Tag Archives: fantasy

Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Once Upon a WolfPack Anthology by Veronica Cline Barton (Book Showcase)

Once Upon a Wolfpack

Contributing author, Veronica Cline Barton

I was so honored to have my short story, Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall, Pippa’s First Christmas, included in the #WolfpackAuthors anthology that was published earlier this year. The anthology is a compilation of works by authors of all genres, and all proceeds are donated to the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) My contributed short story is one close to my heart—it is a prequel to a storyline in the 3rd book of my #cozymystery series, Deadly Receptions; the Debut of Castlewood Manor. It tells the tale of a tainted bridal veil from years gone by and introduces the readers of my series to Aunt Pippa, the beloved ancestral aunt who saved the Cherrywood Hall estate with her marriage to Charles Lancaster, the 4th Marquess of Kentshire.

The short story takes place in the weeks before Christmas. Pippa has been receiving demeaning messages criticizing her every move as an American married to the popular marquess. A chance snowstorm brings her nemesis to Cherrywood Hall. Pippa meets her husband’s previous fiancé, the author of the critical notes–a jilted woman who is filled with anger at the woman who holds the position and privilege that she thought would be hers. As a blizzard rages outside, her mind is set on deadly revenge…Will Pippa’s first Christmas at the hall be her last?

Read more about the #WolfPackAuthors anthology and the great cause it benefits here:

The idea was simple: form a group of authors based on the mantra, “Do good things for the right reasons.” We are a pack – #WolfPackAuthors. Together, we expand exposure for our books, help one another with all aspects of the process, pick each other up when the lonely life of writing gets us down.

As with wolves, words can be dangerous or healing. The reintroduction of the wolf, hunted to the brink of extinction, carries such far-reaching results as to make vegetation grow on what was once barren, and to change the paths of rivers. Considering these powerful facts, we chose to donate the proceeds of this anthology to Lockwood Animal Rescue Center /LARC, a facility with a unique mission. They are one of the few organizations focused heavily on wolves, integrating military veteran rehabilitation into the caretaking process.

In this collection of work, you will find a showcase of many of our members’ talents: A young girl betrothed to a werewolf, yet her father, a human, is the true monster. Two snipers who lay in wait, an otherworldly supreme being watching them, in the form of a majestic wolf. A she-wolf sets her sights on a young woman, married to the man she loved. The paradoxical story of the big bad wolf, who through no fault of his own sets out on a calamity filled adventure. A batch of witty private investigators at work solving crime. A sarcastic banshee, a shapeshifting detective, and a vampire, all friends, investigate a string of murders. There are many others, varied in style or genre.

Come on an adventure with the WolfPackAuthors. We’ve got the stories you want; together, we hope to make the world a better place for wolves, humans, and those who dare to dream.

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Cozy MysteryYuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Veronica Cline Barton
Fairy Tale/ ParodyUnfairy Prosecuted: J.W. Crawford
Fairy TalePoppy: Tia Fanning

Fantasy/ SupernaturalFor the Love of the Pack: Sharon Lopez
Horror/ Meta horrorThe Untold One: B.L. Clark
HorrorFrost Harbor: Alexander Pain

LiteraryOmega Road: Lee M. Tipton
Magical RealismAn Early Snow: Andi Marchal
P.I./ DetectiveThe Wolf: Joe Congel 

P.I./ Detective, Cozy MysteryMrs Solberg’s Problem: CW Hawes
PoetryWolf Pack United: Angie-Marie Delsante
PoetryWelcome to the Den: Lori Katherine

Romance/ SupernaturalThe Soap Maker’s Mother: Christina van Deventer
Science Fiction/ MilitarySacha: Jeff DeMarco
Science Fiction/ ParanormalWolf Cry: Z Gottlieb
Science Fiction/ ParanormalCircus of the Night: Stefan Angelina McElvain
Urban FantasyTrue Nature : Luna Selas

 

Veronica Cline Barton earned graduate degrees in both engineering and business and has had successful careers in the software and technology industries. Her lifelong love affair with British murder mysteries inspired her to embark on a literary career. The Crown for Castlewood Manor and Cast, Crew, & Carnage; the Filming of Castlewood Manor are the first and second books in what she calls her My American Almost Royal Cousin Series. When not traveling and spinning mystery yarns, she lives in California with her husband, Bruce, and her two cats, Daisy and Ebbie.

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Breaking Eselda & Redeeming Jordyn by Tabatha Shipley (Two Book Reviews)

~ Book One: A Kingdom of Fraun series ~

Strength, humility, speed, mirth, and wisdom are perfectly balanced in the kingdom of Fraun where council leaders make decisions in the best interest of all Fraunians. Meanwhile, young Princess Eselda is being groomed to eventually take the throne of Enchenda. But as her reign draws closer and long-held secrets are revealed, she realizes that her title comes with challenges she never imagined.

In Fraun, there are rulers who will kill to keep their secrets hidden; and rulers who will kill to change the council.

What kind of ruler will Eselda be?

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

 

Murder, mystery, deception, secrets, scandals, and a love triangle await you amongst the pages of Breaking Eselda.

Eselda’s life is not dull. As she prepares to take the throne, her life is bombarded with questions. Is she ready to rule Enchenda? Should she get married? Whom should she marry? Is she prepared to birth an heir to the throne?

Being in charge of a realm is a taxing job. There are so many decisions to be made. There’s also the worry of becoming dark and malicious around your 20th birthday.

In Breaking Eselda, a lifespan isn’t nearly as long as what we have in real life. At age marker ten, a royal individual reaches full height. When he or she reaches forty annuals, their hair turns gray, and their bodies begin to fail them. Death soon follows. 

I wouldn’t want life to end this soon.

I also wouldn’t want to ride on a talking cockroach or eat earthworm stew. For sure, the only bug I would ever consider using for transportation is a Volkswagen Beetle. 😀

No, I like my bugs small, and my meals bug-free.

 

This book is labeled young adult, but even people with many years under his or her belt will find enjoyment with it as well.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤

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~ Book Two: A Kingdom of Fraun series ~

King Jordyn is realizing things in Fraun were not what they appeared to be. With Queen Eselda of Enchenda making the choice to side with King Tin of Sarcheda, it seems like war is coming to Fraun.

Does Jordyn have what it takes to save Fraun?

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

 

Design-wise, Breaking Eselda and Redeeming Jordyn couldn’t be any different. Breaking Eselda’s cover is bold, eye-catching; whereas, Redeeming Jordyn’s cover is dull and lifeless. When you open up the books, you’ll notice the story setups are also vastly different. Breaking Eselda has zero double spacing between lines and paragraphs while Redeeming Jordyn was littered with them. If you placed these two books side by side, you’d swear they had two different designers and editors. I also found more editing errors in Redeeming Jordyn than its predecessor. 

As for plot and execution, Redeeming Jordyn had its share of shocking developments. As with any war, people rose up to fight their oppressors. Blood was spilled, lives were lost, but it wasn’t all for naught. 

Leaders emerged, hearts mended, and the land of Fraun has hope once again. 

All in all, Redeeming Jordyn was an okay read. Was it as good as Breaking Eselda? No, but I would still recommend it to others. 😉 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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Tabatha is the author of the Kingdom of Fraun series,Projection, and 30 Days Without Wings. She believes strongly in the power of helping others and is always willing to help out a fellow writer or reader. Find and connect with her on whichever social media platform you love best.

 

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30 Days Without Wings by Tabatha Shipley (Book Showcase)

Faeries are real.

Elise is a faerie who has experienced terrible heartache and just needs a change before she is forced to choose the path she will walk forever. She will risk everything for one chance at happiness. But is the cost of the risk more than Elise bargained for?

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Here goes nothing.  My shoes make a light tapping noise on the polished floor as I make my way across it.  Normally you probably wouldn’t hear it, but the echo off the domed roof is deafening.  As my heart thuds away in my chest I have to wonder if they can hear that too.  Are they used to the children sounding nervous?  
 
The elder who walked me in takes to the air instead, crossing the chamber in half my time.  I watch her drop delicately into her seat, smiling at a few fae on either side of her.  Flying was a good idea, I wish I’d thought of it.
 
I reach the middle of the room and stop. The man before me has so much gold on his wings you can no longer see any clear.  It sends beams of light flying out in every direction around him, giving the impression that he is glowing.  He has years of impressive service to this community.  He wears a long white beard, but it doesn’t hide the youthful expression in his eyes.  I wonder what this man does for our society.
 
I tip my head downward in greeting.  “Thank you all for seeing me.”  
 
“We are here today to allow Elise an opportunity to choose the path of her future.  Today she will choose the direction of her training.  Elise, today you will tell us what future will earn color in your wings.  What say you?” the elder asks.  His voice echoes through the chamber.
 
I swallow the lump that has formed in my throat.  Here goes nothing.  “Can I request a manifest period?”  
 
There’s an audible gasp from a few of the elders assembled.  They range in age, I know.  Some are no older than me, really, but have shown themselves to be adept at their field.  Each sector of our society, each job held, has an elder who presides over it.  They are all here today to hear my choice.  Evidently, this is not what they wanted to hear.  My wings begin to flutter nervously.  They are well within their rights to tell me no, although it’s not normally done that way.  
 
“Well, yes child.  This would allow you a one-month period to travel to other colonies and decide where you would like your future to play out.”  He commands the attention of a few elders who have reverted to whispering in the back by clearing his throat.  “I believe we are surprised, Elise, because this practice is typically reserved for fae who have family in other circles.  To be blunt, my dear, we are all you have.”
 
“But I could be allowed to try?” I ask.
 
The man looks to his right.  A beautiful faerie sits along the lowest row of chairs beside him, her wings sending off silver rays instead of gold.  She is our leader.  Once she chose her path, the change was instant.  Her silver wings are rumored to have fully colored right then, in the prediction of service she would do.  It is strange that she has been our leader for as long as anyone can remember, and yet she looks so young.  Her face is thin, her eyes forgiving.  Her long white hair reaches her waist.  The hair tugs a little as she nods once to the speaker.  My eyes immediately lock back on him.  
 
“Yes, of course.  We would need to see you again in one month’s time to hear your decision.  You would be required to return for that second meeting and the decision you express at that time would be final.”
 
My heart flutters with the permission.  I’m so close now.  “That is what I wish, then.  Thank you.”
 
It has gone dangerously quiet in the chamber again.  All eyes are on me; I can feel them melting into my face.  I gulp.  They have to have the final word.  It is not official until they speak.  
 
The face of the speaking elder reveals nothing.  He remains stoic.  Finally, he nods once.  “So be it.”  

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Tabatha is the author of the Kingdom of Fraun series,Projection, and 30 Days Without Wings. She believes strongly in the power of helping others and is always willing to help out a fellow writer or reader. Find and connect with her on whichever social media platform you love best.

 

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Projection by Tabatha Shipley (Book Review)

No one types anything anymore. You simply think it, and it appears on the page. Sharing a memory with friends is as easy as recalling and sending it to a screen. The ubiquitous chip implanted in everyone’s wrist has made interaction with technology seamless and natural, almost making our tech an extension of ourselves. What happens when it goes wrong?

Emma Johnson has enough problems. School, boys, and her firm-yet-aloof dad are enough to keep her on her toes. But everything falls apart when her most embarrassing thoughts and memories start to appear on any device she’s near.

Why is this happening? How can she function in a world of technology when technology seems to be out to get her? Who can she trust? Will she ever be able to find a new sense of normality?

Find out in Tabatha Shipley’s new YA Science Fiction novel, Projection!

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

Present-day, there is an RFID chip that people can get placed somewhere in their hand, under the skin, that allows a person to unlock doors. It’s an ID badge of sorts. No one has created a chip that attaches to the nervous system yet, but Elon Musk’s company NEURALINK is working on a prototype that will allow a scientist to manipulate brain synapses. It’s a highly complicated and comprehensive invention, but Elon doesn’t know the word simple.

I can understand the reasoning behind such a device mentioned above. It will help with motor function difficulties. However, I am not 100% behind a chip that allows a person to control apps with a simple mental command. I’m afraid it will malfunction or have adverse health risks if it needs to be removed. These exact two scenarios were discussed at length in Projection.

I’ll admit, there were some pros and cons to the NFC chip in this book, Projection. Projecting memories from vacations and revisiting class discussions was quite nifty. However, displaying private fantasies or misleading memories has to go on the negative pile.

Every day, there are advances in science and technology. Before long, we could all be chipped at birth. What then? When will this madness stop?

As much as I love the advances of science and technology, sometimes I worry about how far people will push the boundaries to make life ‘easier’ for humankind.

Tabatha Shipley (the author) gave us many reasons why some things should not be invented. I know Emma (character) wishes she never received the implant.

Some things are better in the land of fantasy, and this was a great fantasy read.

With that said, I must point out there were several editing errors. If you can overlook them, and I’m sure you can, you’ll discovery a book with a solid plot, likable characters, and top-notch resolution.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Tabatha is the author of the Kingdom of Fraun series,Projection, and 30 Days Without Wings. She believes strongly in the power of helping others and is always willing to help out a fellow writer or reader. Find and connect with her on whichever social media platform you love best.

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The God Queen: Rebirth Book 1 by M. L. Tishner (Book Review)

The return of the God Queen is not what everyone hoped…

Humans have long since spread their numbers among the stars. Now far, far into the future, war has torn the Tyre Star Cluster into two major political factions. The militant Dominion have gained the upper hand in the last decade when their champion murdered the hope of the progressive Federation: Niklaryn Ettowa. Some considered the war to be almost won.

Yet there are those who claim the war will not be ended by mortals…but by the rebirth of the gods. 

Rei lived most of her life bartending on one Earth’s backwater towns. She daydreams of something more, traveling the stars, and destroying the man who murdered her brother Niklaryn. Her dream is within her grasp only if she accepts her fate as the God Queen.

Bronx is disillusioned with being a reincarnated god, let alone a reaper. He pays his penance by keeping people at a distance and taking up the mantle of a combat medic. When the sister of his old mentor Niklaryn storms in to join the cause will he find something worth fighting for?

Together with others, they must help the Federation tip the scales in their favor, but everyone seems to have their own plans for what the gods should do.

Jupiter Ascending meets X-Men in this epic New Adult space opera bursting with star-crossed romance, elemental magic, and an adventure across the star cluster, perfect for fans of A Spark of White Fire.

 

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

 

The God Queen is broken up into two sections: The Woman and The Goddess.

(Part One) The Woman read as if it was picking up from a prequel. One hundred pages into the story and I finally contacted M. L. Tishner (the author) to ask if there was perhaps a prequel to The God Queen. M. L. Tishner responded there was NO PREQUEL. She stated things were taken out, but it was all in the sakes of her readers. 

While writing and editing stories, authors are faced with difficult decisions. What to keep and what to toss away is a hard choice they have to make before the book goes to print.

While writing and editing stories, authors are faced with difficult decisions. What to keep and what to toss away is definitely a hard choice they have to make before the book goes to press.

For me, I missed not having more information on key characters: Niklaryn, Infiernen, Negander, to name a few.

 

 

(Part Two) The Goddess was a thousand times better than Part One. Secrets were revealed, past/present connections were explained more, and we finally saw some real emotions from central characters.

It’s in this section that I actually started to like the characters, particularly Bronx. He’s a character you’ll want to hug and tell him everything is going to be okay.

Even though I found Part One lacking in character development, I do recommend reading this book. Why? Part Two was pretty good, and I think the series has great potential.

(Book II, no release date yet)

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

 

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Read the first four chapters for FREE!

 

 

Mari, a native Hoosier, currently lives in southern Germany where she entertains people with her adventures as an American expat in the Land of Beer and Pretzels on her blog adventuresoflamari.com as well as the adventures of her pugs, Abner and Roxy. When she’s not writing, Mari cooks, snowboards, dances to the beat of her own drum, reads late into the night, and binge watches Netflix with her husband. The God Queen is her debut novel.

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