Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, romance on February 9, 2018

Title: The Last Wolf

Author: Maria Vale

Series: The Legend of All Wolves #1

Pub Date: February 6, 2018

ISBN: 9781492661870

Synopsis

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild.

If she returns to her Pack, the stranger will die.

But if she stays…

Silver Nilsdottir is at the bottom of her Pack’s social order, with little chance for a decent mate and a better life. Until the day a stranger stumbles into their territory, wounded and beaten, and Silver decides to risk everything on Tiberius Leveraux. But Tiberius isn’t all he seems, and in the fragile balance of the Pack and wild, he may tip the destiny of all wolves…

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

Letter from the Author

Dear (Potential) Reader,

There is so much vying for your attention, I’m grateful you’ve read even this far.

I know I’m asking a lot from you.

I’m asking you to take time with a new writer when there are so many great ones already out there.

I’m asking you to take a chance on a new direction in a well-loved genre, in which the wolf is not a vicious beast to be subjugated and feared, but rather the human form is a useful tool for protecting the wilder self.

In this reworking, werewolves fall into two categories: Pack, who must be wolves for three days out of every thirty—self-aware wolves, but not magic, any bullet can kill them. And Shifters, who don’t have to change and so remain human, the apex predator, rather than wolf, the maligned and despised outsider.

Still, like any romance, its foundation is in the growing love between two characters: the worldly half-Shifter Tiberius who hates the wolf inside him as bestial and monstrous. And the unworldly Silver, who is fully Pack and believes her wild self to be sacred.

Silver is a runt with a displaced hip when she is a wolf and in a society that determines position by fighting wild, this means she is at the bottom of the hierarchy—the last wolf.  Tiberius, however, discovers real strength in her perseverance and fierceness. For her part, Silver recognizes something about him: that by denying his wild, Tiberius has sown the roots of despair.

But this is not only a love story between two people, it’s also a love story about the Great North Pack, because, despite our fascination with lone wolves, it is the pack that really defines this most social of all animals.

I imagined the Great North as something beyond family or community, something tight-knit and loving and brave and frightened. And intensely vulnerable. I imagined, like most embattled societies, the pack would be very conservative, with a traditional culture, a history, a language that was part of its identity. I chose to base that culture loosely (very loosely) on the world of 9th century England, partly because I love the sound of the language of Beowulf. To me, it is gruff and beautiful and haunting, like a wolf’s howl. But also because 9th century England was a place of great insecurity. One never knew when Northmen might show up and destroy everything you loved.

It was the Great North’s first Alpha, Ælfrida, who forced her pack to change. With humans decimating the forests of England, she dragged her pack from the Old World to the vast forests of northern New York, she re-wrote laws in order to allow new wolves to join their bloodlines, she forced her wolves to leave their isolated territories, so that they could learn human ways and protect the Pack using human law.

What results is a society that is both human and decidedly not, both harsh and loving, severe and tender.  The way I imagined wolves fighting daily for their lives would be.

I have loved every minute of researching and writing these books. I can only hope that you will enjoy reading them.

Stay wild,

Maria

Excerpt

The day of the first waxing crescent of fall is when all of the wolves who live on the Homelands traditionally run the perimeter and make sure that our land is properly marked before the ground freezes and damaged posts become hard to replace.

The entire Pack is wild. Barking and wagging tails, they lick each other and jump around each other, their ferocious jaws open and gentle. They chase mice through windrows, their hind legs scratching leaves into a brightly colored explosion high in the air, so that the pups can twist and turn and catch them in snapping teeth as they spiral down.

Not me. I have to pull on heavy muck boots over thick socks with jeans shoved inside. And I won’t mark our territory the way wolves are supposed to. I will mark it on an iPhone 6 Plus, crammed into the big pocket of a thick orange vest. All because Ti refuses to phase and John doesn’t like it.

“He tells himself he’s human,” John says. “But if he lies to himself, what makes you think he’s not going to lie to us?”

So because I am Ti’s schildere, I have to stay in skin too. Keep an eye on him.

“I mean, what were you thinking?” I ask as Ti fits the Outlast cap over his clipped skull. “When you came to a bunch of wolves asking for protection. That you’d just keep on being a human? Was that your grand plan?”

“I didn’t have a grand plan. What I had was a hole in my stomach, a vague set of directions to my mother’s pack, and a need to survive. I changed long enough to fight; I never thought you’d be asking me to give up my humanity.”

“No one’s asking you to give up your humanity, but if you refuse to admit what you are, it is going to rise up and bite you in the ass.”

“Well, how about you?”

Me? I love changing. I—”

“I know you love changing. You do it all the time. The second Sten doesn’t need your thumbs, you evaporate, and there’s nothing left but clothes hanging from a branch. I may be a crappy wolf. But you… You’re a crappy human.”

I cringe, because he’s right. I’ve never been happy in skin, but then those stupid fire fairies burrowed into my body all those days ago, and that spark has caught fire and burns so fierce that now when I walk beside him and hear his quiet, low voice or look into those gold-flecked black eyes, my tendons strain and my muscles coil and my lungs open up and my blood beats hot and fast. The only way I know how to deal with need is to run hard and far until I collapse, unable to feel anything at all.

A brindle pup barks worriedly at my feet. All of the other wolves have disappeared, fading like a whisper in the woods.

“I know, Leelee. We’re coming.”

“She’s going with us?” Ti asks.

“We’re supposed to take her along. Help her learn the farther reaches of the Homelands.” Leelee scampers on ahead, leaping awkwardly over a huge downed log and sliding down the other side, her fur covered in the sooty brown decay.

Ti clears it in one stride and stands close, not helping me exactly, but I know if I falter, his big shoulder is there for me to grab on to. I make it by myself, but I appreciate his silent gesture.

Leelee watches, her head cocked to the side, as I take a running jump over one of the numerous small, mucky streams that crisscross our land. I slip down the other side, my foot sinking into a soft bruise in the moss. She yips and worries, waiting for me to pull my boot out with a dull sucking sound.

I lift her up and give her an open-jawed kiss on her ear, but she sees a squirrel and won’t stop squirming until I set her down.

“No farther than the Stones, Leelee.”

When we finally catch up, she’s clambering over the variously sized rocks that form rough circles around the ancient central stones. Over the years, the circle has encroached farther and farther into the forest, surrounding the trees.

Leelee marks one of the stones.

“What is this?” Ti asks.

“It’s, um…the Gemyndstow? The memory place? But we just call it the Stones.”

“Like a graveyard?”

“Graveyards are for bodies, aren’t they?”

“Yes.”

“So, no. Coyotes eat our dead. That’s why we call them wulfbyrgenna. Wolf tombs. The stones are only for wolf names and the date of their last hunt so that we can remember.”

When Ti crouches down and looks at one near the front, Leelee runs up to him and looks too, trying to figure out why it is so interesting.

As soon as he stands, she marks that one too.

An ill-advised squirrel runs across the outer rim of the Stones, and Leelee turns quickly to run after it, the wind tickling her fur and the scent in her nose. I know that feeling of taking it all in—moldering pine needles, owl pellets, borer beetle, tree sap, two-year-old porcupine den, sassafras bush—until the scent of prey hits you right in the back of the throat and everything tenses and you chase, even if your tummy’s little and full and all you really want is for the thing, whatever it is, to escape so you don’t have to eat it, but still you can’t help but hunt.

She peels off after her squirrel, looking behind to make sure we’re watching.

The squirrel chitters at her from the safety of a maple. Ti stares, his hands fisted by his sides, as Leelee scampers and bounds and falls on her back and twists her little legs in the air, her belly dotted with leaf litter. A tiny furrow cuts through his usually impassive brow, and his mouth, while still tightly closed, turns down a little at the corners. His wild—that seductive scent of crushed bone and evergreen—radiates thicker now, and when I touch his arm, he jolts as if from a waking dream and blinks down at me, looking in this moment like a lost boy.

About the Author

Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don’t really need it. She currently lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet.

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Posted in Book Blast, Fantasy, Spotlight on January 28, 2018

Synopsis

1945

Allied paratroopers raid a secret Nazi research facility. The operation is reported as a success. But, the lone survivor, Benjamin Ezra, knows otherwise.

2014

A drug lord, El Fantasma threatens to plunge Colombia into an era of bloody drug wars. DEA Country Attaché, Zachary Mason is in charge of a covert operation to remove El Fantasma, with the help of a vigilante, El Angel, and a retired undercover agent, Raymond Garrett.

In Naples, INTERPOL agent, Sabina Wytchoff, is investigating the death of her parents, when the Wytchoff family’s association with an ancient cabal comes under investigation.

After the events of The Apocalypse Trigger, Luc Fortesque, is scouring the world for the man who tested experimental drugs on him.

Wei Ling works for a shadow Transhumanist faction within China’s State Council, developing drugs that will enhance human longevity.

Their paths will converge… violently… and conclude the mission that began in 1945.

Literary Titan Silver Award Winner

The Immortality Trigger is also available at all leading eBook retailers

Praise for The Immortality Trigger

“…with a storyteller of Misquita’s caliber, you just may need Dramamine before the first chapter is done.” – Bestthrillers.com

“For fans of the fast-paced and modern tale with global reach that dabbles in history, this is a perfect storm.” – Lydia Peever

“The Immortality Trigger cemented in my mind why Douglas Misquita is my favourite Indian thriller author.” – Newton Lewis

Other books in the series

 Book #1 in the Luc Fortesque series  Available as a Free download

About the Author

Douglas Misquita is an action-adventure thriller writer from Mumbai, India. He hammered out his first novel on the keyboard of a laptop with half-a-working-screen and has been churning out literary entertainment to the tune of a book-a-year. His books have been praised for their pace, locales, intertwined plots, research, and visuals – it’s almost like watching a movie… only, this one unfolds across the pages of a book!

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Posted in 5 paws, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Review, Trailer, Young Adult on January 12, 2018


Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Gordy Stitser is one of the few people who knows the truth about the secret society of potions masters, called Elixirists, whose specialized concoctions have been responsible for three centuries of advancements, including hybrid cards, enhanced military weapons, and the cure for the common cold. Not only is Gordy’s mom on the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide (B.R.E.W), but she has also been training Gordy in the art of potion-making. Gordy is a natural, and every day he sneaks down to the basement lab to invent new potions using exotic ingredients like fire ant eggs, porcupine quills, and Bosnian tickling juice.

One afternoon, Gordy receives a mysteries package containing an extremely rare potion labeled “The Eternity Elixir.” In the right hands, the Elixir continues to protect society. But in the wrong hands, it could destroy the world as we know it.

Now, sinister potion masters are on the hunt to steal the Eternity Elixir. It’s up to Gordy, his parents, and his best friends, Max and Adeline, to prevent an all-out potion war.

Trailer

Review

If you have a child (or even if you) like YA/Middle Grade fantasy books, this is one to pick up and read.

The author did a great job of making this an enjoyable and captivating read for me. I liked the concept, the characters, and the action. There is a good balance of good and evil to add enough tension for the reader to wonder what might happen next and how certain situations would resolve themselves.

The main character, Gordy, is a talented potion maker and is leaps and bounds ahead of those around him. He is perhaps even better than his mom. He is also smart and is able to figure out a few things when situations become tense all looking for the Eternity Elixir. This is a fantasy book, so you do have to suspend reality when they talk about various potions and what they can do, but that isn’t hard at all.

I had a hard time putting the book down and can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

We give it 5 paws up.

About the Author

Frank L. Cole was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. Potion Masters The Eternity Elixir is Frank’s 10th published book.

I’m an active promoter of reading and using imagination and have been to more than 150 schools presenting to kids.

With a good imagination, you can solve any problem you ever come up against in life!

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Posted in e-books, Fantasy, Free, Giveaway, mystery, romance, Sale, suspense on January 1, 2018

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Fantasy on December 29, 2017

~ Cover Reveal ~

The Vengeance of Indra 

(Vikramaditya Veergatha #3)

by Shatrujeet Nath

 

VENGEANCE IS A CAGE
FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM

In their greed to possess the deadly Halahala, the devas and the asuras have employed every dirty trick against Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine. But the humans are still standing, bloodied but unbowed.

When the wily Shukracharya discovers the secret to breaking the Council’s strength and unity, he forges an unlikely alliance with his arch-enemy, Indra, to set a deceitful plan in motion.

As cracks emerge between the councilors and their king, ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Vikramaditya and Kalidasa’s friendship, signaling the beginning of an eclipse that will cast a long shadow over all that Vikramaditya holds dear. And into this shadow steps Indra, bearing an old grudge — and a devastating new weapon.
How much longer before the Guardians of the Halahala finally fall apart?

Other Books in the Series

Synopsis

THE PRICE OF A PROMISE. PAID IN BLOOD.

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.

But was the Halahala truly destroyed?

A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.

As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!

A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

Synopsis

VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

About the Author

Shatrujeet Nath is the creator of the runaway national bestseller series Vikramaditya Veergatha, a four-book mytho-fantasy arc which includes The Guardians of the Halahala, The Conspiracy at Meru and The Vengeance of Indra. Described as “a new face to Indian mythology” by DNA, Shatrujeet writes for movies and web shows as well. He is also the author of The Karachi Deception, an Indo-Pak spy thriller.

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Posted in Fantasy, Giveaway, Spotlight on December 14, 2017

 

 

Synopsis

The epic tale continues.  A new covenant has been forged in the chaos of war. Its price is nothing less than the Bearer of the Lion Ring’s soul.

The rivalry for dominance over the continent of Andara has taken a dark turn. Eternal enemies – the Jalora and the Sarcion – pit their forces against one another in bloody battle. Good weakens, betrayed by the very humans it has sworn to protect. Valdeon, its stronghold on Andara, falls to sword and flame. The fires of its destruction are set alight by barbaric invaders from across the sea. Their brutal hand conquers the land in a night, exiling the Lords of Valdeon – Sacred Guard of the Covenant. Cut off from the center of their power, the Jalora’s greatest heroes are helpless to defend their homeland.

Hope still lingers. Seth D’Antoiné, Bearer of the Lion Ring, journeys to the great Obsidian Citadel seeking a magical relic, the Book of Ancients. Its power could hold the key to Andara’s defense. He alone can open its pages, sparking the magic into life and restoring the Jalora’s waning power. Finding the book won’t be easy. Elusive Obsidian Gates – appearing and then vanishing again by their own will – keep the secret of the book’s location well hidden.

In the depths of the mountain fortress, he finds treachery and intrigue hiding within its walls. Can Seth open the Book of Ancients before the Sarcion’s men find him? Or will the power of Good leave the land forever? Andara’s future awaits behind the Obsidian Gates…

Digital eBook coming in January 2018!

 

Synopsis

A new series from award winning Author, C.R. Richards: The epic tale of two men begins. The first – a man of honor trying desperately to turn his country from civil war. The other – a boy struggling to discover his destiny before agents of evil find him first.

Coveted by two ancient enemies of a long forgotten age, the continent of Andara holds the key to victory in an endless struggle for dominance. Eight hundred years have passed since the god-like Jalora struck a bargain with the first King of Valdeon. The Lion Ring, symbol of the covenant and conduit of power, gives its bearer incredible abilities. The ring’s borrowed magic protects the people of Andara from covetous evil, but there is a price. As with most predators, the Lion Ring must feed. Only the blood of the D’Antoiné family line will satisfy its hunger.

A rival for Andara’s treasures, the Sarcion has waited impatiently for its time upon the land. Whispers of treason in the right ear aid its treachery. The King of Valdeon mysteriously disappears, leaving his lands in danger of a civil war by the hand of a murderous usurper. His Lion Ring is lost and the covenant is broken. The Jalora’s power begins to seep away from the land. Evil’s foot hold grows stronger. Can the Lords of Valdeon, Sacred Guard of the covenant, stop the tides of war? Or will Andara fall into chaos? The future rests in the blood of a boy…

Praise for The Heart of the Warrior Series

“The Obsidian Gates (Heart of the Warrior Book Two), by C.R. Richards, is a gripping tale of courage and sacrifice as the men who have sworn to save their land Andara battle the evil forces intent upon gaining command of it. The appealing, vividly-drawn characters struggle to overcome centuries of political intrigue as well as mysterious powers arrayed against them. In this sequel to The Lords of Valdeon, (Heart of the Warrior Book One) the award-winning Richards continues this sweeping adventure in breathtaking style.” – Yvonne Montgomery, Author of the Wisdom Court Books, Edge of the Shadow; A Signal Shown; All in Bad Time

“C.R. Richards is an excellent storyteller. The story carries you along at a good pace, while maximizing suspense and piquing your curiosity. As an adult, I loved it, and I think my teenagers would enjoy it, too.”

“I was hooked! There’s something about these characters that just made me need to know what happens to them all!”

“C.R. Richards is an amazing writer. Amazing…my expectations are high for upcoming books in the series.”

“Intense and involved”

“This is not your typical evil vs good story. It grips you through the entire journey and has your full attention.”

“Great blend of suspense, intrigue and adventure. Highly recommend this read.”

“This book is like the Night Circus in its extensive descriptions, mixed with Star Wars’ family feud, with a hint of fantasy and mystery mixed in. I think this is an amazing start to the series, and my expectations are high for the nextbook!”

About the Author

A huge lover of horror and dark fantasy stories, C. R. Richards enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Having began writing as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper, Richards has worn several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer and cranky editor. She has now published a handful of novels, including Phantom Harvest – book one in The Mutant Casebook Series – which took home the EPIC eBook Award for Fantasy in 2014. Richards beat out entries from the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other English speaking countries.

The youngest of five army brats, Richards was born on a military base in Utah.  She spent much of her childhood in the back of her family’s sky blue station wagon on trips to see her grandmother – who would show her how to spot faeries in the backyard.  “Sometimes she’d put candy in small silk slippers and tell us the pixies had done it,” says Richards. “She’s the one who gave me my love of fantasy creatures.”

Her most recent literary projects include the horror short story, Lost Man’s Parish and the newly-released dark fantasy thriller, Pariah. She is an active member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Horror Writers Association.

In November, Richards releases her epic dark fantasy novel The Obsidian Gates, the second installment in the Heart of the Warrior series. Through her storytelling, Richards aims to reach lovers of fantasy who are exploring alternatives to the traditional status quo. Her message is simple: One person can be a catalyst for change.

 

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Posted in Book Release, excerpt, Fantasy, Science Fiction on December 12, 2017

Synopsis

Now trapped in a prison by a shadow organization named Prometheus, Carter must use all his cunning to survive. But will that be enough? In this prison Carter must learn to follow the rules and submit. Or break the rules in order to gain his freedom. With his life on the line Carter must make his choice, a choice that could have greater ramification than anyone could expect.
While Carter is held prisoner, Alex has been given a job by the elusive Mr. Bright. Rescue a man named Connor Creed from The Cage, another prison facility that houses specific individuals. As Alex and his friends journey to rescue Connor Creed they soon realize they are not the only ones looking for him. Familiar faces return and a mystery deepens as Prometheus’ secrets slowly begin to unravel.
Each has been given their mission. Find out if they can see it through.

Excerpt

4I didn’t even have to look to know that this was probably going to be trouble. I turned my attention from the interior design of the facility to the man that stood a couple feet away. He wasn’t alone, there were two men that stood right by him. I looked to my left and then to my right, there were a large number of people surrounding me. Well not surrounding me in particular, it was just a large mass of people that seemed to be displaced by the looks of it. They were doing the same thing I was which was nothing in particular.

“Hey you I asked you a question.  Don’t ignore me boy.” The same gruff voice said.

It was the man that I wasn’t planning on paying attention to, but plans tend to change. He looked to be in his mid to late forties, he was kind of a big guy not that I was intimidated by him or anything. It was kind of hard to be considering the man was balding, his hair was very thin in the middle while it looked like he was trying to manage the rest of it to hide the fact he was losing hair. Sadly it wasn’t working, anyone that looked at him would come to the same conclusion in a matter of seconds that this middle age man was balding.

“I’m talking to you!” The man yelled just before lunging at me.

I took two steps to the side avoiding him which only made the man angrier. He started huffing and puffing while the people around us began encircling us and chanting. This was beginning to get real cliché, real fast. I curled and uncurled my fingers, I should probably handle this before it got out of hand.

I was preparing to deck this guy once he came near me but before I could even ball my hand into a fist, I felt a sudden tug on my body specifically my legs.

“What the hell?”

Everything turned white for a second just before I hit the floor. The balding man had landed a hit and was feeling a little too good about himself.

“Next time you’ll…”

The man stopped mid-sentence and I didn’t even have a chance to ask myself why, before I found out the answers. Clang something struck a nearby railing then suddenly I was weightless like a cloud just floating in the air. It took me a second to realize that it wasn’t just me that was floating, it was everyone.  I couldn’t even count how many of us were in the air, some people started panicking, which was kind of funny considering you’d think something like this wouldn’t surprise superhumans.

“What’s going on?”

“Get me down from here!”

“Oh crap…I’m afraid of heights.”

I looked around and noticed that some people were higher up in the air then others, for example me in particularly. Why was that? I didn’t have much time to dwell on that thought, CLANG…there it was again something hitting the railings. THUD…

“Awwwww what gives…”

Just like that we were all slammed against the ground which wasn’t the most pleasant landing to say the least.

“Good evening. My name is Jozef Morgan. I have worked here for the last twelve years. Anyway, I am the Warden, and you, you all are the prisoners or if you like unwilling volunteers in Prometheus’ research. Now you must be wondering why would I go so far as to tell you that, it’s simple, the more cooperative you are the more pleasant this will be for you all, while the less cooperative you are. Well…”

CLANG, within seconds I along with everyone else was floating weightlessly CLANG…THUD. Once again we all crashed into the ground, lucky for me I had unwittingly squirmed when I was in the air turning my body which allowed my front to face right side up thus allowing my back to strike the cold hard floor. Yup Mr. Lucky over here, sadly my dry humor didn’t numb the pain that rippled across my back.

“I hope you are all willing to cooperate thus your safety can be insured. You are not to fight among yourself unless you wish to be disciplined like…”

“NOOOOO DON’T…DON’T!” The crowd of people yelled collectively.

By adjusting my position slightly I managed to get a good look at the Warden he was standing on one of the walkways that overlooked the ground floor. He had a thick black mustache and beard combo. He wore a fancy navy blue uniform that looked like something a general would wear, it was even topped off with a hat. I starred at the man for a moment, I had a feeling he was going to be my biggest obstacle if I was going to escape.

For no apparent reason, Warden Jozef raised his right hand and slammed it against the railing. CLANG…CLANG…CLANG…. The Warden repeatedly slammed us into the ground without warning. By now I was dazed and confused, I was no longer on the ground of the bottom floor instead I was on the 3rd floor in a small room. Four guards dragged me into the room then placed me in the middle of it, my eyesight was blurry and I was weakened by the Warden’s Orientation. I didn’t really know what was going on but I heard a clink sound, four of them in fact, that’s when I noticed that I had been chained down. The guards left me in the room and slammed the door shut, I could hear the tumblers lock.

The door was an obsidian color probably specially made for me. I looked at my arms and legs, the chains were attached to my wrist and ankle not like the cuffs weren’t already unpleasant enough. It took me a moment to realize that they were taking extra special care to keep me locked up. I already knew part of the reason was the fact they couldn’t house me in a regular cell even with these inhibitor cuffs that would be just insane on their part but this room was built special wasn’t it. My head was hung down while I thought about it, I wasn’t lying down I was on my knees since I wasn’t coherent enough to stand. My arms were spread apart by the chains.

I had been held captive by Prometheus for who knows how long, I’d been in multiply facilities but not one quiet like this. This was a prison, they were trying to break us in here, trying to break me. I closed my eyes for a moment and bit my lip. I stopped for a second then bit it hard enough that I drew blood. It seemed stupid to do but it was important to me because it was symbolic. They may have beaten me today but they didn’t draw first blood. I just took that away from them. Blood ran down the right side of my lip and dropped to the cell floor.

My head shot up while I glared at my cell door with a burning anger in my eyes.

“I will escape from here, no matter what you throw at me I’m gonna be the one to walk out of here alive.”

About the Author

My name is Adeleke Kayode

Writing is my passion. Something I wouldn’t have discovered if it wasn’t for my brother. He told me I couldn’t write a story so I took out a notebook and pencil that day and began writing.

And now I’m here. By taking that notebook that day I started something and learned something about myself. As I wrote and brainstormed. And changed things within the story I noticed that I was really enjoying it.

I loved the idea of creating my own story, characters, worlds. And now I want to be able to share some of those characters, stories and worlds.

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Posted in 4 paws, Fantasy, Review on December 3, 2017

Synopsis

Racine stumbles into her own “herstory” on a visit to the Library Of Congress, as her own “herstory” unfolds, Racine discovers she is part of a great, sweeping mythological world that transcends time and space; and along the way, the 19 year old Racine comes to understand that all the adversity she faced is part of a greater story, and one in which she has the power to narrate for herself. Racine discovers the ultimate truth of good is wrapped up in the magic of Story. Stories have the power to change the world, but first, the stories need unlocking.

Amazon CA * Amazon UK * Amazon AU

Review

While normally not a huge reader of fantasy novels, I picked this one up because the character hides in a library to escape those wishing her harm or to torment Racine.  What I found was a story woven in several realms, with druids and dragons and a young woman learning more about herself and learning how to become someone that was more in control of her being, thoughts and dreams.

While some of the story is in our reality, most of it is not and perfect for those that enjoy the mystical world.  The descriptions bring those worlds into vivid reality for the reader and we can feel like we are there experiencing everything with Racine.  I felt like Racine learned a lot and from many wise female characters and you could liken it to mentors and role models that young women have today.

We give this 4 paws up.

About the Author

Alison Clarke is a writer/artist who also enjoys painting and drawing. She also experiences life as a spoken word artist.

Alison is the author of The Sisterhood, a young adult fantasy novel about Oppie, a sorceress’ daughter, and her best friend, Aurie, who is a dragon, and the journey they go on to save the universe. The Sisterhood is Book One of The Sisterhood Series, and is published by Little Bird Publishing House in London, England.  The second book in the series is Racine, about a young woman’s journey learning about her mystical beginnings on a trip to the Library Of Congress. Both books incorporate themes of the power of friendship, teamwork, and love.

Before Alison entered mainstream publishing, she was indie published with two picture books: The Adventures Of Eli The Elephant, and Eli Goes To The Moon. The second book she also illustrated.

Alison is very involved in the community, participating in events such as Black Arts Matter, a festival focusing on the arts of black artists. In August, 2017, Alison was also part of Chapter.con, a book convention where she met fantasy authors from around the world.

She was also a panelist talking about the importance of diversity in young adult literature. Chapter.con was organized by the publisher of her Sisterhood Series, Little Bird Publishing House. For Alison, life is an interesting journey. Whether she is immersing herself in poetry, prose, or visual art, Alison is at home.

Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

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Posted in Fantasy, Spotlight, Young Adult on November 8, 2017

Synopsis

“The metal horned unicorns are doomed!” That’s what Lauda Lead Horn wailed when she first saw the tribe’s new savior. OK, so his horn was not metal. . .and he did not have a magic power. . .and he was really a puny little runt. But doomed? Were things really that bad?

Well, things were pretty bad in the land of MarBryn. Magh, an evil sorcerer utilized unicorn horns and hooves to create his magical potions and spells. Those he used, to increase his power and to conquer everyone in his path. All of the unicorns from the Tribe of the Metal Horn were now gone . . . except for twelve survivors.

Before the blue unicorn was born, Numen told Alumna, the aluminum-horned oracle, that he had a plan to bring the tribe back home to Unimaise. His prophecy was, “Only the blue unicorn can join with the Moon-Star. Until then, no new unicorns will be born.” Blue was the last unicorn born. Twenty years later, his horn was still covered with a plain blue colored hide. There was not a glint of metal to be seen on it or his hooves. And he still didn’t have any magic. But he was no longer scrawny and he had his wits. Though no one else in the tribe thought he had a chance, Blue felt ready to make Magh pay for his evil deeds. And he went off to do it alone. That was Blue’s first mistake. If the entire tribe was not standing horn-tip to horn-tip at the proper time and the exact place to help usher the Moon-Star Spirit into Blue’s horn, he would die. Then, the rest of the tribe would really be doomed.

Readers will follow along two journey paths in this book. Blue is joined in his travels by his mentor Gaiso, the Stag and his friend, Girasol the Firebird as they try to find their way across a danger-filled MarBryn to Muzika Woods. The rest of Blue’s tribe is forced to follow another route due to Nix Nickle Horn’s unfortunate incident with a Manticore. Nix, the great unicorn defender must safely lead the way for Ghel, the Golden-Horned unicorn; Silubhra Silver Horn; Cornum the Brass-Horned unicorn; Steel Horned Style; Cuprum the Copper-Horned unicorn; Tin-Horned Tinam; Dr. Zinko; Iown the Iron-Horned unicorn and the others in an action packed adventure to their destination in Muzika Woods. Both journey paths converge there in the Nebulium Circle.

 

About the Author

I’m Sybrina. . .. . .Just one of millions of wannabe author/singer/songwriters out there but I hope, after reading or hearing my books and songs, you’ll think my contributions to the world have as much value as any other famous artist out there today.

Fame is all in being in the right place at the right time but at least with the internet and venues like this, all of us have opportunities to share our creativity with the world. I’m so happy that I am able to share my works with you. That is awesome!

The books I’ve written span a wide range between illustrated picture books, coloring books and YA novels to technical and how-to books. If you’re so inclined you can read a little bit about the inspiration for each one below.

My latest effort is “The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm. It is a book I started writing 30 something years ago and never finished. At the time, it was meant to be an epic fantasy along the lines of novels written by Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Ursula K. Le Guin and other amazing fantasy writers. I’ve pulled out my notes, dusted off the outline and began rewriting and expanding upon the 50 pages I had began. This story is now available as an Illustrated Book for teens and older readers in full color and in black and white, too. The black and white version is a “Read and Color” book. Read a chapter, then color the following pages. How fun is that? There is also a picture book for pre-schoolers called Unicorns From Unimaise – The Magical Metal-Horn Trobe. A longer version of the chapter book will soon be available as an Illustrated Novel with a companion glossary called, The Marbryn Compendium. All of the fantastic fantasy illustrations are by Dasguptarts. There is also a companion coloring/character description book, edited by Calyie Martin. It will introduce potential readers to the myriad of characters, places and things in the story.

Website * Twitter * Goodreads

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Posted in Fantasy, Giveaway, Interview on October 17, 2017

Synopsis

Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

Interview with Matt

How did you do research for your book?

I did most of my research online. I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to incorporate into the genie/djinn folklore, but I didn’t want them to be completely without foundation. My goal was to create a world that was intriguing to those who had no knowledge of genies, aside from Disney’s Aladdin, and true to those who hold may this folklore dear to their heritage.

In your book you make a reference to quantum physics. How did you come up with this idea?

While I was writing the first draft, I stumbled upon an online news article about a new discovery where particles seemingly knew what was going to happen before it actually happened. This theory more or less answered the question: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see or hear it, does it still fall/make a sound? The answer, according to this theory is, No; the tree only falls/makes a sound if someone/something in the future knows that another will witness it. I used this theory as an explanation of genie powers and how they are able to make the impossible, possible.

There are many books out there about genies, what makes yours different?

I incorporated two things that I thought would set this story apart from typical genie stories: the idea of a half genie/half human entity and the very real possibility that the entire mythology of the djinn is a product of mental illness.

Your book is partially set in the Middle East. Have you been there?

I have not been there, but my brother in-law is from Syria, so I have a decent amount of exposure to the culture.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

While I’ve liked Kurt Vonnegut for some time, I recently read his “The Sirens of Titan” and loved it.  I think a lot of people feel that they have been used by others and feel that their worth is summed up by the cliché, “what have you done for me lately.” And while this sentiment may cause great despair, the book reminds us of the alternative: “The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody, would be to not be used for anything by anybody.”

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Yes, I am the co-founder and Vice President of a boutique medical billing firm in New York City.

About the Author

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Amazon Author Page * Goodreads

Giveaway

Prizes: ​ Win a print copy of Tribal Affairs + $10 Amazon gift card, one winner will also get a print copy of Arabian Nights Tales (6 winners total, open internationally to any country where Amazon.com delivers)
(ends Nov 3)

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