Monday, 19 August 2019

Cover Reveal: Exile; Unreachable Skies, Volume 2 by Karen McCreedy...



Mirror World Publishing presents the cover reveal for Exile: Unreachable Skies, Volume 2 by Karen McCreedy!

About Exile:

Zarda, Fate-Seer of her people, the Drax, has chosen to join the wingless and their broken-winged dams on their long and dangerous journey into exile. But Kalis, the Prime she has abandoned, dispatches flyers to hunt her down and offers a reward to anyone who will give her up.

When their path takes them into the Crimson Forest, horror and death stalk the exiles beneath the vines. As the pain and hardship of banishment begin to take their toll, Zarda wonders which of the exiles will be the first to betray her, but nothing can prepare her for the discovery that awaits her beyond the furthest reaches of Drax territory; a discovery that has the power to alter the course of history.

‘Exile’ is the sequel to ‘Unreachable Skies’, and Karen is currently working on the third book in the trilogy.

Book Details:

Print Length: 286 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/)
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure

The Cover:


Read a Teaser Excerpt:

The females, their wings broken by Kalis’ new Elite Guard, had been netted over the river along with their younglings, and had been left on the claw of reed-tufted sand that jutted into the ocean from the Manybend estuary’s north shore. As I’d circled over the nines of fires, their spiralling layout had shown that someone had taken charge of setting the camp properly, and my sole concern had been finding somewhere to land without being seen. In the end I had set down on the beach to the north, wetting my feet as I landed at the edge of the incoming tide. Taking care to make sure I would not leave any traces of my approach, I had walked along the tideline till I reached the promontory at daybreak. I had intended to find my friend Doran and make myself known to her, but the sound of raised voices had drawn my attention, and I had instead made my way across the camp to the ridge of snow-covered ground that separated the hook of sand from the mud of the Deadlands. I smelled cooking – branmeal bubbling in a pot to my left, meat patties warming in a pan to my right. My stomachs rumbled a protest that I was not stopping to eat, but my attention was on the group at the foot of the slope where Shaya stood, and the arguments that I could now hear more clearly.

Visit the Tour Hosts:

https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/2019/08/cover-reveal-tour-host-list-exile.html

Meet the Author:


Brought up in Staffordshire, England, Karen now lives in West Sussex where she is enjoying her retirement. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching films, local WI and U3A activities, volunteering with the South Downs National Park Volunteer Rangers, and spending time with friends and family. She has also flown in a Spitfire!

Karen has written articles on films and British history for a number of British magazines including ‘Yours’, ‘Classic Television’, and ‘Best of British’. In 2009, her essay on ‘British Propaganda Films of the Second World War’ was published in ‘Under Fire: A Century of War Movies’ (Ian Allen Publishing).

She also wrote a number of online articles and reviews for The Geek Girl Project (www.geekgirlproject.com), as their British correspondent.

Karen’s short stories have appeared in anthologies by Fiction Brigade (2012, e-book), Zharmae Publishing (‘RealLies’, 2013), Audio Arcadia (‘On Another Plane’, 2015), Luna Station Publishing (‘Luna Station Quarterly’ December 2015), Horrified Press (‘Killer Tracks’ and ‘Waiting’, both 2015; and ‘Crossroads’, 2016), and Reflex Fiction (‘Voicemail’, published online 2017). She also won second prize in Writers’ News magazine’s ‘Comeuppance’ competition in 2014 with her short story ‘Hero’.

Exile’ is the sequel to ‘Unreachable Skies’, and Karen is currently working on the third book in the trilogy.

You can follow Karen on Twitter @McKaren_Writer, or check out her website at www.karenmccreedy.com


Monday, 12 August 2019

Guest Post: Bibliophilia by Catherine Castle...

“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”
— Desiderius Erasmus

Do you ever feel like this? I know I do. I’m a bibliophile and my house is full of books and magazines. Many of them I’ve opened for reference at one time or another. Many of them I’ve read cover to cover. Most of them I have not read at all, but I hope to one day. They had begun to run me out of my office and then we bought Kindles. Ah, the joy of endless storage. I can go through a twenty-five dollar gift certificate in no time flat.

Here’s the thing about my book habit … it knows no genre limitations. I have fiction books of almost all genres, non-fiction books, books for research, writing craft books, books about historical eras, quote books, half a dozen or more dictionaries, including two rhyming dictionaries, a flip dictionary and several thesauruses.

I keep thinking I’ll cull the herd, especially the dictionaries. After all how many versions of a dictionary does one person need? But I can’t bear to part with a single book. After all, who knows when I might need a synonym?

I did the other day when I was writing a poem that referenced heaven and Word’s thesaurus only had paradise, bliss, ecstasy, dreamland, cloud nine and rapture as alternative options. None of those words fit what I needed. So, I hauled out the thesauruses, the rhyming dictionary, and the Merriam Webster in search of the right word. I found it. So, yes, I do need all those books.

I counted the non-fiction books before starting this blog. I have about 300 non-fiction (writing or research related) books. Just saying that sounds ridiculous and actually embarrasses me. Especially since that doesn’t include my gardening book collection, quilting books, cook books, health-related books, fiction books, or the books in my husband’s office.

With the internet you’d wonder why I would need so many print books in my personal library. But perhaps that’s just why I need them. Because it is my personal library. There’s something about a collection of books that makes me feel richer and smarter. Even if I haven’t read all 300, or maybe I should say 600, from cover to cover.

One thing’s for certain … I’ll never run out of bathroom reading material, even if I live to be 150. Now if I could only keep from putting those ebook on my Kindle and my phone, I might make some headway in the battle against bibliophilia, and afford some new clothes.

Can you relate to my bibliophilia? If so please comment. I'd like to know I'm not alone in this. How about a peek at my latest sweet romance while you decide?

One date for every medical test—that’s the deal. Allison, however, gets more than she bargains for. She gets a Groom for Mama.

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

Amazon Buy Link

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Blueberries—The Favorite Fruit of Fairy Falls…


Blueberry bushes can be a tad tricky to find in Fairy Falls. Normally, when you want to seek out this delectable blue fruit, all you need to do is take a walk along any trail or on the edge of rock outcropping and shorelines where enough sun reaches the forest and you’re bound to find the lowbush blueberry plant, with glossy, green canoe-shaped leaves hugging the ground. Roadside ditches are another common blueberry hideout because of the ideal combination of moisture and sunlight. And, of course, there is that odd field along the back road, lush with fruit.

So, where are they?

Gertie Ellis will never tell. Neither will Hart Stewart. And most of the residents of Fairy Falls are keeping mum. One can only imagine some incredible untapped stores deep in the wilderness, favored by black bears and birds.

The one thing the locals of Fairy Falls will share with the tourists is the amazing health benefits of their wild blueberries. Known as the most anti-oxidant of all fruit, wild blueberries are indeed a superfood that are low in calories, but high in nutrients. From brain-boosting to disease-fighting, downing a handful of these little fruitful treasures is like having a natural pharmacy in your mouth. This information alone sells many pints and quarts of blueberries at the Fairy Falls’ Farmers Market. Gertie Ellis with attest to that.

All Fairy Falls’ wild blueberries are hand-harvested using rakes to scoop berries off the bushes, working in an upward motion. These rakes are specifically engineered for wild blueberry harvest. Typically, the harvest begins in late July and ends in early September. However, the quality of the blueberries often depends on Mother Nature. If they’ve had too much rain the berries will grow soft and split; not enough rain and they’ll be small and grainy. There are no guarantees in this business, but the residents of Fairy Falls are always hopeful for a good harvest. They know that a fairly traditional winter, enough moisture throughout the spring and just enough sunshine will yield a bumper crop of wild blueberries that will keep tourists coming back to their small, northern town year after year.

The market for wild blueberries shows no signs of anything but growth. As healthy lifestyles grow in popularity around the world, blueberries have traveled from the pastry shop window into the health food store. The fact they are one of the healthiest foods one can eat is quite clearly only the icing on the triple-layer blueberry cake. So take some time to celebrate this delicious, nutritional fruit—a gift that gives all year long!

Here's a morsel from Blackflies and Blueberries, the second installment of Mysterious Tales from Falls teen psychic mystery series…

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.
Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:
Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:

Monday, 29 July 2019

Guest Post: 6 Tips to Help Authors Prepare for their First Book Signing by Carol Browne...

If like me you are introverted and social phobic, a book signing will be a very scary proposition. In my case I also live in a rural area without access to transport so just getting to a book signing event is a challenge. I was an eBook author for the first couple of years of my career too and so I didn’t have a book to sign anyway. This year, I did my first book signing courtesy of my supportive boss and his wife who not only allowed me to use part of their establishment (the pub where I work) but provided coffee and cakes for the people who attended.

A writer’s life might appear to be very glamorous to outsiders, but it’s usually quite the opposite. I do a variety of jobs to keep from starving in a garret and they are mostly very menial: cleaning and washing up, for example. And when I attended this, my first real book signing, I didn’t roll up in a Porsche, I had to walk there dragging my paperbacks behind me in a shopping trolley. Even with wheels, that thing got damn heavy after the first fifteen minutes. I had nearly forty books in it—well, I had no idea how many to take.

Of course I was nervous but it turned out better than I expected. I sold twenty books and met some very interesting people. They all seemed so pleased to be there, and to be meeting me! Suddenly Cinderella had gone to the ball and she could forget about the washing up and the cleaning for a while.

It was Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain on the 27th and so I was specifically promoting my book Being Krystyna—A Story of Survival in WWII. I discovered when I spoke to people at the event just how many of them have interesting stories to tell, especially about the war. One woman said her mother was born in a Japanese POW camp and the other female prisoners pooled their resources to provide food and clothing for the baby. I found out that my boss’s grandfather had been a prisoner of the Japanese too for three years. There are so many stories we shall never know about, stories of heroism and endurance.

Here are some more things I learned at the event that it is useful to share with other authors yet to experience a book signing:

1. Take book swag—postcards, bookmarks, etc.—because people love to get a freebie and they might pass them on to someone else. While I was promoting my non-fiction book, I handed out postcards that publicised my fantasy novel.

2. Have change ready for people who pay cash, as most will. You certainly don’t want to be taking cheques and if you’re like me you won’t have credit card capabilities! (My book was £4.99 and I had a stash of pennies in anticipation of all the five pound notes I was going to get, and did.)

3. Practise your signature before the event unless you’re that lucky person who has a naturally lovely and easily written moniker. Mine is a disappointment and that was a worry to me—who wants a spider scrawl on the first page of their pristine new book? And make sure you have a decent pen (and a replacement), one that’s not going to run out halfway through your signature or spit gouts of ink onto the paper. (I’m pleased to say, I was surprised and gratified at how my signature worked out on the day!) Don’t know what to write? Ask the person who the book is for (make sure to get the correct spelling) and simply put ‘To …., Best Wishes’ and then your signature.

4. Don’t worry that you’ll run out of books. You can always take people’s names and addresses. (I took a book of receipts in case people paid up front but as it turned out I didn’t need them.) If you are involved in advertising the event beforehand, you can suggest people buy your book first and bring it with them to be signed.

5. Have business cards to hand out. This was something I didn’t get round to. I didn’t have flyers or attractive posters either. And what that taught me was that next time I will be better prepared, but that it doesn’t spell disaster because most people who want to come to a book signing are coming to see you, the author, not all the bells and whistles you have brought with you. (People were so delighted to be given a mere postcard, you’d think I was handing out bank notes!).

6. Most importantly, stop worrying about everything having to be perfect. You have a talent to be proud of and you have achieved something most people haven’t. Enjoy that feeling of being recognised as a creative individual but at the same time remember that you are still just a human being and you can only do your best and no more. Don’t be afraid of doing a book signing either. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

If I can do it, anyone can. The important thing is, just have fun!

Here is a brief introduction to my book. Thank you for reading it.

It’s 2012, the year of the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience. Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka find a way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is the message for us today?

Buy Links


Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Being Krystyna, published by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016, is her first non-fiction book.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Book Tour: Shelf Life by Rob Gregson...

Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for Shelf Life!


About the Book:

Young bookseller Cathy Finn is having a bad day. First, there's the assassin's bullet. Then comes the realisation that she's been living in a work of fiction. Worse, she wasn't even the main character.

Cathy's quiet, bit-part life may be over, but her troubles are only beginning. Her last day on Earth is also her first as a citizen of New Tybet. For over four hundred years, its people have been rescuing those destined to die in other narratives, but now the system is faltering. A saboteur is at work and Cathy will have to stop him if she’s ever going to find a way home. Failure could maroon her forever and spark a revolution that sets all the worlds of literature ablaze.


Book Details:

Print Length: 338 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition (http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com)
Publication Date: July 17, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07SNGW2Z7

Genre(s): Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Literary Mashup, Parallel Worlds, Comedy

Exclusive Excerpt:

Hitch had been fitter once. In his younger days he could tear about and scurry up trees with the best of them. Now, too much booze and too much fast food meant that eight flights of concrete steps could very nearly kill him. By level four, his lungs were tight, his calves were cramping and his eyes were stinging with sweat. By level six, his heart was hammering on his ribs like an angry neighbour and his mind was beginning to fixate on all the many inventive horrors he might one day inflict upon the building's maintenance manager. He completed the final ascent without actually vomiting but by the time he reached the door of room 801, he was far from the living embodiment of youthful vim.
He retained just enough wit and energy to pause and look about him. A thin, disdainful-looking cat regarded him from the flickering light of the passage. Hitch stared back at it for a long moment and, after an exchange of dark looks, concluded he could probably take it in a fair fight. The cat seemed to agree. After an ostentatious stretch, it turned and padded away.
Breathing hard, but feeling that he'd made his point, Hitch watched it go - its slow retreat revealed in zoetrope motion by the irregular winking of the lights. It wasn't nice here. The passage smelled damp. The wallpaper curled at the corners like pencil shavings. Lacking only a taped outline of a human figure upon the floor, it looked the kind of place where forensic scientists might spend a lot of time.
Shaking his head, he inhaled deeply, turned to the door and rapped out the three-two-four tattoo that announced him as a friend.
Footsteps. A second or two later, the peephole flickered.
"Oh God. It's you." It was a woman's voice. It lacked joy.
Hands thrust deep in his coat pockets, Hitch gazed at the unblinking circle of glass and said nothing. Gusting sheets of rain lashed the stairwell windows behind him - a fitting fanfare - but only silence and inactivity ensued.
Several uneventful moments later, he began to wonder about his tactics. He'd hoped that standing there rock-still might make him look a little bit cool or mysterious, but now the thought occurred to him that she might just have walked away. Cats were one thing, but he wasn't sure how long he could keep trying to outstare a door.
At last, however, there came a series of metallic scrapes and scratchings, the squeal of unoiled hinges and a widening rectangle of orange light.
A cheerless face looked back at him. "I suppose you want to come in."
"Hallie?" He followed her into an atmosphere that was ripe with cheese, garlic, and resentment. "I thought it was you. What are you doing in a dung-hole like this?"
"Shut the door."
Hitch bolted it shut and reset the small electronic jammer pressed against the frame. "Nice to see you, too." He turned to find her glaring at him, her arms folded tightly across her chest. He tried to remember what he might have done to deserve such a greeting and conceded that, whatever it was, it would only be the tip of a very ugly iceberg. As such, it was undoubtedly one of those problems best addressed through a policy of careful and continued avoidance.
He nodded to her couch and a box of half-finished pizza. "You got any spare?"
She blinked slowly. "I'm saving it for the dog."
Hitch glanced around. The apartment was tiny. The living area afforded just enough room for a TV, a shabby rug, and the couch itself, which looked like it had been lifted from the set of a fire safety commercial. The windows were partly veiled by broken plastic blinds and, to one side, three sheets of laminated plywood masqueraded as a breakfast bar. Beyond them stood a selection of firetrap appliances and a rusting sink.
He looked back at her. "You don't have a dog."

"I might get one."

Order Links:

Mirror World Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Learn More About Shelf Life:

Goodreads

Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Guest Posts, and Reviews:

https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/2019/07/virtual-book-tour-schedule-shelf-life.html


Meet the Author:



Rob Gregson spent much of his youth reading fantasy novels, immersing himself in role playing games and generally doing everything possible to avoid the real world. In his defence, we're talking about the late 1980s - a time when ridiculous hair, hateful pop music and soaring unemployment were all very popular - so it wasn't altogether a bad decision. However, had he abandoned the realms of wizardry at an earlier age, he might have developed one or two useful life skills and he would almost certainly have found it easier to get a girlfriend. Rob lives in Lancashire and has two children, although he has absolutely no idea why anyone should find that interesting.

Connect with the Author:


Amazon

Enter the Giveaway:


Monday, 15 July 2019

Peeling Back the Layers in your Summer Garden by Janis Lane...

Onion, i.e, Allium, is a large family which includes onion, scallion, garlic leek, shallot and chives (onion and garlic types). Blossoms are pretty in purple, yellow, white, and sometimes pink. I grew up not far from a small town known as Vidalia (locally pronounced Vy day lia, emphasis on the Vi. I won’t try to describe how to put a southern twang to the rest of the word.), Georgia. Sweet, sweet onions grow there with a patented name for the brand. The soil in the fields around the small town is very low in sulfur which puts the sting in your eyes when you peel a not-Vidalia type. Great for eating raw, but their keeper value is low.

It takes a specialized taste bud to enjoy raw onions, but professional chefs swear by the value of an onion flavoring a good stew. This writer considers an onion almost essential in the kitchen. Most are yellow, some white or purple with various degrees of the sulfur bite. Such a large family serves almost all individual preferences. Health benefits of consuming edible members of the onion family are numerous. High in nutrients and low in calories, they are also delicious.


Chives, useful herb, can be grown on your sunny window sill, but will excel outside, attracting bees with their fragrance blooms. Chives are delicious in soups, salads, and as a garnish. It’s a perennial plant hardy to zone 2-3, but the seed resents amateur saving. Tiny bulbs are easily pulled apart for transplant. Garlic chives bloom fragrant white in late summer and are delicious when a mild garlic flavor is desired. Purple blooms from chives make tasty and attractive herbed vinegar.

When I mow the lawn in summer, I plant peppermint several places in the lawn. I love the fragrance when the grass cutter nips their tops, but in one corner of the lawn, I recognize the volunteered wild onions. The smell is unmistakable; not a bit fragrant, but I think if I need to forage someday, I know where to find the edible alliums. It has a pink blossom and resembles nothing like an onion, but I know.

Decorative alliums are available in numerous varieties and most are fairly inexpensive. (Not good for eating.) Once I planted a garden in the back meadow before I finally gave over to the marauding deer population. They ate everything but these alliums, which over the years have multiplied. I use them for great cut flowers and enjoy the sweet fragrance of the blooms. Curiously they do not have the telltale onion odor when cut, but the deer seem to know and give them a wide berth anyway. After blooming, the foliage dies disappearing until the following spring. The plant spreads slowly by reseeding.

Whispers of Danger and Love is a contemporary novel which sports a lovely heroine named Cheryl, who loves her career as a landscape designer. This warm tale is a must for gardeners while waiting for the chance to get outside to commune with nature. A bonus is the handsome detective, a childhood friend, who moves next door.

Here's a little more from my cozy mystery. I hope you enjoy it.

When Cheryl realizes her new next-door neighbor is someone she loved as a young girl, she immediately puts the brakes on her emotions. Never again would she allow the gorgeous hunk of a man to break her heart.

Ruggedly handsome Detective David Larkin isn’t used to pretty ladies giving him a firm no. He persists, even as Cheryl fights her own temptations. The two struggle to appreciate each other as adults, even as they admit to deep feelings from their childhood.

Read more of the cozy mysteries by Janis Lane on Amazon

Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma's new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Book Tour: King of Malorn by Annie Douglass Lima...



Thanks for stopping by! Take a look at this brand-new fantasy adventure story with a hint of romance by author Annie Douglass Lima. 
You can download a copy of the ebook for free between July 9th and 11th!

Book Description:
    Life as the king’s younger sister should be exciting.
   Not for Princess Kalendria. She’s sick of the dissent and of constantly having her family undermined by those who think they could rule Malorn better than King Korram.
   Hoping to lighten the mood in the palace, Kalendria plans a ball to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. It doesn’t hurt that their handsome Alasian ally King Jaymin has promised to attend, and she’s been waiting for him to notice her for as long as she can remember.
   But unfriendly forces have their own party plans. When Kalendria, Korram, and Jaymin barely survive an assassination attempt, their only recourse is to flee into the wilderness. Tracked by unknown assassins, they must figure out whom they can trust and who is behind the plot. Can Kalendria help her brother reclaim his throne – oh, and catch Jaymin’s attention while she’s at it – before they are all killed and war destroys both kingdoms?


Click here to download your copy of King of Malorn on Amazon now! 

Click here to see King of Malorn on Goodreads.

Series Information:


King of Malorn is book 5 in the Annals of Alasia. But don't worry if you haven't read the others; it will still make sense on its own. 

Each of the first four books can stand on its own as well. They each deal with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn. 

Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life. 
In the Enemy’s Service features a girl as the protagonist and tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded. 
Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion. 
The Nameless Soldier shows how a young Alasian soldier lives through the Invasion but then has to survive and make a name for himself in enemy-occupied Alasia. 

In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap. 

I also have a short ebook of “interviews” that I conducted with the characters in the other three books. Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is not available on Amazon, but I send a free copy to anyone who signs up for my mailing list (to receive updates when I release new books or occasionally offer them for free).

Author Biography:

Annie Douglass Lima considers herself fortunate to have traveled in twenty different countries and lived in four of them. A fifth-grade teacher in her “other” life, she loves reading to her students and sparking their imaginations. Her books include science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and Bible verse coloring and activity books. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Annie can often be found sipping spiced chai or pomegranate green tea in exotic locations, some of which exist in this world.

Author Contact Info:

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com





Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/anniedouglasslima




Monday, 8 July 2019

Bring on the Summer with a Cool Fruit Smoothie and Fantasy YA Reads by Chris Pavesic...

While working hard on edits and other aspects of publishing, I'm making a lot of smoothies instead of full meals. (A lot of indy authors can probably relate!) The fact that fresh fruit is in season makes this a lot easier!

Maple Blue Smoothie

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup blueberry yogurt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
Materials:
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Blender
Directions:
1. In a blender, combine the yogurt, milk, syrup and cinnamon. Add blueberries and blend until smooth. Garnish with fruit.

While you enjoy your smoothie, why not check out one of my novels? Available on Amazon in ebook, print, and audible. They make great summer reads!

In Starter Zone Cami kept herself and her younger sister Alby alive in a post-apocalyptic world, facing starvation, violence, and death on a daily basis. Caught by the military and forcefully inscribed, Cami manages to scam the system and they enter the Realms, a Virtual Reality world, as privileged Players rather than slaves. They experience a world of safety, plenty, and magical adventure.

In the Traveler's Zone magic, combat, gear scores, quests, and dungeons are all puzzles to be solved as Cami continues her epic quest to navigate the Realms and build a better life for her family. But an intrusion from her old life threatens everything she has gained and imperils the entire virtual world.
 
Time to play the game.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube. 4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphoto

Chris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends. 

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Celebrate the Magic of Maple Syrup this Summer…


By the beginning of March, when nights are still cold, daytime warmth intensifies, and icicles start to drip, the residents of Fairy Falls know this can mean only one thing—it’s ‘sugar time’! And as long as Mother Nature and the weather cooperate, the sap starts to run, flowing through the maple trees to feed them. So when you see the smoke rising from Gertie Ellis’ sugar shack well into the night, you just know that spring is here.

Making maple syrup is a part of our North American heritage. Maple trees grow in many parts of the world but maple syrup is only made in certain parts of Canada and the United States. It was the native people who first began making maple syrup as a source of sweetening; they introduced it to the first settlers, who came to rely on it as a sweetener as well, until refined sugar became available. The secret of making maple syrup is to remove the water until the sugar content is about 66 percent. If one wants maple sugar, more water must be removed.

We’ve come a long way from tapping trees with hand-carved wooden spiles and boiling sap in large cast-iron pots suspended from tripods. Nowadays, larger operations have stainless steel evaporators, large holding tanks, and sap collection systems utilizing food-grade plastic tubing attached to plastic spiles, drawing sap from each tree and carrying it to holding tanks. If the slope of the land allows, gravity might be sufficient to transport the sap to the evaporator, but other devices such as pumps or a vertical system of tubing called a ‘sap ladder’, can supplement it. Wood is still used to fuel fires; perhaps as much as one cord of wood is needed to produce one gallon of syrup. It’s no wonder this golden nectar is so expensive!

Quality is the goal of the conscientious producer. Not all maple syrup is the same. There are several grades of syrup—the lightest being the syrup produced earliest in the season. As the season progresses, the syrup becomes darker in color and the flavor becomes stronger. Choosing a grade is a matter of personal preference.

Some would say, it is the quintessential comfort food. It’s not just for pancakes—try pouring it over bran muffins, hot from the oven, split and dripping with melting butter, or drizzled on ice cream, rice pudding or oatmeal porridge. Once you start enjoying this delicacy, the possibilities are endless. And, a bottle of maple syrup is a great gift—a delight to the palate and a delicious taste of Fairy Falls. So if you get a chance, stop by Gertie Ellis’ booth at the Fairy Falls’ Farmers Market and celebrate cottage country, sweetly!

Here's a taste of Blackflies and Blueberries, the second installment of Mysterious Tales from Falls teen psychic mystery series…

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.
Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:
Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links: