Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Soul Retrieval by Ann W. Jarvie (VBB, Excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by Ann W. Jarvie



Inspired by a true story, The Soul Retrieval is a suspenseful tale of love, loss and healing which follows traumatized southern beauty Henrietta Clayborn as she moves between her home in a small South Carolina town and the New Mexico Native American reservation whose spontaneous healings keep drawing her physician husband back. Tortured by her awful secrets, Henrietta struggles to thrive in either locale, but it is her unlikely friendship with Joe Loco––an eccentric Native American mystic with an Elvis fetish and a gift for healing––that shows her the way to be whole again.

Set in the late 1950s, The Soul Retrieval is richly woven with spiritual insights but also deadly secrets, forbidden healings, a murder mystery, stunning scenery and an unforgettable cast of characters.

A story of transcendent and inspiring power that is both entertaining and enlightening, readers will be cheering for the uptight woman from South Carolina to push through her fears of the forbidden as she searches for truth and healing, faces great obstacles on the frontier of self and ultimately becomes more than she ever thought possible.


After finishing the second nocturne, he looked up at her. “You know that I’ve been researching the high incidence of spontaneous healings here, right?” Jeff was both a lead physician and medical researcher at the Medichero Indian Hospital. He reached for a pack of cigarettes from the pocket of his short-sleeved white shirt.

“Uh-huh,” Henrietta said. She barely heard what he said. How am I going to get into it? How am I going to tell him? She had asked herself these questions at least a million times. She picked up a pen and notebook from the coffee table, trying to keep her hands busy.

Jeff smoked in silence a moment before continuing. “There’s more to it than even I imagined.”

“More to what?” she asked. She absently doodled on the page without looking up. How am I going to tell him?

Jeff blew smoke. “The spontaneous healings that I’m so interested in ... the medicine men here seem to be doing something real to affect the recoveries.”

Now he had her attention. “They are?” She looked at him. “Like what?”

Instead of answering, Jeff got up and turned toward the bay windows that cradled the piano in a small alcove off the living room of the doctor’s cottage. His silhouette against the bright morning light was a man-shaped eclipse, his muscled edges luminous and blurred by the smoldering tobacco. It gave him an unworldly appearance, and Henrietta was reminded about how often she felt like an outsider here, and even back home.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ann W. Jarvie has a B.A. in journalism and more than twenty-five years’ experience as an award-winning writer in advertising and public relations agencies, both in South Carolina and Chicago. She now lives near Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends part of her time as a freelance copywriter and the rest writing fiction.

The Soul Retrieval was inspired by Jarvie’s maternal grandmother’s fascinating life on Indian reservations, where she lived with her physician husband until his mysterious and untimely death.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Darker Than Desire by Shiloh Walker (review)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Darker Than Desire by Shiloh Walker is the exciting conclusion to the stark and compelling 'Secrets & Shadows' series which has centered around the evil that permeates the small town of Madison. The ongoing investigation into murders past and recent is complicated by the continued reticence of those who were severely damaged by the actions of those they should have been able to trust. The man who is at the heart of the initial investigation may have been irrevocably injured, but his belief that he is unable and unworthy of emotional ties is challenged as he continues to lose those few who have found a way past the walls he has erected to protect his damaged psyche.

The body count continues to rise and the eerie occurrences taking place ratchet up the tension in the town and provides fodder for both malicious gossips and those investigating the various crimes. The physical and emotional scars borne by all too many of those touched by the heinous Cronus web are coped with in a variety of ways and every attempt to move forward seems destined to be countered by something that drags the players backward. The passion and acceptance provided by the woman who accepts her lover's faults may not be enough to offset the damage he has sustained, particularly if the ongoing murders continue to cast suspicion on him, but he will have to learn that he is not the only one who will have a say in his future.

This definitely dark and erotic romantic suspense tale has been unfolding with unexpected twists throughout the entire series and this particular tale definitely provides even more shocking revelations as it progresses. I love the combination of pathos and heat that characterizes the interactions of the main couple and the fact that there is some closure finally achieved for some of those we have come to know over the course of the series. There are fascinating interactions between those who have had their lives disrupted by all of the events, hidden or not, that have shaped the town and its inhabitants. This is an excellent end to a mesmerizing and sometimes uncomfortable series that explores the permutations of evil, revenge, justice and healing. It would be better to read all of the books in the series to particularly appreciate the events described but one could probably still enjoy this as a gripping standalone story.

© Night Owl Reviews 

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review. 

Previous titles in the series:


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gideon by Cherry Adair (BBT, excerpt and GIVEAWAY)


by Cherry Adair



T-FLAC is back in an exciting action-adventure romance filled with danger, subterfuge and steamy, red-hot attraction.


Powerful cartel leader Sin Diaz lives a dangerous life filled with secrets and lies, and surrounded by people who claim to have known him all his life. Yet flashes of another life, totally unrelated to the jungles of Cosio, hang tantalizingly on the edges of his memory. He'll trust no one until he recalls his true past.


T-FLAC operative Riva Rimaldi's mission is simple. Go undercover, learn terrorist Escobar Maza's agenda, then kill him. But when the helicopter she's on crashes deep in the jungle of the small, volatile country of Cosio, she finds herself in the wrong hands. Is the sexy as hell leader of the ANSL, Sin Diaz, the enemy of her enemy, worse than Maza himself? Or is he someone entirely different than his reputation – and will he become her lover?


Sin and Riva must work together to stop a madman who will go to any lengths to attain his terrifying goal. But can they unravel the truth in time? The timer is ticking.

What they don’t know could get them killed.



T-FLAC operative Riva Rimaldi had a clear mental image of the chopper she was on: It was hurtling toward the ground, following a fiery explosion.

Five out of the six people on board would die. She was sorry she couldn't forewarn the two operatives accompanying her of their impending death. The warning would be useless and come too late. That was the bitch of her ability. When she received a vision, she knew precisely what would happen, but not precisely when. Even more of a bitch was that she while she could see the future, her ability to modify it was typically nonexistent. Riva had to let the nightmares that ran through her brain play out in real life.

She saw it as the pilot did. A bright, swiftly moving light headed up at them from the trees below.

“SAM.” Surface-to-air missile? Out here? In the middle of nowhere?

Curling into a ball around her duffel, one hand wrapped in the backpack’s straps, Riva braced for impact. She might as well kiss her ass good-bye. Despite what she'd seen, no one would survive the hit, and if she did, she’d wish she hadn't.

Between one heartbeat and the next, the missile slammed the tail with a loud, fiery explosion, spinning what was left of the chopper end over end. A blast furnace of heat engulfed her as she was thrown around the cabin like a rag doll. Everything gyrated like a kaleidoscope around her, as if she were separate from the event. In the split second when rational thought was possible, Riva knew she couldn't jump out. Even if she had a chute, which she didn't, she'd be sliced and diced like chopped salad by the swiftly spinning blades if she attempted it.

I’m screwed.

Primal fear set in and all she could do was scream as she, and what was left of the burning chopper, hurtled uncontrollably toward the trees.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

New York Times/USAToday Bestselling author Cherry Adair’s innovative action-adventure novels have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. With the creation of her kick butt counterterrorist group, T-FLAC, years before action adventure romances were popular, Cherry has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels. She hates first drafts, has a passion for mentoring unpublished writers, and is hard at work on a new T-FLAC trilogy. Cherry loves to hear from readers.

Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Tsu, or on her website



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The Truth About Lilly (VBB, Excerpt, Review and GIVEAWAY) GFT

The Truth About Lilly
by Christy McKee



Lilly Talbot never imagined she would be starting her life over again. Losing her good name for something she didn’t do has driven her to move into an old lake house she inherited in Vermont. Upon arrival, she is shocked. Half the roof is about to slide into Lake Champlain. Even more upsetting, the man who can fix it will only agree if she trades him room and board for his labor. What will the good people of Haley think of her sharing a house with the handsome bachelor?

A man with a past…
Connor “Mac” McQueen, once one of the infamous Whiz Kids of Wall Street, spent three years in prison for insider trading. Only one thing sustained him during his time inside, the thought of owning Point Cottage, a home he’d fallen in love with years ago. He plans to turn the house into a stunning showcase for his eco-friendly home construction business.

Secrets and lies…
Now someone’s trying to drive Lilly from her home. Is it someone from her past? Mac has secrets of his own-- that could ruin lives if revealed. But if Lilly and Mac are to have a future together they must first delve into the past for answers and accept some difficult truths about each other. Only then, will they know if true love is in their hearts.



Sweet Jesus. Someone was in her house. Lilly froze, thinking if she didn't move perhaps the intruder wouldn't notice her. Each breath she took came in a short, painful pant, struggling to squeeze past the ice cold fear lodged in her throat. Beneath her pink knit hat, her scalp tingled with rising panic. She scanned the wall of French doors opening onto the wide screened back porch overlooking the glistening lake. The closest exit to the backyard was through the porch door, a good twenty feet away. Her cell phone was behind her, in her tote on the floor next to the recliner. Should she bolt for her car or make a dive for her phone to call the police? She jammed her hand into her right pocket...no keys. Almost like a battle of good versus evil, fear and logic warred inside her.

This house was her last stand and nobody had the right to be here but her. She closed her eyes and sucked in a deep breath, drawing on her dwindling store of courage. Pulse pounding, she silently chanted, "Oh God, oh God," and forced herself to turn around to confront the intruder. A giant of a man, brandishing a baseball bat, stood in her kitchen, buck naked, squinting fiercely. Her gut reaction was to scream, so she did. "Get out of my house!"

She made a dash for her tote, frantically digging for her cell. "Stay right where you are, buster. I'm calling the police." Her heart thudded so loudly she doubted she would be able to hear them when they answered her call.

With an irritated look that clearly indicated he didn't consider the police a threat, the man tossed his bat onto the avocado green Formica island and picked up the red landline. His  cool blue eyes flashed. "Sheriff's a friend of mine."

He put the phone to his ear. "Morning, Lucas. It's Mac. I've got a lady out here at Point Cottage who seems to be lost." His gaze swept over her. "She needs a place to stay. Think they've got a spot open at the woman's shelter?"

What? Did this intruder think she was homeless? She straightened and pushed her shoulders back in a show of righteous indignation, but when she tried to fold her arms across her chest, her bulky sweaters, two UGA sweatshirts, a trench coat and a full length faux mink coat, made it impossible.

"See you soon." The man returned the phone to the center of the avocado green island. Lilly thought it looked like a pimento stuck in the center of a humongous green olive. To make sure this arrogant man wasn't trying to play her, she grabbed the phone and punched redial.

"Haley police department. May I help you?"

Relief washed through her. "Sorry wrong number." Lilly turned to confront the man in her kitchen. "Mac, is it? I'd be more comfortable if you waited outside, until your friend the sheriff arrives."

One dark, arrogantly arched brow clearly indicated he wasn't going anywhere. "You're dressed for it more than I am." He gave her the once over. "Why don't you wait outside?"

Like she would leave this guy alone in her house. That’s not happening. Lilly stalked to the front door. As she stuffed her feet into her mud caked Nikes she'd left by the door last night, she glanced sideways at the man and realized he only looked naked. Standing behind the kitchen island, the lower part of his body had been obscured. Now she could see he wore snug fitting blue jeans, impudently unbuttoned at the top. Relief pulsed through her. Half clothed was just like a glass half full.

She noticed a man's leather jacket on the hall tree, grabbed it and tossed it to him. "After you." She waited for the hulk to precede her out the door.

He gave her a huff of disdain as he pulled on a pair of work boots and shrugged into the worn bomber jacket. Lilly followed close behind him onto the wide front porch.

She went down the steps and groaned when she saw her ancient station wagon resting in a sea of mud. Last night's storm made it almost impossible to see anything. She'd missed the driveway altogether and also succeeded in mutilating a row of shrubs planted alongside the house.

Mac frowned at the damage and shook his head in disgust, which set her off. "Don't know what you're so bent out of shape about. They're my damned bushes not yours."

"Excuse me?" He glared down at her, a generous swath of his naked chest and powerful middle exposed beneath his unzipped jacket.

She opened her mouth to let him have it with both barrels only to be drowned out by the toot tooting of an insistent car horn. The blaring nuisance came from a candy apple red VW bug bouncing along the rutted circular drive in front of the house. Mac grinned as the car door opened, revealing an elderly elf wearing a blazing purple beret.

"Oh, isn't this nice," the blue haired lady chirped as she emerged from the red bug. "You two have met." 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Christy McKee began her career in TV news and eventually found her way into advertising and finally fiction. She believes a good story should be about characters who win your heart, sometimes move you to tears and occasionally make you laugh. As a reader, Christy hopes you'll be swept into her characters' lives enjoy getting to know them, experience the challenges they endure and be with them when they come out on the other side.



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4.25 out of 5 stars

The Truth About Lilly by Christy McKee is the first novel in "The Shores of Lake Champlain" series. The story follows Lilly Talbot as she tries to rebuild her life after a series of blows.  Her relocation to the town of Haley, Vermont is a culture shock to her Southern sensibilities, but even more shocking is the man she finds in the home that she is moving into.  Connor 'Mac' MacQueen has his own agenda and, just like Lilly, a painful history to overcome.  They each must find a way to get past family issues and go on, the question is whether it will be alone or together.

This fun and exciting contemporary romance has elements of suspense to add to the excellent storyline that explores the parameters and repercussions of guilt and forgiveness.  I love the gradual exposition of details and the way the main characters slowly grow into a relationship.  The unexpected roommate scenario is a commonly used device but it was so much fun to watch the sparks fly as the apparently diametrically opposed personalities interact, and the north vs. south divide is bridged through food, family, and manners.   

The emotional wounds that each character has suffered gives texture to their respective personalities and the deft depiction of their family ties and interactions provide a great contrast to the sensual and sizzling connection that evolves between Lilly and Mac.  There are intriguing twists that give glimpses of some of the secondary characters who I suspect will have their own time in the spotlight, and although some seem a little farfetched, they do provide an interesting storyline.  

 I like the way humor, passion, small-town life, and mystery are combined in this story and I look forward to getting to know more about some of the yummy secondary characters as the series continues.  Be forewarned, one may develop a craving for fried chicken or something else to eat while reading this story because the author does such a great job of creating a vivid word portrait that one can almost smell the meals being served!

A copy of this title was provided in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Contests and whatnot

I am so far behind, that I haven't had the chance to wander around all of the fun contests that I usually haunt...but there are a few that I make it a point of keeping up with...

The Romance Reviews Anniversary Party continues until the end of the month.  I love playing the hangman game in particular!

Lisa Renee Jones always has contests at her blog at this link

and she runs others such as this one for a signed special edition at this link

The I Smell Sheep blog always has fun reviews and great giveaways (and I love the way their newsletters tempt you to click on the feature with 'what the flock'...) and they're having a big March giveaway.

Reviews by Crystal frequently has fun giveaways to go with the great reviews

Those of you who use other forms of social media (FB/Pinterest/Twitter) can enter for a steampunk book in a great series by Bec McMaster at the Coffee Time Romance Steampunk area!  While you're there, wander around, there are lots of great features.  I had been locked out of there for a while, but it seems that my computer is finally letting me back in without dire warnings, lol.

There are lots more contests out there...feel free to share others in the comments!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Drama Queens and Adult Themes (Review tour, GFT)

by Kevin Klehr



Adam’s about to discover how much drama a mid-life crisis can be. He’s obsessed with Mannix, the nude model in his art class. But Adam has been married to Wade for nearly two decades, and they don’t have an open relationship.

Little do they know that Fabien, a warlock from the Afterlife, has secretly cast a spell of lust on Adam and his potential toy-boy.

As things begin to heat up, Adam’s guardian angel, Guy, steps in. But what’s the best way to save the relationship? Should Guy subdue Adam’s wandering passions or instigate a steamy threesome?



"So, Joshua, you think we're making too much of a big deal about this?" I asked.

He rubbed the tip of his sculptured jawline as Guy casually leaned toward him.

"Adam, darling, there are men who put themselves through hell and back trying to do the right thing. They won't act until they work out all the final consequences. And let's face it, as much pontificating as humanly possible is not ever going to let you know the final outcome, really! And there are men who are a lot more spirited and take life as a challenge. Go forth and take the risk and see where it leads you."

"Joshua, Adam understands that," Guy said. "But there's Wade to consider. What if their marriage falls apart?"

"Darling, seriously. From what you've told me, they're not going to fall apart. It's all just a bit of fun. Mannix is a new appliance, like a fridge or a vibrator. Something that has a use. And think, Adam. Think of the uses you can come up with, with your new appliance."

"Joshua, this is no laughing matter. I asked you here for a second opinion. Let's face it, you've had more sordid relationships than a priest, so I thought you could shed some light on this."

"I thought I was."

"Well, I don't see your point."

I watched these two argue. It reminded me of the early days when Wade and I were first sussing each other out. We'd see what we could say or do to test each other's boundaries. Boundaries we both knew we would eventually push. In time, these angels would get to know each other better, though at this stage I wasn't quite sure I was getting Joshua.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 Kevin lives with his long-term partner in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his social circumstances changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, snuck the notebook out to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his novel. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again. The result was Drama Queens with Love Scenes, the first in a series of Afterlife tales.

Kevin is looking forward to thumping the keys on his laptop and churning out stories until it’s time for him to gain firsthand experience of the hereafter.




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My review

3.5 out of 5 stars

Drama Queens and Adult Themes by Kevin Klehr is the sequel to Drama Queens with Love Scenes and has many of the same characters in one incarnation or another.  This whimsical m/m story is a multi-layered fantasy tale that also has a play within a play structure that involves a pair of lovers, Wade and Adam, who have finally settled into a committed relationship which threatens to unravel due to their attraction to a younger man, Mannix.  Unfortunately, a trio including a pair of warlocks named Ipan and Fabien, and a witch named Farah are monitoring (and interfering with) the lives of these men, so it's a good thing an angel named Guy is looking out for them, but it may be difficult to balance fate and manipulation and find a happy medium for all players concerned.

This thought-provoking tale is integrally related to the first book and is definitely unlike the majority of m/m books that I have read.  My best analogy would be the sensation of funhouse mirrors where art imitates life imitates art, since the plays and the action bounce back and forth and the characters shift from the roles they are playing to being the center of the action.  One thing that reflects this can be seen in the quote, "Suddenly, I'm this empty canvas with someone else writing my story. ...The script is half-written.  What happens now depends on how you react to the main scenes."  There are lovely vivid images evoked in the story (e.g. "The endless field we stood on was flourishing with daisies, yet they looked ill in color.  A doctor would have ordered them to lie down and rest.") but be forewarned, a very large diagram may be required to approximate the intricate relationships and it may be unreadable by the time all of the connections are included.  I suggest that this story would be best appreciated if the previous one has been read, and that one be a fan of existentialism and fantasy.

A copy of this title was provided to me for an honest review

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fire Above by C.H. MacLean (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Fire Above
by C. H. MacLean



I love her so much, I'd risk anything.

She and I don't have names. We're just slaves, after all. But our hearts don't care, and we're lucky, we have a chance at a scrap of happiness in our terrible lives. My father is the Queen's pet.

But when my love discovers the lords' newest atrocity, she lashes out, does the unthinkable, and attacks one of them. Her courage is heroic, but now they have stuffed her in prison, getting ready to slaughter her.

With nothing to lose, I dare to dream of a life far from the lords. I fight for our freedom, and escape to the woods with my love. We can do no less than free all of our people in the effort.

Our flight through the woods is only the start of our journey. The lords’ flaming attacks, their deception, the loss of so many of my people—I don't know if I will survive, or if I even want to. But for my love, I will do almost anything, even battle the fire above.



My father opened the small door and his eyes lit up for a brief second. He must be alone. We were still in the hall, though, so I said, “I live to serve.”

“I live to serve,” he said, moving aside and ushering me in.

His office always looked the same. Fireballs hovering in the corners cast flickering but bright light around the small room. Baskets of tally sticks lined the room in an order only he understood, stacks of the thin sheets of metal the lords used to hold language on the one table in the room. No chair or decoration. Looking like a storage closet, this room saw most of the information about the empire.

Inside, my father relaxed a hair. He gave me a half-smile and put one hand on my shoulder. “Where were you?” he said in low tones. “They need a runner to go to the far southeast village.”

“The lords wanted to collect a package from oldest brother's house,” I said. “They Called his youngest.”

“Already?” he said, his eyes falling. All three of my grandsons, I heard him think. I thought I had more time. He thought about telling me something else, something serious. Once again I considered telling him I could hear his thoughts, so he might as well just talk to me. Once again, I rejected the idea. My ability was close to magic, and everyone knew only lords could use magic. I loved my father, but didn't know how he would react.

Amazon link


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You'll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.'s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She's just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren't respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.'s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn't leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I'm not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.'s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it's not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or...” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five pets, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.




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Friday, March 20, 2015

Tears for a World by Alexander Fernandez (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

It is my pleasure to host a guest post by author Alexander Fernandez...I am delighted to have a fellow Californian visit and offer my thanks to him and his family for their service and sacrifice!

Q:  What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre(s) you like to write in?

AF:   Greetings, thank you so much for having me! My novel Tears for a World has a fantasy setting, so that is the genre I usually prefer although I have dabbled in others. This question is interesting because I know people who loathe fantasy books, and others who are very loyal to the genre and that is all they read.

For many people, the power of books allows readers to be transported into other worlds. Stories provide a much needed escape from reality so we can relax, have fun, and be entertained by our favorite characters in amazing places. I believe fantasy fans are attracted to the genre because it gives them a break from modern life. These stories take place in new, unknown worlds with creatures and other abnormal things that are usually not found in books with modern settings.

Also, a lot of people love reading novels, comic books, or seeing shows and movies about characters with special powers. There’s a certain attraction about being able to wield magic, have super strength, or other amazing abilities left to the imagination. That’s what fantasy is about. It allows fans of the genre to enjoy the experience of those abilities while cheering on their favorite character, or even a villain.

As for me, when I read a story I prefer learning about people and places away from contemporary settings. I enjoy meeting strange beings and beasts, visiting odd worlds, and witnessing cool powers during a protagonist’s struggle. These types of stories provide a break from the mundane, which is why I love to write about things of this nature. I do, however, also enjoy modern stories with magical elements, supernatural, or other unusual happenings involved.

I remember growing up and being “forced” to read fantasy stories in school, such as A Wrinkle in Time
and others. These books captivated me, and that’s how I ended up becoming a fan. Of course we read other genres in school, but the fantasy stories are what affected me the most. Disney movies as a child are what also brought me into the enthralling world of make believe. These stories all had fantasy elements, so when I wasn’t reading about them, I was watching and becoming an even greater enthusiast of the genre.



Tears for a World

by Alexander Fernandez



The holy artifact bonded around Marisylia Malludar's neck gives her incredible physical and magical powers—at a price. The bloody piece of vein is consuming Marisylia's body inch by inch, her skeletal hands and feet only the beginning of a slow death. A cruel sorceress and her assassins are on the hunt for Marisylia to steal the artifact. Religious fanatics, volatile and unstable in their blind faith, also seek her to exploit the vein’s most dangerous purpose—liberating the erratic Creator of the World, Lysielle, from her 1,000 year incarceration.

With the vein the key to Lysielle’s freedom, Marisylia must use her abilities to survive long enough to find Lysielle first. Then her most grim challenge awaits—deciding if the Creator has truly repented for attempting to destroy all life. To achieve global peace, Marisylia must discover faith in the unpredictable Lysielle or rely on her own instincts to set the world’s fate.



In a secret chamber deep in the bowels of her fortress, Synicia paced the length of the stone room, the vein dangling in her fingers. For the past hour she had been trying to think of a new experiment to obtain its power. Floating overhead, a conjured sphere of light painted her moving shadow on the cracked, dusty wall. Her high-heels clicked on the flat rock tile, the long dress rustled with every pass around the area.
Holding the vein aloft and using various incantations had produced nothing. She then tried to pierce it to release some of the blood for a potion, but that method only resulted in broken knives. Trying to tear the vein with magic proved futile as well. The shard of earth had ripped the thing from Anessil’s body, but the weapon turned to dust the instant Synicia removed the vein from its tip.

What could she try next? She had to have this power. Fantasies of increasing her status and conquering more lands swam in her head. Synicia had no idea who Anessil was, nor did she care; she only desired the woman’s level of skill and strength. But the stupid vein taunted her. It laughed at her misfortune. It teased of unimaginable might she would never have.

Synicia cried out in rage and threw the vein against the wall. It hit with the sound of a wet plop and lay on the floor. Throwing herself on the ground, she scooped up the vein and shoved it into her mouth. Fighting off nausea and dry heaves, she swallowed the thing and sat still, waiting for something miraculous to occur.



AUTHOR Bio and Links

Alexander Fernandez was born in Santa Monica, CA and grew up in Rancho Cucamonga. Currently serving over 20 years in the United States Air Force, he lives with his wife Helem in Rocklin, CA.
Alex has been writing fantasy stories since early childhood for both school and for pleasure. He hopes to make a lasting emotional impact in his readers. He thrives in the exhilaration of creating memorable characters and adventures that become a part of the reader’s life.

Author site





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