The Keepers of the Light follows an ordinary young man who finds out he’s destined to be a leader and face a dangerous enemy. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?
It was important to make the transition in this book to full-blown fantasy in a believable way. We are dealing with some classical fantasy elements n a contemporary setting so I really wanted this to feel believable. I approached this by asking myself if this were actually happening, how would these characters respond?
Garrett continues to be a compelling character. What were some obstacles in the story that you felt were important to his character development?
Trust. Every adult in Garrett’s life has lied to him about who is his entire life. Trust is, and will continue to be a challenge for him, and understandably so. The other issue for Garrett is leadership. He will have to take the reins in this series and lead. He will have to stop seeing himself as a just a kid and step up or humanity may not make it.
What was one of the most challenging scenes in this book to write?
The scenes inside the underground temple were tough because there were so many moving parts. I spent a lot of time with a tape measure, measuring out distances in my yard, throwing things, yelling, running around, and essentially acting it out. Yes, my neighbors may think I have issues and they may not be entirely wrong:) Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say it was tough with a whole group of humans and a handful of magical creatures to keep it clean and clear for the reader. Alternating between Breanne and Garrett’s perspective each chapter while controlling pace added to the challenge. My editor and I went back and forth a lot trying to perfect those scenes. In the end, I think the extra effort was totally worth it.
This is book two in your God Stones series. What can readers expect in book three?
Book three will take Garrett and his companions on a journey across the country as the world deteriorates into an apocalypse. There are still plenty of issues, both new and old, the friend’s need confront, overcome, and make peace with. Book three promises danger a plenty with dragons, giants, and what I am most excited about, a massive army of supernatural creatures that have been right here under our noses this hold time. I have been hard at work on book three and am excited to share that the rough draft is complete, and edit will begin very soon. Expect book 3 later this year!
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Mythos Early Ireland recounts the inspiration of mystical Celtic traditions. What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book thought-provoking book?
I have always been interested in history and mythology from a young age but became more interested in the subject when I was working on a research project in my 20s for the Office of Public Works in Ireland. Archaeologists and assistants were employed to research the sites, monuments, and history of the area. I worked as an assistant, working with the team on site with archaeological field work. It also involved spending a lot of time in the local libraries collecting information from old manuscripts and books. From this learning experience, I became interested in mythological stories and started doing research for my draft manuscript.
The manuscript was first written in the early 1990’s and after a lot of editing it was accepted for publication by the Manuscript and Publishing Agency Ltd, UK and published in 2005. During the lockdown this year, I felt I needed to update and self-published my book with Kindle Desktop Publishing (Amazon). I am delighted with the control I have with the book publishing process on KDP and I have discovered a lot about book publishing.
Stories have been told throughout the years on this subject of mythology and early Ireland with publications as early as 11th to 12th century and I found some wonderful books that inspired me (18th and early 19th century), many out of print and were borrowed from the libraries at the time though some are my own personal copies. Books have always been a part of our life growing up as children; my dad often bought boxes of books for us at the local auctions, many which included works by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.
Do you plan to publish more books on this subject?
I have not planned any more books about Irish mythology, but this might change. There seems to be a lot of books out there already. I am really inspired by the classics, the old authors alive or dead and I have a full list of inspired works listed in Mythos Early Ireland.
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Tideon: A New Myth follows the life of Tideon, and his mother, as Tideon makes a discovery that will change his life forever. After an accident gives him the ability to hear ocean animals, Tideon spends hours each day exploring the ocean, leaving his mother envious. But they both come to terms with their positions in life and learn much more in the process.
Tideon: A New Myth feels like the beginning of a larger fairy tale. Author Elizabeth MacDonald has written an enchanting story that mesmerizes you with its easy flowing words. Tideon goes on a magical journey that introduces readers to all sorts of animals and sea creatures. Along the way Tideon, and the reader, learns about God as well.
This book should be read by adults to children, as I think there are some large words and concepts that would need some accompanying explanation. While the story could be for children, I think it could also be for adults who want a light read, as the book goes into some deep topics. I really liked the relationship between Tideon and his mother, the conflict, and its resolution were the centerpiece to this story, I think. But the relationship Tideon had with his father was not explored and left me wanting to know why there was so much animosity.
The art in this book is phenomenal. The book is filled with some powerful imagery in muted colors that make the brighter colors pop when they appear and brings your attention to the important parts of the art pieces. Some of the pages were a single art piece that could easily be printed, framed, and hung on the wall.
Tideon: A New Myth is a mesmerizing story that provides plenty of material for internal reflection after reading. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a thought-provoking book to read to their kids.
Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08KGYDBY4
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There is much to be gained from studying the myths that shape a culture. Ireland is certainly no exception. Celtic mythology is rich with tales of lovers, warriors, heroes, and fairies. The imagery these stories conjure is colorful, full of life, and begs retelling. Ireland’s customs and legends are largely based on the mythical stories passed from one generation to the next. In addition, Ireland boasts many symbols and sayings known the world over, and many of them originated within these tales. Nowhere are these stories more succinctly encapsulated than in Virginia O’Malley’s Mythos: Early Ireland.
The Celtic culture has always fascinated me. From early one, I was drawn to the stories of fairies and leprechauns. There is just something about the fantasies of Ireland that draws upon the best parts of one’s imagination. Virginia O’Malley has given readers like me, eager for more of Ireland’s folklore, something to sink our teeth into. This brief but thorough overview of the most popular myths of Ireland includes poetry, sayings and proverbs, as well as detailed explanations of the importance of symbols like the harp, ravens, and even dogs.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading her more detailed accounts of stories I have encountered here and there my entire life. I think my favorite part of O’Malley’s book is the section on sayings. The author does a wonderful job of providing readers with a reference book that serves as much, if not more, as entertainment.
Pages: 87 | ASIN: B0876CMBC8
Caught follows a mermaid who is captured by a vengeful pirate and finds that she may not want to escape his embrace. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
I got my inspiration from the Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides. That’s where the idea of mermaids attacking a pirate ship came from also the Disney movie Sinbad where the water sirens’ were attacking the ship gave me the idea for establishing a difference between mermaids and sirens.
Lorelei is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
I wanted her to have a strong connection to her family the ones she loves. It’s what drives her actions.
I appreciated the careful development of the mythology of this world. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in your story?
I wanted to show how even through one’s intentions might be pure in the beginning, if you’re not careful power can easily corrupt.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Claimed, Storm’s book which is book two in the series is next. It is currently in the editing process, and will be followed by Captivated Book Three which is Jewel’s story.
Phantasia by Efthalia is the second installment in Efthalia’s Phi Athanatoi series. This novel follows Carissa, an ex-cop and demigod granddaughter of Zeus, as she embarks on the greatest mission of her life thus far – saving a few morally astray Greek gods from causing ruin and chaos to not only their ethereal realm in Mount Olympus, but also to the susceptible and unknowing mortal world below. Efthalia’s entertaining way of storytelling and character building, combined with a unique plot that blends romance, adventure, Greek culture, and Greek mythology, are all key aspects that make this a thrilling paranormal romance.
Even though this is the second book in her Phi Athanatoi series, Efthalia does a great job at building each character so that even if a reader picks up the book out of sequence, they have enough context about important details to still be able to follow the story line. Carissa and Xen’s romance is hot, steamy, and palpable in all the right ways, while still making apparent the couple’s devotion to one another. Even auxiliary characters, such as Carissa’s mortal family members, are given the chance to shine, reminding readers how embedded loyalty and familial ties are to Greek culture. All the characters are likable, realistic and have their own sense of morality that adds to the depth of the overall novel. Each scene is portrayed in a way that allows the reader to easily envision happenings as they unfold.
Efthalia is a brilliant writer who also uses her work as an opportunity to highlight Greek culture. Her numerous and regular Greek vocabulary and cultural references add significant depth to the reader’s experience. The Greek glossary at the end of the book, which provides definitions of all Greek vocabulary used throughout the text, is a further welcome touch. Her vivid depictions of each of the Greek gods in the story, from Zeus to Ares to Hades, reflect the well-researched nature of her storytelling.
There are definite aspects that are reminiscent of popular thrillers, such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Since there are sexual scenes, depictions of alcohol use, and some images of violence, this novel is best enjoyed by an adult audience. I would recommend Phantasia and the rest of the Phi Athanatoi series to anyone with an interest in the adventure romance genre, as well as any aficionados of Greek mythology.
Pages: 289 | ASIN: B083TBWNPH
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Caught (Sea Temptress Series Book One) by Kimberley Cale is a fantasy romance story about a pirate captain seeking revenge against the mermaid he captures. Quinn O’Connor believes that Lorelei is responsible for sinking his ship The Mayhem and killing his crew, and he intends to make her pay. He refuses to listen when Lorelei tries to explain what happened. Though she is desperate to escape an arranged marriage to the sadistic brother of sirens, Lorelei’s sister will be forced to take her place if she does not return home. When Lorelei and Quinn end up stranded together on a deserted island, will she be able to find a way to save herself and her sister?
The author has an enjoyable and engaging writing style and the story kept my interest. Lorelei and Quinn start out as enemies, but feelings between them quickly grow. I liked Lorelei’s character throughout the entire story, and I enjoyed reading the interactions between her and her sisters, Jewel and Storm. The twist at the end of the book, that allowed Quinn and Lorelei to be together, was not what I was expecting, and I liked that this part was not predictable despite some familiar beings from myths and fantasy. I liked the inclusion of the mythological elements that were woven into the story. There were many humorous parts of this book, which caused me to laugh out loud more than once, and I enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.
I didn’t like that the book started in one place in the story and then went backward to show the reader the “beginning” of the story. I prefer when books start at the beginning of the story, and in this case, it felt as though the out of order timeline hindered the forward momentum of the story.
There were some troubling aspects of the interactions between Quinn and Lorelei at the beginning when he used his superior strength against her to try to push for physical intimacy while he was holding her captive. Despite his justifications and the agreement they come to, it brings up questions about whether Lorelei is actually “willing” or not. Quinn redeems himself later in the book, and I was glad that the story ended happily for both Lorelei and Quinn.
I’m looking forward to the next story in the series about one of Lorelei’s sisters. Caught is an exciting adventure novel that will delight fantasy fans who would like to see a new layer added to the mermaid mythology.
Pages: 155 | ASIN: B08D7T8YSK
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A charmingly illustrated children’s book about inclusion and peace-seeking in a world of colliding mythology and science. Enjoyed by religious and non-religious parents and children alike, this book is a great point of entry for discussions on diversity of thought and commonality of human experience.
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