Tag Archives: royalty

Home Sweet Christmas: A Holiday Romance Novel by Susan Mallery (Book Spotlight)

“The perfect holiday confection.”—Booklist

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes a witty and heartfelt story of two friends who unexpectedly find the person-and the place in which-they belong this Christmas.

With twinkling humor and heartfelt Christmas spirit, two friends find love in a town called Wishing Tree…

Until Camryn Neff can return to her “real” life in Chicago, she’s in Wishing Tree to care for her twin sisters. She’s not looking for forever love, not here. But handsome hotelier Jake Crane is a temptation she can’t resist, so she suggests they pair up for the season. No golden rings, no broken hearts. At his side, she sees her hometown through Christmas-colored eyes. The cheer is cheerier, the joy more joyful. She thought she had put her future on hold…but maybe her real life was here all along, waiting for her to come home.

New in town, River Best is charmed by Wishing Tree’s homespun traditions and warmhearted people. When she’s crowned Snow Queen, she’s honored but wary. Dylan Tucker, her king, seems like the stuff of sugarplum dreams, but she can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something big. As they perform their “royal” duties—tasting cookies, lighting trees—Dylan’s good humor and melty kisses draw her to the brink of love. But she can’t let herself fall until she uncovers his secret, even if her lack of faith means losing him forever.

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🎁 Click HERE to read an excerpt! 🎁

 

 

Meet the Author

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan’s books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!”

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, a ragdoll cat, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

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Of Demon Kind: A Forbidden Romance Fantasy (Kingdom of Jior Fantasy Series Book 1) by Wendy L. Anderson (Book Review)

He’s heir to a dark throne. She’s a gentle healer. Will their forbidden attraction be the key to mending his broken soul?

Prince Lorn just wants to be left alone. Drinking heavily to numb the despair of failing to prevent his evil father’s horrific defeat and his own inability to conquer the humans, the devastated half-demon has spent the last five years exiled in a drunken stupor. But when he’s falsely accused of kidnapping a beautiful noble and other atrocities, he emerges vowing to fight to clear his name…by becoming her white knight.

Princess Lililaira longs to be free. Imprisoned in a sorcerer’s tower, the courageous woman is startled when a gorgeous winged man flies in through the window and offers rescue. Seizing the opportunity to escape, she places her trust in the fierce warrior’s arms in a daring flight to freedom.

Desperate to avert another brutal war, Lorn draws nearer to his lovely companion while wrestling with the sins of his past. And though Lililaira is happy to help her intriguing savior prove his innocence in return for his aid in evading her cruel father’s rule, her growing love demands she stand beside him as they set off into an unknown future.

Can they break away from eternal torment and claim their destiny together?

Of Demon Kind is the thrilling first book in the Kingdom of Jior romantic fantasy series. If you like brooding anti-heroes, chivalrous passions, and epic medieval battles, then you’ll adore Wendy L. Anderson’s magical tale.

Buy Of Demon Kind to witness the redemption of a twisted birthright today!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Of Demon Kind 
housed many scenes that must be brought to life in a full-color, live-action film. For instance:

  • Thousand black spears pointed skyward.
  • One thousand demons’ eyes glowed green.
  • Giant fireballs streaked the night sky.
  • Long awaited showdown (final battle scene)

Prince Lorn and Princess Lililaira’s union happened over winter and was expected. No offense, but falling for your rescuer and vice versa has been done repeatedly in many TV, print, and movie. But it wasn’t how they ended up in the cave that interested me. No, it was how her “kiss” could keep death from taking Loren after poison-tipped arrows struck him. The mystery of the princess and her magic powers drew my attention. 

Love found Lorn, but his mission was never far from his mind. He needed to find the Dark Sorcerer and ask why this person was using his family’s name, crest, and uniforms/colors to wreak havoc across the lands. He also needed to return Lily to her home. As you can imagine, neither task proved uneventful, and hooray for that. 

The Dark Sorcerer’s identity, intentions, and shocking truths were delivered in dramatic format. I knew the first (identity), but what the evil one disclosed (shocking truth) was a nice plot twist. (Figured out some of the revelations, but not all)

While I longed to see battle scenes embellished more, the final paragraphs show promise that the next book in the series would deliver us an epic battle scene, maybe more than one. 

 

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

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Meet the Author

Wendy L. Anderson is a writer of passionately charged fantasy. Breaking the barriers of typical fantasy themes, she created the Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series, a lusty and poetic five-book series that will have you wanting more in her Legends of Everclearing spinoff series. Inspired by authors such as Robert E. Howard and Morgan Llywelyn, Wendy went on to write three other stand-alone works; A Cut Twice as Deep, Ulrik, and Rapunzel’s Tower. These fantasy works break free from the usual boundaries of fantasy genres.

A Colorado native and mother of two; she has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson’s fantasy has action, adventure, and suspense with just the right amount of romance!

Find out more at: www.wendylanderson.com

 

Finalist in the 2022 Colorado Author’s League Awards for Rapunzel’s Tower

3rd Place Winner! Romance Writers of America Write Touch Readers; award 2020-Of Demon Kind

Finalist in the 2020 Write Touch Readers’ Award Contest

Honorable mention Great Northwest Book Contest

 

 

 

 

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Beyond the Father: Gods on Trial by Opëshum (Book Spotlight)

“Beyond the Father” sets the scene for the 8-book Epic “gods on Trial: The Series,” delving into life’s determination to transcend all limitation. Set on the planet Xżyber, citizens of the Sub-median Region, imperfectly reborn into metal oppress those who are organic. Elsewhere, in the Central Kingdom, religion supports royalty’s brutal domination of the lowest class. War over scarce resources is coming, while revolution within each region is brewing, while none know of the eccentric god who created them. This being watches, has fascinating conversations with his often-wiser companion, occasionally learns and rarely intervenes. The many levels and threads of struggle distract nearly all from a far greater threat. Meanwhile, the young Prince Anglid’s vision quest into the unexplored Area X may ultimately change everything. However, just when you think you know the direction of the story, the author has yet another surprise.

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Episode 7 – PREVIEW
Bitter-Sweet Choice

 

“Fleet number, rank, and make?” asked the assignment officer at GATE 11, on the central floor of Team Command.

“44772PX, cadet, 40% Non-Mollard,” the next in line replied, quickly.

“Cleared. Report to HAS 4 in Field 8,” the assignment officer abruptly responded. “Next? I need Fleet number, rank, and make!”

“23619RX, cadet, 30% Non-Mollard,” replied the next in line.

“You’re cleared. Report to HAS 1, in Field 10,” said the assignment officer. “Next!”

“Thank you, yes! I’m next,” responded another cadet, rushing up to the window. Her rucksack slid off of her shoulder, where the stub of a missing arm stuck out just beyond the sleeve of her shirt. “Here are all of my papers,” the cadet said, spreading out a pile of disheveled notes.

“Hold it! I just need a fleet number, a rank and your make. I don’t need your life story,” snapped the officer.

“Of course. I’m 24005RX . . . sub-cadet, 100% Non-Mollard.”

The assignment officer studied the cadet disapprovingly. “100%—non-Mollard,” he repeated, carefully scanning the cadet’s face. “Didn’t know they still let your kind in. And who is your commanding officer?” he demanded.

“Umm . . . Officer Liara, sir. And my name is Purvi,” continued the sub-cadet.

The assignment officer pushed the papers back at Purvi and frowned. “I don’t need all these papers,” the officer scowled. “And I don’t need your name!”

“I see. Thank you, sir,” Purvi responded, retrieving her papers. But then she paused. “But, you’re a Non-Mollard too, aren’t you?” she pressed. “In which case . . . well, it’s just so hard connecting with anyone here. My whole fleet is mostly Mollard, and . . .”

“Why are you still talking?” the assignment officer interrupted, while entering something into his database. “You’re cleared for HAS 12 over in Field 3.”

Realizing her gestures were unwelcome, Purvi quickly repositioned her rucksack and turned to walk away. But then she turned back around and reapproached the window, consumed by what had become a theme in her life—the burning desire to challenge what she felt was wrong. “Why are you so full of hate when you are still part flesh yourself?” she challenged.

Shocked, the assignment officer slowly looked up to meet Purvi’s bold stare and revealed the circuitry behind his colorless, prosthetic eyes. “How dare you talk to me that way, you little ‘scunt!” he seemed to growl through clench teeth. “How dare you even open your mouth to speak to me without being asked a question? You remind me of everything that shouldn’t be. You’re an unfortunate arrangement of flesh and mineral—with a mouth!” Growing even more impatient, the assignment officer stood up quickly from his chair. “You are just a waste and a burden to us all. Your kind shouldn’t even be here,” he sneered, leaning forward to make his point. “Make no error in. I am part of the new Xżyber and you’re . . . you’re completely expendable.” His voice became deeper, as did his frown. “Now get out of my line!”

Purvi’s face turned red as her anger mounted inside of her. The unfriendly exchange reminded her of the last time she spoke with Timmons, her grandfather. It was the day he had declined his chance to be uploaded to the Vangora Rima and achieve eternal presence.

It was a sullen afternoon, with the family and Timmons’ doctor. As they huddled around the bed where Timmons lay weak, his doctor implored him to reconsider his decision, given he was in the last few days of his life. However, Timmons refused to agree to the upload.

This was an opportunity his family could not fathom he would turn down, and an option only typically available to those who were at least 80% Mollard, or to those who had the means to invest in the technology.

However, Timmons, a brilliant Xżyberian—whose only misfortune was the constraints of poverty—had managed to write numerous social advisories intended to promote harmony between Mollards and Non-Mollards. He’d had hopes that his musings would provide him a source of regular income, but his published works were only well received by some. Highly criticized by most, he quickly won the label of an iconoclast and found himself forced into obscurity.

Yet still, his message captivated the Luminaries—the presiders over news and commentary—who deemed that Timmons’ writings could be useful in the management and wellbeing of the Non-Mollard community, and should be archived as a collection of noble artifacts.

With this came the rarest honor—the right to upload his consciousness to the Vangora Rima until a fully prosthetic body was constructed for him.

Purvi’s mother, who was the only surviving daughter of Timmons, sat by his bedside pleading with him to accept the offer. And Purvi, almost nineteen-years-old at the time, sat on the floor weeping.

“Dearest father, the Vangora Rima has never been within our family’s grasp before,” cried Purvi’s mother, Ariel. “We may never get there—any of us. So, why would you walk away from this now?”

Timmons struggled to speak. “Take my hand, Ariel,” he said through strained breathing. “Please remember what I taught you . . . what I taught all of you about desperation.” Timmons opened his eyes slightly. “It can and will cloud your view and disrupt your clearest thoughts.”

“But, Grandfather!” interjected Purvi. “We love you, and we want you to live forever!” Purvi placed her head down onto the bed, wiping her tears against Timmons’ frail arm.

“Ah, Purvi. My little Purvi,” he said, stroking her hair. “The Vangora Rima would not give you back the grandfather you know. The system would scrub me clean of what it deemed were my imperfections: my concern, and my empathy…my ability to love you.”

“I don’t care about how much it would change you, Grandfather,” Purvi cried. “I have enough love for the both of us.” Purvi looked up, her eyes filled with so much water she could barely see. “I am stronger than you think I am! I will love you even if you can’t love me back!”

“Shh . . . my darling, Purvi.” Timmons whispered. “Please gather yourself and listen to what I have to say.” Timmons removed a ring from his smallest finger and placed it in the palm of one of her hands. “One day, Purvi . . .” he whispered. “One day, when you are fully grown,

you will look into the face of pure evil, and I am eternally grateful that that face will not be mine.”

That was the last time Purvi heard her grandfather speak.

“Are you gonna move, or do I need to have you discharged?” The assignment officer’s voice seemed to pierce through the tender silence. “Get this ‘scunt out of my line!” he yelled, talking to one of the other officers.

Before Purvi could gather herself, she felt an abrupt yank on her shirt as she was pulled out of the line and pushed onto the ground. And before she could determine what was happening, her head was pinned to the ground by the boot of her assailant.

Purvi looked up to see two officers over her, both pointing their weapons, ready to remove her for good.

“I’m sorry! Please—” Purvi said. But then, realizing they were Mollards, and that her pleading would get her nowhere, she quickly used what she knew would save her life. “Thank you for teaching me to respect your power. I detest this flesh of mine. I honor all that is Mollard. I honor you! I honor you! Please…I honor you!”

 

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Meet the Author

Opëshum has been writing since she was a child, and believes that authors are selected by their characters to bring their stories to the world. Incredibly shy and introverted, Opëshum does not make public appearances. She prefers to remain behind the scenes as the characters in her books take center stage. Her current work, the 8-Book SciFi Epic Gods on Trial: The Series™ kicks off with Book 1, BEYOND THE FATHER.  

Opëshum calls Sheridan, Wyoming her home, where she is currently writing Book 2 of this series. She enjoys nature walks, full moons, and open spaces where she can stare up at the stars. 

1iR3 Publishers, LLC

 
 
 

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Court of Snakes: This Desert Cage by Tycho Dwelis (Book Review)

Content Rating:  PG + M: Some allusion to domestic abuse, fantasy violence, adults drinking alcohol
 
 
In the city of Segeno, it’s eat or be eaten. Someone has to rule the masses. A boy has lost his birthright. His parents killed. Dead and gone. A girl has lost her father. She means nothing to him now.

The city of Segeno stands tall after a great war, the only city left of its kind. Terran has lost both of his parents and is now on the run from a tyrant eager to kill him and cut off the royal bloodline. Parisa struggles with her own identity as even her father rejects her for the color of her skin as he claws for the throne. Along their journeys, they meet unexpected allies and encounter unprecedented magick, but, most importantly, they learn what it is to stand up for themselves and take back their city from corruption.

 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Court of Snakes: This Desert Cage by Tycho Dwelis began with a mammoth squashing a pickpocketer and The King batting more than one guard. I knew from the start that this book would be excellent, and as I finished the last line, I was correct. 


Teens and young adults will love how swiftly Terran, The King, and other characters navigated the districts. The movements reminded me of parkour. 


The King also taught Terran the real power of tarot cards. They don’t just see a person’s future; they allow chosen ones to harness the deck’s power. You don’t choose which card works in a particular situation. Instead, the cards seem to know what the bearer needs. The cards are judge, jury, and (at times) executioner. 


Many powers were displayed, but I liked when The King’s six swords came out. The written battle scenes were amazing, and I can only imagine how epic they would be if the movie industry could bring them to life. I would watch that movie in a heartbeat! 


With the build-up to the show-down, I expected it to be grander – longer. It was over too soon. That said, many unexpected moments happened when the war began- some shocking and rather sad. 


This story did conclude on a happy note, which is always lovely. 


While the cover is nice, I don’t think it lives up to the story’s contents. I think the colorful promo banner (shared on my site, Amazon, and Ireads Book Tour) would’ve been a better fit. It’s vibrant, eye-catching, and draws the eye. Well done to whoever created it. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Tycho Dwelis

I’m Tycho (I also use the pen name Cassidy), and I love storytelling! I’m incredibly passionate about writing, art, and anything that allows me to create my own worlds. My goal is to write dreamy fiction for all ages that is unique, inspiring, and imaginative. I like to write about themes that include coming of age, magic realism, identity, relationships, and bullying. My books are intended for readers ages eight to twenty-five, and are meant to connect the world of the fantastical to everyday life.

I currently live in Colorado and have an MA in Publishing.

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The Clever Toad: The Race by Danny Wilson (Book Review)


Thomas Find, a toad, has known Princess Tina, a frog, his whole life. The two grew up together and fell in love. But Tina’s father, the King, does not approve of Tina marrying a toad, even if he is a well-respected, hard-working toad like Thomas. So the King chooses two frog suitors for his daughter. Thomas refuses to give up his true love though, so he seeks a way to win her hand. When he comes across an old marriage law, he thinks he just may have a chance, but it will take careful planning and a bit of creativity. Thomas is willing to try anything and so the king agrees to a race for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and the race is on.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The Clever Toad: The Race by Danny Wilson is labeled for baby – 12 years on Amazon. Some story components should work for each birth year within that wide age bracket. For example, babies and toddlers will enjoy the fun, colorful frogs and toads. The text, however, is more suitable for pre-k and up.

“The Clever Toad: The Race” contains a great deal of text, so please keep that in mind if you are reading to a young child with a limited attention span.

If your child is just starting to read, the overall text used might prove difficult except for common words such as “and,” “the,” “make,” “ran,” “day,” “to,” and “out” etc. However, I think children (3-6) will love listening to the story being read to them. The frog race to win the princess’ hand in marriage was a cute theme. Bread will flies baked in it—not so much. However, I did eat cricket salsa once, and it was good. Oh, and cookies with bugs baked into them. Also good. FYI: I was at an insectarium where samples were served for the brave visitors. It’s not like I’m always collecting and eating bug-infused food.

Older children should be able to read all the text with no problem, especially 10-12-year-olds. They might think the images are too kiddish for them, though.

If you’re an elementary teacher and decide to share “The Clever Toad: The Race” with your class, there are plenty of challenging words that you can use for spelling or a glossary test. You might also consider having relay races outside. Maybe set up an obstacle course.

“The Clever Toad: The Race” by Danny Wilson is a book you can read for many years, which I liked. Many books are for a certain age, and then there are just collecting dust on a shelf. I think this book will be read time and time again. No dusting needed. 🙂

 

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

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