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Author Showcase / Interview / Review of “Spirit of Sasquatch” – Ernest Solar (CONTEST INCLUDED)

Howdy and welcome to Kam’s Place, Ernest Solar! 

For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Ernest)  Hi Kameron and thank you so much for this opportunity! A little bit about myself? I’m not sure where to start. On a daily basis I am a Professor of Special Education and Literacy at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. As far as how I got started in the writing business, I think I have always been a writer. Growing up I had a severe speech impediment, which made it difficult for me to talk. So I turned to writing. As a kid I read so many comic books and I would often take stories from the comics I read and re-write the story but with my own characters. I would then share the stories with my mom. From there I think my passion for writing and telling stories just grew.

As the years went by I submitted short stories and received many rejection letters. When I started my Master’s program and then my Ph.D. program in special education I put my creative writing on hold. For obvious reasons. During those programs I learned how to become a more efficient and confident writer. I also started to receive acceptance letters for my academic writing in professional journals. Once I completed my Ph.D. and had some free time on my hands I started submitting my creative pieces once again and started to find some success.

It wasn’t until recently did I discover that I tell a lot of stories. As an educator, I teach by sharing personal stories and experiences I had in the classroom when I was a special education teacher. I believe this helps my students connect the content of the classroom to real-world experiences.

(KAM) Before I became a writer, I too worked in the special education field. It was one of the best jobs I ever had. 

 

 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(Ernest)  I think all writers suffer from some form of writer’s block. However, the writing block manifests itself in different ways. For me my writer’s block is time. As a full-time professor, husband, father of five, and helping with the care of my elderly parents I’m surprised I find time to sleep; let alone write. Therefore, when I do sit down and write it is important for me to be efficient in order to get my thoughts and ideas down. I also think when I am away from the keyboard I am always thinking of my stories or manuscripts that I am writing so when I do sit down to write I already know what I want to say or have worked out the scene in my head and have just been impatiently waiting to get it down on paper. I also have journal notes, post-it notes, draft emails with thoughts and ideas that I want to add to my stories. Sometimes I often wonder how much writing I could get done if I actually had six hours of uninterrupted time to write? But honestly, how I write now works for me.

(KAM) Wow, you are a busy man! And, your creative process sounds like mine. I have notes everywhere.  😀 

 

 

Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Ernest)  What genre I write? That is a really good question. In many ways I am still trying to figure that out myself. I like to tell people I write realistic fiction. Then I get a funny look and they ask me, “You mean you believe in Bigfoot?” Yes, of course I do, that’s why I wrote Spirit of Sasquatch. Maybe a lot of authors don’t admit this (or maybe they do), but we often pull from our own experiences. Most of my stories have some element that happened to me or someone close to me. With that definition I could probably argue my writing is creative nonfiction. However, because my stories contain elements related to the paranormal or cryptid animals most people would have a hard time accepting my stories as creative nonfiction. If you want a technical boring answer, I suppose I write science fiction and paranormal fiction.

When I am not writing, how do I spend my time? I spend a lot of time with my family. My wife and I love to go hiking and camping. We spend a lot of time in the woods. My time in the woods also includes searching for Bigfoot or any other cryptid creature or mystery. I also study mindfulness meditation. Through mindfulness my connection to nature and the world around me has grown deeper over the years. Lastly, I love to read. I’ll read anything. And I love to research ideas and thoughts and learn new things.

 

 

I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Ernest)  Oh I’m an open book! Everyone I know, knows I write. Knows I search for Bigfoot. Knows that I am believe in aliens and that a ghost, named Julie, lives in our house, and that I meditate daily. Even my students know that I write, meditate, and search for the unknown. It’s just who I am. I have nothing to hide.

Granted it took me a few years to get to this point. When I first got into the paranormal and searching for Bigfoot only my close friends and family knew. I never really shared my writing with anyone, except for my wife, Christine. And then one day it all switched. This is who I am. Why hide it? In many ways I think my mindfulness (and Christine) helped me with this switch. To be authentic. To be genuine. To be open. It is honestly a liberating feeling.

(KAM) That’s fantastic news. A good support team is always appreciated in whatever path we choose for ourselves. 

 

Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Ernest)  Great question! And it is honestly, an unfair question. However, my list, in no particular order:

Ray Bradbury

Robert Heinlein

Neil Gaiman

Robert Kirkman

Gary Paulsen

Phillip Pullman

Diana Gabaldon

Troy Denning

Brian Vaughan

Erin Morgenstern

 

 

If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Ernest)  I believe it is every author’s dream to have their book or books optioned to be a movie. As much as I would love to pick one of my own books I am actually going to pick an obscure book. The book is titled, Voices in the Wilderness by Ron Morehead. This is the true story of how Ron Morehead and some of his friends “captured” the sound of Bigfoot in the Sierra Nevada mountain range back in the 1970’s. The story is captivating and the evidence is intriguing. However, I would want the movie made with a serious intention. Not a half-hearted, half-joke mentality. As far as an actor goes, not sure. I’m not up to speed on current actors and Hollywood stars. It’s been a few years since I watched TV or the movies.

 

 

Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Ernest)  Nothing is top secret. However, I won’t tell you the story because I would then lose the motivation behind writing the story. I am working on a novel that takes place in the world of Spirit of Sasquatch. I always liked how Robert Heinlein and Stephen King have their novels set in the same world and sometimes characters and places bleed over to other stories. In Spirit of Sasquatch there were a couple characters I wanted to develop further. In truth, they were knocking around in my head and wanted me to expand their stories further after I finished Spirit of Sasquatch. So with this new writing project I am doing just that. They will be stand-alone stories, but could be read in sequence.  

 

 

Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Ernest)  There is no particular reading order for any of the stories I currently have out on the market. Spirit of Sasquatch is available as an ebook for Kindle and print. The ebook can be found on Amazon.com and the print book can be located with any of the booksellers. Readers can also contact me through my Spirit of Sasquatch Facebook page if they want to purchase a signed copy.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

The Well House is a different kind of ghost story and is currently only available as an ebook for Kindle. A print version will be released later this year at the annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Lucy is a young girl who loves her Pa, their cow, and the little farmhouse she calls home. She also loves the red bicycle that Harvey gave her as a present. But not all is idyllic, and she struggles to steer clear of the local transient, Joe-Michael. 

Gannon and Farrah move to Lucy’s family farm many years after Joe-Michael became Lucy’s father’s farmhand. Together, Gannon and Farrah hear Lucy’s voice for the first time on an audio recorder hidden in the woods near the old family homestead. Even though their lives are separated by decades, they intersect at the pond where the secrets have been submerged by Joe-Michael. 

Blurring the lines between time and space, Lucy shares her tale with Gannon and Farrah in an unconventional turn of events. 

Inspired by true events. 

Some voices are never silenced. 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

And sadly, Two Moons Rising is currently out of print. However, I do have limited copies. I’m hoping to bring Two Moons Rising back on the market by September of 2019.  

 

 

Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Ernest)  Ha ha! Fans. That makes me smile. I’m just thrilled when someone reads my stuff. Honestly, I love chatting with my fans about writing and books in general. To talk about my own work is still unbelievable to me. I can be reached through my Spirit of Sasquatch Facebook page or on Goodreads.com. But let’s be honest, my name is pretty unique and a Google search will probably lead them to my teaching position at the Mount. Either way works for me.

Amazon Author Page Link / Twitter Link  / Facebook Link

Goodreads Author Page Link / Instagram Link

 

 

Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Ernest)  Thank you Kameron for taking the time to ask these wonderful questions and giving me a stage to share a small part of my story. I am truly grateful for your love of books and wanting to help authors gain a wider audience.  

 

(KAM) Now that you’ve read Ernest Solar’s interview, we ask that you stick around to read my review of Spirit of Sasquatch and to learn details on how you can WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK. 

 

~~ PRIZE ~~

Trevor Blackwood lost his wife to the mythical creature known as Bigfoot and never came to terms with her disappearance. It’s been over a decade since she vanished, but time hasn’t stopped Trevor and his sons Darius and Brock from searching for her and the creatures responsible for her disappearance. In fact, their adamant hunting has given the Blackwood trio a reputation – one that’s caught the attention of government forces with ulterior motives.

After the youngest Blackwood goes missing, like his mother, the line between myth and reality is quickly blurred. Brock soon discovers the secrets that shroud the feared beast. Hunted by the government and sought by his father, the young boy discovers the truth behind his mother’s disappearance at the hands of a menacing Sasquatch. The true nature of the Blackwood family legacy is revealed when the threads of Brock’s life crashes together in a devastating confrontation with the government and the legendary creature known as Bigfoot.

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

There are a multitude of individuals who believe Sasquatch is real. Teams hunt for the elusive creature. People share captured images of the mysterious beast. However, there’s no solid proof it exists……yet.

Whether you believe in the legend of Bigfoot or not, I think you’ll enjoy reading Spirit of Sasquatch.

There were some interesting theories regarding their classification and abilities. We also learned how the “hairy giants” were feared and respected by all Native American tribes.

Despite the fact I found the story drab at times, one thing I did appreciate regarding Spirit of Sasquatch was some of the humans were the real beasts of the story and the Sasquatch were the loving protectors of the forest.

 

Now, time for a few of my favorite moments.

  • Sookum (Bigfoot) skipping rocks with Brock (human). Sookum tossed a boulder though.  😀 
  • Numyc versus the bear.
  • “Next time be a damn tree!”

You’ll understand #3 once you’ve read the book.

With that said… Don’t be a tree, leave and go get this book.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

Ernest will be gifting ONE SIGNED COPY to a lucky person who comments on his interview. Say HI, tell us if you believe in Bigfoot or not, or tell us if you have every encountered the mysterious creature. 

One entry per person.

Due to shipping costs, this contest is only available to those living in the continental United States.

Contest ends: May 23rd, midnight (central time)

Winner selected: May 24th via a comment from me on this the comment thread. 

If you are not comfortable giving out your mailing address, you can always choose a kindle copy instead. 

Now, whatcha waiting for…. LEAVE US A COMMENT. Tell your family and friends to enter. And, GOOD LUCK to you all! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Showcase / BOOK GIVEAWAY – Jeffrey L. Kohanek (A Warden’s Purpose)

 ~~ Who’s ready to win a SIGNED BOOK courtesy of Jeffrey L. Kohanek? ~~

 

~~ PRIZE  ~~

Two schools: One of magic and science, the other focused on military excellence. A dangerous undercurrent flows within both…dark and deadly.

 

Everson is brilliant, ingenious, and yet, he feels broken. Cursed with a disability, he dreams of nothing more than being useful. Quinn is bold, defiant, and will do anything to protect her brother. When Everson is accepted to an academy of magic and engineering, Quinn enters a school of combat in order to join him in Fallbrandt. However, things within the fabled institutions are not what they seem. Beneath a mantra of good intentions and the objective of a better future, spies and conspiracies lurk.

Quinn finds herself embroiled in a struggle she doesn’t understand, one that has dire consequences as her training shifts from difficult to deadly. Her relentless determination and will to survive might be enough, if she only knew whom she could trust.

Within the other school, Everson learns about a dangerous power known as Chaos. Unable to wield this magic, he instead focuses on melding Chaos with science, dreaming of inventions that would shape the future. Perceptive, imaginative, and curious, his endeavors lead him to a discovery that could change the world…and then he discovers the truth.

 

 —>Read the first three chapters today!<—-

 

(Amazon reviewer) Shelly in Sunny San Diego rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
The characters and action scenes are particularly written, the entire book is well written. Glad this is a series, as I look forward to more adventures with Quinn and Everson and friends. Wonderful is this tale that makes you feel a part of the story, not simply and observer. Try this book and join in the fun!
 
(Amazon reviewer) Roger & Jean Fauble rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
My third read from author Jeffrey L. Kohanek was amazing, a 294-page thrill-a-minute read, even better than the first two books by him I read! I’ll be reading more from him as soon as I get more!
 
(Goodreads reviewer) LooseBoots rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
I am always apprehensive when I read a new authors book. With this one I need have no qualms.
Brilliant read. Brother and sister join an academy, both schools linked . One for engineering and one warrior. Both have an interesting journey that culminates in an exciting climax that hints at further wondrous adventures.
Full of magic, mayhem but all in all it’s an enthralling read.
Highly recommended.
 
(Goodreads reviewer) Angie Watson rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
I loved this book. The concept of magic, engineering and military skills, all having a strong place hooked me from the start. The style of the narrative was interesting, mixing the memories of Quiin & Everson with their interrogations. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so won’t go into details, but if you like epic fantasy, you’ll love this book. I highly recommend it.

 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

Ladies and gents, in celebration of Jeffrey L. Kohanek newest series, A Warden’s Purpose, he is offering ONE LUCKY CONTESTANT a SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY

To enter, all you have to do is leave Jeffrey a comment or question on his feature from NOW until Monday 11:59 p.m., central time

On Tuesday, (July 24th), I will randomly select a winner and he or she’s name will be announced on a comment. 

We ask that you PLEASE FOLLOW the blog posting so you will receive a notification when I make the happy announcement.

 

**Due to shipping costs, only residents of the continental United States will be eligible to enter.**

 

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“For the inside scoop on my latest projects and for advanced access to reader giveaways, subscribe to my author newsletter at www.jeffreylkohanek.com” 

Twitter Link 

Facebook Link

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Author Showcase / Interview & GIVEAWAY CONTEST – Simon Lindley (Mannethorn’s Key: Book One of the Key of Life Trilogy)

Welcome, Simon Lindley!
 
 

  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Simon) I got the bug early. My first literary work, The Magic Skates was picked up by my elementary teacher. I was six. First gold star! That was it. Hooked. The problem that accosted me later was that although writing fiction, especially fantasy, turned out to be my lifelong calling, the realization also struck me that I wasn’t very good at it. So somewhere between age six and fifty-one I broadened my writing abilities. I’ve written about a dozen books but I wouldn’t put any of them ‘out there’. I refer to them as my ‘growth phase’, which is a euphemism for working at sucking less. Mannethorn’s Key was a culmination of over a decade’s worth of work. I’m proud of it. It’s my first work that I feel has earned a place in the literary ether.

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(Simon)  I am not so much cursed by the block as I am the Mull. I am a muller. I write a paragraph, analyze it, read it back, demand that it speaks to me, write a fake following paragraph just to coax it, and then delete it and rewrite it. I never have a block. In fact, at times, I’ll write 10,000 words in a single shot. My issue is that I will then spend four weeks mulling over it.
 

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Simon)  I love writing epic fantasy. For me, no other genre provides more firepower for my imagination or lets me fully immerse myself while writing. It delivers the palette to create a unique world that doesn’t limit the scope. As George R. R. Martin proved, it can be terribly dark, vulgar, violent and sexual while still world building. Besides, there’s a lot of mutants, vampires, zombies and dystopian futures out there, according the number of scribes chronicling such tales. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the best books produced this decade are in those sub-genres. I have read some brilliant works, and many are far beyond my writing and imaginative abilities. However, I believe there is still a place and a desire from many readers for the epic.

 

 

I am also a huge fan of science fiction but I’m not that smart. To write really good sci-fi these days requires, in my humble view, a commanding grasp of physics and science. In fact, many of the best writers in the genre are brilliant physicists.
When I’m not writing I’m hiking in the alpine, crooning in the basement while playing my guitars (badly), outside chopping wood, or building very questionable additions onto our house in the Rockies.

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Simon)  They do now! It’s funny. I’m the reverse of that, I guess. I’ve played the corporate game. I was a newspaper publisher and, for a while groomed for upper management with all the ‘perks’. I walked away. It was killing me both spiritually and physically. I’m a fortunate man because I had the choice to do so but it’s been a struggle nevertheless. I am both a musician and writer. That’s what I put ‘out there’. Yeah, I picked some real winner careers for making the big bucks but it is what I love. Friends and family have been incredibly supportive and believe in what I’m doing.
(Kam) I’m thrilled you have a solid support team behind you. 

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Simon)  Yeah, I’m with you on that one. There are so many amazing writers. However, I have my all-time favorites, no doubt. Stephen R. Donaldson was a genius with the Thomas Covenant series, really launching the dark, introspective side of fantasy. David Eddings has been a huge influence. Tolkien, well – we can just leave it there. Terry Brooks, Robin Hobb, Raymond Feist, Isaac Asimov, Piers Anthony, and I quite liked the Runelord series by David Farland. The first books of Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind were stellar but then I just got bogged down – or they did. Still, they impacted my own writing, no doubt, even if it was just to remind me to treat the reader with respect and keep the story moving.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Simon)  Wow. That’s a tough one. I would have to say the Belgariad series by David Eddings would make my dream list. However, it is so painful to watch great books get butchered by the movie industry. The first three LOTR’s were done reasonably well. I won’t talk about the Hobbit. Let’s not speak of Eragon.
If it was done right, with a great screenwriter, it would top those that have preceded it. The most unsung face for a wizard has to be Tommy Lee Jones. He would make a perfect Belgarath! Maybe Mr. Ratcliffe could launch a new career as Garion??
(Kam) Eragon, I actually loved the movie. Never read the book but the movie wasn’t half-bad. 

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Simon)  Ha! No, let’s be open and avoid any covert ops. I have two buns in the oven. The first, of course, is the sequel to Mannethorn’s Key, called Outworlder. I have the full plot of the trilogy laid out and have penned about a third of Book Two already. It’s slated for a winter, 2018 release. My other project is one that I am quite excited about, an urban fantasy entitled Gaia’s Assassin. It’s dark, a bit dystopian, but I feel it’s quite unique from the work we’re seeing in the genre.
(Kam) Can’t wait to check them out! 

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Simon)  Mannethorn’s Key is my debut work. You can find it on Smashwords, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and in many fine bookstores. The book is out in both ebook and paperback editions.

 

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Simon)  I am always excited to hear from readers. They can contact me through my website ,  Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or at AllAuthor. 

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Simon)  Remember the internet when the vision was about freedom and access? I know – I’m dating myself – but we are at that point again with literature. At our doorstep is the opportunity for a diverse voice unlike any time in our history. For the first time, you, the reader can access independent bloggers, reviewers and authors in a way that was unfathomable a decade ago. Keep it that way. Support new authors. Write a review, and buy your books from alternatives that support a free and open marketplace of ideas, not a monopoly that ends them. Sure, we don’t all have the marketing and editing resources of the big boys, but that’s why we have sites like this to help you discover the gems.
Thank you for supporting indies like me, along with independent blog and review sites.
There. That’s my plug. Thank you for reading!
(Kam) And thank you for giving me and our lovely visitors the chance to get to know you a wee bit better. Also, I appreciate the opportunity to host you and this amazing, generous giveaway.
FYI: Any reader would be lucky to have Mannethorn’s Key so, if you want to add this epic fantasy novel to your library, stick around for more details! 
 

 
  
 

Ladies and Gents, I hope you enjoyed my interview with Simon Lindley. Now lets discuss the giveaway!

Prize up for grabs — A KINDLE COPY of the Mannethorn’s Key: Book One of the Key of Life Trilogy.

To enter the contest – Leave us a comment below. Say howdy, leave a smile/heart, or ask a question.

One entry per person. International residents are welcomed to enter, too! 

The contest will end Friday at 11:59 p.m., central time. On Saturday, I will select a winner, post their name on a comment, and be in contact with him or her  SO……. have your settings open to receive messages or follow the comment thread and be ready to give me or Simon your kindle email address. 

 

Thank you and Good luck.

 

~~ PRIZE! ~~

TWO WORLDS. TWO SPIRITS. ONE POWER.

At the end of an age, a Bearer wielded the Key of Life and ended Dragon’s Rule. Such powers and heroes, long dead or lost, must again be raised and found…

Algarth Willowbrow is about to gamble everything. His once-powerful Order is in ruins, and he faces an unwinnable battle to save his life and his people. In a last, desperate attempt, he lures his arch nemesis deep within his keep, hoping to utilize him and reclaim a long-hidden magic, powerful enough to save the world – or destroy it.

Bartholomew Waxman, former derivatives broker extraordinaire has gambled everything – and lost. Bankrupt, unemployed and divorced, his only hope for salvation is to try and rebuild his self-inflicted shattered life. But at his first job interview, he is grabbed by a spell and thrust into the netherworld of Between. There, he is groomed to wield a power so vast that it will decide a world’s fate.

The land’s only hope is the reluctant and unprepared Bartholomew, the wizard Algarth whose powers are gravely in doubt – and the Key of Life, with its true power hidden from all.

Delve into the beginnings of a vast fantasy epic that embraces a man, a wizard and a world seeking redemption.

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

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Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

 

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER SIX, MANNETHORN’S KEY:

 

The wind picked up with a sudden, icy bite. He smiled and ended his melody. The gust had not originated from the waning heat of the departed sun or the hills beyond. It was born from a Seether landing on the road ahead.

Behind three of the wolf boars who had taken position directly in front of the cart’s path, dust and gravel churned up from the flaps of massive, leathery wings. The stranger saw nothing but the black silhouette of a two-legged beast towering twice the traveler’s height. It blotted out the early stars; the only discerning features were its yellow phantom eyes, now assessing its prey.

The Seether spoke, snakelike, assuring its hunters, “Itsss a wizzard! It bearsss the mark. But itsss magic iss ussselesss. Rip it to piecesss!”

The wolf boars were ecstatic. A meal was coming sooner than expected, but only the three who stood ahead of him on Ferryman’s Way advanced.

The wizard stood silent with eyes focused on the road ahead, as if his enemies were invisible.

Slowly, cautiously, the entire pack tightened its noose. The three forward gained courage as they sensed no meaningful defense from their prey, saliva dripping from their muzzles.

The stranger remained motionless, the only tension was in his fingers, taut about his staff, knuckles white.

“Ghaawww!” The wolf boars attacked, lunging for the quick kill, one for the stranger’s neck, the other for the legs, with the last to rip open his abdomen and feast on his guts.

The wizard’s arms rose just as the wolf boars leapt – and the air cracked.

A soundless percussion reverberated out from the crowd of odd company on Ferryman’s Way. The attackers momentarily hovered in the air, frozen in the eerie wave of dark power. The remaining wolf boars looked on in confusion and fear, but they too were frozen in the vile energy. The ground underfoot and surrounding fields along the roadway trembled, and the boulders in the fields glowed with a fiery tinge as if ignited to life.

A second passed, and the night awoke anew, the spell over. Three wolf boars lay dead only inches from the traveler’s bare feet; their bodies twitching and bellies split open, blood spilling from their wounds in great black pools, reflecting the resplendent stars above.

“By the Grail! He wieldsss the Han! He isss one of usss!”

The traveler under the cowl grasped the staff and the harness of his wagon but remained ominously silent.

“My lord, forgive uzzz. Why hide your Order?”

The stranger spoke. “I answer to no subordinate. Am I your Lord, Seether?”

“You wield the Han, my Lord. Yesss,” it replied.

“Good. Then answer me this. Are you the Seether of the conquered Plains, keeper of the Map of Ismantrutna?”

“Yesss, Lord. Do you ssseek the power over the Zzzhin puppetsss? It showzz uzzz all the ancient HanZzzhinSsshasss. I keep it ssssafe.” From a pouch strapped to the creature’s barreled chest it produced a scroll in its clawed grasp.

“How is it that you approach an unknown enemy carrying such a valuable relic and take no precautions to ensure your master’s property remains safe?”

“I. I –”

“Just as I suspected. Mindless beast. Must we Mil-HanFanthas and the Hanlord do everything ourselves? Give it to me.”

“I will take you to it, Massster. I am the keeper of the map.”

“Not anymore.”

“Have you permisssion from Hanlord Grailborn to take the Map from me, my Lord?”

The stranger paused. “Here is my permission.”

He raised his arms, staff held high overhead, and to the dismay of the remaining pack, the wizard let loose the dark Han magic upon the night once more. With a look of satisfaction, the wizard forever released the wide-eyed Seether and his wolf boars of their duties.

 

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Author Showcase: Jeffrey L. Kohanek – “The Emblem Throne” ~ (CONTEST INCLUDED)~

You might recall, back on January 7th, Jeffrey was here giving away a signed print copy of The Buried SymbolHe was so overwhelmed by your support, he asked for a return engagement so he could present The Emblem Throne and once again offer ONE LUCKY WINNER a FREE COPY of The Buried Symbol. This time for your kindle !

He just knows (like me) that once you embark on this journey with Brock, you’ll be eager to ride shotgun on his next adventure, The Emblem Throne. Which will include friends he made from the Ministry and, of course, Tip. Plus, we shall meet many new faces. 

First though, lets take a peek at The Emblem Throne before you leave us a comment and/or question. Reminder, your feedback makes you eligible to WIN The Buried Symbol so, don’t be shy, drop us a line! 

(Contest runs from now until  January 28th, midnight – central time. Winner is selected January 29th and his or her name will be posted on a comment below! BTW: No matter where you call home, you may enter. So enter, my fellow bookworms!!) 

 

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As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.

Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Many characters we met in book one, The Buried Symbolare back and ready to assist Brock in his mission to save the world. Along the way, we meet several of their family members and begin to understand why they joined the Ministry. Cameron has two jealous older brothers. Ashland has an evil uncle but the sweetest and most loving parents. Benny, his father is a sweetheart and now sporting a wheelchair thanks to Benny’s ingenuity. As for Parker, his father made the biggest impression of all but I won’t disclose more. (No spoilers)  

Along with meeting the kinfolk, the group encounters mystical beings. Wraith: A bacabra, big dog but 3-4 times larger than your normal thought of canine, whom became a great ally. Also, they battled a horde of banshees. 

 

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Ten feet tall, red eyes, and sharp talons — These creatures are the things of nightmares. And unfortunately, the battle with them brought upon more than one death. However, not everything was a loss. Love did bloom despite the bleak future ahead. And with the end of the book came…… a promising start to book three, An Empire in Runes: releasing in Spring of 2017. I’ll be on the look-out for it and I’m sure you’ll be too. 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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~~ Special note from  Jeffrey L. Kohanek ~~

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Book III, An Empire in Runes, is set to release in Spring of 2017, widening the story’s scope, further expanding the cast of characters, and uncovering the depths of the conspiracy that lies within the Ministry. Find out how this epic adventure ends, for the world will be a much different place at the conclusion of the trilogy. 

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Author Showcase: Jeffrey L. Kohanek – “The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia)” ~ (CONTEST INCLUDED)~

We are a week into the the new year and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a FREE PRINT BOOK OFFER courtesy of Jeffrey L. Kohanek. If you haven’t heard of him or his science fiction creations, then let me proudly introduce to you The Buried Symbol,  book one in The Runes of Issalia series. 

After you read the book summary and my thoughts on it, please leave us a comment or question because your feedback makes you eligible to WIN THIS SIGNED BOOK.

(Contest is open to anyone residing in the United States. It also runs from now until  January 8th, midnight – central time. Winner is selected January 9th and his or her name will be posted on a comment below!) 

 

~~ CHECK OUT THE PRIZE ~~

 

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Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to a life below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire’s ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, growing into a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

No matter your race/religion/gender/nationality, at one point in time you’ll do something to improve the quality of your life. Maybe it’ll involve going to college, switching jobs, or your address. No matter the how, it’ll occur and you have a 50/50 chance your decision was for the better. Brock took steps to improve his station and he brought his friend Tip along for the ride.

Tip didn’t have a rune placed on his head, he wasn’t off to the Ministry academy, but he was content remaining an Unchosen because he had a roof over his head, food in belly, a bed, and a wonderful woman whom he loved dearly.

Brock, on the other hand, felt he was meant for more and his assumptions proved true. He turned out to be a great and powerful student. He was able to harness the power of the Order and Chaos. Not an easy feat. Like his best bud, Tip, he found love — Ashland, a great healer.

~~Other notable characters~~

Cameron (Cam): tough on the outside but gentle on the inside.

Benny: the inventor who brought life to all his scenes.

Corbin: He reminded me of Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter series. Both characters you’ll love hating.  😈 

 

~~ Favorite scenes~~

1.) The boys trying out the Hedgewick Roller (bike). As a mother who’s just watched her daughter learn to ride a 2-wheeler this summer, I had to laugh at their attempt to ride the crazy contraption. Pure hilarity! 

2.) Couple years back, my son was assigned the talk of creating a working catapult. It was a happy moment when he finally got the marshmallow to soar across the garage. If I recall, he got an A on the assignment! Thanks for triggering the memory, Jeffrey!

 

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Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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