Tag Archives: sorcery

‘Henrietta The Dragon Slayer’ Series by Beth Barany (Multi-Book Showcase)

Henrietta YA Fantasy Box Set: Books 1-3

Recommended Age: 12+
Genres/Themes: YA, adventure, fantasy

Buy all three at once!

 

 

You can also purchase each book individually.
Keep scrolling for more information / purchase links! 

 

 ~ ~ Book 1 ~~ 

She’s a legend at 17, but only Henrietta knows the price she paid for her fame … and it was much too high.

From the Winner of the California Fiction Writer’s Book Contest comes this thrilling adventure of a young warrior on one final quest … against an opponent she swore never to face again.

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve, can’t face the thought of another kill.

She’s lost family, friends and home on her rocky road to fame.

But when the young warrior is summoned by a King to retrieve the Dragon Stone from the last dragon in existence, she can’t refuse–her mentor lies dying, and the healing stone is all that can save him.

This quest will be her most harrowing of all, for it means facing mysterious assassins, the dreaded choppy sea, and all with a misfit band — a young witch, a jester and a surly knight. And at journey’s end, someone must die … the dragon, or Henrietta.

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EXCERPT

Henrietta strode away from the tavern, fists clenched so hard they hurt. At two paces from the forest edge, the ground crunched in the black night behind her. Even with her ale-fogged brain, she sensed the presence of a man, smelled on him soot, leather and metal, and knew he was armed, but wore no armor.

She didn’t have time for this.

“What do you want?” Henrietta whirled to face the thrill seeker, her long sword drawn, her red hair whipping across her chilled cheeks. Above her head, the bitter wind keened through the forest trees.

The man hovered five feet-lengths away from her, out of sword reach, his face shadowed by the light of the tavern behind him. “I heard your story back there.” His voice, thick with a foreign accent she couldn’t place, held no compliment. “I hear you’re looking for a new quest.”

“Who gave you that idea?”

“The Song of the Dragon Slayer.” The man’s tone was flat.

So he wasn’t a fan. She didn’t care. She cared that he didn’t move any closer. Empty hands at his sides, a sheathed long sword at his belt, he was broad shouldered and taller than her by half a head.

She re-sheathed her sword reluctantly. “So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s only a song.”

“A song about you. That is why you must come with me now.” He stepped toward her, his face still hidden by darkness.

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~ ~ Book 2 ~~ 

What if all those you loved were threatened by a force you couldn’t see or fight?

Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village for a heroes’ welcome. But an unknown sorcerer rides after her and her Dragon Stone, and aims to destroy everyone she cares about.

Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend, and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?

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The early morning dawn hovered as fog wrapped around the ancient castle. Henrietta hoofed it up a staircase to meet with the new king. She was impatient to set sail on the mid-morning tide.

Henrietta knocked and slipped into the room on the command to enter. She greeted Jaxter with a firm quick hug, then stepped back, waiting for him to speak. In the castle turret room, her good friend, Jaxter, now the new King Renaldo of the Oro Islands, sat in his raised chair, regarding her with a straight face.

She wanted to shift from foot to foot, but schooled her nervous energy. That wouldn’t do for her new role as Ambassador for King Renaldo’s kingdom. Even if, she guessed, it was only an honorary title to thank her for all she’d done.

A merchant class junk would sail in a few hours, and she’d be on it, heading home to the Kingdom of Bleuve—her home. The gyrating tide in Plumaria’s large harbor beckoned her. Plumaria was the colorful, bustling capital and only large city on the main island of this nation of one hundred-plus islands. She’d miss the place. Another time she’d have to come back to explore the islands, now that she wasn’t afraid anymore of water or boats.

Jaxter smiled, his expression tinged at the edges with sadness. He was hiding something from her.

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 ~ ~ Book 3 ~~ 

Finally, the sweeping conclusion to the Henrietta The Dragon Slayer trilogy! 

Parted by destiny, the four friends struggle to rejoin forces and face for a final time, the ruthless sorcerer intent on destroying them all.

In the biggest challenge of her life, Henrietta the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve must lead her people into a battle that may end life as they know it. For they face no ordinary army, but the dark forces of a powerful sorcerer bent on overtaking all five kingdoms. And unless she can rescue her dauntless knight Franc, she must do it without his support.

Franc will follow Henrietta anywhere. But on a mission to find allies among the Horse People, he is kidnapped and taken by minions of the evil sorcerer Eyvindir. Will he find the strength and courage to survive, and fight again at Henrietta’s side?

Paulette, the young fire witch, must stand trial for a murder committed out of desperation. In despair at her imprisonment by forces acting against her dearest friend, Jaxter, she escapes and flees to the frigid, forbidden land of Varangia to find a witch powerful enough to help her finally master fire. But what must she give up to gain the power to aid her friends?

Jaxter, now a king, must come to terms with the heavy responsibilities of ruling the Oro Islands, newly emerged from over 75 years of evil rule. This means doing right, even when it means going against ancient customs and protocols. Worse, the marauding Varangians press at his borders. He must find a way to defend his home, or none of them will survive.

Will Henrietta and her friends be able to stop the ruthless sorcerer from obliterating her, claiming the Dragon Stone, and ruling over the Five Kingdoms?

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EXCERPT

Henrietta leaned over the bowsprit and peered into the black churning sea that hissed and slapped the wooden sides of the junk. But they weren’t home yet, so she would make the best of her time during the voyage.

“Ready?” Franc said behind her.

She spun, her sword poised. “You’re late.”

He crouched. “You’re in high spirits.” He stepped into her, testing.

She danced to one side. “Leoni finally let me out of training. Those robes.” She shook her head.

“I think you look—”

She silenced him with a glare and stepped-feinted with her left foot and swung her sword from the right.

He caught it in time and countered easily with a quick spin to the left and a slice toward her middle.

She blocked him. “I look what?”

“If I tell you, will you knock me flat?”

“Maybe.” Henrietta grinned. She was free of the restrictive Oro diplomat robes and her limbs were loose and giddy. She had the rest of the afternoon to practice with Franc.

Franc shrugged, a half grin on his face, so uncharacteristic of him. She froze at his expression. Then jumped into action, somersaulting over some tightly coiled ropes on the deck, just as the junk lifted over a wave. She laughed and landed on her feet in a crouch. Nimbler than he looked, Franc swiped for her feet. She leapt.

“Well?” she said.

“Well what?” He squinted at her. The afternoon sun was in his eyes.

 

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Fun Facts about Beth:

* She speaks fluent French and has lived in Paris, France twice, and in Quebec, Canada, once. She also can say Thank you in over 15 languages. Merci!

* She’s run 4 sprint triathlons (swim, bike, run) and finished each one.

* She has earned 2 belts, so far, in capoeira.

To learn more about Beth, visit her website.

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Interview with Steven M Nedeau (Science Fiction and Fantasy Author)

Science Fiction and Fantasy Author, Steven M Nedeau!

 

  1. Welcome, Steven. 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?


(Steven)
I’m an artist, actor, writer, and dancer and I’ve been working as an electrical engineer for twenty-two years. While I was enjoying engineering and solving problems, my artistic side had been drowning in despair for years. An artist must do art, and I was craving a chance to create something beautiful.

I started writing seriously when I became fed up with someone else’s story telling. Critical of several films and television series, I felt the entertainment industry was dropping the ball. How many retellings of the same story do we need? We deserved better than the drivel presented to us.

I was thirty six, still deep in my engineering studies, when I started to think about the stories I wanted to tell. I even remember the moment when I decided to start writing something substantial. I was reimagining how Star Wars Episode 1 should have been told, how the past of Darth Vader should have been written and, in a rant, I built up his back story into a plausible and intriguing tale. When I looked up from my rant, my son’s face was hanging slack as he looked at me in awe. He asked, “Did you just come up with that all by yourself?”

I decided I wouldn’t retell an existing story. If I wanted a story strong enough to meet my expectations, I was going to have to write it myself.

 

 

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

 

(Steven) Everyone suffers from writer’s block at one time or another. We all have our own ways of dealing with it. I have a couple of different things I do when so afflicted. I watch old movies, the older, the better. Then, I imagine the scripts of those movies. I imagine the words that would be needed to arrange the scene for the actors. Sometimes, my attempt to simplify what I’m seeing will prompt questions that need answering.

My other answer to writer’s block is sleep. I sleep. My dreams are the backbone of my stories and I often resolve the dilemmas in those tales with my eyes closed.

(Kam) Love this response!  I solve a lot of dilemmas in my sleep, too. 

 

 

  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?

 

(Steven) I write both science fiction and fantasy. My first book, a fantasy novel, The Soulweb, took seven years to write and a year to edit.

Centuries ago, King Mavius’s spell caused destruction beyond reasoning, weaving a web around and through the souls of his knights. Even now the spell of that long dead king pulls at his descendants and Jaron must trade his books for blades when Mavius, with his knights behind him, returns from beyond the grave to reclaim his throne.

Pushing heavy tomes onto marble shelves and translating archaic text until the wee hours of the night could not prepare Jaron for the trials in store for him. After years of teaching history, he will learn that books do not always tell the truth as he becomes a pawn in a war between kings.

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My first science fiction novel, Memory Reborn, took a year to write and two years to edit.

When I’m not writing I have a number of hobbies and so little time for any of them.

We are what we do. Here is a list of some of my favorite things: motorcycles, camping, kayaking, screen-printing. I have a lot more as well, but that’s enough for now.

 

 

 

  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?

 

(Steven) I don’t hide anything about myself. I share my writing with the people around me (maybe a little too much) but I love my creative side and feel I don’t get to take it out to play often enough. I know my wife is sick of hearing about it. Oh, well. Most of my friends and family are supportive, even if they haven’t read anything I’ve written.

(Kam) It’s lovely to hear those around you are supportive of your work. Congrats. 

 

 

  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.

 

(Steven) In no particular order, here’s a list of my ten favorite authors. Their stories have built my dreams.

  • Philip K Dick,
  • William Gibson,
  • JRR Tolkien,
  • Piers Anthony,
  • Stephen King,
  • Douglas Adams,
  • Margaret Weiss,
  • George Orwell,
  • Isaac Asimov,
  • Frank Herbert.

(Kam) There are several authors unfamiliar to me. I might need to rectify that. 🙂

 

 

  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?

 

(Steven) Choose a book for the big screen? Of course, the book would have to my latest, Memory Reborn. This book holds a cinematic feel to it and I could definitely see it becoming a movie one day. As far as actors I would choose, there are so many that have held my admiration over the years, but if I got my choice, I would choose Letitia Wright, Chloë Grace Moretz, Wilmer Valderrama, and James Spader to fill out the four main character roles.

 

At his new job at the memory storage facility, Darien Mamon is stunned to discover that he is the intended storage device, and has been all along.

Darien thought MemorSingular hired him for his brain. They did. They just don’t need what’s in it. After finding details of a century old knowledge retention program, Darien learns the company has been grooming the minds of new hires to be overwritten with the personas of their most valued employees.

An old classmate, Nancy, could be Darien’s only chance to escape MemorSingular before his mind is overwritten. Unfortunately, Nancy hates his guts, and if she doesn’t change her mind the company will change his.

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

 

(Steven) I have several works in progress. I’m currently preparing my science fiction novel, Memory Reborn, for publication. In parallel to the print publication, we are also producing the audiobook for Memory Reborn, with George Kuch (http://www.georgekuch.com) narrating.

As far as writing, I’m working actively on the second book of The Soulweb Trilogy while storyboarding the third book.

In addition to the books I also have several short stories in the works. As I complete them, I like to make them available for free on my website. These stories are usually written to go along with some writer’s game or as part of an online collection of stories that all follow the same theme.

I don’t understand how anyone works on only one thing. As I get ideas about new stories I jot them on some paper and let them fester in the back of my head for a couple of years while I push on with the most pressing project.

(Kam) Whew, you are a busy bee! 

 

 

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

 

(Steven) Since all of my books so far are in separate genres, there is no reading order assigned. That is to change in the coming years as The Soulweb is book one of a trilogy. We expect to be publishing the remaining books of that trilogy soon.

Right now, you can find all of my books on Amazon, as long as you spell my name correctly. The Soulweb is available in kindle, ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

Memory Reborn will be available in ebook, kindle, paperback, and audible at Amazon as well, but will also be available just about anywhere you can purchase books. Initially, as far as brick and mortar stores are concerned, physical copies of Memory Reborn may only be available at a few select Barnes and Noble retailers, however, we expect the reach of this book to expand.

My play, The Unlikely Hero, a Fair Play Renaissance Fair Play, is only available in paperback format at Amazon at this time.

 

A narrator tells the tale of not so brave Sir Issanass and the dragon Pestulis Pejorative. This is intended as a live performance play for two to four actors and additional audience participation. There are minimal props and set requirements. Ideal for Renaissance Fairs, school productions, or public events.

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(Kam) Cute cover. 

 

 

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

 

(Steven) My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

 

 

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

 

(Steven) No more questions? I get to say what I want? That’s unusual, and dangerous. Where shall I take this? Will I use this time to build my global empire, to seize power? Probably not.

All kidding aside, I’m not used to such freedom. Here’s what I have to say. If you want to be a writer, write. Don’t wait.

What else is there? Oh, yeah.

Writers build emotional rollercoasters. But, we can’t hear your screams. If you enjoyed the ride, leave a review.

(Kam) Yes, I absolutely know the importance of reviews — giving and receiving of them. 🙂

 

 

 

Steven, it was a pleasure to meet you. I can’t wait to share my review of Memory Reborn with you and my audience. 

Folks, Steven has given you several reading options. I encourage you to click on any of the links and purchase something OR everything by him. 

If your budget is tight and you’re seeking free reads, Steven has FOUR short story titles for you to choose from on his website. Just click HERE to be redirected to the page.

Again, thank you, Steven, for joining us today. I wish you great success in all your future endeavors! 

 

 

 

 

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The Battle for Trimera: The Ruling Priestess Book 1 by Tanya SM Kennedy (Book Review)

To give in could mean the loss of everything she holds dear but resisting is tearing her apart.

All Pria wants is to protect her family, but as one of only two high priestesses in all of Reia, everyone has an opinion on her life. But as the stories reach her of the peril of Trimera, there is nothing she will not give to return to the only family she has left, her older brother Janu. Emotion is dangerous for a priestess, something she realizes all to keenly when she thinks about her brother’s friend Mian. 

From the day she was born, Mian knew he would die for Pria. But the woman that returns from the Lorien is a pale shadow of the fiery girl he remembers. Still scarred by the loss of his Prince’s advisor, the previous high priestess, he now has to watch his Pria face the same danger. But the more he tries to protect the high strung Pria, the angrier she gets. The only thing he knows for sure is that Trimera would not survive the loss of Pria; that he would not survive the loss of Pria. 

A mysterious being has gained control of the monstrous grinlo and every second that ticks by only serves to confirm that they are after Pria. With the Lorien watching her every move she can’t afford even the hint of weakness. But the longer she spends with Mian the more addled she finds her thoughts. How will she save Trimera when her very emotions could spell ruin?

The Battle for Trimera is the opening to the epic Ruling Priestess medieval fantasy series. If you like compelling characters, epic battles against savage monsters, and a gripping story, then you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s tale of a priestess struggling against tradition to save her home. 

Pick up your copy of The Battle for Trimera and join the fight to save Trimera today!

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

 

At almost 600 pages, The Battle of Trimera is not only a beast in size, but the story is busting out the seams with blood-thirsty creatures. The grinlo are vicious beasts with sharp, black claws. Many men, women, and children have encountered them, yet survivors are few and far between. Ortid, one lone survivor, witnessed their wickedness firsthand. He stumbled up a very gruesome, gory, unforgettable, and stomach-turning scene. The grinlo’s leader, Neram, might be a man, but he was a monster just the same.  

As you are well aware, you can’t have a villain without a hero or heroes. There’re a check and balances in life, real or imaginary. In this scenario, multiple individuals band together to defend their land from the grinlo: Prince Janu, Lord Mian, Priestess Lana, Priestess Pria, Jaren, Liando, and various other soldiers. 

 

At three hundred page mark, Priestess Pria’s mind is troubled. She’s on the hunt for the person pulling the strings of the grinlo, and she’s trying to keep Mian at a safe distance. She wants to be seen as an adult, a powerful High Priestess; however, he makes her feel like a child again. Up to this point, if Pria looked closely, she would see he doesn’t –not entirely. His attraction to her is becoming more apparent for all to see. 

The sexual tension between Pria and Mian is growing with each page. 

 

The next 150 pages were quite active. There were nasty creatures, big and small, being a pain in the neck (literally and figuratively). Emotions also reached the boiling point, and, instead of throwing barbs at each other, Pria and Main let their true feelings show. No, they didn’t shag, but they had some steamy kisses.  

 

From page 450 until the endThe Battle of Trimera kept the same speed as the pages before it. The pace wasn’t too fast or slow. In actuality, Tanya (the author) balanced everything quite well. Overall, I felt she took ample time to develop characters, their relationship to each other, history, plot, etc. She had death scenes, but they weren’t overly detailed. Sure, they were gross but not horror movie gross (if that makes sense). Basically, what I’m saying, Tanya gave us enough visual stimuli to allow the reader to get the picture but not be overwhelmed.

There were some sections I wanted, craved more embellishment on, but I get why Tanya refrained. As I stated in my opening sentence, The Battle of Trimera was almost 600 pages long. 

To sum up, a great book and definitely worth the price tag attached!

 

 

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

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Tanya SM Kennedy was born in the wilds of West Virginia where she was raised to be strong, independent, and bull-headed. She spends her free time (any she can find) reading, writing, and taking care of her menagerie. She still lives in the wilds of West Virginia with her family enjoying the solitude.

 


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Author Tanya S.M. Kennedy (4 Book Showcase)

Series: The Terarch Rebellion (Book 1)

For fans of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series comes this medieval fantasy romance.

 

To save her people from slavery, Raivien must trust the very people who held her captive.

Raivien has never relied on anyone else; as a terarch, it is the only safety she has. But if she wants anything to change, she needs help and it comes from the most unlikely place: the very handler that captured her and the son of the man in charge of it all. Now if she could just get them to get along, she could focus on the upcoming battle.

Blerk was once the most promising terarch handler in Algar. Once, he had one of the most powerful terarchs the kingdom had ever seen. But he lost it all. One twist of fate and his life was balanced on a razor’s edge. But the closer he gets to Raivien the deeper his guilt grows. Faced with the true brutality he himself inflicted; he is determined to make amends. But one final mystery threatens to overwhelm everything he has worked so hard for.

For once in his life, Alden knows he is doing the right thing. He had looked aside so often when his father performed some heinous act or another. But no more. For his fallen sister, for the mysterious Raivien, he will make things right. Gathering his loyal men, he prepares to overthrow his own father.

Thrown together by fate, tested by fire, these three former enemies must risk everything.

Raivien had never sought out battle, but some things you can’t run from. With a vengeful king hunting them, a savage man out to capture her, and a flood of unaccustomed emotions threatening to overwhelm her, there is more than enough to keep her mind off the impending war and the inevitable deaths that comes with it. The only thing she is sure of is she can’t stand by while a monster sits on the throne of Algar.

The Terarch Rebellion is the opening to an epic fantasy romance series. If you like compelling characters, epic battles against oppression, and a gripping story, then you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s tale of this feisty heroine’s battle for freedom.

Pick up your copy of The Terarch Rebellion and join the fight today!

 

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Series: The Terarch Rebellion (Book 2)

Raivien is back in the long anticipated second installment of The Terarch Rebellion.

Welcome to Algar where beloved King Alden has turned the kingdom from a symbol of fear to a safe-haven. With the aid of Raivien and Blerk, Algar has grown and prospered. But not everyone is pleased with the change as an unknown foe appears to have their sights set on the throne. With a warlord threatening their border, the mysterious Hawk hunting her every move, and even those she loves doubting her, how can Raivien keep her family from being torn apart? Mystery abounds and enemies are everywhere as we return to Algar where the fight for freedom is never over.

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(Stand Alone, not a part of  ‘The Terach Rebellion’ series)

Adjusting to this new world is impossible, returning to her old world means certain death.

Eylsa has an easy life; as long as she follows orders, she avoids punishment. But a poison is growing within her, stealing her sleep and twisting her thoughts, making a once easy job torturous. And it all started with nothing more than curiosity.

Brendan can’t imagine why his mentor Darius is trying so hard to rescue the very assassin sent to kill him. Everyone seems blinded by the girl’s youth but Brendan isn’t fooled. He can’t deny there is something about her that calls to him, but only a fool would trust a killer.

Assassin retraining did nothing to purge the deadly compassion from Eylsa’s mind. Every day is a constant battle to hide how broken she is. If anyone were to find out the weakness pulsing through her veins her life would be forfeit. When Darius reenters her life she knows she has no choice but to accept his offer of protection. At least imprisoned she might find peace. But what is she if she can no longer be what she was raised to be?

An Assassin’s Redemption is an urban fantasy about two worlds colliding. If you like compelling characters, bad-a** female antiheros, and an epic battle of struggling against evil then you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s tale of one woman’s struggle for survival.

Pick up your copy of An Assassin’s Redemption and join the fight against the Trinity today!

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(The Ruling Priestess Book 1) 

To give in could mean the loss of everything she holds dear but resisting is tearing her apart.

All Pria wants is to protect her family, but as one of only two high priestesses in all of Reia, everyone has an opinion on her life. But as the stories reach her of the peril of Trimera, there is nothing she will not give to return to the only family she has left, her older brother Janu. Emotion is dangerous for a priestess, something she realizes all to keenly when she thinks about her brother’s friend Mian. 

From the day she was born, Mian knew he would die for Pria. But the woman that returns from the Lorien is a pale shadow of the fiery girl he remembers. Still scarred by the loss of his Prince’s advisor, the previous high priestess, he now has to watch his Pria face the same danger. But the more he tries to protect the high strung Pria, the angrier she gets. The only thing he knows for sure is that Trimera would not survive the loss of Pria; that he would not survive the loss of Pria. 

A mysterious being has gained control of the monstrous grinlo and every second that ticks by only serves to confirm that they are after Pria. With the Lorien watching her every move she can’t afford even the hint of weakness. But the longer she spends with Mian the more addled she finds her thoughts. How will she save Trimera when her very emotions could spell ruin?

The Battle for Trimera is the opening to the epic Ruling Priestess medieval fantasy series. If you like compelling characters, epic battles against savage monsters, and a gripping story, then you will love Tanya SM Kennedy’s tale of a priestess struggling against tradition to save her home. 

Pick up your copy of The Battle for Trimera and join the fight to save Trimera today!

 

Kindle Purchase Link
Print Purchase Link

 

 

Tanya SM Kennedy was born in the wilds of West Virginia where she was raised to be strong, independent, and bull-headed. She spends her free time (any she can find) reading, writing, and taking care of her menagerie. She still lives in the wilds of West Virginia with her family enjoying the solitude.

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Double Barrel Horror Vol. 3 – Six Authors, Twelve Chilling Stories (Anthology Review)

Brace yourself for another two-barrel blast of unrelenting horror and suspense. Volume 3 of the ‘Double Barrel Horror’ anthology series delivers two chilling tales from each of six talented authors for a twelve-story onslaught that will blow you out of your sneakers. This time around, your fate lies in the hands of Christine Morgan, Mark Matthews, Theresa Braun, Calvin Demmer, Glenn Rolfe, and Robert Essig.

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(review request submitted by Theresa Braun, contributing author, for an honest critique)

There are twelve stories in this gory anthology. I am going to share my favorite story from each author. 

 

I had no idea so many phrases had the word “eye” in it. Christine Morgan’s Eye See You discussed mentioned several. 

  • keeping an eye on you
  • look with your eyes, not your hands
  • eye spy with my little eye
  • eyes in the back of your head
  • eat with your eyes first

When a child hears these phrases, their minds might translate to a literal form. Maybe a child believes EYES are in the back of heads. If you step into their mindset, this phrase is creepy. That’s why I think many will find Eye See You disturbingIt makes you rethink and picture a not so pleasant scene. 

 

 

If you have a weak stomach, as in the mere mention of puke causes you to gag, then pass on From Unclean Spells by Robert Essig. There was so much vomit in this short story. I mean, you could slip- n-slide in the slimy stuff if you wanted to… not that I am suggesting you ever do so. I am just giving you a nasty visual of how much upchuck was involved. Oh yeah, there’s a grotesque monster in this tale as well. He made me wanna relieve myself of my breakfast foods as well. 

 

 

Wicked Smart Carnie by Mark Matthews solidified what my mother told me every year of my childhood when the carnival came to town… “Never trust a carnie. Never talk to a carnie. NEVER, EVER, go off with a carnie alone!” 

I’m sure carnies are lovely people, but they give off a creepy vibe to me. I’m assuming Mark Matthews (the author) has felt the creep vibe from them as well. 

 

Theresa Braun’s Stillborn had a great combination of science fiction, mystery, suspense, gore, and shock. I mean, first, she had body parts in jars. But, she topped herself when more jars were exposed. (no spoilers)

Mad scientist… Invasion of the Body Snatchers… I’m not sure what the heck is going on in that hospital, and I’m not sure if I want to know. Who am I kidding… I so want to know. I didn’t want the story to end! 

 

Calvin Demmer drew me in with Highway Hunger. His monster was a seven-foot squid/octopus with two large eyes that fed on dying animals or humans. Ok, that sounds good on paper. In-person, not so much. 

And the ending, wow, I DID NOT see that coming. I bet Dudley didn’t either. 

Oh and the rat scene… SHIVERS! 

 

 

When I was a child, there was an urban legend that a Cabbage Patch Doll came alive and suffocated a baby in her sleep. I immediately tossed all my big dolls in the trash. Even now, as I shop in stores, I give them the side-eye. I know it’s my imagination, but I swear them look a little too intently at me. Plus, they can blink their eyes. That’s creepy. 

Oh, and don’t get me started on the dolls that look, feel, and act like real babies. Those dolls are nightmare inducers! 

After reading The House on Mayflower by Glenn Rolfe, I have a new fear. I’d tell you, but I don’t want to ruin the story for others. 


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Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
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Christine Morgan (Author), Mark Matthews (Author), Theresa Braun  (Author), Calvin Demmer  (Author), Glenn Rolfe (Author), Robert Essig (Author), Matthew Weber (Editor) 

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