Forever Four

I woke up four years old on a gorgeous June day alive with bird songs, and hollyhocks brushing the bottom of my window. I scampered out to the end of the sidewalk in the garden to meet Mom and Dad coming up the lane from the milking parlour on one of their Ford Fergusons to fix breakfast. “Good morning four year old!” called Mom from atop a fender. It was a most special day.

As we were eating breakfast, I remember them saying that I’d likely not remember a bit of the day when I got older, in spite of how very important it was to be four years old. What was I to do?

After breakfast I went outside and played amongst the snapdragons for a while. Suddenly I knew. I would perform a ritual that I would remember forever, or at least for as long as I would be able to. I ran to the rusty round bin we used for chicken feed and climbed half way up the ladder which was leaning against it. I paused, listening to the purple martins and the meadowlarks. Then I waved my leg in the air off the side of the ladder four deliberate times, one for each of my years. 

I do remember a much earlier sunny day. Perhaps I was two. I had my black and white teddy bear, wandering amongst honey bees tending the red clover, along the ditch of the South Road, a half mile away from the house.

 Mom heard a loon cry at the pond and thought it was me, so when the old black ’40 Ford which pinched the holy shit out of my finger suddenly stopped across the ditch, she boiled out in her apron with a face like a hornet and swept me off my feet with a hug.

So what happened when your memory came alive? Please let us know.

 

Tom Phipps

Writing Process Blog Tour

kayeKaye Vincent, a lovely and very talented author from the UK kindly invited Tom and me to participate in this Writing Process Blog Tour. Kaye writes romance/suspense and romance/paranormal novels. Her wonderful tales, though highly enchanting, with just enough of the otherworldly to satisfy those who like to stretch the edges of reality, remain completely believable and realistic. Her books are richly interwoven stories that bring not only the characters to life, but also the community in which they live and interact. I adored both her books in the Hanningdon Magic Series and eagerly await her next offering. Copy of advert-image-both-books, Kaye Now a bit about Tom and me:

Carol 1_edited-2

Tom_edited-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are we working on?

Tom and I began publishing books in our epic fantasy series, Heart of the Staff in 2012. To date we have written five books in this series, Good Sister, Bad Sister, The Collector Witch, Stone Heart, The Burgeoning and the Reaper Witch along with a prequel that takes place one thousand years before the events in the first book of the series. cropped-Possible-New-Header-1_edited-4.jpg     Currently we are writing Doom, the 6th and final book in the Heart of the Staff series. We plan to release it later this year.

How does our work differ from others of its genre?

We are careful to thoroughly develop the characters of our antagonists as as well as that of our protagonists. We are altogether convinced that engaging stories need realistic characters and settings. So in order to develop plenty of literary tension, even our imaginary phenomena such as magic must follow the natural laws within the story and be palpably real.

Why do we write what I do?

When I was a little girl, I was captivated by magical tales. I wanted to be sprinkled with pixie dust so I could fly away with Peter Pan. I wanted to travel the yellow brick road in the witch’s slippers with Dorothy and the faint hearted lion. And I certainly wanted to be awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince. Small wonder that my passion today is writing Fantasy. There is nothing I enjoy more than going to my computer to escape with Tom and my readers to a magical world so very real that it can be touched. While my delight is bringing to life the tales of those who must find their way through the perils of our realms, Tom brings the natural world with him into our stories.

How does our writing process work?

We go for long walks or for long rides on our tandem, working out ideas. Our computers sit side by side, so we trade chapter manuscripts back and forth until we are both pleased.

Now meet some exceptional authors who will carry on the Writing Process Blog Tour:

March 30 2014 032Author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted a magical and at times whimsical world, to enchant, captivate and fill your senses with a place alluringly different, peopled with characters and creatures so fascinating that you can’t help falling in love…with Lantamyra. and A Tale of Two Worlds. She is currently hard at work creating the final book in this highly imaginative and completely captivating trilogy. Susan is not only a master storyteller, she also paints and writes poetry, as well. You can read samples of her lovely poetry in her books and enjoy her artistry on the covers of both Lantamyra and A Tale of Two Worlds.   A Tale of Two Worlds, Amazon Imae Large Lantamyra cover             The outstanding writing team of Jack Everett, David Coles and Adele Abbot from the UK are incredibly talented authors who write in a variety of genres. But one thing you can count on, their excellent and highly imaginative tales will keep you enthralled regardless of the genre.                                                 Jack 63a david                                                                       adele   Jack and David are currently editing a crime triology they will be publishing in the near future through Barking Rain Press, while Adele is busily writing the sequel to her fantasy novel, Postponing Armageddon. A few of their most recent books: Postponing Armageddon(f&sf)   The Diamond Seekers(thriller)   Of Machines and Magics(f&sf)   The Back of Beyond(historic) 510x765-Armageddon-250x375review cover We hope you all enjoy the blog tour and discover a new writer or two who’s books you’ll love to read.

 

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

The Gemstone Chronicles, Book One: The Carnelian

Cover, Gemstone ChroniclesThe Gemstone Chronicles, Book One: The Carnelian is a delightful Young Adult fantasy tale by William L. Stuart that can be read and enjoyed by all ages.William L. Stuart, Pic

The last thing Beebop expects as he and his grandchildren, Aidan and Maggie, start out on a day of rock-hounding in the Georgia countryside is that they will discover anything out of the ordinary. What they find is a stone that profoundly rocks their world, turning their beliefs and their very lives upside down.

The odd stone marked with a cross is curious enough by itself, but when it is discovered to be inhabited by an elf named Findecano Saralonde and a troll named Yul, Beebop and his family begin to wonder if they are losing their minds or if these beings are indeed real. After all, how could such creatures live inside so small a stone?

As it turns out, not only do this elf and this troll truly exist, but real magic has to be a certainty as well. Findecano was imprisoned in the stone when Dark Elves wanted him out of the way because he knew that they had stolen the gems of power from the Elven Bow of the Light Elves. The Dark Elves wanted to weaken the barrier between the human and the elven realms so that they could rule over them both.

Having stumbled onto this, it is not surprising that Beebop and his family end up returning with Findecano to his land to find the missing gems of power, whether or not they want to go. Just what does happen makes entertaining reading for the entire family.

I truly enjoyed this fanciful tale and look forward to reading the next books in The Gemstone Chronicles.

Review by:

Carol Marrs Phipps

 

Books by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

It is the very worst time to be in the woods.
Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper.           
Dyr’s plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.
But on the way, Dyr’s brutes stumble across Oisin’s gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.
Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?
Minuet Dewin, eldest daughter of the wizard Razzmorten, practically raised her half sister Leeuh, who was abandoned by her mother. For many years, Minuet is Leeuh’s passionate champion. As time passes, Leeuh becomes increasingly hard to defend as she grows determined to be awful at every turn. Whilst undoing her dangerous pranks, Minuet finds herself the target of her hatred and jealousy. And when they fall for the same prince, it looks like war.
Suddenly Leeuh vanishes. She returns years later, compliant and sweet as she always should have been. Minuet is stunned. Should she trust her, or will it be the very death of her?  
Rose is not inclined to believe idle gossip, but as she ruminates on the way her  parents acted when she confronted them with what she’d heard she becomes convinced they didn’t tell her everything. But why? Determined to uncover the entire truth for herself and learn if she is really the daughter of an evil sorceress she sets out on a desperate quest to a forbidden forest that has the unsettling reputation of swallowing up those foolish enough to enter.
           
From the beginning Rose’s journey is beset with pitfalls and challenges. She doesn’t get beyond the stables before her younger brother appears and blackmails his way into becoming her self-appointed protector and traveling companion. Together they evade the Royal Niargian Guard, survive a cyclone, escape from the castle of Rose’s betrothed, discover Elves really do exist, as do werebeasts, cyclopses and centaurs, then negotiate the perils of the Valley of Illusions.
           
When they reach the Chokewood Forest they encounter a horde of miniature devils, choking fruit, and cannibals who take them captive. However, before the cannibals can turn Rose and Lucas into their next feast, a bizarre hag crashes the cannibal’s party and rescues them only to lead them into a mad fantasy forest that appears very like a dream world, where nothing is as it seems. The crone announces that they are now her prisoners and they ‘owe her’ for saving them. She takes them to her cabin where they discover the hag is the very sorceress they seek. And then things really get strange.
A great evil awakens to shatter Niarg’s peaceful world.

In her remote island keep off the shores of Head, the fearsome sorceress Demonica at last learns from her unfaithful husband Yann-Ber the whereabouts of the long lost Staff of Power. He crawls before her to tell her that it has turned up in the hands of her granddaughter Spitemorta, the new queen of Goll, hoping to buy his release from her horrid curse of boils. She is ecstatic about the Staff, but will never forgive his faithlessness. He will be released, all right. He will get to die in one year, after the most excruciating boils yet to come.

Demonica leaves for Goll at once. She arranges an accident for the nanny of Spitemorta’s son, becomes the new nanny herself and offers to teach Spitemorta how to develop her considerable powers. Spitemorta accepts at once, thereby uniting the two most dangerous sorceresses of the age, determined to conquer the world. Their first step is to find the First Wizard’s Stone Heart which would make the Staff the most powerful tool of all time.

The Burgeoning

With both the Great Staff of Power and the Stone Heart in their hands at last, it seems that nothing can stop Demonica and Queen Spitemorta from crushing Niarg and conquering the entire world. King Hebraun of Niarg is dead and not a single Elf is left alive in the Jutwoods.

 Spitemorta’s husband, King James, tries to ride out of Castle Goll with her Great Staff of Power, but is tortured by Demonica and her and locked away to die in the fleas and fetid straw of the dungeon. He manages to escape across the Great Barrier Mountains, just as the army and people of Niarg are sent out into the countryside by Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten, who flee to the Pitmaster’s Kettles in time for Spitemorta and Demonica to effortlessly destroy Castle Niarg. Is this the end of everything?

The Reaper Witch

The_Reaper_Witch_Cover_for_Kindle

Niarg has fallen to the dark sorceresses Demonica and Queen Spitemorta. The dragons have fled from their caves. Confident that Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten are dead, and that the trolls have eaten every breathing Elf, Spitemorta brings down the last hamlets of the Northern Continent as she prepares to conquer the rest of the world.

But Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten do live and are hiding in the crater of Mount Bedd with the Fairy guardians of the Forest Primeval, where they wait for what remains of their army before fleeing to the Black Desert to live beneath its burning sands with the dragons and all of the Elves who escaped Demonica’s great troll raid, down their hidden river.

Is this truly the end of Niarg and freedom everywhere in world? Can Elves, dragons and men live outside her bondage, or will the Reaper Witch find them and enslave them once and for all? 

DoomDoomComing in 2014: The final book in the Heart of the Staff series

Adversarius Blog Tour with Mel Chesley

Interview with Adversarius Author Mel Chesley

 

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? My name is Melissa Chesley. I go by Mel, though. I was born in Chicago, IL and now live in Homer, AK.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say? Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose: Book One is the title of my book. It’s about an ongoing war between two kingdoms, an arranged marriage where the bride has lost her memory and how a group of people try to get her back before it’s too late. (I think that’s more than 20 words, though, sorry!)

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? ‘Adversarius’ is part of a series, yes. So I have plans for another book, that will be book two, titled ‘Veritas’.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write? I’ve been writing off and on since I was 19, but got serious about it when I hit my 30’s. I’ve always been inspired by other fantasy authors such as David Eddings, Melanie Rawn and the like. I didn’t read Tolkien until the first movies in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series came out. But ever since, he’s been an inspiration to me.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews? Absolutely. If I approach someone to do a review for me, the least I can do is provide the book.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books? Well, this first book, the title ‘Adversarius’ means Adversary in Latin. That’s the basis of the book, we find out who the adversaries are. Veritas will be next, because some truths are about to be revealed and the third book will be titled ‘Bellum’, meaning War. This first cover design was sort of my idea. I’m half Scottish and Celtic knotwork is very well ingrained in me and I love it. So I thought it would be a fitting border and the empty throne is very significant to the story. One kingdom in this war has been left wide open, without an heir for the moment. The cover designer for this book was Dara England.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? Funny you should ask. Some of these characters are based off of people I know. They created a character for an online role playing game and I asked to use them in my book, so I know them pretty well. As for events, not so much. There are some things with my characters that I have experienced, but not much.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing? I’d say Tolkien, but like I said, he came about after the fact. So to pick just one, I’d have to say no, not really. It’s always been a dream of mine, to write. I don’t think my style matches any of the authors I read or have read. Some say I have a style similar to authors I have yet to read.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback? Personally, I prefer paperback books. I like hardback, but they don’t give as well. Ebooks are okay, but just not the same.

What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once? Hmm… I’d have to say ‘Faerie Tale’ by Raymond E. Feist. I love that book and have read it like three times, I think. I love the Fae and the stories behind it and this book brought it into the real world. It’s a great book.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer? Not all books transfer well, I don’t think. If you’ve read any books before seeing the movies, you always lose something in translation. You make a connection to the characters you are reading and then to see them up on the screen is sort of heartbreaking. Not everyone sees those characters the same way you do. I do think all of the Lord of the Rings transferred well, but a lot of that has to do with Peter Jackson’s love of the stories and the respect he has for Tolkien certainly brought those books to life rather well.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback) I’m currently reading a book called ‘The Infinity Bridge’ by Ross Kitson. I’m enjoying it! It’s a YA ebook and it’s a fun read.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish? There are lots of books I have tried to read and just couldn’t finish. However, at the risk of getting hate mail, I have to say I will never read ‘50 Shades of Grey’.

What do you think about book trailers? I think if they are done properly, they’re a great marketing tool.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? I would say, stick with your writing, no matter what. You’re going to get people who love it and those who hate it. But write for yourself and don’t try to please the masses, because you won’t please everyone. If you love writing, just do it!

Do you or would you ever use a pen name? M. L. Chesley is sort of a pen name for me. The ‘M’ stands for me, Melissa. The ‘L’ is for my husband, Larry, who helps me write a lot of my stuff, but won’t allow me to give him credit. So we agreed upon this pen name.

If your book was ever made into a move, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)? Oooh! I would love to see Kate Beckinsale play Kayta. I think Adrian Paul would make a great Black Rose and I’m sort of torn on who would play Nightshadow well.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why. Yes I have. As a matter of fact, I have some story ideas for paranormal books. It’s still in the creating process, but I am hoping to get to those as soon as I finish this trilogy.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend? Yes, I think ebooks are here to stay. They’re becoming quite popular with our society. Everything is electronic and sometimes people have a very short attention span, so it’s super easy to get your hands on short stories through electronic publication.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate. I don’t think so, no. The only thing I see is the author has more control over their work if they go the indie route. But it seems to me, the author has to do most of the marketing themselves either way.

Would you ever consider co/authoring with one or more other authors? Heck yeah! I’d love to co-author a book.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it? Yes, I get it once in awhile, but mostly when I am trying to figure out where to go with the story. I will walk away from it and do something else for a couple days, not thinking about the story at all and it will come to me out of the blue. Then I get right back to writing.

Where can readers follow you? Lots of places!

Your blog details? www.caledonialass.blogspot.com

Your web site? www.mlchesley.webs.com

Your facebook page? www.facebook.com/mel_chesley or www.facebook.com/MLChesley

Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6645211.M_L_Chesley

Your Twitter details? @MLChesley

Thank you Mel for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It hasbeen a real pleasure having you here on my blog. I hope you will visit again in thefuture.

Thank you, it was fun!

 

Blurb:

Two kingdoms, two goals.

The king of Relavia is determined to wipe out his warring neighbors in Paridzule, a worthy adversary for over five hundred years. News of an arranged marriage between his son and the daughter of his lifelong enemy has fueled the temper of Relavia’s tyrannical king. What he doesn’t realize is the true measure of his son’s honor and how far he is willing to go to gain peace.

Author Bio:

M. L. Chesley is an Alaska based author, online blogger and MMORPG junkie. She has been writing fantasy for several years. Between writing, work and family she barely has time for much gaming, but some days, raids take precedence over all. If you would like to learn more about her world, created in this book, go to www.mlchesley.webs.com. You can also follow her blog at www.caledonialass.blogspot.com.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Adversarius-Shadow-Rose-ebook/dp/B00AJA967O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357087212&sr=8-1&keywords=adversarius+shadow+of+the+rose

Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/262445

Excerpt : Kayta sat up, sweat drenched her skin and she clutched at the sheet that covered her. She couldn’t breathe, her throat constricted. After a moment, she gasped, filling her lungs with air, tears streaming down her cheeks. She looked around frantically, trying to get her bearings.

“Easy now,” someone moved to sit beside her and held her gently by the shoulders.

“Wh-where am I?” she whispered.

“Shh, do nae speak. Try tae be quiet,” the voice was low, the accent odd to her ears. Kayta pulled up the sheet to her chin and looked around. Beds lined the walls on either side, and lanterns were lit and turned low. In the dim light, she could see the face of the person who sat beside her, trying to soothe her.

“Who are you?” she whispered again. The man chuckled, his long black hair hung loose around his shoulders. There were bruises on his face, a greenish tinge indicating that they were healing as well as a few cuts.

“I’m Farrehn,” he told her. He turned his head to make sure they were not disturbing anyone, and his eyes caught the lamplight. The red of his eyes indicated his race.

Adversarius Review

By: Carol Marrs Phipps

 

For 500 years the kingdoms of Paridzule and Relavia have been enemies. When it looks as if a marriage between their progeny might unite the kingdoms and end the centuries old hatred and rivalry the king of Relavia is infuriated. He devises a plan intended not only to stop the marriage of his son, Alabassin to Princess Kayta Ni’adzul, but also to seize control of Paridzule at last.

Before long the beloved king and queen of Paridzule are unexpectedly killed in a horrible ‘accident’. And on top of that Kayta and Hedric Ni’adzul, two of the three heirs to the throne of Paridzule, are lost at sea when the ship they are on is attacked by pyrates.

Things are definitely going King Li’endrin’s way at last and it appears he may soon conquer the weakened kingdom of Paridzule with very little resistance.

However, a priest of Fizan, Goddess of Justice, an assassin and four warriors from Haldera have another plan after they are charged with a dangerous task by the goddess herself. A task which could upset Li’endrin’s nefarious plans and give Paridzule a fighting chance to survive…If only they are successful.

Adversarius is a totally engrossing fantasy tale that has just enough rollicking adventure and intrigue with a bit of romance to keep you turning those pages will into the night. The cliffhanger ending will leave you longing for the immediate release of book two of the trilogy.

 Thank you all for joining us today for ML Chesley’s Adversarius Blog Tour. One lucky commentor will win an eBook copy of Adversarius. Winner will be announced  on this blog on Tuesday, 1/15/13, so do check back to see if you have won. The winner should then email us at car01am@yahoo.com with their contact info so we can send them their ebook.

Elf Killers, Epic Fantasy Adventure: Download for Just $2.99

 

Download A Copy of Elf Killers Today and Enjoy: Just $2.99!

It is the very worst time to be in the woods.

Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper. And if he only dares to dream, he might also be back in time to speak with Doona alone.

Dyr’s plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr’s brutes stumble across Oisin’s gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.

Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?

What They’re Saying:

“The world that the authors created is a fascinating place. The creatures that inhabit the pages of this book are brilliant.” Robyn

“Elf Killers is a fast-paced, descriptive ride of emotional turmoil and flight or fight drama right from the get go.” Melissa Chesley

“This debut novel, from the husband and wife team of Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, is a fantasy delight” Rae

“There is something very brave about this book. First the attempt to create a half-language that the reader can still absorb and understand, yet completely imprints another culture. That would be brave enough on its own – but second, there is a sense of these two authors showing real courage in breaking taboos. They do not stint on the violence and some may find that harsh, but it’s a harsh world they have allowed us to glimpse. They show a world in which no-one is safe, including children, and don’t step back with false sentiment to protect the reader. Their world is not our world, but it’s as real as it can get.” KV

“Truly enjoy the twists and turns of imagination that these two authors are able to spin. I would highly recommend these authors to anyone who is a fan of fantasy stories.” Lana C

“This book opened my eyes to a whole new different world..took the trolls and elves up to the next level…The fantasy and thrill that shook my mind and senses all those running, journeys to save the other elves from killer trolls was indeed a fantastic adventure! Truly epic!” Kimyunalesca

 

           

Elf Killers eBook download Only $2.99 on Amazon!

Download your copy of Elf Killers for Only $2.99

It is the very worst time to be in the woods.

 

Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper. And if he only dares to dream, he might also be back in time to speak with Doona alone.

Dyr’s plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr’s brutes stumble across Oisin’s gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.

Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?

 

           

Cover Reveal: New Print & Ebook Cover for ELF KILLERS

 Paperback Available Now on Amazon for Just $8.99!

 

It is the very worst time to be in the woods.

 Oisin’s plan is to come with his bow to help Aedan and Doona lead a party of children into the forest to gather the maidenhair seedlings his people would take across the sea as they flee the trolls who hunt them as prey. Maybe he can be back in time for supper. And if he only dares to dream, he might also be back in time to speak with Doona alone.

Dyr’s plan is an early evening head smash for the foolish Elves who think they can steal away to the sands of the endless eye sting water and build their strange float huts. They will make a glorious feast.

But on the way, Dyr’s brutes stumble across Oisin’s gathering party and attack, leaving Aedan mortally wounded and scattering Doona and the children to flee in terror into the dark mountain woods, only to be run down and captured by the bloodthirsty trolls.

Can Oisin find the bonfires of the trolls and rescue them before it’s too late? And what then? Will any of them live long enough to reach safety?

           

ONLY $2.99 on Amazon! The Burgeoning: Heart of the Staff

JUST $2.99 to Download Now from Amazon! The Burgeoning: book four of the Heart of the Staff

With both the Great Staff of Power and the Stone Heart in their hands at last, it seems that nothing can stop Demonica and Queen Spitemorta from crushing Niarg and conquering the entire world. King Hebraun of Niarg is dead and not a single Elf is left alive in the Jutwoods.

 Spitemorta’s husband, King James, tries to ride out of Castle Goll with her Great Staff of Power, but is tortured by Demonica and her and locked away to die in the fleas and fetid straw of the dungeon. He manages to escape across the Great Barrier Mountains, just as the army and people of Niarg are sent out into the countryside by Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten, who flee to the Pitmaster’s Kettles in time for Spitemorta and Demonica to effortlessly destroy Castle Niarg. Is this the end of everything?

EXCERPT

Lance shifted on his saddle in the thick whirling snow and gathered his collar over his muffler as he peered from under his hat at the top of the mountain. “Well Abaddon,”he called out cheerfully over the wind, “we’ll be over the top directly and we’ll be getting out of this weather!”

 “My momma’s goin’ ‘o kill you for stealing me away from her,” said Abaddon with a baleful snarl. “And when I tell her all about it, she’ll hurt you a whole lot for a long, long time before she stops your heart.”

“Oh, she’ll have to catch us first,” said Lance buoyantly, as a shudder ran through him.

“She’ll catch you, all right! Oh, yes she will! And it’ll be a lot of fun!”

After five long days in the cold, it’s a mercy we won’t have to sleep out in this, thought Lance with another shudder as the unicorns stepped their way up, crunching loose shards of stone through the new layer of snow. Having grown up here, he was familiar with the sudden fierce winter storms up in the Pitmaster’s Kettles. He glanced aside at Abaddon. In spite of how good he’d always been with children, the boy unnerved him.

I’ll do it for James, he thought, wishing he did not have to. Abaddon looked up at himwith a red-eyed glower, as if he knew exactly what he had just been thinking, giving hima sudden bristle of goose flesh. He quickly turned away. Surely he doesn’t read thoughts. I’ve never heard that Spitemorta does. He looked back again to suddenly feel guilty for thinking all of this at the sight of Abaddon looking right at him with the innocent smile of a boy on an adventure. He smiled back and began searching for the path over the top.

“Here we go!” he called out. “Right yonder! Just keep Sheba close to Stepper and we’ll soon be out of the weather in the heart of this ol’ mountain!”

“What do you mean? You don’t mean we’re going clean inside it, do you?”

“Sure do,” said Lance with a nod. “This is a vulcan mountain. Its top was once a cauldron of melted red-hot rock. If it weren’t for the snow, you’d see frozen rivers of rock running down it’s sides from long ago. That’s what all the black rock between the trees was, ‘way back down below, before we ever started up here. The top of each one of these mountains for miles and miles is a deep pit. that’s why they’re called the Pitmaster’s Kettles. And here we are.” He slapped his hand onto his hat in the furious wind at the very top of the slope as his unicorn hesitated between a pair of boulders on the rim, stepping restlessly from side to side before finding his first steps of the steep decent beyond. “See out yonder? the whole top of this mountain is naught but a giant deep hole. And here we go, on the path right down into the mountain, but you watch out and keep Sheba close behind. I don’t want you falling off the side. It’s a long way down.”

 “I better not fall. My momma would kill you even worse if I did.”

 “Yea, and your dad wouldn’t be too happy either.”

 Abaddon gave a contemptuous snort, but quickly donned a look of excited expectancy in spite of himself. Soon they were below the wind, carefully finding their way down the narrow path, knocking loose rocks to go skittering and bounding off into the depths. He anxiously peered down into the crater, but strain as he might, he could not see the bottom. “Hey,” he demanded. “It’s gettin’ darker and darker. How are we going to see? In fact, what’s going to keep us from falling off?”

 “Stepper and Sheba. The unicorns see a lot better in the dark than we do and they’re completely sure-footed if you don’t rush them. They’ll find their way. Besides, it’ll get lighter before long.”

 “You’re crazy. It’s been getting darker and darker.”

 “Well, when you get down far enough, there’s quite a lot of glow lichen growing, though we’re not far enough to tell it yet. Have you noticed it getting warmer?”

 “The wind’s died down is all. It’s not any warmer.”

 “Well, what do you suppose happened to all the snow, Abby?”

 “You’re not allowed to say things like that! You’re supposed to call me ‘Your Highness!'”

 “Well, maybe when you earn it…”

 Abaddon drew a breath for a furious shout, but fell silent with a gasp at the sudden sight of a faint glow, far below in the blackness.

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Rose’s parents couldn’t be telling her everything. Frantic to find out if she really is the daughter of an evil sorceress, she makes a rash departure on a quest to the Chokewoods, a forest of horrors which no one in her kingdom dares to enter.

Her journey is beset with challenges. Her brother Lukus accosts her in the stables and blackmails her into traveling with him. Together they evade royal authorities, survive a cyclone, escape from the castle of her betrothed, and discover that trolls, Elves and cyclopses really do exist as do the perilous visions which they struggle with in the Valley of Illusions.

In the Chokewoods, they narrowly survive a horde of flesh eating devils, the fruit of the choke oak and a village of beasts who take them captive. As the beasts prepare to make a feast of them, a hag crashes through the treetops and rescues them, leading them away into a mad forest of her own where she turns them into thralls and taunts them with threats, telling them that they owe her.

Rose and Lukus soon find that life everywhere has become a desperate struggle with an evil seeking to conquer the world as liberty, privacy and fundamental human dignity become forbidden.