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Friday, September 19, 2014

Six Reasons to Read The Gateway Chronicles

This is a blog post that was written and originally published by Olivia Ard over at Miscellany, but it was so great, I just had to copy and share it over here! Enjoy! And let me know what you think in the comments. :)


~~~


If you are friends with me on Facebook, know me in real life, or are somehow unfortunate enough to fall into both categories, you have probably been subjected to one of my evangelical rants about how you should read The Gateway Chronicles by K. B. Hoyle.  Maybe you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, or maybe you’re wondering why you should pick up a series that was written for a fairly young audience.  Either way, this is the right place to be!
The Gateway Chronicles tells the story of six teenagers – Darcy, Samantha, Amelia, Lewis, Perry, and Dean – who stumble into the magical kingdom of Alitheia while vacationing at a summer camp in Upper Michigan.  Once there, they learn that they are the prophesied Six, a special group that will help rid the land of the evil usurper Tselloch, who hails from a dark land of shadow.  Over the next six years, the Six travel between the worlds, living each year twice.  As time passes, they begin to realize the gravity and the significance of their role in fulfilling the prophecy.  I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so that’s as specific as I can be.
So, what’s the big deal? you may still be wondering.  This sounds like your basic YA lit.  I’m not interested.
BUT WAIT, PLEASE DON’T GO!  Because I felt the same way initially.
When I bought the kindle version of The Six on March 24 of this year, I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t like YA books as a rule, and with the exception of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, I’m not very easily excited by fantasy. I bought the book because several people that I knew liked them and I did it more to humor them than anything.
That turned out to be one of the best (literary) decisions of my life.
But why?  I’m so glad you asked.
Because the internet seems to be all about numbered lists these days (thanks, HuffPo and BuzzFeed), here are six reasons that will hopefully satisfy you and convince you to give these great books a try:
the_sixthe_oraclethe_white_thread
the_enchantedthe_scrollthe-bone-whistle
But just in case that’s not enough for you, here are six real reasons:

1. Realistic Characters

Most contemporary YA lit is filled with fifteen-year-olds who have the mental and emotional maturity of thirty-five-year olds.  One thing that really hooked me in with The Gateway Chronicles is the complete absence of this.  In The Six, the protagonist Darcy is shallow, conceited, selfish, and at times just plain dumb.  As the story progresses from book to book, we grow to love her and take pride in her positive changes.  Along the same vein, the issues that all of the characters run into – crushes gone awry, problems with parents, difficulty fitting in with ones peers – are all real problems that most people have faced at some point and time in their lives, and that really helps create a bond between character and reader.

2. Adventure

Quests, voyages, battles, sieges, plots…if you crave action, suspense, and – let’s face it – just the right amount of gore, you will be satisfied here!

3. Romance

In the midst of all that action, however, a slowly budding romance (or two, or three, or… *wink wink*) emerges almost unnoticed before your eyes.  I won’t say more at the risk of spoiling the story, but I will say that this is the only love story in a YA series to make my heart pang and cause my stomach to flutter with nervous butterflies as an adult.  It is hands down my favorite literary love story.

4. A nice blend of originality and familiarity

In Alitheia, we meet familiar fantasy creatures such as nymphs and dragons and fairies and gnomes, but Hoyle also introduces a magical being of her own wonderful creation – the nark. They’re amazing and honestly one of my favorite parts of the series!

5. Vivid Imagery

One of Hoyle’s best attributes as a writer is her ability to describe the people, places, and things in her books in great detail yet with subtlety.  It is as if she fills your subconscious with the world she has created.  Usually as a reader I spend a lot of time trying to picture what’s going on in my head – that was never an issue with any of these books.

6. All loose ends – and I do mean all – are tied by the time the series concludes.

Fear no open-ended ending. Hoyle ensures that all major questions and concerns are fully addressed at the end of the last book. You will turn the last page with bittersweet satisfaction.
I could really go on and on here, but I won’t.  Just read these books.  You will not be sorry!  They are available on Amazon, both in print and Kindle versions.  Here is the link to the first book, The Six, to get you started on the wonderful journey!
Great Gloria, what are you waiting for?

Friday, September 12, 2014

T-Shirts for Sale!

In honor of the release of The Bone Whistle, my friend Dana has made a limited number of t-shirts that will be for sale at the release party on September 18th (and there may be some available after that date, as well!). She will have shirts available in the following sizes:

kids 10-12, 14, & 18 
Fitted women's x-small-large 
Unisex small-large

This is a great way to celebrate and promote my books, and also just a fun, limited-time item to own. I will even sign the shirts for you, if you'd like! She's not taking preorders, so it's first come, first served, and she has limited quantities of each size. 

*If you live out of state and would like a t-shirt, please contact me at kbhoyle.author@gmail.com to arrange purchase and shipping and handling. 

Please find the pictures and prices below: 

 
$15 each ($10 if you bring your own shirt to have it screen printed)
The backside has my website address



(front)

(back)
$18 each ($13 if you bring your own shirt to have it screen printed)



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Bone Whistle Blog Tour


I'm happy to announce the blog tour for the release of The Bone Whistle! Over the next several days, you will find reviews, guest posts from yours truly, interviews, a giveaway, and more. I hope you enjoy! 




Please find the schedule and a link to the giveaway below: 

Tour Dates and Sites
September 11
http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/ 
http://www.freshfiction.com 
www.paperbookprincess.com 

September 12
http://nerdgirlofficial.com/ 

September 13 
http://kellyatx.blogspot.com/ 
www.sherrygomeswrites.com 

September 14
http://pebbleinthestillwaters.blogspot.com 

September 15
www.teainthetreetops.com

September 18
http://www.firstpagetothelast.com/ 
http://thebookwhorediaries.blogspot.com 
www.lilylovesindie.co.uk 

September 19
bookreviewsandgiveaways.org 
http://www.dauntlessindies.blogspot.com 

September 21
shortsweetandsnappy.wordpress.com 

September 22
http://ashleysaddictivebookblog.blogspot.com 

September 23
http://pagesbetween.blogspot.com 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Breeder Cover Reveal!

I am happy to reveal the cover and back cover summary of Breeder, the first in my New Adult Dystopian trilogy. Are you more of a Dystopian fan than a Fantasy fan? Prefer The Hunger Games to Harry Potter? Stay tuned, because my next series might just be for you...





Perfection comes at a terrible cost. 

Everything about Seventeen’s life is perfect, from her genetics, to her home in Sanctuary, to her status as a Breeder in the Unified World Order. But all that changes when she meets a rogue Enforcer named Pax, who infiltrates Sanctuary and targets her for extraction from the Controlled Repopulation Program. Pax seems to know a little too much about her, and he plants dangerous doubts in her mind that accuse Sanctuary of hiding a dark secret, and that cause Seventeen to question everything she’s ever known.

When Seventeen’s life is threatened, she has little choice but to run away from Sanctuary with Pax. But for Breeders, contact with men is forbidden by law, and even the simple act of taking Pax’s hand is treason.

Mired in confusion, Seventeen travels with Pax to the outside world and takes the name Pria, the identity of her childhood. But she is far from certain she’s made the right decision when they discover an entire community of people who should no longer exist.
Seventeen, now Pria, is thrust into a position as a key player in a dangerous bid to bring down the Unified World Order. Meanwhile, Pax's attachment to her and her growing attraction to him contribute to the ever-growing mysteries in her life.

Pria’s journey from a sheltered, na├»ve Breeder to a rebel agent requires not only external transformation but self-discovery. As her world crumbles, Pria must decide who she is and what she really believes.

But in her world, the truth comes at a cost, and uncovering it will require a greater treason than she could ever have imagined.



Copyright TWCS Publishing House
Coming late 2014 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Bone Whistle Prologue!

I don't know about you, but September 18th can't get here soon enough! I'm so excited to share the conclusion to The Gateway Chronicles with you, especially as it's been seven years in the making. In the final two months leading up to release day, I want to share some tidbits and snippets with you, and I thought a good place to start would be with the prologue. So, without further ado, here is the prologue for The Bone Whistle:


The Bone Whistle
“Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.”

C. S. Lewis

Prologue 
AFTER THE FIRE

Glass crackled and crunched beneath his feet as he walked through the ruins of what had once been the royal suites of the west wing of Ormiskos Castle. The air was hazy with dust and soot, and yellowish light filtered in through the high broken windows, casting a sallow halo on the charred remains of a heavy armchair. A shadow flitted into the beam of light, and he looked up and saw a crow perching on the jagged edge of a broken windowpane. The crow ruffled its feathers and cocked its head to one side before it cawed and took off again.
Colin coughed and raised a hand to shield his eyes as he stepped into the beam of light.
Light.
It felt like so long since he’d seen the light of the sun. He closed his eyes against the brightness and tilted his face up to let the sun warm it. But it was early morning light—hardly strong enough yet to give him the warmth he craved.
The illumination behind his eyelids dimmed, and he cracked them open. Another crow sat in the window regarding him with a beetle-black eye. He scowled at it and looked away. He would have to get used to the crows if he was to be king. Tselloch had a curious affinity for them.
He ran his fingers through his hair. He was dirty—he could feel the oil from his scalp coating his fingertips—and he smelled. He’d once heard someone say it was impossible to smell one’s own body odor after ten minutes. Whoever said that clearly had never wallowed in their own filth in a dungeon for several months. Colin didn’t think he would ever forget the stench. Biding his time in that cell had been one of the hardest things he’d ever done, but Tselloch had promised he would be rewarded, and he had delivered.
A gleam of gold caught his eye, and Colin kicked at a pile of cinders next to a small, half-charred book. He moved the book aside and picked up the shiny object. It was a metal rectangle, blackened in all but a few places where the gold was undamaged. He rubbed his thumb over the surface, removing some of the soot, and turned it over to examine it from all sides. There was an engraving on the bottom—EMS—and when he found the catch, he pressed it. The mirror on the inside was still bright and gleaming, untouched by the smoke and fire. He brought it up before his eyes and peered at his reflection.
With a sharp intake of breath, Colin jerked the compact away. It had to be magic. Certainly he couldn’t look so ugly, even after his time as prisoner. But what was the purpose of magic like this?
It belonged to her, he was sure of it, and if it did, then the magic in it was contrary to him, to his master, to everything they were working for.
He closed his eyes and held it up again, this time careful to feel for it with his magic and draw on the power his master had given him—the power to destroy enchantments. He could see the particles of the compact in his mind, and the glowing golden threads that bound the enchantment—no, enchantments; there were two of them—to it. He pulled the threads apart, and the compact seemed to grow cold and heavy in his hand. When he opened his eyes, he saw his normal reflection staring back at him. With a snort of derision, he bent back the top, pushing until the hinges snapped, leaving two pieces in his hands. He dropped them one at a time into the ashes at his feet, raising a cloud that hovered for a moment like a grey haze in the beam of sunlight.
Tselloch would not mind the filth left behind after the burning. In fact, he would prefer it, but Colin looked around the suite in distaste. He had thought to make his residence here, in this room, but now he wasn’t sure. There were other rooms in the palace that hadn’t burned. But this was the royal suite, and it would be the most suitable place for him when Tselloch crowned him king.
He was not alone.
Colin swung around to face his master. Tselloch had come in without a sound and, as usual, he brought a shadow of blackness with him, clinging to his robes so his presence filled the space in a palpable way. They exchanged a long stare before Colin bowed his head and dropped his gaze. “My lord,” he said.
“You see what I have done for you?” Tselloch said.
For me? Or for you? Colin raised his head and schooled his expression into blank obeisance. It would not do to have Tselloch suspecting he had any doubts.
But Tselloch was absorbed with his accomplishment. “He burned my house, and now, see how I have repaid him by burning his.”
It was a lie, and Colin knew it. He had seen what the alchemist had done. After Tellius had fallen through the window, Colin had stood agape for only a moment before running to the alchemist’s chamber. The fire had not been set by Tselloch, or by any of his servants. It had been set by Rubidius to prevent the shadow creatures from following the Six through the back door of the cottage. It was true, however, that it would not have been set at all if Colin had not destroyed the wards and let in Tselloch’s hordes, so perhaps it was appropriate for Tselloch to claim the deed as his. The fire had raged through the castle all night, spreading from the west wing to other chambers, smoking out Tellius’s servants and subjects like rats fleeing a sinking ship. They had been easy targets, and Colin, unsettled by the carnage, had retreated to the castle grounds to watch it burn.
“Everything happened just as you said it would,” Colin said. “They did not discover your secret. The castle is ours, and Tellius is dead.”
Tselloch hissed, and his pleased countenance fell. “But the Six escaped.”
“You thought they might,” Colin said. He watched Tselloch’s expression carefully. After allowing him to possess him so many times, he was more attuned to Tselloch’s moods than ever before.
“That is true,” Tselloch said. He moved farther into the chamber, and the dust and ashes rose up around the bottom of his robes, as though he walked on a storm cloud.
“Should we search for them? They can’t have gone home yet. It’s not the right time.”
“Home?” Tselloch’s black eyes flashed as he took a deliberate step toward Colin. “Do you still think of it as home?”
Colin set his jaw and widened his eyes at his slipup. He hadn’t meant to call that other world “home,” not really. He didn’t know why he’d said that. “I meant only that . . .”
But Tselloch’s expression became pensive. “No. Do not make up excuses. Do I have your full allegiance, Colin, or do I need to find another?”
It was an empty threat. The time was almost nigh when Tselloch would have no choice but to transition hosts, and he’d prepared too much for too many years with Colin to go back on it now. But Colin couldn’t still the fearful beating of his heart, and he clutched at his chest, at the place where he would have to cut himself open. “Of course you have my full allegiance,” he whispered.
“That is good, my prince.”
Tselloch loomed over him, placed his cold hands on the sides of Colin’s face, and stroked his thumbs down his cheeks. Colin stared, mesmerized, into his liquid eyes, searching for some glimmer of the man whose body it had once been. Tselloch had assured him that, when it was done, Colin would still be present—that they would share the body—but Colin was afraid. When he looked at his master, he saw only shadow looking back at him.
“The gateway is almost complete,” Tselloch said without removing his hands. “We need not yet worry about finding the Six. Your final task is almost upon you. She will come to you, of that I am certain.”
Colin felt a cold chill wash down his spine, and he bit the inside of his lip to keep from letting the fear show on his face. Tellius’s surprised expression as he’d smashed through the glass to fall to his death played over again in Colin’s mind. He shoved it away, terrified his master would read the remorse in his eyes.
“What would you have me do in the meantime, my lord?” Colin asked. He was sweating despite the chill his master had brought with him. He wished Tselloch would step away.
“Join the others in searching for the body.”
Colin frowned. “Whose body?”
Tselloch narrowed his eyes and finally let his hands drop from Colin’s

face. “When you threw the pretender-king from the window, did you not think to search the grounds for his body?”
But Colin hadn’t thrown him. They’d struggled. Fists had pummeled ribs and smacked against jaws. He’d shoved Tellius, and Tellius had tumbled over the window seat and fallen backward, through the glass that had already been cracked . . . Colin twitched and closed his eyes. “Why would I search the grounds?” he asked. “Who could survive a fall from that height?”
“No one, perhaps. But I want the body still.” Tselloch turned his back to Colin and strode away.
“Find it so I can burn it,” he said. 


*The Bone Whistle is book 6 of K. B. Hoyle's bestselling YA Fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles. It is published by TWCS Publishing House and will be available everywhere books are sold on Sept. 18, 2014. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Bone Whistle Cover Reveal!

Cover reveal for The Bone Whistle! I'm happy to reveal what the cover for the 6th and final installment in The Gateway Chronicles looks like, and yes, of course the image is important to the story. Let the speculation begin!



Darcy burned with the pain of knowing she’d failed. What happened when a prophecy didn’t come true? It must not have been much of a prophecy in the first place. And if they couldn’t trust in that, then they couldn’t trust in anything at all.

Five years ago, Darcy first received the prophecy of the Six, which stated she and her friends would save the land of Alitheia from a shadowy foe. For five years, she hasn’t known what the end will look like, but she certainly didn’t expect this.

Thrust back into Alitheia through unexpected means, Darcy winds up alone, scared, and without her recent memory. As she struggles to regain her lost memories and reunite with the ones she loves, she pieces together the prophecies and the oracles to find they all converge into one story¾a story that tells her just how much she’ll have to give to save both worlds, and everyone she loves.

Pursued through Alitheia by forces desperate to kill them, Darcy and her friends take a journey fraught with danger that will lead them, inevitably, to the final confrontation with the Shadow. Armed with newfound knowledge of how the prophecy of the Six will play out, Darcy and the others must have faith in the face of mounting odds and adversity. Ultimately, the greatest courage of all belongs not to those who give something of themselves, but to those who let go of what they could never control.

Filled with stunning losses, heart-wrenching reunions, unexpected twists, and the power of love and sacrifice, the conclusion to The Gateway Chronicles will leave you breathless and begging for more from author K. B. Hoyle. 


Saturday, May 17, 2014

You Might Not Like My Books...

There, I said it. The one admission most authors are loathe to make. My books are not going to be for everyone, and really, that's okay.



I've been reading through a lot of feedback this week on my first book, The Six - old and new Amazon reviews and Facebook feedback, mainly, and there's a trend I've noticed among it all, both the good and the bad: commentary on how unlikable my main character, Darcy, is. This isn't anything new, but it seems to have come up a lot lately, and it's gotten me to thinking about American consumerism and what we expect out of our entertainment these days.

So if you haven't read The Six, or if you've read it and were turned off by Darcy's attitude in book one, here's what I have to say to you: If you want your heroes to arrive ready-made, spunky, capable, and flawless, then my books are probably not for you. Sorry. I know we live in a culture that demands instant gratification, but I often find instant gratification disingenuous, unrealistic, and false. I believe in developing a character - especially a heroic character - from the ground up, and that means you're going to have to slog through the bad stuff to make the good stuff (when you get there) that much more rewarding.

There are many reasons why I wrote Darcy to be so insufferable in The Six. Here are a few of the main ones:

1) It's realistic. She's 13 in book 1, and while there are some truly delightful 13-year-olds out there (my character Sam is one of them), the greater preponderance of them lean toward selfishness, whininess, and moodiness. And the thing is, they don't even realize it! 13 is a difficult age, an age at which you believe the world revolves around you, and an age during which your emotions border on out-of-control on a daily basis. This is how I was at 13, and I wanted to bring it to life in Darcy.

2) It gives her room to grow - a lot of it! A main character should be dynamic, and the change that takes place should be for the better. I could have started Darcy off as a more likable character and still given her some ups and downs, sure, but I thought a full transformation from self-centered to selfless would pack a greater punch. She has to start off pretty awful for there to be any real change over the course of her story arc. I also didn't want her to hit her heroic high point in book 1 (or 2, or 3...). This is what I felt happened in The Hunger Games. Katniss is as good as she's going to get in the opening chapters of the first book, and it kind of feels all downhill from there. (Just my opinion, of course, feel free to disagree!)

3) The Gateway Chronicles is a six-book series. That's a lot of story to get through, and again, I wanted Darcy to grow at a realistic pace side-by-side with her natural maturing, and to allow the events of the adventures and trials she goes through to shape her into a better person. She definitely has highs and lows as the books progress, but overall, she should be the worst she's ever going to be in book 1, and the best she's ever going to be in book 6. That's been my goal from the beginning. Most people don't change over night, and if I'd had Darcy improve too much by the end of book 1, there wouldn't have been enough transformation left for five more books.

4) The Six is a Nigredo-stage book. This gets a little technical, but if you've read any of the other blog posts I've written about literary alchemy, that's what it's all about. There are three stages of alchemy Darcy has to progress through, and it all begins with the Nigredo, or black, stage of dissolution. This is a burning-away-the-dross stage, a stage during which the character is often beset with both internal and external problems that challenge the character's preconceptions about his/herself. It is the first step in a spiritual journey during which the character has to come to realize that he/she maybe isn't as great as he/she always thought. It is a peeling away of what is bad so purification can take place. This is where Darcy is at in The Six and The Oracle. Because I have six books, there are two books per stage. Darcy begins the Nigredo in The Six and progresses through it in The Oracle, which ends with a sort of crucible that challenges Darcy's notions of what love actually is and launches her into the next stage. By the time The White Thread opens, Darcy is ready to step into the Albedo, or white, stage of purification, and it's at this point that she starts to really learn selflessness.

To wrap up, it really is okay if Darcy turned you off SO much that you just couldn't get into my books. I still appreciate you giving them a chance, and I acknowledge that my books are not going to be enjoyable for everyone. But if you read all this and get what I'm trying to do with her in the stories, maybe you'll want to give them an extra chance. I promise you, she does get better - much, much better - as the story progresses, but you have to be willing to take the journey alongside her. She stumbles a lot along the way, but that's because she's human. And I believe a human character is more relatable in the long run. And if you're one of my industrious fans who have always understood that this is what I'm doing with Darcy from the very beginning, bravo to you! I commend you for giving her a chance, and I hope I don't let you down with how I conclude her story in book 6!

***As a very nerdy aside, I couldn't help thinking about the Marvel superheroes as I wrote this post. I'm a huge Marvel fan (geek), and I have strong and real opinions on all the Avengers. I love them all for various reasons, and while Captain America is probably my favorite Avenger at the end of the day, the two with the best origins stories, hands down, have always been Thor and Iron Man. Seriously, does anybody like Tony Stark before he's kidnapped? Or Thor before his dad banishes him to earth? They are both monumental jerks, and they're supposed to be, but that's what makes their transformations into heroes so satisfying in the end.

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