Tag Archives: fantasy

Book Excerpt Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Book Excerpt

As she held the lantern up over her head, she could see old carvings on the cave walls. She raised her hand to touch one of the walls and noticed a strong dampness in the stone. It was cold and damp to the touch. She wondered if there was a good bit of water behind the rock causing all the dampness. But, then again, as dark and hidden as the cave was in the coolest section of the woods they had so far discovered, it didn’t really surprise her.

Magdalena happened to notice a second lantern a few feet from where she was standing and asked Gabriel to grab the lantern and light it. Maybe with two lanterns there would be enough light to get a better view of the cave drawings. Curiosity was in overdrive now. It was the same kind of curiosity that would leave her teachers scrambling crazy by the end of the school day. She continued to study the cave walls waiting on Gabriel. The carvings felt as though they had been etched very deeply into the rock.

Meanwhile, Hubert stood in the cave entrance chanting something over and over that sounded like, “Lord, help me, please. Get me out of here. I won’t eat everything ever again. I promise!”

Gabriel had just finished lighting the second lantern and walked over to stand right behind Magdalena. He stood looking over her shoulder as she was crunched down trying to get a better view of the drawings. She squinted her eyes as her brain was trying to process what she was looking at, and then it came to her. The drawings seemed to resemble some sort of sacrifice, which seemed so odd to her in this day and time. Did those things really exist back in the day? Especially in or near a small, quaint town like Lily Brooke. She had always assumed that sacrificial rituals were something that really only happened in scary mystery books or horror movies. Of course, these things didn’t happen in real life. Was this her mind trying to calm her nerves, or the shock of what was in front of her own eyes causing denial?

Gabriel and Hubert must have realized what the drawings were resembling about the same time as Magdalena because as she turned around to speak, she was face to face with four very frightened eyeballs. Hubert had decided to move in closer to get a good look. Boy, he was really regretting it, at the moment. Scary woods, crooked paths, cold temperatures and breezes, shrill ringing noises, cave drawings resembling rituals, and mumbling ghostly voices. Hubert was now praying out loud.

“God, please, please take us home. Please let me never remember this place again. God, please make Magdalena decide to leave this place before we get eaten alive, or worse!”

 

About the Book

Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Author: M. Gail Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy

The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.

 

Author Bio

Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies.  Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

 

 

Links

For author signed paperback and hardcover editions:   http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com

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Guest Post Ariella’s Escape

Guest Post

My editing process for this book was all about getting to know the characters and the world better. Although I plan my stories, I always leave lots of leeway for the characters to surprise me, which they inevitably do. The more I write, the more I discover who the characters are, what they want, and who they want to become.

In Ariella’s Escape, I added more color to the dialogue, little touches that really bring out characters’ personalities. For instance, in the scene where the heroes take shelter in a roadside inn, the innkeeper is a little bit snarky with the guards who are looking for the fugitives, but he’s very snarky and even cheeky in the final edit.

The same thing happened with the main characters. Some of their traits that had not been very noticeable turned out to be absolutely crucial to the story and to the central romantic relationship.

By the time I finished the first draft I realized just how disillusioned Ariella was with life and how Demetrius, on the contrary, was always trying to stay optimistic despite everything he had been through as a slave. I went back and added those little touches that would bring out their perspectives even more as well as the particular traits of this fantasy world, their beliefs in their gods and what that said about the characters.

So the following exchange was added in the final draft:

“Some people believe that the Spheres of Epheor the sky move with purpose, that the stars are gods looking down on us, others believe they’re merely the fires of lifeless realms. What do you believe?”

She frowned slightly, her gaze fixed on the fire. “I believe in the gods, but I think they’re cruel.”

Demetrius didn’t agree, despite everything he had endured. There had always been such a strong hope in his heart for freedom, and he had finally found it. But he did not want to pry, just as she had not pried into his secrets.

However, he hated the thought of such a young woman, so kind and noble, believing that life was essentially misfortune.

“There are so many stars in the sky,” he said, “When I was captured, I decided that among the thousands of stars, thousands of gods, there must be at least one that would shine its light on me… Maybe you are my lucky star.”

About the Book

Title: Ariella’s Escape

Author: Carolee Croft

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

 

 

Author Bio

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the west coast of Canada.

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Author Interview Trolling

Have you been writing for a long time?

I have been writing since I was little. I finished my first novel as a freshman in college but I never really thought I would publish. It’s only been about the last three years that I decided it was something I really wanted to pursue.

 

What inspired you to start a writing career?

My dad. He always knew how much I loved it and he convinced me that passion needs to be followed.

 

Is this book a stand-alone, or part of a series? 

It’s part of a series. There are four books expected to be in it now, but as I write it seems to be growing so there could be more.

 

Why did you choose this genre?

I’m pretty sure in this case, it chose me. I have always been a fan of romance, but leaned more towards Historical. Then this character, Theno, just appeared and wouldn’t go away.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Love what you create, because you will be spending a lot of time with it.

 

About the Book

Title: Trolling

Author: Emma Brady

Genre: Romance / Urban Fantasy

Lily Faye-Richardson thought her bad luck was ending when she and her sisters inherited her uncle’s house. Finding a green man chained in the basement changed that. Now she must trust this sexy troll to take her into a magical kingdom and rescue the only family she has.
Theno woke up with missing pieces to his memory but an angel saving him. When her sisters are kidnapped, he is willing to do anything to help her in return. The problem is, if he can’t remember who he is, how can he trust himself not to hurt her?
Together, the two of them will go to the land of Tammara to bring back the other Faye girls. They will have to face an Evil Queen, who wants to find the door and cross over into the human world. There is also the matter of an intense sexual attraction between them and the need for Theno to discover his identity. Does a troll get to have a happy ending?

Author Bio

Emma graduated with both an English degree and a library sciences degree. She has always been an avid reader of romance, since she first fell in love with Wuthering Heights.  After college she decided she didn’t want to just read books and started writing them. She has already started in both urban fantasy and historical romance, but doesn’t rule out other projects in the future. Living in Kansas with her tiny lapdog and a couple rambunctious nephews, she spends most of her time reading, writing and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

Follow her at facebook.com/hotbooklover2

 

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Guest Post Gossamer: The Chronicles of Eledon Book 3

Guest Post

MY EDITING PROCESS

By Joni Parker

 

My book, “Gossamer,” was published in December, so I thought I’d provide the editing process for the book I’m working on now called, “Noble Magic,” the fourth book in the “Chronicles of Eledon” series. Fortunately, I already had a draft of it, but there were several changes in the editing process of “Gossamer” that impacted “Noble Magic.” Before I forgot what they were, I changed them. Then I read through the manuscript twice out loud and two more times silently before I sent it to my editor in late January for the first round of editing.

In early March, I got the manuscript back with a number of corrections to make. Not only does my editor look at the content, she also gives me some help with grammar and punctuation, so I get two jobs for one. I made the corrections and read the manuscript out loud again at least twice and more times silently and sent it back to my editor in late March for a second round of editing.

The manuscript came back to me in late May with more corrections to make, including a recommendation for an epilogue. I’d never written one before so I scrambled a little. I came up with one and sent it to my editor for a quick review. She liked the second draft. Whew!

I just finished reading my book out loud again for the third time this round. My throat is a sore and I need a break—my house needs cleaning. I still found a few changes to make, but I do like the story. It has a lot of action and flows well. After this reading, I think it’s ready to be published. However, if I had some additional concerns, I wouldn’t hesitate to send it through another round of editing.

I use this editing process for all of my books—at least two rounds with a good editor. Understand that each round costs me money. Yes, it can be expensive, but I feel I owe it to my readers to get it right and it’s taught me a lot about writing. Over the years, my writing’s improved, thanks to my editor, and I’ve even won some awards. The first book of “The Chronicles of Eledon” series called “Spell Breaker” was selected as a 2016 Book Excellence Award Finalist and the second book in the series, “The Blue Witch,” was a 2017 International Book Award Finalist. “Gossamer” is my latest effort and I hope you enjoy it.

About the Book

Title: Gossamer: The Chronicles of Eledon Book 3

Author: Joni Parker

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Lady Alexin, Eledon’s Keeper of the Keys must continue to prove her powers when her grandmother, Lady Lestin and her friend, Lady Opaline of the Gossamer Elves are kidnapped by rebels and held for ransom. Alex attempts a daring rescue, only to discover that there is far more to this plot that she immediately suspected and the betrayal extends to the highest levels of the High Council of Elders. Threatened by rebel factions, suspected by Council members and under attack by deadly spiders, the young warrior has only her wits, her fighting skills and the powers of the Keys to help her. But will they be enough to save them all?

 

Author Bio

When I was younger, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Part of my reason for dropping out of college was because I didn’t know what to major in. I was envious of my sister who knew from an early age, she was going to major in math. Good for her, but math was the last subject on my mind. I joined the Navy and found a track I liked. I became a photographer. I covered local news items, accidents, and even shot portraits. It was fun, but not a career path. When I got out of the Navy, I wanted to finish college but I was lost again. What to major in? I chose accounting because all businesses needed it and I went on to get my Bachelor’s and an MBA. After working in the field for a year, I went back in the Navy and asked for any assignment other than accounting.  It worked. After 22 years in the Navy, I retired. My husband and I moved into our motorhome and hit the road. Unfortunately, he passed away and I went back to work at a government job. Then I found writing. I hadn’t written a thing since I was 14 but I was smitten by the bug and have been writing ever since. “Gossamer” is the sixth book I’ve had published and is the third book in a four book series, “The Chronicles of Eledon.” Hope you enjoy it. I had fun writing it.

 

 

Links

Website/blog:  http://www.theblackelf.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJoniParker

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ParkerJoni

Google Plus:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoniParker/posts

Amazon link for “Gossamer”:  Amazon

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Book Excerpt Dreamwalkers

Book Excerpt

“Hi, I’m Narciso and I walk in other people’s dreams,” is what I would say if there was some sort of support group for people like me. There isn’t.

Yip, I always know when I’m dreaming. Never need to pinch myself. I know, because my dreams are real. And true. But the weird thing is, they aren’t mine. And the dream I’m entering now isn’t an exception.

I open my eyes, knowing from experience what will be in front of me. Running far beyond the horizon like an endless stretched taffy, is a hall. White. So white that it blinds me and my eyes have to adjust before I can fully open them. The world runs past me and then back again and it feels as if the ground beneath my feet, as white as the walls, is breathing. Like it wants to push me forward. But I stand still for the moment, regaining my world, stitching it back together. When it finally settles, I adhere to the floor’s desire.

Like, okay already!

I walk forward as the hall consumes me like a thick fog.

Then I stop. I know I have to. I turn to the wall. From the whiteness of it, something starts to shimmer into existence. Like a mirage forcing its way into reality. The mirage starts to take a shape. A door. Black, as smooth as darkness itself. A knob, golden, gleaming in the whiteness of the hall, like an inviting smile. My body moves towards it, followed by a slow hand as its smile seems to grow wider. It’s cold.  It burns my palm. I hear a click, feel it run up my arm. And then a latching sound as it echoes past me and into the never ending, ever stretching hallway until it moves with it over the horizon.

I push. It opens.

About the Book

Title: Dreamwalkers

Author: Tiaan Lubbe

Genre: YA Fantasy / Adventure

“You walk the bridges between two worlds, between reality and dreams, Ciso.”

“You are a Dreamwalker”

Narciso di Angelo, a sixteen-year-old boy, living on the streets of Rome thinks he is the only one that can walk in other’s dreams.

He’s not.

When a mysterious and dark woman makes her appearance in one of his dreamwalks, he is rescued from her clutches by Project Somnus, a secret underground United Nations organisation, that recruits and trains children with his gifts, using them to fight against and prevent worldwide terrorist threats.

Here Narciso learns more of his abilities and where they come from as well as what it means to be part of a family and a home.

But, as the threat of the mysterious woman and the terrorist organisation Tantibus increases, he also learns what it is like to lose this.

“In dreams we live. In reality we dream.”

 

Author Bio

Tiaan Lubbe lives in Pretoria, South Africa where he spends his time teaching little monsters, directing
plays, doing what he calls writing and dreaming up the future. Mostly all at once.

 

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Cover Reveal Ghost Slayer

Title: Ghost Slayer

Author: Majanka Verstraete

Genre: New Adult Paranormal

Twenty-one-year-old Kaelyn has spent half her life hunting ghosts and killing them. But she’s not like the other ghost hunters who have to rely on spells and curses to banish ghosts back to where they came from, hoping that they don’t come back. When Kaelyn kills a ghost, they stay dead.

But in Mortimer Hall, a behemoth of a house, Kaelyn is about to face the most powerful and life-threatening ghost she ever met, and what she doesn’t know is that the ghost has been waiting just for her…

Author Bio

Majanka Verstraete studies law and criminology by day and writes speculative fiction by night. All her books include monsters of some kind: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her first books were the Valentina’s Spooky Adventures series, a children’s picture book series featuring a little vampire girl. She also worked on the Weirdville series, a series of scary lower grade chapter books ideal for fans of R.L. Stine. She has written a few young adult books, most notably the Mirrorland series (YA Dark Fantasy) and the Angel of Death Series (YA Paranormal). She loves writing short horror stories and novellas, and hopes to finish a horror novel one day. When she’s not writing, she’s probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

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Book Excerpt Drakon Book Series

Book Excerpt

Drakon Book II: Uncarved  BOOK EXCERPT 1 FROM CHAPTER “STAKE AND LARD”

 

….

I have a strong preference of stopping this Story here. I did so, the first and the second winter we came upon the events of that night. But Eusebius would always ask me every time that we’d reach that point: “But, what happened to Olian and Alian?”

The monks of the Cross have a craving for such tales of torture and death. They blend well with their delusions of divine salvation of the weak and the innocent. “I’ll tell you, Eusebius. It’s not hard to bring back the images. The sounds…well, that’s much tougher.” But the ink is silent, and we are thankful for it.

 

The four of Keral’s warriors who had been captured alive were impaled outside of the new Khun’s temporary tent. And so was Olian the Uncarved boy. Their screams, the stink of shit, mixed with the lard slathered on the sharp, long stakes and the blood coming out of their assholes, reminded us for the three days it took them to die that we had a new Khun.

I found Alian looking up at the screaming stakes and the trembling faces of unending pain on the second morning.

“He still doesn’t die,” he said, staring at Olian, who would only mumble, pleading for death with the last of his strength.

“No, you see, they don’t pierce the guts, the pointy wood just passes next to the spine and out the shoulder. Skewered. It will take another couple of days.”

“Damn! Stupid choice,” he said looking straight at his brother’s body faintly twitching on the stake.

“Let’s go, Alian, you don’t have to see and hear this anymore. He was your brother.”

“He still is. One of my brothers. So are you.”

Alian had already turned his back on the identical twin whom he had just called stupid for the last time.

About the Books

Book I “The Sieve” is Book I of the epic fantasy novel Drakon.

“I am here to redeem the lives of my wife and daughter. I’ve brought the offering.” Da-Ren, an infidel barbarian, arrives at the Castlemonastery, his only offering a jar of honey.   Baagh, the Cross Sorcerer, follows him there under orders of the Emperor, demanding from the monks to transcribe the warrior’s story. Book I chronicles Da-Ren’s early years, growing up in a tribe of archer riders and pagan witches, camped north of the Blackvein River.  He enters the Sieve, the forty-day initiation trial that determines the fate of every boy and girl. Many of his comrades will fall, the strong will join the warriors, and an elite few will be marked for leadership. Da-Ren learns to endure the elements, to obey the Truths, to keep standing when all hope is lost. He swallows the legends of the OunaMa witches, learns to hate all other tribes, and conquers fear.  And yet there is one trial that will bring him to his knees. The Goddess’s favorite daughter. “Brown-haired, brown-eyed. Brown was the first color of the day.” The journey begins for the man who will become the First Blade of the Devil.  A brutal, poetic, first-person narrative of war, death, and love.   Book II

 

“Uncarved” is Book II of the epic fantasy novel Drakon.

“How do the Uncarved die? They bleed to death. Always.” Fourteen-winter-old Da-Ren joins the Uncarved, the chosen few destined to lead the Tribe. More than forty children train and compete for the next five springs; only one will become Khun and fulfill the Tribe’s destiny.  Da-Ren’s ambition and strength will keep him alive but can he overcome his most powerful and cunning adversary, the one favored by witches and men? The Goddess and the Ouna-Mas will try to nest in his heart, but is he prepared for the one woman he is brought up to hate? As war and hunger strangle the Tribe, the stakes of love, duty, and betrayal are higher than ever. A young man’s first kill. A young man’s first kiss. A coming-of-age tale with non-stop action.

 

 

Author Bio

C.A. Caskabel started writing Drakon in 2013 and completed the 350,000-word epic series in 2016. He plans to release the books gradually in 2016 and 2017 while he researches and writes his next series. He also works with a passionate small team that publishes primarily children’s fiction and fantasy fiction.
Prior to 2013, Chris was a serial technology entrepreneur. He has founded and led a number of start-ups in businesses such as digital marketing and renewable energy. He has led creative departments, marketing, and software product organizations in New York, San Francisco, London, and Athens.
He holds a BSc and a BA from Brown University and a PhD in Engineering from Boston University.

 

 

Links

http://www.caskabel.com

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WLMQL8M

https://www.goodreads.com/series/188769

https://www.facebook.com/caskabelauthor/

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