Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Blood of Azure series by Jonathan Michael

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/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner tosee the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books.What are four things you can’t live without?

Air. Water. Food. And passion. Because what is life if you don’t have something to live for.

What is your favorite television show?

This may be an uncommon response for an author. It certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype. My favorite show is football. Specifically, the Seattle Seahawks. Every week. Every gameday. This is a must for me. Every household project and every writing project goes to the wayside when the Seahawks are on. Go Hawks!

If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?

If I could be any character in a literary work, it would be Merry or Pippin from Lord of the Rings. I want to go on epic adventures, but I’m not a hero. The world would be destroyed if I chose to be the hero in any book. And I don’t think I’d do so well as a villain either. Once the hero came face to face with me, I’d be like, “You want me to stop trying to take over the world? Meh… Okay. It was kind of evil, anyways.” So, let’s roll with the sidekick who gets to go on the adventures and explore Middle Earth to its fullest, but always have a hero looking over my shoulder, protecting me from the bad guys. That sounds like a good place to be.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

The next book I have coming will be Season of Salvation, Blood of Azure: Book 3. The adventures continue in the world of Azure with the villains becoming global threats, the heroes realizing the roles they must play, and further exploration of the scenic terrain.

I’m still in the early stages, but I am thoroughly excited for this release with the storylines I’m plotting. It’s shifting a tad more toward political intrigue with the protagonists needing to oust corruption without looking like the villains. I will also be sure to reveal more of the magic system, and it won’t be any good without more magical beasts. I’m thrilled with what’s to come in the world of Azure.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Brent Weeks has influenced me a great deal. I was immersed in his Night Angel Trilogy when I first decided to write. Brandon Sanderson as well. His metallurgy magic system in Mistborn is phenomenal. Between the two, they inspired me to start typing, and I would say I followed their lead with how creative they are with world building. Before reading their works, I thought of fantasy as elves, dwarves, ogres, and such. But it can be so much more. Just allow your imagination to open up.

Another author who has influenced my style of writing is George RR Martin. He has a plethora of characters and names each chapter after the character you’re following in his Game of Thrones series. I found this to be a great method to follow several storylines in a long, epic fantasy. Once you get familiar with the characters, it allows for a quick change in setting and aura, just by reading the chapter heading. If I read the chapter heading, Jon, I know the chapter will involve virtue and courage, and it will likely draw out hopeful emotions. If I read the chapter heading, Cersei, I know it will be more devious and hateful. It’s a great tactic if you have multiple characters to follow. George also showed me that a great story can draw out both good emotions and dark emotions. And that’s okay. It’s beneficial for us to see the good and evil and have strong emotions about it. I don’t like Cersei Lannister. She’s a vile woman. But she cares deeply for her family, which gives us a thread of hope for her wellbeing. And this is what I strive to do with my characters. I want to make you care for all of them, regardless of their actions.


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.


Courage is for the bold. It is not for Stone McLarin. He’s been in hiding for four seasons after being orphaned by the Taoiseach. He doesn’t care for the heroic antics of avenging his parent’s death or securing his freedom. He only desires one thing—to protect his sister’s life.

This proves challenging when his sister, Jaymes, possesses a rivaling power of decay to that of the tyrant ruler’s. She’s a threat to his dominance, and there will be no escaping his shadow.

When the Taoiseach manipulates his way into Jaymes’s life and steals her away, Stone has no choice but to follow. He must venture into the heart of the tyrant’s domain and figure out how to penetrate the impenetrable. And if he succeeds there, he will have to slay the most powerful man in Azure.

In a world ruled by decay, what chance does life stand?

Season of Sacrifice is part one of the Blood of Azure series—an epic fantasy full of grim encounters, heroic adventures, unique magic, and a captivating world to explore.

Author’s Note: Contains explicit language and some graphic descriptions.


A villain in his own mind, Stone McLarin is labeled the hero for murdering a man.

Not only is Stone weighted down as a hero, but he’s idolized by the dominant religion, and he’s the sole protector of the knowledge of the ages. The pressure of the entire realm is on his shoulders.

Carib Reign, a shapeshifter building an army of immortals, plans to purge the Crimson Capital to find this hidden knowledge. His motive, to give the people of Azure the freedom they deserve.

With many adventures along the way, Stone will lead the charge to defend the Crimson Capital against the Immortal Army. Should he fail, anarchy is inevitable. Death for all Azure, a possibility.

Where there is life, death anticipates. But what if death is abandoned? Life will rebel.

Season of Suffering is part two of the Blood of Azure series—an epic fantasy with both light and dark hearts. You’ll experience many fantasy tropes, clashing swords, unique magic, fantastical beasts, and a wide range of Azure’s scenic terrain.

Author’s Note: Contains explicit language and some graphic descriptions.

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 the Author:
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.
~ Jonathan

Website: https://jonathanjmichael.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.j.michael.author
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jonathan_j_michael/

Season of Sacrifice – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T1XV54W
Season of Suffering – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NSM62N8

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  1. Great interview, Blood of the Azure sounds like a series that I want to read! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a terrific day!

  2. I appreciate you hosting my series tour. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for sharing your interview and book details, I know that you are working on book 3 now and am wondering if there will be more stories to come?

    1. Thank you for the question, Bea. I don't have a solid answer for you, unfortunately. I initially planned for four books in this series. The fourth, however, will depend how book 3 unfolds. Sorry to be vague, but I don't want to force it if book 3 wraps up nicely, packaged with a bow. There is an antagonist still on the loose, though, so it depends if I want him to meet his demise. :)

  4. I love the covers and think this sounds like a very good series.

  5. I like your list of 4 - passion is a motivator.

  6. The books sound very interesting. Love the covers!

  7. This sounds like an excellent series. I'm really looking forward to reading these!

  8. What inspires your book plots?

    1. Loaded question. Thank you for asking. It's all about what the characters desire most and how the villains conflict with that. With four MCs in this series, I wanted a genuine hero, a morally gray hero, a protector, and a faith-driven hero. And I always prefer to have more than one villain, increasing in chaos as the series progresses. Beyond the characters, I like to be able to explore the world itself, so I try to make sure the plot allows for that. This series has many POVs, so it wasn't too challenging to make sure at least one of them is out on an adventure and not caught up in the political turmoil. I could probably go on for days, so I'll leave it at that for now.

  9. Love the covers of all the books.

  10. This sounds like an excellent series.

  11. Good luck to the author for the success of the series!


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?