Diane Rapp's Blog: She's a Mystery and Science Fiction Writer!

July 20, 2018

Sandra and I met in a Cozy Mystery Authors retweet group.  I admit that I'm a sucker for books with dogs as main characters, so I have enjoyed reading her stories.  She includes comedy and fun in each book, and the mysteries kept me reading. 

​If you like cozy mysteries with engaging characters, this series is for you!  She has short stories for a quick read and has branched out into full-length books.

Diane Rapp
[image error]Author Bio:
 
Sandra Baublitz lives in Maryland with her two cats, Socky and Miss Kitty. She has been a bookkeeper, worked at a plant nursery, and sold produce and baked goods at a farmer’s market. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga, walks in nature, reading mysteries and romance novels, and gardening.
Picture Series Description:

A Dog Detective Series started when I entered a mystery short story contest held by Family Circle magazine. I saw the contest advertised and thought why not? I’ve loved reading cozy mysteries since I was a teenager. The contest required certain clues, but the characters were the writer’s choice. At the time, the Beethoven movie was popular, and I fell in love with the Saint Bernard star. He was big, furry, and full of mischief. Then my co-worker brought her new Saint Bernard puppy into work. I held that sweet little dog and wanted one, however, my family didn’t want a large dog. So I wrote him into the story as a way to express my love.

I didn’t win the contest but wrote two more short stories. Life happened, and I put it aside. A few years ago, I picked it up again and wrote three more shorts. The novels followed when I challenged myself to write longer. My Saint Bernard character may have given me a mental nudge too. Bassets and Blackmail is the second novel in the series and has recently published.

Short Story Collection

Amateur sleuth Clarissa Montgomery Hayes loves her loyal canine partner, Paw. Together they sniff out crime and dig up clues to solve mysteries. Can a dog be a detective? He sure can.

This cozy mysteries box set includes The Dog Detective Series Shorts Books 1-5. Box Set of 5 SEPARATE SHORT STORIES [image error] Blue Dolphins –

When struggling freelance writer, Clarissa Hayes, and her trouble-making Saint Bernard, Paw, visit their relatives in Upstate New York, they are saddened to find the family in mourning. Clarissa's amateur sleuth uncle has died, evidently from a heart attack.
 
But was the death truly an accident? An anonymous note hints that her uncle was murdered, and now Clarissa and Paw are determined to sniff out the truth.
 
Soon the duo find themselves nose deep in their uncle's final baffling case: the theft of the fabulous Blue Dolphin diamonds. Clarissa's determination to find her uncle's killer leads her deep into a world of glittering gems and deadly secrets, where each new discovery threatens to bring her to the notice of a ruthless murderer who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks. Can Clarissa and her detective dog Paw crack the case, or will they become the killer's next victims?
Blue Dolphins Picture Aunt Carol's Disappearance 

When Amateur sleuth, Clarissa Hayes and her mischievous Saint Bernard, Paw, go on a relaxing vacation to the beach with their friends, they are surprised to find their hostess missing. Their friend's aunt has disappeared and the beach bungalow is locked.

Where could she be? What could have happened to her? And what are those strange lights at sea?

With Paw digging up clues, Clarissa and her friends search frantically for the missing woman. As they follow the trail of clues, their search leads them into a world of dangerous criminals and dark secrets. Can Clarissa and Paw collar the criminals and save the missing woman, or will they disappear too? Aunt Carol Picture The Body In The Shed –

Clarissa and Paw are curled up by a cozy fire as Christmas nears. In this season of love and giving, their ideal holiday is shattered when Clarissa discovers a dead man in her elderly neighbor's shed.
Who is he? Why was he killed? And who would dump a body at a senior citizen's house?

When Clarissa's uncle, the local police chief, arrests the woman's grandson, she begs Clarissa to clear his name. With an eye for trouble and Paw's doggy nose for clues, they investigate.

But Clarissa is shadowed by a handsome detective her uncle hired to protect her. Can she and Paw elude their protector and unleash their detecting skills before another death?

Will they cage the killer or will they end up dead in the shed too? Body in the Shed Picture The Missing Bear –

Canine sleuth, Paw, is once again making mischief. His owner, Clarissa, has a bone to pick with her innocent-looking dog. A missing teddy bear. Has her Saint Bernard turned to a life of crime?

When Paw fetches the bear from his buried cache in their neighbor’s yard, the mystery is solved. Right? Wrong.

The bear has secrets of its own.

As Clarissa and Paw delve into the case, they discover that their quiet neighbors aren’t as innocent as they seem.

Will the duo dig up the truth or end up in the doghouse themselves? Missing Bear Picture The Missing Actor –

What has happened to Robert Roberts, the new actor in town? Clarissa, Paw, and their friend, Shelbee, discover the back door of his house wide open. It is evident that a struggle has occurred in his kitchen. Where is he? Where is his cat, Kathleen? And why does his parrot keep yelling, “No! John! No!”

As they canvass the neighborhood for Kathleen, Paw sniffs out a clue to the missing actor. Sleuthing noses to the ground, the mystery leads them in a dangerous direction.
Will they find Robert and Kathleen in time or are they barking up the wrong tree?
FULL-LENGTH NOVELS: Picture Mastiffs, Mystery, and Murder – 

It’s murder at the dog show!

When amateur sleuth Clarissa Hayes and her trusty Saint Bernard, Paw, enter a dog show, they expect to find dogs, blue ribbons, and trophies. Not dead bodies.

Clarissa’s boyfriend is tracking a suspect in the death of a dog fancier. It’s up to Clarissa and Paw to provide him cover as they compete in the show.

But the competition turns deadly when another dog owner is murdered. Are the deaths connected? Clarissa and Paw must sniff out the clues to solve the crime before the killer collars them.

Will Best in Show become Best in Death? Mastiffs & Murder [image error] Bassets and Blackmail (New!) –

Will this mystery game be murder?

Peaceful Dreams B&B is hosting a murder mystery game to celebrate its grand opening. Local sleuth Clarissa Hayes and her loyal Saint Bernard, Paw, have joined in the entertainment.

All is fun and games until one of the guests is found dead at the bottom of the basement stairs. Was it an accident? Or murder? Did the victim share a secret past with one of the guests or the B&B owners?

It's up to Clarissa and Paw to trail the clues to find out the truth. Along the way they're joined by a bevy of friends, both human and animal, including a black cat who is embroiled in a mystery of his own.

Will peaceful dreams reign or will the killer unleash nightmares for all? Bassets & Blackmail Connect with Sandra Baublitz at the following links: WEBSITE TWITTER AMAZON AUTHOR FACEBOOK BOOK BUB
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Published on July 20, 2018 00:00

July 13, 2018

DIANE'S 5* REVIEW:
Hope is a link to future peace.

A young girl finds herself injured and alone on a distant world. She is the first human to make contact with a strange but gentle group of aliens who teach her how to communicate, verbally and with heartsong. Liz Smith (whose middle name is Hope) is an orphan. She learned through experience that she should never make friends or love others because she will surely lose them. Can she heal her own soul by learning to love and open herself to share a heartsong?

This is a novel encompassing a first contact experience with self examination and healing. Liz learns the meaning of Hope within her own heartsong. Can she share it and save lives? The future peace between species might depend on a teenager's ability to communicate.


Two alien worlds.One teen emissary.No reality she can trust.
Thirteen-year-old Liz Smith has been ripped away from one foster family after another for years, so the idea of a permanent home is tantalizing. Who cares if that home is a colony sixty-five thousand light-years from Earth? The friends in her trusty e-reader will keep her company just fine on her interstellar relocation.
But when the adventure of a lifetime turns into the disaster of the cosmos, Liz can only retreat so far into the books that have always sheltered her from loneliness and loss. Trapped in half-truths and secrets that leave her questioning reality, can one orphaned bookworm find a way to stop two races from destroying each other … and somehow write a happy ending to her own story?
If you like books about space travel, aliens, or cross-cultural transitions, you’ll love this poignant science fiction adventure. Click here to get your copy of Heartsong now and start the journey today! (Shh! For July 1st and 2nd only, the ebook is available for free!)
Read on for a sample of the story ...
HeartsongChapter One
My love of reading started the whole thing.The best place to read on the Laika was in the lifeboats. I’d discovered that on the first leg of the trip, during the flight from Earth to the jump point off of Phoebe. I mean, what else was there to do when we couldn’t see much through the viewports? The view was exciting when there was one, but when you’re far away from anything, space all looks the same.The hyperspace jump that shot us across the galaxy had been quick, of course, so no time to get bored there. And after we came out of it at the jump point off of Somav, the blue giant that would light my skies for the rest of my life, the flight toward the little moon Soma was pretty exciting, too. I couldn’t stop staring as we passed Somavia, the blue and white planet I knew none of us would ever see close up again. I wondered about the aliens whose home it was. What were they like? The pictures and video Forerunner had sent back, from the few passes it had taken in high orbit, left everyone with more questions than they answered.Of course, we knew the planet had a breathable atmosphere. If it hadn’t been for the alien race who already lived there — and the tirtellium that we were going to mine on Soma, of course — New Horizons Industries might have decided to set up its colony on the planet Somavia instead of on its moon.We passed Somavia three days ago, and we’d been orbiting Soma ever since. Which was also exciting, at first. I couldn’t wait to actually get down there and start life on my new home. A home I would get to help create, along with the adult scientists and miners and the rest of the Young Explorers. A home I would never be taken away from just when I was starting to settle in. My forever home. Normally I hated new beginnings, but this one was different. This would be the last new beginning of my life.Even the colony’s name, chosen by the Samoan astronomer who discovered this solar system, was perfect. Avanoa, which apparently meant opportunity in the Samoan language, sounded to me like a kingdom from some fantasy novel.Not that life in Avanoa was going to be a fantasy. I knew that starting a colony would be hard work, but that didn’t matter. A real home, with friends I would never have to say goodbye to, would be worth any amount of work.Soma was interesting to look at, though not as pretty as the planet it orbited. The moon was mostly brown, with splotches of gray-green surrounding the dark blue dots that marked the location of its scattered lakes. With no actual oceans, the moon had just enough water to support a little plant and animal life. Nothing too dangerous, at least as far as we could tell from Forerunner’s pictures. Insects. Some fish and crustaceans that might or might not be edible. Small reptilian or maybe amphibian creatures that lived in and around the lakes. A handful of different mammals, all tiny, that made their homes in the hills. Nothing that seemed likely to bother two hundred human colonists setting up a new home on their world.Of course, the aliens could be another story. We knew the Somavians had developed a limited form of space travel; we knew they had mines on Soma, too. But whatever they were mining for, it wasn’t tirtellium, and they only had a few tunnel mines in a few locations. We planned to set up our colony hundreds of kilometers away, where if all went according to plan, they wouldn’t even know we were around. Forerunner’s sensors had not detected any other artificial satellites in orbit around either Somavia or Soma, and as far as we could tell, the locals had no instruments capable of detecting Forerunner, no way to suspect we were coming. Its orbit was carefully programmed to keep it out of sight of any of their mines after dark, when it might be visible from the ground as a moving point of light.The adults all said that hopefully we would never have to encounter any Somavians, but all of us kids hoped we would. I mean, why would anyone in their right mind not want to meet the first real live aliens actually confirmed to exist?Jessie, who loved science fiction movies almost as much as I loved reading, had often kept Maria and Shaliqua and me awake late into the night back in our dorm room discussing all the possible alien-related adventures that awaited us if we ever made contact. Most of those possibilities were a lot more fun — though some were scarier — than the idea of living in isolation and never letting the locals know we were on their moon.Anyway, judging by Forerunner’s footage, Somavian culture seemed peaceful, with no evidence of any wars going on down on their home world. If they did find out about the humans in their solar system, hopefully they wouldn’t mind us being there. We wouldn’t bother them, and with any luck, they wouldn’t bother us. And if they did get mad, well, the Laika had some weapons. Not enough to wage war with, but hopefully enough to convince them to leave us alone.So much to wonder about. So much to look forward to. I could hardly wait to get down to the surface and start my new life. But here we all were, stuck in orbit for three whole days so far. Three painfully long and boring days. Earth days, that is. It had been nearly five Soman days, though we wouldn’t officially switch to using Soman time until we landed.Atmospheric storms. Who would have thought that storms would be this big of an issue on a world with virtually no precipitation? Our science team had come up with a theory about minerals in the soil reflecting particles and wavelengths from the solar flares that Somav had been throwing out since our arrival. Whatever the case, the result was some pretty impressive windstorms in parts of the atmosphere. Since the spot picked out for Avanoa was directly underneath one of the worst storms, Captain Tyler insisted it wouldn’t be safe to try to land yet.But no one had anticipated that the flares and storms would go on this long. At first, I was glad of the opportunity to orbit my new home and see what it looked like from space. But after a while the excitement faded, and everyone turned grouchy as we all grew more and more bored and impatient. The movies and games preloaded on our Horizon-brand tablets weren’t good enough to keep everyone happy, not while we had to put the adventure we’d all waited over a year to start on hold indefinitely. And I’d never been a big fan of video games or movies anyway.So I did what I always do when real people get too annoying. I pulled out my old-school Novareader and turned to my true friends, the ones who never got annoying, who would always be there for me no matter what, who I never had to say goodbye to. And I escaped to the one place I had found on board where nobody would bother me or interrupt my adventures to ask what I was reading or exclaim over their new high score in who-cares-what-virtual-adventure on their RizeTab.The Laika was designed to be taken apart when we arrived. Its decking and bulkheads would be used to help create Avanoa’s buildings until we could construct permanent residences from local rock, and that was one of the reasons the ship was so large. But big though it was, it had no extra empty space. Every compartment was full of freeze-dried food items, mining equipment, packages of seeds for genetically modified crops designed to grow well in the moon’s dry soil, and educational resources for us youth, because even on an interstellar adventure, there was no escaping school in some form.So I had discovered in between Earth and Phoebe that the lifeboats were the best place to read. I wasn’t sure if I was really supposed to hang out in them, but they were unlocked, because after all, what would be the point in locking something that people would need to get into in a hurry in an emergency?I sat curled up on a seat in Lifeboat 1, alternating between reading and looking out to see if anything interesting had come into sight down below. But from this angle, the one window — a wide viewport at the very front — was mostly full of stars, only a tiny sliver of Soma visible from one edge. I could have turned on the screen at the lifeboat’s navigational console and adjusted it to show me any view I liked, but that might trigger some sort of alert, and I didn’t want anyone showing up to tell me I wasn’t supposed to be in here.So I joined Caz and her friends on their travels across the Granbo system, caught up in their space adventure on my Novareader screen, since my own space adventure had turned pretty dull. Lunch was another two hours away, so I might as well enjoy myself in the meantime.And I did — until the ship vibrated more vigorously than usual and the fasten seatbelts sign flicked on.I often felt as though several of me were debating inside my head. For a moment, Cautious Liz wondered if I should return to my seat. But what was the point? Practical Liz reminded me that I would be just as safe here in the lifeboat, and if the turbulence got bad, walking around with the Laika lurching under me would not be the smartest idea.I already had my seatbelt on, since that was the best way to keep from floating around. Not that floating around wasn’t fun, but there was too little room in the lifeboat to do mid-air flips and spins without banging into things, and drifting around while I read made it hard to focus on the book. Of course my magnetic-soled shoes could have kept me anchored to the deck, but not when I wanted to sit cross-legged.So I just tightened my seatbelt a little and turned back to The Gypsy Pearl. We had encountered turbulence lots of times in the last few days, thanks to the solar flares. It was no big deal.But the vibrations grew stronger, and then the ship started lurching under me. I lowered my Novareader and looked around, but there was nothing to see here in the little lifeboat. The stars jumped and jerked outside the window, and if it hadn’t been for my seatbelt, I knew I would have been thrown about and probably injured already.I waited for the crackle of the intercom and Captain Tyler’s voice to explain what was happening or issue instructions. But I heard nothing, and I wondered if the flares had damaged the lifeboat’s intercom system. They had interfered with the Laika’s electrical systems before, after all. Now I wished I’d returned to my seat while I could. If something dangerous was happening, I would rather face it with the others in the main cabin, where at least I would know what was going on.Without warning, the lights flickered and then went out. Now that was a first. An instant later, an alarm screeched, making me jump. I gasped, really worried for the first time since we left Earth. The screeching continued as the stars swirled and zigzagged, sending faint but frightening shadows thrashing around me like alien spirits trying to take over the ship. For a second I wondered if that could actually be happening. Maybe the Somavians had powers we didn’t know about. Maybe they were trying to drive us out of their system … or worse.Then the emergency lights embedded in the deck glowed to life, and I let out my breath in relief. The navigational computer two rows ahead of me powered on automatically, its screen lighting up green.My relief was short-lived, though. The alarm kept blaring its intermittent warning. Screech! Silence. Screech! Silence. Screech! The turbulence was worse than ever, as though the Laika was a wild horse, bucking and leaping and trying to throw its rider off. And that rider gripped the edge of her seat all alone there in the lifeboat, wondering what in the universe was happening.Suddenly the whirling stars vanished and Soma swung into view, filling the viewport ahead of me, a blur of brown-blue-gray-green-brown. I barely had time to notice before it was gone and the streaking stars reappeared. Then the moon appeared again.My stomach was spinning as fast as the ship. Thank goodness I had inherited the Smith Stomach of Steel, or my breakfast would probably have ended up all around me. I could only imagine what a nasty experience that would be in zero gravity with the ship thrashing around like this.A new noise caught my attention. A mechanical noise, a series of clicks and clinks and the sliding of metal against metal. I had only ever heard it before in simulations, but I recognized it right away, and my heart lurched in terror. “No!”Words flashed across the computer screen, large enough to read from where I sat. LIFEBOAT LAUNCHING.“No! I yelled again. I fumbled for the seatbelt clasp and flung myself across the tiny cabin, lunging for the manual override button beside the door. Not a smart move, I have to admit, considering how wildly everything was jerking around me. But I panicked. Can you blame me? None of our training, none of the simulations, had dealt with what to do if the lifeboat you were sitting in alone accidentally detached from the ship.I knew what to do if a lifeboat didn’t detach when it was supposed to. I knew which lifeboat I was supposed to board in an emergency. Not this one, though they were all the same. I knew who my lifeboat buddies would be — a fairly even cross-section of the ship’s crew in terms of age and abilities, so we would have the best possible chance of survival in case not every lifeboat made it. I knew how to steer the lifeboat and bring it down for a controlled landing, even though I wasn’t the assigned helmsperson in my group. We had all learned all those skills, just in case.But I didn’t know how to survive in deep space or on Soma’s surface on my own. The cupboards contained emergency rations and survival gear, of course, but not enough to live off of indefinitely. Of course the lifeboat would emit a signal that the ship’s sensors would pick up — I knew they were picking it up already, as of the moment my craft started to detach — but what if no one could come and get me right away? What if I landed on Soma, but the Laika couldn’t land for days or even weeks? They would have no way to rescue a stranded teenager who shouldn’t have been reading in a lifeboat in the first place.And what if the aliens found me before my people did?All that went swirling through my brain within a couple of seconds as I slammed my fist into the manual override button again and again. But nothing happened. That is, the hatch didn’t open to let me out into the ship’s corridor. But the incessant alarm finally went silent, and the frantic jerking and thrashing stopped, replaced by a slow, gentle twirl.For a second, Optimistic Liz dared to hope that the trouble was over. But I knew that wasn’t it.The lifeboat was no longer connected to the ship.Too horrified even to yell again, I watched the Laika drift past the window, Somav’s light tinting her silver-white hull a metallic frostbite-blue against the blackness of space. She was still spinning and dancing like some huge bird as the solar flares played havoc with her electrical systems. And then I saw only stars, and then the mottled brown of the moon, then more stars. And then there went the Laika once more, further away this time.Grabbing the back of a seat for leverage, I shoved off from the deck, thankful for the zero-gravity training. Floating was faster than clomping along in magnetic shoes, and I had to get to the controls now. I had to steer myself back to the ship.But as I seized the arm of the helmsperson’s chair and maneuvered my body into it, I realized I had no idea how to reattach a lifeboat to its socket on the ship’s side. They had never taught us that. Were lifeboats even designed to reattach once they were separated?Well, somebody must know the proper procedure for this kind of emergency. Captain Tyler or one of the other adults could talk me through the process. Right?I fumbled for the seatbelt, twisting my ankles around the legs of the chair so I wouldn’t float off in the meantime. Jabbing the intercom button, I called, “Help! I’m in a lifeboat that just detached! What do I do?”Realizing how panicked and little-girly I sounded, I took a deep breath and tried again. “I mean, this is Liz Smith on Lifeboat 1, calling anybody on the Laika who can hear me. Come in, please.”There was no response, and I realized that the communication light wasn’t even on. The intercom was offline.Great. Dang solar flares.I took another deep breath. I had never felt so alone.But the controls in front of me looked exactly like the ones in the simulator. I could do this. It would be just the same as I had practiced.Except this was no game, where the only real struggle was to beat my classmates, to be the first to land my virtual lifeboat safely.This was a real emergency.This was my life at stake.
Buy Heartsong from Amazon in Kindle or paperback format here: 
http://smarturl.it/HeartsongSciFi
About the Author:
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published eighteen books in a wide variety of genres (science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.



Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com
Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/princeofalasia

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGoodreads
Google+: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGooglePlus
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnLinkedIn
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Published on July 13, 2018 00:00 • 4 views

July 6, 2018

I recently met Shereen in a Science-Fantasy retweet group for authors.  I became fascinated by the tweets about her books and read HUSHED (see my review below), probably because there was a dragon on the cover.  I am always a fan of books that include dragons and Shereen did not let me down.  If you enjoy fantasy novels, check out this author's series.

Diane Rapp​ PictureAuthor bio:
​Shereen Vedam

Once upon a time, USA Today bestselling author Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure. 

Shereen's a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

Why did you begin writing this series?

"I’ve read fantasy since I was a child of ten. So, it was a joy to be able to work on a fantasy novel of my own."

[image error] Hidden, Tales of Ryca, Book 1 
​is an epic fantasy tale about a woman who has been hiding since the day her father was brutally murdered. A few months later, she loses her mother, brother and sister to the King's Horsemen.
 
All she has left of her family is her baby sister, whom her mother placed in her arms before she urged Gilly to run and hide. Gilly has been following those instructions all of her life. She even hid from her sister, albeit for a good reason. She thought if her sister Anna didn't know who she was, Anna would be safer. That decision led to a very lonely life, for both of them. Until the day the King's Horsemen arrive in her village. Then it was time to run again.
 
Hidden is a book about love; love of family, love of self and having the courage to allow others to love you.

Hidden Blurb:

In a moment of crisis, Gillly's fantasy of safety is shattered. With a twisted leg that's both a hindrance and a reminder of her tragic past, and her family lost, she had hidden among shadows. For twenty-three years, she disguised herself as an eccentric goat herder and lived alone at the edge of an idyllic village, thinking, Who would notice me here?
 
Then her use of magic lifts the veil and she and her sister Anna must flee again, for an evil sorcerer, and the malevolent king he serves, are on their trail.
 
A perilous journey across unknown terrain with family, friends and strangers will lead Gilly and Anna back to the beginning. They'll discover hidden secrets, earn forgiveness for past discretions and perhaps even find enduring love.
 
But can either of them stay alive long enough to claim it? HIDDEN Diane's 5* Review of HUSHED:
Appropriate for young and old!

Tamara learns to control her fears, re-connect with family, and discover her true talent. This is an inspiring novel appropriate for young and old. I had not read the first in the series but it didn't matter. This one told me enough to be satisfied and this part of the story was complete in one book. Highly recommended to fantasy readers, especially those who love DRAGONS!

[image error]Hushed,Tales of Ryca, Book 2.
 
This, too, is an epic fantasy novel about a young woman facing a trauma from her childhood. Tamara is Gilly’s older sister, but because she was caught in a time spell, she ends up being much younger. Whether or not Tamara possesses the same strength of will and courage needed to face her greatest fears remains to be seen, and will be severely tested in her own story.
 
Hushed is a book about trust; trusting others, and trusting in your own judgement, and learning how to deal with life when your trust is broken.

Hushed blurb:

In one day, young Tamara’s beloved father is brutally murdered and her royal family is on the run. Then she's trapped by a time spell where no one hears her screams. Once she'd finally been freed, she's determined to stay that way. So, when she turns eighteen and her mother attempts to marry her off for "her own good," Tamara is having none of it.
 
However, is going on a quest to find her lost nephew the best plan? She'll meet marauding giants and wily talking lizards. Be forced to ride a dragon and face spirits who should know better than to leave their graves. Most important of all, she'll have to come to terms with her greatest weakness, or strength. All the while, in the stillness lurks a danger that could destroy the rest of her family, perhaps even her entire world.
 
For once, can Tamara save the day? HUSHED Connect with Shereen Vedam through the following links: WEBSITE BOOK BUB TWITTER NEWSLETTER FACEBOOK PINTEREST BOARDS
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Published on July 06, 2018 00:00 • 2 views

June 29, 2018

Not long after I met Mary Anne Yarde, I was drawn into her award-winning Historical Fantasy series, The Du Lac Chronicles.  Her research is impressive, making readers feel that they have stepped out of the modern world and into an Arthurian kingdom--following the lives of Sir Lancelot Du Lac's descendants.  

Diane Rapp PictureAuthor Bio:

Mary Anne Yarde is the Multi Award-Winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

​Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury--the fabled Isle of Avalon--was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood. Why did you start writing this series?

As a child, I adored the legends of King Arthur and his Knights. I grew up near Glastonbury, England, where the story of King Arthur is woven into the very land itself. Many times I have witnessed Glastonbury Tor rise from the Fata Morgana — the mist — and every time I see it I am enthralled. It is so easy to believe the stories of Arthur when set against such a backdrop.

After Arthur's tragic death, the story comes to a sudden halt. No more is heard of Arthur's famous Knights, and all we are left with is a whispered promise, that when Briton is in peril, Arthur and his Knights will ride again.

I wanted to explore what happened after the death of King Arthur, and I came up with The Du Lac Chronicles series. So let me take you on a journey back to 6th Century Briton and together we can go on an adventure to find Arthur’s Knights. ​Diane Rapp's 5* Review of  Du Lac Chronicles :
A Tale of Love, Danger, Courage and Intrigue


This is a beautifully written tale of love, danger, courage, and intrigue. When Annis rescues Alden Du Lac from imminent death, she places her own life on the line. Alden is the son of Lancelot Du Lac and was king of Cerniw until his enemy Cerdic Wessex attacked and captured him. Annis is the daughter of Cerdic but has no love for her father and his methods. She is promised to marry another king who she hears uspeakable stories about, and she's determined to escape. Alden might be her father's enemy but she has long loved him in secret.

Hundreds of books have been written about Arthur and the Round Table, but this tale describes a possible history that took place after Arthur's time. Who are these people and how did the cruelty of the time period affect their lives? The love story between Alden and Annis will keep readers on edge as they both face enemies known and secret. Get started on the series. [image error] The Du Lac Chronicles

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
 
Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.
 
When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.
 
Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.
Diane's review of The Du Lac Devil:
5* The Devil May Not Be What He Seems


Merton is considered a devil.  He's the youngest Du Lac brother and works as a mercinary for any army who pays.  No one knows that he's working to protect his beloved brother, Alden, from attack by the armies of Wessex.

The author's meticulous research into the era gives readers a glimpse into the harsh life of royalty and commoners alike.  The sons of Lancelot Du Lac might be kings over their own domains, but they are not safe.  The "Devil" may be the only one preventing a war, but it is coming soon.
Picture The Du Lac Devil

War is coming... 

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs. 

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.
 
Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.
​ 
Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war? Picture The Du Lac Princess

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a Du Lac.

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton. Book Links: Amazon U.S. AMAZON U.K. Mary loves to hear from readers, you can find her at:  Website Twitter Facebook
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Published on June 29, 2018 00:00 • 3 views

June 22, 2018

I met Eileen Thornton through a Cozy Mystery group and enjoyed reading her mystery novel, Murder on Tyneside.  (I gave the book 5 stars in my review.)  Learning how an author begins the journey of writing is always interesting.  Does a writing career develop from a job? A hobby? Or simply an obsession with writing?  How the author approaches the art of storytelling is unique to each individual.  Learn about Eileen's life as an author in the U.K.
 
Diane Rapp PictureEileen Thornton's Bio:
 
Since finishing a comprehensive writing course with The Writers Bureau on September 27th 2001, (A Certificate of Competence proudly hangs on the wall of my study to prove it) my writing took off. Many of my articles and short stories were accepted and published in several magazines here in the UK.

At first, I concentrated on writing articles. Here I enjoyed researching and writing about the towns, cities and historical buildings around the area where I live: Jedburgh, Lindisfarne (Holy Island) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to name but a few. My husband, being a keen photographer, accompanied me and took photographs of the various places of interest to accompany my writing. But after a while, I decided to change my stance and set my imagination to work on writing short stories.

Strange as this may seem, I always began my short stories at the end. By that I mean, I thought of a last line, which would also become the title of the story. Only then did I begin to work on the story itself, making sure the last line ended the whole thing perfectly.

Then, for some reason, I decided I needed to move on and to write a full blown novel. My first published novel was The Trojan Project, a conspiracy, suspense thriller. The sort of story readers can get their teeth into. Writing for magazines can be restricting. Therefore writing a novel meant I was able to really let my imagination run away with me. And it did. I let my hair down and brought all the horror and terror I could think of, into the story. There were times when I couldn’t believe it was me, who was writing such things.
[image error] The Trojan Project:

Sarah's peaceful night is disturbed when a strange, green mist descends across the valley. Its swirling tendrils seem to bear a life of their own.

When her husband doesn't return from work, Sarah sets out to search for him. A terrifying discovery awaits her, and before long, she finds herself caught in a desperate search not only for her husband, but also for the meaning of the green light.

Thrust in a nightmare world and pursued by enemies from all sides, Sarah soon realizes that she is in mortal danger...and that trust has become a word with little meaning.
Sarah's peaceful night is disturbed when a strange, green mist descends across the valley. Its swirling tendrils seem to bear a life of their own. Trojan Project Eileen:
​From there, I went on to write a fun romance,
Divorcees. Biz. A novel, where I was able to show there really is a lighter, more fun side to me. Here I created four divorced ladies, who, out for a few drinks together one evening, suddenly decide to set up their own dating agency in order to find new men for themselves.
​ ​
Picture Divorcees.Biz:

When Connie, Jenny, Lucy and Sadie meet up for drinks, all they can talk about is their failed love life. After more drinks than might be good for them, they come up with the brilliant idea of opening their own online dating agency.

Despite the arguments and differences between the thirty-something, divorced women, Divorcees.biz soon launches at one of London’s most prestigious hotels.

But is this the answer to their problems, or the beginning of a whole lot more? And at the end of the day, will any of the four ladies find the man of their dreams? Divorcees Biz Eileen: 
Only Twelve Days was my next novel. This is a love story set back in the late 70’s; a time before computers and mobile phones took over. The outline of this story had been mulling around in my head for some time before I actually got around to writing it.

[image error] Only Twelve Days

A heartwarming story set in a time when computers and mobile phones were still in their infancy.

It is almost Christmas, and nearly everyone is looking forward to spending the festive season with their loved ones. But what about those who are facing Christmas alone?

Bill and Sally are shy and lonely; left behind when the swinging sixties changed the rest of the country. Will they avoid the holiday season as they usually do, and spend it alone... or will Christmas catch up with them this year?
Only Twelve Days Eileen:
Then came Murder on Tyneside, followed shortly afterwards by Death on Tyneside. Both are cozy murder mysteries set in my hometown.

[image error] Murder on Tyneside

Recently widowed Agnes Lockwood is spending a few days on Tyneside in Northeast England, catching up with her past.

But after only a few days at the hotel, an expensive item of jewelry is stolen. When more jewelry goes missing, Chief Inspector Alan Johnson gets on the case. After Alan recognizes Agnes as a friend from schooldays and they rekindle their friendship, Agnes begins bombarding him with questions about the case.
After dinner one evening, they find a body lying on the roadside. Fearing for her safety, Alan warns Agnes to stay away from the case: theft is one thing, but murder is something else.

But being an inquisitive woman, Agnes cannot resist getting involved... too involved. Murder on Tynside Picture Death on Tyneside

Agnes Lockwood returns to Tyneside after spending a few months abroad. On her first visit, she gained quite the reputation as an amateur sleuth, as she helped the police solve a murder.

Now, she is simply looking forward to meeting again with Alan Johnson, a DCI with the Newcastle police force. Having missed him while she was away, she is hoping their relationship will continue to blossom.

But on her first day back in the city, she gets caught up in another murder. This time, her intrusion into the police investigation pushes Alan Johnson’s patience to the very limit.
Death on Tyneside Eileen: 
So what am I doing now?

I have started writing a third novel in the Tyneside series. It is in the early stages, but I am working hard on it and hope to finish it in the not too distant future.

Before I go, I would like to add that I am a member of the Society of Authors and have been for several years. I am also a member of the Society of Women Writer’s and Journalists.


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Published on June 22, 2018 00:00 • 2 views

June 15, 2018

I met F.P. Spirit in our Science Fiction and Fantasy retweet group.  I was immediately impressed with the quality and originality of his book covers, so I started reading them.  I'm so glad, because I got hooked on the adventure.  This series is fun and innovative with colorful characters and almost non-stop action.  If you're a fan of the Lord of the Rings books, this series will definitely appeal to you. I'm just finishing book 3 and can't wait to read more.

Diane Rapp [image error]Author's bio:

F.P. Spirit has always loved fantasy. From the moment he received his very first copy of Lord of the Rings back in high school, he was hooked. About eight years ago, he decided to try his hand at writing. Today, somewhere between work and family, F. P. writes sword and sorcery fantasy fiction. His series, the Heroes of Ravenford, chronicles the adventures of a band of young heroes in the dangerous world of Thac. 

Tell us what made you start the series: 

About ten years ago, my boys and I began playing Dungeons and Dragons with our friends. This led to the creation of some very interesting characters and adventures. As time went on, I began chronicling these escapades. That expanded into character backgrounds, storylines, and world building.

​After a couple of years, I had so much material, that my friends encouraged me to try my hand at writing. I started with short stories at first, then story arcs, and eventually my first novel. Frankly it wasn’t very good at first, but I persevered, and a few years and rewrites later, I am finishing my first five novel series. Diane's 5* Review:
Several adventures in this first book

Anyone who enjoys epic Fantasy should grab the first book in this series. I enjoyed meeting each of the Heros and learning about their world. Several adventures are included in this first book but the action doesn't stop there, since they must learn who is behind all the problems facing Ravenford. 
[image error] Ruins on Stone Hill (Heroes of Ravenford Book 1) 

It has been nearly one hundred and fifty years since the end of the Thrall Wars, when the four dread Thrall Masters wreaked destruction across the land of Thac. The world has been relatively quiet since, but dark things have started to rise again around the little town of Ravenford. Can four novice heroes stand against the nightmarish forces that threaten the town? Ruins on Stone Hill Diane's 5* Review:
Adventure, magic and battles between good and evil

Book 2 of the series adds more fantastical characters, lots of danger, battles, and magic. The author's imagination gives us an epic series to enjoy. Anyone who enjoys adventure, magic, and battles between good and evil should get this one. There is still more to learn in the next book.
Picture Serpent Cult (Heroes of Ravenford Book 2) 

A deadly cult has set its sights on Ravenford, and their target might be the Lady Andrella. With fear gripping the entire town, the Baron turns to its young protectors. Can the young heroes protect the town from an army of dark mages, lethal assassins, savage beasts, horrific demons, and perhaps worst of all, diplomatic officials? Serpent Cult Diane's 5* Review:
Dungeons and Dragons or Lord of the Rings anyone?

Epic Fantasy has long captured the imaginations of readers and this third episode stands up to the test.  There are dangerous puzzles to solve to reach the ultimate prize, and all the heroes must display their courage and best skills to remain alive.  If you like playing Dungeons and Dragons or just enjoyed reading the exploits of fantasy heroes in Lord of the Rings, then you will love reading this one.
[image error] Dark Monolith (Heroes of Ravenford Book 3 ) 

Deadly weapons from the Thrall Wars have resurfaced, ones that could spell doom for the land of Thac. With the entire world at stake, Ravenford’s young heroes must race the Serpent Cult to an ancient monolith hidden somewhere in the depths of the mysterious Darkwoods. Can they stop the murderous cultists, or will the whole world be plunged into darkness? Dark Monolith Picture Princess of Lanfor (Heroes of Ravenford Book 4)

The Thrall Masters were great and terrible, their magic unparalleled even by today’s standards. Now forces from across the land step forth to claim the Golem Master’s deadliest weapon. Can a band of young heroes stand against powerful dragons, the dark force behind them, and the might of the nation of Lanfor? Princess of Lanfor What might be coming next: 

When I started book 4, I decided to try coauthoring with a friend of mine, Kathryn Fogleman. It went quite well, so well in fact, that we are now co-authoring the fifth book in the Heroes of Ravenford series, The Baron's Heart. The first draft was just completed and is out with our editor. We are hoping to release it in the fall this year.

Beyond that, I am working on an anthology called Tales from Thac. Thac is the island where the Heroes adventures take place. I have enlisted Kathryn and a few other authors to write some short stories involving that world. With any luck that will be released a year from now.

Afterwards, I plan on another 5 book series continuing the adventures of the young heroes. Tentatively titled, Rise of the Thrall Lord, that series will be a bit darker than Heroes. Still, readers can expect the same witty banter, wild ideas, and nail-biting battles that they’ve become accustom to in the previous series.

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Published on June 15, 2018 00:00 • 4 views

June 8, 2018

I first met Elizabeth when I started an author's support group.  She has been a faithful member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy retweet group, and I've enjoyed reading her books. (See my review of SHADOW OVER AVALON below.)

​Diane Rapp [image error]Author Bio:  

​Elizabeth Hull, writing under the by line of C.N.Lesley, lives in Alberta with her husband and cats. Her three daughters live close by. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth likes to read and to paint watercolors. She is also a keen gardener, despite the very short summers and now has a mature shade garden. Once a worker in the communications sector, mostly concentrating on local news and events, she now writes full time.

Why did I start writing? 

Vivid dreams and the need to know what happened next, I guess. I got a glimpse into worlds and lives but not the whole picture. It left me wanting more so I set out to put it all down. Not long after that I joined the newly created Online Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy that was set up in the first place by Del Rey, an imprint of Random house to channel their slush. This put me in touch with some wonderful writers with many of whom I have established a lifelong friendship. Thus begun the process of learning to write and especially, learning to write in my chosen genres. 
 
I suppose the next question will be why the by line? I had intended to use my own legal name until I discovered it was already taken by a great lady, the wife of Fred Pohl, who was also writing in those genres. It would have been disrespectful to have continued so I chose something else. The initials and name does hold a lot of meaning for me so it was the closest I could come to my own name. I don't make any secret of the fact I have an author name or what my legal name is so am not difficult to find. 
 
There are new books in the works. Staff of Shadows is written, edited and waiting for a cover. Writhe of Wurms is in the process of being written. 
[image error] Darkspire Reaches, book 1 in the Darkspires series.   The wyvern has hunted for the young outcast all her life; a day will come when, after being rejected by civilisation and the tribes, she must at last face him.

Abandoned as a sacrifice to the wyvern, a young girl is raised to fear the beast her adoptive clan believes meant to kill her. When the Emperor outlaws all magic, Raven is forced to flee from her home with her foster mother, for both are judged as witches. Now an outcast, she lives at the mercy of others, forever pursued by the wyvern. Soon her life will change forever.

A unique and unsettling romantic adventure about rejection and belonging.    DARKSPIRE REACHES sale $2.99 [image error] Serpent of the Shangrove, book 2 in the Darkspires series.  Copper is now a fully grown Drakken, but despite his magical abilities, he is shunned and shamed by his pure-blood kin.
Wandering despondent in the wilderness, Copper discovers a portal that reminds him of his lost crèche mate, left behind when the Drakkens fled their ancestral home. Knowing the portal will only remain open for three short days, Copper cannot resist the challenge to bring the lost maiden to safety, and prove himself worthy of his breed.  

But the other world is not what he and his kin expected. The peoples are hostile, the Angressi emperor has not forgotten his grudge, and something is killing Samara Maidens.

In this eagerly anticipated sequel to her bestseller, Darkspire Reaches, CN Lesley transports us back into the world of Drakkens, of Connor and Raven, and of their son.

Deep in the Shangrove—a dark place that feeds on creatures of magic—a new evil is growing, waiting for the perfect mate. 
SERPENT OF THE SHANGROVE DIANE'S 5* REVIEW:
Arthurian Legend Steps into the Future


This science-fantasy was a real surprise, but one that I enjoyed immensely. The author takes the Arthurian legend and steps into a future where Harvester monks cull the human population above ground and telepathic seers control aquatic people in the domed underwater city of Avalon.

Ashira, a highly-trained war maiden, literally fights for her life after the monks strip her memory. As a Outcast, she is expected to die in the wilds where flying saurians kill for food, but she's a powerful telepath who has learned the skills of a warrior. In her new life, she becomes known as Shadow, keeping secrets from friends and foe alike. She is intent on destroying the Harvesters and finding the son who was taken from her womb.

Readers learn her history as Arthur delves into records kept by an all-knowing entitity called the Archive. Will Shadow and Arthur learn to defeat their common enemy or become casulaties of their own superior abilities?

I recommend this interesting novel to anyone who enjoys an incredible story. Picture Shadow Over Avalon, book 1 in the Shadow series.  Fortune twists in the strongest hands. This is no repeat; this is what happens next.

A man, once a legend who bound his soul to his sword as he lay dying, is now all but a boy nearing the end of his acolyte training. Stifled by life in the undersea city of Avalon, Arthur wants to fight side by side with the air-breathing Terrans, not spend his life as servant to the incorporeal sentient known as the Archive. Despite the restrictions put on him by Sanctuary, he is determined to help the surface-dwellers defeat predators whose sole purpose is to ensure their own survival, no matter the cost.

Ashira, War Maid and princess of the surface-world, is ready to sacrifice her life to defend her kin, but when she is betrayed and cast out of the life chosen for her, she must choose whether to die with honor or become one of the creatures her kinsmen fear and loathe.   

Following two threads of time, C.N. Lesley’s new incarnation of the Arthurian tales of old delivers the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy. 
SHADOW OVER AVALON 99 Cents [image error]Sword of Shadows, book 2 in the Shadow series.  Arthur and Kai have escaped the threat of Emrys, but now they must face life on the surface world—and all the fearsome creatures that dwell there. But just as they assemble the beginnings of a fighting force, they discover a vital component to their safety has been compromised. This means a return to Avalon, where Arthur has an unexpected encounter with the untrustworthy Merlin. The magician's orders are clear: Arthur must find the sword to save the surface-dwellers and Avalon. There is no alternative.

Kiri Ung, leader of the Nestines and ultimate controller of the Terran slaves on the surface, needs Arthur in order to ensure of the continuance of his species. With the Nestine Queen dying, failure means ultimate extinction. Wherever Arthur goes, so goes Kiri Ung.
Whoever finds the sword first gains control over all humanity. But simply gaining possession of this powerful artifact is not enough to wield its power. Let the battle commence.   SWORD OF SHADOWS sale $2.99 [image error] Chalice of Shadows, book 3 in the Shadow series.  Freedom from slavery should have meant a peaceful life for Morgan, but fate has other plans.

Rescued by the Outcasts, Morgan escapes a Nestine attack only to be bound to the task of retrieving a lost chalice by the Outcast god. Unable to fight the pull of the chalice, she is drawn toward the vessel and all its unearthing will herald. Only her rescuer knows he must get her to the Brethren Haven where they will be safe.

With familiar players of stories past moving into place, from the leader of the Nestines to Shadow and Ector of Avalon, only one thing is certain: Morgan is at the center of it all.

In this third instalment, following Shadow Over Avalon and Sword of Shadows, C.N. Lesley takes us on another epic adventure, once again immersing readers in her alternate universe based on Arthurian legend and twisted into richly detailed science fantasy.  CHALICE OF SHADOWS Connect with the author at the following links: Elizabeth Hull on Facebook WEBSITE TWITTER Author's Facebook BOOKBUB
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Published on June 08, 2018 09:16 • 9 views

June 1, 2018

I've become a real fan of Annie Douglass Lima's novels.  She's published several series, both science fiction and fantasy, that I've enjoyed reading.  Her newest novel is  The Nameless Soldier  (which is on sale for 99 cents June 1 - 6) and is part of the Annals of Alasia series.  I decided to feature that novel in my blog this week and urge you to get your discounted copy right away.


Diane Rapp


MY 5* Review: A Hero Does What is Right!
​

Tarvic is a young soldier in the Alasian army, who was named after a great hero. When a surprise attack leaves him with a bad head wound, he lies unconscious among dead comrades. Tarvic feels like a coward as he hides from the enemy. Why should he survive when all his friends lie dead? How can he live up to his heroic namesake?

It takes meeting three helpless girls to finally give him a purpose. They bring him back to life as he works to help them survive on a small farm in the country. Although he protects the girls from marauding enemy soldiers, he can't tell the girls his true name. It's a name that should belong to a hero, not a failed soldier like him. The nameless soldier slowly proves his courage and ingenuity while facing danger.

This story is a standalone tale set in the times and territory covered in other books about Alasia. I loved reading about an unlikely hero, caught up in events that he cannot control, but using his wit and courage to prevail. A true hero does what is right in the midst of great peril. I recommend the novel highly to young and old alike.NAMELESS SOLDIER

The Nameless Soldier is book 4 in the Annals of Alasia young adult fantasy series. Haven't read all (or any) of the others? That's okay! The books can be read in any order, and each one can stand on its own.

Description:

What do you do when you’re the only survivor?

Nineteen-year-old Tarvic bears the name of a mighty hero from Alasia’s past. However, the young soldier feels anything but heroic when he regains consciousness to find himself the lone survivor of a brutal attack by invaders from the neighboring kingdom. 

Forced to leave his identity behind, Tarvic is thrust into civilian life in the role of protector to three war orphans. When the four of them encounter a mysterious stranger, he must choose between keeping the young girls safe and taking on a mission that could help free his kingdom. Can Tarvic live up to his noble name and find a way to balance his duty and his dreams?


Where to Get a Copy:

Click to buy the ebook or paperback from Amazon. (The ebook is $2.99 just $0.99 through June 6th!)

Not sure if you'll like the story or not? Take a look at the first chapter and see!


The Nameless SoldierChapter One
      
Tarvic woke to the sound of a distant yell, abruptly silenced. He pushed his blankets aside and sat up, puzzled, but heard only the light patter of rain on the canvas. “What was that?”Drevel, his roommate in the barracks and tentmate out on campaigns like this, stirred and rolled over. “What?”“I heard something. Someone shouting.”“It’s probably just another drill.” But Drevel sat up too, shoving his own blankets away, as Tarvic crawled over and untied the tent flap.A blast of wintry air and raindrops greeted him as he leaned out, peering across the tent-studded hillside. Clouds hid the moon and stars, and on every side the thick dark of the forest leaned in from the edges of the large clearing. But the telltale flickering light of distant torches sent shadows leaping over tents and across the open spaces between them. Why would someone be using torches out here? Any soldier in camp had easy access to lanterns among the supplies.Something was wrong. Very wrong. Tarvic pulled back into the tent and yanked on his breeches and jacket.They both heard the next yell, closer this time, and then the unmistakable clash of swords. Both men snatched up their own swords, jamming their feet into their boots and fumbling for shields. From all around them, shouts of alarm erupted as men in their company woke up.And then the enemy was upon them. Horses exploded through the camp, trampling tents and the soldiers just crawling out of them. Riders leaned low off their mounts’ backs, swinging swords and waving torches.Halfway out of his tent, Tarvic threw himself flat on his face to avoid a slash that would probably have decapitated him. He scrambled to his feet, only to be knocked off them again by a blow that he barely caught on his shield.Light, shadows, horses, blades, rain. Chaos raged through the clearing to the sound of crashing metal, pounding hooves, shouts of challenge and desperation. Tarvic regained his feet and fought as best he could from the ground while enemy riders thundered around him. Dodging and ducking, he aimed for the men’s legs and tried to keep out from under their horses’ hooves. With no idea who he was fighting or why, his only goal to stay alive for the next heartbeat, he dodged and darted through the tumult looking for spots where horses and enemy swords weren’t. All around him, men fought and ran and crumpled to lie as limply as the trampled tents.Slipping and stumbling in the mud, Tarvic felt a surge of satisfaction as his sword met flesh and an enemy yelled in pain. And then the man wheeled his horse and charged back toward him, and Tarvic turned to flee.He tripped on something soft that groaned. Pain shot through Tarvic’s wrist as he caught his fall, and only a quick roll saved him from being trampled as the man’s horse cantered over him.Its rider wheeled again, and Tarvic rose to his knees, barely raising his shield in time to protect his face. The force of the blow threw him backward, jarring his already sore wrist.Another horse leaped over him, and Tarvic cried out in pain as a hoof struck him on the shoulder. He stumbled to his feet, ducking low to present as small a target as possible, and ran through the melee.He saw fewer people on foot now, more obstacles in the mud. Was it cowardly to flee from a battle you couldn’t win? Nothing in Tarvic’s eight months in the military had prepared him for this. Not counting occasional minor border skirmishes, the kingdom of Alasia hadn’t seen an actual war in six generations. Besides routine patrols, city peacekeeping, and the frequent drills and training, the military’s primary duties involved escorting merchant wagons through robber-frequented stretches of rural highway and keeping an eye on the sections of coastline where seafaring raiders were known to attack. Tarvic had never fought in a battle that involved more than a handful of opponents at a time, and none of those opponents had been anywhere near this organized — or this deadly.If we escape, we can regroup somewhere safer and — A hard blow to the back knocked him to the ground again as another horse pounded over him. Giving up all pretense of courage, Tarvic scrambled to his feet once more and fled for the edge of the clearing and the relative safety of the trees beyond. I can’t do anything here. They’re going to slaughter us all!He was practically there when another rider appeared in front of him, leaning low with sword outstretched. Tarvic almost impaled himself on the blade, raising his shield just in time. He fought back frantically as the man slashed, swinging his weapon again and again. I need my horse! Military training had included nothing about how to fight a mounted enemy from the ground. But Lightning was tethered in the row of makeshift stalls on the far side of the camp, probably prancing restlessly under his blanket and wondering why his rider didn’t come to spur him into battle.Tarvic didn’t even see the blow that almost killed him. His ears barely registered the thudding of more galloping hooves from behind, nearly drowned out by the rain and the sounds of battle. But the world exploded in light and pain as something struck the back of his head harder than anything had ever hit him before.He lurched forward, feeling his sword drop from limp fingers. Managing two steps before his legs buckled, he was just conscious enough to recognize the urgent need to crawl. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Or they’ll kill you out here. That was the only thought left in his mind as he pulled himself toward the concealing shadows behind the line of tree trunks. And then even that faded, giving way to darkness.
Want to know what happens to Tarvic? Click  to purchase the book and find out!

About the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published seventeen books (four YA action and adventure novels, five fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her students’ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.




Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com
Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieDouglassLimaAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/princeofalasia
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGoodreads
Google+: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGooglePlus
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnLinkedIn

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Published on June 01, 2018 00:00 • 8 views

May 21, 2018

I met Elizabeth Hull last year when I started a retweet group on Facebook.  The Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers in this group support each other by retweeting daily posts. 

Elizabeth has always been an active participant in the group, and she has two very interesting series, so check them out! (Read my review of  Shadow Over Avalon  ​below.)

Diane Rapp [image error]
Author Bio.  

​Elizabeth Hull, writing under the by line of C.N.Lesley, lives in Alberta with her husband and cats. Her three daughters live close by. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth likes to read and to paint watercolors. She is also a keen gardener, despite the very short summers and now has a mature shade garden. Once a worker in the communications sector, mostly concentrating on local news and events, she now writes full time. Why did I start writing? 

Vivid dreams and the need to know what happened next, I guess. I got a glimpse into worlds and lives but not the whole picture. It left me wanting more so I set out to put it all down. Not long after that I joined the newly created Online Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy that was set up in the first place by Del Rey, an imprint of Random house to channel their slush. This put me in touch with some wonderful writers with many of whom I have established a lifelong friendship. Thus begun the process of learning to write and especially, learning to write in my chosen genres. 
 
I suppose the next question will be why the by line? I had intended to use my own legal name until I discovered it was already taken by a great lady, the wife of Fred Pohl, who was also writing in those genres. It would have been disrespectful to have continued so I chose something else. The initials and name does hold a lot of meaning for me so it was the closest I could come to my own name. I don't make any secret of the fact I have an author name or what my legal name is so am not difficult to find. 
[image error] Darkspire Reaches, book 1 in the Darkspires series  

​The wyvern has hunted for the young outcast all her life; a day will come when, after being rejected by civilisation and the tribes, she must at last face him.

Abandoned as a sacrifice to the wyvern, a young girl is raised to fear the beast her adoptive clan believes meant to kill her. When the Emperor outlaws all magic, Raven is forced to flee from her home with her foster mother, for both are judged as witches. Now an outcast, she lives at the mercy of others, forever pursued by the wyvern. Soon her life will change forever.

A unique and unsettling romantic adventure about rejection and belonging.    Darkspire Reaches -- $2.99 [image error]Serpent of the Shangrove, book 2 in the Darkspires series 

​Copper is now a fully grown Drakken, but despite his magical abilities, he is shunned and shamed by his pure-blood kin.

Wandering despondent in the wilderness, Copper discovers a portal that reminds him of his lost crèche mate, left behind when the Drakkens fled their ancestral home. Knowing the portal will only remain open for three short days, Copper cannot resist the challenge to bring the lost maiden to safety, and prove himself worthy of his breed.  

But the other world is not what he and his kin expected. The peoples are hostile, the Angressi emperor has not forgotten his grudge, and something is killing Samara Maidens.

In this eagerly anticipated sequel to her bestseller, Darkspire Reaches, CN Lesley transports us back into the world of Drakkens, of Connor and Raven, and of their son.

Deep in the Shangrove—a dark place that feeds on creatures of magic—a new evil is growing, waiting for the perfect mate.  Serpent of the Shangrove Diane's 5* Review of Shadow Over Avalon:
Aurthurian legend steps into the future.

This science-fantasy was a real surprise, but one that I enjoyed immensely. The author takes the Aurthurian legend and steps into a future where Harvester monks cull the human population above ground and telepathic seers control aquatic people in the domed underwater city of Avalon.

Ashira, a highly-trained war maiden, literally fights for her life after the monks strip her memory. As an Outcast, she is expected to die in the wilds where flying saurians kill for food, but she's a powerful telepath who has learned the skills of a warrior. In her new life, she becomes known as Shadow, keeping secrets from friends and foe alike. She is intent on destroying the Harvesters and finding the son who was taken from her womb.

Readers learn her history as Aurthur delves into records kept by an all-knowing entitity called the Archive. Will Shadow and Aurthur learn to defeat their common enemy or become casulaties of their own superior abilities?

I recommend this interesting novel to anyone who enjoys an incredible story.
[image error] Shadow Over Avalon, book 1 in the Shadow series  

​Fortune twists in the strongest hands. This is no repeat; this is what happens next.

A man, once a legend who bound his soul to his sword as he lay dying, is now all but a boy nearing the end of his acolyte training. Stifled by life in the undersea city of Avalon, Arthur wants to fight side by side with the air-breathing Terrans, not spend his life as servant to the incorporeal sentient known as the Archive. Despite the restrictions put on him by Sanctuary, he is determined to help the surface-dwellers defeat predators whose sole purpose is to ensure their own survival, no matter the cost.

Ashira, War Maid and princess of the surface-world, is ready to sacrifice her life to defend her kin, but when she is betrayed and cast out of the life chosen for her, she must choose whether to die with honor or become one of the creatures her kinsmen fear and loathe.   

Following two threads of time, C.N. Lesley’s new incarnation of the Arthurian tales of old delivers the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy.  Shadow Over Avalon -- 99 Cents [image error]
​Sword of Shadows, book 2 in the Shadow series  

​Arthur and Kai have escaped the threat of Emrys, but now they must face life on the surface world—and all the fearsome creatures that dwell there. But just as they assemble the beginnings of a fighting force, they discover a vital component to their safety has been compromised. This means a return to Avalon, where Arthur has an unexpected encounter with the untrustworthy Merlin. The magician's orders are clear: Arthur must find the sword to save the surface-dwellers and Avalon. There is no alternative.

Kiri Ung, leader of the Nestines and ultimate controller of the Terran slaves on the surface, needs Arthur in order to ensure of the continuance of his species. With the Nestine Queen dying, failure means ultimate extinction. Wherever Arthur goes, so goes Kiri Ung.

Whoever finds the sword first gains control over all humanity. But simply gaining possession of this powerful artifact is not enough to wield its power. Let the battle commence.   Sword of Shadows -- $2.99 Picture Chalice of Shadows, book 3 in the Shadow series 

​Freedom from slavery should have meant a peaceful life for Morgan, but fate has other plans.

Rescued by the Outcasts, Morgan escapes a Nestine attack only to be bound to the task of retrieving a lost chalice by the Outcast god. Unable to fight the pull of the chalice, she is drawn toward the vessel and all its unearthing will herald. Only her rescuer knows he must get her to the Brethren Haven where they will be safe.

With familiar players of stories past moving into place, from the leader of the Nestines to Shadow and Ector of Avalon, only one thing is certain: Morgan is at the center of it all.

In this third instalment, following Shadow Over Avalon and Sword of Shadows, C.N. Lesley takes us on another epic adventure, once again immersing readers in her alternate universe based on Arthurian legend and twisted into richly detailed science fantasy.  Chalise of Shadows Connect with the author through the following links: Website C.N. Lesley (Author) FB Page Elizabeth Hull (personal) FB Twitter Book Bub Page
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Published on May 21, 2018 12:57 • 7 views

May 20, 2018

The Cupid Caper (A Finley Goodhart Crime Caper #1)The Cupid Caper by Larissa Reinhart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Edgy and Action-Packed

Love the characters and the con! It's nearly impossible for Finley to "go straight" when her best friend is murdered and her partner (Lex) is so hard to resist. What is a girl to do? Figure out how to con the murderer while staying one step ahead of a hit man. This series has more edge than Reinhart's others but I loved every minute. The darker villains mean that the action is non-stop, and I kept turning the pages into the wee hours of the night. Recommended!



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Published on May 20, 2018 09:48 • 11 views • Tags: con-artist, sassy-southern-women

She's a Mystery and Science Fiction Writer!

Diane Rapp
You've heard of split personalities, well, Diane Rapp spends part of her time sailing the high seas to solve mysteries. When she feels seasick, she travels to the planet Drako to check in with her fri ...more
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