Peradventure Standalone Release

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I’m excited to announce that Peradventure, which first appeared in the Legends and Lore anthology, is now available as a standalone novelette on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions. Check out the synopsis below and get this updated edition of my story featuring my own cover artwork.

Mischief and chaos follow the jinni, Samson, wherever he goes. When he falls in love with a human woman, he turns her world upside down. The princes of Sorek want to bind Samson’s magic, and Delilah becomes tangled in a plot to stop him from destroying a city teaming with corruption.

Kindle Edition: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C7JHB76
Amazon Createspace Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/198762260X

To all my friends and readers: you rock! Be bright, stay out of mischief…and keep writing!

Review: Sands by Kevin L. Nielsen

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Kevin Nielsen is a friend of mine from LTUE and the Utah writing community. He recently put out a novel, the first in a YA series through a local small press based in Provo called Future House Publishing, and I’ve been eager to pick it up. I loved this book, and I’m very excited to talk about it on the blog today.

In Sands, a young girl named Lhaurel has a stubborn, independent nature that often gets her into trouble when her free spirit clashes with her clan’s strict gender-role traditions. They live in a harsh, sandy desert landscape ruled by chauvinism and volatile inter-clan conflicts. When she commits a desperate act of rebellion–taking up a sword, as a woman, to save her friend’s life–her clan leaves her behind as food fodder for giant sand serpents called “genesauri” (which may or may not have been bioengineered to thwart an enemy of war in the not-so-distant past). An egalitarian clan of mystics has been watching her for many years and rescues her from this terrible fate to train in swordsmanship and break into her own powers. As things progress, it becomes clear that something, or someone, has triggered an early migration of genesauri and may be drawing them toward a barrier of magnetic rock surrounding an oasis that normally repulses them–toward the clans gathering there for refuge. And Lhaurel’s abilities make her something far more powerful and dangerous than what any of the other mystics first anticipated.

Nielsen has created an intriguing magical post-apocalyptic universe through the eyes of a strong female character, beautiful descriptions, well-placed action, and wholesome storytelling. Sands is a delightful adventure. The audiobook narrator, Tanya Eby, was a perfect fit for voicing the characters in this book and wonderful to listen to. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the audio narration, and I highly recommend it!

You can check out Sands here at Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Teens/Sands-Audiobook/B01B8JLXRK

Or here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012CB4S66

Or here at Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sands-kevin-l-nielsen/1122630603.

His second book, Storms, is also available here: http://www.amazon.com/Storms-Sharani-Book-Kevin-Nielsen-ebook/dp/B019X32RZU.

Cover Reveal: The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale by Danielle E. Shipley

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Danielle E. Shipley and I are both in a couple of Xchyler anthologies together, and I’m excited to take part in the cover reveal for her independent novel The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale coming out in July. Check out the book’s details below, along with the Author’s thoughts on her cover and an excerpt from the story.

Novel Summary

Welcome to Avalon, a Renaissance Faire where heroes of legend never die. Where the Robin Hood walking the streets is truly the noble outlaw himself. Where the knightly and wizardly players of King Arthur’s court are in fact who they profess to be. Where the sense of enchantment in the air is not mere feeling, but the Fey magic of a paradise hidden in plain sight.

Enter Allyn-a-Dale. The grief of his father’s death still fresh and the doom of his own world looming, swirling realities leave the young minstrel marooned in an immortal Sherwood Forest, where he is recruited as a member of Robin Hood’s infamous outlaw band. But Allyn’s new life may reach its end before it’s scarcely begun. Their existence under threat, the Merry Men are called upon to embark on a journey to the dangerous world Outside – ours – on a quest which must be achieved without delay, or eternity in Avalon will not amount to very long at all.

About the Author

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Danielle E. Shipley is the author of the Wilderhark Tales novellas, the novel Inspired, and several other expressions of wishful thinking. She has spent most of her life in the Chicago area and increasing amounts of time in Germany. She hopes to ultimately retire to a private immortal forest. But first, there are stories to make.

The Author’s Thoughts on the Cover

The Outlaws of Avalon trilogy is my baby, so I knew its faces had to blow me away. For Book One’s cover, there were a couple elements I for sure wanted to highlight: 1, the forest (because SHERWOOD), and 2, the lute (because Allyn-a-Dale). The rest, I mostly left up to my designers – photographer Lars van de Goor, and his son Milan.

A couple drafts later, this was the gorgeous result. The elegant swirls! The delightful rosette on the spine! Of all the darling touches – a ROBIN perched over “Ballad”s second A! And, of course, the must-have lute sitting sedately amongst the trees.

The minstrel blue, the greenwood green, the magical splash of sunlight… This cover doesn’t just say “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”: It sings it.

Excerpt

Allyn would have known Will Scarlet for a relation of Robin Hood’s even had he not been introduced as his cousin. Though clean-shaven, younger, and framed by thick locks of gold tinged with the color of his name, Will’s face was patently similar to Robin’s, with the same blue eyes that sparkled cheerily at Allyn when the two were presented to each other.

“And where’d you pick this fellow up, then, Robin?” he asked blithely.

“In my tent,” replied Robin, “with Marion.”

Will’s brows leapt toward his crimson cap’s pointed brim. “Wish I were Allyn!”

“Will…”

“Joking, joking,” Will waved aside Marion’s halfhearted rebuke. He coughed. “…Mostly. So, Allyn-a-Dale — looking to join the Merry Men, are you?”

“I don’t really know,” Allyn said doubtfully. “What are the Merry Men?”

To Allyn’s heart-thudding dismay, Will answered, “We’re an infamous band of outlaws.”

“Not really,” Marion hastened to jump in.

“Not anymore,” Little John amended.

“It’s complicated,” said Robin. “But we’re really not at liberty to tell you much more about it until we’ve spoken to Merlin.”

“That would be King Arthur’s chief counselor and illustrious wizard,” Will said in answer to Allyn’s questioning expression. “He literally runs the show around here, so—”

“No,” said Little John, his gaze a grim weight on Will Scarlet.

“Oh, would you chillax, you pedant?” Will huffed, facial muscles ticking with minor irritation. “I know you think the Outsiders have been using the word with nary a care to its meaning, of late, but I know what ‘literally’ means, and in this case, I literally meant ‘literally’!”

The marginal lowering of Little John’s brow silently warned what he would literally do to Will if he said that word but once more.

“And they’re off,” said Robin, shaking his head. “Don’t worry, Allyn, they only bicker like this when they’re both breathing.”

Allyn’s lips twitched toward the beginnings of a smile, but froze halfway, his mind only just now becoming fully conscious of what he’d heard. “Robin,” he said, fighting a sudden swell of anxiety. “Did Will just say we’re off to see a wizard?”

~*~

To follow Danielle and learn more about this book, see the full details here:

Novel Title: The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale
Series Title, Number: The Outlaws of Avalon, Book One
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy / Young Adult
Novel Release Date: July 12, 2016
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28595730-the-ballad-of-allyn-a-dale
Author Website: http://deshipley.com/
Cover Artwork by: Lars van de Goor ( http://larsvandegoor.com/ ) and Milan van de Goor ( http://milanvandegoor.nl/ ).

Review: The Lure of Fools by Jason King

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I had the opportunity to listen to an advance audio recording of this book, and I’m pleased to share my thoughts on the first in Jason King’s The Age of the Infinite series.

In The Lure of Fools, the young farm boy, Jekaran, is charged with taking his uncle’s sword, a powerful “weapon talis” away on a common well-find to keep it from falling into the hands of the Rikujo, an infamous gang of thieves who’s leader will stop at nothing to acquire the magical weapon for himself. A young girl named Maely, who has grown up with Jekaran and is oblivious to his dangerous charge, disguises herself as a boy so she can follow him on what appears to be the usual annual work opportunity away from the farm. Their paths converge with an unholy monk, a Vorakk shaman (the Voraak are a race of lizard-men), and a fey woman with violet hair named Kairah who has made it her mission to warn the rulers of the human kingdoms about her brother’s plot to set each against the other until the human race annihilates itself.

There is a lot going on in this story that fantasy readers will enjoy, from semi-sentient magical objects, to layered conflicts between the main group of characters and many other individuals, to action-pact chases and fight scenes. The internal bonds, communications, and compulsions that the characters experience when they interact with the magic in various talises is intriguing, and the fantastical details of King’s world is entertaining. (I loved the crystal golem chase scenes…you’ll have to read for yourself to see why).

Check out Lure of Fools here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lure-Fools-Age-Infinite-Book-ebook/dp/B00EFPU34E

And keep your eyes peeled for the audio version, coming soon.