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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Love Elixir Antidote - Blog Tour and Excerpt

Love Elixir Antidote 
A Sonny the Scoundrel Novella 
Romance /Fantasy (Satire / Humor) 
By Sonny Zae 
Publisher: Roane Publishing 
Release Date: April 20, 2015 
Keywords: Fantasy, Medieval, Satire, Humor, Fantasy Adventure, Romantic Comedy 


Sonny the Scoundrel lives with Grandpap, the wizard in their rustic village of Sow's Teat.  Sonny is dashing and handsome, but his reputation is widely known.  When a former flame announces her marriage to a suitor from a distant city, he knows it will be a grand affair attended by visitors from far beyond their village—including young maidens who are unaware of his dubious reputation.

Since the visitors will include his favorite type of maidens—those he can romance and never see again, he nicks a love elixir from Grandpap in advance of a big wedding,.  Sonny is confident he can charm any of the visiting maidens without need of the love elixir, but why work harder than necessary? 

When he adds too much love elixir to a girl's cup, Sonny discovers making her fall out of love with him is much harder than he imagined.  Unfortunately, there is no love elixir antidote and Sonny must use his wits to wriggle out of her clinging claws.
About Sonny Zae
Sonny lives in a small town on the edge of reality.  His only remarkable characteristic is imagination.  He ignored his grade school teacher's repeated admonitions to stop daydreaming and get to work.

Sonny's book WIZARD SEEKING TROPHY BRIDE, is available on the Kindle .  It is a story about the exceptional difficulties involved in finding love and happiness for an elderly and strange wizard, not to mention the difficulties of dealing with an elderly relative—an elderly relative who is also a wizard.


EXCERPT

"So you fear you would lose?"


"No, not at all!"


"Agree, or I shall shout out what a little coward you are right here and now."


"Well…"


"Everyone, listen to me!" Winsond said in a voice that carried over the din, while swirling an arm above her. 


Heads turned our way. 

"I accept, of course." I threw my chin up into the air, amused by the implication I could lose the wager. "By the time of your banquet, then. I did not know I was invited."

"You are not. I will have someone drag you in at the required time."


"And if I do not declare I am impotent?"


"Then I shall have you beaten until you say it."


I shook my head in disbelief. "But if you beat a confession out of me, no one will believe it."


A slight smile played across Winsond's face. "True, but they will still enjoy watching the confession be beaten out of you. And they will still gossip about it."


She had me there. Not one single, solitary person in our village would step forward to lift a finger to help me, such was their jealously of my superior bloodline, looks and station in life.


She shouldered me aside and continued toward the bar.


"Mind that you do not cause trouble, scoundrel," her father growled as he followed. "Or I shall have Cappersham knock you senseless and throw you into the biggest mudhole he can find."


My heart grew cold. Did Winsond not understand how her words made me ache? Mayhap it was better she marry some pale and lifeless young scion from another village, a young man so devoid of imagination and life they would make a matched set, a pair of peahens instead of peacock and peahen.


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Mornings Journey - Excerpt and Giveaway

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Morning’s Journey SERIES – The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, book 2 AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee GENRE – Myths, Legends, Historical, Spiritual, Romance PUBLICATION DATE – 2013 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 439 pages/140K words PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Mornings Journey - Book CoverIn a violent age when enemies besiege Brydein and alliances shift as swiftly as the wind, stand two remarkable leaders: the Caledonian warrior-queen Gyanhumara and her consort, Arthur the Pendragon. Their fiery love is tempered only by their conviction to forge unity between their disparate peoples. Arthur and Gyan must create an impenetrable front to protect Brydein and Caledonia from land-lusting Saxons and the marauding Angli raiders who may be massing forces in the east, near Arthur’s sister and those he has sworn to protect.
But their biggest threat is an enemy within: Urien, Arthur’s rival and the man Gyan was treaty-bound to marry until she broke that promise for Arthur’s love. When Urien becomes chieftain of his clan, his increase in wealth and power is matched only by the magnitude of his hatred of Arthur and Gyan—and his threat to their infant son.
Morning’s Journey, sequel to the critically acclaimed Dawnflight, propels the reader from the heights of triumph to the depths of despair, through the struggles of some of the most fascinating characters in all of Arthurian literature. Those struggles are exacerbated by the characters’ own flawed choices. Gyan and Arthur must learn that while extending forgiveness to others may be difficult, forgiveness of self is the most excruciating—yet ultimately the most healing—step of the entire journey.
 

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EXCERPT: Chapter 1


Gyan gasped and sat bolt upright, pulse hammering. Sweat plastered her hair to her head, which felt like the ball in an all-night game of buill-coise. Bed linens ensnared her legs.
Fingers grazed her shoulder. She recoiled and cocked a fist. Her consort ducked behind his hand. “Easy, Gyan!” She relaxed, and he wrapped his arm about her. “What’s wrong?”
 She pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes. “A dream,” she replied, hoping that for once he’d be satisfied with a vague answer.
“Some dream.”
She sighed. “It was the fight—and yet not the fight.” Gently, she traced the thin red line at the base of his neck where she’d scratched him with Caleberyllus to seal his Oath of Fealty to her and to her clan. But dreams cared naught for oaths. “This time, Urien won.”
 Arthur grimaced. “That’s no dream.” He hugged her, and she burrowed into his embrace. “I’d call it a nightmare.”

 “Ha.” She bent forward to disengage the linens from her feet. The unyielding fabric ignited her ire. She pounded the straw-stuffed mattress, furious at Urien and even more furious at herself for allowing him to creep into her wedding chamber, if only in spirit. “Why must that cù-puc keep coming between us?” She gazed at the table where Braonshaffir, named for the egg-size sapphire that crowned its hilt, lay sheathed inside its etched bronze scabbard beside Caleberyllus. Indulging in the fantasy of her new sword shearing through Urien’s neck, she bared her teeth in a fierce grin. “Just let him cross me openly, and by the One God, I’ll settle this matter!”
Arthur’s warm sigh ruffled her hair. Together they righted the linens, but when she would have risen, he clasped her hands and regarded her earnestly. “I can’t afford to lose either of you.”
She looked at those hands, young and yet already scarred and callused by years of war: hands that cradled the future of Breatein. “I know.” Briefly, she squeezed his hands, hoping to convey her desire to help him forge unity among his people, the Breatanaich, as well as with Caledonaich, her countrymen.
One legion soldier in five called the northwestern Breatanach territory of Dailriata home, and one in three of those men hailed from Urien’s own Clan Móran. In a duel between Gyan and Urien, Arthur’s Dailriatanach alliance would die regardless of the victor.
If politics ever failed to constrain the Urien of the waking world, however, she couldn’t guarantee that diplomacy would govern her response.
She averted her gaze again to the table where their arms and adornments lay. Their dragon cloak-pins sparked a memory. Something else had been odd about that dream, but its details had receded like the morning tide. She couldn’t decide whether to be troubled or relieved.
BOOK TRAILER (with older cover by Jennifer Doneske)

CHARACTER BIOS

From Legion Headquarters in Caer Lugubalion, Brydein, I send you greetings.
I put pen to parchment in honor of my wife, Gyan—formally, Chieftainess Gyanhumara nic Hymar of Clan Argyll of Caledonia. We have been married a few short months, just since the calends of July, and we met each other for the first time only three months before that. Yet I feel so closely bonded with her in heart, soul, and mind that it seems as if I have known her my entire life.

If you were to ask me what first caught my attention about this remarkable woman, I would have to confess it was her exotic beauty. Her brilliant copper hair, sea-green eyes, berry lips, the wild blue doves winging across her forearm all beckoned to me to learn more about her. Since I knew her to be a warrior—though untried in battle at the time of our meeting—I had expected her to act aloof, cold, haughty, arrogant. From the moment my hand gripped her arm in welcome, I knew she was none of those things.
And I think I knew—on some level, at least, if not overtly—that my heart stood in grave danger of declaring its undying allegiance to her even as I realized that to do while she remained betrothed to Urien might plunge our lands into another war.

Fortunately for both our peoples, Gyan proved herself a canny diplomat and hid her feelings about me until the time was right for both of us to declare our love.
Problems remain, of course. Though together Gyan and I defeated the Scots and bought peace from that quarter for a season, the Saxon and Angli kings remain a looming threat. Urien stands to become chieftain of his clan, and may God deliver us all from that day. And I cannot shake the disturbing thought that, should Gyan and I have children, they might fall victim to treachery from without—or within.
But I also have deep abiding faith in that which makes us strongest: our love for each other, and the love of our God, our families, our clans, and our friends. Against an alliance of that nature no power in heaven or on earth stands a chance.
Arturus Aurelius Vetarus, Dux Britanniarum Also called by many Arthur the Pendragon  

AUTHOR BIO Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins -- the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century -- seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Mornings Journey - Author PhotoKim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.






 

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– 5 e-copies of Morning’s Journey – 10 note cards – 1 autographed print copy of Morning’s Journey

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

True Calling - Spotlight and Review


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True Calling (True Calling #1) By Siobhan Davis  
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance  
Age category: Young Adult  
Release Date: August 1, 2014
True CallingBlurb: Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray. As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone. Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
You can find True Calling on Goodreads . You can buy True Calling here: - Amazon  - Barnes & Noble  - Kobo   - iBooks   - Ciando ebooks   - Copia books   - Bookbaby 
 
REVIEW

I found the present tense first person narrative refreshing, and different to the way most books of this type are written, but once I got used to it I really enjoyed it.  I love first person anyway, and I feel the present tense does help the reader to identify with the characters.  There is a fairly big info dump at the start of the book but it is skilfully done, and because of the way the book is written, did not seem particularly intrusive, and did help to fill in the background and make the events that followed more understandable


Having been screened for imperfections and implanted with tracking devices, and with their old  memories erased, Ariana and her family have left Earth to start a new life on the planet Novo. However, Ari is haunted by vivid dreams of a young man called Zane although she can't remember who he is and how they knew each other on Earth, or indeed why he did not come with them to Novo. To add to her confusion, she finds her dislike of Cadet Cal Remus changing to attraction and he makes no secret of his romantic feelings toward her.

To ensure a swift populating of their new world, all teens once they reach the age of seventeen, have to participate in 'The Calling'.  This again entails thorough testing, and assessment, before being assigned potential suitors. At the end of a publicly broadcast courting period, and numerous training sessions, and medical procedures to boost fertility, they are required to marry one of these suitors and produce at least three children by the age of twenty-two. 

The switch from Ari's Point of View to Zane's, in Part II, threw me a little but  I soon settled into his narrative and enjoyed reading from his perspective, and we learn more about Earth and why he was left behind. The quality of the writing and the richness of the characterisation had me turning the virtual pages of my Kindle in quick succession as I got more and more drawn into the story.  I won't give away too much about the plot, so as not to spoil it, sufficient to say that there are several twists and turns, together with political intrigue and  underground rebellion,  and I was never quite sure if certain characters could be trusted or not, which all added to the suspense.  I quickly grew to like the main characters and although I felt Ari was a little naive in some ways, I could see her character growing and maturing as the story progressed. The ending was a real cliffhanger and I just had to read Book II 'Beyond Reach' which will be featured on my Blog on the 20th May.  All in all, I found 'True Calling' a throughly engaging read and one I would definitely recommend.

Siobhan
About the Author: Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling. A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward). Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years. A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons. Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com You can find and contact Siobhan here: - Website   - Author blog   - Book website  - Facebook   - Twitter  - Google +  - Goodreads 




 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Happy Easter

I hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday yesterday if you celebrate Easter, if not then perhaps you just rejoiced in the coming of spring.

Personally, being a Christian, I rejoice in the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and Easter always seems to come with a promise of spring and rebirth.  It's lovely to see the daffodils in the hedges and the primroses and violets showing their pretty little heads.  I'm enjoying spending time with my doag and horses, and just being out and about in the fresh air after months spent in front of the computer slaving away at my 'Work In Progress. I'll soon be working on another writing project, but in the meantime I'm  enjoying a bit of a break - and chocolate!

Don't forget to visit the blog I run with some friends, 'The Author Roast and Toast' which has a new author guest most Fridays.  See you then!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle - Spotlight and Review

It's a real pleasure to welcome Laura back to the Flight Deck and to congratulate her on her new release 'Dark Alchemy'.  (And isn't that one stunning cover!)
Dark Alchemy
Laura Bickle

On-sale: 3/24  
ISBN: 9780062389862

Stephen King’s The Gunslinger meets Breaking Bad in Laura Bickle’s novel Dark Alchemy.

Book Description:
Some secrets are better left buried…

Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father’s disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present.

But under the town’s dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up - desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can’t scientifically explain - her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town’s most powerful interests. Petra’s father wasn’t the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill.

Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn’t understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next.

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. THE HALLOWED ONES and THE OUTSIDE are her latest young adult novels.




MY REVIEW

Wow! That was my feeling on finishing Dark Alchemy. I actually felt quite breathless. This is certainly one of the most unusual books I've read, reminiscent of Stephen King or Ray Bradbury.  It starts out almost like a rather dark western, then introduces Petra, a geologist with a heartbreaking secret in her past, on a quest to find her father. The characterization in this story is skilfully done, I felt I was with each character when they had their own point of view, but in particular Petra herself. She is strong, and at the same time vulnerably, and also very resourceful when it comes to creating useful and sometimes dangerous tools out of whatever happens to be at hand! This is essentially a horror story with dark magic and the alchemy of the title, but there is also a hint of romance, with two possible suitors, although I have to say the outcome was not quite what I expected. 

The discoveries Petra makes, and the danger these discoveries put her in will have you turning the pages in quick succession. It's a thrilling ride, with one surprise after another and had me on the edge of my seat.

I have to say there is a fair bit of 'language' but it is keeping with the nature of the story. There is also a good sprinkling of 'blood and gore' but there are also some beautifully descriptive passages, and some almost poetic phrases at times.

If you enjoy a good horror story with likable main characters and some pretty revolting villains, not to mention a rather adorable pet coyote, I can thoroughly recommend this highly original and unusual novel.

NB: I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review

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