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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"When I'm not writing" with Philippa Ballantine

Philippa Ballantine I'm so excited about today's guest because I think her work is absolutely brilliant. Philippa Ballantine writes two series that I thoroughly enjoy. She's here to celebrate the release of the final Book of the Order, HARBINGER, which comes out today. This series is really great fantasy and I strongly recommend it (though I am one book behind right now). She also co-authors the fantastic Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences steampunk series with Tee Morris, a lovely series with great work building and excellent characters. I hope you'll enjoy getting to know the talented Ms. Ballantine a bit better!


In Harbinger, indeed in all the Books of the Order, the Rossin is the most feared geistlord in the Empire. His usual form is a giant spotted cat, similar to a lion, with a mane, but even taller than our great cats. His presence is impossible to ignore, and more than that he can also transform into a winged variation and a sea form…all still with the huge cat body. Above all, he is very, very dangerous, and looks on humanity as merely meat. At first everyone thinks he is only a wild beast, but as the books progress he does seem to have a plan of his own.

I have not seen my version of the Rossin (who claims to be a pedigree Siberian) take any other forms but this could be because he spends so very much of his time lounging around the house. Still look at the expression in that face…I am sure there is a deadly killer in there somewhere.

Rossin 1

Who am I kidding; the greatest danger from him may be getting excessively covered in fur…or is does he have some other strange plan? I have my suspicions.

I know the mini Rossin is always watching me, especially when I work. Sometimes it is a little unnerving to turn around and have those gold eyes fixed on me like I am made of shrimp.

Rossin 2

Then he claims to be helping me with my work, but I have my doubts, as all too often I find him ‘helping’ with the editing like this. I hope he isn’t commenting on the quality of my writing. As they say ‘everyone’s a critic, but the Rossin is the worst of all’.

Rossin 3

He’s also developed a habit of trying to crawl into my lap all the time. That wouldn’t be a problem, except I am usually trying to write on…my laptop. I feel a definite conspiracy coming on.

Or maybe it is more like revenge for my favorite season…cat hat season…commonly referred to as Halloween. The mini Rossin for all his savagery has one real issue, he freezes in shock. Yes, you put a hat on him and he stands stock still. This makes for excellent photo opportunities, which only encourages me to keep clicking.

Rossin 4

I know I am taking my life in my hands, but he is a handsome devil. I am sure he is looking forward to cat hat season this year again. I will just have to sleep with one eye open.

Because you never know where the Rossin is…or when he may strike. That’s the danger of inviting the wild in to live with you, but it is a danger I embrace.

Rossin 5

Rossin 6


Thanks for such a great post, Philippa! I love the second last picture. He's too cute! =)

For more information about Philippa and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also check out the other stops on the tour (scroll down to the bottom of the page):

Harbinger tour banner


Here's the scoop on HARBINGER:

Harbinger by Philippa Ballantine (Book of the Order #4)The Deacons of the Order are all that stand between the wicked spirits of the Otherside and the innocent citizens of the Empire. They are sworn to protect humanity, even when they cannot protect themselves…

After the Razing of the Order, Sorcha Faris, one of the most powerful Deacons, is struggling to regain control of the runes she once wielded. The Deacons are needed more desperately than ever. The barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is weakening, and the Emperor has abandoned his throne, seeking to destroy those he feels have betrayed him.

Though she is haunted by the terrible truth of her past, Sorcha must lead the charge against the gathering hordes of geists seeking to cross into the Empire. But to do so, she will need to manipulate powers beyond her understanding—powers that may prove to be her undoing…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Here are the earlier books in the series with their gorgeous covers. You can check out my thoughts on Geist by clicking on it.

Geist by Philippa Ballantine (Book of the Order #1) Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine (Book of the Order #2) Wraith by Philippa Ballantine (Book of the Order #3)


Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!


Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.


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