Tag Archives: magic

Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos (Book Review and Guest Post)

BOBOS BABES ADVENTURES: A MAGICAL HALLOWEED by Karen Bobos

 
It’s Halloween time in the land of Harmony, and the Bobos Babes are ready for some fun!

When Angel Scarlett, Fairy Cora, and Princess Daphne visit Lily the Ladybug’s Boutique to look for Halloween costumes, they find Lily has left aside three special masks for them. The ladybug informs the sisters that they must wait until noon on Halloween to try on the mysterious masks but assures them they will have the best costumes in all of the land of Harmony.
The sisters can hardly wait, counting down the minutes on Halloween until they can don their curious masks. When the time comes, they learn their secret masks are enchanted, and the girls are magically transformed into the costumes of their dreams.

 
​After a fun outing Trick-or-Treating, the little monster, witch, and ghost — or sisters — agree that this was the best Halloween of all.
 
 
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Bobos Babes
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Children love Halloween. They adore selecting a costume, the excitement of getting candy, the decorations, and watching their loot grow with each knock on a door. 


While most kids can’t wait to dig into their stash, first, they must select what to wear on the spookiest night of the year. If your child is like mine, they start planning months in advance and change their mind about a thousand times. 


However, when the big night comes, they wake up and immediately dress up. Halloween allows their imagination to flourish, and it’s a magical day and night. 


Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween by Karen Bobos made Halloween an even more magical event by allowing the sisters to transform into whatever mask they chose for the evening. 


Imagine if a kid put on a Hulk mask and then became the Hulk. I can already see my daughter transforming into a little Loki. 😀


If you’re like me and love reading holiday stories with your child, then I highly recommend picking up Bobos Babes Adventures: A Magical Halloween. The story is cute, and so are the illustrations. We especially liked the blue monster covered in pink dimples. 
 

Great job, Karen M. Bobos (author) and Jazinel Libranda (illustrator)!

Happy Halloween! 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
AUTHOR KAREN BOBOS

 
Bobos began writing poetry and stories at the early age of ten. She is a life-long Chicagoan who now raises her family in the downtown area. During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Chicago also became a city of unrest. Trying to keep her three young daughters in a world of magic during such scary times, the Bobos Babes Adventures were born. Her goal was to create a world of Harmony for her family and hopefully for others to escape, even if only for a moment. The first book of the series, The Case of the Giggles, was published in December 2020. The Missing Egg launched in March 2021. The The Lion’s Secret was published in June 2021, a tribute to her mother and late father’s incredible love story.  The Lovey that Came to Life and The Bobcat Birthday party will be releasing in the upcoming months.​
 
 
 
 
Creating a Harmonious World During a Life of Chaos
 
 
My family lives downtown Chicago. You can literally see the John Hancock out of our dining room window. During the beginning of the pandemic, we spent months in our condo without a balcony. I was definitely feeling cabin fever once we hit week three of not leaving the house.
 
 fIn May 2020, Chicago became a city of unrest. With the protests and riots directly out our front door, my husband and I packed up the family and escaped to my mother’s home in Northwest Indiana. We had one goal in mind: keep our daughters in a magical, beautiful world when the real world was in a state of chaos.
 
Once we arrived at my mother’s home, I worked night and day to clean her unfinished basement. Then I covered her walls with white rolling paper and put pink plush throw rugs on the floor. Living in a condo, we don’t have a basement or separate play area, so I wanted this to be incredibly special for them. I bought my daughters a pretend store, a little play coffee shop, and a cute kid’s pop-up ice cream shop. I designed signs that said Daphne’s Dynamite Deals, Scarlett’s Sweets, and Cora’s Coffee Shop. I put a Disney Barbie house in the corner and bought princess wall applications to stick to my white paper walls. I made a little lounge area and put tons of books for them relax and read. In the center, there was a little pink and white table. In the back of the basement, I created a little art studio for the girls to be as creative as they liked. At the entrance of it all, I put a sign that said “Bobos Babes’ World,” and we surprised the girls with this fun world to play in when the rest of the word was at a standstill.
 
My wellness company was barely operating. While I probably secretly cried most nights living in fear of the unknown, this was my outlet. Not only was this a project of making “Bobos Babes World” for the girls, but it a huge distraction for me as I wondered what was to come of our life and my career.
 
About a month later, I wrote “The Case of the Giggles” as a night time story to entertain my girls. They were the main characters with magical powers. My dad, who passed in 2016 was a main character and so was my mother. I made our Bernese Mountain dog, Luke, who is abnormally large for the breed, even bigger in my story. The girls rode him all over their magical land. The magical land was called Harmony because I desperately needed to have this land be somewhere where everyone co-existed and got along. We craved a land filled with love especially with what was going on in the world. Scarlett suggested that I write a new story every Friday. Her deadline was just the motivation that I needed to get my Bobos Babes Adventures on their way.
 
So that’s how the Bobos Babes Adventures started. But the best part is, if you ask my daughters about the pandemic and all the chaos that happened in 2020, they just remember our entire family at Gigi’s house, playing in her backyard, running through sprinklers, playing in this magical world their mom created for them in the basement and getting a new story every night starring them. Mission accomplished.
 
 
connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 

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Kissed by Death: Trueborn Heirs Series (Book 3) by Nyna Queen (Book Review)

The stunning finale to Nyna Queen’s original Trueborn Heirs Trilogy.

 

A terrible secret. An impossible choice. And a love worth dying for…

After the horrible disaster at the Summerball, Alexis Harper and her allies are running out of time. Not only has the murder messed up all their careful plans, but Alex is also threatened to become the focus of the investigations. In search of the missing pieces in this enigmatic puzzle, she and Darken embark on a perilous journey to an abandoned prison camp deep in the mountains — and make a discovery more shocking than anything they could have imagined. A discovery that, if revealed, will shake the country to its very foundations.

At the same time, the Spider and the Forfeit find themselves at an emotional crossroads. At this point, it’s all or nothing. But just as they reluctantly admit their feelings for each other, events force them apart and suddenly Alex is faced with a terrible choice: to run and safe her own life or to stay and fight for the truth and the man she loves, even if it may cost her life.

As Alex spins a crazy spider’s trap, one thing soon becomes clear—one way or another, she will end up being kissed by Death…

 

Buckle up for witty banter, steam, and plot-twists that will leave you breathless.

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

 

Kissed by Death by Nina Queen far exceeded my expectations, and the bar was set pretty high after reading By a Thread (book one) and Web of Lies (book 2). 

Kissed by Death had suspense, explosions, life and death missions, mic drop moments, pain and torture, and betrayal. Finally, over a long wait, we had Alex and Darken locking lips and other body parts. 😀

These two, in joined or separate scenes, always kept me on the edge of my seat. When Darken made a person wet themself, I laughed because I knew it would happen. I love being right. (Name withheld to avoid spoilers). During the Master’s hissy fit, I could practically see the spit flying out of his mouth and Alex’s shit-eating grin. 

Every bit of this story was spectacular, and I can’t wait to read Josepha’s story; the summary is located in “What’s Next.”

Final note: I love Alex’s spider senses and her ability to run 30 miles without breaking a sweat. 

 

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

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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

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Kissed by Death: Trueborn Heirs Series (Book 3) by Nyna Queen (Book Showcase)

The stunning finale to Nyna Queen’s original Trueborn Heirs Trilogy.

 

A terrible secret. An impossible choice. And a love worth dying for…

After the horrible disaster at the Summerball, Alexis Harper and her allies are running out of time. Not only has the murder messed up all their careful plans, but Alex is also threatened to become the focus of the investigations. In search of the missing pieces in this enigmatic puzzle, she and Darken embark on a perilous journey to an abandoned prison camp deep in the mountains — and make a discovery more shocking than anything they could have imagined. A discovery that, if revealed, will shake the country to its very foundations.

At the same time, the Spider and the Forfeit find themselves at an emotional crossroads. At this point, it’s all or nothing. But just as they reluctantly admit their feelings for each other, events force them apart and suddenly Alex is faced with a terrible choice: to run and safe her own life or to stay and fight for the truth and the man she loves, even if it may cost her life.

As Alex spins a crazy spider’s trap, one thing soon becomes clear—one way or another, she will end up being kissed by Death…

 

 

Buckle up for witty banter, steam, and plot-twists that will leave you breathless.

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  • WOW! This Book is EXACTLY why I fell in LOVE with the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Genre!” — Read Between the Lines

  • “I absolutely loved this book! Once started, I just didn’t want to stop reading.” — Elbcrout

  • “After just a few pages you immediately feel like a part of the world, as you are observing from within, watching the events unfold.” — the_survivor

  • “Nyna Queen does an exceptional job diving deep into the minds of her characters, and her imagery and use of metaphors are at the expert level.” — T&S M

  • “I’ve put Nyna Queen on my author watch list. This is superb storytelling.”Tiella150

  • Ms. Queen has positioned herself as one of the best new authors I have ever read. Excellent work.” — Colleen

  • “I couldn’t put this book down. It has a really unique group of characters and a fresh story.” — Amazon Customer

  • “The story is brought together with seamless writing and world-building. The author brings familiar together with the unfamiliar to where everything seems normal. If you want a book with a mystery interwoven with suspense and a sprinkling of a romance then this book is for you.” — Tabby

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A beam of moonlight broke through the drifting clouds, reflecting from solid black eyes not five feet from him.

Darken’s hand jerked toward his sword, pulling it halfway out of its scabbard before he realized it was Alex.

Mother’s mercy and Jester’s grace! And the Blind Child’s cursed eyes in the dark! If the moon hadn’t chosen to blink through the cloud cover at that moment, he might never have known she was there.

Alex let out a soft, silvery laugh as she stepped from the shadows between the trees, her pale face and blond braid seemingly floating bodiless in the darkness around her.

“Jumpy, aren’t we? Expecting an attack, Forfeit?”

The wind carried over her scent, a floral note of jasmine from the perfume she’d worn this afternoon mixed with a hint of feminine sweat from the run, and something so specifically Alex—both sweet and sharp and slightly musky—it unleashed a stream of lava into his blood, burning through his veins and setting his loins on fire. Need almost swept him off his feet.

Darken clenched his jaw and curled his hands into fists. They were on a mission, for heaven’s sake!

Moving with iron control, Darken sheathed his sword and forced himself to relax back against the wall of the shelter, crossing one foot over the other.

“Actually, I was getting worried about you. What took you so long? I thought you might have gotten lost.”

A sharp smile parted Alex’s lips like the flash of a knife’s blade. She rocked forward on her toes. “Lies! I’m almost half an hour before our scheduled meeting time.”

Darken lifted a surprised eyebrow. “How do you know?”

“Shaper, remember?” She tapped her temple with one finger. “We have an extremely good sense of time, like an internal clock, especially with the help of the sun and moon. Speaking of which”—she nodded up at the sky which was a ragged puzzle of clouds and blinking stars—“we only have a few short hours until dawn. If I want to be back at the Canterbury Estate before sunrise, we should get moving.”

Darken cocked his head to the side. “You seem quite eager for someone who just ran over thirty miles.”

“Oh, that! Phst!” Alex waved a hand. “Not worth mentioning. Please, don’t make any concessions on my behalf, I’m all good to go. Unless, of course, you need some more time to rest your royal footsies from your journey?” 

A honey pie would have wilted in comparison to the sweetness in her voice.

Darken locked his teeth and performed a slightly stiff bow. “I’ve only been waiting for you, milady.”

 

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Buy book 1 and 2 today!


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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

 
 

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Realms of Glory, Realms of Death (The Epthelion Series) by Sandra Kopp (Book Review)

 

Valhalea lies in ruins, the victim of sorcerer Lucius Mordarius’ wrath.

In the black forests of Barren-Fel Ryadok, a rival sorcerer possessing a weapon capable of leveling the continent, snakes his destructive tentacles across Epthelion. Amid the chaos Destiny unites five unlikely allies: an ostracized mystic and his younger brother; a tradesman and a battle-hardened mercenary; and the daughter of a murdered nobleman–each a thorn in a sorcerer’s side and marked for death.

Battling nature’s wrath, the sorcerers’ relentless pursuit, and a land notorious for devouring its inhabitants, they find temporary sanctuary only to be thrust to opposite ends of Epthelion–the girl to the west where she falls into the hands of the blood-thirsty Horse Lords; and the men into the dark reaches of the shadowy east.

Victory is essential; defeat spells certain death for their world.  The girl must survive the Horse Lord’s brutality and rally them to her aid in defeating Mordarius while the mystic races to destroy Ryadok before his sweeping holocaust.

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

 

There are not many fantasy books that I think would 100% translate beautifully onto the big screen. However,  I believe Sandra’s beasts, the lesser ones and the Destroyer, need to be brought to life in 2D or (better yet) 3D. Once you read Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death, I’m sure you’ll agree Sandra’s magical bringers of death need to be shown on a big screen. 

Besides the beasts, what I adored about Realms Of Glory, Realms of Death is its plot/subject matter is not limited to one age group. As a parent, I look for books that my daughter and I can read and discuss. I don’t recall seeing any unfavorable words except whore. While I am not a fan of this word, it didn’t hurt the book or affect my rating. I would still recommend my daughter to read it. I would encourage you to read it also. 

I can’t end this review without pointing out how much I appreciated Sandra giving props to women and their abilities. We are fierce. We are strong. We can fight. We are leaders! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤1/2

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About Sandra Kopp

I’m an Idaho native, a lover of chocolate, builder of kingdoms, and ever a dreamer. From childhood I loved a good story and spent hours lost in the wonderful and fantastic worlds I found in books. Even while pursuing a career in Information Technology I remained a voracious reader, and in 2003 began penning my own stories. My first three, a fantasy trilogy which I am currently reworking, were influenced by The Lord of the Rings. My current book, The Windwilder Haunting, arose from the arson fire of one of Pasco, Washington’s last landmarks, the James A. Moore House. The house’s rich and colorful history intrigued me, and I am proud to say I played a small part in its restoration. The Windwilder Haunting, however, details a fictional family and set of events. After relaunching the trilogy (in about two months) I will be working on a prequel to the Windwilder tale.

Fantasy and paranormal romance remain my favorite genres, but I am also working on a familial saga and a series of children’s books based on Timothy Wonder, an adventurous lad with a huge imagination.

When not writing, I enjoy photography, hiking, cycling, and playing the accordion.

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Interview with Sandra Kopp (A Multi-Genre Author)

I want to welcome author Sandra Kopp to Kam’s Place.
Howdy, Sandra!

 

  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?

 

Sandra: Howdy, Kam! It’s a pleasure to be here. I grew up on an Idaho potato farm along with two brothers, one sister, an accordion, and an assortment of dogs, cats, horses, and cows. I’d wanted to be a farm wife, but Fate propelled me into the wonderful world of IBM and computer programming, a career I pursued for 33 years. A music lover and history buff, I played the trombone and accordion semiprofessionally and served as a docent at a number of historical homes, notably the Pittock Mansion in Portland, OR. As for writing, I have loved books since childhood. In grade school I spent more time reading library books than doing my homework (which landed me in the corner more than once!), and my active imagination churned out stories I would scribble down and show my teachers who, in turn, asked me to share with the class! As I entered adulthood, however, career demands and social commitments forced my writing onto the back burner. But the fire never died, and neither did my imagination. A mundane event might spark a plot that took intriguing turns as it evolved into a full-blown novel (case in point: THE WINDWILDER HAUNTING, inspired by the Moore Mansion fire in Pasco, WA). In 2003 I decided to get serious. Now that I’m retired, I have committed myself to honing and polishing my craft and producing the best work possible.


Kam: Holy smokes, that’s an impressive amount of time in one establishment. Now days, it seems no one can stick that long in one place. I’m also in awe of your musical achievements. I can’t play any instrument, but I do appreciate the time and effort it takes to learn a single instrument and you’ve mastered two. NICE! 

 

Let’s Check Out The Windwilder Haunting


Once acclaimed the Crown Jewel of Twin Bridges, Washington, a derelict mansion with a sordid past sits condemned, awaiting demolition. At the eleventh hour the great-grandson of its original owner intervenes to rescue and restore it. But few rejoice, particularly those whose lives the malignancy within those walls destroyed.

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

Sandra: Oh, yes; in fact, for a while writer’s block so crippled me that I went for weeks and even months unable to write anything. In 2003 I enrolled in a creative writing course. Each session began with a 10-minute exercise during which we were to WRITE. Wasting time trying to pick a subject was NOT allowed—those pencils had to move! “If you can’t think of anything,” the professor told us, “just write ‘I can’t think of a thing to write, but the prof says I have to write something, so here I go.’ Write that sentence over and over, and pretty soon ideas will come.” Surprisingly, his method worked. The first session I think I wrote it twice. After that I always had a topic for class.  

 

While effective for beginning a piece, the method didn’t work so well for works already in progress. My major hurdle stemmed from striving to write the finished product on the first try.  Every few sentences I stalled, fumbling for the “right” words, until I became so mired in verbiage I forgot what I wanted to say. Finally I decided to, rather than flounder, just output the main points and then flesh out the details the following day. This actually works best for me. As I read over the previous day’s effort the creative juices flow, providing the missing elements and a running start into developing new material. 

 

 

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

Sandra: Except for sci-fi and romance, I love most genres. My current books are fantasy and paranormal, but I find myself leaning more toward contemporary, historical fiction, and a children’s series I started several years ago, along with a western based on an event in my father’s life when he was 10.

When not writing, I enjoy photography, hiking, bicycling, playing the accordion, knitting, and gardening. I’m also planning a You Tube channel featuring my better half, Sassy the Cat!


Kam: What a cutie! 

 

  1. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

Sandra: Yes. One or two consider me gifted, but the majority recognize the flaws and weak spots in my work and aren’t afraid to point them out. It nettled me at first, but I quickly found their criticism valid and invaluable during the editing process. My Mom and sister are especially good beta readers, quick to pick up on parts that don’t flow right. I thought them too critical at first; but when my critique group pointed out the same issues, I decided I’d better listen! At any rate, all of them urge me to keep the stories coming.

Kam: Fantastic!!! 

 

 

  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.

Sandra: This is tough; I love so many! Colleen McCullough and Charlotte Bronte top the list, followed by Johanna Spyri. I still own a copy of HEIDI I received as a gift when I was eight. That book so captivated me I could smell the fresh alpine air and hear the wind roaring through those huge branches.  Lately I’ve discovered several excellent indie authors, including: Rebecca Carey Lyles, Ken Stark, Bibiana Krall, MK Whiting, Mike Wells, Isis Sousa, and Anastasia Abboud.

Kam: I actually reviewed Troika: A Supernatural Short Story by Bibiana Krall  back in 2019. 😀

 

 

  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 to see cast in the parts?

Sandra: Peter Jackson’s movie series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had a huge impact on me. That said, I would like to see my book, REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH hit the big screen, since it contains many similar elements. I’m not sure, though, which actors I would choose, as I really don’t spend much time watching movies. Probably many of those that appeared in the Peter Jackson movies.

 

 

 

Valhalea lies in ruins, the victim of sorcerer Lucius Mordarius’ wrath.

In the black forests of Barren-Fel Ryadok, a rival sorcerer possessing a weapon capable of leveling the continent, snakes his destructive tentacles across Epthelion. Amid the chaos Destiny unites five unlikely allies: an ostracized mystic and his younger brother; a tradesman and a battle-hardened mercenary; and the daughter of a murdered nobleman–each a thorn in a sorcerer’s side and marked for death.

Battling nature’s wrath, the sorcerers’ relentless pursuit, and a land notorious for devouring its inhabitants, they find temporary sanctuary only to be thrust to opposite ends of Epthelion–the girl to the west where she falls into the hands of the blood-thirsty Horse Lords; and the men into the dark reaches of the shadowy east.

Victory is essential; defeat spells certain death for their world.  The girl must survive the Horse Lord’s brutality and rally them to her aid in defeating Mordarius while the mystic races to destroy Ryadok before his sweeping holocaust.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

My review of REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH will be live August 14th!
I encourage you all to come back and read my thoughts on it. 😉 

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now?

Sandra: I am working on the illustrations for the first book of my children’s series, TIMOTHY WONDER AND THE MAGIC SHIP. I started that story when I was twelve but never finished it. That magic ship took Timothy and his dog into the clouds but never brought them back! Now, several decades later, I decided it’s time to bring them home.  In addition, I am putting together notes for a humorous ghost story and an historical fiction novel, both inspired by my docent experiences at the Pittock Mansion.

Kam: I can’t wait to read them both. 

 

 

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

Website:     https://www.sandrakopp.com

Amazon:     author.to/skoppbooks

Sandra: I gave each book a satisfying end, with no cliffhangers that resolve in subsequent books. Because many of the characters in later books are introduced and developed in the earlier volumes, reading the series sequentially provides a more even flow.

 

 

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

Website:       https://www.sandrakopp.com/contact 

Email:          sandra@sandrakopp.com

Goodreadshttps://bit.ly/3i4Uo5b

Twitter:        twitter.com/EverDreamer7321

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on new releases, giveaways, and other fun things!

 

 

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

Sandra: First of all, Kam, thanks so much for this spotlight opportunity.  Marketing has proven the toughest part of indie publishing, and I welcome the chance to introduce my work to new audiences.  Taking this plunge opened up a whole new world.  Not only am I an author and publisher, I’ve had to become a publicist, marketer, and I even designed and built my own website!

I appreciate my readers and am grateful for each and every one. I also appreciate their opinions of my books!  One of the nicest things you can do for an author is leave a review.  Of course, I love 4 and 5 stars best, but I also want to know the downside so that I can improve.  I have developed a newsletter, which you can sign up for on my website.  From time to time I host giveaways, contests, and opportunities for readers to become a character in an upcoming book!

Becoming a writer was my dream come true.  I encourage all of you to pursue your dreams.  You never know what you can do ‘til you try!

 

 

 

 

As a fellow author, I know the struggles of marketing a story. It’s a never-ending battle to get a story in front of new readers and build up reviews. As I stated above, my review of REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH will be live on August 14th, and you’ll love the score. 

For those visiting Kam’s Place, I highly encourage you all to check out Sandra Kopp’s works and sign up for her newsletter. I know once you read one story by her, you’ll want to be instantly notified when she’s created something new. 

To Sandra Kopp, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you and graciously asking me to read your stories. I can’t wait to read your future stories and/or the ones I haven’t read yet.

 

 

Before you go… How about a sneak peek at REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH!

 

Bristles brushed her feverish cheek.  Merewyn moaned and tried to move, but unbearable pain wracked her body.  Every bone felt broken and she lay still, wishing whoever hovered over her would thrust her through and end her torment.  Velvety lips nuzzled her ear and then her neck.  A horse nickered softly.

Merewyn rolled onto her back and opened her eyes.  Windrunner lay down beside her and nudged her cheek.  Gritting her teeth against the searing pain, Merewyn mustered her strength and crawled into the saddle, clinging to the horse’s mane as Windrunner hoisted herself to her feet.

“My faithful Windrunner.”  Merewyn could scarcely talk.  “Take me to the king.”

Windrunner stepped out, and as they crossed the corpse-littered plain, Merewyn’s heart sank.  Familiar faces stared vacantly through the cold gray light.  Some appeared to slumber peacefully.  Others grimaced in agony.

“Ohhhh!”  Merewyn’s anguished soul poured out its misery.  Bitter tears rolled down her cheeks.  Feeling dizzy, she closed her eyes, wishing only to distance herself from this place of death.  Windrunner walked on, her head bobbing lightly as she deftly stepped over and around the dead. 

Gradually the faintness passed.  Merewyn’s senses cleared.  She opened her eyes and recognized Aethelion, Elund, Hamiel, and Zithri amid a small group a short way ahead.  Zithri saw her first and alerted Hamiel and Aethelion.  Together they raced to Merewyn.

“My queen!”  Aethelion reached up and helped her dismount.

Zithri alit and rushed to her side.  “You’re hurt, my lady.”

“No worse than any of you.  Where is the king?”

“We don’t know.”  Aethelion grimly surveyed the field.  “Ryadok decimated our forces last night, both here and on the river.”

“How many of your five hundred remain?” Merewyn asked.

“Less than a hundred.  As yet we have no final tally.”

“And the enemy?”

“We drove them back after that fiery brute fell, but they’ll return in numbers beyond our strength to withstand.”

“The beast. . .slain?”  Merewyn’s memory had clouded. 

“Yes.”  Aethelion frowned.  “How, I don’t know.  The carcass burned, leaving nothing to examine.  When we engaged him at the river we made what should have been mortal strikes with every weapon we had, to no avail.”  His frown deepened.  “I would give my best horse to know what killed this one.”

“So Destroyer can be killed.”

“If, indeed, that was Destroyer.”

With great effort, Merewyn remounted and turned Windrunner toward the battlefield.  “First we must see to our wounded and find the king.”

The sun slowly rose, gouging the sky with blood-red shafts before hiding itself behind a curtain of somber gray clouds.  The Horse Lords wandered among the carnage, hoping against hope that some among their warriors lying there yet breathed. 

They found only death.  Over half of the valiant warriors of Ha-Ran-Fel had fallen, and the company could only guess what percentage of the enemy now littered their land.  Many wore the crest of Ryadok, but even more Lucius Mordarius’ green dragon.

The roughly four hundred remaining warriors fanned out to search for their wounded, strip the enemy corpses, and kill any foe still alive.  Merewyn searched for Ruelon, refusing to believe what she already knew.  Aethelion, Elund, Hamiel, and Zithri still lived.  Surely, she reasoned, God had spared Ruelon as well.

But hope quickly waned.  Ruelon neither answered her calls nor rode to meet her.

And then she saw him, lying beside his beloved charger, his sword impaling an enemy’s throat, his ashen face turned to the sky.  Red streaks trickled down his side from the bloody pool on his breastplate, and another from one corner of his mouth.  For a moment it seemed he looked at her, and she thought he would speak.  But his vacant blue eyes stared past her; his strong voice forever stilled.  Never again would he hold her close and soothe her in the night.  Never again would he whisper words of tender love.

“My lord.”  Swallowing hard, Merewyn knelt beside him and tenderly stroked his cheek.  The world blurred around her.  “Beloved husband. . .do not leave me.”  But she knew that he already had, and now the tears came fast and hot.  Merewyn collapsed on his chest, sobbing.

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