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Embracing the Darkness – Book Trailer

What lurks in darkness cannot hide from the light.

Jasce Farone, previously known as the Angel of Death, has returned to Orilyon as commander of the Paladin Guard in hopes of locating his long-lost sister and settling down with his fiancée, Kenz. But now that peace has come to Pandaren, Queen Valeri is hosting the Gathering—a meeting of five kingdoms, and among those invited are the Vastanes, whose war crimes have not been forgotten. And though the rulers of each kingdom claim they want peace, ulterior motives hide in the shadows.

As the Gathering begins, lethal magic-hunting creatures terrorize the people, and Spectrals are reported missing. Jasce is forced to choose between the search for his sister and the survival of the kingdom he has sacrificed everything to save.

In this second installment of The Darkness Trilogy by award-winning author Cassie Sanchez, Jasce, Kenz, Kord, and Amycus return and are joined by a new cast of characters to battle political intrigue, foreign magic, and mystifying beasts. Jasce will need all his magic—and more—to defend those he loves, while resisting the familiar embrace of the Angel of Death, who demands blood at any cost.

Roland Of The High Crags – Book Trailer

Warrior. Monk. Wizard. He is Roland Of The High Crags.

As a warrior monk he has taken vows to protect humanity from all forms of evil. To protect the innocent and the weak, and to unflinchingly face his foes, no matter the odds. For centuries, that meant that the Bretan monks faced the hordes of Dragon armies who pushed Mankind into the snow-capped mountains of The High Kanris.

But one day, a dragon nobleman asks Roland to take his remaining heir, a seven-year-old dragon princess, and save her from those who wish to destroy her. Accepting the challenge, Roland decides to raise the child in the ways of The Bretan, and teach her the vast magical powers of the Bretan Way.

Yet in his heart he knows the truth; that the child is the ultimate weapon, designed by the Dragon gods. A weapon forged in Dragon magic and charged with the command to destroy the entire human race. Yet Roland sees a glimmer of hope, a way to defy the prophecy. A way to take the ultimate weapon and turn it against the gods themselves.

It’s a gamble filled with treachery and betrayal, but it is a chance to end the forever war. For Roland, there is no choice but to accept this role.

And so, the adventure begins.

Adventures, Monsters and Magic

Wallace Briggs Author Interview

The Emerald Lake follows an orphaned alien living on Earth as he sets off to save an underwater race from flesh eating, fire breathing serpenta and save his first love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The original story arose from a need to keep a small group of youngsters (newfound friends of my five-year-old son) occupied (quiet) as they sheltered in our crowded beach tent during a holiday shower. Within the group was one ginger-headed boy, the smallest in the group, who was being ordered around (bullied) by the bigger boys. My story was intended to show that bullying is bad but can be overcome. I needed him to overcome the challenges. The story needed adventures, monsters and magic. And so Jimmy Crikey was born and among his friends were the four witch guardians of Earth’s realms.

What was the inspiration for the culture of your characters? Is it modeled after any particular society?

The inspiration was an idealistic concept of a race of people living together democratically in a caring environment with a minimum of antagonism.

What was one scene in the novel that you felt captured the morals and message you were trying to deliver to readers?

The way a small group of beings, the Aquamites, banded together in the Emerald Lake, to overcome a stronger, dangerous foe. The young Aquamites placed their own lives in danger for the benefit of their own peoples. There was no magic to help them. They had to act using their own skills before Jimmy and the witches could act.

Will there be another book in the Jimmy Crikey series, and when will it be available?

The Story continues. One of the characters, Jade, the young apprentice witch, pleaded with me to write her story. She was convinced that if I didn’t she would die if readers did not know about her.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

This is a stand-alone, fourth in series, of The Adventures of Jimmy Crikey, the alien orphan who, despite cruel bullying, decided to make his home on Earth. He numbers among his friends the four witch guardians of Earth’s realms and the ancient Lord Oron, aka The Weatherman.
The underground Emerald Lake, the home of the Aquamites, is invaded by a flesh-eating, fire-breathing serpent, which is impervious to the magic of the four guardian witches. Matilda, the chief witch, asks for Jimmy’s assistance.
Jimmy accompanies Elwinn, witch guardian of everything associated with water, to visit the Emerald Lake. They arrive at a plausible plan to capture the serpents in a spider’s web net.
Their strategy is complicated because Jimmy cannot breathe underwater unless included in Elwinn’s bubble. Several of the strongest young Aquamites agree to act as live bait to entice the serpents into a lake in an extinct volcano’s caldera.
Once the serpents are lured into the volcano’s lake Jimmy, with the help of his starship SR3 and XRU, the intelligent computer/navigator, the reptiles are ensnared in a Golden Orb spiders’ web net, ready to drag the creatures into the cold depths of deep space. During the operation to rid the Aquamite’s world of serpents, Annison is seriously injured when one serpent takes a big bite out of her lower tail. She is dying from the loss of blood. The witches do not have the power to help. There is no time to get her to Jimmy’s home plane of Attalia for advanced surgery.
All appears lost until Lord Oron reveals his true identity. Lord Oron is one of the Lords who serve the all-powerful Master. The Master could save Annison, but he refuses to bring a subject back to life from the dead. Can Lord Oron persuade the Master to intervene and save the life of Jimmy’s first love, Annison?

The Blood of the Bear

The Blood of the Bear, by Grahame Fleming, is the story of Artos, who will one day become Arthur. This novel brings a new take on Arthurian legend but still brings the familiar characters to ground the reader in this tale. It’s a tale of witches, honor, prophecy fulfillment, and coming of age. This novel is meant to be a humorous version of the story of King Arthur and readers will find this take refreshing and unique.

I am a fan of King Arthur and Arthurian legend. Fleming brought a new view to a subject I love while retaining some familiarity with the legend. In Fleming’s tale, we follow Artos as he begins his journey to become Arthur, the legendary King of Britannia. We also meet Merlin, Morganna, and Lancelot. There are also new characters for us to love and hate.

There are places where Fleming tells instead of shows us what’s going on. Just drop me into the action and let me see the story. Another thing that distracted me was when Fleming dropped from third person to second person. It pulled me out of the story. Some of the dialogue didn’t feel natural to me. However, the storyline and action scenes were well written.

I enjoyed reading this rendition of the Arthurian legend. One part that stands out is that a good portion of the story is dedicated to Duncan MacForres; it is not just about Artos. I would have loved to have seen more about Artos’s growth through the story, but having a diverse character base can make that more challenging.

The Blood of the Bear is only the beginning of Artos’s story; there is still much for him to learn before he becomes king. While this story wrapped up its story goal well, it left much room for more to happen in future books. I’m interested in reading the next book.

Pages: 513 | ASIN : B09HNX63YW

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The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey: Issue #3

The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey issue number three sees the Dragon take flight. Dragon is flying north to help Orin face his monsters and defeat his family curse. In route Orin must survive being attacked by a tree and cave imps if he’s ever to reach the Ghostwood Tree. Meanwhile, Lucy and Nana set off to meet up with Dragon and Orrin and face their own dangers. They face a shapeshifting lion in The Candy Cottage where Lucy must gather her courage to face the lion. Will they reach their destination or will they succumb to the horrors of the forest?

This is a wonderfully imaginative children’s comic book that moves quickly. Each page has edge to edge artwork that has a consistent artistic style throughout. Each piece is a delightful sketch art piece that captures the emotion of all the characters in each scene. I liked the artwork that accompanied the opening to ‘How to Kidnap a Dragon’ because I felt that it really captures the adventure inherent in this intrepid story, and it was well drawn as well.

This is issue three in the series and readers are dropped right into the middle of the action, so if you haven’t read issues one and two then I would recommend you do so. This is a very creative story and I never knew where the story would go. Monsters pop up nearly every other page, even a sweet old lady hides something dangerous, and the children are learning something new about the world and their past. The bits of backstory and lore that is slowly revealed in this story is intriguing and I can’t wait to uncover the rest in future issues.

The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey: Issue #3 takes readers on a lively adventure through a magical realm where, it seems, anything can happen. Readers will be enthralled with this quick fantasy comic book that captures the imagination with charming artwork and an interesting use of magic. If you’re looking for a fun young adult comic book then I highly recommend Carolyn Watson Dubisch’s entertaining series.

Pages: 72 | ASIN : B0B3897FT7

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Kindreds

Kindreds is the impassioned story of a girl who has experienced tragedy. When trying to adapt and make something of herself, a boy from her past comes back into her life. Together they experience the magic of Carnival Nolianna.

Lilah lost her parents and her twin brother, Aiden, in an accident when she was younger. She lived with her Grandma Pea until recently, when she passed away. Lilah was placed in a home with only 22 months left until she aged out of the foster care system.

While staying with this family, she is introduced to Joey, who is being fostered next door. Joey was Aiden’s best friend growing up and recognized Lilah as soon as they were introduced. Being reconnected has brought up painful feelings from the past and has formed a deep bond between them. This emotional turmoil is explored in deep and meaningful ways throughout the story and I really enjoyed it because B.B. Russell uses it to establish characters, motivations and connections seamlessly. Lilah is introduced to many other kids in the system at her new school. Sebastian, one of Joey’s friends, quickly takes a liking to Lilah and is always trying to provoke her. The three of them form a friendship with both boys trying to get Lilah’s attention. Each of them is unique and intriguing and readers will enjoy seeing their characters evolve as the story progresses.

One night Lilah follows Joey to a hangout she wasn’t invited to. Sebastian notices her following and invites her to join them. Lilah then finds herself looking at a full-blown carnival. Carnival Nolianna only exists for a select number of nights out of the year and only those who are invited can come. This feels so magical and exotic and I was excited when I learned about the carnival. On the last night, ten selected participants will become members of the carnival “Nolies” and live there until a certain age. Each person chosen has a unique set of skills that will benefit the community and the person they are matched with. Joey has always wanted to join and is enjoying every moment spent in Nolianna. Lilah on the other hand is curious as to how everything works and doesn’t quite believe everything she is being told. This helps to ground the story. The dynamic between Lilah, Joey, and Sebastian shifts as she uncovers the truth behind Nolianna. This situation created a lot of intrigue and was one of the reasons I kept coming back to this book.

The writing style in this enchanting young adult romance novel is engaging and fluid throughout. The plot moves quickly, maybe because I was more than willing to follow the intriguing characters. The relationships between characters were interesting, especially the love triangle with the three main characters. The layering of storylines added surprising depth to the book.

B.B. Russell has written a heartfelt story in a creative world with compelling characters. I enjoyed this magical teen mystery story and I can’t wait for more stories in this world because I feel like there is so much more left to explore.

Pages: 319 | ASIN: B098FGHLRM

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Web of the Spider Queen – Book Trailer

THE REBIRTH OF EVIL. A REALM IN PERIL. AN UNSTABLE ALLIANCE TO SAVE IT ALL.

Her name is Sinnia, she is the Queen Mother of dark spiders and she has returned to Orum to finally conquer the one world that eludes her grasp.

Nix, the leader of the last nation of Elves, unites the people of Orum to make one last stand. Elves, Fairies and Amazons must work together to stop the monstrous queen from stealing the very essence of their beloved realm. It’s a tale of fantasy action and adventure as massive armies make their last stand on bloodied battlefields and the leaders of the realm embark on a perilous quest of epic proportions and self-discovery.

Yet, the world of Orum is not all that it seems for it harbors an ancient secret that could shatter the uneasy alliance of its people and lead them down even darker paths that will change the realm forever.

The Orum Chronicles
Book 1: Web of the Spider Queen
Book 2: Ballad of the Fallen
Book 3: The Ashes of Orum

Family Is More Than Just Blood

Neil O’Donnell Author Interview

The Keep in the Marsh follows a boy that lost all he knew to the plague and sets out to find adventure and makes new friends along the way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Like the main character, Thomas, I want my parents to be remembered. He plans to devote his life to that goal as do I. Along with that, Thomas is seeking adventure in a realm akin to that of Dungeons and Dragons. The adventures in my book are meant to provide a glimpse of the life of D and D player characters between adventures. How do they pay for housing and food? How do they actually find trainers? And, most importantly, how do they find quests without the aid of a Dungeon Master?

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

The characters grew organically for the most part during the writing, but I had some fundamental characteristics in mind when starting. I knew I wanted the characters to be out of their depths in starting their adventuring and I wanted them to be fleeing a life they didn’t want to pursue, hoping becoming an adventurer would save them. From there, I wanted the characters to see the sides of an adventurer’s life they didn’t anticipate – the grittier side of adventuring.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Family is more than just blood. We often create an immediate family through circumstances, happenstance and life-long associations. I also wanted to highlight that individuals can learn and adapt to embrace a new life when needed. Lastly… I wanted to show the importance of seeking help when needed.

What can you tell readers about the next book in the series and when will it be available?

I am hoping to have the next book out by early 2023 (Hammer of the Elements). This book was very much following the characters through their “Level 1” development. The next book is building the characters to ‘levels’ 2 and 3, so to speak, with more details of the world being revealed with the gods and their minions presenting more guidance and hurdles for the characters… along with a would-be Dungeon Master. FYI – for readers, I love parody.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

A village blacksmith from the middle of nowhere, Thomas seeks adventure after surviving a plague that eradicated his homeland.
Following his father’s advice and heading east, Thomas finds himself entwined in a surge of attacks by a thieves’ guild knows as Neydis. Similarly lost adventurers soon join him along the Queen’s Road, and they set their sights on breaking through the grasp of Neydis and finding “safe” adventure in dungeons without any dragons.
Thomas and his group may be reckless, but they aren’t stupid. Who would knowingly mess with a dragon? Find out in The Keep In The Marsh, the first book in Neil O’Donnell’s series of epic fantasy adventures.
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