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The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour!    a Rafflecopter giveaway


I know everyone is anxious for the blurb and excerpt, but R.J. Merle kindly agreed to write a post.  Enjoy!

The Craft of Writing Fantasy

One of the interesting aspects of crafting Fantasy fiction is presenting a world, actions, abilities, or behaviors that are out-of-the-norm in a manner that makes those traits believable and plausible in your story.

As you can see in the overview blurb, the Children of the Elements Series features fantasy attributes.

When nature refuses to be controlled, can mankind endure? Brainwaves altered by a covert government project based out of the Secret City of Oak Ridge, the Children of the Elements are brought together and tested as weapons of mass destruction. Their struggle to free themselves and survive in the hostile East Tennessee Mountains creates massive chaos and threatens to bring about an apocalypse.

Savage Winds, the first book in the series, shares the story of a little girl able to direct the wind with her wind play, and features the technique of presenting extraordinary features in a normal, every-day world. The children live in the East Tennessee Mountains and their psychic gifts are a part of their daily lives. Also, techno-geek Stedford Thackett, an eighteen-year-old whose story spans all five books, with his awkwardness and clumsiness, tends to ground the story more deeply in reality.

Even in fiction where the worlds are fantastical, there tends to be normal aspects of the characters that are endearing and relatable to the reader, so that the fantasy characteristics of the story tend to be accepted as real and believable.

Basically, blending the implausible, as seamlessly as possible, within the plausible assists in presenting more believable story aspects and presents the story happenings as plausible when crafting Fantasy fiction.


SeriesGraphicSavage Winds (Children of the Elements, A Secret City Science Fiction Adventure Series, Book 1)

A dangerous conspiracy unfolds…
In Author R.J. Merle’s whirlwind start of the Children of the Elements series, a clumsy teenage techno-geek struggles to protect kidnapped children from a covert government organization responsible for creating their abilities to control the five elements.

A mighty wind…
Eighteen-year-old Stedford Thackett’s conspiracy theorist brother ensnares him in a real life children-as-weapons plot, while a determined scientist grooms happy-go-lucky five-year-old Darcie Lynn Carpenter to use the wind as a deadly weapon.

Out of control…
Despite the firm hand of Scientist Nora Hicks, Stedford struggles to rescue the kids and escape, even as Darcie Lynn fights to gain control of the surging power of the savage winds.

A Word-o-Gram for the series would include descriptions to include Psychic Powers, Telekinesis, Apocalypse, Electro-Magnetic Pulse, Zombies, and Mutants.


BookCover_SavageWindsDead men don’t tell tales, yet the late project head’s records held revelations kept from Scientist Nora Hicks for far too long.

In an office deep inside an East Tennessee mountain, Nora snapped a black leather-bound book closed.

Except for the carved stone ceiling, the office mimicked a non-descript working office in Anywhere, USA. Bulky military-issue metal and wood furniture stood as a harsh legacy to the covert Secret City project and to the starkness of her life.


Sitting at the borrowed hulk of a desk in a dank underground office, she asked, “Why was this kept from me?”

Across the desk in a guest chair, General Gardner, with thin hair sprouts sprayed into place, said, “Ever since Oak Ridge existed but did not even appear on a map, the city continues to hold and foster more than its share of secrets. As a trusted senior scientist and manager of the project, Dickenson claimed you and your son were the only ones involved.”

“How long have you known there were more of us?” Her grip on the desk’s metal edge forced her gloved hands to stop shaking. The usual underground chill pressed into the heat of her temples and an off-putting tartness oozed over her tongue.

Were Scientist Daniel Dickenson not already dead, she would kill him with her bare hands.


–from Savage Winds

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author R.J. Merle stepped out of the realm of Top-Secret documents (shh, don’t tell…) AuthorPhoto_SavageWindsto write sci-fi and paranormal fiction.

R.J. survived and escaped both the entertainment field and the government-contracting environment, craves the Walking Dead, and entertains what-if tidbits about “supposed” technological and biological advances.

No stranger to the goings on in the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, R.J. Merle blends a down-home flavor with a former in-the-know—hypothetically, of course—technical background to craft the twists and intrigue of Secret City Adventures.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/R.J.-Merle/e/B00P8E0X5A

BN Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/r.j.-merle

Website: http://www.rjmerle.com/COTE.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RJ-Merle-Author/1409155235976147

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10944948.R_J_Merle

Blog: http://rjmerle.blogspot.com/

Buy Links:

NOTE: Savage Winds is FREE!