Tag Archive | fantasy

Water Dreams by Katherine Eddinger Smits

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13140645_1746907375527055_1064566612_nNik—an outwardly normal, young woman terrified by water, living in the Greek-American town of Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Bas—a shapeshifter merman tasked with obtaining Nik’s help to gain what his species most desires.

The Nerei—a race of beings who want humans to continue to believe they are mythological.

What happens when Nik refuses to help Bas and the Nerei?

How will Nik and Bas save each other when they fall in love, against his species laws?

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The Author:

picture-for-web-siteKatherine Eddinger Smits grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Although not from a Greek background, she fell in love with the Greek culture of the town and its close-knit families. She moved away years ago, but she still visits Tarpon Springs frequently to see old friends and classmates, walk the beaches or shop and eat at the Sponge Docks.

Katherine started writing stories in grade school and always intended to write novels someday. However, she put off writing fiction while she raised her family and worked as a clinical social worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country.

She was devastated to learn that her first career choice—mermaid, was not realistic. However, she found helping veterans and their families fulfilling, and managed to squeeze writing into her life. Whether it was recording clinical assessments, producing brochures for social programs, or putting together newsletters for clubs and organizations, she always had some kind of creative project in the works.

Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Water Dreams, Katherine’s debut novel, is a paranormal romance set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and is the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series.

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The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan

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Title: The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan
Author: Steve Wiley
Genre: Fantasy

 

“Did you know most anything that matters in this city was built by magic before it was built by men? Of course you didn’t. This city is different from other cities. The true history of it is unpublished. Lucky for you, I know it all by heart.”
~ Francesca Finnegan

 
ftalechicago-cover-imageIn Chicago, a secret L train runs through the mythical East Side of the city. On that train, you’ll find a house-cat conductor, an alcoholic elf, a queen of the last city farm, the most curious wind, and an exceptional girl by the name of Francesca Finnegan.

When we first encounter Richard K. Lyons, he is a man who has long forgotten the one night, when he was still a boy called Rich, when Francesca invited him aboard the secret L for an adventure though the East Side. The night was a mad epic, complete with gravity-defying first kisses, mermaid overdoses, and princess rescues.

Unfortunately for Rich, the night ended like one of those elusive dreams forgotten the moment you wake. Now, Rich is all grown up and out of childish adventures, an adult whose life is on the verge of ruin. It will take the rediscovery of his exploits with Francesca, and a reacquaintance with the boy he once was, to save him.

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The Author:

picture2Steve Wiley is a father, husband, uncle, brother, friend, and purveyor of fairy stories. He grew up in and around Chicagoland, where he still lives with his wife and two kids. He has been published in an array of strange and serious places, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to Crannóg magazine in Galway, Ireland. This is his first book. He has an undergraduate degree in something he has forgotten from Illinois State University and a graduate degree in something equally forgotten from DePaul University. You can email Steve at Lavenderlinepress@gmail.com, or visit thewileymancan on Instagram.

 

The Illustrator:

picture1Chris Cihon is an artist who studied at Columbia College Chicago. He is a Chicago native and has lived here all his life. Chris’s paintings have been showcased in many local galleries and beyond. When he feels like it, he travels elsewhere to find inspiration. You can reach him at Chris.cihon@gmail.com, or visit _ccihon on Instagram.

 

Books I Read in January ’17

fbbannerChild of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves #1)

by Andy Peloquin

33412715An edge of your seat, fast-moving and unforgettable read from Andy Peloquin.

I was drawn in the moment I started reading and my attention was held right up to the last word!

I spent ten years with Ilanna, shared her hopes and fears, and her triumphs and failures. I felt the aches and pains, the cuts and broken bones, and sat with her friends as she healed. I watched her grow from a scared, lonely little girl, called Viola, through months of torture, as Seven, and years of training, as Ilanna the apprentice, into a strong and determined journeyman.

The details and descriptions of Praamis, and the believable characters, each with their own personalities and troubles, made this book come to life. I didn’t just read a story… I lived it!

Andy Peloquin is an amazing writer and story-teller!

I loved the book and am eager to read the next book in the series.

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

***

If Wishes Were Horses… (The Neil Marshall Mysteries Book 1)

by Tim Hemlin

30361439An exciting and suspenseful murder mystery which held my attention from start to finish.

Neil Marshall is a multi-dimensional character, friendly, loyal, and easy to like.
The rest of the cast are also well fleshed out with their own quirks and personalities.

The many twists and turns kept me guessing who killed Jason, but I didn’t have a clue until it was revealed.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Neil Marshall is a graduate student in the University of Houston’s creative writing program and a promising young poet.

However, facing a financially and emotionally draining divorce has him worried about more than paying tuition. So, to make ends meet, Neil moonlights as a chef for a high-society caterer.

Just when Neil’s life seems bleakest, his oldest friend, racehorse breeder Jason Keys, is murdered. And Neil becomes the prime suspect.

To avenge his friend, clear his name, and rescue a missing championship thoroughbred, Neil infiltrates the dark underworld of horse theft and illegal breeding.

Neil’s friends — his attractive writing teacher, his cooking colleagues, and a freckle-faced teenage horsewoman — offer their support. But their cheers quickly turn to gasps when Neil becomes the hunted.

***

The Darkness (Regina #2)

by D.M. Singh

31016234Book 2 picked up where the first book left off and The Darkness was as well-written, and just as hard to put down as The Monster Inside.

Regina and her friends were back. The witches, elves, and vampires were back. The quest to save Jay from the Darkness began.

I journeyed with Regina, (and enjoyed every minute of it,) as she struggled with her inner demons and those who wanted to either destroy her or use her for their own ends.

The unexpected twist at the end, once again, leaves me wanting to read the next book now!

The world is on the edge of a secret war! A battle rages between those who fight on the side of right and those who crave the darkness. Without their saviour (Regina), the resistance is in tatters. Regina has no idea if she can save Jay from the Darkness, but she has to try. Now she must battle the unknown demons of this place as well as the ones within. The future is uncertain, but Regina knows she must stop Helena before she destroys more lives. She will pay for what she has done! She has crossed a line for the ones that she loves and this time there may be no way back.

***

Dead Normal

by D M Singh

32801248I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

***

Joanna’s Journey

by Karen J. Mossman

28510893A well-written love story that follows Joanna through the pitfalls of falling for two completely different men, neither of whom is right for her!

Joanna is well-fleshed out and is mostly likeable. However, she is human and has her flaws, she can be selfish and I found myself frustrated with her at times. She refuses to listen to any advice and doesn’t always learn from her mistakes.

The ups and downs of Joanna’s life and relationships kept me turning the pages and I would love to know what happened next.

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs head long into another, and then another. Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

***

The Oracle (Enchena #2)

by K.S. Marsden

33667296The second book starts out with a new ‘leading lady’, but it’s not long before she meets up with Samantha and other characters from book 1.

The story is well-written with plenty of twists to keep me hooked.

In my review for The Lost Soul I said:
“The detailed descriptions allowed me to visualise the landscape, the scenes, and the characters.”
The same applies to this book.

I enjoyed revisiting Enchena, and am looking forward to further visits. The book ended well, without a cliffhanger but definitely leaving room to continue the story.

After a brief respite, the Gardyn rebels have returned to fight the tyranny of King Hrafn and Prince David. Samantha, Jillis and Tobias will have to find their place in the new vision of Enchena; but first, they have to risk everything to make it real. New allies will rise, as the past plays a huge part in the future; and an Oracle must be brought, to guide them all.

***

Spellbound

by L.A. Starkey, Chess Desalls, Kelly Hall, Tricia Copeland & Melanie Rodriguez

30322766I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories in this collection. Although the stories were short they all told the whole story and left me satisfied.

Each one invited me into a different world and I enjoyed my visit to each one.

Five complete never before seen YA novellas to help you find a quick getaway this summer!!

Part of Your World by L.A. Starkey – When two worlds collide at the edge of the sea in a measure of desperation, a prince will bow before a commoner and a lost soul will finally be found. Part of Your World – Where love is waiting just beyond the edge of what you can see.

Glistens by Chess Desalls – Marian Spritz won’t gain guardian fairy status if she fails her summer school project. But when she hears a call for help—a song felt only by Glistens—she must choose between not letting her schoolwork and teammates suffer and protecting a ward who faces grave danger.

Tethered by Kelly Hall – Life had been simple for vampire Jayden Blackwell until he met the runaway Emmaline Grey. One taste of her blood revealed that not only is she a fledgling vampire on the cusp of her transition, but she’s also his bondmate and the granddaughter of his family’s biggest enemy. Will family feuding keep them apart or is it Jayden who compromised Emma’s survival?

Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland – Working as lifeguard at a camp for the blind seems like the perfect escape for Nina. But a few perceptive kids can hear her thoughts. Can embracing her truth help her heal and reveal possibilities she never imagined?

Feathers and Fireflies by Melanie Rodriguez – Seventeen year old Rory of Vanora Village dreams of capturing the sacred summer solstice ritual of the animal shapeshifters with her trusty charcoal and parchment. But with only legends and tales to guide her, she cannot even convince her childhood friend, Lucas, that the ritual is real. On the night Rory follows the fireflies, she gets far more than she bargained for.

These fun beach reads have never been published before and were written specifically for this anthology. Hope you enjoy the adventure!!

Evin by A.S. Crowder

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Eva has never seen the Forest of Evin, but her fate and the fate of the Forest may be intertwined. Sinister forces seek to pull the Forest apart, and Eva may be the only one who can save it. Eva must travel between worlds to keep the Forest together—but the Forest of Evin thrums with power and the force tearing it apart may not be the only danger.

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The Author:

as-crowderA.S. Crowder has been writing stories ever since she first learned how to write. She’s got about a million stories left to tell; hopefully she’ll finish one or two of them. When she’s not writing, she teaches sociology at local universities. A.S. Crowder lives in the Deep South with her husband and her cats. She probably watches too much tv.

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Goblinwraith by Tamara Grantham

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Title: Goblinwraith
Series: Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD, Companion novella to Silverwitch
Author: Tamara Grantham
Published: December 23, 2016
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre: Romance/Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

 

goblinwraithHeidel, Wult warrior princess, is having a bad day.

First, a pack of wraiths chased her from a dragon’s vault. Then, the thief she traveled with, Maveryck, who was supposed to be a professional, lost the staff they stole. Instead of reclaiming it, he created a portal that sucked them into a nightmarish world full of noxious fumes and mechanical beasts. Earth.

To make matters worse, Heidel is now stuck with the incompetent thief in Paris, France, and they have no way to get back home. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Maveryck is keeping secrets from her—secrets about his past and his identity. Plus, he’s far too attractive to be trusted. She’s been on hellish quests before, but nothing has ever been more difficult than guarding her heart. And she’s pretty sure she’s going to fail. Miserably.

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Excerpt

  “I fail to see how we’re lucky. We’re trapped in an unfamiliar world with no way of returning home. The staff is gone, and I have a suspicion that if we find it, we will not live long enough to return it to the sky king.”
      Maveryck gave me a condescending smile. “Perhaps you will not live long enough,” he said as he stood, and without further explanation, he limped away from me and down a narrow hallway. I hesitated before following him. Navigating alone through a tomb like this would be suicide, so I reluctantly trailed him, barely keeping my temper in check.
      “Where are you going?” I demanded.
      “To find a way out of here.”
      “What then?” I asked. “Where will we go? How will we find the staff? How will we return home? Have you the magic to create portals?”
      He rounded on me, his jaw clenched. “First, and listen very clearly, I’m not in the habit of answering questions—not from you or anyone else. Second, I’m not your friend, nor am I trying to help you. For the time being, we share the same goal, so I will work with you in order to bring the staff back. After that, our partnership will be dissolved. I’ve never lost an object before, and it won’t happen now. If you impede me in any way, I will aid you no more.”
      “Have you forgotten who my brother is? Should you return to Faythander without me, what do you think the king will do to you?”
      “I don’t care.”
      “You might care when you’re rotting in the Wult dungeons.”
      “I doubt he would throw me in the dungeons for leaving you. In all honesty, I believe he would reward me.”
      Now he’d pushed too far. I’d had an ill feeling about this man from the moment I’d met him, and I would tolerate his superior attitude no more. I shoved him against the wall, pressing the weight of my body against him, making the stacks of skeletal remains rattle behind us.
      “Enough,” I hissed. “I will not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner.”
      Instead of shying away as I expected, he clamped my wrists in his hands. He used no magic, but the calculated look he gave me sent shivers down my spine. “And I,” he said, “will also not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner.”
      Fear made my heart beat wildly. Who is this man? It was at that moment I realized how very little I knew about him. Where did he come from? Where did he live? Who were his kin? His gaze locked with mine, and sparks of purple danced in the gray of his irises. I knew he possessed magic, but he’d led me to believe his powers were limited. Had he lied?

 
The Author:

tamara-granthamTamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made.

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Shadows of Atlantis by Mara Powers


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Title: Shadows of Atlantis: Awakening
Author: Mara Powers
Genre: Fantasy

shadows-of-atlantis-3dAtlantis is a luxurious paradise run by crystal technology built in alignment with nature. For thousands of years, Atlanteans have powered their cities with a Crystal Grid fed by psychic mindlight.

But the Grid has been infiltrated by parasitic shadows that feed off the negative emotions of humans – an epidemic called “the madness.”

D’VINID, a dejected musician, is consumed by his personal problems. He meets Brigitte as she seeks to uncover the corruption in the Grid. Their magnetic attraction forces him to face his past and accept his future. He is among those born with a gene unlocking mystical powers once believed to be the birthright of all humans.

As Atlantis slowly drowns in the trap of hubris and self-indulgence, he is faced with the shocking realization that his life may be mirroring Atlantis itself – he must choose to awaken or face destruction.

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Music began. Atlantean classical music was designed to weave the delicate harmonies of nature and emulate frequencies from the universal spheres. It had evolved in modern times to a more primal reminder of human existence, with multi-layered rhythmic pulses as its basis. It had become popular at revelries to feature the dark, grooving textures of percussive instruments run through resonance amplifiers. The dance style to this tribal heartbeat music was an individualized expression of character and personal power.

D’Vinid, like all dabrina players, studied classical music. His unique musical contribution in his day was to run his instrument through the same resonance amplifiers to modulate universal frequencies. The ensuing melodic textures created a juxtaposition over the fierce pulsing rhythms. His legendary ingenuity had started a trend, and he was well known as the inventor of the fusion. He struggled with his vow to avoid the Watchers as he fiddled with the dabrina peg he now wore around his neck. They knew him all too well. His thirst to play for the gathering courtiers tugged at his every step. But if he played, he would willingly offer himself to Pan’s plan. The last thing he wanted was to be in Kyliron’s sights. His desire for this not to occur far outshone his desire to play music.

The garden had been set up with swirling lights and long, draping streamers to disorient revelers and give the feeling of walking in dreamsight. Reveries were a cultural mainstay all through Atlantean history. They believed it to be their birthright as humans to enjoy the pleasures of sensory perception, while reaching for the bliss of higher consciousness. They had found the best way to do this was through revelries. D’vinid wandered aimlessly, pacing through the gardens in unsettled thought. He lowered his head to avoid laughing courtiers as they chased through the garden pathways. He thought perhaps an elixir would soothe his torment. Just as he had the thought, the path emptied into a small patio where a mixologist had set up a portable case of tiny glass vials.

Some of the courtiers were relaxing on cushions around the woman’s tiny costumed form. She had a painted face which glowed in the twinkling lights, and an intricate, feathered head-dress. Her eyes landed directly on D’Vinid as he appeared on the patio. She gestured a delicate hand toward an empty cushion. The other courtiers gazed up at him with eager eyes and mimicked her gesture, urging him to join in their intoxication.

“What is your pleasure?” she asked in a sing-song voice. “Are you sad and lonely?” She waved her hand over the vials, pushing their tops gently to make a fragile chiming sound as their various glass shapes clinked together.

“Do you need me to slip you a feeling of sexual arousal? Are you longing to see the other side? Or perhaps you need some excitement and adrenalin!”

D’vinid carefully thought of his answer. Pan had the best elixir mixologists, and any feeling he wished to have, she would deliver. “I need to not care.”

Her expression darkened. “This is a specific feeling you ask for. You have many things haunting your thoughts. Do you wish to forget? I can give you temporary amnesia.”

One of the courtesans rubbed his thigh and leaned in to whisper in his ear. “Go for arousal. I will help you forget.” She giggled and fell back, landing in the arms of the man behind her, who caught her up in a greedy kiss.

 

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maraMARA POWERS has been researching Atlantis avidly since she was a teenager.
Mara Powers is a true Gen X American nomad. She has managed to establish a life of travel, moving around all her favorite cities on a quest to chase the perfect weather. She discovered the myth of Atlantis at age 16, and has made it her life work to unravel the riddle. She studies both esoteric and secular theories, and incorporates them all in her stories. In a way, her Atlantis series is a dissertation on the knowledge and experience she has accumulated over almost 3 decades.

Also a social butterfly, Powers spent the early part of her career as an event manager. She has worked at resorts, on boats, restaurants, in the festival circuit, and underground clubs as a promoter of bands, performers and electronic music.
Her many travels have been incorporated into her work. For instance, her time spent as a denizen of Venice Beach is represented by the dog-town-style hover tricksters who have plagued the streets of Atlantis.

She loves hearing everyone’s past life memories of Atlantis. Shoot her an email with yours.

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Song of the Worlds by Brandon Barr

☆★ Song of the Worlds – Fantasy Box set ★☆

New Release – Only $2.99 for 3 books for a LIMITED time, or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
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brandon-barr-box-set-coverHeart-pounding action mixed with flesh and soul characters–Song of the Worlds is the dramatic new fantasy saga. Two women, two worlds, one epic destiny…

On the world of Loam, an ancient evil threatens to conquer the portals that exist on every world, and only a timid young woman named Winter is given the power to destroy it. Gifted as a Seer by the gods, Winter must first escape the cruel farmland she was raised on, even if it could spell death for those she loves.

On the world of Hearth, Nightmares crawl out of the East to devour entire villages. A fire-blooded heiress named Meluscia seeks to destroy the threat plaguing her lands and become Luminess of the Blue Mountain Realm. Though she desires the throne, her heart is divided. Forbidden intimacy tempts her at every corner. Can she save her kingdom, or will all of Hearth be brought to its knees at the feet of a primordial Beast?

Looming over both worlds is a powerful and mysterious alliance known as the Guardians. They know of the prophecies encircling Loam and Hearth and will stop at nothing to keep them out of the hands of the Beasts and the Gods. Winter and Meluscia’s fates are bound together as they fight for those they love and stand against a staggering evil larger than either could have ever imagined.

A fast-paced fantasy epic that stretches beyond the stars. Begin the powerful new series today!

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