Tag Archives: scifi

Author Showcase – Jo Zebedee

Amy was five when she vanished during a family trip, only to be found hours later, clutching a golden acorn and claiming to have visited fairies. Now she’s eighteen, and the fairies are calling her back. 

While attending a wedding deep in the Antrim glens, the voices grow darker and their song takes hold. Not sure if she’s mad or if the fairies are real, she flees, drawing well-meaning Simon into her fairy-fuelled road trip. 

To escape their hold, she must confront long-hidden secrets, and find a truth which may not be hers to unearth. 

But, even then, the fairies may not let her go…

 

 

If there’s a line between fantasy and madness, then Jo Zebedee’s characters are dragged kicking and screaming across it. A dark fable about belonging that is rooted as deeply in Northern Ireland as it is in the fantasy genre, with shades of Graham Joyce thrown in for good measure. – Stephen Poore, Longlist Gemmell Award

Waters and the Wild had me in suspense from the first page to the last. Ancient legends meet the modern world in a powerful tale of haunting ambiguities. – Teresa Edgerton, author of the Green Lion Trilogy

Waters and the Wild is a sinister, heart-stopping tale of fairy abduction in the beautiful glens of Antrim. You need it. So read it. – Peadar O’Guilin, Author of The Call

 

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The alien invasion is over. Humanity lost. 

In Belfast, John Dray protects his younger siblings by working for the local hard man. Set up, he’s sent to the formidable alien prison, Inish Carraig, a fate Henry Carter, the policeman assigned to John, can’t stop. 

Once there, John discovers a plot which threatens Earth and everyone he loves. To reveal it, he has to get out and there is only one person who can help.

 

 

A bestseller in Alien Invasion, Inish Carraig is an original science fiction novel ‘blessed with an entirely novel storyline’ Alexander Stevenson-

‘A thoughtful and intelligent writer’ – Allen Stroud, British Science Fiction Association reviewer

An exceptional novel. The pace is incredible with hard hitting characters and a powerful plot.’ Sffchronices.com

‘Tight and dramatic throughout.’ Sfbook.com

‘Onto my pile of best novels of the year.’ JLDobias, author of the Cripple Mode series.

 

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“If Kare could, he’d walk away, useless to anyone. Except – he looked at the thin ribbon of blue vein on his wrist – they’d have to take his blood, too.”

Kare doesn’t want to inherit his mother’s galactic Empire. He, more than anyone, knows the cruelty she is capable of. But there is no one else who can stand against her. 

From hunted child, to the agony of being his mother’s captive, his life has never been his own. 

His destiny lies in the Empress’s city of Abendau. There, he faced her torture chambers, his mind picked apart. He’ll have to return if he is ever to forge his own future. 

 


“Zebedee possesses the rare skills to charm you with pleasantness before choking you on tragedy” – Tim C Taylor, author of the Human Legion series.

“A bright and fresh new voice in the genre” – Francis (Julia) Knight, author of Fade to Black.

“Bravura plotting and the promise of a climatic confrontation doesn’t disappoint” – Steven Poore, author of The High King’s Vengeance.

“This is shaping up to be a series that will place the author up there with the ‘names’ in science fiction'” – Andy Angel, book reviewer.

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Jo is the author of five sf and fantasy novels, based either in her native Northern Ireland or her Space Opera world of Abendau. Described as a ‘thoughtful and intelligent writer’ by the BSFA, Jo has been an Amazon bestseller across a range of categories. She also teaches writing speculative fiction and attends conventions when she can. When not writing, she runs a consultancy, runs after not-so-small-children and thinks cloning technology is the only way forward.

 

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Author Showcase – Jennifer Macaire (Legends of Persia)

When Ashley Riveraine jumped at the chance to travel back in time to meet her hero Alexander the Great, she never thought she would end up staying there…

Following Alexander the Great’s army on its journey across Persia, Ashley is walking the knife edge of history. As a presumed goddess, Ashley is expected to bless crops, make sure battles are won and somehow keep herself out of the history books.

Can Ashley avoid the wrath of the Time Institute while keeping the man she loves alive?

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*Keep scrolling down for a sneak peek*

 

Alexander was never cold. He thought I was strange, covering up in so many layers of wool and silk. I thought he was crazy, walking around half naked. The Macedonians, tough mountain people, were resistant to cold and wet. They strode through the snow barefoot, or as a slight concession wore sandals. The boots had worn out after only a couple of weeks, yet they had continued to put them on long after the soles had fallen off. To make me feel better, they said. The Greeks were used to warmer weather. They huddled in their cloaks and wore boots and mittens. Most of them thought that the Macedonians, besides being barbarians, had some loose screws. The folk the Macedonians referred to as “barbarians” were Artabazus’s tribesmen from the Zagros Mountains. They were a massive group, usually tawny or redhaired, with blue or green eyes, and standing roughly seven feet tall. They were impervious to cold, or heat, or just about anything. They even survived the crazy football games Alexander organized in the snowy fields of Samarkand.

The games became a fixture that winter. A goat, hollowed out and stuffed with enough straw to make it resemble a football (well, in your nightmares maybe), was carried from one end of the field to the other. And there were roughly fifty people in the way who wanted to take it from you and run in the opposite direction. And you could never be quite sure who was playing on your team. The teams seemed variable things; one played for one team and then when the mood struck, one changed sides. There were no uniforms; if anyone tried to wear anything it was ripped off within seconds. So approximately eighty naked men and a stuffed goatskin hashed it out on a large, flat, snow covered field.

The snow was soon cleared away, and the farmer lucky enough to own the field didn’t have to worry about plowing or fertilizer for the next season. Enough blood and guts were spilled to insure a heavy crop. The villagers and the soldiers not playing lined the field and cheered. Sometimes the players spilled over into the spectators, and sometimes it was the other way around. There were people standing, sitting, eating picnic lunches, sitting in trees or on walls, and riding horses up and down the sidelines to watch. After the game, there was a big barbecue nearby. Goats and cows were grilled, and everyone ate, drank, and insulted the losers. The losers usually drank the most, bled the most, and made the most noise when they were drunk.

Usse spent hours binding, splinting and fixing up the players. He shook his head. “They get more wounds from goatball than against the opposing forces,” he told Alexander.

“Well, they keep out of trouble,” he answered, picking up a handful of snow and eating it.

I picked up some snow, too, and carefully fashioned it into a snowball. He caught me watching him, and I tried to look innocent.

“What’s behind your back?” he asked me.

“Nothing,” I said, smiling sweetly.

“Let me see?”

Well, he asked for it. Afterwards, he held me down in the snow and stuffed handfuls of it down my back. I thought that was horribly unfair and told him he was a brute.

Then we went to see what the fuss was about on the playing field. Alexander was considered an unofficial referee. Whenever there was a discussion (i.e., a huge, bloody fight), he would be called on to mediate.

This time, we arrived to find a large heap of Macedonians sitting on a small pile of Egyptians with several Greeks thrown in. The barbarians had taken the goatskin and were fighting among themselves; a lone, slightly mad Spartan was in the middle of that fray. The Bactrians and Madrians, still new to the army, were trotting around the fringes of the fight, unsure of whom they were going to help at this point, and the Persians, who prided themselves on just about everything, were jumping up and down screaming that nothing was going right. I remarked to Alexander that this was a fairly typical epitome of his army, and he nodded thoughtfully.

The players were separated, the wounded sent to the infirmary, one on a stretcher. Alexander listened as they all shouted at him at once, the words most used being, “they cheated,” and “it wasn’t fair”. After pretending to listen for five or six minutes, Alexander tilted his head to one side and in a very wise voice asked, “Who has the ball?”

There was a brief silence as everyone looked down at their hands, checked out his neighbor, then saw that the barbarians had crossed the line and were piled up on the far side of the field having a great fight over who should carry the ball back to the middle to start again. Faint cries of “you did it last time” and “it’s my turn now” floated over the frosty air.

“I rule that they won,” said Alexander, pointing towards the barbarians, “and the game is over for today.” He held up his hands to forestall any groans. “Everyone is invited to eat ox tonight. I shall provide the wine!”

“Hurrah for Iskander, Oh, Mighty King!” bellowed all the players, and they rushed off to wash for dinner. Except for the Spartan, face down and unconscious on the field.

Alexander and I linked arms and strolled through the crowd. The townspeople were in awe of him, and they stood back a respectful distance. The sun was going down, in a few hours the oxen would be cooked, and fragrant smoke from cooking fires tickled my nose. Someone offered us a cup of hard cider. It was steaming hot, spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with honey.

We thanked the man, whom I vaguely recognized as one of the cooks working in the army. Alexander knew his name, though, and the man turned bright red with pleasure when Alexander handed the cup back to him saying, “My thanks, Khrysbaz, your cider is better than any I’ve ever had.”

The hot drink had warmed my belly. I leaned my head on Alexander’s shoulder. “What are you thinking about?” I asked him, hearing a large sigh.

“Barsine. I’m worried. It was the sports that put her to mind. She always was one for organizing games.” He shook his head ruefully. “She alone nearly wiped out half my army when we camped near Persepolis.”

I smiled, remembering the very large, redhaired princess throwing her javelin straight through Plexis’s tent one afternoon. Plexis had been standing behind her. She’d done it on a dare. She’d also done it to drive home a point. She was telling Plexis to stay away from her husband. Plexis had turned a rather sickly shade of green and had gone to sit beneath a fig tree for a while.

Alexander turned to me and cupped my face in his hands. “Why is it you aren’t jealous of my other wives?” he asked me.

“Because I am the one with you,” I answered. “I would be jealous of anyone who took you away from me. Why ask me that now?”

He looked over my head towards the far mountains. “I don’t know. I was wondering, that’s all. I’m terribly jealous. I would kill anyone who tried to take you away from me.”

“Don’t say that,” I said, strangely affected by his words. “We love each other. For me, that’s all that matters.”

He brushed his thumbs across my lips. “I think that’s why I can’t do without you,” he said. “You don’t care about my conquests, my kingdom, or my power. You care about me, only about me. If I were a beggar you would still feel the same about me.”

“Because you would still be yourself,” I said gravely. “In your case, it’s not the crown that makes the man. You wouldn’t change if you were a king, or if you were a beggar. You are completely Alexander, no matter what.”

He kissed me, bringing a rush of heat to my belly. “I am Alexander, no matter what,” he agreed, and he laughed.

The people around us turned at his laughter and smiled. He had a contagious, rich laugh, that overflowed like a child’s. I saw wonder in many faces. Alexander tossed his purple cape jauntily over my shoulders, covering us both in its purple swathe. “I want to ravish you here, in front of everyone, as we did at the ceremony of the fields.” He felt me stiffen and laughed louder. “You’re as pink as a carnation! Just look at you blush!” And he leaned closer and whispered a few things that turned my cheeks absolutely crimson.

We barely made it into the tent, and Axiom just had time to clear out before Alexander had my winter clothes strewn all over the floor.

“What’s this?” he’d cry, as another layer was uncovered. “You have more protection than my cavalry! What? Another shift? By the gods, woman, it’s like peeling an onion!”

After making love, we lay in a comfortable tangle on his bed. I was warm; Alexander’s body radiated more heat than the brazier standing nearby. Outside, the snow had begun to fall again. The farmers were overjoyed. To them, snow was a precious gift from the gods, and hardly a day went by that I didn’t find a present of some sort left outside the tent. The people still thought I had something to do with the harvest goddess. Not that I minded. I loved finding a small wicker basket full of crisp red apples, with a light layer of snow like frosting on them, or a jug of hard cider, or a knit shawl.

 

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Author Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband and three children. She lived in the Virgin Islands and used to work as a model. She met her husband at the polo club where he was playing. All that is true, but she mostly likes to make up stories. 
She has published over twenty novels. 

Her short stories have been published by Three Rivers Press, Nothing But Red, The Bear Deluxe, and The Vestal Review, among others. One of her short stories was nominated for the Push Cart Prize (Honey on Your Skin) and is now being made into a film. Her short story ‘There be Gheckos’ won the Harper Collins /3 AM flash fiction prize.

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Author Showcase – G. E. Stills (Empress of Evil)

For 18+

Aiden is on the run from a dangerous cult who wants him dead. While hiding in a rundown mansion in a Louisiana swamp, he stumbles across two beautiful women, but these two are not ordinary women. From the beginning, he discovers they’re sassy, ornery, and powerful witches from another world. They join him and they bond in ways he could never have imagined. Aiden knows he can’t run and hide forever, and now there are two others included in the deadly cult’s crosshairs.

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~~ MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY ~~

(Excerpt Empress of Evil. Aiden meets Raine and Sierra)

 

Aiden read the note again as he peered down at the warning engraved on the box lid. “Humph…I’m not superstitious and never had much fear of curses.” He lifted the box and removed the key which he put in his pocket then opened the lid.

A puff of air, probably from the box having long been sealed, caused Aiden to jerk his head back and close his eyes. When he opened them again he scrutinized the two tiny beds and chairs inside. “Miniature doll house furniture but otherwise nothing, just as I thought.”

He turned to enter the opening on the other side of the fireplace, intent on exploring other parts of the house. Behind him two columns of smoke blipped into being. The smoke quickly dissipated. He spun quickly at the sound of the female voice. “Thank you for freeing us, Aiden,” it said.

The one who had spoken had brunette hair with blue streaks. The woman standing beside her had blonde hair with red streaks.

“About damn time someone set us free,” blondie said. “This place is a fucking mess, by the way. I can hardly wait to get the hell out of here.”

“Great, I’ve loosed two sawed off little runt ghosts to add to my misery and one of them has a smart mouth.”

Brunette scowled at her companion, and said, “I’m Sierra and this is Raine. We’re not ghosts, we’re sprites.”

Aiden took a closer look at the two. True, they didn’t wear billowing shrouds as he’d expected from descriptions he’d read of spirits, nor were they semi-transparent. Instead, Sierra wore a blue corset and Raine a crimson one. Both wore collars around their necks and had mittens on their hands. Aiden snorted at the skirts they wore. Hot pink tutus. “You may be short little shits, five-foot-nothing I estimate, but you’re taller than any fantasy pictures of sprites I’ve seen. I have to admit your assets are wonderfully displayed and the hot-pink tutus are a nice touch.”

Raine gazed down at the garment and shrieked. “This had to be Pequa’s idea. She knows how much I detest pink. Fucking bitch.” She ripped it away and flung it to the floor. Sierra calmly removed hers and dropped it beside her.

Aiden turned his back to them and dismissively waved his hand in the air. “Go away, spooks, I have other more important things to do, like checking out the rest of this dump.”

The block of wood, a piece of the crumbling furniture he decided, struck his back moments later with a thud and stung. Aiden spun in time to see Raine pick up another piece.

“Hey, we weren’t done talking to you,” she said.

“That hurt. Don’t do it again. So you have the ability to move objects. I’ve heard some ghosts can do that. What makes you think it’s your decision to make whether our conversation is over or not?” he asked.

“Raine—” Sierra started.

Raine stamped her foot in anger. “We’re in charge here, not you.” She flung a second piece. This one struck his thigh just to the right of his balls.

“You little shit,” he shouted. “That was too close. A little more to the left and you’d have hit something I don’t want hit.”

Raine smiled. “You’re lucky my aim is off from being imprisoned so long or you’d be lying on the floor doubled up in pain. I won’t miss the next time. You’re lucky I’m wearing this collar or you’d get a taste of my lightning magic.”

“Thank you for that bit of information. It reinforces my decision to keep this key I have in my pocket.”

Sierra shot a frown of disapproval at Raine.

“You’re infuriating,” Raine said. “You…you…despicable…human.”

Aiden laughed. “Well now, I’ve been called a lot of less than complimentary names in my life, but I’ve never been called a human in a derogatory manor. Fucking pesky ghost!”

In answer, Raine flung another block of wood at him. Aiden put up his hand and splayed his fingers wide. The block of wood stopped in midflight and everything else in the room, including Raine and Sierra became motionless, frozen in time. “I’m human but not the powerless type you take me for. I have the ability to stop time for five minutes and also to become invisible.”

Aiden crossed the room and stepped up behind Raine. “Time you learned some manors you little minx,” he told her. Without thinking, he aimed a smack at her bare ass only easing up his strike when he thought of how her body was just a mirage. His hand would sail through the illusion in the air, causing him to lose his balance. To his shock, his hand contacted soft, pliable skin. The splat reported through the room loud as a gunshot. So you are material after all and not just an illusion. Well then deal with this you little shit. He pulled her panties down around her ankles and grinned. “That spank is going to turn red and sting, then you’ll hopefully find your lowered underwear embarrassing. Serves you right you little minx.”

 

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G.E. Stills is zany but has a serious side. He lives in the southwest with a wife and two fur babies. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He lives in the southwest but often longs to live by the sea. He frequently says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

Most days will find him hovering over his keyboard putting to words the stories of the many characters that pace into his mind. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author, his stories cover many genres including contemporary, paranormal, and science fiction. Most of his stories have action, adventure, and humor. Some of them are erotic and some are not, but all have romance. His paranormal stories normally involve witches, demons or vampires with an occasional shape shifter thrown in for good measure.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

Website / Blog / Youtube
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
Twitter / Amazon Author Page  / Goodreads / Google+

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Author Showcase – Lana Melyan (The Eternity Road series)

~~ BOOK ONE ~~

YA Paranormal

 

When her best friend’s brother tells her that two strange men are following her, Amanda thinks that Craig is just being overprotective. Amanda has nursed a secret crush on Craig for years, but he’s never seemed to notice or care about her before.

But Craig’s warning coincides with a strange dream, and Amanda starts to get the sense that nothing in her life is what it seems to be—and that perhaps nothing in her life will ever be the same again.

Then Hanna and Craig start acting really strange. They forbid Amanda from going anywhere without them and insist that she’s in danger.

What Amanda doesn’t know is that Craig and Hanna are Hunters. And their job is to protect Amanda from the vampires chasing her so that she can fulfill her mission. The only catch is that Amanda has no clue she even has a mission to fulfill…

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~~ OUT NOW ~~

The Book is open, the Hunters’ powers are back, but Fray’s plan is back in motion as he gets away with the Book. To Eleanor’s surprise, nobody rushes after him. Instead, Samson lets Fray go and asks Eleanor to put her trust in him once more. Leaving the Hunters with the task of finding the transitioning vampires, he and Craig depart on a secret mission.

 

~~ SMALL TEASER ~~

The lock on the thin, metal backdoor of the gas station seemed a little complicated. Riley wedged the crowbar between the lock and the door-frame, and the second he pushed it, a book-sized plastic box attached to the wall on the other side of the door exploded with such power that the three of them flew back twenty feet in different directions. The blow shot a huge amount of dust into the air. The pieces of euro pallets and shards of concrete showered down on them.
“What the hell was that,” wheezed Eleanor, sitting up and shaking the dust from her hair.
“Sorry, honey, did it ruin your new outfit?” said Ruben, looking at the blood on his jeans, torn on the hip. “Look at the bright side,” he groaned, pulling himself up and rubbing his back, “The door is open.”
 
 
 
 
 
~~Review~~

 

In the war between good versus evil, there are bound to be casualties on both sides. It’s inevitable. In The Eternity Road – The Return, Lana wrote several sections demonstrating each side’s strength and why they should be feared. Yeah, be prepared for some bloody crime scenes where vamps left a trail of carnage behind. The hunters did bag a few bloodsuckers as well but I do think Fray’s side proved more victorious than not. 

In the final moments of The Eternity Road – The Return, we see a glimmer of hope that finally some answers to questions touched upon, but never clarified, will be unveiled. Most Hunters are in the dark. Fray wonders what Samson is up to and so did I.

For me, I don’t think enough time was spent on Samson and Craig’s secret mission. They seemed more like an afterthought to the storyline. However, based off the final paragraph, I know they will be front and center during part III.

For now, let me state I did enjoy reading the emotional ride of being a Hunter and loving one. Poor Ruben, Lana shown us the internal struggle he faced every day to do his job without casting fear in his love’s eyes. Luckily for him, he had nothing to worry about. As for Kimberly, unfortunately, her problems aren’t over it.

Lana, I can’t wait to see what you have planned for them next.

 

 

Heart Rating System

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

 Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

 
 
 
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When she came home from work one day and, tired, crashed on the couch in front of the TV, she found her daughters (13 and 17 years old then) watching some TV show with horrible monsters. She couldn’t convince them to switch the channel, so she watched it with them. Later she would love that show as much as they did. That TV show was “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” She was always interested in supernatural stories, but this was something new, something different, that made her want to create her own story in that genre.

 
Twitter: @lanamelyan

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Author Showcase – Jennifer Allis Provost (The Chronicles of Parthalan)

~BOOK ONE ~

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm…  

When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all. 
 
Caol’nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion. 
 
What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well. 
 
 
 
 
 

~~ BOOK TWO ~~

 
A broken queen. A friendship mired in deceit. Can one man from the desert help hold the realm together? 

Asherah, Queen of Parthalan and Lady of Tingu, has led her people through eight centuries of prosperity. That peace shatters when Mersgoth, the mordeth thought long dead, attacks Teg’urnan. In the aftermath a new warrior emerges: Aeolmar, a man as secretive as he is deadly.
 
Asherah and Aeolmar race across Parthalan in pursuit of Mersgoth, and track the beast to the High Desert. While they’re gone, Harek, now Prelate of Parthalan, conspires with the Dark Fae against the elves…Against Leran, the king of the elves and Asherah’s son in all but blood. Will Asherah see the truth of Harek before it’s too late, or will he bring down the fae once and for all?
 
 
 
 
~~~ BOOK THREE ~~~
 
A stolen girl. A legendary champion. A plan that might destroy Parthalan once and for all…

Aeolmar, First Hunter of Parthalan, leads a solitary life. Having long since abandoned his quest to kill Mersgoth—the demon that murdered his family—Aeolmar moves through his days with cold efficiency. Everything changes when he leads a training mission in Brennus, where he’s attacked by Mersgoth himself, and saved by an unlikely heroine.

Latera, first born and heir to Gannera’s throne, is kidnapped and left for dead in Parthalan’s vast forests. A lone human amongst Parthalan’s fae, she makes a home in Brennus, and lives a quiet life—until she finds herself defending a wounded First Hunter from a clutch of demons.

Back in Parthalan, Harek warns Asherah of something called the deva’shi—a warrior loyal only to the demon lord, Asgeloth. Both Aeolmar and Latera suspect that there is more to this deva’shi than what Harek has told them, but before they can learn the truth, Parthalan’s borders are attacked. Will Aeolmar and Latera be able to stop the deva’shi in time, or is it a distraction to hide Harek’s true plans?

 
 
 
 
 
To buy all three right now, use this link —-> CLICK ON ME
 
 
 
 
Golem – 2017
Elfsong – 2017
Blood Prince – 2018
 
 
Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.
 

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Review of “Gallowglass” – Jennifer Allis Provost

Publisher: Bellatrix Press; 1 edition (April 13, 2017)

 

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

 

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

 

I’ve always longed to visit Scotland. It appears to be a magical place where all your worries are washed away once you get a glimpse of it and all its splendor. I know Karina was thinking the same thing until the unthinkable became real. When the idea of magic and magical creatures wasn’t so far-fetched after all.

While attempting to work on her thesis, Karina and Chris’s lives took an unexpected turn. What was supposed to be a quiet, explorative trip for Karina’s  doctorate became so much more. Instead of unearthing rocks, they unearthed things of legend: fuath (water demons), fey, wights (pixies) and much more. Some beings were grotesques monsters and some otherworldly beings were sweet and friendly. Unfortunately, Karina and Christ had run-ins with rather unsavory beasts.

Jennifer was very descriptive in the construction of the various creatures and the battles Robert faced during their meet ups. For instance, imagine running into this: 7 to 8 ft. tall being with thick gray hide and covered in lesions. Would you run away or scream like your hair is on fire? Me…. I’d probably faint on the spot. And that is only one beastie Karina saw after Robert applied the fairy ointment to her face. BTW: the fairy ointment allows normal people to see beyond glamour and spells. In one hand, wicked cool. On the other hand, the ointment is more of a curse than a blessing.

Speaking of curses: The Seelie Queen cursed Robert but, in true romantic fashion, the curse will be lifted by the time Jennifer ended this magically marvelous book. Love will be tested and I mean TESTED. After all is said and done, neither Robert nor Karina will question their love for each other….EVER!

As for Chris, well his story took quite a surprising turn. A twist I didn’t see coming. BRAVO, Jennifer! At the end of the day…err book… it is apparent his binge drinking days are over and his life is forever changed. FOR THE BETTER! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.

Find her on the web here: http://authorjenniferallisprovost.com/     

Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennallis

Follow her on Twitter: @parthalan

 

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Author Showcase – Kevin Hammond (The King’s Peace)

The Kingdom is young and yet it stands in great peril. Dark tales of the unnatural have reached the King’s city. The King is slain in his bed and the storm on the horizon brings black ships closer to the coastal city of Erenon. Nathaniel, a clever thief has stumbled upon a job that brings him to the home of the King when he is slain and Nathaniel is unwillingly dragged into the quest to reach the southern garrison which has gone quiet in recent months. Strange powers are helping and hindering him and the small company of soldiers dispatched to that garrison as war comes to the city.

They will find those horrors that plague the common man, an ancient legend will unravel, and a deception so epic in scale it involves the Gods. The whole world of man and nations who live on the other side of the mountain range known as the Great Divide will come together in a war no one really understands and as the kingdom fights to survive it will face an enemy they know nothing about.

 

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Between the two men, one of the serving girls had placed a candle and Nathaniel watched for long minutes in silence. The flame shone so bright in the dim corner of the room where they sat. The Duke sipped a cool glass of water and the men milled around the room trying to get the place cleaned up for the morning when the locals would come by expecting food and drink. He had no idea that the Duke would allow him to sit for as long as he needed before giving his answer, nor did he know how much time had passed. He extended his hearing around the room to isolate the many conversations and hushed whispers among the people in the room. Two men near the door spoke of the genius plan to install archers on the balcony of a brothel across the road. Another man was offering a silent prayer to whichever God he favored. He asked that his wife and young daughter be well cared for in his absence, but he spared little thought for himself, and Nathaniel approved of the man’s selflessness and care for his family. He wondered if he might ever live long enough to have what this man ached to be away from. Hector, on the other hand, cursed the King’s men quietly while scrubbing some unseen mess made in the kitchen by the soldiers battling with the fake guildsmen who had managed to flee that way.

The Duke was sitting quietly staring off into space as the young thief peered at the candle. His mind and his senses were away somewhere else and he could not have named that moment when the flame of the candle had turned black. He sat for long moments staring at the ominous, dark motion of that snaking flame, but as his mind was elsewhere he did not call any alarm or draw attention to it. And Nathaniel continued to stare at that dark flame until the creeping itch travelled up his spine and a terrible alarm pounded in the back of his head. Slowly, in a voice filled with a terror he had never before experienced, he managed to grind out the words “Something is terribly wrong.”

With his senses extended still, around the room, he heard the conversations fall mute. Hector stopped cursing the mess and the soldiers had stopped cleaning. One man silently crossed himself, and many instinctively reached for their weapons. The storm had picked up in earnest and the darkness outside was complete. Inside the room something had filled the air. It was an ecstatic tension buzzing between the people like something travelling around, under the tables, men jumped as they felt something brush past their feet.

He heard the rolling hiss of something swirling around the room. There was no point of issue and it was charging the air with energy. Nathaniel thought he could almost see something turning around in the shadows of the room, in the corners of the building, travelling around the ceiling.

And the scream, so filled with helpless terror, was cut short with a gargling cry and a vile hissing as blood coursed from the soldier’s neck; behind him stood one of the false guildsmen. His body had been hacked to shreds by the soldiers and it was so impossible that he could live yet he had torn the throat from a live man. The monster’s stumbling gait was its only betrayal of the deep injuries inflicted from the passage of his death. There was a cruel glimmer that Nathaniel thought might have been pleasure within the coal black shades of his eyes as he crammed some of the dead soldier’s flesh into his mouth.

Most of the men in the room were frozen in mute horror at what they were seeing, their eyes recorded it but their minds couldn’t process it. The dead were rising, for vengeance, for wrath, for whatever dark intent fuelled their desire. The weapons were held in shaking hands by ashen white faces but no one made the move to attack. The reality of it, the cruelty of it, had not dawned on the soldiers fully until they saw their own comrade- freshly killed- beginning to stir on the floor. As his coal black eyes fixed on the living, some of the younger soldiers expelled the contents of their stomachs.

Amid rasping, unintelligible threats and flailing limbs, the walking dead ambled forward, and the soldiers slowly moved backward-inch by painful inch. From the kitchen they could hear Hector and the serving girls fending off the creatures come back to life, until they burst through the door with panic strewn on their faces.

“Barricade that door!” The Duke screamed, and the soldiers came to life with the practiced obedience of listening to his authority. Two men broke ranks to help the girls shove tables before the kitchen door and held it in place while the pummeling assault came from the other side. The creatures vented a deep throated rage as they tried to smash their way through.

Nathaniel loosed a throwing dagger with a strong throw and the knife struck a guildsman square in the chest. It would have been a mortal blow for a living man but the creature barely even flinched.

“Fall back, hold the line, press them away with your swords.” Jorge barked orders at his men. The soldiers gave up ground slowly while the creatures came on. A few men dared hacking blows that severed limbs but the dead pressed further on, until the living had given up fully half of the bar room.

Dashing behind the soldiers, Nathaniel reached for a broken table leg, wrapping it in some table cloths and poked the brand into the flames of Hector’s hearth. The rags quickly caught fire and he returned to the line to throw amid the dead men. The brand caught fire on one guildsman’s leg but the creature stumbled forward with one arm and a leg partially alight, still questing after the flesh of the living. “Don’t lose your heads, hold your line and strike for their limbs,” Jorge ordered his men.

“Gods save us,” McKeen uttered a loud curse as he returned to the bar. Some of the undead turned to face him but the burly Sergeant did not turn and run as expected. Nathaniel watched in awe as he locked the door behind him. “Can’t have you fellas roving about my good city now can we? Wouldn’t be good and proper for the fancy folks to see your like parading about chewing up their nice outfits, no we can’t have that.” The Sergeant pulled his sword and roared like a man possessed as the first of the guildsmen drew near. His long blade sliced in a powerful arc to sever the thing’s head from its shoulders and the body crumpled in a heap on the floor. The body lay still as the head rolled around the floor, still gargling and hissing.

“Set to, gentlemen, the Duke gave the quiet command and the men pressed on the counter to hack and slash at the heads of the undead. Nathaniel saw little use for himself in the fight but he mustered the courage to pick up a fallen man’s sword and help to press the unliving backward so the soldiers could do their job.

“Ware the limbs!” Jorge warned, as he ducked an arm to drive his sword upwards through a dead man’s neck. With a savage twist he pried the head clean off the shoulders. While the undead snatched and grasped for any contact with human flesh, the soldiers worked in pairs to parry their limbs while his partner placed the killing stroke to take the head clean from the shoulders. The fray took little time to come to an end and, though the men looked sick with fear, they knew it was a miracle that only one man had died. The resistance in the kitchen was brief compared to the main assault that took place within the bar room with only a few of the undead left to be dispatched.

A blood spattered Duke stood to the left flank of the melee in the midst of a small gathering of headless men “Sergeant McKeen? Are you still alive, sir?”

“Present and in good working order, sir.”

“Mind telling me how you came upon inspiration to save the day then, Sergeant?”

“Gods save us, sir. I hail from the small island of Forfar on the Southern Reaches, beyond the widow’s peak, sir. The people have been around from before the Kingdom and they say there was a village overrun in our history. They say one night when a dark storm brewed that the dead folks long since passed had come back to tear at the living. They say, sir, that they craved the taste of living flesh, and ought to blame us for their passing as we are alive and they had already gone to their maker. That the body is dead and the mind possessed by some dark magic, they say the only way to kill them was to sever the head from the body. It’s bloody butchery, if you don’t mind me saying, sir. But now we best tend to the corpses and the severed heads. If legend be true then the heads will never die until the spell is ended. But we are best to burn all that’s left of them so they might never find way to rise again.”

 

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I always thought there was something very iconic about falling down a really big hole. Until that happens I’ll just write some stuff.

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Author Showcase / Interview – Jennifer Macaire (The Road to Alexander)

 

  1. Welcome, Jennifer! 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?

(JM) Hello Kam, and thank you for the warm welcome! I think I was born with a pen in my hand – I’ve written stories since I could put letters together to make words. My mother (who else?) still has a copy of my first book written when I was 6, called ‘Tafy the Wunder Hors’. I have made progress in spelling since then, but the joy and creative passion is still intact. I love to invent stories.

 

 

  1. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.

(JM) I sacrifice to Calliope, muse of epic poetry. A bar of chocolate and a cup of coffee usually do the trick. Otherwise, I’ll send a prayer to the Oneiri. In Greek mythology, the (Ὄνειροι, “Dreams”) were various gods and demigods that ruled over dreams and nightmares. My favorite would be Morpheus – god of dreams, but Phobetor, the god of nightmares, is handy too. Many of my books are born of dreams.

Source: wikipedia.org

 

  1. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(JM) I have a “real” job as an assistant to an orthodontist that keeps me grounded and gives me a different kind of job satisfaction. We say, here in the office, that we make smiles. I love my work, and we have a great team working together.

 

 

  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?

(JM) Since I live in France, and my books are all in English, it’s rather a let-down when people find out I write but that they can’t read my books. (Let down for me, that is – I can’t brag or show off, lol) So far, none have been translated into French. I have one translated into German and another in Thai – but no French. Otherwise, I don’t hesitate to tell people I’m a writer – it seems natural, since it’s so much a part of me.

 

 

  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.

(JM) Ray Bradbury, Dorothy Dunnett, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Larry Mcmurtry, Diana Norman, Louise Penny, Ian Rankin, Philippa Gregory, Mary Renault…there are ten, but like you said, I could go on forever!

(KAM): It is truly difficult to stop at ten. Like you, I’m sure, my favorite’s list grows longer each day. 

 

 

  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?

(JM) Well, my wish came true when The Game of Thrones became a TV series – I devoured those books, and the mini-series did them justice. If I could see my Time for Alexander series be transformed into a show, like Game of Thrones, that would be so cool. I’d need a huge cast of characters, and for the main part, I’d love to see Paris Jackson play the part of Ashley – she’s a tough girl, with a strong character. She’d be perfect. As for Alexander, a certain Alexander Richard Pettyfer might be good, and Richard Madden as Plexis.                      

(KAM) Can you believe I’ve yet to watch it?! Maybe one day I shall see what all the fuss is about. I’ve heard rave reviews regarding the books and show. 

 

 

  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.

(JM) Not top secret, but taking a while because squeezed in with promoting and my day job – I’m writing a YA story about a daughter of a Muse, she’s mortal, lived in the present day, and wants to become a great hero so she can become immortal and join her mother’s family on Olympus. I can tell you right now, it’s an impossible dream. (But what are dreams for, right?)

(KAM) Sounds fantastic! 

 

 

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

(JM) The first one in the Time for Alexander series is ‘The Road to Alexander””, and there are 7 books in the series. They’ll be coming out every 3 months or so – all are written and I’m just in edits with the later books. Writing is easy – editing is tough.

 

 

Otherwise, there is a list on Goodreads, and also on Amazon are a few of my other books. I have a really cool space cowboy series about horses that travel through the galaxy at Evernight Teen (‘Riders of the Lightning Storm’ is the first book in that series)……..

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…..and also at Evernight are ‘Jack the Stripper’ and ‘Murder and Mayhem’ that feature zombies and vampires, oh my!

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

(JM) My Time for Alexander FB page is: https://www.facebook.com/TimeforAlexander/

My blog is: https://jennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

My author webpage is: https://authorjennifermacaire.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @jennifermacaire

 

 

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

(JM) Nothing really – except – I am eternally grateful to readers everywhere! I feel like we’re a dying breed sometimes. Buying books can be expensive and it’s hard to budget sometimes, so I am always thankful when someone takes the time to invest in one of my stories. I buy books too – my favorite pastime is reading (besides biking – I love my bicycle!) And if you, dear reader, could just put a small review or remark on your blog, tweet, Amazon review – anything – I promise that every little bit helps, and this author, at any rate, is truly thankful.

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

Jennifer, thank you for divulging a bit of yourself with all of us here today. It has been a true pleasure getting to know you.

Now folks, before you go back to work/school/etc, please grace us with a few more minutes of your time and lets take a more in-depth look at  The Road to Alexander. 

THANKS!! 

 

After winning a prestigious award, Ashley is chosen to travel through time and interview a historical figure. Choosing her childhood hero Alexander the Great, she is sent back in time for less than a day. He mistakes her for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. What follows, after she awakes under the pomegranate tree, is a hilarious, mind-bending tale of a modern woman immersed in the ancient throes of sex, love, quite a bit of vino, war, death and ever so much more.

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EXCERPT

 

I wondered if I should speak or wait until he spoke to me. I was irritated to feel myself getting flustered. Then Alexander sat down next to me with a fluid movement and I stifled an exclamation.

‘What can I give you? Grapes? Some wine?’

‘That sounds fine,’ I said, my fingers itching for a pen so I could write down all my impressions. But I had to wait until I got back. Until then, I was supposed to make a mental note of every word and action.

He chose a grape for me and gently put it into my mouth. It was one of the most sensual gestures anyone had ever made to me. I felt faint, and, when he leaned over and kissed me, I toppled over onto the rug with hardly a whimper. Alexander obviously thought I’d come to see him for only one reason. I guess he was smothered with women throwing themselves on him, but vestal virgins? My body was saying, ‘Yes! Yes!’ My head said, ‘Ashley! Get a hold of yourself this instant!’ I sat up and pushed him away.

‘Sorry, I can’t do this,’ I said.

His expression of surprise was comical. ‘You mean, you really did come from the temple?’

‘Can we talk?’ I avoided the question and took a bunch of grapes.

‘Not those,’ he said, plucking them from my hand and putting them back into the bowl. ‘Those grapes are poisoned. I keep them in case an enemy comes. So, what do you want to talk about?’ His brow furrowed, then his face cleared. ‘Ah, yes, I recall. You’re the onirocrite. So, what dreams have you had?’

‘I dreamt that I came to your tent while you were sleeping. In your sleep you were calling out my name, the secret one that I can’t tell to anyone except the goddess. When you woke up you saw me. You said that I must come to you because you had a dream that you wanted me to interpret for you. You also said that it was a waking dream.’

He looked interested. ‘Really? And just what is a waking dream?

‘It’s like a wish,’ I said. ‘It’s what you want to do with your life. Can you tell me about it?’ I was hoping for grist for the prize-winning article that I was going to write when I got back. No one knew why Alexander had decided to conquer Persia and travel as far as the Indus River. It was a mystery, and I’d decided to solve it.

Instead of answering me, he lay back on his bed, put his arms above his head and stretched, showing off his lean body with its beautiful, flowing lines. ‘That’s too bad,’ he said. ‘I was hoping you were one of the virgins who didn’t want to be sacrificed. There are lots of them, you know,’ he added, looking at me sideways out of his magnificent eyes. ‘When they don’t want to be sacrificed they simply cease to be virgins, if you get my meaning.’

‘I do,’ I said, ‘and I’m flattered. But can we get back to the subject of my visit?’

‘A single-minded woman,’ he sighed. ‘You remind me of my mother. She’s terribly stubborn. She hated it when I sucked my thumb, so I did it for years just to spite her.’

‘Well, that explains your teeth,’ I said, vexed to be compared to his mother.

He looked at me, his expression unreadable. I started to think that maybe conversations about his mother weren’t the best idea, but all he said was, ‘You want to hear about my dreams, is that it?’

‘Please,’ I said, concentrating on his next words.

‘Very well.’ He stood up, poured two glasses of wine from an earthenware pitcher, and sat down next to me again, handing me one. The wine had a faint spicy note.

I was feeling smug. The article was going to net me a huge prize. I could just imagine the accolades. I was going to be famous; I couldn’t wait to see the faces of those who’d been waiting to see me fail. ‘Cheers,’ I said, and sipped. The drink wasn’t bad. It was young grape wine with spices and a trace of honey. It had been watered down so it was refreshing.

He raised his eyebrows. ‘Cheers?’

‘Here’s to your health,’ I amended.

We sipped our wine in silence for a few minutes while he studied me. Finally he put down his glass and shook his head. ‘There’s something strange about you,’ he said, ‘though I cannot say exactly what it is. You are impressed, I sense this, and you are interested. But, you are not afraid. Perhaps it is your lack of fear I detect the most. I am extremely attuned to fear; my father beat it into me. But it goes deeper than that.’ As he spoke, he wound his body around me, pausing now and then to touch my cheeks, my neck, or my breast. ‘I get a very peculiar feeling from you. There is a coldness, a frost that emanates from your very bones.’ He paused and ran his hands lightly down my sides.

‘I don’t know what you mean,’ I stammered. ‘I’ve wanted to meet you since I first heard about you. It was a dream, and now it’s come true.’ The passion in my voice startled me. I frowned, struggling to keep my emotions in check. This was not the cool, calm, collected Ashley I knew.

Alexander took my hand, stroking the inside of my wrist before pressing it to his mouth. ‘I want to bite you,’ he said. ‘I want to shake you out of your indifference. I want to hear you scream.’ He stared at me, a fierce expression in his uncanny eyes. ‘My mother is cold like you. She’s as cold as the ice on the mountaintops.’

I shivered. ‘I’m sorry if I appear cold. It was my parents’ fault. I had to stay quiet, otherwise I was punished.’

‘Perhaps that’s it.’ He tilted his head and looked at me. I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. There was such intensity in his gaze that I had to struggle not to drop my eyes. ‘Did you know that of all the living things on this earth, only man can look another man in the eye? My teacher, an old Greek, taught me that. He is a very intelligent man. He said that the world was round like an orange, and that the stars we see at night are in reality other earths, like this one, or suns. Is that heresy, do you think, or is it truth? I would like to know the answer to those questions and to so many more. I want to see the ends of the earth where the water drops off into a great chasm. Of course, if my teacher is right, I shall never find that. Instead, I will end up where I started out.’ He sighed, then leaned over and lifted a corner of the tent to peer outside. ‘It’s getting near midday, I have to go see my troops. Will you stay, or will you go back to your temple?’

‘If you please,’ I said humbly, ‘I’d like to stay.’

‘I please.’ He smiled then, and I realized that his face had more expressions than anyone’s I’d ever seen, including the great actors and mimes. His smile seemed to bloom from within, to reach out and caress me, and to bind me to him.

Anyone on the receiving end of that smile, I thought, would walk straight off the edge of the world if Alexander asked him to.

 

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Review of “An Empire in Runes: The Runes of Issalia, Book III” – Jeffrey L Kohanek

A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World …Or Destroy It

Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path.

In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos.

As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.

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

I knew the battle against the banshees was going to be fierce. Standing ten feet tall, with red eyes and sharp talons, they would strike the fear in any man, woman, or child. Their wail alone leaves their opponents frozen in place, but to see them actually engage in battle is a sight to cause night terrors. Hell, that is if you survive their rampage. With their immense power, they can and will rip you limb from limb and then devour you — dead or alive. To them, it makes no difference. A meal is a meal.

However, there were many a men and women who wouldn’t stand by and watch the towns fall. They fought back and with a vengeance. The battle lasted many chapters but Jeffrey knew not to rush such a pivotal moment in their lives. The humans used magic (runes), flash bombs, swords, fire-tipped arrows, and much more to hinder the banshees’ path of carnage. Many lives were lost, two especially I hated to see go. The losses hit the survivors hard. I felt their grief as my very own & wished they could be brought back to life. Sadly, there was no coming back. 

Once the battlefield had grown quiet, Jeffrey led the team to another battle — with humans. This is the point where everything is explained: The Hand, banshees, bacabras, Chaos…..everything!

There were multiple happily ever after’s. Some old characters reappeared. Plus, the ending showed us that the future looked remarkably promising; a major turnabout from hours before when death was thisclose to knocking on their door. 

Great job, Jeffrey. You’ve written three wonderful tales, full of triumphs and tragedies. And most importantly, each was more intriguing than the last. 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

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Catch all the action from the very start……..

 

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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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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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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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Review of “Tony Mandolin Mystery, Book 1: A Slight Case of Death” – Robert Lee Beers

Vampires don’t exist, do they? That is a question Private Detective Tony Mandolin finds himself pondering as the evidence piles up in a case involving a string of dead redheads and the usual dose of weirdness San Francisco has to offer. To complicate things, Mandolin has to deal with the perception that he has become the latest golden boy of the fog city’s crime boss. Then there’s his cross-dressing friend Frankie…Just another day in San Francisco.

Dive into an exhilarating new noir fantasy series where nothing is as it seems.

 

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

 

Based on mentions of Magnum, P.I., TJ Hooker and other pop culture name drops, I knew this book wasn’t set in the 1920’s or 1930’s. However, A Slight Case of Death had the feel of a detective classic from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. You could blatantly sense who inspired Robert Lee Beers in his development of Tony MandolinSome of the word choices, conversations, made this modern day story appear as if we had stepped back in time. The mobsters also spoke like they were from Jersey or New York instead of San Francisco but with old school flare. At least in my opinion that’s how they came across. I don’t know any real mobsters so maybe that’s how they converse. Eh, I digress.

Plot time….

A routine missing person case turns into the manhunt for a serial killer. To stop the killer (aka a vamp) Tony (PI) finds help in the unlikeliest places. But beggars can’t be choosers when the boogey monster has his sights set on you. Gotta admit, despite the nightmare inducing man to monster transformation, Simon was quite the likable vamp. I can see why vampires can lure their prey so easily. You don’t want to like them, but you also find yourself unable to resist their charm. Plus, like Simon, I always played with my food despite my momma’s warning so…. Play on! 🙂

Besides Simon, I also adored Frankie. Frankie was so flamboyant, funny, and won the award for best character. Frankie brought life to scenes that were becoming stodgy. Frankie was the light this book needed when facing a creature only thought to come out at night. When I envision this Frankie, I picture RuPaul: an American actor, drag queen, model, author, and recording artist. Maybe after you read over his parts, you’ll see a bit of RuPaul in this role too. 

 

 

BTW: Many myths were squashed in chapter 20 about vamps but the real shocker came later when we saw what could harm a vampire. This surprising weapon bumped the score from 3 to 3.5 stars! 

  

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤1/2

 

Kindle Purchase Link

 

Robert Lee Beers was born on March 11, 1951, on the far northern California coast in the Humboldt Bay area. He is an artist, musician, and a mediator.

In 2008 he was nominated for the JFK Profiles in Courage Award for his work on the Nevada State Assembly.

He is the author of the Hilarious Tony Mandolin Mystery series as well as the epic fantasy, the five-volume Milward Chronicles.

His first novel, The Promised Ones became the number one bestselling fantasy on the Barnes and Noble Fictionwise eBook store for 6 weeks. That book eventually became the novel Birthright, the first in the Milward Chronicles series.

Graphic Audio, the premiere producer of audio books in full cast audio has optioned the first five novels for production. Hole Lotta Shakin’, a Tony Mandolin Short Story is currently in pre-production into a serialized YouTube Audiobook at Tall Tales TV. As for Robert, he is usually found at his desk, laying down the next Tony Mandolin adventure.

 

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