Welcome to my place in the blogosphere! Fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and chat awhile!

*A message to my readers and followers*

This is my new blog but it's really just another version of my old one. I had problems with the comments on that one so I've decided to start again.


I'd hate to leave all my followers behind so if you wouldn't mind FOLLOWING ME AGAIN on this blog, (In the sidebar on the right)I'd be eternally grateful. I really apologise for the inconvenience - but blame it all on Google Plus - I don't'want people to have to join that just to be able to comment on my blog. Thanks so much for your patience (If you do follow me and I'm not already following you, leave a comment or drop me a message and I'll be happy to return the favour.)

Monday, 14 April 2014

The winner of my Amazon Gift Certificatefor the MFRW Blog hop is:

***D-r-u-m- R-o-l-l***


Stacey Smith


Congratulations Stacey, your prize is on its way.  

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog, commented and followed. I appreciate each and every one.  I hope you enjoyed the Blog Hop as much as I did and that you'll join me for the next one.

Have a great week and a lovely easter.  I'll be in Wales visiting my family so hoping for good weather!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Hop here for the great MFRW Spring event



Welcome to the MFRW Spring Fever Bloghop! The Next button at the top of your browser is a gateway to some fantastic authors, or you can choose any name from the scrolling list on our banner.

If our navigation bar disappears anywhere, clicking the bloghop banner in the post you're reading or using your browser's back button will bring it back.

Happy hopping!


Welcome to my post for the 
MFRW Spring Fever Blog Hop


Spring is finally sprung! Time flies, we're over a quarter of the way through the year already!

It's been a long winter in the UK. The weather hasn't been too extreme in the area where I live, but it's been wet and miserable - until last week when spring suddenly arrived.   The sun came out and it was really pleasant outdoors.

This picture is of the track down to the bridleway. The farmer has prepared the soil ready for sowing and the cheery daffodils sway their heads in the breeze.












The  crocuses in my garden decided it was safe to show their flowery faces without being soaked with rain or blown to pieces, while the daffodils were actually in bloom for St David's Day this year (March 1st and the birds are building their nests.

I love this time of year, the spring flowers are so fresh and colourful and the hedgerows are beginning to turn green  again and nature is bursting with  new life.


Last week I was able to take the horse's blankets off  and let them feel the sun on their backs for the first time this year. 

It's quite hard to stay indoors when it's so nice outside. Soon it will be warm enough for me to take my laptop into the garden so then I'll have no excuse for not working on my next futuristic romance, which I have a feeling might turn into Steampunk.

Easter is just around the corner, so to finish I thought I'd mention the origins of how we celebrate this Festival. The name Easter actually comes from Eostre, an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honor. According to my research:
 
"In primitive agricultural societies natural phenomena, such as rainfall, the fecundity of the earth, and the regeneration of nature were frequently personified.

One of the most important pagan myths was the search of the earth goddess for her lost (or dead) child or lover (e.g., Isis and Osiris, Ishtar and Tammuz, Demeter and Persephone). This myth, symbolizing the birth, death, and reappearance of vegetation, when acted out in a sacred drama, was the fertility rite par excellence."(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

"The name of a feast,
according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, A Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. The name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the resurrected Eostre. It was she who, according to the legend, opened the portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the white god because of his purity and also the sun god because his brow supplied light to mankind. It was Baldur who, after he had been murdered by Loki, the enemy of goodness and truth, spent half the year in Valhalla and the other half with the pale goddess of the lower regions. As the festival of Eostre was a celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus. There is no doubt that the church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them."


So, like Christmas the early Christians adapted the pagan Festival of Eostre and it became our Easter.  So, technically we should refer to Easter Sunday, as 'Resurrection Sunday' as this would be a truer name for what we are celebrating.

 I'll leave you with a question.  What is your favourite season?  Do you like the cold beauty of a snowy winter and Christmas, the gold and red of autumn glory, Halloween and Thanksgiving, the richness and warmth of summer, Holidays and trips,  or like me the freshness and newness of spring and Easter?

Leave a comment and 'follow' my Blog if you would, and I'll put you in the draw to win a $10.00 Gift Cert) Or the equivalent in pounds if you live in the UK)

 I hope you have a lovely Easter or Resurrection Sunday, and I wish you a beautiful spring.


You can also read a FREE fantasy short story 'A Bargain With Death' on my page at The Wild Rose Press (You'll have to go through the 'checkout' precedure, but don't worry, you won't get charged.)






                        



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Renegades - Review, Giveaway and Guest Post


 Renegades
Sara Mason


Author Bio:

Sara Atherton Mason was raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, with an amazing immediate and extended family. She attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating with highest honors in Chemistry. She then graduated from the Florida State University College of Law with high honors. She lives in the Florida with her toy poodle, Melvin, and clerks for a United States District Court Judge. She enjoys coffee, wine, sports, and science fiction television shows. 


Author Links -


Book Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 31, 2013

Buy Link(s):




Book Description:


Elora Pertin spent her life trying to please her father, an esteemed General for the Empire. 

When he convinced her to leave her quiet life as a scientist to advance a secret project for the Emperor, she had no idea what she was getting into. The seemingly innocent projects she engineered were actually being used to develop a genocidal weapon. After uncovering the Emperor’s plot, Elora had no choice but to act. 



Elora finds herself fighting for her life against the Empire she once served, abandoning everything with only a handful of friends and an unlikely ally—the Emperor’s deadliest assassin. Will he prove himself true as her protector, a loyal servant of the Empire, or a romantic distraction? With the law and assassins searching the star system for them, Elora and her team are determined to accomplish their mission . . . or die trying.

My REVIEW

If you enjoy a good adventure SF 'space opera' style story, with good, strong characters and a page turning plot 'Renegades' is for you.  I found S A Mason's debut novel a quick, easy read and the characters were well drawn, varied and likeable. Oh apart from the Emperor Unyasa, of course.  It's difficult to find anything very likeable about him, but then, he is the villain in this story, even if he does believe he is acting to protect the planet. 

Mordecai, on the other hand is something else! At first he seems nothing more than a cold blooded assassin, although the first description of him: "He was tall with shaggy dark hair, slightly curly on the ends. He had a strong jaw, and as she moved up his face, she saw he was looking at her in the mirror. His eyes were dark—almost as black as his clothes." had me intrigued from the start. There is more to Mordecai than is initially apparant and he has reason to be the way he is.

Elora is devoted to her father, and agrees to leave the well paid job she enjoys, on the planet she has grown to love, to participate in a secret project for the Emperor, but she soon realises that if she proceeds with the work it will mean the annihilation of a whole planet. She might be anxious to please her father, but she is far too strong willed to meekly obey without regard to the consequences.

The supporting characters are likeable too.  Nigel her bumbling and slightly gauche colleague is a brilliant computer geek and finds it hard to hide his love for Elora and hopes his affection will eventually be returned. Bylis and Zovani, who own a starship and unintentionally become involved in the plot to thwart the emperor's plans, are brothers who are very different, but also interesting in their own right.

There were a few editing errors here and there,  'crumbled clothes' :) and the odd shift into present tense, but not enough to mar my enjoyment of the story. The story is fast-paced, moving swiftly toward a nail biting climax, and there are a few surprises before the last page is reached; I now anxiously await the author's second book Redemption.

Excerpt :

Back in her room, Elora tried to come up with another plan. If her father couldn’t—or wouldn’t—help, she had to find someone else. Just finishing and going home was not an option. She tried to focus on the weapon, but was preoccupied with thoughts of her father. What was he involved with? How could he involve her in the development of an illegal weapon? He had been her rock and best friend since her mom died when she was so young. If she couldn’t trust her dad, whom could she trust?


She had just closed her eyes to practice the meditative techniques she learned on Naruta when she was suddenly pulled out of bed to her feet. She felt the strong arms of a man on either side of her head. Instinctively, she tried to jerk his arms away because she was sure he was about to break her neck. Her head was pulled so far to one side she could feel the muscles in her neck tearing apart. Then he stopped.


Elora could barely see the mirror in her peripheral. The man’s black monochromatic attire made him hard to see in the dark room, but she could make him out against her body. He was tall with shaggy dark hair, slightly curly on the ends. He had a strong jaw, and as she moved up his face, she saw he was looking at her in the mirror. His eyes were dark—almost as black as his clothes. Just as suddenly as he pulled her out of bed, he released her.






Friday, 4 April 2014

Title: Blackness Awaits (Book #2 of the Blackness Series)
Author: Norma Jeanne Karlsson
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Thriller
Release Date: April 2014
BlacknessAwaits_eBook_Final

Synopsis

As he enters the room looking like death personified, lifeless and haunting, she knows…blackness awaits. Aaron Kavanagh is not to be trifled with. He’s powerful, commanding, fierce and currently homicidal. The only thing that matters in Kavanagh’s world is Shannon Kelly. She’s the beat of his heart (yes he has one) and the peace to the fury that constantly simmers within him. Without her, his life is empty and barren. Someone took what is his and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.

 Dylan Kellerman is lost. The love of his life has been ripped from him, leaving a tattered tortured shell of a man. On the brink of murderous insanity he must battle to find Shannon, even if she hates him. Dylan has betrayed her and he knows she won’t forgive his indiscretions. None of that matters now. All that matters is finding her. As long as she’s safe Dylan can continue to live a sad wasted existence without her by his side.

Shannon brought Dylan back to life, without her in the world he’ll cease to exist. Shannon Kelly is gone. Stolen from her home and loved ones, she must now fight. Fighting has never been an issue for her, but this is a new opponent that she isn’t prepared for…her past. When every reality she thought she knew is called into question, Shannon learns her life isn’t what she thought it was. With the promise of a future with Dylan stolen from her before her world implodes, Shannon must rely on the family that has protected her for the last thirteen years to come for her. She won’t win this fight on her own…Shannon is going to lose.

Author Bio


Norma Jeanne Blackness Takes Over is Norma Jeanne’s debut novel. What began as an homage to the home town of a homesick Midwestern girl, unfolded a story of love, danger, humor, and trust. She’s currently working on her untitled sophomore effort. We can’t wait to see what thrilling saga she leads us through next! Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Norma Jeanne recently found herself relocating to the United Kingdom. Now living in Belfast, she took hold of the opportunity to kick the 9-5 job for a chance to become an author. The best part: working from her home office, she gets to spend more time with her cast of crazy characters (written and real). In her free time Norma Jeanne is a voracious reader and consumes books as readily as meals. She is a people watcher by nature and uses her experiences in life, observed or otherwise, to build the worlds and characters that thrive in her books. A believer in the strength of the human spirit, Norma Jeanne writes the stories of people that persevere when all appears to be lost. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” –Dylan Thomas

Book #1

BlacknessTakesOver Small

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway bpbuttonfortours

Thursday, 3 April 2014

His Hometown Girl - Guest post and Giveaway

His Hometown Girl banner

I'm delighted to have Karen Rock as my special guest  on the Flightdeck today,  with her latest book, the heartwarming 'His Hometown Girl.'  Over to you, Karen:

Today is my stop during the blog tour for His Hometown Girl by Karen Rock. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from March 31 till April 13, you can view the whole tour schedule here.

Karen Rock: Caught between a Holstein and a Gander!

Growing up, I looked forward to visiting my grandparents’ Century dairy farm every Sunday. A century farm is a farm that’s been owned, continuously, by the same family for over a hundred years. Mine had raised Holsteins on their land in Malone, New York, for over two hundred plus years. Although Malone is a small, rural town, it’s famous in a way that meant everything to me as a girl. Still does. As a fan of the Little House on the Prairie books, I thrilled at knowing that my family had known the Wilder family and that Almanzo, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband, had grown up in this beautiful countryside. It fired up my imagination to read Farmer Boy and see Malone through Manny’s eyes. Although I loved every book in that series, especially These Happy Golden Years, I reread Farmer Boy the most since it was so close to home.

Like Almanzo, I had my own set of adventures on the farm and though some didn’t end well, as the one I’m about to relate, they’ve all stayed with me and inspired me while writing His Hometown Girl. This particular adventure began while I was spending a summer weekend at my grandparents’ farm house. I loved any excuse to stay there since it meant I got to sleep in the guest room which had cream wallpaper with a pink rosebud pattern, slanted ceilings, a four post bed and a cherry vanity. It made me feel like royalty to stay there, especially since my grandmother always fussed over me and made my favorites like chicken and biscuits and shepherd’s pie.

Best of all, I got to spend time around the farm animals. I helped my Uncle Bob in the barn a bit, though I usually got up too late to do much with the morning milking. Nevertheless, I considered myself good at handling cows and their size and strength had never intimidated me, not with those large brown eyes and docile nature. So when my grandmother told me the goslings were learning to swim in the duck pond, I didn’t think twice about jamming my feet into sneakers and heading for that pasture.
It was a bright summer day, the morning air so crisp I could have taken a bite out of it. I raced down the long driveway shadowed by towering sugar maples and ignored my grandmother’s shout to be careful around the cows. She always said that. I did, however, look for a spot to get through the electric fence where there weren’t any around. I didn’t want them thinking I had carrots in my pockets (which I usually did but forgot in my rush). The black and white Holsteins were a bit of a distance off, their heads lowered as they nibbled at the shorn grass.

I ignored the urge that always had me holding on to electric fences to see how long before I let go, and ducked between the top and middle barbed wires. Immediately, a number of the cows’ heads popped up. I was about thirty feet from the fence before I few started trotting my way. Instead of the friendly lowing I heard whenever I entered the barn, I heard their stomping feet and angry breaths. My heart hammered. Where were the gentle creatures that tickled my fingers with their velvety muzzles? Suddenly the sun felt hot on my neck and a trickle of sweat ran down my back. I eyed the fenced in duck pond area then the electric fence along the driveway. Did I need to make a run for it? If so, the driveway was closer. But through the rushes, I glimpsed a pair of tall Canadian geese and their goslings swimming on the pond. I had to get a closer look.

I raced for the pond and the cows charged. I could hardly believe how aggressive they were. They knew me. And I thought only bulls charged… boy was I wrong! These gals were tough… terrifying actually. I barely made it to the duck pond before the cows stopped short and stared me down across the flimsy divide. My breath couldn’t be caught and it left me as I collapsed to the ground. I was glad to have made it, but frightened about getting back. Would the cows forget about me? Let me sneak away in peace after I got my fill of the adorable baby geese? I hoped so.

I crept to the pond’s edge and sighed in delight as I spotted them. They were so tiny as they paddled after their magnificent parents! As their feathers hadn’t come in, they were still covered with a fuzzy- looking beige and tan down. They kept calling to their mother and the din made me forget, for a little while, about the huffing cows that still hadn’t left the pond’s fence. Lost in that moment, I laid on my stomach and watched the water ripple behind the proud family as they circled the pond. I must have closed my eyes because a loud
squawk made them snap back open. The gander had spotted me and he wasn’t happy to have an intruder near his children. I jumped to my feet, remembering times I’d felt the pinch of a beak on my hand when I’d fed overeager birds. Scrambling backwards as the male goose waddled faster than I could have ever imagined, I slipped and fell hard. His nip on my sneaker had me back on my feet and this time, I all out raced to the fence. Only… the cows that had chased me there hadn’t left. I was literally caught between a protective goose and territorial cows. What to do?

Since we didn’t have cell phones back then, and the farm house was too far away to call for help, I raced around the pond, the gander on my heels, honking all the way. I leaped on top of a small house we’d built for them, out of reach of his snapping beak. Hours passed, or at least it felt that way, as I sat on the roof, my knees clutched to my chest. Eventually, the goose returned to his family, but the cows never wandered far, essentially pinning me down.

At last, I saw one of my uncle’s farm hands driving a tractor up the drive and stood up to flag him down. He waved his hands up and down when he entered the pasture, and the cows shied away from him. I was so relieved that I hugged him when we were out of the pasture. Later, at dinner, he stayed to regal everyone with the tale about how I’d been held hostage by a twenty pound goose and a bunch of cows. It was hard not to laugh along with the story, but I never forgot to have a healthy respect for ‘innocent’ farm animals again!

That's a great story Karen. As a country girl myself, I know how  threatening geese and cows can be, although they're usually just curious. Thanks for sharing this with us.  Now to find out more about your book.


His Hometown Girl
by Karen Rock
Blurb:
He'd always managed to best her…

his hometown girlJodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

You can add His Hometown Girl to your to-read list on Goodreads.

EXCERPT
At last, off they went with a jerk that made her teeth knock together. 

Wow. The thrum of the machine beneath her and the sense of control as she steered 
filled her with a rush of adrenaline. It’d been such a long time since she’d driven a 
tractor, and the thrill of it returned to her. The wind whipped her hair behind her, carrying 
away her fear. Tyler’s screeching echoed her own elation and the air she breathed smelled 
slightly sweet, like growing things. 

When she looked over her shoulder, Sue waved and Daniel jogged beside them. When 
they rounded the last barn and headed out into lush, open fields, Tyler squealed and she 
wanted to join him. She hadn’t been surrounded by this much unbroken greenery in a 
long time. Even when she spoke with farmers, she met them in their homes, not on their 
fields. Perhaps she should have followed up on Midland’s purchases and seen the 
improvements they’d made as Daniel had suggested. She’d actually missed this. When 
she returned to Aunt Grace’s house, she would set up an appointment with a company 
farm and bring Daniel as promised. 

Daniel disappeared for a moment and she thought they’d left him behind until she felt 
the tractor dip in back and his voice whisper in her ear. 

“So far so good.” 

She shivered in awareness of his proximity as he balanced behind them on the storage 
box. His fingers rested on her shoulders as he stood to his full height. 
Jodi peeked up at him and took in the handsome picture he made. Beltless, low-slung 
jeans rode on his narrow hips and a thin T-shirt stretched across his well-defined chest. 
From this angle, his jaw looked more square than ever, his muscular neck rising from 
broad shoulders. The bright blue sky behind him contrasted with his dark hair and hazel 
eyes. 

Another bone-jarring mud hole made Tyler flap his hands and Jodi return her eyes to 
the straightaway. And that’s when she saw them… 

Strawberries. 

The sun-kissed rows of plants stretched to a distant tree line, the berries so blood-ripe, 
so rich and lovely, that the invitation to pluck and sink her teeth into them was 
irresistible. How long since she’d gathered fruit? Delight filled her. 

“The local schools and families have picked most of the fields, but this section is 
unharvested,” he hollered over the engine’s roar. 

“Okay.” She slowed the machine, feeling shaky but victorious when it rolled to a stop. 
Since her father’s accident, she’d avoided machinery like this. Now she’d conquered it, 
and a feeling of lightness grew within her. 

Daniel jumped off and held out a hand, his eyes dancing. The sun brought out the 
lighter brown in his hair and made the yellow flecks in his eyes shine like gold beneath 
thick lashes. “Ready?” 

More than, she thought, her excitement hard to contain. She wanted to rush through the 
rows of plants, trailing her fingers along the crinkly leaves, inhaling the earthy goodness. 
Her hands fumbled to take out Tyler’s earplugs before she undid the buckle and handed 
him to Daniel. He held the wiggling boy with one hand and extended another to help her 
down. 

“Thank you. Oh.” An idea pulled her up short when her heels sunk into the ground. 
“What will we put the berries in?” 


You can buy His Hometown Girl here:
- Amazon U.K. (Print and Kindle
- B&N
- eHarlequin (Print Book)

About the Author:
karenKaren Rock has adored romance since receiving Harlequin Presents books from her grandmother each summer. She formed her Young Adult writing partnership, J.K. Rock- pseudonym for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series, with her sister-in-law and Blaze author, Joanne Rock in 2011. When Karen heard of a call for submissions to Heartwarming, Harlequin’s latest line, she was inspired by the possibilities of writing unforgettable, deeply romantic, tender love stories that mothers would feel comfortable sharing with their daughters. Since then, her first Harlequin, WISH ME TOMORROW came out in September, 2013 and her next novel HIS HOMETOWN GIRL comes out in March, 2014 with three more releases expected this year.

When she’s not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes, hiking the ‘high peaks’, and redesigning her gardens. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch” though they know a lot about love. For more information about Karen's upcoming books, check out her website at http://www.karenrock.com, Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/karenrockwrites or follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5 . She’d love to hear from you!

You can find Karen here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Pinterest

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of His Hometown Girl. These are the prizes you can win:
- Grand Prize: $50 gift card and a signed copy of Karen Rock her earlier Heartwarming Wish Me Tomorrow and her YA contemporary romance, Camp Boyfriend.
- Two runner-ups both win a 15$ amazon gift card

His Hometown Girl Grand Prize

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Children of Lubrochius - Cover Reveal and Giveaway


Please welcome Matthew D Ryan and the stunning cover of his book Children of Lubrochius

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Matthew will award a miniature of a demon from the Reaper Fantasy Miniatures to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.



The vampire, Lucian val Drasmyr, has been defeated, but not destroyed: Now he serves another evil: Korina Bolaris, a young and gifted sorceress bent on subverting the power structure of Drisdak. Only Coragan of Esperia can hope to stop them. But is even he prepared to face the dark cult who claims her as their own: the Children of Lubrochius?


Now enjoy an excerpt:

“I am a Child of Lubrochius,” Korina said. “I came here to hire you and offer you an opportunity few ever have. Are you interested?”

“I see little profit in it,” said the first man, “save vague promises of uncertain future rewards.”

Korina paused. Clearly, she was not explaining the up-side of her offer well enough. She needed something to lure the men in; something the Shadowhand could not provide, but the Children could. “Have you ever robbed from a wizard?” she asked, changing the topic as the obvious lure occurred to her. She reached into another small pouch on her side and pulled out four Kaldtarri rings, her fingers gently caressing one, feeling the band of iron and the grotesque gargoyle-like head. Sidipius had come through and provided her with ten Kaldtarri Primes and two Kaldtarri Secunduses, an ample beginning supply: enough to begin a formidable hellring. All she needed were the recruits. Men such as these.

The men stared across the empty space at her, at first saying nothing in reply. Finally, one of them broke the silence. “No, we have not,” he said.

“Why?” she asked, though she knew the answer.

“They have magic. They can snoop you out no matter how good you are.”

“How about a baron or a count?”

“Do you know how many thieves have gone to the gallows for trying?” the thief said. “The nobility just hire wizards. It’s a lost cause.”

She smiled, and one by one dropped three of the rings on the table in front of them. “Is it now?” she said.


Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. Mr. Ryan has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,”a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. Mr. Ryan says he receives his inspiration from his many years as an avid role-player and fantasy book reader. He has spent many long hours devising adventures and story-lines for games, so it was a natural shift moving into fantasy writing.

Mr. Ryan is the author of the exciting dark fantasy novel, Drasmyr,, its sequel, The Children of Lubrochius, and a growing number of short stories. His first novel, Drasmyr, has consistently earned reviews in the four and five star range and serves as the prequel to his upcoming series: From the Ashes of Ruin. In addition to Drasmyr and The Children of Lubrochius, Mr. Ryan has published several short stories on-line, including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”

Links to the Author on the Internet

Website: http://matthewdryan.com

Smashwords Page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/matthewdryan

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000038781652

Amazon Author Central Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/matthewdryan

Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/579148.Matthew_D_Ryan

The prequel to “The Children of Lubrochius” is “Drasmyr” and is free pretty much everywhere! Here are the buy links:

• Smashwords (ebook) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131156

• Barnes and Noble (ebook) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drasmyr-matthew-ryan/1109505934?ean=2940033064731

• Amazon (ebook) http://www.amazon.com/Drasmyr-Ashes-Ruin-Matthew-Ryan-ebook/dp/B008M2I0WI/ref=la_B008NY99CK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393872828&sr=1-1

• Sony (ebook) https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/matthew-d-ryan/drasmyr-prequel-from-the-ashes-of-ruin/_/R-400000000000000665030

• Kobo (ebook) http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/drasmyr-prequel-from-the-ashes-of-ruin

• Diesel (ebook) http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000131156/Ryan-Matthew-Drasmyr/1.html

• Lulu.com (hardcover) http://www.lulu.com/shop/matthew-d-ryan/drasmyr/hardcover/product-20712659.html

Monday, 31 March 2014

Baltic Mist



Baltic Mist 
A Timeless Saga
Jennifer Lohr

Genre:  Cultural Heritage, Legends, Mythology

Publisher:  An Ancient Approach

ISBN: 978-0-61593-442-6
ASIN: 0615934420

Number of pages:  113
Word Count: 27,452

Cover Artist: Jennifer Lohr

Sellfly   Kindle   Nook 

Book Description: 

Baltic Mist - A Timeless Saga is Jen Lohr's next big creation.

It all began when she came across Egil’s Saga, written in the mid11th century, chronicling the life of Egil Skallagrimsson. The history surrounding the Viking awakened within Jen an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of the Norse culture. A story was soon born, seen through the eyes of a young woman named Helga, originating from a character in Egil's Saga.

Baltic Mist begins on a farm Norway, and takes the reader through the epic adventures of Helga's enchanting life. Beginning in Book One, her tale falls against the backdrop of Scandinavia's conversion to Christianity.  The saga continues in Books two and three to a finale that no one, even Helga herself, could have ever imagined!

A must read!


 CHAPTER ONE -Journey home with me
My name is Mist, and know it was your fate, decided ages ago, to hear my tale. I am a legend whose legacy you are now part of, as you join me in history. Know as you read this:  all is as it should be, for there are no accidents. Destiny has brought you and I together, our connection has finally been made. This day was once foreseen, and your time to know me has come. Although I breathed in the air centuries before as you do now, pieces of me continue on. Come, as I now wish to show you not who I was, but rather who I am….
Follow me back to my time, before the likes of all that you know now, here and today. Visit alongside me my beloved northern homeland as it once was, so very long ago.  Behold its massive forests - so lush, green, and already ancient by the time of my existence. Come to where great cascading rivers spill over rocky cliffs, where their spray can be felt, splashing on the rolling hills below.
The dawning of my life was a special time for my parents. I would be their firstborn maid-child.  I took my first breaths during the period after the Yule Festival and before the
coming of spring, when the earth gave way to a warmer sun and seeds of growth. After my birth it was told my mother, Hilde, accepted me by permitting me to nurse milk from her breast. It was then my father tearfully held me on his knee and passionately announced,

"It is known, a daughter has been born:  Helga Thorfinsdotter…she belongs to me, Thorfinn Bondesson.  I choose her name in honor of my mother, who is now among the dead." He then sprinkled drops of water over my tiny infant body.


This was the way I became a member of my family, officially, and they rejoiced in the goddesses Frigg and Freyja.  Many were grateful to the two goddesses for delivering me safely from my mother’s womb, while leaving her unscathed and in good health, for I was brought forth humbly, with the assistance of only a single helping-woman when typically two were needed.



Mother bore me at our home in the region of Eida Skog, within the immense forest at the heart of Norway.Soon after, my mother’s belly brought upon our household another blessing of a child.This birth was that of a boy-child. He healthily suckled and grew past the age of concern where, sadly, many an infant did not thrive beyond.  He was named Helgi, and grew to be a strong, fearless young man.  His bravery matched warriors twice his age, and he lived true to the laws of the land.  Helgi was a fine addition to complement the pride found in our honorable name.

My parents’ marriage was not the typical wedded arrangement of our time. Hilde’s parents hadn’t the chance to follow through in their own agreement; sadly, they succumbed to a terrible illness - one which she and her brothers thankfully survived.  After their parents were gone, the hardship of managing their sheep farm was very difficult for Hilde’s brothers; and they decided against marrying her off. They guarded her interests of any wedding negotiations, in replacement of their father. Two men very suitable to wed had been turned down by her brothers. It became apparent to Hilde their indecision was not the reason for the refusals, but rather their reluctance to become short-handed. Legally, she was permitted to accept the third proposal from Thorfinn’s family, and she did.

After the feasting of the celebration, she joined Thorfinn in Eida Skog.  Accompanied by her rightful portion of sheep from her family’s farm, she began her new role as woman of the house. This was the way we Norse lived. Ownership of livestock, land, and other assets over- ruled love, a factor absent in the conditions of a marriage. Hilde often stated I would follow her lineage of women-folk, all of whom were versed in the distinctive and specialized gift of seiðr - the ability to see things that others could not, and know truths unspoken to most.  Hilde herself was acclaimed as a well-known prophetess, known to my people as a völva.

Since mother was versed in the art of seiðr, she frequently traveled to assist others with her skill. With her wand as her companion, she donned an elaborate cloak - hooded, lined with fur, and ornamented with jeweled pieces.  Its blue shade held special meaning, symbolizing death; but such reference did not indicate evil, but rather the wisdom held by these seeing women.  It was believed by my people much knowledge could be gained from those who had passed on into the realm of the dead, just as our god Odin did, when he desired to learn of his future. He rose up from death a very wise völva, so ancient she was older than the giants that once walked the earth She was present at the very beginning of creation.  She explained to him how all came to be.

"You, too, will practice as a völva one day, daughter. Know of the lineage from which you come, since my mother and her clan of mothers before are of the goddess Frigg. This is where my power of prophecy comes from, little Helga." She first told me when I was a small child, only three years of age, in her usual confident tone.
"When will I see, mother?" My tiny voice asked her as I squinted my eyes, to better concentrate and focus.  Mother looked down at me, smiling.

About the Author:
Jen was first published when she was a sophomore in High School, and has been writing short stories ever since. The Baltic Mist series is her fictional novel debut. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and their four children.