G I V E A W A Y   E N D E D

@Versatileer Welcomes the Guardian by Amy Winters-Voss #BookBlitz + Swag #Giveaway
@XpressoTours Blog Tours – May 8 to 14, 2023
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT) – Open until May 17, 2023

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

Guardian by Amy Winters-Voss

Book details:
Guardian by Amy Winters-Voss
(The Liminal Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: May 10th 2023
Genres: Adult, Urban, Fantasy
Blitz Provided by Xpresso Book Tours

Synopsis:
Guardian_front - 2500w.jpg

“One hundred pieces of gold for every kitsune head laid at my feet!”

Convinced redemption lies in becoming a Guardian, Umeji Tatsuya seeks mentorship from the legendary tengu king Soujou-bou. Though, the rest of the Guardian Council is skeptical he’s left behind his dark yakuza past. There’s no time to prove his loyalty and worth before disaster strikes.

A pair of kitsune refugees arrive and hot on their heels is a massive oni army led by Ibaraki Douji, who plans not only to exterminate kitsune kind but also to resurrect the title of Shogun to become ruler of Japan. As kitsune are slaughtered and Umeji and his family fight for their very survival without the support of the Guardians, Umeji questions where his loyalties actually lie.

Just when Umeji thinks things couldn’t get worse, the oni army lays siege to the rural town of Nonogawa and takes on the League of Guardians themselves. When Ibaraki makes off with a legendary sword, the Guardian Council blames Umeji for its loss. He’s done playing by their rules. With family and friends by his side and all of kitsune kind counting on him, Umeji vows to recover the sword and stop Ibaraki for good.

Will the cost be too high? Because the search leads to places mere humans don’t dare tread and what Umeji and his crew find is darker than anything he saw in the mob…

Guardian is the second book in the Liminal Chronicles series. Buy now and enjoy Umeji’s action-packed journey into Japanese myth, personal redemption, and found family.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Join umeji sq 3600x3600.jpg

EXCERPTS:

EXCERPT 1:
Next, the tengu king’s eyes narrow and his wings ruffle. “Let us see you in your original shape, boy. Your magic doesn’t quite match the kitsune form you present.”

He waves his feathered fan, popping me back into human shape. At least I had the sense to dress formally, in a navy suit and a tie that Su-chan picked out for me. Though, I still feel out of place. Besides my aunt and I, everyone else wears a kimono and hakama. It’s different from the streets of Kyoto, where you see the traditional clothing only occasionally.

Then Soujou-bou raises a bushy eyebrow. “Nakamura-san, why do you associate with a magic thief?”

“That is his story to tell, Soujou-sama. Know that I believe him,” she responds in a flat, neutral tone that raises my hackles. She’s never this submissive.

As I give a deep, reverent bow, he remarks, “Boy, Nakamura-san’s recommendation does not excuse the evil in which you’ve partaken. Why did you stoop so low and steal kitsune magic?”

My insides twist at having to contradict the tengu king right off the bat. Taking a deep breath, I keep it simple. “We did not steal it, sir.”

But he snaps, cutting through the air with his feather fan. “No one gives such a gift! It destroys the owner. If I do not find your explanation satisfactory, you’ll not leave my palace alive.”

The declaration sends a shiver down my spine and my words spill out. “The fox I was fighting was Date Sari. She’d repeatedly attacked me and Aunt Hisako because of an old grudge and used her magic for evil—mixing it with that of an oni to add to her power.

“When she attacked my girlfriend, I tried to stop Date without killing her by dispelling her abilities. We didn’t know it would split and settle into each of us. The kami judged Date for her actions and Inari Okami was merciful. He didn’t require us to return her magic or hoshi no tama, which would have killed us.

“My aunt gave me a chance to start again after leaving the yakuza, and I wish to honor her and follow in her footsteps.”

“Yakuza, you say?” His eyes flick to my aunt.

I whisper, “I have much to atone for, sir.” Pressing

Next, the tengu king’s eyes narrow and his wings ruffle. “Let us see you in your original shape, boy. Your magic doesn’t quite match the kitsune form you present.”

He waves his feathered fan, popping me back into human shape. At least I had the sense to dress formally, in a navy suit and a tie that Su-chan picked out for me. Though, I still feel out of place. Besides my aunt and I, everyone else wears a kimono and hakama. It’s different from the streets of Kyoto, where you see the traditional clothing only occasionally.

Then Soujou-bou raises a bushy eyebrow. “Nakamura-san, why do you associate with a magic thief?”

“That is his story to tell, Soujou-sama. Know that I believe him,” she responds in a flat, neutral tone that raises my hackles. She’s never this submissive.

As I give a deep, reverent bow, he remarks, “Boy, Nakamura-san’s recommendation does not excuse the evil in which you’ve partaken. Why did you stoop so low and steal kitsune magic?”

My insides twist at having to contradict the tengu king right off the bat. Taking a deep breath, I keep it simple. “We did not steal it, sir.”

But he snaps, cutting through the air with his feather fan. “No one gives such a gift! It destroys the owner. If I do not find your explanation satisfactory, you’ll not leave my palace alive.”

The declaration sends a shiver down my spine and my words spill out. “The fox I was fighting was Date Sari. She’d repeatedly attacked me and Aunt Hisako because of an old grudge and used her magic for evil—mixing it with that of an oni to add to her power.

“When she attacked my girlfriend, I tried to stop Date without killing her by dispelling her abilities. We didn’t know it would split and settle into each of us. The kami judged Date for her actions and Inari Okami was merciful. He didn’t require us to return her magic or hoshi no tama, which would have killed us.

“My aunt gave me a chance to start again after leaving the yakuza, and I wish to honor her and follow in her footsteps.”

“Yakuza, you say?” His eyes flick to my aunt.

I whisper, “I have much to atone for, sir.” Pressing my palms together in front of me, I bow as low as I can and remain in the position as I ask, “Please, teach me so I can serve as a Guardian.”

EXCERPT 2:
Inside, the tengu kneels as he reports to his master in a grating, scratchy voice. “My Lord, Ibaraki Douji leads an oni horde. They’ve reached the base of the mountain. She was screaming ‘Death to the kitsune.’ We estimate the horde to be four hundred strong.”

S**t. She followed the Date pair. I’ll help defend my master’s estate. Will even Soujou-bou, the old priest, have to fight?

“Light the flares! Sound the alarm!” Soujou-bou shouts.

The messenger strikes a gong that sends a thrum reverberating through the vicinity and spurring all around to action. So I move out of the way to keep from being trampled. With deafening pops, portals form in every direction.

Taking his swords from their perch, Soujou-bou shouts, “Kumagai, prepare my armor! Zumi, gather the troops!”

In a softer tone, he says to me, “This is the reason I don’t allow portals to be created just anywhere on my land. It allows my troops from across the country to arrive in an instant. Each province’s portal has an assigned location, so there’s no worry about overlap and losing soldiers to the void. Newcomers don’t know the open areas.”

Meanwhile, the sky fills with a cacophony of beating black and brown wings, caws, shrieks, and whistles from tengu that barrel down en masse. Did the intruders think taking Soujou-bou’s lands would be easy? Guess again!

Energy thrums through my veins as I force myself to be still and wait for orders.

Aunt Hisako skitters from the house to my side. “I heard the summons. What’s happening?”

“Invasion. You ok for ki?” My hand hovers over her fur, ready to share my life force.

But she holds up a paw. “Keep it. You’ll need what you have.”

“Kitsune-kind, go, now!” Soujou-bou barks at us.

Pressing my hands together before me in my bow, I volunteer. “Master, let me help defend your home.”

“Protect your aunt in her weakened state, at all costs. Ibaraki will focus on both clans of your family when she realizes how many kitsune are here. My people will buy you time,” Soujou-bou says, then directs his captains to hold the gate.

“Understood, sir!”

Grandma Miwa arrives. Her head whips around to Aunt Hisako. “What do you mean, weakened state? I saw you low on ki, but

Aunt Hisako won’t meet her gaze as we retreat inside, with Soujou-bou and his retainers hot on our heels. She gives the unvarnished truth. “Sari stole my hoshi no tama and broke it, leaving me magically crippled.”

Gasping, Grandma Miwa hangs her head as a tengu servant rushes in with Soujou-bou’s armor. In a glowing blur, the bird-man servant helps his master into the many pieces. Black and brown feathered soldiers open the house’s sliding doors and line up the troops outside.

While Soujou-bou puts his helmet on and casts a spell to tie the laces, he barks, “Umeji-kun, I suspend the restriction on you. Create a portal out of sight and get your family to safety. Keep your destination secret.”

“We don’t need your protection, yakuza.” Hoji sticks his nose in the air, then turns to the others. “Mother, let us leave.”

Instead, Grandma Miwa slaps the top of his head with a forepaw. “Baka.”

From outside, the chaos of thunder, the clashing of swords, and continual pops from new portals forming makes my muscles twitch.

“Kami-sama, protect us. They’re using an anti-magic battering ram.” Aunt Hisako’s voice turns tight and my mouth goes dry as a desert, just like it did those years ago in the surprise attack on the Hiragi clan yakuza headquarters.

Soujou-bou and his servants stride through the hall toward the outside. His barked “Now, boy!” enhances the purposeful presence he emanates

My palms together in front of me, I bow as low as I can and remain in the position as I ask, “Please, teach me so I can serve as a Guardian.”

100 pieces of gold 1000x1000.jpg

Author Bio:

Amy is a former programmer turned author after her first trip to Japan in 2017. Now she
writes Japanese myth-based urban fantasy to reconnect with the country and culture that
captured her heart. She lives in South Dakota with her supportive husband, two wonderful kids,
and three wily and crazy ferrets.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Urban Fantasy + Mythological Japan.png

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter
giveaway


Key words.jpg

Xpresso Tours

Guardian_BUTTON.jpg

3 thoughts on “Ends 05-17 – Guardian by Amy Winters-Voss Book Blitz + Swag Giveaway

Leave a Reply