Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur





I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.





A modern day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds! This is a must-read for Middle Graders keen on action, adventure, and Arthurian stories! 

Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. 

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. 

Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. 

As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped. 

Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur's time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists. For coloring-in enthusiasts, ten original black and white illustrations including 2 maps make for more enjoyment!





Snippet:

“He gallops through the village with his head tucked under one arm, striking terror into the hearts of his murderers, his betrayers.” Sheldon rolled his r’s ferociously as he warmed to the telling of what was obviously his favorite ghost story. His voice sank to a hoarse whisper.
As he spoke, thunder grumbled in the distance. Adam looked up, startled, as the lights flickered once or twice. Kim gulped, glancing around nervously. A pool of brightness from the kitchen spilled out into the shadowed hall where darkness lurked beyond. Adam shivered and hoped someone would think to turn on a few lights when they went upstairs to bed. Jasper grunted in his sleep and shifted under the table. Adam leaned down to stroke the dog’s head. He glanced at Kim, who was clutching Smudge in her arms, gazing wide-eyed at Sheldon. Justin appeared to be unconcerned, but his clenched knuckles betrayed his uneasiness.

By the time the story of the Headless Horseman had ended, Adam’s mind was filled with images of screaming victims fleeing for their lives. He could see rivers of blood, and he could hear the hooves of the Horseman’s spectral black horse clattering on the cobblestones, along with crazed laughter as the Horseman swung his ghostly sword in the air.




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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Mrs. Murray's Ghost: A Piccadilly Street Story Book 1




Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. 

Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. 

Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever.











Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca


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Snippet:

An aura of reds, golds, yellows and whites flashed outward, sparkling and sizzling as it gobbled up shrubs and dry grass. In the center was Mary, curled into a ball, one hand reaching outward. The Brownie gasped in shock at what he saw. The fever had obviously taken over Mary’s body. Was it too late? He hoped not. There was no time to lose. He was in the girl’s dream world. Or, more likely, her nightmare. And he had to work fast to save her life and take her back to the real world, to her real home.

Seeing Brunny, Mary let out a pitiful wail. “Brunny. Help me! Help me!” She unwound her body, half sitting on the bed of smouldering leaves and twigs, smoke streaming from her ears, nose and mouth. “What are you doing here? Where are we? It’s so hot.”

“We’re in your dream world,” Brùnaidh said as he hesitantly took a couple more steps forward. He could feel the scorch of the heat on his skin, making the hairs on his head and arms spark as if surged with static electricity. 

“You’re the same size as me,” Mary noted. “How come? I don’t understand.”

“In your world, you are very sick,” Brùnaidh tried to explain. “You’re burning with fever. I’ve come into your dream to give you some medicine to make you better.” He reached into his pocket to retrieve a small vial. Uncorking it carefully, he bravely took the remaining steps to bring himself to within arm’s reach of the girl. “Here, take this.”

Mary cringed and inched backward. “It looks disgusting. It even stinks! I can’t take that.” She held one hand in front of her face and waved him away with the other.

Brùnaidh was not surprised by the girl’s reaction. It really did look disgusting. Considering the root crops that had been added to the berry concoction, it was not at all appealing in looks or smell. The contents were quite old, too, well aged and potent, as the king would say. “Here. If you take it quickly, it’ll be down your throat in no time and you won’t even taste or smell a thing. It’ll make you feel better and then we can both leave this nightmare.”

Mary shook her head vehemently. “No way!” She continued to slide back, becoming more engulfed in the roaring flames.

“Mary, you must.” Brùnaidh was starting to get antsy. If Mary didn’t take the medicine, she could very well die and then he’d be dead in the real world but stuck in this nightmare of a place forever.

“No!”

Before either could react, the vial was snatched from Brùnaidh’s hands.







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Monday, 15 October 2018

Emma's Dilemma





Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.



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Horrors! Emma's favorite Gothic novel seems to have come true...but reality is not as fun as fiction. The only man she's ever loved is home from war, but he has changed in a terrifying way. Unless Emma's wild imagination is wrong, the love of her life is a vampire! Now she must decide if she can love a creature of darkness, or reveal his secret and lose him forever.
This tongue-in-check novella plays with themes of paranormal fiction, but stays in the realm of clean and wholesome historical romance while exploring the power of trust and love.
Dance with a duke, outwit pirates, save a kingdom, and fall in love. Believe in happily ever after.



Praise for Donna Hatch:
“Donna Hatch is one of the masters of clean romance with electric tension and smokin’ hot kisses.” ~ Reading is My Super Power Reviews

“Written with heart and depth, Donna Hatch’s books are absolute must-reads for any fan of swoon-worthy historical romance.”  ~ Sarah M. Eden, USA Today best-selling historical romance author





Snippet:

He took a seat next to her on the settee and looked at her as if she were the only person in the room. “How is your ankle?”
Bennett’s nearness emptied her mind of all coherent thought. “My ankle?” she repeated.
He gestured to her feet resting on a footstool. “The one you twisted last night?”
“Oh, that ankle.” She let out a weak laugh. “Still sore, I’m afraid.”
He nodded. “I’d planned to invite you to go riding with me, but it looks as though we’ll need to wait until your ankle heals.”
“Riding?”
In the daytime? How much sunlight could he take? Even with his darkened glasses, surely not much. Just how powerful was he? Or perhaps the belief that sunlight burned a vampire’s skin was false.
His dark gaze penetrated her eyes straight into her soul. “You wouldn’t mind being seen with me, would you?”
“Seen with you?”
He smiled. “Any particular reason why you’re repeating everything I ask you?”
“Ah…” No, no particular reason, except she was so confused. She loved and trusted the old Bennett. And she loved this new dark Bennett. But could she give him her trust?
She drew a breath and took herself in hand. “Forgive me. My injured ankle appears to have had some effect on my wit. No, of course I don’t mind being seen with you. I would love to go riding with you when I’m able.” Perhaps if she went riding with him, she could decide what must be done.
Bennett listened, watching her intently, as if he would rather do nothing else. She’d always loved that about him.
“We could ride by carriage instead of horseback,” he said. “I have a new team I’d like to show you. I assume you’re still horse-mad?”
She smiled and tossed her head saucily. “I am, and my father still refuses to take me to Tattersalls.”
He frowned. “Certainly not. No place for a lady.”
“He allows me to go with him from time to time when he attends auctions in Ireland.”
 “I suppose that can be overlooked, even by a sophisticated gentleman as I.” A self-deprecating smile touched his mouth.
“How fortunate for me,” she said dryly.
They shared a smile, and for a moment, all thoughts of his being a vampire evaporated in his sheer masculine presence. Her heart thudded erratically, and she couldn’t drag her gaze off his mouth. They had never kissed—not even when she’d pledged herself to him. What would it be like to kiss Bennett? Would he be smooth as silk? Forceful, even rough? Or would he be infinitely gentle?






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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Raven's Eye




Ever since magic caused his mother's death, Ha-Neul, crown prince of Balhae, hates witches and the magic they wield. He has instituted harsh laws against all magic users.

Lisa is a young witch working undercover as a servant in his palace, hoping to gain freedom for her people. The last thing the two expect is to fall in love. But when Ha-Neul learns that Lisa is not only a witch, but the daughter of the Prince of Vires, land of witches, he banishes her. Distracted by heartbreak, he is caught off-guard by a military coup.

In hiding and on the run, Ha-Neul swallows his pride and travels with his siblings to Vires, planning to beg Lisa's aid, only to learn that she has mysteriously vanished.

Now his only hope in reclaiming his kingdom and reuniting with Lisa lies in the remote Northern Mountains, a country no one has ever penetrated and rumored home of a powerful magic source. There, Ha-Neul learns that a being powerful beyond comprehension has been carefully guiding his destiny. But if Ha-Neul can't let go of his hatred of all things magic, and accept the new path offered to him, it will mean the destruction of his entire world.






Adam Gowans is the youngest of five Air Force brats, out of which his siblings have voted him the weirdest. He loves anything that deals with stories, including movies, novels, television dramas, music, video games, manga/manhwa, and webtoons.

In his mid-twenties, he lived and taught English in South Korea for four years before returning to the States to live, like many LDS authors, in Utah.

His first novel is On Angelic Wings, which has a planned sequel, but the sequel will be released after two other novels that are calling for his attention.


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Excerpt 2:

After they ate a filling breakfast, they ordered a picnic from the café and walked to a large park. There, they played on the playground like the children. Eventually they were playing with the children as well. He usually played the monster or bad guy since he was the scary-looking one of the two, but sometimes Lisa would join him in chasing the children when they least expected it. When they or the children got tired, they left the playground to sit on a bench and share a water bottle from their picnic basket.
They ate lunch a little after one. Both were flushed and tired from playing so much. They laid out the blanket that came with the basket and began eating cold-cut sandwiches, fruit, salad, and brownies. At one point, Lisa pulled out her cell phone and held it up to take his picture.
“What’re you doing?” He smiled.
“Capturing a memory,” she said and took the picture.
He laughed. “Why capturing?”
She smiled, but something in her smile caused him to become concerned. She seemed to notice and unexpectedly sat in his lap, her legs on either side of his so her knees brushed his hips. Her hands went to his shoulders, near his neck, and she stared into his eyes. His heart raced, and he felt his insides shift with the want of having her so close and to pull her closer still. Involuntarily, his breath drew in a little more ragged, and he had to fight down his excitement.
“Capture,” she said with quiet sincerity, “so these memories never fade, so we can always find them.”
His eyes went to her lips as his hands slid to her hips and tugged her closer. She leaned in as a hint of a smile played at her lips, then she kissed his forehead, causing his hands to clutch her tighter as he let out a sigh of pleasure. She looked down into his eyes and smiled when she saw the effect she had on him.

“You see?” she whispered. “I’ve already captured you.”





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Friday, 10 August 2018

The Immundus





Would you sacrifice your humanity to save mankind?

IT’S THE YEAR 2828, and Domus is the last remaining country. Divided into twelve walled cities known as genuses, Domus spans what’s known as the purist lands—lands unaffected by the genetic modifications that killed all other species of mammals. But outside the walls of each genus the Immundus threaten the welfare of those within. From a young age, all citizens of Domus are trained for combat against these intruders.


At sixteen, Nia Luna knows little of the Immundus, except for the citywide alarms that ring any time an Immundus nears the genus walls. What she does know is that her own species is dying—their numbers dwindling as a mysterious disease called allagine kills many before their eleventh birthday. The same disease that ravaged her family when it took her sister.

When Nia is recruited into Genesis, a research company pioneering the path to a cure, she knows that her dream to find a cure for allagine is finally within her grasp. But within weeks of starting at Genesis, Nia witnesses something she shouldn’t have—something that changes everything. As she sets down a dangerous path that uncovers national secrets, Nia will have to decide not only what kind of person she wants to be but also how far she’s willing to go to save humanity.

In addition to the Amazing Give away below Author Christina Enquist is offering another chance to win $50!!! 
Find the flyer with all detail, terms and conditions, below the Giveaway!



I grew up in Salinas, California, the same hometown of John Steinbeck, one of America’s greatest writers. I loved to read (and still do) and frequented the John Steinbeck Library as a child. I discovered at an early age that I also enjoyed writing. In sixth grade, my teacher, Mr. Graham gave the class an assignment to write a story for a contest. The contest required that we create our book binding as well, which we did with cardboard, glue, and wallpaper. My book was called “Mully Mully” about a creature who lived in an underwater lake city. I was sad when I didn’t win, but I cherished my book so I kept it all these years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to put other stories, roaming around in my mind, down on paper again, or actually, in my case, into a computer.
I took a non-traditional route to writing, considering I have a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Aside from writing, I work full-time as a Training & Development Coordinator at Kaweah Delta, a  teaching hospital, and some semesters I also teach at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, where I currently live. When I’m not at my full-time and part-time job, I enjoy writing, reading, watching TV, and spending time with my husband and pets (cat-Smokey, dog-Princess).
The Immundus is my debut novel.




Character Casting
Nia Luna - Jasmine Villegas
Eric Marcello- Leo Howard
Derek - Cameron Monaghan
Nia's father - Demian Bichir
Mr. Marcello (Eric's dad) - Bradley Cooper
Mrs. Marcello (Eric's stepmom) - Jennifer Connely
Dr. Matus - Selma Hayek

Snippet 3

The moment I get in my car, I direct Jules to Eric’s house, then thrust my head down between my legs and scream. I release every sound that was beating to come out—every terror, every devastation, and every shock.
He nearly made me kill someone. He nearly shot me. And then he killed that child anyway.
I step out of the car onto the sidewalk in front of Eric’s house. The world teeters and my head feels lopsided. Breath is hard to find. After what seemed like hours, I made it to the door, where Eric’s affable mother answers. She looks at me with concern, holding my shoulder as she leads me to a seat. The home smells of orange marmalade. She offers me orange juice, which I can’t resist.
“I just squeezed it, so it’s fresh.”
“Fresh-squeezed orange juice? Count me in,” Eric chimes, galloping down the stairs.
“Sorry I’m late. I ended up waiting for Jules to pick me up.”
“I’m just glad you’re here. Is everything all right?” Eric says, folding my hands into his. His wry smile affirms his appreciation of my presence, but his eyes paint over like Mrs. Marcello’s. In my periphery I see the beam of Mrs. Marcello’s smile. Eric may be her stepchild but I can tell she loves him and wants him to be happy.
“There’s something I want to talk to you about.” My eyes glide over to Mrs. Marcello’s presence. “Can we talk somewhere, please?”
“I know just the place.” He helps me up. I must look as bad as I feel.
“Mom, we’ll be in the atrium.”
“Okay, dear.”
Releasing one of my hands, he guides me to his home’s atrium. “Your atrium is so beautiful,” I say. All houses have atriums at the center, with hallways that lead out to various areas of the house. The entrances to the atriums have transparent shields that enable the home to maintain the optimum environment for the plants and vegetation to grow. The home knows to retract the shields upon our approach. The halls leading to the atrium remind me of spokes on a bicycle. Some houses have more hallways than others, depending on the size of the family—Eric’s house has five.
I admire the arrangement of flowers and plants around the outer edge and the Roman fountain in the center of the atrium. There are four benches, with green cushions that melt into the landscape, positioned north, south, east, and west, along the rim of the garden. We sit on the northern seat, farthest away from the hallway entrance that leads to the front room and closer to the hall that leads to the backyard. “Our atrium is just dirt right now.”
“That happens when you don’t plant anything.” He chuckles. His
chuckles always come from his stomach, deep and melodic.
“True.” The water is soothing as it cascades from the fountain lulling me into contentment. I can sit here for hours listening to the symphony of drops drowning out my thoughts.
“So what is it that you want to talk to me about?”






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