Win a $50 GC: The Hierophant's Daughter by M.F. Sullivan

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If I’d never heard of me would I read my book?

The most important question for a writer to ask on setting out to become a writer is, “What do I like to read?” It’s an often overlooked question, I think. Sometimes we focus on what we like to write, and what we like to write and what we like to read are sometimes not the same. For instance, I love to write about philosophy. I could write about metaphysical non-fiction topics all day, and frequently do for the essays available on—but would I say I like to read those things? Well—I like the knowledge I gain by having read those things, but I can’t say the process of reading those things is always enjoyable. On the other hand, books I find most enjoyable are novels with a relatively fast pace and a dark premise or a sci-fi setting—something where metaphysical concepts can be explored or demonstrated, but not expounded upon, necessarily. My greatest challenge as a developing writer was to move from this enjoyment of writing rambling philosophy and into a respect for the reader’s enjoyment first and foremost. I wanted to make The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy not a series I wanted to write, but a series I wanted to read.

If I’m honest, that’s been my biggest motivating factor in finishing this story—I have been so excited to read it end to end! There’s always a great pleasure in holding your book and experiencing it as a proper story for the first time (and that last round of proofreading), but for the Trilogy, that effect was amplified because I was writing this story for myself as a reader. That’s the best thing any author can do, because if you’re excited about that story, how can your readers help but be excited? That said, sometimes stories disappoint us—and that can be a great source of motivation, too. The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy is sort of a response to all the things I find disappointing in science fiction or horror or vampire novels. In the opening chapter of The Hierophant’s Daughter, Dominia loses her artificial fangs and has to deal with gaps in her teeth for the rest of the novel—along with the loss of something else, but I don’t want to spoil it for anybody who doesn’t already know. But that, to me, is sort of a symbol of—for lack of a better word—the emasculation (de-fanging, de-evilling) of the vampire in modern fiction. And I’ve gone into it elsewhere so I won’t go into it here, but I don’t think that’s healthy as a society. Part of the theme of The Disgraced Martyr Trilogy is about acknowledging the existence of evil and seeking to redeem it; you can’t do that if you’re pretending your vampires are good. But, then, that’s why these are martyrs, instead!

All I’ve wanted for a long time now is a new good monster story, so I decided to write it myself—hopefully my readers will enjoy it as much as I have!

By 4042 CE, the Hierophant and his Church have risen to political dominance with his cannibalistic army of genetically modified humans: martyrs. In an era when mankind's intergenerational cold wars against their long-lived predators seem close to running hot, the Holy Family is poised on the verge of complete planetary control. It will take a miracle to save humanity from extinction.

It will also take a miracle to resurrect the wife of 331-year-old General Dominia di Mephitoli, who defects during martyr year 1997 AL in search of Lazarus, the one man rumored to bring life to the dead. With the Hierophant's Project Black Sun looming over her head, she has little choice but to believe this Lazarus is really all her new friends say he is--assuming he exists at all--and that these companions of hers are really able to help her. From the foulmouthed Japanese prostitute with a few secrets of her own to the outright sapient dog who seems to judge every move, they don't inspire a lot of confidence, but the General has to take the help she can get.

After all, Dominia is no ordinary martyr. She is THE HIEROPHANT'S DAUGHTER, and her Father won't let her switch sides without a fight. Not when she still has so much to learn.

The dystopic first entry of an epic cyberpunk trilogy, THE HIEROPHANT’S DAUGHTER is a horror/sci-fi adventure sure to delight and inspire adult readers of all stripes.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

The Disgraced Governess of the United Front was blind in her right eye. Was that blood in the left, or was it damaged, too? The crash ringing in her ears kept her from thinking straight. Of course her left eye still worked: it worked well enough to prevent her from careening into the trees through which she plunged. Yet, for the tinted flecks of reality sometimes twinkling between crimson streaks, she could only imagine her total blindness with existential horror. Would the protein heal the damage? How severely was her left eye wounded? What about the one she knew to be blind—was it salvageable? Ichigawa could check, if she ever made it to the shore.

She couldn’t afford to think that way. It was a matter of “when,” not of “if.” She would never succumb. Neither could car accident, nor baying hounds, nor the Hierophant himself keep her from her goal. She had fourteen miles to the ship that would whisk her across the Pacific and deliver her to the relative safety of the Risen Sun. Then the Lazarene ceremony would be less than a week away. Cassandra’s diamond beat against her heart to pump it into double time, and with each double beat, she thought of her wife (smiling, laughing, weeping when she thought herself alone) and ran faster. A lucky thing the Governess wasn’t human! Though, had she remained human, she’d have died three centuries ago in some ghetto if she’d lived past twenty without becoming supper. Might have been the easier fate, or so she lamented each time her mind replayed the crash of the passenger-laden tanque at fifth gear against the side of their small car. How much she might have avoided!

About the Author:
M.F. Sullivan is the author of Delilah, My Woman, The Lightning Stenography Device, and a slew of plays in addition to the Trilogy. She lives in Ashland, Oregon with her boyfriend and her cat, where she attends the local Shakespeare Festival and experiments with the occult. Find more information about her work (and plenty of free essays) at Painted Blind Publishing!

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Thanks for hosting!
Magda said…
Thanks so much for contributing to the tour! Isn't Nuno's cover cool? Let's hope it sells tons of copies!
Rita Wray said…
Sounds like a good book.
Sounds awesome, thanks for sharing the great post :)

Dale Wilken said…
Sounds great.