Category Archives: Fantasy Books

Fantasy Book Spotlight: Fallen Tiers by Cheryl Matthynssens @balanceguide

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Fantasy, Magical Realism, Sword and Sorcery

fall tiers Cheryl Matthynssens

The Blue Dragon’s Geas Book 5

Release Date: 5/12/2017

Premiering on May 12, Fallen Tiers is the final book in the Blue Dragon’s Geas.

From the appearance of a mysterious egg to the onslaught of a vicious storm, Alador must now decide when to move against his Uncle. How will he protect Rena’s egg? Can he save people from a storm of his own making, from the winter before? Can he really eliminate the well entrenched High Minister, who also happens to be his uncle. This last task must be done.. or he will fail his Geas given by the Blue Dragon. Failure of a major geas only ends in death. Alador is fairly certain attempting to remove his uncle will also end in death. Which death will our young hero choose or will he surprise them all and complete the Geas, releasing him from a predestined path he would have never chosen.

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Society of Enlightened Dragonologist


Luthian indicated a chair by the fire.  “I am pleased you could attend me so quickly.  My nephew has informed me that we are in for quite the storm.  As the leader of the stone mages, I need you to send people down to seal our storehouses.”  He waited until she sat down to continue.

“Of course, I am fully aware that our staples are stored beneath the city.” She frowned, her placid face worsened with the grimace.  “We have had storms before. The water has never breached the storehouses, High Minister.”

“Please, we are alone… call me Luthian.”  He smiled, but it was more because the calculated familiarity had its desired effect. The lady smile demurely and dropped her gaze, her cheeks taking on the rosy coloring again.

“Alador has warned me that there will be a wave of an unusual height.  I also know that it will land when the tide is at its highest.” He sighed with a bit of forced distress. “I would rather be safe for our people than regret a lack of action. We have little time.”

Caterine rose immediately.  “Then I had best be off to see the task done.” She turned to head for the door.

Luthian caught her arm.  “One moment, I think we might have an opportunity that would profit us both.” He paused until she turned back to look at him, her face full of her confusion.  “Do you still have ill will toward our Trench Lord?”

Caterine’s face-hardened at the mention of Sordith’s title.  With Luthian’s order to assist in the covering of the trench, she had been insulted to find herself working under the Trench Lord’s direction.

“He is not in my favor,” she admitted, her voice hoarse with distaste.

“And those in the trench? Your thoughts on them?” Luthian pressed.

“It is filthy and contains a forsaken lot who are barely more than animals.” Her fingers brushed across her robe as though the mere thought of the trench and its inhabitants made her feel dirty.

Luthian nodded gravely as she played into his hands.  “I feel much the same.  May I suggest a little foul play?” He dipped his head in acknowledgement as a conniving look flashed in her eyes. He had chosen his mage correctly.

“What did you have in mind?” she cooed.

“Send your troublesome mages, those you have concerns over into the trench to seal them against the weather.  This does need done.  Once they are fully occupied, you seal the trench from the first tier.”

“I fail to see what good this will do either of us?”  She eyed him a bit warily.

“I have been told the wave will fully engulf the trench.  The falling rain…” he indicated the window, “needs an outlet as it drains down the tiers, so sealing it against this wave is not an option.”

“You plan to drown them?”  She considered the idea.

“It is such a fine opportunity, don’t you agree? I can assure you that no mages will interfere.  General Levielle is even now giving the order that there is to be no movement between the tiers.” Luthian’s voice was soft and suggestive.

Luthian could tell that her calculating mind was already lining up as she realized what would occur.  “I merely point out an opportunity for us both to rid ourselves of… What did you call them… a filthy and forsaken lot of animals?  The level of crime moving up the tiers is increasing.  It is time we cleansed ourselves of those that do not have enough skill to be of use to the upper tiers.”  He waved his hands in dismissal, as though changing his mind. He lightened his tone.  “What am I thinking? No… We should not.  Why people might hold you accountable for such an act.” He shook his head. “I fear I fell into a bit of whimsical fantasy.  It is hardly a proper plan.”  He sighed with exasperation.  “I just don’t know when another chance might present itself…”

“I can seal them without detection,” Lady Caterine offered.

“Could you?”   He looked a bit amazed, but inwardly he felt like the angler setting his hook.  “I don’t know…  It would have to be our secret.” He tapped his lip thoughtfully.

She moved to him, a bit of hopeful familiarity emerged as she laid a hand upon his robe.  “I can keep secrets, Luthian,” she murmured.

She gazed up at him for a long hopeful minute.  Luthian sighed inwardly. Some sacrifices had to be made when one was attempting to keep his hands clean.   He bent his head to let his lips hover just above hers.

“Then let me send you on your way,” his soft words for her ears alone.  He laid his lips against hers – revolted at the cold fish like kiss she attempted to return.  “I will see you as soon as you have finished.  We can… share other secrets,” he promised.

She nodded happily and turned, hurrying from the room to order her least favorite mages sent to seal the storehouse.

Luthian wiped his mouth on the back of his hand as soon as the door shut.  Thankfully, he would not be keeping that promise.  The woman kissed worse than a virgin.

He turned back toward his desk, seeing Severent step from the side door.  “Is the plan still as we discussed, milord?”  He was dressed in drab grays and browns.  Luthian knew that if he walked the lower tiers, he would likely never notice the man. Here in his office filled with rich tones, he stood out.

“Yes, all is in place as we discussed.  The occupants of the trench will have only one way out.  Through panic or storm, we should see the population diminish greatly.”  Luthian chuckled.  “And the current level of dedication in our Trench Lord means I will likely lose him as well.  Pity… the man had a head for business.”

Severent nodded and glanced at the door, then back at Luthian.  “And the woman?”

Luthian did not hesitate.  “As soon as the last wall is in place… kill her.”

 About the Author:

Cheryl Matt

Cheryl Matthynssens was born in Upland, California, holds a teaching degree and is a licensed addictions counselor. This has allowed her to interview hundreds of personalities over her career.
She loves that everyone is unique and this appreciation and interest has informed and inspired her writing.

Matthynssens enjoys the universe of fantasy for the way it connects to the mind’s creativity and imagination as a colorful escape to distant lands of mystical beasts and fantastic quests where the hero really does save the day. As she’s matured artistically, Matthynssens has found writing to be a comforting counterbalance to a world where beloved characters don’t always get back up after they fall down.

Matthynssens currently lives in Wenatchee, Washington, and has four beautiful children and four wonderful grandchildren.

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Fantasy Book: The Rise of the Sidhe by Christina George @RiseoftheSidhe

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Genres: The story is an Action/ Adventure set in 1916. It encompasses elements of the 1916 Rising and Irish myth and would belong in the Fantasy genre.


Bran—a war weary veteran of many conflicts has always closely guarded a dark secret. Now, as he fights for the survival of his men in the brutal trenches, his past has come back to haunt him. Rioghnach, a dark fairy woman, has arisen after centuries beneath the ground. She has been driven mad and power-hungry by her imprisonment. Bran must put aside his loyalties and finally return home. Ireland is a land on the verge of political turmoil and civil unrest. As the time of the Easter Rising draws near a sequence of events will begin to unravel that could bring about an age of darkness. Bran holds the key to their salvation but it could bring about a fate worse than death.

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Things seemed to have gone quiet up above as he stopped, the men behind him holding their breath for him to listen. He thought he had heard something through the earthen walls enfolding them but, as the seconds trickled by, the stillness reassured him and he began to crawl on. The air was thinner down here, making it a struggle to keep going, the exertion of pulling themselves along by their elbows slowly draining their strength. The explosives in his satchel were pressing against his side as he tried to shuffle through the ground works.

The boys were nervous, the tension even more palpable than usual. The number of explosions had increased a lot in the last few weeks. The cave-ins had taken friends from all the men and the most experienced diggers had succumbed to the German offensive. Bran was nervous too. His boys weren’t like the diggers – men who had worked in mines and dig works for years before the war. They were fearless, those large men with their gruff northern accents and their dislike of the upper class officers. His lads were just normal Tommie’s; they were young and scared and didn’t like going underground. It wasn’t natural. They felt trapped.

He stopped again, swearing he felt movement through the ground. His sudden stop halted the other men as the boy at the back, barley eighteen, began to whimper. ‘Quiet’, the harsh whisper chastised him as Bran froze; the sound of breathing seemed loaded and clumsy as it became trapped between the walls of the tunnel. The other men trusted Bran’s judgement. He was a bit of a legend among the trenches, his knack for coming back alive when all around him died was enough cause for the men to listen when he talked. It was this that went against him with his superiors. They did not like the men raising lowly captains to higher stations than themselves. The superstitions of the lower ranks was a constant pain for the officers, their men not wanting to obey direct orders because they had a “bad feeling” about it. It had to be stamped out and talk of this Irish soldier, with his ‘good luck’ and ‘sixth sense’ about things, angered them all the more.

Bran pulled the glove from his right hand with his teeth and sank his fingers into the dirt of the floor beneath his belly. He shut his eyes to concentrate. Nothing seemed to move. Then he felt it, a dragging close by. He squeezed his eyes all the tighter, straining his ears. The vibration he sent out was miniscule, undetectable but he saw what he needed to. He turned his head awkwardly in the tight space until he could see Jones in the harsh lamp light. The perspiration from the heat and the fear was running in droplets from his brow down his nose. He signalled with his hand to go back as the boys began to silently crawl backwards on the long ascent to the top.

As they got higher the tunnel became wider allowing the men to walk, if hunched down, as they awkwardly plodded ever upward, the relief added to by the fresher air the higher they crawled. ‘Say it and stop sulking Jones,’ Bran chastised as he struggled with the bag he carefully protected at his side.

‘There’s going to be trouble about this. They will have your head for turning the lads back’, Jones groaned in his heavy Newcastle accent. He faced Bran, looking into the bright blue eyes of the man he respected but could not understand. The other boys pushed onwards, eager to get back up top, allowing Bran and Jones the privacy to speak.

‘There was nothing to be done. There is a German tunnel. It’s about to intersect ours just ahead of the point we were crawling to’ Bran explained, becoming impatient with Jones’ worrying. ‘I’m not sure if they were aware of our tunnel but they were either going to come through the walls at us or plant explosives themselves. I’m not putting the lads at risk for nothing.’ Jones got the puckered skin between his brows that came when he thought for too long about how Bran knew these things. He took a deep breath of the thick pungent air as he looked at the dirt streaked face of his captain.

About the Author:

Christina George is an Irish writer based in Dundalk, Co. Louth. She mainly writes Fiction with an emphasis on Fantasy. Her academic background is in the arts. After completing her undergraduate with a BA in Cultural studies in 2008 she went on to study for an MA in Comparative Literature in Dublin City University. Her first novel The Rise of the Sidhe has recently been released for Kindle on Amazon. She is currently working in the Heritage sector in County Louth and outlining a new writing project.





Young Adult Fantasy Spotlight: The Mansion’s Twins by Rose Channing @RoseMChanning

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Young Adult, Fantasy

the mansions twins

At the Crossworlds Book 1

A beautiful, magical world has been ravaged by a terrible storm. Homes were destroyed, families torn apart, and even the sweetest magic twisted by darkness. Even years later, the world remains damaged, unbalanced, and dangerous, waiting for someone who might restore what was lost. Only the magic of twins has a chance, but the birth of twins is exceedingly rare.

In our own world, Ellie and Savannah know nothing of this. They know nothing of other worlds, magic, or even each other. Until magic blooms inside, them and draws them together. After years of feeling alone, raised apart and in the wrong world, the twin sisters are reunited at last. They find their way home, and discover their destiny.

The girls are welcomed into a grand mansion, the safest place in the aftermath of the storm. There, they learn who they are and what they have to do. To restore the world, they must travel through the mansion to the center of magic and reset the balance.

They discover their magical abilities, find joy and friendship in the mansion’s family, and face the dangers of the storm’s left-behind magic. The journey to the center of magic is full of twists and turns, magic and excitement. Ellie and Savannah support each other to overcome obstacles along the way, knowing the whole world is depending on them.

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The ground shook beneath her feet as she ran. The air felt wrong, and even the halls she’d grown up in were suddenly unrecognizable. It wasn’t only the shouts and blinding lights that made it so. Battle was familiar to her, but this was more than just another fight.
Someone in front of her screamed. That was all the warning she had before fireballs flew in her direction. She reacted quickly, throwing up a shield against them. Heat seeped through her protective bubble, but nothing more could reach her. Yet even when that attack was over, she knew she was far from safe. The room was beginning to collapse, and a horde of enemies stood in every direction between her and a way out.
The all too familiar sensation of terror began to overwhelm her. She took a breath, allowing herself to pause for a moment. It was a technique she had taught herself, to find a quiet space in her mind even in the heat of battle. She couldn’t stop moving for a moment, but she could find stillness somewhere within.
 This is for you, she reminded herself, bringing an image of her husband and children into her mind. I’ll find you again, no matter what… She couldn’t let herself believe those last brief kisses were real goodbyes, couldn’t dare imagine that all her little girls would have left of her was a short, handwritten letter.
Leaving all fears behind, she threw herself into the fight, taking strength from the memories of her family.
I will find you again. Whatever happens, I’ll find a way.

About the Author:

Rose Channing1

Rose Channing has been a believer in magic and other worlds since childhood, and set out on a journey to bring those worlds and magic to life. She lives in the mansion with Ellie and Savannah, most of the time. When she can get outside her fantasy land, she lives in Oregon with her loud and loving family, a fat lazy cat, and a lot of nonsense-filled notebooks.

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Fantasy Spotlight: The Shield of Soren by D.M. Cain @DMCain84

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The Shield of Soren cover - smaller

The Light and Shadow Chronicles Book 2

Ten-year-old Soren Nitaya’s marked talent makes him the youngest soldier ever to become an apprentice to the legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. As a prince of Alcherys, he will be expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow when he reaches sixteen.

But is the young prince up to the task when he’s more interested in causing mischief than in mastering weapons?

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he unwittingly unleashes a deadly threat. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy’s land. Does Soren have what it takes to save his country before the Brotherhood destroys everyone and everything he loves?

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Other Locations – Universal Link


With a loud clang of metal slamming into metal, the final bolt was undone. Reign slowly pulled the door open, and Vincent found his breath catching in his throat.
High-pitched whimpering came from the tiny bundle of rags cowering at the back of the cage. Her long silver hair parted for a moment and Vincent could see her wide, silver eyes, terrified and innocent. Vincent’s skin prickled with discomfort. He hoped that Reign had a damned good reason for capturing a small child like this.
Beside the glass cage were two oil lamps, both resting unlit. Reign reached up and took one down. Then, in a single savage moment, he slammed the lamp onto the floor of her cage. The girl screamed in terror and covered her head with her hands, but he hadn’t been aiming for her.
The shattered glass gave way to a stream of oil that spread out in a pool across the floor. This seemed to scare the girl even more, and she began to cry quietly, sobbing into her clenched hands.
Reign looked back at Vincent. Excitement flashed in his eyes as he drew a match from a box in his pocket. A small flare of light, a flicker of sulphur and a small flame danced on top of the match. With another laugh, Reign tossed the match into the glass cage.
Vincent gasped as the oil ignited in a rush of intense heat. The entire floor of the cage burst into flames. Vincent tried to rush forwards to save the girl from a fiery death, but the heat was too intense. A hand tapped incessantly at his shoulder, and he tried to brush it away, but Reign grabbed hold of his hand.
“Look! Look!” Reign shouted excitedly, pointing at the cage.
When his eyes fell upon the cage, Vincent froze to the spot, his eyes nearly popping from their sockets. “But…how?”
The girl, who Vincent had assumed would be burning in agony, was somehow floating above the flames, hovering at the top of her cage. From her back sprouted two enormous wings of the purest white feathers Vincent had ever seen. The two beautiful white fans could only just fit within the confines of the cage, and as she beat them to stay afloat they fanned the flames beneath her.
It wasn’t just her wings that dazzled Vincent with their purity. Her whole body had adopted an ethereal, almost ghostly, silver aura, her hair shimmering with radiance. She didn’t seem too frightened any more, but there was a definite hint of sadness in her gentle eyes.
Vincent studied her carefully, struggling to catch his breath, which he hadn’t realised he had been holding. “What is she?” he managed to croak.
Reign grinned and draped an arm across Vincent’s shoulder. “She, my friend, is an angel.”

About the Author:

d m cain

D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for Creativia Publishing. The Light and Shadow Chronicles series features a range of books which can be read in any order. The series books to date include A Chronicle of Chaos and The Shield of Soren. D.M. Cain is currently working on the next novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series, The Sins of Silas, as well as two complementary novellas entitled Genesis of Light and Origin of Shadow.

Cain has released one stand-alone novel: The Phoenix Project, a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. The Phoenix Project was the winner of the 2016 Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi novel Award.

D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story The End was published in Awethology Dark: an anthology by the #Awethors.

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.

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Featured Fantasy: Prophecy by Stephen H. King (Elf Queen of Kiirajanna) @skingcharter

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Prophecy by Stephen H. King

Series: Elf Queen of Kiirajanna

Genres: Fantasy

Book Blurb/Synopsis:
Alyssa never could have imagined that her first accomplishment after high school in a small Mississippi town would be traveling to a land she’d never heard of and ascending to its throne as the new Elf Queen.  But when her long-lost father, the Elf King, comes back for his daughter, that is exactly the future that he brings.

With the help of her cousin, her father, and others, Alyssa carefully finds her way as an outsider through the intricacies of elf society.  Along the way she meets fairies, unicorns, and other beasts that she’d grown up believing were only to be found in myths.  At the same time, Alyssa encounters a mysterious cult whose entire purpose seems to be the prevention, by any means necessary, of her taking the throne.  After an arrow that misses its mark and a message written in blood fail to warn her away, Alyssa finds herself in a fight for her own life and for those of her companions.

That magic exists in the realm of the elves is obvious to Alyssa from the beginning.  Its use, though, is forbidden by centuries of elf tradition.  When the Cult of the Wyrm finally makes its move, Alyssa must decide whether to risk banishment from her own birthright in order to wield the destructive forces as a weapon against those who would see her dead.

Join Alyssa as the sassy Southern girl enters the land of her father’s birth and deals with a stern priesthood, a stuck-up royal trio, and, of all things, a crush, as she comes of age in Kiirajanna.

Short Blurb:
A child of two worlds, Alyssa has long been prophesied to leave her human mother to return with her father, the elf king, to the land of his birth to claim the throne that is her birthright. The crown does not come easy, though, as the Mississippi girl faces lessons and language gaps along the way. Her ranger-trained cousin and the dashing warrior prince are all who stand with her as she battles against magical foes in a land where the use of magic has been forbidden for centuries.

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Author Bio:

Dean by day and writer by night, Stephen H. King grew up being asked whether he was “that Stephen King.” “Not the author,” he’d say until his writing addiction took hold and made that into a lie. Now he writes and reads and blogs as The Other Stephen King–you know, the one who writes fantasy and science fiction. When he’s not writing, he enjoys thinking about writing while going on hikes or long road trips. When he’s not thinking about writing, it’s usually because he’s fishing.

Stephen, his wife, and daughter, and two Chihuahuas all live more or less successfully together in Memphis, Tennessee, though they’re always open to further explorations.