First in Category-Young Adult Fantasy

First in Category-Young Adult Fantasy
Dante Rossetti Award

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review of A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R.R. Martin

My review of A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) by George R.R. Martin
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

I love high fantasy and have the greatest respect for the author's great world buidling: the attention to detail, the depth of character development—all his characters are, in a realistic manner, a mixed brew of strengths and weakness.

I have to admit that I found myself lagging occasionally while reading the second book, Clash of Kings—however, from midway through Storm of Swords I couldn't wait to pick it up in my cherished time for reading. I had to know what happened to Jaime and Brienne (yes, I was guilty of skipping ahead to the Jaime chapters in my concern for them)...Arya...Jon and...well, you know. This book is the best so far and I'm looking forward to moving on to Feast of Crows.

I did crack a small smile on page 121 when Ser Jorah says to Dany, "You were made to be kissed, often and well."...I'm sure George R.R. was channeling Rhett Butler (probably unconsiously, as Rhett and Scarlett's characters are deeply embedded in our North American psyches).

So much has been said so well by all the fans of the Game of Thrones series, that almost everything is cliche...but these books have enriched my reading life."/

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Caliburn Press, LLC Authors' Blog Hop

Hi all!!

Welcome to the Caliburn Press Blog Hop!!! Below you will find some of our books by some great authors. Please check them out. Don’t forget to follow the blog links below for more blogs and giveaways.

JJ Fowler
The Longest Midnight
The Earth is dead, long ago ruined in the fires of the war - a war without end. Humanity now fights extinction from the legions of the ravenous dead.  These dead warriors change, they adapt, they fight back with our weapons, mimic our tactics, and even speak in our tongue. In a sign of desperation, a small group of human soldiers sets off into the unknown for answers to the dead's uncanny ability to learn and organize and kill. They hope to return with something that will turn the tide in humanity's favor. But is there even a tide to turn? Most humans can only wait and look up into the blackened sky, a sky without sun, a sky they call The Longest Midnight.
Link: Coming Soon.

Barbara Custer
When Blood Reigns.
Marked for death, Alexis holes up in a safehouse with her lover Yeron and four survivors of a zombie invasion. She’s searching for the compound where Kryszka renegades are making a chemical to induce a zombie-like state. Despite frequent assaults by ravenous walkers, subtle dangers such as hidden cameras elude Alexis. She never realizes until too late that the renegade soldiers have been tracking her.
Link: Coming soon.

Marti Boshers
Sophie's seemingly ordinary life is about to be replaced with one full of chaos when she travels to an immortal realm for protection. She discovers she is part faery and part witch, but she is more powerful than either. She soon realizes she will have to protect her family, friends, and this new world she has come to love. She will sacrifice everything and never give up hope. She finds family, love, and power, but she also finds betrayal and murder. Will she rise to the challenge set before her or fall beneath the ashes of what she is destined to save.
Link: Coming Soon

S.A. Hunter
Elanraigh: The Vow
Thera doesn’t know why the Elanraigh Forest-Mind chose her, of all the Allenholme folk, to hear its voice and to awaken her gifts of mind and spirit. The Elanraigh sends a warning dream—black sails swooping toward Allenholme from across the western sea—the Memteth, an ancient enemy, armed with blue fire that hungers to consume life. 

Chuck Daukas: A Little Night Fishing
"Hidden by the sea and the fog, he watches.  His lust for human flesh has sprouted and grown over a preternaturally long life.  Now his hunger is insatiable and he will hide no longer.
On shore, a young, bumbling security guard barely escapes a mind-wrenching encounter, only to find himself all that stands between the thing and humanity - and a multiplying horror that is closer to us than we are to ourselves."

Barbara Winkes
Amber Alert
When her two-year-old niece is kidnapped, Major Crimes Detective Ann McCoy uses every bit of leverage she has with Agent Cal Davis to stay on the case. The girl's parents, Ann’s sister and her wife, are desperate for answers. 
While the investigators look at the disturbing possibilities, a pattern emerges. They find an organization hidden in plain sight that has no boundaries when it comes to pushing their agenda- 
even at the cost of harming families and children.

Julia French
Hill Magick

Seeking escape from her abusive husband, aspiring columnist Rachel Jeffries travels into the hill country of Massachusetts, where she is saved from certain death by self-taught folk healer True Gannett. Armed only with his great grandfather's knowledge, can True protect himself and Rachel and stop the swath of destruction started by the powerful magician Joshua Lambrecht and his obnoxious familiar?

Frank Julius Palumbo:
Planet Nibiru has returned from its twelve thousand year orbit, and its inhabitants, a race of advanced winged gargoyles, will again rule Earth as Gods. Humanity's harvest has begun. 

Sandie Will
The Caging at Deadwater Manor
On a cold, January evening, fourteen-year-old Jeannie Kynde is told that her beloved mother drowned in the murky waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast.  Her distraught father turns on Jeannie, no longer the caring father she once knew.  Four years later, Jeannie is finally old enough to escape her father’s clutches, but he has different plans.  He imprisons her at Deadwater Manor, a psychiatric hospital with an unscrupulous past. Will she be locked away forever?

BLynn Goodwin
Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver’s license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan. She tries out for the school musical, but is assigned to a job that might be better than any role. Everything changes after her dad picks her up following a Saturday work day, and I can’t tell you the rest without spoilers. If you check the reviews on Amazon, you’ll see that it’s well worth your time.

Tina Amiri
Whatever the Impulse
When There’s Nowhere To Go But Too Far.. 

With his sole guardian turned stalker and the police on the wrong side, 19-year-old Night has little choice but to enter into an elaborate ruse in exchange for refuge. Despite his oppressive, isolated past, fulfilling his dying mentor’s grand expectations is achievable for prodigious Night, but threats and temptations abound. As Night’s power increases, will he be able to control his feral impulses, and more importantly, will he care?

Michael Penny
The nations of Daern are being torn apart. Old enemies are watching their borders, leering through a thin veneer of peace. The nobles search for weaknesses among their rivals, even as their castles crumble around them. And hungry spirits creep into the souls of mortals, whispering of more horrors still to come. At the edge of civilization, four lives collide in this world where mercy has become a luxury few can afford and life is often cheap. Can they survive under the pressure of forces they barely understand?

Jodie Pierce
The Vampire Queen (book 1 of 3-trilogy)
A young woman awakes to find out not only is she an important Countess but she is also the very first or 'Ancient One' as she is called by her subjects. Her memories of being a vampire or anyone are gone so she must relearn everything (from spells to flying) from the people around her, but can they be trusted? She also learns her main objective as the old Countess was purifying the vampire race and wishes to continue with that work. The 'Others', powerful and evil vampires, attempt to use her memory loss to their advantage. They had been trying to entice her to their side for centuries. Struggling to remember her past, battling the 'Others' and coping with her new life keep the Countess busy throughout this spellbinding and thrilling novel. Will she succeed in her goals or will the 'Others' win her over to their side this time around?

Angela Page
Matched in Heaven
Heaven may not be what you imagine. 
Jake and Mimi are dead and riddled with guilt. They play matchmaker for their spouses on Earth with the help Marcel, a disgraced priest. A May/December romance blossoms for Samantha and Syd on Earth until fate steps in.

Thank you for visiting my blog and don’t forget to check out the other ones on this blog tour. You can find the links below:


**GIVEAWAY — I hope you've enjoyed checking out these participating authors and thanks for visiting :) Please leave a comment, and let me know if you would like to be included in a draw for a free ecopy of Elanraigh: The Vow**

Monday, April 4, 2016

Caliburn Press LLC, Authors' Rafflecopter and Request for Bloggers....

My publisher, Caliburn Press LLC, has miraculously herded us, authors, into co-ordinating a Rafflecopter with all kinds of swag and giveaways.

These giveaways include T-Shirts, books, bookmarks, etc.

You're invited to check it out at:

Caliburn Authors Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, I'm hoping to find some bloggers who would be interested in promoting the Caliburn Press
Blog Hop. If you are interested ( I hope you are) please go to the Blog Hop sign in page and sign up as a Prom/Spotlight Blogger for any or all the wonderful authors at Caliburn Press :) day is May 7th and I'd love to have you with me :)

Jodie Pierce (aka Vampire Queen ) will be forwarding you a Word.doc to use in your post.

Caliburn Press Blog Hop

Cheers everyone
and thank you

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meet my Character, Thera of Allenholme

Welcome to the Meet my Character Blog Hop (revisited), sponsored by SpeculativeFiction Showcase. 

The author preceding me is Genevieve Mckay, Author of The Opposite of Living, published November, 2014.

Genevieve Mckay is a freelance writer, short story author, and first time novelist. She lives on the West coast with her two and four-legged family in the wilderness. When she isn't busy creating new worlds she enjoys playing outside, riding horses and preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

And now to the Elanraigh forest...

Meet My Character, Thera of Allenholme,
daughter and heir of Duke Leon ArNarone and Lady Fideiya, of Allenholme.

Sandy Hunter’s (S.A. Hunter) novel, Elanraigh: The Vow published by Eternal Press, 2012, is an alternate-earth, medieval fantasy (YA/Adult)

Sandy’s always lived at the edges of ocean and forest, so it came naturally to have a sentient forest as a major character in Elanraigh.  She loves kayaking the scenic Vancouver Island coastline, swimming and walking. She has a ready sense of humor and an optimistic outlook (a good thing, when you’re a writer).

She’s currently working on the sequel to Elanraigh, and enjoys writing short stories as well—her publications include Dark Fantasy shorts in pro magazines, Spinetinglers Anthology 2011 and On Spec.

1)             What is the name of your character? Is he or she fictional or a historic person?

Her name is Thera, though if we’re being formal, I should introduce her as Lady Thera ep Chadwyn Ned’ArNarone, daughter and heir of Duke Leon ArNarone and Lady Fideiya.

I suppose I must agree that she is fictional, although I strongly suspect that Allenholme and the Elanraigh Forest do indeed exist—as an alternate reality…somewhere.

2)             When and where is the story set?

In the most northern reaches of the Kingdom of Bole, is the Duchy of Allenholme, bordered by it’s wild and rocky coast to the west, Ttamarini Lands to the North and the far reaches of the Elanraigh forest to the East and South. We would judge the era to be the 1300’s by the weapons and gear of the fighting men and the construction of the Keeps.

3)             What should we know about him or her?
The Elanraigh Forest is a sentient entity, composed of both spirits and elementals—over generations, though, the folk of Allenhome drifted away from belief in, and therefore, awareness of, forest-mind.  Now, Forest-mind strives to ensure that Thera hear its voice. It awakens in her gifts of mind and spirit—the ability to bond with raptor birds and to read hearts, The Knowing. Its goal is to make her its Salvia, an ancient Title, meaning governess and liaison to the human folk. To make her fit, to save them all...

4)             What is the main conflict? What messes up his or her life?

The Elanraigh Forest sends her a warning dream; black sails swooping toward Allenholme from across the western sea—the Memteth, an ancient enemy, armed with blue fire that hungers to consume life. Forest-mind knows Thera is young to shoulder such power and responsibility, yet it has no choice. The lives of all Thera’s people and the existence of the forest itself depend on her mastering her gifts…and herself.

Thera's father invites Ttamarini tribes to join them against the Memteth and as word of this unsanctioned truce reaches the neighboring Duchy of Cythia, Lord Ambraud is sent to investigate. Thera finds she is courted by two very different young men—Chamakin the young Ttamarini warrior who is  kindred in spirit to her, respects the ways of the forest and values all life; and Lord Ambraud, the polished nobleman who covets her beauty even more than her estate.

5)             What is the personal goal of the character?

Thera wants to answer the call of the Elanraigh Forest, to serve as its Salvai, a liason between Forest Mind and her people—to be ready, mentally and physically, to defeat the threatened invasion of Memteth raiders. She knows that Chamakin’s suit is approved by the Forest-mind entity and that together they can return the people of Allenholme to feeling and hearing the Elanraigh’s unique voice.  

6)             What is the Title of the book, and where can we find out more?

Elanraigh: The Vow (pronounced: Ellen-ray)was published by Eternal Press and is available for purchase at:

Eternal Press (an imprint of Caliburn Press, LLB)   

iTunes Book Store:
Elanraigh: The Vow

Friday, October 24, 2014

Lyrical or Taut Fiction (Which style do you write, or prefer to read?)

I was struck by something English author, Mary Stewart, said in an interview conducted not long before her death this year. She states that she had once spent a week laboring over a particular (descriptive) paragraph to get it just right.

This, I can well believe. Her writing is lyrical and lovely—it was her Merlin Trilogy that I first discovered back in the 80’s, and have since re-read many times, that made me sit back and say to myself, I want to be able to write like that…
On the other hand there are those whose writing style is taut, crisp and even minimalist. (I’m in awe of, and respect this, but can’t/wouldn’t enjoy writing it).

I want to believe there is still readership for both styles…or is the more lyrical style now archaic, belonging back in the age of “reading by firelight,” whereas today, everyone reads in nano-bites off their smart phones between bus stops, on coffee breaks and during the kid’s dance class.

Another author I read, Anne Rice, (Vampire Chronicles especially) favours a “lush” prose style, and certainly has a huge following. (Of course she has well-developed and intriguing characters as well.)

Every writer learns early that writing evocative prose does not mean adding in endless adverbs—we’re discussing a poetic style—poetry being the minimal amount of words needed, that with sound and imagery, create an emotional response.

OK. So I threw this question out to writer friends at SF Canada, and it started a lively discussion.

Most confirmed that they can and do enjoy reading stories written in either style, providing the style suits the story.

For author, Eileen Kernaghan, “the setting, the time period and the voice of the character who is telling the story, all help to determine the style.”

Susan Forest , speculative fiction author, reminds us that, “a single work can have both— A Song of Fire and Ice, by George RR Martin gets on with the story, but he also takes the time to place you in his world, with the people. The writing is very lyrical, but he doesn’t sacrifice story.”

Dave Duncan, author of more than forty novels, expresses his opinion that, “…your own style is so much a part of you that anything else will seem faked…if your story flows so smoothly that no reader notices what your style is, well, that’s pretty magical too!”

Matt Hughes, on the other hand (ever ambidextrous :) states that he can suit his style of writing to the material, and the effect he’s trying to create—whether a moody “Bradbury” piece, or hardboiled 1950’s pulp-voiced style.

Noah Chinn, author and “adventurer”, writes that he is,“ a fan of both styles, it depends in part on the intent of the author.” He remarks that he would classify Ray Bradbury as lyrical. “Passages of his just wash over me, evoke images and chills…but sometimes the story is the thing and being more bare-bones is exactly what you need.”

Ira Nayman, humorist extraordinaire, says “Most of my favourite authors use language in wildly entertaining ways” and he adds, “The great thing about the multiplicity of books is that we can enjoy (and learn from) a wide variety of styles of writing…There really are no rules in artistic creation, only what works to entertain.”

Barbara Geiger, who describes herself as, “Writer of dark, redemptive, snarky smut” came up with one of those Aha! insights she’d acquired from colleague Susan Forest after a writer’s session Susan had attended, “The sooner the writer puts their narration in the character’s skull and has the character filtering everything, the reader will be pulled along from start to finish:

There is no description, there is only Point of View.”