Four races with powers dictated by the seasons seek balance and prosperity. However, life instinctively primes itself for survival, and when one race commands the touch of death, all others fall in line. Tyranny plagues Azure as an immortal ruler governs the knowledge of the seasons and those wielding its power.
Four young protagonists, Stone, Jaymes, Goose, and Astor, each navigate their way to escape his shadow and reclaim their freedom. Simple ambitions for young souls. But little did they know, they would uncover the secrets the realm is built upon, and the unique talents they each carry. Their ignorance allows the knowledge of the seasons to escape into the world around them little by little, and with it, a power loosing anarchy upon the realm. A power most aren’t worthy of wielding. It is up to Stone and his companions to tame that power and reclaim the balance.
Four seasons to balance the land. Four sages to balance the life.
read an excerpt from Season of Suffering...
I retrieve the jar of thunderbugs from my haversack and throw it at the pile of wood. A surge of light erupts as the glass shatters, followed by small booms of thunder. But the brush doesn’t light. No fire, and now my thunder lantern is gone as well. I crouch to get my hands dirty with steel and flint.
Plenty of sparks spit from the stone and blade, but no flame. I wish I could create fire with my talent. Instead, I get rot.
A loud roar bellows behind me. I hold still. Why, I don’t know. Still prey won’t fend off a large predator. Still prey are accepting defeat just before they die. I rise to my feet, slashing my blade in a whirl. The bear is several paces away. It stands upright, towering three times my height.
“Go! Get out of here! I don’t want to kill you! Just go!”
The beast drops on all fours and charges.
I do the same. When I get close enough, I leap into the air. The bear halts and lifts a paw to swipe at me. It tears into my side, but I accomplish what I intend. I grab its scruff and whip myself onto its back. With my kukri, I stab at its throat and twist. It’s not enough. I remove the blade, tossing it aside, and jab my fist into the open wound. The bear rages. It heaves me up and down. My legs fly into the air. My fingers, gripping the bear’s scruff, slip away, and the only thing holding me onto the bear’s back is my one arm embedded deep inside its flesh. I feel around, softening its sinew with my rot until I find its spine. I grab hold of it and focus. Moments later, the bear collapses.
"You forced me.” I exhale and lay my head onto the bear. The coarse fur is rough on my cheek. I close my eyes, and exhaustion steals me away into slumber.
about Jonathan J. Michael...
Jonathan J Michael was born and raised in the greater Seattle area in the scenic state of Washington. Jonathan is an advocate of science, nature, and exploration, which has a heavy influence in his debut series, Blood of Azure.
When I drive down the freeway, I often want to veer onto the backroads and head for the mountains. When I'm at an evening gathering, I'm eager to step outside and gaze at the stars. When I'm on a ferry, I'm at the guardrail staring into the depths wondering what kind of leviathans lurk below. I'm an explorer, and since I'm not on the next Crew Dragon headed for the ISS, fantasy novels let me have what I seek. I write to explore a world of wonder.
Season of Sacrifice – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T1XV54W
Season of Suffering – Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NSM62N8
more personal "stuff" about Jonathan Michael...
Can you describe your dream home?
Can I have two dream homes? One for football season, leading into the holidays. And one for the other seven to eight months of the year.
Let’s start with football season. I mean Autmun and early Winter. This would be a cabin in the woods. Thick woods. Not just a thicket, but tall, ancient trees with dense underbrush—ferns, salal, huckleberry bushes, etc. And it would be on a remote lake. I picture sparkling, crystal waters as the sun comes over the mountains. The house would be log cabin style with a massive vaulted ceiling and large windows overlooking the water. The rest I don’t care, as long as there’s a fireplace and hot tub. I just need to be able to experience the outdoors without freezing my butt off in the cold months.
For my Spring-Summer house, something on a sandy beach, with hammocks everywhere, infinity pools everywhere, and hot tubs everywhere. I don’t care what the house looks like, as long as it’s warm and on a beach. I suppose I have a dream location, not a dream house. Mountains and beach.
If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
What a loaded question. I could only respond with a plethora of my own questions. How many people are coming? What time of year is it? What is the event/reason for the visit? What meal is it? These all matter. I’m not going to serve pancakes and sausage for a summer barbeque. But if I got to choose all these things, then it would be a smaller gathering. An evening barbeque for Independence Day, or any day in the summer, really. I would grill slabs of filet mignon (undecided at the moment whether it’s wrapped in bacon or not) and asparagus and mushrooms seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and sesame seeds. I would serve homemade mashed potatoes, loaded with butter, sour cream, bacon bits, shredded cheese, chives, and a side of salsa. Potato chips—a variety of flavors. And we can’t do a barbeque without a watermelon, corn-on-the-cobb, and some potato salad. Maybe some cheesecake for dessert.
Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
Do fans still send letters? I thought they criticized us with gold stars.
I’m still fresh, so I don’t see much fan mail. I’ve had one message, basically saying he’s excited about the (at the time) upcoming release of Season of Suffering, and that his family member was also starting down the journey of becoming an author. It’s thrilling to know somebody took time out of their day to let me personally know how they felt about my work.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
If my publisher was willing to send me anywhere, I’d ask them to send me out of this world. Why limit ourselves? Europa, Titan, Mars. I’d be open to several locations. And, oh boy, would I be terrified too.
However, if I’m limited to this world, I would want a remote location. Something full of life where I’m not stuck in a tiny submarine, squishing my body through tiny crevices, or high enough where a fall would splatter me upon impact. So, I think a jungle would suit me. It would be fun to acclimate to the local tribes in the Amazon.
Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
My book covers were designed by Stefanie Saw of Seventhstar Art. I created the initial line drawing, and she brought them to life. She is remarkable at what she does, and I highly recommend her. Professional, easy to work with, and has great instinct with design, which makes the process smooth.
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