Top 10: Sexy Reads

Today we’re going to take a look at my all time top 10 hottest of the hot reads. I’ll provide the cover, blurb, a snippet of my review, the purchase links and possibly a few quotes from the book ;) Then, all you have to do is go read them, if they appeal to you. And don’t forget to stop by, afterwards, to let me know what you though.

In the case of series, I’ll be posting the first book, so that you can start at the beginning.

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Ten

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The Elders and Welders Chronicles

Author: Margaret Foxe

Blurb: “London: 1896. Airships rule the skies, and automatons run the tracks at Ascot. Since the Great Exhibition of 1851, Her Majesty’s Empire has been powered by the Steam Revolution and Welding science. It is a time of glorious innovation and dangerous civil unrest.

But Miss Aline Finch, prim, plain career girl, has more important things on her mind than the state of the Empire. After her employer, the handsome but insufferable criminologist, Professor Romanov, hares off for parts unknown in a slightly-illegal dirigible, stranding her in France, she has finally had enough. In a fit of pique, she decides to marry her long-time and very proper suitor, quitting Romanov for good.

The last thing the Professor expects to come home to is his secretary’s mutiny. Finch’s timing couldn’t be any more inconvenient, for a serial murderer from Romanov’s past has set his sights on her. Romanov must keep her close if he has any chance of protecting her life – and the dangerous secrets the murderer threatens to expose. For the Professor is much, much more than he seems, and the secrets that he keeps are centuries old – and hidden deep in his heart.

When the Professor discovers Finch is to wed, however, he is forced to confront the truth of the matter: he doesn’t just want his secretary back to protect her. He wants her in his bed. Forever.

Aline fights Romanov’s seduction, but she’s no match for her own unruly desires, or the truth of her own heart. But when the Professor’s true identity is exposed, destroying the very foundations of Aline’s conception of reality, will the Professor lose her forever? Or will the murderer succeed in his evil plot to destroy them both before they can find their happy ending?

Warning: this sensual romance will put the steam in steampunk.

 ★★★★
 Review: This is my first steampunk book, ever! I have to say that it doesn’t disappoint. I was drawn into this book right from the very beginning. It gripped my heart, dragged me into the pages and made me feel for every single character.

The author is a really talented writer. I love the way she weaves emotional and mystery elements together, to make you care as much about the characters as you do about the solution to the crime. The whole plot is seamlessly put together, well executed and littered with little nuggets of newspaper clippings. I didn’t know what to make of them at first, but then it was explained it was a really nice addition, like a parallel universe; it was super cute.

Quote: “I believe I will take your advice, my friend, with a grain of salt,” he murmured. Rowan clenched his jaw and winced. Good, Sasha thought. Let him stew, the Judas.

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Nine

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The Rose Saga

Author: J.A. Lynch

Blurb: “Young, beautiful and naive, a young Bianka doesn’t truly understand the price that comes with being the chosen one.

Taken from her family, her future is unknown to her, but one thing is for sure:an eternity of need, want and greed.

Can Bianka break the curse that leaves her insatiable, or will she just be another night-walker bound to the Rose?”

★★★★★
Review: This was a great book. I read it in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. The plot is original, hot and playful. The characters are relatable in their own ways, slightly damaged and interesting enough to never quite know what’s going to happen next. Or what they’re about to do.

I think it would have been nice if the book was longer, only because when I got to the end, I really didn’t want it to be over.

 Quote: “Bianka,” he whispered. “You know you could never outrun me, not in a million lifetimes.”
Buy Links: Unfortunately, I can’t find buy links for this book, but you can check out Julieanne Lynch’s Amazon page for more of her work.
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Eight

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From the Top

Author: R.A Sears
Blurb: “Cira’s just out with her friends, chilling at the mall on a normal weekend, when she locks eyes with a gorgeous man across the food court. Her heart is set aflame and the world around them burns to ash.

They’ve been experimenting with human genetics since we first came into being; the Infernals are denizens of a Hellish parallel world, and they’ve come to claim Earth as their own. There’s no better place to create their ideal being, a creature with all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses.

Refusing to kneel, Cira is taken in by a new master, the very same man she saw in the food court before the world ended. A halfbreed with eyes full of hellfire and the patience of a saint, Baxa awakens Cira’s urge to dominate, and an unfamiliar yearning to obey.

His disinterest in the Infernal breeding program puts her at ease, and sets her nerves on fire. Can Cira resist this caramel skinned temptation, or will she be consumed by the inferno of desire?

★★★★

Review: I knew I would love this book the minute I started reading it. The first line was a hook, then the follow up was fantastic. A world where Hell explodes onto Earth is a concept I’m familiar with, though it is rarely done justice. This story does it so well. The introduction to Baxa, who remains unnamed and mysterious until the last minute, is delicious. And so is he. Possibly the hottest lead male I’ve read for a while.

Quote: “Baxa awakens something inside of me. The urge to dominate and a yearning to submit.”

“I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees, you leathery freak.”


Buy link: Unfortunately, I can’t find any buy links for this book, either. I did read it as a beta read, but sadly it’s no longer available. However, do venture to RA Sears Amazon page, to read more of her great work.

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Seven

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Honeymoon

Author: James Patterson

Blurb: “DON’T GIVE AWAY THE ENDING … DON’T GIVE AWAY THE BEGINNING.
How does it feel to be desired by every man and envied by every woman? Wonderful. This is the life Nora Sinclair has dreamed about, the life she’s worked hard for, the life she will never give up.

She doesn’t just attract men, she enthralls them. So why is FBI agent John O’Hara interested in Nora Sinclair? Mysterious things happen to people around her, especially the men. And there is something dangerous about Nora, something that lures O’Hara at the same time that it fills him with fear.

Is something dark hidden in the gaps of her past? As O’Hara spends more and more time getting to know her, is he pursuing justice? Or his own fatal obsession?

★★★★

Review: I loved this story! The heat, the intensity and crime all rolled into one, is just about everything I could ask for in a book.

Quote: Things aren’t always as they appear.

One minute, I’m totally fine.

The next, I’m hunched over and clutching my stomach in sheer agony. What the hell is happening to me?

I have no idea. All I know is what I feel, and what I feel I can’t believe. It’s as if the interior lining of my stomach is suddenly peeling away with a corrosive burn. I’m screaming and I’m moaning, but most of all, I’m praying – praying for this to stop.

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/Honeymoon.JP

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Six

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Vampire for Christmas

Author: Felicity Heaton

Blurb: “It was one last mission.

Shannon, a demon hunter with the agency, is looking forward to leaving behind the small town and the vampire she’s been stuck with for the past two years. Things are getting complicated fast and she wants out. A fresh start, free of her vampire partner, awaits her if she can survive their final mission and the lonely Christmas holidays.

It was one last mission. Rafe, a vampire doing time with the agency, watches it approach with dread weighing heavily in his stomach. Two years of working with Shannon has been difficult, especially since he started falling for her, but he doesn’t want their partnership to end. He has barely a few days to make her face her feelings and stop her from leaving, and he intends to do just that.

When a slimy demon threatens the season of peace and goodwill, it’s the chance Rafe has been waiting for and the moment Shannon secretly fears. Rafe’s determination to prise open her heart and her own resolve to keep it closed clash as violently as they do with the demon, and threatens to end as messily.

Can Rafe make Shannon see that his love for her is real and that she feels something for him too? Can Shannon face her fears and her past, and stop herself from running away from both? Will a wish on a star bring her what her heart truly desires – a vampire for Christmas?

★★★★☆

Review: I really enjoyed this story. It took a different twist on vampires and combined it with another popular style of demon hunters. I really liked Rafe but I did find Shannon a bit annoying. Overall, well written, good concept and could easily be expanded into a series, or larger novel.

Quote: His favourite pray.

Rafe stood on the lawn, his dark eyes following her from room to room in her large house. Shannon disappeared from view on the top floor only to reappear in the living room. He couldn’t see much through the open curtains but his senses made up for what he lacked in vision. He tracked her with them, focusing until the dark world around him drifted into the distance and there was only her.

She was muttering.

A smile tugged at his lips.

How many times had he told her not to mutter?

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/Vampire4Christmas

Vampire for Christmas is a PERMA-FREE story, on Amazon.

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Five

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Poisoned Waters

Author: Ermisenda Alvarez

Blurb: “Bloody mistakes, ugly scars, and beautiful lies. A tale of corruption.

Helen Gardener is murdered on a trans-Atlantic cruise. The Diamond Royale sails from Southampton to New York with her murderer aboard. Set in the 1950s, Poisoned Waters follows the stories of seven unfortunate characters and how they are affected by her death. Was it merely an accident? Mr Phillips, the owner of the ship, and sponsor of the cruise, rules with an iron fist, in search of something or someone.

Lies spiral out of control as the suspects try to survive the final days on board. Conflicted by their sense of morals, greed, and lust, they realise what kind of people they really are. Who will rise? Who will fall? Who was Helen’s murderer?

★★★★☆

Review: The story is very well thought out, it’s not throwing everything at you at once, but it doesn’t drag things out too long either. The characters are very varied in talk, style, class and mannerism. There’s something here for everyone.

This book is unique and a must read!

Quote: The dark, gloomy deck of the ship tilted dangerously. Harold grasped onto the railing but felt his feet gave way. Harold stumbled toward the location of the scream that had sliced his mind like a knife. The back of his head throbbed. Why couldn’t he hear the sound of footsteps? Why weren’t there lights on?

“Help! She needs help!” Harold tried to yell but only managed to whisper. His vision blurred before everything went black.

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/PoisonedWaters
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Four

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Trifecta

Author: Kim Carmichael

Blurb: “Two men. One woman. It could ruin a friendship, or bring a satisfying twist to their lives. Artist, Jason Morgan, is used to making magic on the canvas. Now he hopes to do it in the bedroom.

After a failed gallery showing, Jason decides the best way to cure his creative block is to act on his own personal fantasy, and enter into a sexual relationship with his two best friends. 

From the time they were in elementary school, Russell Sinclair has been a willing participant in Jason’s adventures, but this one goes to a new level. He’s intrigued by the idea of sharing one woman, but is challenged by how to fit this three-sided relationship into his traditional life.

Lauren Redmond is no stranger to fantasy. As the aesthetic sales rep to the top Beverly Hills dermatologists, she is responsible for the majority of puffed lips and filled wrinkles in the greater Los Angeles area. She detours from her steady, secure path when she is offered the opportunity to live the dream with the two men who have occupied her heart since college. The fantasy fast becomes a powerful reality, and Lauren must decide if she is willing to give up everything she has worked for to have a bit of temporary decadence.

Trifecta explores the boundaries of love, relationships and convention.”

★★★★

Review: This book had me smiling from beginning to end.

I love the characters. They’re complicated, normal human beings, with their own issues. But when they come together, the whole world is right again. I LOVE that. Lauren is sassy and emotional and tormented by her feelings for the two best friends in her life. Russell is serious and focused and confused about his own feelings, but he lets Jason guide him and that is just beautiful. Jason himself is artistic and talented, but he doubts himself and his work and his worth. He struggles to find any happiness outside of his studio or the bedroom, but he’s also free and easy going and loyal to his best friends.
There is so much I could say about this book and what it did to me. […] I have to commend Kim on her writing. It’s been a while since I was so wrapped up in a story and its characters and their fate. I laughed, I cried, I had to stifle giggles at 4am and I loved. It takes a heck of a lot to make me fall in love with a character. But I fell in love with all three of these, in my own way. And unlike a lot of books I’ve read, I didn’t hate anyone.

Quote: The plan dipped, falling at least a mile, and leaving Lauren Redmond’s stomach spiraling through the stratosphere. She hugged her purse to her chest, a makeshift, useless life preserver as she prepared herself to splatter to Earth.

Her heart pushed against the wall of her chest begging to be heard. She leaned forward in an attempt to protect any part of her body. “Please, I promise I’ll change.” She whispered her vow into the crumpled mass of papers in her hand. “Land and I promise I’ll tell them.” 

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/Trifecta.novel
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Three

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Gemini Island Shifters

Author: Rosanna Leo

 Blurb: “Bear shifter Ryland Snow just wants peace. The peace and quiet afforded him at his woodsy retreat, the Ursa Fishing Lodge. As owner of the lodge, Ryland enjoys the tranquil life he’s created among his fellow shifters. He lives to maintain a safe haven for them, away from meddlesome human eyes.

When his rock star brother arrives, bringing trouble in the form of a possible hitman, Ryland is incensed. He’s been cleaning up Soren’s messes as long as he can remember, and is tired of his brother’s lecherous exploits.

Things go from bad to worse when Lia Goodblood stumbles upon Ryland and his lodge. Yes, the reclusive erotica author is easy on the eyes, but the human woman is more trouble than she’s worth. To say nothing of her bizarre fear of furry creatures.

Ryland determines to rid himself of her presence. But when he learns she’s on the run from a crazed fan, Ryland’s protective bear instincts flare. And the bear won’t be denied.

★★★★☆

Review: I thought the plot and the characters were equally well developed throughout. No-one was stationary or got boring. Even the romance, ‘erotica’ parts didn’t take over from the flow of the story. The sex scenes didn’t feel unnecessary or take over the book, they were integral to the developing feelings of the characters. And I thought adding in snippets of the novel the main female character was writing was also a nice touch. Overall, the book came off to me as a well rounded romance.

Quote: “Seriously, they love Soren Snow like bees love nectar.”

Ryland wrinkled his nose. He’d heard so much detail about his brother’s dalliances, both from him and from the Internet. It was no longer a titillating topic.

Is he gonna sign autographs? Will he have his drums with him?” Carter continued.

I never said Soren was coming to the resort,” Ryland muttered.

Dude,” Dirk chimed in, “I heard he dated Megan Fox.”

Whoa,” Jim uttered. “He is a god.” 

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/RosannaLeo

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Two

   
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Awakened by Blood

Author: Marie Treanor

Blurb: “The debut of a seductive new contemporary series of vampires, lust, and revenge.
While in Romania researching historical superstitions, Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk comes upon the folk tale of Saloman, a seductive prince staked centuries ago, legend’s most powerful vampire. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers supernatural legends that have come alive. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman’s hunger, and it’s going to unite them in ways neither could have imagined.”
★★★★★

Review: The story started from page one and then continued expanding, growing and changing until the very last page.

I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say that this book has action, adventure, mystery, paranormal tang and a lot of great romance.

Quote: “I thought if you knew, you’d kill him.”

“I nearly did. I nearly killed you too. The trouble with death is – his lips twisted – it’s so final.” 

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/BloodonSilk

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One

As there are nearly 30 books in this series, I’m only posting the first cover.

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The Dark Carpathian Series

Author: Christine Feehan

Blurb: “Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery, and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion.

A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps catch some of the most depraved criminals. But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit. In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks on a vacation far from home. 

Mikhail Dubrinksy is the Prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night. Engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness, his soul cries out in loneliness. Until the day a beautiful voice full of light and love responds, softly soothing his pain and yearning. 

From the moment they meet, Raven and Dubrinksy are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love. Yet even if they survive, how can these two lovers – Carpathian and human – build a future together? And how can Dubrinksy bring Raven into his dark world without extinguishing her beautiful goodness and light?

★★★★

Review: I find the romance, here, between Raven and Mikhail beautiful. He would do anything to protect her, even from herself; he loves her devotedly and it is made very clear that the love is expressed differently in Carpathians, than in humans, so even his near-possessive actions and words show you that it isn’t his fault.

I recommend that if you haven’t been introduced to Christine Feehan yet, then do so. Start with Dark Prince, the first in the Dark Series, and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Quote: “-She is like the wind, open and free. If I cage the wind, would it die?

-Then don’t cage it, Mikhail. Trust it to stay beside you.” 

Buy link: http://smarturl.it/DarkPrince

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Coming Soon: Crossroads

Here’s an exclusive peek into book 2 of the Eternally Yours series. It will be called ‘Crossroads‘ and is in production.

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If you haven’t read book 1 yet, you can get Touched by a Vampire here:

Amazon           Smashwords          Barnes and Noble

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And, as always, you can contact Sophie Slade on these sites:

Facebook          Twitter

and add her books here, on Goodreads.

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Some Themes For Teen Novels, by Elizabeth Wein

Originally posted on Writing Teen Novels:

I sat down to write these blog posts armed with some thoughts about writing, reviewing, themes I deal with, and literary tips that I think help make the story vivid.  And then I found myself stuck because I realized that none of these ideas were specifically connected to writing for teens.  So, I am going to start my entries with a disclaimer.  I don’t write teen novels.  Most of my novels are about teens, but I have never once in my life set out to write a ‘teen novel’.  As a teen – and into adulthood – I never set out to read a ‘teen novel’.  I just read!  So, as a novelist I can probably give some good advice about how to write a book, but I haven’t thought much about writing a ‘teen’ book.  These posts are going to make me think about it!

My first ‘teen’ novel,

View original 663 more words

Author Resources: Book Blogs

Follow ALL of the book blogs on FB, that are relevant to your book. KEEP the notifications, so that they pop up on your feed. I know, sometimes, that it gets tempting to switch off the notifications on pages that you like, to ‘unfollow’ but still like them, to join an event and stop the notifications. There are times that this will save you HOURS a week, in scrolling through notifications, but don’t do this to blog pages.

Why?

This week, one particular blog has popped up 6 times on my news feed and each time it’s been a Pimp post, where I can post the buy links, name, tagline and a poster for my books. There’s no guarantee that it will generate sales, but it WILL get you noticed by the readers who count on these pages to give them good recommendations.

Some have ‘random swagging’, where they choose a random comment, made across the week, to give a swag pack to. If you win this, as an author, it’s great booty to give away at your next event.
Some also do competitions, where they pick the best teaser, book cover, of that thread and use it as their profile picture for the week.

A lot of these pages also do regular giveaways, so enter everything. As an author who is also a prolific reader, you could win some great books that you wouldn’t otherwise pick up. Or, as I say, you can win some awesome swag to give away at your next event.

The other key thing to remember is this:

Helping others helps yourself.

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We should all, as Indie authors, be helping out our fellow Indies. We all get help along the way and it takes no time at all to pimp someone else’s book instead of your own, on one of these pages. Or, maybe, you can pimp your books but also take the time to pimp 1 or 2 others, who you know, like or thinks needs the helping hand.

 The more active you are, the more people see your face, your name, your profile picture.
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So, here are some really active pages that you should be following, if you want to promote your book more:
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Book Excursions Book Reviews

Paranormal Romance Trance

Triple A

2 Friends Pimp Your Books

Book-Lover bookblog

My Kindle Journey

Reading is Sexy Book Blog

 

Book Blast: Steel and Bone; Nine Steampunk Adventures

 Shovel the coal and stoke the boilers as nine steam punk authors
explore islands of mystery and adventure across the seven seas.

The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant
struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.
Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when
a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.
Stand and Deliver by TC Phillips: Neither shackles, slave labor, nor the island’s
deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to
their father’s murderers.
Island Walker by C. R. Simper: Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the
theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.
A Mind Prone to Wander by Danielle E. Shipley: Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.
Curio Cay by Sarah E. Seeley: The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.
The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison by Kin Law: Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.
Revolutionary by John M. Olsen: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.
The Steel Inside by Gail B. Williams: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants. 

Purchace your copy here:

Amazon Kindle USA: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Bone-Nine-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00YQRAIIC

Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steel-Bone-Nine-Steampunk-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00YQRAIIC

 

 

Katherine Cowley

Katherine Cowley wrote her first story at the age of five, a retelling of the Icarus myth titled “The Turtle That Got Too Close to the Sun.” She has worked as a documentary film producer, a radio producer, and a college professor. She now devotes herself to writing steampunk, fantasy, and science fiction. Cowley’s short stories and essays have been published and won awards in the Locutorium, the BYU Studies Personal Essay Contest, the Meeting of the Myths, Four Centuries of Mormon Stories, and the Mormon Lit Blitz. You can also read her stories online at katherinecowley.com.
Katherine loves European chocolate, the history of science, and steampunk fashion. She has lived in the United States, Brazil, and Finland, and currently resides in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.

Scott E. Tarbet

Scott E. Tarbet writes what fires his imagination: the broad umbrella of speculative fiction. He is especially intrigued by how human beings react to and interact with science, technology, and other magics.
Educator, chef, professional opera singer, and Steampunk craftsman, with a long list of short stories and other works to his credit, he makes his home in the splendor of the Utah mountains with his wife and best friend, Jewels.

TC Phillips

TC Phillips hails from tropical central Queensland in Australia, where he currently lives with his loving wife, three young children, a spoilt cat, and an overactive imagination. An avid reader from a young age, he has held a long-standing attraction for the written word and is excited to make his own contributions to the vibrant and ever shifting world of storytelling. Holding degrees in both Theatre Studies and Education, he is also currently completing his Master of Arts (writing) through Swinburne University of Technology.

C. R. Simper

C. R. Simper is an Arizona native who graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Purchasing and Logistics Management. She married another Arizona native in 1991 and is now the stay-at-home mom of three
daughters and one son.
Simper has written in multiple genres over the past three decades. She has found that writing maintains a sense of order in her life. Her first published story, “The Journey of Inspector Roux” appeared in Terra Mechanica: a Steampunk Anthology (2014), another Xchyler publication.
Other hobbies that she enjoys are playing volleyball, genealogical research, and indexing obituaries. She is a member of the American Night Writers Association (ANWA).

Danielle E.
Shipley

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them.
Shipley has also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home-schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it at EverOnWord.wordpress.com.
This is her third appearance in a Xchyler anthology, following the paranormal “Two Spoons” in Legends and Lore, and “Reality As We Know It” in fantasy collection The Toll of Another Bell. Other publications include Inspired (a
novel), and a series of fairy-tale retelling mash-ups, The Wilderhark Tales

Sarah E. Seeley

Through two wonderful mentored research experiences, Sarah E. Seeley had the opportunity to work with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her undergraduate degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction.
Seeley’s independently published works include Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story. Sarah’s short story “Peradventure” appears in Xchyler Publishing’s Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions. Another short story, “Driveless,” appears in Leading Edge Magazine Issue #66. You can learn more about Sarah on her writing blog at www.SlithersOfThought.com

Kin Law

Living in the bustle of NYC, Kin is constantly reminded he is a child of two worlds. Originally from Hong Kong, he’s traveled both geographically and socially, working in many professions including movie projection and line cooking. He has degrees in Media and Culinary Arts, and a great love of Philosophy. As for fiction, his favorite authors are Douglas Adams, Hemmingway, and Chuck Pahlaniuk.
Today, Kin is a culinary copywriter, intent on furthering his novelist career. He loves his fiancée, his cat Zoe, Scotch, bacon and coffee. Addressing himself in the third person makes him chuckle.

John M. Olsen

John M. Olsen has been creating things his whole life through a mixture of technical and creative processes, whether building family, stories, art, software, woodworking or anything else. He has dreams of becoming a Renaissance man and loves to learn new things to add to his store of randomly accessible information (otherwise known as irrelevant trivia). Writing is one of his loves, inspired by having read most of his father’s extensive fantasy and science fiction collection in his teen years.
He builds high-end simulation software, and has contributed chapters to several books on computer graphics and game design, as well as publishing fiction in multiple genres. He lives in Utah with his wife and five children, some of whom are old enough to have moved out and back in. Together they have also raised three nieces and a nephew, and are minions of their benevolent cat overlord.

Gail B. Williams

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. With a vivid imagination fuelled by a near death experience at the age of three, there was really no other choice for Gail than to write, something she’s been doing for as long as she can remember. She’s tried not doing it, but it never works for long, her brain gets itchy if
she hasn’t written anything for a couple of days. Gail is English by birth, but lives in Swansea, Wales, married a Welshman and they have two fantastic children. They live with the world’s most imperious and demanding cat. An asset management specialist by day, a freelance editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend, she really needs to learn to sleep. To find out more see www.gailbwilliams.com
James NgJames Ng (pronounced Ing) was born in Hong Kong, where he spent most of his childhood drawing monsters and robots, making his own elaborate cardboard toys, and playing soccer. Ever since, he has been on the move between Hong Kong, Vancouver, Chicago and New York. His travels have greatly influenced him, allowing him to combine Eastern and Western cultures in his artwork.

Currently James is enjoying the freedom of being a freelance concept artist and illustrator. After a sunny summer in Vancouver, and traveling to London, and then to New York for an award show and exhibition, he is back in his home of Hong Kong to continue his career.
 
 

Excerpt

Damien had never seen the man before, but he knew the name well enough. Bertram MacKenzie was the wealthiest land-owner and stock trader in the colony of New Harfolk, a man with considerable resources and even greater influence. Yet, what he already possessed in abundance never seemed to temper his appetite for more, whether it be land, money or power. It was said he even had his eyes firmly set on the governorship, a posting he already seemed to hold in all else but title. The current governor, a doddering old fool more concerned with chasing his maidservants around than governing in the queen’s name, often left the more serious decision making to MacKenzie anyway.

“I’m here about my offer, O’Keele.” MacKenzie unbuttoned his coat and revealed the revolver strapped to his hip. Meanwhile, MacKenzie’s driver, a young man with a shock of red hair and a port-wine birthmark covering the left side of his face, stepped down from the mechanised carriage with a shotgun slung over his shoulder.

Damien’s pa barely reacted to the visitors’ none-too-subtle attempts at intimidation, but the growling of his faithful dog intensified even further. “Thought I made myself clear. I’m not interested in your money.”

“I think you misunderstand the purpose of my visit, O’Keele. My offer is no longer on the table. The governor himself has taken an interest in this . . . dirt pile you call a farm. I have been tasked by him to inform you that, by the authority of Her Majesty the Queen, this land has now been forcibly reclaimed in the interests of the Crown.”

“Like hell,” Damien’s father spat.

“I’m perfectly serious, O’Keele. I’m here at the governor’s behest to see that you, as the land’s former occupant, are duly informed and appropriately compensated.” Reaching into his coat, MacKenzie retrieved a small leather coin purse and tossed it to the ground before him. “That should more than cover it.”

Not bothering to retrieve the pouch, Damien’s old man merely kicked it over with his toe. A small handful of silver and copper coins spilled out onto the dirt. “Seems a little light. What if I’m not interested?”

“You seem to think you actually have a choice in the matter.” MacKenzie nodded to his redheaded companion, who in turn trained his weapon on Damien’s father.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Pa warned. Sensing the danger the red-haired man presented to his master, Bailey broke from his place and launched for his throat. Knocked to the ground, MacKenzie’s driver struggled to keep the dog’s snarling teeth from tearing the nose clean off his face.

“Told you.”

June 28
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Top 10: Fiction Novels

I’ve read a lot of young adult books and keep a track of each and every one of them on my blog. There are some that made me cry, some that made me laugh and others that are just so fantastic that you can’t forget them, no matter how long it’s been since you read it.

Now, I’m primarily an Indie reader. Though I do read mainstream novels, I tend to read more obscure books. Books that no one knows about, that deserve to be shared. Books that you find by accident, which become your all time favourite.
Some of these are more NA than YA, so please check the blurb and reviews, before buying, if you’re under 15.

In the case of series, I’ll be posting the first book, so that you can start at the beginning. ;)

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Ten

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The Chronicles of the Secret Prince

Author: M.J. Bell

Blurb: “Deston Lespérance grew up believing faeries and monsters are just stories told to children at bedtime. However, when his mother mysteriously vanishes and he stumbles into the mystical realm of Tir na-nÓg, he discovers the shocking truth that these beings are not only real, they hold the key to his future. With a new friend, Margaux, and Excalibur’s twin brother sword, Caluvier, at his side, Deston races against time to find his mother and the Light Crystal before the full moon rises on the autumnal equinox. The odds are stacked against them and the obstacles they run into push the limit of what two teenagers can handle: an attack by gremlin-like creatures; captured by 6 foot tall vampire bats; hunted by a giant wolf, and almost lost forever in the mist of Avalon. Yet Deston doesn’t give up, for he vowed to do whatever it takes to get his mother back—even if that means fighting the devil himself. The thing is … when he made that pledge he had no idea how close he would have to come to doing just that!”

★★★★

Review: I’m on the fence about this one and I can’t explain why. I’m somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4 star, but I’ve rounded up to the 4 because I think kids (between 10 and 15) will love it.

The fantasy aspect of the plot was good. There were a lot of creatures – Fae, bats, wolves, ogres – that kids will look for and love in a fantasy novel. They all play their part and some of them will be important in the following books.

There is a very small romance aspect to the book, but it’s enough for kids of 14 and enough to sprinkle on top of the action/adventure aspect that dominates the book.

Quotes: Time was running out, but this part of the escape plan was not one he could rush. Warily, he scooted a few inches away from the window and braved a glance at the lawn below. The dried yellow grass wavered before his eyes and his stomach pitched violently. As he scrambled backward to the safety of the window ledge, his face drained of all color.

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Nine

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Guardian of Souls

Author: Lee Appleby

Blurb: “Haunted by impossible dreams after waking from a coma, Leone Decker is torn from his dead end existence by a beautiful young woman and given everything he’d ever wished for. It can’t last. Soon his perfect reality is shattered and he finds himself dragged into a magical world he never knew existed. With two sides of questionable honesty battling to earn his loyalty, he enters into a desperate struggle to avoid becoming a puppet in an age old underground war he doesn’t understand.”

★★★★

Review: This book wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I saw the cover, read the blurb and assumed this was a YA/Fantasy style novel, for teens and younger. I was wrong and that’s not a bad thing.

This is actually a NA novel, due to the language and sex. But, saying that, the sex is not detailed. It’s fade to grey and that means it only makes a small impact on the story.

I will definitely be on the look out for the next book. I can’t wait to find out more about Leone/Luan’s journey and I’m sure there’s another character deep inside him that we’ll get to know better, in book 2. Leone has been left with room to grow, bonds still to be forged and memories that coincide with how his life has ended at the end of this book.

 A job well done to Lee Appleby. I’ll be first in line for book two.

Quotes: Smouldering remains of wild grass crunched under his boot, despite great effort to keep his step light. Only the dying fires feeding off remnants of the vegetation kept absolute darkness at bay; the moonlight blocked by a foul combination of heavy smoke and abundant clouds. Oxygen had become difficult to obtain and the makeshift rag masks made from their torn clothes did little to help. His sight failed to extend much past the tip of his long, blue bladed sword held out in front. His pulse smashed into his rib cage at such a rate expected when dealing with fear and adrenaline. Decades of training all led to this day, this hour, this minute. Their fate, and the fate of the entire planet would be decided here. A lot of pressure.

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Eight

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The Journeyman ~ The Commons: Book 1

Author: Michael J. Peck

Blurb: ““Paul Reid died in the snow at seventeen. The day of his death, he told a lie—and for the rest of his life, he wondered if that was what killed him.” 

And so begins the battle for the afterlife, known as The Commons. It’s been taken over by a corporate raider who uses the energy of its souls to maintain his brutal control. The result is an imaginary landscape of a broken America—stuck in time and overrun by the heroes, monsters, dreams, and nightmares of the imprisoned dead. 
Three people board a bus to nowhere: a New York street kid, an Iraq War veteran, and her five-year-old special-needs son. After a horrific accident, they are the last, best hope for The Commons to free itself. Along for the ride are a shotgun-toting goth girl, a six-foot-six mummy, a mute Shaolin monk with anger-management issues, and the only guide left to lead them. 
Three Journeys: separate but joined. One mission: to save forever. 
But first they have to save themselves. 

★★★★

Review: Let me just say that Michael Alan Peck is a genius and I will be reading anything else he’s written or writes in the future. The writing style was just up my street, with enough hints and POV’s to let me know what was going on, without giving everything away.

Although I can’t wait to read the next part of The Commons series, I do have to remove 1 star for the confusion over the last 3 chapters and the bluntness that snapped me out of The Commons and rudely forced me back into the real world. I wasn’t ready to leave yet, but maybe that’s how I’m supposed to feel…

Quotes: “Beware the soft-spoken when secrets are kept, for they hear what the thunderers do not.”

“All-out heart of darkness, man.”

Seven

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Laika in Lisan

Author: Maron Anrow

Blurb: “Laika Roen has always been strangely attracted to Lisan, a mysterious and isolated country where the citizens worship their despotic leader. When Laika is invited to travel to Lisan as a visiting scholar, she jumps at the chance to experience Lisan’s unusual culture firsthand.

But Laika gets more than she bargained for when her trip is disrupted by violence and she’s forced to set out on her own. As she journeys through forbidden sections of the foreign country, Laika discovers horrible truths about the relationship between Lisan’s leader and his people.

Can a simple scholar change the course of an entire country? And even if she can, should she? The distinction between right and wrong blurs as Laika explores not only Lisan, but her own conscience. “

 ★★★★
 Review: I was intrigued by this book right from the start. This is an excellently paced mixture of mystery, suspense and action. I never knew who to trust or what would happen next. I love how honest Laika and Rodya are, especially when things get complicated. I love the academic slant we have, from reading in Laika’s POV and how I never felt out of my depth because even the things I wasn’t familiar with were explained just enough for me to keep up.

Quote: “I wish I could say this is a story of how I saved everyone and set the world to right. But it isn’t. This is a story of my failure.”

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Six

sacred bloodlines cursed the prophecy 

the lost years guardian crown

 

~The Sacred Guardians

Author: Wendy Owens

Blurb:Tragedy has defined Gabe’s short existence in this world. An ominous darkness lurked on the edge of his existence until one day in a subway, strange things start happening. A series of events lead Gabe into a new and fascinating life filled with angels and demons, but he isn’t sure if he wants to be a part of it.

Gabe is thrust into the middle of this exciting world that is full of things he has longed for in his life but it comes with a price. This new life also promises constant terrifying dangers that Gabe fears he may not be able to survive.

★★★★

Review: Unputdownable. Funny and enticing. Exciting but not at too fast a pace. A great read for children and adults a like.

This book literally kept me up at night. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want to even if I could. The characters are exciting, different to many I’ve read in this genre, and they suck you into their story by making you care for them. There really isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. Even the things that niggled or grated on me added something to the reading of the story.

Quotes: “You feel like you’re cursed. Death follows you wherever you go and you feel completely abandoned. You wish it would all end for you. You think that death would be a release, yet something compels you forward.”

The blood drained from Gabe’s face as he listened to Uri speak. “You’re not alone, Gabe, there are many more like us and we want to help you.” 

Buy links: http://smarturl.it/SacredBloodlines

Book 1 ‘Sacred Bloodlines’ is PERMA-FREE on Amazon!

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Five

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The James Potter Series

Author: G. Norman Lippert

Blurb: “What’s it like to be the son of the most famous wizard of all time?

James Potter thinks he knows, but as he begins his own adventure at Hogwarts, he discovers just how much of a challenge it really is to live up to the legend of the great Harry Potter. As if it wasn’t enough dealing with the delegates from the American wizarding school and figuring out the mysteriously polite Slytherins, James and his new friends, Ralph and Zane, begin to uncover a secret plot that could pit the Muggle and the Magical worlds against each other in all-out war.
Now, with the help of Ted Lupin and his band of merry mischief makers (The Gremlins), James must race to stop a war that could change the world forever. His only hope is to learn the difference between being a hero and being the son of a hero.”

★★★★

Review: We’re welcomed back to a world we already know and love, with old and new characters. Some are a little of both. You get to see what happened to Remus and Tonk’s son Ted and everyone else’s kids. Even though the mischief of Fred and George isn’t there, Ted and his ‘Gremlins’ make up for the loss.

If you read Harry Potter 1-7, saw the films and loved them, read this! If you were like me and read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages and the Harry Potter Encyclopaedia then you have to read this book! It draws you in like Harry Potter, and sucks you into a world you don’t want to leave. And you don’t have to, because there’s more!

Quotes: “The scariest people in the world are not always the ones who are bent on evil, James. Sometimes, the scariest person is the one who mistakes their own lies for truth.”

Buy links: http://www.jamespotterseries.com

The ENTIRE series is always free on the website. You can download in any format you want.

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Four

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Dragons in Our Midst

Author: Bryan Davis

Blurb: “A boy learns of his dragon past; a girl has known hers for years. They combine their faith, courage, and love to overcome an evil slayer who seeks to bring an end to dragon heritage, forever.

The kids at school call Billy “Dragon Breath” for good reason. His breath is bad! It isn’t the normal, morning-mouth bad; it’s the hot-as-fire, “don’t-you-dare-get-near-me” bad. Trouble erupts when his hot breath sets off the fire sprinklers in the boys’ restroom in school, and his parents learn that they’ve kept their secret for too long.

Billy finally discovers the secret. His father was once a dragon! Now that’s a piece of news a guy doesn’t deal with every day! Billy feels betrayed, alien, lost. When the dragon slayer traps him on a cold mountaintop in West Virginia, Billy learns to battle with weapons of steel and spirit while relying on a power he doesn’t understand, a power that helps him learn to trust again.
Bonnie, an orphan, tries to find a home, someone to love her, even though she feels like a freak because of a body feature that she calls a deformity. But this unusual feature becomes a life-saving attribute as she discovers that her love for others and her faith in a creator hold the answers she’s looking for.”

★★★★

Review: I absolutely love this series.

Without having to falter, I can honestly say that this series is probably the best lot of books I’ve ever read. I love dragons, I love King Arthur stories and this has everything.

Quotes: “Dad just told me that I’m the son of a dragon!And then he leaves?”

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Three

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The Dream Keeper Chronicles

Author: Mikey Brooks

Blurb: “Dreams: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?”

★★★★

Review: Book 1 – We come into the story, in the middle of events, which I love. I really think Gladamyr is a brilliant character, who holds the others together. The very idea of the world of Dreams, and how it connects to the moral (human) world is so clever and original. I’ve never seen it done before.

Book 2 – This book was action-packed! From start to finish, there was always something going on, keeping me from putting it down.

Book 3 – Normally, when I write a review like this, I go into detail about the plot, the characters and the style of writing or what I loved or hated about the book. I can’t do that for this one. I literally just finished reading this book and my heart is broken.

Quotes: ““OMG!” Parker hooted. “You’re amazing!”

“Shut up and think for me,” she snapped. “I’m getting all these images of Lara Croft from you – I need ice!”

Parker literally shook the thoughts out of his head and began to think of the icebergs in the arctic. He would ask Kaelyn later how she had known about the superhot character from this favourite video game.”

Buy links: Book 1 or you can buy the Trilogy in one book.

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Two

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The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky

Author: David Litwack

Blurb:After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light—two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean.
Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena’s plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions.

These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena’s home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself “the Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.” A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom.
But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever… and perhaps their world as well.”

★★★★

Review: First off, let me start by saying this book is something special. I don’t say that often, but there is something un-pinpoint-able and undefined that is wholly beautiful, endearing and magical about this book and the story. I’m going to lay this at the author’s feet. If this author bring out another book, you can bet I’ll snap it up as soon as it’s in print, because I can tell from this one alone that me and David’s books are going to be lifelong friends.

The ending is, in one word, perfect. I couldn’t imagine a better ending. Not everything is wrapped up in bright red ribbon, wrapped up for convenience and a nice tidy finish. But we get the story we want and asked for when we opened the book. And that’s pretty perfect to me.

Quotes: Many of our offices have windows. Mine does not.”

Why not?”

Because that’s the way it is.” He wasn’t about to explain seniority to a nine-year-old. “But we were talking about you, Kailani. Do your parents know you’ve come here?”

She pressed down on the chair’s arms and lifted her head. The arc of her neck was perfect. “I am the daughter of the sea and the sky.”

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One

fool's errand mystic's mayhem paryn's gold ebook

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The Chaddash Chronicles

Author: David G. Johnson

Blurb: ““Welcome to Chadash; where the lives and adventures of mortals are the weapons wielded by angels in a war for the souls of men.”
What was to be a simple job for the unlikely team of a teenage thief, a holy warrior, a barbarian prince, a priest and an outcast necromancer soon transforms into a much greater adventure. These mismatched heroes find themselves caught up in a struggle threatening three decades of peace. The fate of nations is inseparably intertwined with the fate of this motley band of adventurers. Yet even greater forces are afoot as unbeknownst to the heroes they are pawns in a celestial struggle between two factions of angels on a new world the One Lord has created at the end of the universe. Come along to the world of Chadash where angels struggle for the souls of men in The Chadash Chronicles Book One: Fool’s Errand.”

★★★★

Review: Book 1 – […] just reading the Foreword of this book, I knew David and I were going to get on just fine. Rowling, Tolkien and Lewis are some of my all time favourite authors and I completely understand where he’s coming from in the Foreword. I’ve read a predominantly Christian book series before, in the fantasy genre, and loved it. It made me believe, it made me question and it made me cry. This book does the same.

Book 2 – Let me start by saying that Book 2 is just as good, if not better, than Book 1. I love the heartfelt, personal foreword and I find that the prologue answers a lot of questions I didn’t even know I had about Melizar’s history, from Book 1. […] As usual, this book gets straight into the action right away. My boys are excellent, as always, and really grow during the course of this book.

Book 3 – Let me just admit, before I get too far, that I’m a massive fan of this series so far. When I was asked if I wanted to read and review an advanced copy of this book, I just about did a fangirl scream and said ‘Gimme! Gimme!’. I refrained, but it didn’t lessen my excitement for starting this story.

Quote: Book 3 – “Okay, step right up for your express doorway to the road to scenic Thalyia, where you can enjoy such varied activities as muggings, stabbings, poisonings and, for the truly adventurous, involuntary slavery. Don’t miss out, step on through, folks; only ten gold pieces for the adventure of a lifetime.” 

BEST. QUOTE. EVER.

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