Maria Savva's Blog

April 29, 2016

Charles D. Blanchard is a talented author. His debut novel, Mourning Doves After the Fire was published in 2010. This forthcoming novel, "Kingdom's End", sounds intriguing: the main characters are rats.

Charles told me that he has dedicated the book to Richard Adams who wrote "Watership Down". I asked him whether that book inspired "Kingdom's End", and he said: 'It's not just his writing. I also enjoyed "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. And "Charlotte's Web". They are fables where animals are the principal characters. "Kingdom's End" is my contribution to this genre.'

The author has chosen a gorgeous cover for the book.

I asked Charles about the cover choice. He told me, 'I was looking for something dramatic for the cover, and I came upon this illustration by Gustave Doré. Its an 1870 wood engraving called "The Council Held By The Rats". It's dramatic, and I licensed it for 20 years from Bridgeman Art in NYC.'

"Kingdom's End" is scheduled to be published this summer.


"Kingdom's End" is an adventure story set in an urban landscape where the main characters are rodents. The main setting is an abandoned motion picture palace from the 1920s that has been closed for thirty years and is set for demolition. It is here where the rats in the story make their massive colony and fight to protect it. In their struggle to survive in a harsh environment, there are threats posed against them from both man and beast. It is exciting and complex and an easy read with a strong narrative that makes you feel their plight.

There are many conflicts. Among them, a plot within the colony to overthrow the aged blind leader by an ambitious ruthless soldier rat and a good deal of the story involves how he goes about it. Later, the plot is discovered as forces work against the perpetrator.

The rodent characters have names. The human characters interspersed in the story are nameless.

There is considerable adventure outside the colony as characters are introduced that play important roles such as the derelict rats that specialize in the placement of poison and even a fortune teller. The interaction with humans and other animals has an emotional pull that infuses the story to its conclusion as the blind leader of the entrapped colony facing the exterminators tells his subjects they must make their decision on life or death.

About the author:

Charles D. Blanchard is a native New Yorker, currently living in Mt. Vernon, NY.

2010 saw the publication of his debut novel, "Mourning Doves After The Fire".

HIs second novel, "Kingdom's End", a dramatic fable about city dwelling rats, will be published in the summer of 2016.

Charles is currently working on his third novel.

Follow Charles D. Blanchard on Twitter:
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Published on April 29, 2016 16:15 • 102 views • Tags: charles-blanchard, cover-reveal, kingdom-s-end, novel, rats

April 25, 2016

NEW RELEASE Ciara Ballintyne’s Epic Fantasy ‘In the Company of the Dead’
Only a fool crosses a god, but Ellaeva and Lyram will do anything to get what they want.

InTheCompanyOfTheDead_300dpi_1842x2763 FINAL

Title: In the Company of the Dead

Author: Ciara Ballintyne

Series: The Sundered Oath #1

Genre: Epic Fantasy/Fantasy Romance

Chosen as a five-year-old orphan to be the Left Hand of Death, Ellaeva has nothing to call her own—nothing except a desire to avenge her murdered parents. Her duties leave her no time to pursue the man responsible, until both her work and revenge lead to the same place—the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris is serving out his exile for striking his prince.

Lyram is third in line for the throne, and when the castle is unexpectedly besieged, he fears his prince means to remove him from contention for the crown permanently. Ellaeva’s arrival brings hope, until she reveals she has not come for the siege, but instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the dark god of decay.

Within their stone prison, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Other

Chapter 1


Only a fool would split hairs with a god, least of all the goddess of death, but Ellaeva would count herself such a fool and consider it worth it—if she could get away with it.

She leaned across the knife-scarred timber of the tavern table.

“Are you sure?” she asked, her tone even and barely loud enough to be audible over the noise of the flute and the zither. Her work on behalf of the goddess Ahura, adjudicating the small war here in Dayhl, could only be abandoned in favour of a greater threat. If she was going to chase off after the man who killed her parents, she needed to be sure her arguments stacked up. The pursuit of personal justice wouldn’t be enough.

Is it justice or revenge?

No time to worry about that now. She tugged her black hood farther down over her infamous face, even though deep shadows blanketed the common room corner. She’d chosen a table far from the tallow candles mounted in their stag-horn chandeliers. There was no point taking chances; the black hair and porcelain skin of a Tembran would be remarked here among the platinum-haired Dayhlish. Besides, someone might recognise her.

“In Ahlleyn, sure as the spring comes after winter, Holiness.” The narrow-faced man across from her grinned, baring teeth more brown than yellow. The acrid smoke from the candles didn’t cover his pungent breath.

She half-stood, making an urgent, negating gesture as she glanced around, but the hubbub of chatter from the patrons and the music covered his slip. No one even glanced their way. On the far side of the room, away from the two blazing hearths, tables were pushed aside for dancing. She dropped back into her seat, her black robes fluttering around her booted feet.

Ahlleyn lay on the other side of the continent, months of travel by horse. If her informant was right and a Rahmyrrim priest had been dispatched there, he would likely be gone long before she arrived—unless she begged a favour, but she’d not do that for a lark of her own. However, if it meant catching the man who killed her parents, well then maybe she could come up with an argument that would hold water for a god. Old grief and anger, stale from a decade or more, stirred in her gut, and her fingers curled around the edge of the table.

Releasing her grip, she reached to the inner pocket in her robes where rested the smudged charcoal drawing of a man. Hard work and luck had helped her obtain that picture of the man she believed killed her parents—a man she knew to be a priest of Rahmyr. If she decided to act against her standing orders, then she needed to be sure it was the man she was after, and that he was involved in some act heinous enough to attract her goddess’s attention.

“Did you get the name of this priest? Or his description?” An unknown number of priests served Rahmyr, but she knew six by sight—six still alive anyway.

The thin man shook his head. “Nobody mentioned. I got the impression he’s already there, or on his way leastways.”

She scowled. No way to be sure then that this was the man she wanted. Begging favours of Ahura for her personal satisfaction was a risky business, especially if she neglected her duties, and perhaps it would all be for nothing.

With one hand, she flattened the map that curled on the table between them. The patrons behind them exploded with laughter at something unheard. Ignoring the noise, she stabbed her finger at an unmarked portion of the map in the foothills of the Ahlleyn mountains. If he didn’t know who, maybe he knew the what. “There, you say? What possible interest could Rahmyr have there? There’s nothing of interest at all.”

She lowered her voice even further as she uttered the name of the goddess of decay, and glanced around again. That name spoken too loudly would bring unwanted attention. But nearly all the tavern patrons were busy whirling on the impromptu dance floor or lined up to watch the dancers, their backs to her.

The nameless man leaned forward, treating her to another stomach-clenching blast of foul breath, and touched a spot perhaps half an inch away from her finger. A tiny, unlabelled picture marked something there.

“Here, Holiness.”

She squinted at the picture, letting his lapse slide. The image represented a holy place. There was an old shrine to Ahura somewhere in the Ahlleyn Borders, wasn’t there? And a castle built over it. “Caisteal Aingeal an Bhais.”

“That sounds like the name,” he agreed. “Never could get my mouth around them Ahlleyn words. Pink castle, I heard.”

She grunted. That was the one. “There’s still nothing there.”

Nothing of interest to Rahmyr anyway. The shrine wasn’t particularly important, and the castle held no political significance.

“What’s there,” the man said, “is Lyram Aharris.”

The premonition went through her like a blast of icy wind, stiffening her in her chair as the hand of the goddess brushed against her mind. A light caress, but from a giant, and so it sent her mind reeling. She clutched the table for support. Lyram Aharris’s reputation preceded him the length of the continent: eight years ago, at the age of twenty-seven, he’d brought an end to the centuries-long conflict between Ahlleyn and Velena through a series of brilliant military manoeuvres. He’d survived the Siege of Invergahr against near-impossible odds, brought the crown prince safely clear of the conflict, and fought the Velenese to a standstill using their own guerrilla warfare tactics against them. As a novice, she’d covered the tactics thoroughly as part of her studies. The man was a military genius. That he was third in line for the throne of Ahlleyn was the least there was to know about him—at least it was, until his king dismissed him from court. The rumours on everyone’s lips said he murdered his wife, even if no one could prove it.

What did Rahmyr want with him?

Ciara Ballintyne grew up on a steady diet of adult epic fantasy from the age of nine, leaving her with a rather confused outlook on life – she believes the good guys should always win, but knows they often don’t. She is an oxymoron; an idealistic cynic.

She began her first attempts at the craft of writing in 1992, culminating in the publication of her debut work, Confronting the Demon, in 2013. Her first book to be published with Evolved Publishing is In the Company of the Dead. She holds degrees in law and accounting, and is a practising financial services lawyer. In her spare time, she speculates about taking over the world – how hard can it really be?

If she could be anything, she’d choose a dragon, but if she is honest she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House M.D. – both the good and the bad. She is a browncoat, a saltgunner, a Whedonite, a Sherlockian, a Ringer and a Whovian... OK, most major geek fandoms. Her alignment is chaotic good. She is an INTJ.

Ciara lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, her two daughters, and a growing menagerie of animals that unfortunately includes no dragons.

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Published on April 25, 2016 03:25 • 306 views • Tags: ciara-ballintyne, epic-fantasy, in-the-company-of-the-dead, new-release, novel

April 1, 2016

There Was An Old WomanThere Was An Old Woman by Julie Elizabeth Powell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As with all of this author's fiction, there is an element of mystery, a sense of not knowing what is going to happen, intriguing suspense. This story is quite complex yet a quick read and is a great example of how adept this author is at creating characters and stories to thrill the reader. There is beautiful, almost poetic description within this story as we follow the character to find out what her fate will be. It's a story about free will and the illusion of reality. The ending is very profound and will make you think. It's a very clever tale. You have to read it to understand what I mean, but this story will get inside your mind and twist your perception. Definitely worth reading. There is also a very entertaining poem added as bonus content.

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Published on April 01, 2016 07:59 • 310 views • Tags: julie-elizabeth-powell, new-release, poetry, review, short-story, there-was-an-old-woman

March 15, 2016

Terry Tyler has just published a new novella!

"Best Seller: A Tale Of Three Writers" is currently available on Amazon for just 99p/99c

About the book:

Three women, one dream: to become a successful author.

Eden Taylor has made it—big time. A twenty-three year old with model girl looks and a book deal with a major publisher, she's outselling the established names in her field and is fast becoming the darling of the media.

Becky Hunter has money problems. Can she earn enough from her light-hearted romance novels to counteract boyfriend Alex's extravagant spending habits, before their rocky world collapses?

Hard up factory worker Jan Chilver sees writing as an escape from her troubled, lonely life. She is offered a lifeline—but fails to read the small print...

In the competitive world of publishing, success can be merely a matter of who you know—and how ruthless you are prepared to be to get to the top.

BEST SELLER is a novella of 40k words (roughly half as long as an average length novel), a slightly dark, slightly edgy drama with a twist or three in the tale.

Get your copy:


Author links:

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Published on March 15, 2016 06:10 • 393 views • Tags: authors, best-seller, drama, fiction, new-release, novella, terry-tyler, writers

March 13, 2016

Lost and Found, my latest collection of short stories is now available via Amazon in paperback.

Here are the links you'll need:

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:
Amazon CA:
Amazon FR:
Amazon DE:
Amazon IT:
Amazon IN:
Amazon JP:
Amazon BR:
Amazon NL:
Amazon MX:
Amazon ES:

More about the book:

Human nature is not neat and predictable.

What makes us betray a loved one?

Can isolation lead to irrational behaviour?

Why do other people’s lives always look more appealing?

Ordinary people living ordinary lives, torn apart by regret, remorse, and deceit. We’re all stumbling through life together. This collection of stories shows you the Lost and Found among us.


1. A Different World - a story about a young man looking for work who is forced to take a job he doesn't want to do.

2. An Innocent Man - Is Oliver going to be found guilty for a crime he didn't commit?

3. Boomerang - A young mother struggles to bring up her daughter alone.

4. What's Left Unsaid - When one lie leads to another.

5. Office Gossip - What happens when a handsome new male boss starts work in a female dominated office?

6. Birthday Boy - Will Victor get away with his lecherous behavior?

7. Happy Anniversary - Les is unhappy in his marriage but things take an unexpected turn.

Take a look at the book trailer at the following link:
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Published on March 13, 2016 07:39 • 926 views • Tags: amazon, lost-and-found, new-release, paperback

March 2, 2016

The Perfect PicnicThe Perfect Picnic by Ciara Flood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This author's debut children's book Those Pesky Rabbits is excellent. I bought it for my nieces and nephew (age range 2-8 years old) and they loved it. Just like the first book, The Perfect Picnic has lovely illustrations that complement and enhance the story.

This book is about a mole and a squirrel who are best friends and decide to go on a picnic together. Things don't go as planned but all is well in the end. A sweet and fun story that I'm sure children will love.

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Published on March 02, 2016 12:14 • 246 views • Tags: children-s-book, ciara-flood, illustrated, picture-book, the-perfect-picnic, those-pesky-rabbits

Talented author, Dionne Lister, is preparing to release a new fantasy series. Book 1 in her "The Rose of Nerine" series is now available for pre-order on iBookstore, and Amazon worldwide.

Tempering the Rose is a dark, epic fantasy.

About the book:

A dark epic fantasy series, where one woman's thirst for revenge will put the entire world in jeopardy.

The only thing twenty-one year old Adrastine wants is revenge against her depraved father—but when she tries to kill him, she is caught and thrown into a holy war for a god she doesn’t believe in. But disaster is coming, and all Adrastine’s problems will seem minor by comparison. Someone, or something, is draining the planet’s lifeblood, killing the land and everything on it at an alarming rate.

Jacob is a shelon, a man who can wield magic, and a spy dispatched by Queen Valtice to find The Rose of Nerine – the only one who can stop the rape of the land and save the people. But when Jacob finds Adrastine, he can’t convince her that she is The Rose, let alone to leave her home and journey with him across the tempestuous sea to Nerine.

Adrastine is drawn to Jacob, despite their differences. But that is a dangerous path, as he is an unwelcome distraction to her quest for revenge. And if she learns his secrets, it will cement her hatred of men forever, weakening powers she is only just learning she has, powers needed to save their world.

Pre-order links:




Author links:

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Published on March 02, 2016 11:56 • 162 views • Tags: amazon, dionne-lister, fantasy, ibookstore, kindle, new-release, novel, pre-order, series, tempering-the-rose, the-rose-of-nerine

Prolific author D.G. Torrens has a new book coming out soon. "Forbidden" is a romantic suspense novel and will be published on the 31st of March 2016. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon Kindle, worldwide.

About the book:

The ties that bind us are the ones that can break us...

Jessica Hamilton is 25-years-old and born into a strict, white, Christian family. One that does not believe in interracial relationships under any circumstances. She meets Ajay Sharma at work, an associate director for Lansdale and Down Communications. There is only one problem – he is a Hindu. Jessica and Ajay fall irrevocably and irreparably in love with one another. A perfect love they have to conceal from all those around them for fear of reprisal from their unforgiving families… families that are imprisoned by their own cultural constraints. They are both faced with unimaginable and unforeseeable obstacles that leads Jessica to a near fatal accident, one that changes their lives forever. Jessica has no memory of the events that led to her tragic accident or why she was alone at ridge point on that fateful night. Will Ajay find justice for Jessica? Will Jessica’s memory return and reveal the truth?

Pre-order FORBIDDEN:

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

Author links:

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Published on March 02, 2016 11:32 • 158 views • Tags: amazon, d-g-torrens, forbidden, kindle, new-release, pre-order, romance, suspense
You can now order my new collection of short stories directly from Lulu in paperback!

Here's the link:

The book will also be available in paperback from Amazon and other sites in a few weeks' time.

You can currently pre-order Lost and Found in Kindle format from Amazon worldwide. Kindle books can be read on many devices using the free Kindle app from Amazon.

The book will be released on Kindle on March 18th.

About the book:

Human nature is not neat and predictable.

What makes us betray a loved one?

Can isolation lead to irrational behaviour?

Why do other people’s lives always look more appealing?

Ordinary people living ordinary lives, torn apart by regret, remorse, and deceit.

We’re all stumbling through life together. This collection of stories shows you the Lost and Found among us.

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
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Published on March 02, 2016 02:54 • 1,574 views • Tags: amazon, kindle, lost-and-found, new-release, paperback, pre-order, short-stories

March 1, 2016

Author Charity Parkerson is running a silent auction to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital - the drawing will be on the 1st of May. Here's some more information from Charity:

"As most of you know, St. Jude's Children's hospital is a charity close to my heart. Every year I try to raise money for them."

This year's silent auction basket contains books 1-5 of Charity Parkerson's Hard Hit series autographed, a Kindle Fire, two small swag bags, a carry-on, a Novel Experience t-shirt autographed, and cover art for her upcoming book Clinched signed by the cover model  Ryan "Stacks" Harmon   and the author. Bidding starts at $150.00 USD and whoever has the highest bid on May 1st wins.  

Charity says:
"Email your bid to
The winner will be contacted once bidding closes. Once your payment is made through Paypal, I will ship out your prize. Thank you!" –Author, Charity Parkerson

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Published on March 01, 2016 15:46 • 269 views • Tags: auction, charity, charity-parkerson, silent-auction