Category Archives: Fantasy Books

Fantasy Romance Feature and Interview: Daughter of the Twin Moons: Book 1 of the Twin Moons Saga by Holly Bargo


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Fantasy Romance


daughter of the twin

Release Date: 12/23/2016

Cancer. The terminal diagnosis paralyzes Catriona. Both saved and imperiled, she must navigate a new, immortal life as mate to the Captain of the Seelie Palace Guard.

In obedience to the oracle’s command, Thelan abducts a human woman and takes her to the Deepwood where she is unmade and remade by ancient magic. Thus given his mate, he quickly finds himself enamored of her spirit, intelligence, and uncommon beauty. She arouses his passion and challenges both his control and authority at every turn. Thelan needs to win the heart and trust of this untraditional female whom he’s determined to keep and protect from those who covet control over the moon-born’s legendary influence.

Catriona resents the lack of choice. She also resents not knowing the rules that now govern her life in this realm of myth and impossibility. Forging her own path and upsetting ancient tradition, she befriends the mysterious archivist, learns to live in a sentient palace, talks to dragons, and discovers a puzzling attraction to cats. And she must come to terms with the handsome and powerful fae male who claims her as his own and stirs her blood like none other.

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Excerpt:

Then he drew her into his embrace and buried his face in her hair. He inhaled the warm fragrance of her, slightly herbal, slightly musky, like the forest at night. He leaned back and cupped her face in his hands, marveling at the soft texture of her skin. His thumbs swept over her cheeks. He leaned down and gently pressed his lips to hers, savoring the petal soft texture, the sweet taste. He kissed her again, softly, tasting the corner of her mouth. Catriona, who had expected a roughly enthusiastic sexual assault, melted beneath the tenderness and her heart cracked open.

“I missed you, Beloved Katarina,” he whispered, then sipped from her lips again.

Catriona did not quite know what to say, because she hadn’t precisely missed him. Yet this delicate handling, this gentle, tender treatment so differed from her experience and her expectations, that her confusion compelled her to submit to him.

“You have been well?” he inquired, his piercing green gaze searching hers for secrets.

“Yes.”

“She’s been busy,” Mogren interjected in a dry tone.

Thelan lifted his head to look at his king. “Oh?”

“We shall let her tell you of her adventures while you were at Pyrostoke.”

“Adventures?” Thelan looked back at Catriona. She shrugged helplessly and returned his gaze with defiance. It was an odd mixture that he found endearing.

“However, the bonding ceremony is this evening and we’ve much to do to prepare,” Mogren said. “Come, Captain. Let your lady’s maid take charge of her while we discuss this new treaty with the vodnici.”

Thelan knew an order when he heard one, even it if was couched more pleasantly. He again captured Catriona’s hand and brought it to his lips. His kissed the knuckles, then turned it over to kiss the palm.

“I made my choice. I hope to be yours.”

She blinked in confusion and one hand absently rubbed the delicate tracery of silver circling her throat. She had a choice? Why had no one yet explained that to her? She made plans to visit the librarian as soon as possible for the most objective information.

“Gwenda, we’re going to see Mr. Enders.”

“But, my lady, we must prepare you for the bonding ceremony!”

Catriona rounded on her maid and snapped, “I need information and he’s apparently the only one who’s willing to give it to me. Come with me or not, I don’t care.”

Gwenda recoiled from the blazing anger in her mistress’ expression and hurried along in the smaller woman’s wake. As usual, the palace obliged and gave Catriona the shortest possible route to the library.

“Ish no’ur aghra cinyalchek taj e’vyr,” Catriona said, politely thanking the palace for its assistance. As before, she felt a warm breeze curl around her in recognition of her gratitude.

“Why do you speak to the palace?” Gwenda inquired.

“The palace is sentient. Do you not know that?”

“That’s absurd. It’s a building, imbued with magic, but still only a building.”

“Then attribute it to one of my odd little habits,” Catriona said as she patted the stone wall and felt the consciousness living within it. How could these fae not sense the palace’s sentience?


About the Author:

holly bargo newest

Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist as a temperamental appaloosa mare whose memory still elicits smiles and entertaining anecdotes. The author has been writing improbable stories for over 40 years and only recently dove headfirst into publishing. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor, serves as the fantasy editor for Red Sun Magazine, and lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of four-legged critters.

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Interview:

Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? Inspired by fairy tales and mythology, I began writing stories in grade school. Later reading of Robin McKinley, Robin Bailey, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Barbara Cartland, Jayne Ann Krentz, and other authors continued to influence me. Eventually, I realized that no one was writing quite the stories I really wanted to read and, more importantly, that needed to be expelled from my mind. It gets crowded in there, you know. So I gradually moved from writer-as-hobbyist to writer-in-earnest and took advantage of the digital revolution to embark upon a new adventure as an independently published author.

How many books do you currently have published? I have published 14 original books since 2014. That doesn’t count the duet I published in January, which combines an original story and its sequel into one volume.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? My favorite book is always the last book I publish. Then it remains my favorite until the next one goes live.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? I’m working on the third book in my Russian Love series, Russian Dawn, which is mafia-slash-new adult romance. Series, not serial. I don’t do cliffhangers. After that, I’ll be working on the sequels to Daughter of the Twin Moons, The Dragon Wore a Kilt, and Pure Iron.

What do you enjoy most about writing? Adventure. Romance. When I write, I’m young again. Beautiful. Strong. Amazing. Even magical. Every heroine has a piece of me within her and every hero embodies some aspect of my ideal man.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I seldom get writer’s block. Since I’ve got nearly two dozen manuscripts in progress at any given time, if I can’t focus on one, then I’ll move to another until something sparks. If none of those tickles my fancy, then I’ll begin a new story. I did have one long stretch–years–during which I wrote nothing at all. My younger son likes to remind me that writers suffer from mental illness more than most people and those years were a dark time for me.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? All the time. Someone once said, “No plot survives contact with the characters.” That’s absolutely true.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? My favorite characters are probably Rowan from Rowan and Chloe from The Barbary Lion. Rowan’s personality most closely resembles mine, though I wish I had her confidence and courage. Chloe shows herself as strong, smart, and resourceful, traits I love in a female protagonist.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? I don’t know; I haven’t written it yet.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? Lessons learned include: 1) don’t disappoint your readers’ expectations; 2) active voice strengthens your writing; 3) master the craft. Writing really is a craft that takes practice to master. Independently published writers suffer from a lackluster reputation because so much of what they publish is just poorly written. A good story poorly written gathers scathing reviews.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? It depends upon the genre. I recommended The Mighty Finn to my mother-in-law, because that’s the closest I have to the kind of books she reads. For those who like paranormal romance, I’ll suggest they start with Rowan. For those who enjoy high fantasy and prefer their books on the less sexually explicit side, I’ll suggest The Diamond Gate.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? Russian Dawn, the third book in my Russian Love series, is scheduled for release by March 31. It will focus on the story of Latasha and Iosif. After that, I plan on writing a fourth book which will bring the series full circle. That book will unite a Russian Bratva princess with an Italian mafia prince.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? Anything by Christine Feehan and Nora Roberts. Robert B. Parker, Dick Francis, and Richard Crais are favorite authors, too. Susan Stoker, Alexa Riley, and Shannon Hill have become new favorites. My taste in genres remains pretty steady, but my taste in authors runs to the eclectic.

What about television shows? Movies? I watch little television, but enjoy Big Bang Theory, reruns of MASH, and cookings shows hosted by Jacques Pepin and America’s Test Kitchen. My taste in movies ranges from costume dramas to animated features to action-and-adventure flicks. I don’t do horror and avoid tear-jerkers.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? Perhaps Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn or Robin McKinley’s Beauty and Blue Sword series. I really don’t know why, but my mind often wanders back to those books.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions? I intend to be at the ConGlomeration which will be held April 7 – 9 in Louisville, KY. Most likely I’ll be representing Red Sun Magazine as well as my own work.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? Don’t quit your day job. I couldn’t do this if my husband weren’t so supportive.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? Read the books you purchase and leave reviews. Please leave reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.

Fantasy Romance Feature and Interview: The Door to Forever by Shirley Martin @mshirley1496


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Fantasy Romance


door-to-forever

The Land of Magic Book 2

Release Date: November 9, 2016

As a teenager, Kaylee suffered an attempted sexual assault. Now a woman, she remains fearful of men. She vows she’ll avoid the opposite sex.

When her dreams take her to an alternate world, a land of peace and harmony, she wishes she could stay in this world. There, a psychic with a crystal ball tells her she will find love, for he sees a man reaching out to her. He tells her she must learn to trust men.

Kaylee has no idea who this man is, and she knows she can never put her faith in a man. The memory from her teenage years is too painful.

Then she meets Logan. Will he be the man to change her mind? World-weary and cynical, Logan declares a respite from women. When he meets Kaylee, he knows she is a woman like no other. His head tells him to stay away from her, but his heart refuses to listen.

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Excerpt:

At the bottom of the steps, Logan looked down at her, desire mirrored in his eyes. He eased her to him and pressed her close to his chest, his body warm and strong against hers.
:”Kaylee!”
Ah, to be held in his arms, , his heart beating next to hers. They remained that way for countless seconds. Then he kissed her, long and passionately, a kiss like nothing she’d ever imagined, no, not in a million years Warmth spread throughout her body, such a new and wonderful sensation. Tempted to cling to him, she ached for him to hold her the rest of the night.
Too soon he released her, a look of longing in his eyes.


Youtube Book Trailer:


 


About the Author:

shirley2

Born near Pittsburgh, Shirley Martin attended the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating from “Pitt”, she taught school for one year, then obtained a position as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines. Based in Miami, she met her future husband there.  After raising three sons, she devoted her time to writing, something she had always wanted to do.

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 Interview:

How many books do you currently have published? 15

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? “The Door to Forever”. It blends a contemporary romance with a magical land. My heroine is strong and spunky. It’s a beautiful love story with action and adventure.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? Not now, but I have ideas about what I want to write, which will be part of this series, Land of Magic.

What do you enjoy most about writing? Developing the characters.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? Yes. Usually a long walk in the fresh air will give me the answer I’m seeking.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? All the time. My characters have a mind of their own. I figure they know best.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? My favorite character is Owen in “Forbidden Love” because he has so many obstacles to conquer before he can have the woman he loves.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? I’ve enjoyed writing all the scenes in “The Door to Forever.”

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? You have to keep to a schedule, barring illness or emergency. Pick a time of the day that is most convenient for you and stick to it. Write one book at a time.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? “Magic Mountain” is Book 1 in this series, Land of Magic. I’d suggest a reader start with that, then read “The Door to Forever” although you can read the latter without first reading “Magic Mountain.”

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? I’m planning another fantasy romance in the Land of Magic series. I might create a heroine who is a spy.

Let’s get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? I enjoy reading books by my fellow authors at Books We Love and enjoy reading books by Dean Koontz and Terry Brooks.

What about television shows? Movies? Mostly I watch the news on TV. As for movies, my favorites are the LOTR series, also “The Last of the Mohicans.”

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? Too many to name.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions? I hope to attend the Romantic Times convention in Atlanta in May.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? A writer who loves to write. (less than ten,but that sums it up.)

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? Would love to have them go to Amazon and click on Books, then type in Shirley Martin.. My website is http://shirleymartinauthor.com/


Romantic Fantasy Feature and Interview: Magic Mountain by Shirley Martin @mshirley1496


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Fantasy


magic mountain

Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.

Gold! Legend tells of a fortune in gold, hidden in a cave at Misty Mountain, in a land faraway.

Princess Olwen must find the treasure . The neighboring warlike country of Volanar has held her brother hostage for years and demands a fortune to free him. Olwen’s country of Airenn Tir is too poor to pay the ransom. Her father doesn’t believe the legend of hidden gold and refuses to send anyone to search for the treasure.

So she’ll find the gold herself, Olwen determines. Disguised as a man and traveling alone, she leaves in the dead of night and travels to a distant land to find the treasure. Painful surprises await her, for she has no idea she’ll encounter a land of magic . . . and danger.

In Volanar, the king sends his son, Prince Garth, on a mission to find the gold. The king must have more money to wage war against Airenn Tir. He knows something the king of Airenn Tir doesn’t know, something his soldiers discovered while occupying part of that land. Greenstone lies beneath the earth, a precious gem believed to protect people against fatal illnesses.

By accident, Olwen and Garth meet at an inn, neither knowing they have the same goal. Agreeing to travel together, they each make up a story to mask the true reasons for their trip. When they both realize they seek the same treasure, trouble follows, and plenty of it.

When Garth discovers that Olwen is a woman, he fights his blossoming attraction for her. He must not fall in love with her, for they are enemies, each seeking the treasure for their countries.

Too soon, Olwen discovers that Garth is a prince, from the very country that is holding her brother hostage. She wants nothing more to do with him and travels on alone.

The evil sorceress, Gitta, vows to seize all the gold for herself and kill anyone who stands in her way.

Who reaches the treasure first becomes a matter of life or death.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“Now, madam, please tell me your real name.” Dawn was breaking over the meadow, sunlight glimmering on the lake, its waters sparkling like diamonds. Bird song trilled from the trees, a sound that had awakened her. She stood before Garth, ready to continue her journey.
Olwen’s face heated. “Wh-what do you mean?” Just how much had he seen last night? She’d thought he was asleep when she went swimming.
“I mean this.” Garth reached over and grabbed her cap off, and spiked hair jutted out from her head. “So I’ll ask you again, what is your real name?”
Her heart sank, her stomach churning. Smoothing her fingers over her tousled locks, she turned away for a moment, then faced him again. “Olwen,” she murmured. What would he do now? Leave her to travel the rest of the journey alone? But that had been her original plan, so why should she care?
He nodded. “Now we’re getting somewhere. So tell me the reason for your journey. And I must say it’s surprising indeed to see such a well-bred lady as you traveling by herself.”
“Which is why I posed as a man.”
“And not doing a very convincing job of it.”
Despite his apparent displeasure with her, she saw how his gaze roamed over her, his eyes alight with interest; dare she call it passion? She looked up at his blond hair, tousled in the breeze, his straight nose and firm mouth. He stood tall and well-built, as if no man could ever get the best of him. What would it be like to be enclosed in his arms, his lips on hers? A rush of warmth captured her body.
But it was not to be. He fixed a stern look on her. “And your reason for traveling to Misty Mountain?”
“None of your business. If you recall,” she said, her voice laced with sarcasm, “I started on this sojourn alone. It was you who asked to accompany me.” She shook her head. “I’m not beholden to you. And I’m perfectly capable of continuing this trip by myself.”
He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again. He gestured toward the horses. “We’re wasting our time. Let’s go.” He turned away from her, but not before she saw the look of chagrin on his face. She should have been happy that she’d gotten the best of him in this discussion. Then why did a feeling of discomfort settle over her?

Youtube Book Trailer:


About the Author:

shirley martin

Born in western Pennsylvania, Shirley Martin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught school for one year, then obtained a position as flight attendant with Eastern Air Lines. Based in Miami, she met her future husband there. After raising three sons, she devoted her time to writing, something she’d always wanted to do.

With a vivid imagination and a love of storytelling, Shirley has always enjoyed writing. Her first published novel, “Destined to Love” reflects her familiarity with western Pennsylvania and her love of romance writing. From this historical romance, she blossomed out to other romance genres. “One More Tomorrow” is a vampire romance, one her publisher dubbed “a sizzling seller.” With several fantasy novels and novellas, her writing should appeal to just about every lover of romance. Her books have been sold at Amazon and most major bookstores and have garnered great reviews.

A widow, Shirley lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her two cats.

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Interview:

How many books do you currently have published? Thanks for having me. I’ve written 14 books.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? My historical romance, “Forbidden Love” has been my favorite because of all the obstacles faced by the hero and heroine, and how they persevered in their love.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? Yes, I’m writing a fantasy romance titled “The Door to Forever.” Its a sequel to “Magic Mountain” although it can stand on its own.

What do you enjoy most about writing? Plotting, figuring what the characters will do next.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I like to walk, and usually a walk will help clear my head.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? Oh, this happens all the time. I figure my characters know best.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? Owen, the hero of “Forbidden Love” is my favorite because of how he deals with the obstacles he faces. I don’t have a least favorite character. I like them all.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? The scene in “Forbidden Love” in which the hero, Owen, visits the heroine. He realizes the hopelessness of their love and leaves her. She fears she’ll never see him again.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? I’ve learned to persevere. I’ve learned that if a scene doesn’t make sense to the writer, it won’t make sense to anyone else. As for beginning writers, they should set a time every day and write. Barring illness or an emergency, a writer should set a time every day and write. Also, a writer should be willing to take advice.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? “Enchanted Cottage” is a sweet fantasy romance. I think it would appeal to many.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? I’m working on another fantasy romance titled “The Door to Forever.” I’m very excited about this. It’s a sequel to “Magic Mountain” but can be read on its own. Oh, I mentioned this before, but I can say it twice!

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? My publisher, Books We Love, has many great authors, such as Margaret Tanner and Ginger Simpson. I read mostly fantasy and paranormal novels. I like Terry Brooks and Dean Koontz.

What about television shows? Movies? I watch very little TV. As for movies, I like “The Last of the Mohicans” and “The Shunning.”

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? I read so many books, it’s hard to choose one.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions? I hope to attend the Romantic Times convention next year in Atlanta.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? You can get published if you persevere. That’s 7 words!

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? My website is www.shirleymartinauthor.com Also you can find me at Amazon.


Science Fiction/Fantasy Featured Book and Interview: Mage Accession by Christopher George @CGNovels


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Science Fiction, Fantasy


mage accession 1

Release Date: 7/17/16

Mage Accession is the much awaited sequel to the best seller Mage Catalyst.

Devon, sick with guilt, has fled from his home and into the Victorian high country, afraid that his actions would bring harm to those he cares for. Hurt and betrayed by Renee’s disappearance, Devon has made a vow to never use the magic again. It’s not that simple – It’s never that simple. Powerful enemies are seeking him out and Devon must determine who he wants to be. Can he have a life of peace that he desires? Or must he forsake his vow and turn to the magic once again. As he comes to terms with his power he realizes that he still has much to lose.

$2.99 or FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author:

christopher george

As an avid science fiction and fantasy reader Christopher George has been immersing himself in books from a young age. In 2004 Christopher completed his Bachelor of Multimedia at Monash University and has been working as an IT professional ever since. He currently lives in Melbourne with his partner, her daughter and three cats.

Mage Catalyst is his first completed novel and was written in a variety of hotel rooms and airports across Australia. Catalyst is his first non-technical piece and he finds it much easier to write fiction than software documentation.

It’s also very recently come to light that he is simply awful at talking about himself in the third person.

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Interview:

How many books do you currently have published?

Mage Accession is the 2nd book I’ve published, which is the sequel to Mage Catalyst. Once finished the whole series will comprise four books.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?

I’ve written first drafts for the remaining two books in the series, so I’ve written four manuscripts so far. At this point Mage Accession was by far the easiest and most fun to write. I’m not overly sure why this is. I think It might have something to do with the fact that with Accession I could include a whole heap of stuff that I couldn’t include in Catalyst. In Mage Accession we learn a little bit more about the society in which the Mages exist and begin to see the real consequences of Devon’s abuses of power.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

I’m spending my time alternating between editing Mage Dissolution and working on a high fantasy novel. High Fantasy has always been one of my guilty pleasures and it’s been an amazing experience to put pen to paper some of the idea’s that I’ve had about the genre for years. My next release will be Mage Dissolution as it’s still very early days on the next series, But I suppose if you twist my arm I could give you the title for the series. It’s called ‘The Legacy of Fellhand’ and is going to be a trilogy set in a small Norse town surrounded by an ancient evil. Kinda tacky I know, but I’m hoping for it to be a cross between Beowulf and your more traditional teeny boppery fantasy, but as I said – it’s very early days yet. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the first draft, but so far it’s looking good. Hopefully once I’m a little further into it – I’ll be able to share more details.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

World building. As you can probably tell from Mage Catalyst & Accession. I love thinking about the details of world physics – particularly when it comes to stuff like Magic. I think I spent more time thinking about how the magic was going to work than the scene and setting.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Absolutely, I think that anyone who says otherwise is a dirty dirty liar. The hardest thing for me though is realising why I’m getting writers block at any particular moment and for me, I think it’s when I’ve already written something down that I’m not quite happy with. I’ve come to recognise that feeling when I start to get bogged down and don’t know how to get to the next part of the story that I need to go back a few pages read with a more critical eye what I’ve just written and change it. At the end of the day it’s all about getting words on the page. Once you’ve got them down you can always edit/change them later.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

Not yet, But I’m hoping. I had the plot arc for the four books set out fairly heavily from the outset and I made sure that the characters at least were well defined. So I haven’t had any characters surprise me, but I have had a scene surprise me. When I’m planning out my books I go from scene to scene, but I don’t necessarily think about how to get from scene A to scene B. This often leads to surprising turns of events as I get to scenes in a way that I didn’t originally think I would. For instance, in the prologue of Mage Catalyst we start with an older Devon on the rooftops of a burning city reflecting on how he got to this sorry state of affairs. The final scene of the fourth book in series is set on that rooftop and then continues the story. It was an amazing experience to sit down and pick up that plot point again. I hadn’t expected all the twists and turns that would lead him to this point.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

Personal Favorite? Probably Tony from Mage Catalyst. Through Tony I was able to lighten the mood of Catalyst and bring it back from the dark overtones that was Renee and Devon’s relationship. He was just fun to write for. I think he kept the book grounded.

In Mage Accession we also get to meet Victor Whittlesea, Renee’s grandfather. He was teased in the first book as a master of magic. He was incredibly fun to write too, but I can’t talk too much about that as I don’t want to reveal spoilers.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

There is a scene in Mage Accession where we first meet Victor. We see him in his element, using the magic as only a master mage can. The thing I really like about this scene is that it’s not about fireballs and lightning flying off into the air. It’s about a show of skill and power. It doesn’t even sound very impressive, until you think about what he’s doing and the amount of skill required to perform such a feat.

As Victor himself says ‘It’s not about power, it’s about control.”

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

Keep writing, it’s all about words on the page. Don’t stress too much that what you’ve written may not be very good. The story comes out in the editing. Get down what you want to happen and how in a simple direct fashion. You can add flowery prose and description later.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?

Given that I’ve only published two books and they’re in a series. I’d suggest starting with Mage Catalyst as it’s the first in the series. Or not, maybe start with Accession and treat Catalyst as a prequel series

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

Ahh, well seeing as how I mentioned it earlier. I should probably include the introduction with Victor.

“The factor you’re failing to grasp is that a Mana thread is not an application of power.” Victor continued, “It’s an application of control.”

He had taken on a tone similar to a school teacher. He vaguely reminded me of Mr Saunders, my old high school English teacher. Victor waved his hand around in a tight controlled arc and a thread swept from it and wrapped around the violin. The thread raised the violin into the air and then did something I’d never seen before. Smaller threads arched off the main thread and wrapped themselves around the bridge of the instrument. It was so controlled and so artfully done. It was hard not to be impressed. I’d never seen anything like it. This was far more control than I’d ever seen – better than Vin, better than Renee and that was saying something. She used Mana like nothing I’d ever seen, but she wasn’t even in the same ball park as Victor.

Victor wasn’t done though; as he turned around a second thread arched out and recovered the bow and brought it gracefully back to the instrument. Victor brought his hand down and the thread remained in place. With a quick flick of a thread, the bow began to strike across the instrument.

The violin produced a single note, followed by a quick double note. The pattern repeated.

Victor closed his eyes and several more threads arched out from him. Several more violins were recovered and floated into the air to join the ghostly symphony. A pair of drums reverberated from behind me – I hadn’t even known they were there. More threads arched around me to recover padded mallets and brought them crashing down onto the instrument. The drums and violins were joined several seconds later by the piano. Delicate notes danced around the main theme of the violins and drums. A cello was brought into play several seconds later and I heard the deep vibrant sound it added to the mix.

Victor stood like a spider in the middle of a web of Mana threads. There were more than I could keep count of. His eyes were closed and his face had a contented smile of one at peace in his work. This was the music I had heard as I was climbing the stairs before. I had assumed that it was a recording, but I was wrong. He was playing each instrument individually with a level of control that I’d never imagined. I’d never expected anything like this. This was beyond raw application of power – this was mastery of the craft.

The melody rose in tempo and the beat washed over me. I’d never heard the music before, but to be fair I had never been much of a fan of classical music. The violins were almost shrieking in counter balance to the careful tempo of the piano. Victor opened his eyes and watched me. I could see his eyes had taken on the stranger’s gaze as he looked at me.

“Without control, power is nothing,” he announced over a lull in the music.

The music rose into a crescendo surrounding us. I had to concentrate not to lose myself in the music and remind myself that this wasn’t a recording. This was live music being played by the man in front of me. I could only imagine what this must look like to those without the ability to see Mana.

I then followed through on the implications of this thought – each string on the five violins, the strings on the cello and keys on the piano and drums. Each was being individually controlled and played. Each acted in concert and order. This act alone was more impressive than anything I’d seen so far. Renee’s control over Mana, which had seemed flawless, paled into insignificancy at this single feat. Vin who had seemed so ferocious and powerful couldn’t have performed anything like this. If he could have, he would have simply swept me away in our battle and I would have been completely unable to do anything about it.

This was power without strength. This was raw control and it was difficult not to see the power it brought forth. Each thread was perfected, controlled and balanced. I watched as Victor skilfully wove the threads over the violins strings. It was a thing of mathematical beauty. How could someone keep track of this in their head? How was this possible?

He had more control over the Mana threads than most people have with their fingers. Looking at the threads dancing over the violin strings it was hard to imagine how many hours of practice this would have taken to master one instrument, let alone the nine that Victor was simultaneously playing. The music rose in tempo to a crescendo and it was hard not to get swept up by it. It was dark and vibrant and it had an ominous quality that seemed to hint at dark times to come. As the piece progressed I became certain that I had heard this music before, but I couldn’t place it. I hadn’t really listened to much classical music, but it was definitely familiar.

“This is amazing. What is it?” I asked as my curiosity finally overcame my anger.

“Beethoven,” Victor replied conversationally, not missing a beat. “Moonlight Sonata.” He tilted his head slightly to one side as the cello thundered into sound again behind us.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

I’m a big fan of Pratchett, but really anything science-fiction or fantasy based. Growing up I went through a massive Lord of the Rings phase and of course things like Dragonlance and forgotten realms.

What about television shows? Movies?

I’m a fan of easy laid back TV like Friends or Big Bang Theory, How I met your mother. Usual light hearted stuff. Although to the contrary I’m also a massive Walking Dead & Game of Thrones fan. So I guess you could say in summary ‘Yes, TV Good! Now Shhh! I’m watching!”

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

Dune. I read it when I was in my junior years in high school and it opened me to a whole new world (pun intended) of political, ecological & religious ideas.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?

I’ve just done a book launch for Mage Accession, but unless you’re in Australia you probably missed it :-) As much as I’d love to attend promo fairs and signings in states the commute is a bit long.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

Must resist urge to play Civilisation Five and write book.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Nothing new! Just hit me up on the facebook if you’d like to chat. Always up for chatting with fans or if you liked the books please leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon. It’s been amazing being contacted by people who want to talk about my books!


Also by Christopher George:

mage catalyst

Devon had always just assumed that he was normal, just like everyone else. It wasn’t until he met Renee that he realized that he was something different – something dangerous. He is a Mage.

Led into a world of corruption and temptation Devon soon learns that there is always a price for power.

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Fantasy Book Feature and Interview: Pseudo-Dragon by Cheryl Matthynssens @balanceguide


Disclosure: This website contains affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Fiction, Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery


pseudo dragon

See this book review from Kirkus Reviews!

Pseudo-Dragon is Book #4 in the Groundbreaking series THE BLUE DRAGON’S GEAS, which began with OUTCAST (Book #1).

When young Alador has mystical powers placed upon him, he sets off on an extraordinary quest to become a true pseudo-dragon, facing unspeakable danger from an ancient beast lurking in the shadows.

As part of his journey, Alador secretly helps the Daezun people without their knowledge and comes to rely on assistance from Rena, a young blue female dragon who is falling in love with him against her father’s wishes.

But when Alador travels to the city of Silverport to take his tier test and prove his abilities, he discovers that many council members are scheming against him in a struggle to maintain control over their land. Can he successfully navigate the delicate balance of politics and the machinations of his wicked uncle without setting off any unintended consequences?

Fortunately, Alador has several contacts operating under cloak and dagger, including Nemara, who is working secretly with Jon, the death mage, to help Alador rescue all the dragons held prisoner by the evil mages of Lerdenia. In Alador’s quest to end this senseless blood loss and claim his destiny, failure is not an option.

“A great tale of self discovery, dragons, and wizardry that is compelling because the world and the people feel real and are layered with complexity and depth. The author creates two really different human cultures and one distinct dragon culture then allows you to enjoy the main character’s adventure in all three.” R. Geist

Free with Kindle Unlimited!

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Also on Createspace


Excerpt:

Sordith nodded. He had discussed the beast only briefly with his brother. He was still concerned about the path that Henrick and this possessed stone had put Alador upon. “If we defeat him, it will be by Alador’s unifying of these very elements. Would you crown the reckless boy a king?” Sordith asked carefully.

“Who else would you suggest? It cannot be won without mage powers, or the Lerdenians will never kneel.” Henrick sighed wearily as if the weight of the world were upon him.

“What of you?” Sordith asked curiously. “You work so hard behind the scenes lining everything up when you could walk in and best Luthian now. You could seize the title of High Minister without a war, then you and Alador could unite the isle.”

Henrick opened his lips to say something then snapped them shut. He slowly closed his eyes again. Sordith could read on his face that the man had considered this, the waging emotions were not hidden. “I cannot assume the mantle of High Minister now or ever.” He opened his eyes; and when they met Sordith’s, they were determined. “It is not meant to be my place… my place will be elsewhere when all is revealed.”

“So you mean to see Alador as High Minister or as a King?” Sordith did not know if he wanted to be under his impetuous and highly temperamental half-brother.

Henrick put out one hand with his palm up. “He will rule as the first King of the Grand Isle. He will bring about a new age for the island as a whole.” Henrick prophesied. “Dark times come for the isle, and if it is not united before the tides of change flow then magic as we know it, dragons as we know them, all will cease to exist.” As if to emphasize his point, his hand snapped shut.

“I have not told Alador of what is to come. He flees at each level of responsibility. Alador still sees himself as that outcast small village boy. The mage in him does not see the power that he wields within his veins as a Guldalian and from the stone that he harvested. Until he can make decisions as a king, I will not reference this.”

“What if he never can, Henrick?” Sordith asked gently. “What if this task you speak of is beyond him?”

“Then the race of dragons will slowly die away, hunted out of fear, superstition, and for their treasures in blood, bone, and cave.” Henrick stated softly. “Magic will be lost to the world of men as we know it. A dark time will come upon the world, and when it ends, all… All I have ever known will be lost in the pages of time.”

Sordith sat for a long moment taking this in. He got up and moved to his liquor cabinet, rummaging through it. Finding what he sought, he poured them both a stiff drink. He moved back to Henrick handing it over solemnly. He toasted the mage then firmly stated. “Then we don’t just rebel against a tyrant.” He looked Henrick solemnly in the eyes. “We train a king.”


The Blue Dragon’s Geas Series by Cheryl Matthynssens On Youtube:


 


About the Author:

Cheryl Matt

I am Cheryl and go by Cheri. I am a.. never mind my age… older woman with grand-kids. However, my heart is forever young and I hope I never grow up. I was born in Upland, CA. I have four wonderful children and four beautiful grandchildren. I started adult life as a mother. I went back to school and got my teaching degree. Between teaching positions, I ended up working in a prison on the coast of Washington State. This led to gaining credentials and a license to be an addictions counselor. This unique combination has allowed me to interview hundreds of personalities over my career. I love the uniqueness of human beings and have worked hard to make sure I build this into my characters. I want each major character to have a form and manner that makes them unique from the rest.

I love the fantasy world because it taps into the creative mind. I have always been one who could visualize what I read and so fantasy became a colorful escape to lands of mystical beasts, fantastic quests and where the hero does really save the day. Since becoming a more mature reader and writer, I have found writing can be an avenue to learn and teach while still enjoying that creative mind-scape. I have worked in a world where the hero doesn’t always win and sometimes beloved characters fall and don’t get back up.

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Interview with Cheryl Matthynssens:

When did you start to have a love for books?
I have loved books as long as I can remember. Once I could read, I passed that love onto my brother as I would read to him as often as he would sit still for it.

What was your favorite book as a child? As a teenager?

My favorite book as a child was green eggs and ham. I even remember getting green eggs and ham for breakfast one day. It is a favored memory.

My favorite book as a teenager was Clan of the Cave Bear and it remains one of my favorites today. I loved the way the series built a believable prehistoric environment and the struggle for life. I loved the mysticism that was incorporated.

What was that turning point that changed you from a reader to a writer?

I have always loved role playing which in a way is a form of writing. You don’t get to edit and it is on the fly, but you are still creating a character with motives and desires. I had been told repeatedly that I was very good at it and should consider writing.

I didn’t share that I had been encouraged to write from an early age. My first play was performed in the 4th grade. In High School, I had private lessons arranged by my English teacher with a published author. However, when I graduated the fear of rejection settled in.

Having read of the option to self-publish, I decided to give it a chance. Much to my surprise, the first book of the series took off in the UK and later in the USA. I have been writing ever since.

Inspiration can often be found in the oddest people, places, and even situations. In the past, what has inspired you?

My biggest inspiration has been nature. I will stop or drive by an area and immediately imagine what could have happened there. Also, old buildings fascinate me. I always imagine what their stories could be. What happened in those walls that no one else knows.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?

My favorite book was actually a children’s book. It is called Not an Egg! When I wrote it, my daughter-in-law was pregnant with a second child. My grandson had made it very clear that if it was a girl that someone else was taking it and mommy would just have to try again for a baby brother. He gave that baby (if it was a girl) to four different people. I wrote that book for him. It is a good thing too for he has a baby sister.

What about your favorite character or characters? Which characters from your books do you think readers will really feel a connection to?

I have two favorites from my series. The first is Sordith, a rogue who has risen up to become the head of the criminal underworld of Silverport. I love his humor and his tenacious spirit.

The second is a death mage called Jon. Jon is a very straight faced, mono-toned character that seems without emotion or goal. We learn in this book that there are depths to this character that even our Hero is missing.

I think readers would connect most easily with Alador. He is not the perfect hero. In the beginning, he is immature and whines a lot. Life throws him a few curve balls that requires him to grow up quickly. You see that struggle in the character. He was bullied as a child and an outcast as a teen. He is thrust into adult life suddenly with no time to adjust. He makes huge mistakes.

I think that readers can identify with this. You leave high school which can be a cruel cold place for many of our youth, and you are thrust into the working world – if you are not lucky enough to go to college. You suddenly are responsible for bills, rent, maturity and so much more. Many readers can identify with the feeling of not being ready for it all.

So far, what has been your greatest moment in your writing career?

I would have to say the week that I got reviews that praised my work and they were people I did not know. Your friends and family are wonderful supports, but you always wonder if they are telling you what you want to here. When I started getting asked for a sequel from strangers was an exciting moment in my career.

What can readers expect from you next?

I plan to finish the series in the next book. Between now and then, I will be publishing a series of short stories that originally appear as live writes on my blog. I have a “challenge this writer” where readers can give me four elements and I have to create a fantasy story for them. I am struggling right now with one where there is a lost werewolf with a pine cone.

Nobody knows your books better than you! In your opinion, readers of what genres will enjoy your books the most?

On the surface, I would say epic fantasy narrowed down to sword and sorcery. However, readers looking for a quick hack and slash where the hero saves the day tend to not like my work. My work is character driven and the hero doesn’t always win the day. The best reviews come from readers who like that in depth character growth and view.

Now that we’ve talked about the books, let’s get to know you as the author! What are your favorite books now as an adult? Television shows? Movies?

Wow, I have so many that narrowing it down would be difficult. Right now I am really into the Sword of Truth series. I absolutely loved the Inheritance Series.

Television shows: I tend to lean towards shows like Criminal Minds and NCIS. I like the analysis parts of the show. In criminal minds, I love getting to know what drives the current killer. The writer in me has to know. The bad side of watching movies or tv for me is that I don’t miss foreshadowing. I am rarely surprised by turn of events. When that happens though, I absolutely love it.

Movies: I love Independence Day. It has my favorite actors. There are some lines I absolutely love. I also am a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan. I have been asked why, with this love, I do not write Sci-Fi. There are some intricacies to Sci-Fi fiction I am not comfortable with yet, note that I said yet.

If you could meet one author–from any time era–who would it be and what would you talk about?

Terry Goodkind and I would want to talk about building cultures. He is amazing at building character and cultures. This fascinates me. What codes a set of people live by, what drives them, their belief systems. He excels at this and I would want to harvest it all.

How would you describe your life in ten words or under?

Living life fully even in the face of advesity

What is your favorite place to visit?

I love Yellowstone Park. The variety of natural settings in such a small area fascinates me. I love the wildlife, the wild danger of moving around inside an active caldera, and the sheer beauty of it all.

What words do you live by?

It is what it is,
It was what it was,
It is not today!

Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

If you can fill in this blank, I have always wanted to: (___________), then go out and figure out how to do it. Life is to short to put off those deep seeded desires. There is something about that which is tied to your life’s purpose. Don’t discount it.