Friday, December 7, 2018

Assassin's Honor by Gail Z Martin - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Assassin's Honor
by Gail Z. Martin


GENRE: Epic Fantasy


Buddy flick epic fantasy! Joel Breckenridge and Garrett Kennard are King's Shadows, elite assassins serving the crown of Landria. When a shadowy itinerant holy man starts captivates the nobility with treasonous whispers, Ridge and Rett go rogue to stop the threat, save the kingdom and protect the king--while landing on the 'Most Wanted' list themselves.



Breaking glass and the crack of gunfire were Ridge’s signal to move, as Destwiler’s skull exploded from the matchlock’s shot, spattering the crate of weapons with blood and bone. The boy screamed in terror, a thin, shrill sound.

Ridge spun around, grabbing two throwing knives from the top of the stash in the box and had them hilt-deep in each guard’s ribs before their swords cleared their scabbards. He dropped the heavy crossbar to lock the door to the office, and dodged back to the box of weapons, reclaiming his own array of swords and knives before teasing out a long fuse from the bottom of the crate. Then he strode over to Destwiler’s corpse and pulled the key and its strap around what was left of the man’s head.

Ridge removed the warrant from inside his vest and read out the charges as required by law. “Roan Destwiler. By order of King Kristoph of Landria, you stand condemned of crimes against the kingdom and the throne too numerous to note, but most grievously the kidnapping of Kelvin, son of Thad, Lord of Wendover. You are sentenced to death, summary execution, without notice or reprieve.”

He rolled the warrant up and tucked it into Destwiler’s bloody vest, a formality. Ridge bent down to search Destwiler’s pockets, curling his lip at the still-warm blood that soaked the shoulders and sleeves of the man’s coat. He found a parchment note tucked beneath the vest and took it to read later.

Creating Worlds

By Gail Z. Martin

Assassin’s Honor is the first in the new buddy flick epic fantasy series, Assassins of Landria. It’s my fourth epic fantasy series (Chronicles of the Necromancer, Ascendant Kingdoms, Darkhurst), and each series takes place in a different imagined world, with completely different religions, magical systems, and political/economic structures. 

I also write three urban fantasy series (Deadly Curiosities, Night Vigil, and co-authored with Larry N. Martin, Spells Salt and Steel) and co-author an alternate history series. Then as Morgan Brice, I write two more urban fantasy MM paranormal romance series. Unlike with the epic fantasy series, all of my urban fantasy series exist in the the same shared universe, so the characters interact and the same rules apply to all the series. The alternate history series will have a crossover companion series next year. 

That’s a lot of world building. Fortunately, I think world building is one of the most fun parts of being an author. I don’t write lengthy binders full of minutia, although I do jot notes to myself, and my husband (who is very active behind the scenes and as a frequent co-author) has begun keeping a bare-bones set of series bibles. I do try to make the differences clear, distinguishable and important, because the world building has to serve the story, not the other way around.

So with that in mind, here are my five key elements for effective world building:

#5 — Make changes that matter, not change for the sake of change. Whether the world you’re creating is medieval, modern, Victorian, futuristic or something else, be intentional about what you decide to change. How will those changes affect the characters and the story? How do they affect the way people in that world think about their environment and themselves? How do those changed elements affect the actions people choose to take? If the changes are just window dressing or just showing off clever ideas, it’s a distraction from the actual storytelling.

So in Assassin’s Honor, my main characters are King’s Shadows—elite assassins who deliver the justice of the king against bad guys who haven’t been captured any other way. The how and why Ridge and Rett became assassins and what that means for how they perceive themselves is an important element of the story.

#4–Think about how the world you’ve created shapes your characters. Ask what it would be like to grow up in that world, what options it would make you see or hide from you, who would have an advantage or privilege, and who wouldn’t. 

Ridge and Rett were orphans, for whom going into the military was their only real chance to make a living. Their childhood friendship has created a bond between them that makes them the only two assassins who hunt together—and who have the highest kill record in the corp. Rett’s forbidden magic threatens not only their job as assassins, but could get them killed if the wrong people found out.

#3–Use familiar touchpoints to keep the reader grounded and help them quickly get oriented. In other words, when there isn’t a good reason to make something different, keeping the familiar will help readers not feel lost and overwhelmed. 

Landria has a king and an aristocracy, which by themselves aren’t unusual in any way. What IS unusual is that magic exists but it’s forbidden except to the priests, the King’s Shadows act as the official justice-bearers of the monarch, and that the younger nobles are antsy for more power and excitement, creating an opening for the questionably holy man, Yefim Makary, to exploit. Readers can easily keep up with a few big changes, but if you change too much without good reason, it can be more confusing than enjoyable.

#2–When you create a religion, make sure you understand the ‘mechanics’ of how faith traditions work in the real world. You don’t have to believe in your invented religion or in any religion at all for real, but your worldbuilding will be stronger if you understand how liturgy, luminal spaces, ritual and sacred traditions work so that your created religion will feel authentic.

#1–Magic must always have limits and costs. Familiarizing yourself with the many magical beliefs and traditions in legend and lore will give you plenty to think about when you create your own magical system. But keep your magic user interesting by placing limits on what he/she can do and what price magic requires. That can mean time spent studying, physical limitations, decreased lifespan, owing service to a more powerful entity, or being an outcast, to name a few options, but it keeps your mage from being too powerful, which keeps the story interesting!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Vengeance is the second in the new Darkhurst epic fantasy series. Also new is The Dark Road, the second in the Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures series, and Assassin’s Honor (coming, October 2018), the first in the new Assassins of Landria series. 

Her Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series set in Charleston, SC has a new novel, Tangled Web, and two new collections, Trifles & Folly, and Trifles & Folly 2. 

Other work includes the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms series, and the alternate history novel Iron & Blood and the Storm & Fury collection (co-authored with Larry N. Martin) She is also the co-author (with Larry) of the Mark Wojcik monster hunter series (Spells, Salt and Steel) and the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Cauldron/Secret Council series from Falstaff Books.

As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. New and upcoming books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands, and Lucky Town.

Find her at, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on, at blog and on Goodreads She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign Join her email update and never miss a new release—plus get great free stories just for signing up!

Buy on Audio, ebook, paperback or free on Kindle Unlimited here:


Assassin's Honor is a new fantasy by author Gail Z Martin. This is a fun book from the first page. Our two assassins are Shadows who work as a pair making them very different from most who work solo. This gives them a strength and a weakness. The plot uses all of this to give a exciting ride with interesting characters, a different world, a boat load of tension and danger around every corner. A added plus; this is an epic fantasy without the epic length. There is a solution to part of the danger the two find but the main problem is still around to be dealt with in future books.



Gail Z. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Victoria Alexander said...

I've enjoyed following the tour for Assassin's Honor and I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way :)

Gail Z. Martin said...

Thank you for having me as a guest!

Bea LaRocca said...

I love the book cover and excerpt. I've added this to my Amazon wish-list. Thank you so much for sharing your words and for offering a giveaway. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Bernie Wallace said...

How long did it take you to write your book? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com