies were trying to turn them away from the dryads’ stronghold.

“Lauraisha, take the eastern fork!”


“They’re trying to drive us away from safety!” she yelled over the thunderous steps of their straining mounts. “If they won’t move, trample them!”

The females charged resolutely toward the wall of dead flesh and steel with their own weapons ready. As the deadwalkers crouched, ready to skewer the stallions, a voice from nowhere sang a single piercing note of such beauty and power it brought tears to Katja’s eyes. Then a light of purest white flashed forth from Lauraisha’s sapphire amulet and Damya appeared before the horses in all her minute blue brilliance.

A clap of the firesprite’s hands produced an arc of multihued light under the horses’ hooves and Katja and Lauraisha found themselves and their horses galloping over the astonished deadwalkers before plunging back upon the road. The arc of light then cascaded around the screaming deadwalkers like flaming rain. Those who escaped immediate destruction now tore at their own scorched flesh in agony.

“Catcte fulre etheim!” Curqak’s venomous voice screeched in the Rapu soul-servant language over the deadwalkers’ clamors as the horses pounded ever closer to the twin pillars marking the Glen’s border gate. The other deadwalkers concealed within the forest surrounding the trail boiled out of the screen of trees in a last desperate attempt to stop the fugitive females.

Zombies closed in as the females raced over the final spruce-length’s span to the Glens’ gateway columns. Damya, meanwhile, faded back into Lauraisha’s stone amulet, her remaining energy clearly already spent.

The deadwalkers prevailed even with flailing horse hooves, Damya’s remnants of fiery rain, and the females’ deft weapon work. Katja and Lauraisha fought in panic as dead flesh hemmed in around them, cutting off their escape. The gateway was less than two body-lengths away. Katja longed for those columns like a being lost in the desert longs for water. She could see her oasis and yet could not get near it. Her screech of frustration and rage and terror shook the trees.

“That won’t save you this time, Changeling!” Curqak cackled in glee. “You are mine!”

The Asheken reached toward her, threatening to pull her off the horse when a storm of arrows rained down upon them. Not one of the bolts strayed near the females or their steeds, yet all the deadwalkers around them were marked by a feathery shaft at least once.

“Come, humans!” a female voice called.

Katja and Lauraisha saw several sets of pale-green hands level reloaded bows out of the thicket beyond the stone pillars even as the deadwalkers scrambled for shelter. Katja sensed the magic woven within each arrow and, as they struck their targets, she saw vines burst from their shafts to encase the struggling deadwalkers in growing green life.

Lauraisha took advantage of the pandemonium to push past the remaining hordes and leap the stallions across the gateway pillars and into the sanctity of the Glen beyond. Green vines as thick as ten-winter-old oaks erupted from the ground behind them, effectively bulwarking the Glen’s Gateway against invasion. Once inside the Glen’s perimeter, Katja realized that the moving trees and tall grass running parallel to the Gateway actually formed a woven net whose paw-length barbs and thorns proved a lethal barrier against unwelcome guests. Never was she more grateful that Lauraisha and she had not strayed any closer to that vine wall.

“As involved as it is vividly eloquent, Alycia Christine’s Skinshifter…is fueled by engagingly twisted fantasy elements, vivid imagery, appealing characters, rousing adventure and terse storytelling.” –Bestsellers World
“Action is well done, tension is wonderfully detailed and maintained throughout, and fantasy readers will find in Katja an appealing, believable character whose quest and concerns drive a story line that is vivid, accessible, and involving.” –D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
About the Author:

Alycia Christine grew up near the dusty cotton fields of Lubbock, Texas. She fell in love with fantasy and science fiction stories when her father first read Gordon R. Dickson’s THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE and Robert A. Heinlein’s HAVE SPACESUIT—WILL TRAVEL to her at age ten. Her love-affair with fiction deepened when Alycia took a creative writing course while attending Texas A&M University. After that class, she was hooked as a writer for life. Her subsequent B.S. degree in agricultural journalism not only helped to hone Alycia’s skills with a pen, but also with a camera. Today she uses her skills as a photographer to capture the beauty of the world around her and add additional perspective to her fiction and nonfiction writing. Find her at http://www.alyciachristine.com.

Website | Twitter @AlyciaCZS | Facebook 

Four (4) special Book Bundles that contain a $25 gift card, an eBook copy of Skinshifter, and an eBook copy of The Dryad's Sacrifice (prelude novella) (INT)
Ends Oct. 14
Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.