Sunday, October 4, 2015

Granny's Quilting

Last night I went to sleep exhausted in a quiet house. This morning, I awoke to my wife sobbing again. She crawled in next to me and whispered. “It doesn’t get easier.”

All I could say was, “No. It doesn’t.”

Lara’s mother, Sharon, died in her sleep on Friday morning. She was 74. She was hiking on Thursday, out in the Santa Fe nature she dearly loved. She had been bothered by a headache for weeks. But that was nothing new. Those of us who knew Sharon knew she had been bothered by headaches off and on for the last twenty years. It did not indicate anything out-of-the-ordinary. It did not give us any warning. Sharon went to bed on Thursday night and didn’t wake up.

When I was young, I was certain of many things. I knew about living and dying. I knew who I loved and who I didn’t. I knew where I was going and how I wanted to get there.

Now I’m 45, and I know much less than I used to. I thought that was bad enough, that my experience stripped me of my absolute certainties. But this morning I’m scared that you cannot count on anything to be certain, ever.

I was certain that Sharon, who our children exclusively called Granny, would be here for Thanksgiving, for Christmas. I was certain she would be a proud grandparent at my children’s high school and college graduations. I was sure I would see the beautiful new quilts she made for each of them, sewn with Granny’s artistry, to usher in the next stages of their lives.

But I’ll never see Granny again. Her majestic quilts marked my wedding to her daughter, the births of my children, their growth from babies to young people, and now these are the last quilts we will have from her. She was making quilted wall hangings for our family that marked the 12 months of the year, each exquisitely done, each seasonally themed: Halloween in October. Christmas in December. A sere snow scape for January. We have 10 of the 12. Two are missing.  I can’t help but think of Granny’s life as those 12 wall hangings, with two more expected that will never come.

All I can do now is think of the “10 months” of memories we still have and cling to them. I think of Sharon’s unerring compass of social justice. She didn’t preach it. She lived it. She took care of people she didn’t have to because she saw it as her obligation as a human being.

I remember Granny’s “basic diet”, a healthy helping of natural foods and the basics of the human condition: Arts. Literature. Our connection to nature. She loved museums, especially out-of-the-way and out-of-doors museums, curiosities like Tiny Town and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum that showcased the subtle accomplishments of every-day people. She took my children to these every chance she got. And she took them to nature’s own museums as well, hiking the trails of Santa Fe, the arroyo behind their house, or white-water river rafting.

Above all, I remember her investment in our children. In the raising of them, in exposing them to wholesome aspects of life. She longed to visit them. She sent them packages nearly every week, of newspaper clippings or the funnies from the paper that she knew Dash loved, post cards from places they’d been or of scenic moments in Santa Fe. Of all the things I will miss about Granny, I will miss this the most. I lament that she will no longer be here to guide my children, to teach them the best things about grandparents: That they care about you and are interested in your growth. That they want to expand you with their many years of experience, let you see through eyes that have lived in a time you did not. Granny loved my children so much. She gave the very best parts of herself to them in every moment she was with them.

Over the past years, I have watched Lara begin her own quilting. A little bit to start, back when we were first married, then more and more. And now Lara has begun to make quilts for new babies just as Granny did. This, and so many other things, are part of Granny Sharon’s legacy, and I hope that Lara continues to quilt. I know, for my part, I will quilt with Granny in my own way. I will try to look with her vision when I watch other people, to carry her care for them in my heart. I will remember that dignity is the right of every person, and that we have an obligation to help them find that dignity, especially when it is the most difficult. I intend to stitch that piece into my own life and the lives of my children for as long as I am here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fairmist Reviews #26 through #45

Fairmist Book Launch Day! I'm so giddy I can't stop grinning. And I have a headache (I never get headaches). Is there such thing as a happy headache? That's what I have.

Holy sheep dip! I am buried under the reviews (what a great feeling!), so I'm going to post every single review I have so far today. A big thank you to all of my advance readers. You all took this story and you ran with it. Wow!

Mary Ann Littler, Review #26
Loved it, it held my interest and I can’t wait for the sequel!!
Long live Grei!!

Brett Spencer, Review #27
I read novels for the immersive world I get to explore.  The wondrous strangeness, the thought-provoking nuances, the creatures and places I’d never even find in my dreams.  Fairmist unfolds a richly-nuanced world that delights my senses, feeds my daydreams and upends my disbelief.  And it does so in such a heartfelt and charming way that I feel right at home amidst the raindrops that hang suspended in midair while flying hares circle above - just your average Faiaday on Clapwood Street in the sacred and seedy town of Fairmist.

And the story of young Grei who may not know where he’s going, but, by the Faia, he knows what’s right!  There is much to be learned from this young man who stands on his convictions in the face of his society’s constant and brutal disapproval, in the face of a secret society bent on determining his destiny and even even in the face of the madness that consumes all who dare to question the Debt of the Blessed. And Grei is just one of the inspiring, dastardly, heart-wrenching characters you’ll come to love in Fairmist.

This story entranced me and I’m itching to get my hands on the next one to unlock more of its secrets!

JP Fagan, Review #28
Up front, I will say that fantasy is not my favorite genre of books—there are generally too many strange names that you are never sure you are really pronouncing correctly. It sometimes is difficult to connect with characters that are too strange—you just don’t get them or their motivations. Fairmist has none of that, and, as a result, is very enjoyable to read. It is easy to dive right in and get caught up in the story.

Fairmist is a world that is unusual, but not incomprehensible. Todd describes this world so colorfully that I could smell the forest floor of the Wet Woods, see the unique stone bridges in the town, feel the dampness in the air during the Harvesthome masquerade balls, and hear the commotion inside The Floating Stone. Every place in the story feels real. Like Middle Earth, I wish that I could go and see the place for myself.

Much more importantly, however, Fairmist is populated with characters that are so human, and so believable, that you want to discover their stories. I frequently found myself nodding (or shaking) my head, because I was able to understand the characters and what drove them. It was easy to get behind Grei in his quest to seek answers and fix what is wrong, especially when you know right from the prologue just how wrong things truly are. I was able to feel the sorrow in Adora as she veers back and forth between happiness and duty. I could identify with Blevins who has done his duty and now tries to live with the consequences. I even felt sympathy for a villain who does not appear to be so far gone as to be wholly incurable.

There is only one problem with the book—I want more now and I can’t have it. I will have to be patient and wait for Todd to create the next installment. I eagerly look forward to finding out what happens next.

Bridget Lovett, Review #29
Finally. A novel with female characters that kick-ass while demonstrating grace, intelligence and the power of their sexuality. As they guide a fallible yet truly heroic Grei through the adventures of Fairmist, I couldn't help but be captivated. Todd Fahnestock is one of the best of our time.  I cannot wait for the next!

Bill Moraja, Review #30
Fahnestock's first solo work is very good. His writing is crisp and tight. His story-telling is fast-moving and exciting. He creates characters that are deep, compelling and evolving throughout the story as the action unfolds. No character knows who anyone else really is, and some don't even realize who they are or what they can be. The world of The Whisper Prince is fascinating and makes for irresistible reading.

These reasons alone would be enough to earn Fairmist a high recommendation, but fortunately there is more.

Fahnestock digs deep into the very best tradition of the speculative fiction genre and asks elemental, human questions: What are we prepared to do to survive? Are we willing to live our lives cowering in fear? Dedicate our entire lives to a desperate cause? Are we willing to sacrifice the lives of others? Are we prepared to sacrifice our own life, or the lives of our own children? These are engaging questions wrapped up tightly in a fast-paced adventure. I enthusiastically give Fairmist a five star recommendation.

AJ Johnson, Review #31
Fairmist, Book one of The Whisper Prince, is the first book of the fantasy genre that I had read in a long time. I read the prologue and the first several chapters in fits and starts, but by the time I made it into the third or fourth chapter, I was sucked in, and began to find myself carrying it around the house with me, spending a few minutes reading while I brushed my teeth, while waiting in the car line to pick my kids up from school, and staying up much later than I should as the characters and events flew by and through me.

I love the story elements Fahnestock used to create this world and make it real. A tribute that keeps an uneasy and unpleasant peace in the land. The all-female government special-ops force that holds the society together. An idealistic but slightly ignorant chosen one. A buddhist-like enlightenment that allows one to become a part of every nearby element, experience every emotion and control the physical state of one's surroundings. And the Faia, the fabric that hold together the world of Fairmist.

Surprise plot twists allow you to open yourself up to whatever may come next, and as the book finally came to a climactic close I felt like I was finishing a harried, exciting and emotional rollercoaster. Like Space Mountain, I'm excited to go on it again, and to see what kind of a ride the author will take us on next.

Diana Horowitz, Review #32
As a reluctant fantasy novel reader (whose last attempt was Mists of Avalon over 20 years ago), I found Fairmist to be a fascinating and compelling world to explore. The complexity yet clarity of characters, concepts and storyline quickly cast their spell over me, and left me wanting more. At one point, I was even moved to tears. By Blevin’s Belly, I’m a Fairmist / Fahnestock Fan!

Tiffanny Hale, Review #33
Classic fantasy characters in a great story – I did not want to put it down!

Fairmist is a exciting fantasy novel with some great twists and loveable  characters. After spending much of his life questioning the barbaric practices that keep everyone “safe”, Grei decides he’s done questioning and he’s going to DO something.  Without knowing that he’s the savior of a little known prophecy, he embraces the changes thrusts upon him and manages to outguess those that attempt to manipulate him.  He wins loyalty and inspires trust and he has help from some intriguing side characters. This was an excellent story and I found myself thinking of it throughout the day, anxious to get home to read some more. I did not want to put it down!

Aaron Brown, Review #34
Fairmist presents a decadently fabulous world filled with sideways floating houses and sinister, skulking slinks. Fahnestock's details and dialogue crackle with vigor and wit, but what I liked best is that the story goes far deeper than its alluring, mythical surface. Fahnestock's hero Grei is driven to right a deep wrong and has to cut through veils upon veils of illusions to do so. The spirit Grei brings to the task, not to mention the passion from his friends and allies, seem utterly necessary for his world as well as our own. 

Alicia Jiron, Review #35
A good book makes you think, and a day after reading Todd Fahnestock’s Fairmist, I am still pondering the parables in this engaging story. The characters are the kind you miss when the story ends, the curve-ball plot causes you to question who is on the right side of good and the fantastical settings become pictures in your mind’s eye. Read this book.

Amy Fahnestock, Review #36
Fairmist is captivating and a must read. From the first word to the last you are constantly yearning for the next page, the next twist in the story. Each chapter takes you on an ever changing adventure that challenges your mind, questions you moral line, and teases your every sense. Fairmist has rich and intricate characters that are woven from many types of characteristics that are intriguing and shocking. Powerful women, noble men, misunderstood villains and spiritual undertones of fantasy, nature and the unknown all wrapped into a story line that is unforgettable. The prolog is the rubber band of a slingshot stretched back to catapult you into a mesmerizing adventure of love, pride, betrayal and moral measurement. You will find a love for each character individually on merit but Blevins is by far my favorite throughout the entire book. His character has such clarity and depth. 

Tish Gonzales, Review #37
Fairmist was such a fun and sometimes intense read.  It introduced me to a new genre, fantasy novels.  I enjoyed the character development and rich imagery.   I was pulled into the character’s lives and  found myself immersed in their trials.  Overall I enjoyed Fairmist very much and look forward to the next installment.   Thank you for sharing Todd.

Chris Connor, Review #38
Epic fantasy brings you into its world, immerses you in the characters, draws you into the story and leaves you itching for more. The Whisper Prince is a rich quest filled with deception, romance and destruction.  I can't wait for the sequel.

Bailey Fahnestock, Review #39
Todd Fahnestock’s Fairmist pulls you in from the first paragraph and you never want to leave this amazing world he’s created. He makes you so attached to every character that you almost feel their pain, their desires, and their fears as if they were your own. Along the way, you start to wonder whose side you’re on. This story shows us that sacrifices must be made and we do what we must be done to survive but it also raises the question, do we follow our hearts or focus on our duties? It’s so captivating, you’ll be sad after that last chapter is over and you have to leave this world. A truly wonderful read!

Elliott Davis, Review #40
Fairmist is about the courage to do what you must when you harden your resolve but not your heart. And about crisis. Not the grand, mortal and obvious crisis typical of fantasy (slightly conflicted good vs. absolute evil). The people of Fairmist have compelling personal crises. They are real and relatable. Instead of immutable archetypes, whose point of view never so much as twitches from what you would expect, the characters in Fairmist appear to be doing their imperfect, human best as their perspective develops and their situations better or worsen. Or appear to better or worsen before, “Oops, I saw this playing out differently.” This I can relate to. I cherish Tolkien for the sweep of adventure, but as for character, Frodo lives a pass/fail life in which his only doubts are whether he can succeed, not the more humbling, anguishing challenge of trying to figure out what is right, making mistakes, course correcting, etc. that seems to describe my own life. So, while most fantasy gives me the pleasure of escapism, Fairmist gave me conflicts to sink my teeth into and ponder. Instead of “Could I be equally bold/strong/clever?" and "Zowie, I want super-cool magic powers, too!” I thought about “what the heck would I do here? Whom would I trust?”

And I liked that.

John Pennington, Review #41
Fairmist, first book of a series, is an action packed adventure set in an emotionally rich fantasy world where passion can be as deadly as a blade and actions have unseen consequences. The pace of the book is as tightly choreographed as any Ringblade dance, each part faster than the one before. The Ringblades are part sisterhood, part terror police who train through dance. This reader wanted more scenes involving them and by the end of the book you may feel as though you had been dancing with them - out of breath and already anticipating the next book.

Peter Fryer, Review #42
The world of Fairmist in all of its complexity unfolds with ease through Fahnestock's compelling world building - no easy feat. Taking a step back it becomes apparent how much thought and construction is required to build a simultaneously familiar and foreign world, such as the one in Fairmist. This world is fully inhabited by Fahnestock's characters who are compelling in their motives - whether they be fate or atonement for past misdeeds. The most refreshing aspect of Fairmist is Fahnestock's consistent willingness to have his characters deviate from the choices you would expect of them. On more than one occasion I found myself thinking, "Obviously she won't say anything to him about that" and then three paragraphs later the character would do just the opposite. While it exists firmly in the fantasy genre, these small details make Fairmist stand out. And, lest it go unmentioned, Fahnestock is an artist when it comes to writing action. Sometimes you really want an epic sword fight and some straight up magic. Fahnestock, as always, brings it, creating a novel that clips along with action, but never succumbs to its momentum, allowing time for us to understand both his characters and his fantastic world. Recommended.

Nick Alonzo, Review #43
Fairmist is a great read and it is nearly impossible to put down I look forward to seeing what the future brings for Grei and Adora.

Liz Imbler, Review #44
What a great book! Filled with adventure, deception, and romance, Fairmist transcends the limits of a fantasy novel and leaves the reader wanting more. After only a few chapters, I couldn’t put it down! Fahnestock’s complex characters are constantly evolving and the plot is ripe with excitement. But beyond that, Fairmist is a book to make you think. Intense sacrifice, complicated relationships, and a world that needs saving beg you to question your priorities, and implore you to blend the lines between right and wrong. You can expect a depth from this book that is too often missing in today’s literature. Overall, what a well-written and exciting book! The sequel can’t come soon enough!

Chris Guymon, Review #45
Fahnestock has created a richly textured world that rings true with the human condition despite the fantastical elements that make the setting so intriguing. All the characters are explored fully, and in turn, are not one-dimensional. What was so engaging for me was watching all of the characters struggle with the conflicting aspects of themselves. There are no perfect heroes, heroines, or villains in this story. All in all, an adventure that kept me turning pages and holding my breath--and also kept me continually surprised, right down to the last few words. This is a refreshing novel, and will delight fantasy aficionados and novices alike.

And those are all the reviews to date! Whew! Okay Fairmist...time to LAUNCH!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fairmist Reviews #21, #22, #23, #24, #25

As long as the advance reader reviews keep rolling in, I will keep posting them, all the way through tomorrow's book launch at the BoB (Brew on Broadway). If you haven't signed up to go to the Fairmist Book Launch, and you would like to, there is still time. Don't miss it!

Review #21
In the novel #Fairmist, Todd Fahnestock has created a deftly crafted tale which fans of the fantasy genre will find addictively immersive and truly enjoyable. The story’s splendidly realized characters inhabit a world simply cracking with tension and conflict, and the narrative’s interlocking approach to points of view, with chapters focusing on the main players as they try to keep their mental, spiritual, and yes, quite often their physical balance makes for an exciting read. Fahnestock’s most impressive accomplishment in this book is, in my opinion, the seamless and subtle way that the numerous conflicts and tensions driving the plot forward are in play simultaneously, without sacrificing the sheer fun of a good old, fantastical romp. In this first installment of the story the tremors rumbling beneath the surface promise a tantalizing and bumpy road ahead for Grei and company.
-Marvin Guymon

Review #22
Fairmist by Todd Fahnestock is a wonderful new take on the fantasy genre.  The setting is a magical world where people live surrounded by magic that they don’t understand and can’t practice, a part of everyday life, a legacy left them by a lost race of powerful beings.  Where did the Faia go and why did they leave humanity to its fate?  What are these slinks that terrorize the Thiaran empire now, and why do they require one child sacrifice every month?  Questions lead to answers….which lead to yet more questions.  

Fahnestock has given us a briskly paced story that focuses on the characters without getting bogged down in layers and layers of overly detailed world building or the spinning off of multiple, hard to keep track of, plot-lines.  His characters are strong and each enters the story with a well established sense of purpose and self.  But is that sense conviction based on the truth, or lies?  Is everything really as it seems?   

Interesting characters, original villains, and a story that illustrates the fact that good and evil are not necessarily black and white, but exist with many shades of gray in between.   Good people can do evil things: out of fear, or for love, or because of lies.  

Fairmist is a thoroughly enjoyable read.  I look forward to the sequel.  
-Andrew Grover

Review #23

As an avid Fahenstock Fan, I am always excited to read anything with his name attached.  This was no exception.  #Fairmist leads the reader to question what they are told and the reality which surrounds them.  When betrayal and illusions are looming, Adora and Grei cling to love.  Their connection is born when they were children who still grasped onto their dissolving innocence, so pure that the reader has no choice but to cling to it as well.  Watching the characters grow and evolve while fighting their desires in hopes that their sacrifice will lead to the greater good was my favorite part of this story.  This is an amazing tale that wraps up leaving a longing for the novel to continue on.
-Sara Fisher Poppe

Review #24
In a crowded genre, #Fairmist carves out its own place amongst the best in our time. With its thrilling plot structure, and complex character development, Fairmist breathes fresh life in the epic fantasy realm. The reader will find themselves captivated by the heroes', as well as the villains', plights throughout the novel. I couldn't tear away from this excellent story.
-Steve McDonald

Review #25
I haven't read high fantasy on a regular basis for many years, but “Fairmist” took me right back. The Thiaran Empire is a world as well-crafted as Le Guin's Earthsea or Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar. But something is rotten in Denmark, and Thiarians must sacrifice their children, the Debt of the Blessed, to keep the mysterious, demonic slinks from resuming their war upon the kingdom and slaughtering the people. It's treason to even talk about the Debt, much less question it, but our hero, Grei, is not the type to just let this injustice stand without question, and is therefore known as a troublemaker to both friends and family. His journey from delinquent to getting caught up in a very old prophecy to save the kingdom kept me up late reading more nights than I care to admit. What are the slinks, and why was there a war with them? Who is Adora, really? Is Blevins just a town drunk who talks too loosely about the Debt when in his cups, or someone more sinister? What is the Whisper Prince, and why is he the last great hope of this empire? I just had to know how it all turned out.
-Christina Stolberg

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fairmist Reviews #16, #17, #18, #19, #20

Now I'm just throwing them out as fast as I can. It's so inspiring to see readers getting so much out of the novel! #permanentgiddyfeeling.

Review #16
This book is fantastic! I was nervous to start reading a series before it was completed (GOT frustration!!), but this book was worth it and more. The characters and storyline draw you in within the first few chapters as you meet each character and I enjoyed every page all the way to the last. The characters are well developed and actually make you care if they live or die. They don’t fit into easy categories of good and evil, but make you question what you think you know at every chapter.  I wasn’t left frustrated at the end, but instead am eagerly anticipating book number 2. It was an enjoyable read, with several great twists in the plot. I would recommend this to anyone that’s looking to enjoy a fantastic fantasy story. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down!
-Alyna Douglass

Review #17
I found the enticing story of #Fairmist weaving through my emotional body as the characters displayed the polarities of goodness and cruelty, compassion and betrayal, discipline and disregard for life itself: how innocence is sacrificed to support a fear-based reality and how the Whisper Prince chose to defy the authorities by following his heart even when he felt unsure and vulnerable.

Beyond the qualities of courage, clarity, strength, and discipline lies the magic of the Faia, whose sole purpose is to hold the vision of truth and beauty. Without them, all would be lost.

You will not want to put this adventure of unpredictable outcomes and expanded possibilities down until you finish it.
-Lynnette Connor

Review #18
I loved Todd Fahnestock's Fairmist.  He quickly encourages the reader to "suspend their disbelieving" and accept the surroundings and characters as normal, allowing us to easily be pulled into the story.  Grei and Adora, Kuruk and the Emperor, you love them or hate them....or both.  I eagerly look forward to the next two Whisper Prince books.  There are a few books that I set aside in my bookcase to be re-read again and again.  I believe this series will find it's way to that shelf.
-Larry Lamson

Review #19
Fairmist is captivating from beginning to end as Fahnestock creates a realm of intrigue, lore and enchantment that you won't want to put down. The world of Fairmist enfolds before the reader so vividly it's easy to lose oneself into the story of Grei's altruistic mission, and the interweaving characters that accompany him or try to impede his quest. I can't wait for the second book.
-Jaclyn McDonald

Review #20
I was completely blown away after reading this book. I was immediately hooked within the first couple pages and I had a hard time putting the book down! Fahnestock’s words paint such a beautiful picture of the scenes and characters and I got completely lost in the world he created. By far the best book that I've read in a long time. It's a must read!
-Tara Swayze

Fairmist Reviews #12, #13, #14, #15

The advance reader reviews keep rolling in for #Fairmist. A big thanks to all of my advance readers!

Review #12
I loved this book!  The story was gripping and extremely well written.  The characters were well developed, and there were unexpected twists and turns that made it hard to put down. The story alone was fabulous, but the metaphorical themes about what drives us as human beings were what had the greatest impact on me.
-Jennifer Atler Fischer

Review #13
In Fairmist, Todd Fahnestock has created characters and a story where things are not always what they appear to be. The progression of events makes the reader question what they think they know, not just about the story itself, but about basic moral premises like what is good and what is evil. I eagerly awaited and anticipated the revelation of the next twist. I was already a Fahnestock fan, but #Fairmist has elevated my appreciation of his writing and ability to entertain and captivate readers.
-Jessica Meltzer Bearak

Review #14
As you enter the world of Fairmist, author Todd Fahnestock reveals it to you layer by seductive layer. You are not thrust into the world, but led gently by thoughtful characters with depth and strength. The alluring bravery, deception, and most of all love, affords readers to get lost in the dangerous swirl that is Fairmist. Give it a read...I assure you, you won't be able to put it down!
-Jenny Fitts Reynolds

Review #15
I have been lucky to have known the author, Todd Fahnestock for many years and have enjoyed discussing his ideas for the adventure into Fairmist and now it has come to life!  Having read hundreds of books in the fantasy genre, I must say that Todd has entered into this arena with an original and exciting story.   His debut of Fairmist is a fast-paced epic fantasy novel that introduces multiple, intriguing characters, a creative story line and some unpredictable twists that will surprise the reader and leave them wanting more.  Todd masterfully runs parallel story lines during the book which do not disrupt the flow of his main characters or detract from the plot.  He has done very well weaving his supportive characters in and out of the action and leaves the reader anxious to learn their story.   I strongly recommend this book to all readers (not only those that primarily have interest in fantasy) and feel that they, as am I, are anxiously awaiting the next journey to Fairmist, or to wherever the adventures of Grei, Adora and Kuruk will take us.
-Dr. Eric Albright

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fairmist Reviews #8, #9, #10 and #11

Three days and counting, and the reviews keep rolling in. I'm so excited to share with everyone what readers are getting out of this magical story. What thrills me the most about writing is the hopes that someone else may experience the book in the same way I do. And it's happening.

Review #8
The best of Todd Fahnestock's writing shines through in the tightly-written, richly-woven, compelling world of #Fairmist! Fahnestock’s strength lies in creating characters who will make your heart sing in a land you would yearn into existence, and Fairmist is no different. In a few short pages, you will fall in love with a beautifully strong character in an impossible house, only to have your heart deeply wrenched at the injustice of fate.  He will create a scene so simple, so pivotal, that – even if its significance slips through your fingers – the whisper of it will be heard in the heartbreak and devotion of two people in need.  The novel is riddled with heroes whose battle cries, death keens, and spirited vows ring in your ears long after the book has ended, making you damn happy it’s only the first in a trilogy.  Enjoy Fairmist. Revel in it!
-Sarah McFarland

Review #9
You won't have to find time to read Fairmist, you will make time to read it. From the first Grei chapter to the last Adora one, you are sucked into a world that you never want to leave.  This is unlike any other fantasy novel - with its twists and turns, captivating characters and mind-bending creativity , it is a must read!!
-Dena Morrissey

Review #10
In Fairmist, Todd Fahnestock has created a world and a mythology of massive and ambitious scale. The world around you comes to life in lush imagery and vivid detail even as be describes a land filled with ancient magic, epic struggle, passion, prophecy, political conflict, and courtly intrigue as complex as any you will find. He somehow manages to do it without bogging down the story, which jogs along at a relentless pace that will have you up reading well past your bedtime. As remarkable as this is, even more striking to me is his ability to bring to life characters that evoke empathy. His heroes are sidetracked by the petty emotions and urges that make us human. They rebel against the injustice of their destiny even as they are compelled by it to fight the evil in their world. They don’t always do the right thing, even on the occasions when they know what the right thing is. They are flawed and weak and therefore human. Even his villains are conflicted and noble in their own way, and you will struggle with your sympathy for them. This is no cut-and-dried morality play between good and evil. The twists and turns and timely revelations will have you wondering who the good guys really are. Some fantasy authors are good at creating worlds. Some are good at creating characters. To find one who is a master at both is rare indeed. Don’t miss this one!
-Chris Lamson

Review #11
Be among the first to discover Todd Fahnestock, one of the best new authors you will find today in any genre. #Fairmist is a wildly entertaining story of an epic battle of good and evil, with many brilliant twists and turns. In Fairmist, you will be immediately drawn into this magical world and become enthralled with some of the strongest and most endearing set of characters you will meet in any book. Readers of all types will be drawn to this powerful story. Fahnestock’s ability to create unique and unforgettable characters is a true gift. Enjoy this wonderful and entertaining ride but be sure to budget some time because once you start, you will not be able to put Fairmist down.
-Jim Swayze

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fairmist Reviews #4, #5, #6 and #7

Only four days until the Fairmist Book Launch at the Brew on Broadway. We have over 100 people coming, and the advance reader reviews keep rolling in. Without further ado, this is what readers are saying about Fairmist:

Review #4
Todd Fahnestock's #Fairmist depicts a story of magic and passion, of unlikely heroes and tiny forest goddesses, set in a world so richly painted one almost feels the droplets of #Fairmist on one's own face. From the opening scene, Fairmist transports the reader, and Fahnestock's characters come to life in vivid portrayal. The fast-paced story grips the reader and doesn't let go.
-Megan Foss

Review #5
#Fairmist is an epic tale of bravery, fortitude, love and deception. The author seamlessly brought to life a mystical world of deadly slinks, seductive ringblades, and beautiful faia, and I could not believe how vividly every scene played out in my mind. The story is full of twists and turns that keep you on your toes, and once you pick it up you will not be able to put it down again. 
-Kathryn Holabird

Review #6
The imaginative world of #Fairmist draws the reader in from the very first page, from the brutal Debt of the Blessed to the beauty and the imagination of the Lateral Houses.  Fairmist does a wonderful job of showing the worst of human nature and the best of human nature.  What are the lengths that we will go to in order get what we want?  How do we stand up to stop atrocities that are happening around us?  Fairmist constantly makes you wonder on which side you have the strength to stand.
-Tami Miller

Review #7
I found the female characters in #Fairmist to be the most entertaining to read. The main character, Adora, faces many challenges. Some of these challenges involve fulfilling an ominous prophesy, and managing a headstrong Whisper Prince, a creepy Uncle, and a REALLY bad haircut. It was wonderful to see how this fiery woman handled these tense situations with grace and aplomb.

I might also add, that once you've started the book you'll be ready to pledge your life to the Ringblades (An all girls club of kick ass warrior women who serve the Emperor, for better or worse.) Two more chapters in and you'll slightly regret your overhasty decision, (limbs may or may not have been devoured, warrior women may or may not have been harmed in the making of this novel.) They may not be on the "good side" of the hero scale but, they can dance like a dream and kick like a mule. 

While the Whisper Prince is bumbling about in the forest trying to save the world and learn how to use his new found powers, the womenfolk are turning the wheels and guiding him towards the light...and I like that, I like that very much.
-Erin Olson

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fairmist Advance Reader Reviews #2 and #3

The reviews are coming faster now. I can't keep up! So I'm going to start posting them two at a time.

8 days until the launch. I'm getting excited now!

Review #2
Fairmist is raw, sensual, and fast-paced—it kept my attention the entire time. In Fahnestock’s mystical world of floating mountains, sideways houses, and suspended raindrops, conflicting loyalties force hard decisions, and characters must question things they have always believed. Fairmist is a reminder that asking “why” may not always lead down the easiest path, but those who are unafraid to ask the questions are often the leaders among us. It’s also an examination of fear: are the things we are most afraid of truly the most threatening? Fahnestock shines the light on the fact that good vs. evil is not always crystal clear, and that sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.
-Elizabeth Moser

Review #3
Reading #Fairmist is like going on a fast-paced adventure to magical places with good friends. The story is at turns exciting, poignant, heartrending, breathtaking, funny, and above all fun. I loved sharing difficult decisions with the badass, sexy, smart Adora, rubbing elbows with Blevins at The Floating Stone, dancing with Ree, and growing wise with my impetuous hero, Grei. The quick dialogue, the powerful villains, and the complex plot kept me turning the pages, but it was my relationships with these characters that made this book difficult to put down and impossible to forget.
-Chris Mandeville

To purchase Fairmist, visit:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fairmist Advance Reader Review #1 - Anne Garcia

This novel is an adventurous ride through an imaginary place that touches the reader's senses. This richly woven tale introduces the reader to strong female warriors - each guided by her own strong sense of duty and perseverance.  The hero is mentored by these fascinating women who manipulate men using their sexuality as well as their intelligence. It's fascinating to watch the hero mature until he is at last ready to take on his ultimate challenge which will shape his destiny. There is a lot of violence and dismemberment throughout the story, but physical hardships only seem to make the characters more resilient.  I can't wait to read the next volume to see what happens next.

To order Fairmist, visit

Sunday, February 8, 2015

So the Fairmist launch is rocketing along. Pre-orders went live on and the Launch Party is on Friday, February 27 at The BoB (Brew on Broadway).

Also, be sure to check out my brand new website:

All things about the book will be posted there, including all of the advance reader reviews. The feedback is amazing, and I am giddy about it.