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Review: “The Dragon’s Prize” by Sophie Park

“The Dragon’s Prize” by Sophie Park

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 7 January 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: The prince has been kidnapped! Carried off in broad daylight by a dragon with no hope of being saved except an exorbitant ransom. Only one royal guard is brave enough to attempt a rescue: Sandra.

Known for being the best warrior in the guard, Sandra’s prowess was also her downfall. Disgraced and moments away from an unfair execution, Sandra seizes this last chance at redemption. Her journey will take her across a forbidding wilderness where she’ll face off against deadly conspiracies and hungry trolls before ever getting a chance to challenge the dragon. With the kingdom’s ruin, and her own life, hanging in the balance how can she possibly triumph against such odds?

Review: I’ve been Miss Review Girl over here, jumping not just on one soapbox but a whole stack of them, about how so many books–especially epic fantasy–have Pointless Female Syndrome, with women characters thrown in to say HEY WE HAS A GIRL. And then proceed to make her an idiot, or just completely pointless, or with the entire purpose of sacrificing everything she has and is for the male hero.

Honestly? I would rather a book with only male characters.

When the author of The Dragon’s Prize approached me for a review, I already had a sizeable To Be Read pile, but a lead character in an epic fantasy that’s a female warrior? Then I saw other themes in the sequel that drew my eye, though I won’t say what since I haven’t read it yet, but I knew I had to try it.

I’m so glad that I did.

First off, the writer drops you right into the story, writes action very well, and is funny. The story and book moved along at a great pace, and I was giggling through much of it. (The writer and character have my sense of humor.)

This is what I liked even better: our main character is a female warrior, member of the royal guard and everyone hates her. But not because she’s a woman, because she’s a commoner. And when they turn on her (which happens early so I feel okay noting it), they beat her up but sexual assault doesn’t happen or is even an idea. (Too many authors use this for shock value, I think, without working with it realistically or really thinking it through.)

Even if I didn’t like the rest of the book, this would have thrilled me. Not only a strong female lead but actual gender equality in the story, because it wasn’t A Thing. She was just another warrior. But I did like the rest of the book, a lot: our hero, a kickass woman. Our sidekick? Also a pretty kickass woman. And the one they have to go save? The prince!

Seriously. This was great. 5 Fireballs of Awesomeness and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

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Review: “Slice of Life” by Ellie Ann & Others

“Slice of Life” by Ellie Ann & Others

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 12 January 2015
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: “This was no longer her world against the queen. It was the queen’s world against her.”

The Queen wants to destroy the life force of earth and has destroyed the last being that can stop her. Or so she thinks . . .

The last powerful mage in the world, Princess Aura, is the sole witness to the nefarious plot. The good news is she knows how to stop it. The bad news? She can’t do it alone.

Aura must summon someone she hoped never to see again. Saint George, her lover who left five years ago for another woman. And another. And another.

Can they work together long enough to defeat the queen and save the world?

Told collectively by a troupe of digital artists, Slice of Life employs every medium available: prose, pictures, poetry, illustration, audio scenes, and music, to provide an immersive and exciting reading experience.

Review: I was first drawn to this book for the intriguing “multi-media” concept, as I had not read a story comprised of narrative, illustrations, with a “saga” and music and audio scenes that you could listen along with. So for all that, it was fun. (Although the narrators didn’t quite click with me.)

The story itself was interesting too, taking a whole bunch of fairy tales and tossing them on their ear, while still being a standard fairy tale in many ways.

Unfortunately, this story lacked something for me to really be drawn in. Maybe it really did try to do too much and in too small a span to really feel it all. Some parts were very rushed and so you couldn’t quite hook into the story, and the characters didn’t have as much development since they were so busy rushing through the plot.

Still, it was fun and different and interesting. 3.5 Fireballs.

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The Fairytale Keeper

“The Fairytale Keeper” by Andrea Cefalo

Published as… Young Adult/Historical/Fairytale Retelling

Excerpt from The Fairytale Keeper

Intro: Adelaide’s plan to humiliate the callous parish priest, Father Soren, backfires. She and her father, Ansel, end up in the stocks for a crime they didn’t commit. Proud to have thwarted Addie, Soren comes to gloat.

Excerpt:
Flutes trill and lyres thrum as the throng dissolves into the market for Annunciation Day celebrations. I catch the savory scent of roasting sides of beef and suckling pigs. My stomach howls. I haven’t eaten since Saturday dinner. Dozens rush at the archbishop, seeking an audience. Soren saunters toward me, smirking proudly.

He kneels, and I look him in his piggy eyes. “You thought you were pretty smart, did you not?” he goads. “You didn’t think I would find out about your little plan, did you? Oh, but I did. You would be surprised at how little I had to pay for that information, and now look at where you and your father are.” He cocks his head to the side. “I bet you should like to throw another stone at me now, would you not? But you cannot with those pretty little hands bound, can you? No, no, no…”

“You have become a thorn in my side, girl, and I think you’ll find that I can become a spear in yours.” He pulls a cloth from his robes, and I recognize it immediately. “This was your mother’s, was it not?” He places it beneath his nostrils and breathes in deeply. “She smells lovely…nothing like that day we burned her.”

I’ll claw out his eyes! I shove my hands through the holes as far as they can go.

“You are a feisty little witch!” he laughs. “This is the last of your mother’s things. I am having the rest of them burned in the streets right now. I am having all of your things burned in the streets.”

I pull backward, slamming the base of my head hard against the wood. My neck burns from the pain, but I try again, desperate to break through the stocks so I can get Mama’s clothes, her lavender satchels, anything that smells like her, anything that reminds me of her. Soren laughs.

“Do you want this back?” he asks smugly. Of course I want it back. He knows I want it back. “Swear to me, on your mother’s soul, that you shall sit in my church every Mass for the rest of my days. I shall save you a seat in the first pew so I can look upon your angry, defeated face.”

I collect all the saliva in my mouth and spit, hitting him on the side of his nose. “Keep it,” I hiss.

He wipes my spit from his face with the linen. “Very well, then. I think I shall use this to wipe my arse.” He rises and walks away.

The Fairytale Keeper Playbuzz Quiz

 

About the Book

Adelaide’s mother, Katrina, was the finest storyteller in all of Airsbach, a borough in the great city of Cologne, but she left one story untold, that of her daughter, that of Snow White. Snow White was a pet name Adelaide’s mother had given her. It was a name Adelaide hated, until now. Now, she would give anything to hear her mother say it once more. A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without last rites and the dead are dumped in a vast pit outside the city walls. In an effort to save Katrina’s soul, Adelaide’s father obtains a secret funeral for his wife by bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, pushing Adelaide toward vengeance. When Adelaide realizes that the corruption in Cologne reaches far beyond Soren, the cost of settling scores quickly escalates. Avenging the mother she lost may cost Adelaide everything she has left: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life. Seamlessly weaving historical events and Grimm’s fairy tales into a tale of corruption and devotion, The Fairytale Keeper, leaves the reader wondering where fact ends and fiction begins. The novel paints Medieval Cologne accurately and vividly. The story develops a set of dynamic characters, casting the famous villains, heroes, and damsels of Grimm’s fairy tales into believable medieval lives. Though historically set, The Fairytale Keeper brims with timeless themes of love, loyalty, and the struggle for justice.

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About the Author

Andrea Cefalo Author Photo Besides being the award-winning author of The Fairytale Keeper series, Andrea Cefalo is a self-proclaimed medievalist, hopeless bookworm, and social media junkie. She graduated with honors from Winthrop University in 2007 where she studied Medieval art history and children’s literature. The next three books in The Fairytale Keeper series—The Countess’ Captive, The Baseborn Lady, and The Traitor’s Target—will debut in 2015 and 2016. She resides in Greenville, South Carolina—ever perched before her trusty laptop—with her husband and their two border collies.

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The Fairytale Keeper

Paulina Woods is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Stone Guardian

“Stone Guardian” (Witches Amulet #1) by Paulina Woods

Published on… 18 November 2014
Published as… Fantasy Romance

About the Book

Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)
Royal House – Purple

Milcah was born to rule along side an evil mother. Milcah’s father was taken against his will and forced to give up his seed to produce a child with unimaginable powers. At a young age she was taken away from the only home she knows and forced to forget, again and again.
Raised by a detached stepmother, Milcah learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary for support. When Mary suggest a vacation, with a scenic route, to the Grand Canyon Milcah believes she is finally getting the chance to see outside her small town. Packing a few things and climbing into her old beat up car, she never imagined she would find a new side of herself.

Lost on a back road, Milcah meets her destiny in a small town named Beacon. When her mind is unlocked, she finds she has a past that will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world.

This is book one in The Witches Amulet series.

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About the Author

Paulina Woods Author Photo
Paulina is a small town girl with big dreams. She is the second oldest of three talented siblings.

As early as three she was directing her family around acting out whatever current story was in her head. At four between her older brother and her, a whole universe was created which the younger siblings were introduced into as they were born.

Her natural ability to tell a story took her down many paths. She wrote plays, poems, small children books and short stories all before she entered high school.

When picking a career her councilor told her writing was a dying art and so she went to school for veterinarian science. Three years later she dropped out of university and enrolled in the local community college with a major in journalism

In 2008 she graduated with her BA in Communication/Journalism from Cal State Fullerton.

Life happened and her dreams were put on hold until 2013 when she started a review blog. This year her first book in her Witches Amulet series will be released.

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The Druid Knight Tales

“The Druid Knight Tales” (The Druid Knight Series) by Ruth A. Casie

Published on… 23 February 2015
Published as… Historical Fantasy/Romance

About the Book

She would give her last breath for him. He would give up everything to guard her well and love her more.

Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, was given a year to find his soul mate. On the final day, the sacred mistletoe has shriveled and died—proclaiming his failure. He must do what no other Grand Master has done before and journey to meet with the Ancestors formally relinquish his title.

Ellyn of Brodgar has the gift of healing. But each use of her magick, through a kiss, depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Time is running out as she searches for a way to continue saving lives—especially her own.

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld together—a place filled with magick and wonder, it’s also fraught with danger, traps, and death. They have only until the third sunset to find the Ancestors, or be lost to the world forever. The domineering druid must work with the stubborn healer, not only for survival, but for the promise of the future—a future together.

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About the Author

Ruth A Casie is a seasoned professional with over twenty-five years of writing experience but not necessarily writing romances. No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation. Over the past years, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical time travel romance novels.

When not writing you can find her home in Teaneck, New Jersey, reading, cooking, doing Sudoku and counted cross stitch. Together with her husband Paul, they enjoy ballroom dancing and, with New York City close by, going to the theater. Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren. They all thrive on spending time together. It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world.

Ruth is a Trustee and on the Executive Board of Shelter Our Sister (SOS) in New Jersey. SOS is Bergen County’s only shelter for victims of domestic violence. She frequently speaks at various functions around Bergen County on behalf of the Shelter.

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Knight of Runes

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Review: “In a Latitude of Temperance” by Ichabod Temperance

“In a Latitude of Temperance” (The Adventures of Ichabod Temperance #5) by Ichabod Temperance

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 14 August 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: The adventure prone Ichabod Temperance and his capable cohort Persephone Plumtartt are again hurtled into baffling mystery and hair raising intrigue. A dangerous mission exposes an unspeakable danger to the safety of the entire world. Assisting our brave protagonists is an amazing cast of extraordinary and charming individuals. Thrilling action in this humourous ride to once again save our imperiled planet from certain destruction carries Ichabod and Co. to uncharted waters of surprise and terror.

Review: Oh, Ichy… Ichy, Ichabod, Ichy…

This wasn’t really my favorite book of the series, I’m afraid. While it was still a fun and lunatic romp through the steampunk realm and full of inside jokes, as well as a lot of alliteration and crazy excitement, there was one big problem for me.

There wasn’t enough Ichabod.

I love the namesake character of the series. Ichabod Temperance is a fun character, adorable and endearing, and what made the first books so much fun. And while he was part of the adventure–he was there–I would estimate…80% maybe of the chapter narrators were everyone but Ichabod and Persephone. And even in those, it felt like we didn’t see as much of him. We saw more of Persephone through the eyes of others.

I want my Ichabod back! My unsophisticated, ‘bama boy jetting around England and elsewhere making funny inventions and swooning over Ms. Plumtartt. While all the rest is fun and funny, it’s just not a real Ichabod adventure without, you know, more Ichabod.

Otherwise, the accents of the exposition make the book kind of hard to read in parts, but more chapters from the perspectives of Ichabod and Persephone would fix that. I don’t have any complaints beyond that, and since I still like this series better than most, I still give it a 4 Fireballs. I do hope to see more Ichabod in the next book, though!

4 Fireballs

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Here, Kitty Kitty

“Here, Kitty Kitty” by Various

Published as… Paranormal Romance

Charity: Exotic Feline Rescue Center

About the Book

What is it about the tiger that so captivates? Or about the jaguar that enchants? Why are we so drawn to the lethal grace of the large feline predators of the world?

Get ready to purr, growl and roar along with six paranormal romance authors in this anthology of love and shapeshifting kitties. After reading these six unique tales, from the sexy to the sweet, you’ll be guaranteed to be saying… Here, Kitty Kitty…

* * *

In ‘His Jaguar Princess’ by A. Star, jaguar shifter Selene Peters can’t deny her feelings for the tycoon Lucas King. Somehow, he’s penetrated her barriers and become more than just a client, but loving a human is dangerous and she fears her past repeating itself. Could he help her overcome the past or will she sacrifice her happiness and succumb to it? Not if he has anything to say about it…

In ‘In Our Nature’ by Jessica Nicholls, when Mira’s privacy and independence are threatened, she can be very nasty. Daniel is an expert on American mountain lions. His assistance is requested after an ‘incident’ on Mira’s front lawn. When the two meet, they recognise each other in more than one way.

In ‘Divine Passage’ by Dariel Raye, Kimani, a breeder with the power to preserve the human race, must depend on her guardian, Ahkil, a black panther shifter with more than one reason to distrust humans, but his secrets could change the course of her life forever.

In ‘The Distance Between’ by Mia Darien, she’s traveled thousands of miles, looking for a safe place. He’s brought her thousands of miles, looking to not be lonely any more. But they both have secrets. Can they bridge the distance between, and find what they’re looking for in each other?

In ‘Hannah’s Fate’ by Abigail Owen, cougar shifters have allied into groups, together in a rocky alliance to protect themselves against other shifters. Hannah Keller becomes the targeted Mate for Kyle Carstairs, the treacherous soon-to-be Alpha of another group. Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, her childhood hero and longtime secret crush, has returned home with hopes of claiming Hannah for his own. But will he be in time to rescue her from the Carstairs’s schemes?

In ‘Full Moon’ by B. R. Kingsolver, the full moon can get a girl stirred up, especially with a handsome cowboy paying her way too much attention. If it wasn’t for those damned werewolves causing trouble and getting in the way…

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Reaching Out

“Reaching Out” by Various

Published as… Contemporary Romance

Charity: American Red Cross

About the Book

Romance can be found among the darkest of times. In this anthology, you’ll find four tales of sweet romance about those who dedicate their time, and sometimes even their lives, to helping others. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

“Cross My Heart” by Abigail Owen

“A Healing Touch” by Jessica Nicholls

“Lesson Learned” by Crystel G. Smith

“Hope” by Mia Darien

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Bellator

“Bellator” by Various

Published as… Science Fiction & Fantasy

Charity: Wounded Warrior Project

About the Book

Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unalike and inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s what you’ll find in this anthology.

From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar and new!

100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“SARAH” by Lee Pletzers

“The Summoned Rise of the Phantom Knights” by Kenny Emmanuel

“Border Patrol” by BR Kingsolver

“The Twelve” by Mia Darien

“Ghosts” by Christi Rigby

“Outside the Walls” by A. L. Butcher & Diana L. Wicker

“My Brother’s Keeper” by Raphyel M. Jordan

“With Our Own Blood” by Jessica Nicholls

“The Connection” by Crystal G. Smith

“A Fly on the Wall” by Chantal Boudreau

“Slacker” by Doug Dandridge

“The Light Bless Thee and Keep Thee” by Mason Darien

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Michael Schmicker is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The Witch of Napoli

“The Witch of Napoli” by Michael Schmicker

Published as… Historical Fantasy

Michael Schmicker’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: I refuse to try an Ouija board. All in the mind? Simply the power of suggestion? I’m not so sure.

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: The globe-trotting Indiana Jones. I love archeology, foreign languages, and ancient history; I spent three years in Southeast Asia as a freelance correspondent traveling by steam train and prop-driven, World War II DC-3 planes; and am fascinated with the Orient’s older gods and cultures.

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” There’s more to reality than what we see.

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: Being a tiny part of that great, glorious, fraternity of writers which includes Dickens and Twain, J.K. Rowling and Agatha Christie, David McCullough and Umberto Eco. True, I’m barely inside the door, but when people ask me “What you do?” I can honestly answer ‘I’m a writer.”

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): “Boot Dog” – he was a part Labrador, rescued from the local dog pound. I loved him fiercely. I’ve always had dogs.

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: Nature. I live and write high on a mountaintop in Hawaii, overlooking Diamond Head. Outside in the garden, with the door open and the sun shining, I hear a slight breeze in the coconut palms, and an occasional dog bark in the distance.

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Night owl. When I need a break from writing, I walk outside and look at the stars –Orion in the winter, Scorpio in the summer. In The Witch of Napoli, my heroine Alessandra “pointed her finger at the luminous arc of galaxies that glittered above their heads, her finger tracing its majestic sweep across the zodiac.” I do that often.

8. Favorite Season: Fall – in New England. Hawaii is my home, and I will never move, but when I retire I hope to spend my Octobers in Connecticut, where I lived during my grade school years. I traveled one year to Jakarta on a newspaper assignment with a well-known Swiss photographer who had traveled the globe, from Tokyo to Rio, Paris to Deadhorse. He told me of all the places in the world he visited, he always preferred to spend his autumn in New England. The colors!

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Maybe from birth. I read the newspaper daily as a kid trudging around the neighborhood pushing my bike, delivering the Danbury News-Times. I was writing limericks at seven, and published my first short story at thirteen. National Scholastic Writing Contest. I forget what the plot was about, and I’m sure I’d be embarrassed to read it today, but it put stars in my eyes. I’m in the Principal’s office, St. Peter’s School, Danbury, Connecticut, nervous and excited, flanked by Father Hitchcock and beaming Sister Arlene in her starched nun’s coif. A guy is handing me a small gold key and a printed certificate. My mother, bless her soul, kept the clipping for years in a tin box, and surprised me with it when I scored my first op-ed byline in the Asia Wall Street Journal. Writers have always been my heroes.

Thanks for taking the time to interview me, Mia, and my aloha to you and your readers! By the way, I’m a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society (yes, there is such a group, headquartered in England), and I post my Hawaii sunset shots on my Google Plus page.

About the Book

Italy 1899: Fiery-tempered, erotic medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist séance in Naples. A reporter photographs the miracle, and wealthy, skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate. When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent, challenging the scientific and academic elite of Europe to test Alessandra’s mysterious powers. She will help him rewrite Science. His fee will help her escape her sadistic husband Pigotti and start a new life in Rome. Newspapers across Europe trumpet her Cinderella story and baffling successes, and the public demands to know – does the “Queen of Spirits” really have supernatural powers?

Nigel Huxley is convinced she’s simply another vulgar, Italian trickster. The icy, aristocratic detective for England’s Society for the Investigation of Mediums launches a plot to trap and expose her. The Vatican is quietly digging up her childhood secrets, desperate to discredit her supernatural powers; her abusive husband Pigotti is coming to kill her; and the tarot cards predict catastrophe.

Praised by Kirkus Reviews as an “enchanting and graceful narrative” that absorbs readers from the very first page, The Witch of Napoli masterfully resurrects the bitter 19th century battle between Science and religion over the possibility of an afterlife.

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About the Author

Michael Schmicker Author Photo
Michael Schmicker is an investigative journalist and nationally-known writer on the paranormal. He’s been a featured guest on national broadcast radio talk shows, including twice on Coast to Coast AM (560 stations in North America, with 3 million weekly listeners). He also shares his investigations through popular paranormal webcasts including Skeptiko, hosted by Alex Tsakiris; Speaking of Strange with Joshua Warren; the X-Zone, with Rob McConnell (Canada); and he even spent an hour chatting with spoon-bending celebrity Uri Geller on his program Parascience and Beyond (England). He is the co-author of The Gift, ESP: The Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People (St. Martin’s Press). The Witch of Napoli is his debut novel. Michael began his writing career as a crime reporter for a suburban Dow-Jones newspaper in Connecticut, and worked as a freelance reporter in Southeast Asia for three years. He has also worked as a stringer for Forbes magazine, and Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal Asia. His interest in investigating the paranormal began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand where he first encountered a non-Western culture which readily accepts the reality of ghosts and spirits, reincarnation, psychics, mediums, divination,and other persistently reported phenomena unexplainable by current Science. He lives and writes in Honolulu, Hawaii, on a mountaintop overlooking Waikiki and Diamond Head.

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Marc Secchia is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Dragonfriend

“Dragonfriend” (Dragonfriend #1) by Marc Secchia

Published on… 11 April 2015
Published as… Young Adult Epic Fantasy

About the Book

Stabbed. Burned by a Dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he failed to reckon with the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.

About the Author

Victoria Bright Author Photo
Marc is a South African-born author who lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas patrolling the back fence.

When he’s not writing about Africa Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

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Tales from Feyron

“The Legacy of Mist and Shadow” (Tales from Feyron, Book Three) by Diana L. Wicker

Published on… 20 December 2014
Published as… Young Adult Fantasy, Coming of Age

A Chat with…Nuriel & Zilya

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Zilya: We appear together in the newest adventure from the Age of Awakenings set, Legacy of Mist and Shadow. It’s the story of my discovery of my family’s background and where my magics came from.

Nuriel: *snorts as he turns to look at her* It is not. It is the story of the rediscovery of my World Beyond.

Zilya: hmm…perhaps we should just tell you what the author says about the story and let you decide for yourself.

“Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin.

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by the memories within the Mists of Time.”

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Nuriel: I am Nuriel, last descendant of the last Summoner. I suppose I’m the leader of the Avahaa, the remaining few, although that’s not a responsibility I ever asked for. I was just a child when my grandfather fell in battle.

Zilya: *rolls her eyes and shakes her head* You ‘suppose’ you’re the leader of those left behind? He darn well knows they all look to him for leadership.

I am Zilya, a griffin-child from clan Caris. I know that may seem odd, as Caris is the clan of shapeshifters, but my mother is a griffin-child, like her mother before her. I see visions in the moonlit mists. In this tale I find myself on an unexpected journey in an unforeseeable location. There’s nothing quite so disconcerting as finding yourself in a strange location where you can’t understand a word anyone is saying.

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Zilya: I do wish she’d give us a bit of a heads up before dropping us in an adventure. I was, after all, a barely mentioned little sister, hardly more than a side note before this. It was quiet unexpected to find myself in the middle of one of her tales.

Nuriel: I, for one, and grateful to the author for telling our tale. Far too long did we wait in the shadows longing for the light.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Nuriel: Well, it’s the story of the rediscovery of my World Beyond, so I suppose I’d darn well better like it. I do hope she decides to look back on our past, for that is a story worthy of being told.

Zilya: I’m not really sure. Being throw into the middle of an adventure, finding magics I never knew I had…it’s all been quite overwhelming. I’m not really sure how I feel about all the excitement. I’m sort of used to fading into the background.

Bella: Do you like being a character in the book?
Zilya: You know, I’m not really sure. *giggles* I guess I keep saying that, don’t I?

Nuriel: *rolls his eyes and sighs, muttering something under his breath* Well, I am pleased that this story has been told, and I can’t imagine it can be told without me.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Nuriel: My future? *appears slightly confused* Now it’s my turn to say ‘I’m not really sure.’ So much has changed around me, but nothing has changed within me. I still feel…sort of lost.

Zilya: I sort of hope it goes back to normal, but I’m not sure that it can. I mean, after such an adventure, you’re not really the same person anymore, are you? *glances sidelong at Nuriel*

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Zilya: Oh gosh I hope not! *covers mouth and blushes* Is that rude to say? I mean, all things considered, I’m sure I will be. I just hope it’s a much calmer tale.

Nuriel: *says softly to himself as he watches Zilya* Some people are too important not to be mentioned again. *coughs loudly as Zilya glances over at him* I don’t know if I’ll be in any future stories. I may well have fulfilled my purpose now, as far as storytelling goes. I guess we’ll just have to see.

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Nuriel: The author likes this thing called anime. I’ve heard her say that she once saw me in a show. The character’s name was Arawn, and he’s apparently my twin. As to live actors, possibly Colin Morgan.

Zilya: ooo, movies! That is something I do miss from my old World Beyond. Oh gosh, choosing someone to be me? Wow…

There’s so many good actresses that play characters my age. It’s so hard to decide… um…maybe, Amandla Stenberg?

About the Series

The Dreamweaver’s Return (Book One)

The Realm of Feyron has always been. It is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where all the worlds meet. Once, in days gone by, there were many gateways within the Temple of Pyli connecting the Worlds Beyond seeded with magic to their home. Now many gateways have flickered out, and Feyron weakens as the magic fades and the Guardians are lost.

For the first time in over three hundred years a Dreamweaver has come of age and is tasked with contacting the Guardians. When she awakens in the night after a vision of her best friend lost and alone, injured in the snows at the top of the Crystal Mountains, she seeks out the Sacred Fire in the Temple in an attempt to call forth more information. A voice calls out from the fire, “Dreamweaver, you are summoned.” An image appears of an ancient path through the Mist Shrouded Forest leading to a hidden gate into the Crystal Caverns below the mountains. The Guardians have summoned her on a quest that will take her to the four realms of light within Feyron in search of answers and aid.

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The Guardian Child’s Return (Book Two)

The Guardians have awakened after the Time of Sleep and returned to renew the magic with the clans of Faie. At the request of the Guardian, Lord Grypos, Keeper of Knowledge, the Master Scholar travels through the Outer Gateway with craftsmen and apprentices to coordinate the repairs of the once great oasis that houses the ancient archives of knowledge known as the Island in the Sands.

As the summer wanes and the oasis begins to return to its former glory, the Guardian calls the Master Scholar to the meditation room in the wee hours of the night to discuss a journey. In the fire an image flickers of the red desert sands speeding past, a land of grey beyond the desert, and a cavern of twilight behind an obsidian wall. “Arwyn and Shyamal are to go there for me to seek out that which was once mine.”

What starts as a seemingly simple journey becomes an adventure with life threatening consequences as the two are unexpectedly joined by their friends on a journey far from home beyond the Realms of Light in a realm that few within the clans of Faie knew could even be reached.

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The Legacy of Mist and Shadow (Book Three)

Old relics and have stories of their own. Sometimes they contain adventures waiting to be sparked and journeys bursting to begin.

The Box of Melodies was left with Clan Caris by Lady Oyisha, daughter of the mists, for care and keeping. A series of visions revealing the last desperate moments of a forgotten clan – the loss of their gateway to Feyron and the escape of a lone traveler holding the box – spurs a handful of adventuresome youth on a trek through the Lesser Forest where they inadvertently cause a ripple through the mists with unintended consequences.

A few of the youth find themselves on an unexpected journey to a World Beyond, lost in mist and shadow, where misunderstanding and suspicion lead to danger and darkness. Forgotten histories are discovered, clan secrets are revealed, and old alliances are remembered as the families of the lost seek to discover where the youth have been drawn by the memories within the Mists of Time.

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About the Author

Diana L. Wicker Author Photo
Diana lives in the balmy climate of the US south with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and a cantakerous rabbit. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy making), and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.)

The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and may yet “ripple” outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic.

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