Guest Post: A Forest Path, a Living Throne and a Magic Fairy Stone

A Forest Path, a Living Throne and a Magic Fairy Stone

by Susan Waterwyk

 March 30 2014 032

Our little acre in the Sierra Nevada is called Dragonwood for the twisted serpentine manzanita trees that live in the shadows of towering ponderosa pines and other evergreens. From my bedroom window I can see a path into the forest…a magic path.

The magic begins each morning when I open up the drapes. The morning sun sends glory-rays that penetrate the shadows and light the path to tempt me to walk into woods. Every path into the forest is a path to magic, for every forest is a kingdom of shadows, cool, silent, sheltering life.

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The deer that visit me each day are the ones that made the path. Soon the mother doe will be followed by the spotted fawns, and every Spring, one or two mothers will find shelter in my woods and birth their babies here. To see a newborn fawn take its first steps in life is magic indeed.

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Walking down the shaded path, I soon reach my little brook, dry now and waiting for the rain to return so it can flow again. Across a two-plank redwood bridge and up the other bank is a magic place —the Throne of the Goddess.

I named the twisted manzanita, the Throne of the Goddess, because the first time I sat on it, seventeen years ago, I felt like a goddess watching all the life around me, the butterflies and bees visiting the tiny pink bell-shaped flowers of the manzanita, and listening to the ever-present bluejays and the tap-tap-tap of the woodpecker.

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I told Hubby I wanted stones steps leading up to the throne with white crystal quartz on either side of the stairs. I had planned to sit here often and think divine thoughts and create beauty in the Universe. That’s what a goddess does, right?

“Stone steps, lined with quartz, I can do that,” he said. “Is there anything else Your Divinity requests?”

“Yes, I want a pool to reflect the moon so I can invite the fairies to dance.”

“A small pond, I can do that,” he nodded thoughtfully, “but it’ll only be seasonal with the rains….”

“And I want a mighty waterfall to plunge into the moonlit pool.”

“A mighty waterfall?” his voice full of doubt.

“Yes… at least eight hundred and fifty millimeters high.”

He did the math. “Okay, I can do that.”

That was seventeen years ago. Working on the weekends, a little at a time, everything came to pass. We even placed standing-stones next to the throne and a small stone bench next to the pond. When my granddaughters were born, I held them in my arms while I sat on the throne and told them a fairy tale or two When they grew older they sat on the throne and created their own stories of princesses, castles, dragons and fairies.

blog pic, Waterwyk

The years pass quickly…. Time took its toll on me. These old bones don’t walk the path as often as before. It takes more effort to climb the steps and sit upon the throne, but I feel blessed to have experienced so many magic moments here at Dragonwood.

I’ve sat beside the little pond at night and seen falling stars reflected in the water. I’ve listened to the soul-soothing music of my little waterfall.  Magic mushrooms and fairy rings have appeared over the years. Last Easter, the fairies gave me mushrooms shaped like little brown cups. My husband said maybe they were offering cups of love and hope. We needed it then, and we need it even more now. This may be our last Spring at Dragonwood.

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The full moon just before the Spring Equinox was perfect for the fairies to come visit. We decided to walk the path and look for mushroom fairy rings and to take some pictures for this blog.  Alas, not one mushroom was found.

“When it was wet it was too cold. Now it’s warm but too dry,” he said.

“I’m still wishing for a fairy ring.  This time we’ll take some pictures.”

“If we get more rain… if the fairies show up… if they decide to give you a fairy ring and not something else like the cups last year.”

“Don’t be so pessimistic! They always show up.”

“Maybe they’ve already been here.” He pointed to the ground near the standing stones.

“A lichen covered rock, pretty.”

“Not the big one! The smaller one.” He picked it up and gave it to me.

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It looked like it had been hand painted with lichen!! I promise with all my heart that we did nothing to enhance the features. We picked up the stone and just took the picture. The smiling face was a gift of love. Then, in the lower center, I noticed an image that looks like a side view of a butterfly. I told Hubby that is the gift of hope! He said the image on the lower left looked like a symbol for our home, a tree on a hill with distant snowy mountains above it.

“Maybe the fairies are telling us to not give up yet. Maybe we will be able to keep Dragonwood,” he said.

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“Where there is love, there is always hope.”

Blessings of life,

Susan Waterwyk

P.S. My magic path into the woods inspired me to paint pictures, write poems, and eventually led to writing books. Here is my favorite poem and painting.

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 Twilight Magic

 Along a winding shaded path

As twilight deepens into night

The trees begin their evening song

And from the branches fairies come

To guide me with their glowing light.

Now strolling down this magic path,

Where flowers only bloom at night,

I watch the fairies tender care

Of blossoms in the pale moonlight.

A flicker here…a glimmer there

Of wings a-flutter on the air.

From hollow trunk and mushroom top,

The fairy folk observe my walk,

And as I pass beyond the wood

Into a glade, I hear

The music of the pipes and flute

Come drifting to my ears….

 

The multi-talented Susan is also the author or two wonderful fantasy/sci-fi books, Lantamyra and A Tale of Two Worlds. She is currently writing the third and final book of this magical trilogy.

Large Lantamyra cover

Blurb for Lantamyra

For the chance to journey to another world, Tylya Lansing is willing to give up everything on Earth, including her lover, Josh Hamilton. All she has to do is find her grandmother’s crystal scepter, lost for decades in a rugged Sierra Nevada canyon. Since she was a child, she has heard stories of Lantamyra, a world where magic is created with myra crystals, where mind expansion is granted crystal powers, where keepers and wards respect and protect life. Once the scepter is found, she journeys to this earth-like world that is recovering from an ice age. Areas of the planet have been terra-formed by the mysterious Keepers of Akosh to provide sanctuary for the endangered species of two other worlds—humans from Earth and dragons from Lanluong. She learns that Earth is about to experience catastrophic changes from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and Lantamyra may provide the only hope for humankind to survive. Tylya is determined to learn the ancient Akoshic Secrets of the Ways, a mind-expanding process necessary to control the power of myra crystals and to become a keeper of dragons.

Excerpt from Chapter Five: Annoyed that her warning was shrugged off so easily, the queen brought her head close to Tylya. “You will pay for your training with your labor, but you will pay a higher price to become a keeper. It will change you in ways you cannot imagine…”

Lantamyra is an intriguing story with plenty of drama, humor and memorable characters and exciting scenes. Written for mature adults more than young adults, Lantamyra is not formula fantasy, no stereotypical evil villains.

Excerpt from Chapter Eight—Nightkeeper Kyra Starszyn: “This night belongs to lovers and dreamers, a night when threads of love are woven into a tapestry of fantasy, a night to magically transform in the character you wish to play.”

My Review for Lantamyra

Fall in Love with Lantamyra; I Did

 

Lantamyra is uniquely different from most other fantasy worlds. It is not break-neck action or violence racing you and your heart through every page. It is, rather,  a page-turner of discovery and delight. The author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted the 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.

From the moment Josh Hamilton, Tylya Lansing’s long-time love, finds her grandmother’s crystal scepter you are catapulted into a world where dragons rule and humans serve. But there is neither tyranny nor coercion involved in the relationship, which is almost a symbioses of harmony in which they live and work to achieve their common goals and the welfare of all.

Lantamyra is full of great wonders like the crystal star-ships and the vast myra crystals that are so powerful they are not only energy for the ships but give the keepers and the dragons their magical abilities. You’ll even meet the Keepers of Akosh, ancient magical beings and the founders of Lantamyra who have  the ability to open doorways into the crystal realm. It was they who originally discovered the amazing giant myra crystals on Lantamyra which are capable of powering vast star-ships to search for more “living worlds”.

Many other marvels will captivate and astound you during your visit to this incredible world, such as the wee fairy folk (not too bright, but definitely beguiling), the mants (rather frightening and venomous beasties), and the scarp (a seafood delight of monstrous magnitude) and much, much more.

So what are you waiting for? Open a portal and send for a dragon to carry you away to Lantamyra today. But be warned: you may not want to leave.

 

 

 

A Tale of Two Worlds, Amazon Imae

Blurb for A Tale of Two Worlds

“The Earth, once asleep, has awakened, from deep in her belly come cries; her mountains and valleys are shaken and seas rise up to the skies.”

The ancient Keepers of Akosh can do nothing to prevent the catastrophes. They have known since the sinking of Atlantis that the living world of Earth would awaken. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis threaten the people of the Earth so the Keepers spent thousands of years terraforming the primitive world of Lantamyra to serve as a sanctuary for the refugees from Earth. Now the Gathering begins.

The dragons that rule the three Great Houses of Lantamyra need the giant myra crystals from Atlantis to strengthen the large array in the House of Gaia Jade to be able to return to their homeworld, Lanluong. The Keepers of Akosh authorize a mission to Earth to locate and retrieve the crystals before the earthquakes bury them deeper in the abysmal depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recently arrived from Earth, Tylya Lansing has been trained in the Secrets of the Ways and knows how to use the powerful myra crystals. She is now a keeper of dragons in the House of Gaia Jade, and her first-hand knowledge of modern Earth makes her the best candidate to command the mission to find and retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.

Tylya’s lover, Josh Hamilton is also from Earth and trained in the Ways but chose not to serve the dragons. He is a crystalseeker working in the mine at Queen’s Heart located near an active volcano. The job is extremely dangerous since long exposure to myra crystals causes crystal sickness, and worst of all, ghosts of seekers are hungry for living energy and they wait in the myra crystals to feed on him.

My Review of A Tale Of Two Worlds

I was enthralled from the very opening paragraph of a Tale of Two Worlds by Susan Waterwyk. This author artfully weaves together just the right balance of descriptive prose and dialogue. She creates a world so vivid and tangible the reader soon feels like a participant in the tale, rather than a mere observer.

A Tale of Two Worlds is the second book of Waterwyk’s planned trilogy about the fantastic world of Lantamyra where dragons rule fairly and justly over the humans that share that world with them. But, Lantamyra’s history is tied to two other “living worlds”, the dragon homeworld, Lanluong, and the human’s homeworld, Earth.

Long ago when the Keepers of Akosh learned to travel between the stars in their fantastic spaceships powered by giant myra crystals, they searched far and wide for other “living worlds” like their own.  In time they found a number of these “living worlds” and used their great myra crystals to open portals to travel between them. Unwittingly, the keepers upset the balance of the dragon homeworld causing great upheavals which threatened the very existence of the dragons by the constant use of the portals.

As soon as the Keepers of Akosh realized what they had done they set about rescuing as many of the dragons as they could, relocating them to the safety of Lantamyra where the dragons ruled and lived in peace with the Keepers of Akosh and humans who had come there from Earth to serve dragonkind.

But the dragons longed for the day they might return to their own world of Lanluong and the Keepers felt honor bound to fulfill the dragon’s wish as soon as it was feasible. First however, they had to recover some of the giant myra crystals from the ancient site of Atlantis where the crystals had been submerged under the sea since the isle’s untimely demise.

Once the myra crystals were recovered there was one problem. There would be repercussions for using the crystals on such a massive scale again, only this time it would be planet Earth that would undergo horrendous upheavals that could entirely wipe out the human population. So the Keepers of Akosh had trained a number of chosen humans to aid in the “gathering” of a select number of the human race in order to prevent their extinction from the coming disaster and transport them to Lantamyra where they would be safe. In A Tale of Two Worlds this destined time is at hand.

A Tale of Two Worlds is a highly imaginative and enchanting tale surely destined to become a classic that the reader will remember long after the final page. It is time for “the gathering”. Read A Tale of Two Worlds and hope you won’t be left behind.

 

Review: REAPING the HARVEST by Robbie Cox

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Reaping the Harvest by Robbie Cox is a highly entertaining fantasy tale sure to be loved by fans of the genre.

What more could an ordinary guy want than to suddenly find himself transformed into a magic-sword wielding superhero with a super-sized, mind-speaking elfin dog called Kree, a two and a half foot tall ellyll named Tryna from the Land Under, and a local prostitute named Buttercup as side-kicks? Well he could want plenty, or perhaps less, depending on your point of view.

Robbie CoxRichard Bartlett is happy with his life just the way it is. He has his own business called My Hand Truck & I, and is on the verge of proposing marriage to the woman he has loved for the past four years. Everything is going exactly as he wishes until he responds to a stranger’s desperate cries for help.

Rhychard’s reward for trying to save an Elf’s life is a magical sword to fight the demons of the Void, and a new life as a Warrior of the Way. In addition he suffers the loss of his beloved Renny, the alienation of his friends, and his acceptance as a member at Harvest Fellowship, the church where he and Renny attended services together. Some might consider it a fair trade off. Not Rhychard, but not that it matters.

Rhychard had been chosen as a warrior, and like it or not he is now bonded to the Guardian Sword for the rest of his life. With no choice other than to accept his fate, Rhychard decides to tell Renny the truth about what has happened to him even though it is against the rules of the Way of the Warrior. He figures at least then she’ll stop thinking he is a cheating jerk who keeps vanishing for days at a time with no explanation. He hopes she might even believe and forgive him and things will return to the way they had been between them before he had been given the cursed sword. After all, he is supposed to be one of the good guys. And everyone knows the good guy always gets the girl in the end…Right?

Sadly, that’s what happens in fairy tales and Rhychard’s situation is all too real. Renny doesn’t believe him and what’s worse; she has become involved with Pastor Adrian Michaels, the minister of their church and a married man.

Will Rhychard and his unusual companions be able to subdue the demons of the Void and keep the Way and the World safe for humans and magical beings alike? Or will the reluctant hero succumb to his emotions and damn the world to the rule by the Void for eternity? Read Reaping the Harvest and find out.

I very much enjoyed this imaginative, action-packed fantasy, and look forward to future books by this author.

Review by:

Carol Marrs 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

 

Interview of UK Fantasy Author of Postponing Armageddon, Adele Abbot

adeleWhat is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

 

Adele Abbot (one T), I was born in York, UK & I live between Leeds and Bradford, UK

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

I’m the daughter of an Indie writer and honorary niece to another

How long have you been writing?

Since 2006

What do you believe is the most difficult thing about becoming an author?

Finding readers! That’s a little mischievous, obviously, putting one word after another to make an interesting and coherent read is probably the most difficult – especially when you have a 4 year old needing your attention. But once you’ve served your apprenticeship, and I think I have, getting your name out there is difficult and frustrating, I do have a few novels that have fallen by the wayside.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Getting out and about, what my son calls ‘Mummy & Daddy’ days.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 510x765-Armageddon-250x375words what would you say?

It’s called Postponing Armageddon. A historical fantasy, dogmatic religion versus creatures we think of as myth and legend about to be made extinct.

Was there any particular thing that inspired you to write Postponing Armageddon?

It was written after I was made redundant as we say here – what you call being let go in the US. It was something to fill my time between looking for jobs. The original idea came from an ages old short story which happened to come to mind.

Is this book part of a series?

I would like it to be. Ideas for volume two are settling down. I guess it depends on how well volume one does.

Would you share a blurb with us?

When history goes off course, can it be nudged back? The second coming of Jesus Christ was supposed to take place in the thousandth year of His era, but it did not happen as scheduled.

Would you share a short excerpt?

Almost on the horizon, a waterspout was visible; a long writhing tail of dark air descending from a bulbous blue-black cloud.

“The Summer Hawk,” I heard someone say – that was the Viking ship which had sailed a little while before us. The men looking over the stern rail had a better view than those of us in the waist and I went back up the steep slope of the after deck which, at the stern, was quite high above the sea level.

Looking back, it was now possible to see great waves breaking about the lean shape of the Summer Hawk. As I watched, lightning scratched a jagged line from the cloud to the single mast, rigging and sparks flew skyward, snatched by that writhing funnel of air. The stern seemed to rise up and twist, the bows disappeared behind curtains of green and black water; the ship slid beneath the waves and was gone in a space of heartbeats. Gone, leaving only a wake to show she had ever been there.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I mentioned that I would like to make this a series. A second volume might be placed in Northern Italy, early in the 12th century. The then Pope was a nasty piece of work and there was an attempt by the French to have him arrested and tried before a court of law which failed. I have a feeling that my characters might take a hand…

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I guess I have to blame my Dad and my Uncle for inspiration. I’ve been writing since 2006 when I put Postponing Armageddon on paper but I wrote another fantasy between that and getting Postponing Armageddon published. Called Of Machines and Magics, it was actually written second and published first – both are published by Barking Rain Press.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

I do. I’m very grateful for a thoughtful review; they’re worth a lot to me.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

With Postponing Armageddon it was a lot of discussion with Dad & my Uncle and since it reached the shortlist of the Sir Terry Pratchett/Transworld 2011 competition, that’s set in stone. Of Machines and Magics came out of equally long email discussion with Sheri Gormley, our President & Executive Director. The cover in both cases was created by Michael Leadingham who got the flavor so absolutely right.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

I’ve pinched names from people I know for my characters – with permission – but if I’ve based actual characters, it was unconsciously. Events, though, oh yes, especially where they have involved me.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Probably Mary Gentle, who wrote some great fantasy & science fiction, including an historic which certainly wasn’t the history we remember. My mentors too – Dad and my Uncle – introduced me to their favorite – Jack Vance. His Dying Earth series drew me into the setting for Of Machines…, a tale from the last days of Earth.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

It has to be hardback but, maybe paperback for bath-time and eBook when the readers get to be waterproof.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

That’s a difficult one. I’ve read quite a few more than once but let’s say formative rather than favorite, which might put the Egyptian by Micah Waltari and his other books as very influential, though Waltari is not a well known author. And of course, Mary Gentle who wowed me with Rats and Gargoyles any number of times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that one. Apart from a few scenes, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit both worked well, I thought. Shakespeare usually does. But there are many that just never do – as a character in a UK TV show used to say scornfully: “Straight to video” in a very Yorkshire accent. (Which I have too.)

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

 

The Outcast Blade, sequel to The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. Makes my toes curl, makes me weep, “gritty, grimy, decadent, compelling” says the Sunday Times. It’s a hefty paperback.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I’ve been disappointed by Alastair Reynolds’ Terminal World and I’m not quite sure why. I didn’t finish it, either.

What do you think about book trailers?

So, so. My father had one made for one of his books; I don’t think it did anything for the title at all.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Be prepared for a lot of writing to hit the shredder or the delete box. But enjoy it, all the same. When you do get published, don’t worry about the occasional vicious review or posting. You got there, they didn’t.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Have been known to! Adele Abbot didn’t just happen to be at the front of the alphabet!

If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Morion – she’s so damned cool.

      Morion – she’s so damned cool.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Gerard:          Damien Lewis

Matthias:       Hugh Laurie

Morion:          Anne Hathaway

Max:               Dwayne Johnson

      Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

I haven’t thought about that. I’d like Adele Abbot to continue to be associated with fantasy – and somewhat out-of-the-ordinary themes.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I think it’s more than a passing trend. The eBooks on phones is a phenomenon I wouldn’t have guessed at and I think that will see them well into the future.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

The Traditional Publisher lost the war, in my opinion. They were over-confident and self-opinionated and slow and suffocating. The Indies are great, they are nimble enough to take advantage of new technology, new ideas and new authors.

Would you ever consider writing as a part of a team, rather than on your own?

My Uncle and my Dad manage it very well but it needs two (or more) people who complement & respect each other. If such a one comes along, I’d try it out.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

I think anyone who works on their own must get writer’s block or it’s equivalent in other disciplines. But I’ve got a 4 year old son who is going to be the greatest fantasy writer ever – he’ll keep me fresh!

 

Where can readers follow you?

Your web site?                       Adele Abbot

Your Facebook page?        Adele Abbot on Facebook 

Your Twitter details?            Adele Abbot on Twitter

 

 

Buy Links for Postponing Armageddon: sign up for a preview & get 35% of the cover price…

Barking Rain Press: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/postponing-armageddon-preview/

 

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to interview with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

 

 

Review: POSTPONING ARMAGEDDON by UK Author, Adele Abbot

510x765-Armageddon 1

Postponing Armageddon

a fantasy by

Adelle Abbot

 

Gerard is a centurion leading a Roman legion. In his legion is Max, who resembles a Neanderthal, seems to be immortal and leads a small legion of his own, made up of other primitives. Gerard refers to Max as his uncle and also seems to be immortal. The two of them oversee the crucifixion of Christ.

A few years later, Gerard’s legion is sent to the frontier of Germania. He sleeps with a captive only to be disemboweled by her. Max comes to his bedside and eases his passing away.

Gerard finds himself growing up in Germania, aided by recollections of his earlier life. He is a great help to his politician father who takes him away on a diplomatic mission to the Schonau where he meets his mother from his past life and also meets a striking girl with green eyes called Morion, who is attending the diplomatic meeting for someone called Max. On the way home he steals away from his father and goes to Mandor to take up a life with his past mother. 

He attends the wedding celebration of his cousin in a family made immortal by being related to Max. He sleeps with a woman, not knowing that she is the bride to be, is caught by the cousin and saved from execution by Max who sends him into exile. He is taken away with a bag over his head by Morion and a troop of primitives. By the time they turn him lose far to the west, he and Morion are attracted to each other and plan to meet further west as soon she has taken care of business for Max with a Bishop of Hypolita.

As Gerard travels along enjoying his freedom, he comes upon a monk who has just been waylaid and his companion slain. The monk warily introduces himself as Brother Simeon and offers to pay him to be his bodyguard whilst he travels to Mont St. Michael with eleven sacred scrolls which he believes his assailants were after.

Gerard agrees, and as they begin traveling together, Morion begins appearing to Gerard in his dreams, repeatedly asking him where he is. Simeon discloses that he is the Abbot of Hypolita. At the first town they come to, they fend off an attack in their room by a pair of ape-like primitives whom Simeon thinks are after the scrolls.

At Mont St. Michael, Simeon adds an eleventh scroll and reveals that not only is there a twelfth, but that he is Matthias, a disciple of Christ who wrote one of the very scrolls. There, they fend off an attack in the night by a large group of ape-like primitives. Matthias announces that the thirteenth scroll waits in Britain and that when all of the scrolls are assembled they can be read together to begin the process of rebuilding the world.

On their way across the Channel, they are beset by a tempest with a waterspout. Gerard and Matthias are the only ones to escape when their ship is turned into an inferno by lightning. When they find their way to the abbey at Venta (Winchester) and inquire about the twelfth scroll, they find that it has been declared an unholy work of the Devil. They are seized and tortured before they escape to find themselves pursued by the primitives again. Soon Gerard is not only having more visions of Morion, but of Max as well, and he and Matthias are now having enough close encounters with the primitives that it is clear that Morion and Max are indeed in league with them, attempting to get hold of the scrolls.   

How all of this leads to the postponing of Armageddon would not be fair to disclose to potential readers, but as one can see, it is the beginning of a most unusual and intriguing story which develops and engages the reader very much like the very best fast reading murder mysteries. As far as I am aware, it is quite a new twist to slightly alter biblical and natural history in order to make a good fantasy. In the midst of its first rate entertaining of the reader, it raises thought provoking questions. One can plainly see at the end of the story why Armageddon is indeed postponed, but just exactly who are the demons here? Are they Morion and burly low browed Max and their wolf-men followers? Or are they abbots who order people nailed to timbers in blacksmiths’ sheds whilst scheming over plans of enlarged monasteries? 

Whatever the answer, Postponing Armageddon is outstanding entertainment, and as it is with the best films, I was compelled to read it twice immediately.

 Reviewed by: 

Carol Marrs Phipps

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings

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Jade Nova is just an ordinary 17 year old girl with aspirations of becoming a film maker some day. Well, that is if you overlook the fact that her best friend is a Deva who grows her own body, except for feet, she was still working on those. That’s D-e-v-a, not Diva, a spirit being whose job is to engineer nature. And if you also ignore she spends a great deal of time with a huge insect-like being, nature spirits, a tree spirit, a giant magpie, and sometimes flies inside a glowing, living orb she names Orbit and even travels in an organic spaceship.

Jade’s acquaintance with the Deva and other nature spirits began in her early childhood when the Deva, who she had named Sammy Pong seemed to be merely a magical invisible friend who made things grow at an astounding rate and talked to Jade in her head. But one day Sammy Pong went away and soon so did Jade’s memory of her.

But, Jade and the Deva were destined to be reunited and when they were Jade could not believe her ears when she found out what the Deva wanted her to do. She was just a teenager after all. How could Sammy expect her to make a film about the Deva and the nature spirits and their desire to reunite with humans so they could work together to stop any more species on the planet from becoming extinct before their time? A film that would be professional enough to get the attention not only of the people she knew, but also of the people of the entire earth? Especially when her mother thought she had become some kind of nut case and her ex-bestie was convinced she was some kind of witch?

Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings  by Keith Tutor and Jade Fishburn is a delightfully creative and unique young adult fantasy that could certainly be enjoyed by people of any age. If you have a desire to read a tale that is refreshingly original, I highly recommend it.

Review By:
Carol Marrs Phipps

 

 

Interview with Keith Tutor, YA Fantasy Author of Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings, Who Will Also be Representing Co-Author Jade Fishburn in Her Absence

auth_keithWhat is your name, where did life start for you and where do you live now?

My name is Keith Tutor, I was born in Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.auth_jade

Jade Fishburn comes from Stuarts Point, New South Wales, Australia.

I am currently living in a camping ground basically in the ‘bush’ near Crescent Head on the NSW coast. It is an ideal location with few distractions, perfect for me to concentrate on completing our book series.IMAG0252

Jade is currently employed as a hostess and deckhand on a Super yacht. At the time of doing this interview she is somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean.

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

In another profession I am known as the ‘Rockgod’ and not because I am aIMAG0188 rockguard.keith musician. I come from a Landscape Design and Teaching background.

Some years ago I invented a method of building ‘Artificial Rock’. I became the first teacher of my ‘art’ as I refer to it in Australia. The majority of my students were home owners who wanted to create rock features in their own yards, obtaining this knowledge was another first at the time.

My method was based on simplicity and, recycling building rubble. I ended up demonstrating on a variety ‘how to do it’ television shows and developed a following so much so I ended up producing a DVD series so people anywhere could utilise my methods.

The upshot is that my ‘idea’ has been sold and is practised in 85 countries.
Sorry if this is a bit long winded but the development and production of our ‘Jade and the Deva’ series and where it is today is based on and from what I learnt from doing what I did with ‘Artificial Rock’.

And what are the similarities; would you share that with us?

Well (laughter) having a potentially good idea is a start, feeling a passion for that idea, being realistic about its potential and its possibilities.

For me it is important that people can enjoy the results of what you create, identifying that there is a niche for your idea and in our case finding people who you feel can help you bring the idea to life and communicating a similar passion.

How long have you been writing?

I started piecing Jade and the Deva together in 2006 so I guess I’m a latter day writer whereas Jade was still in High School when she started.

‘Hidden Wings’ has two authors with a goodish age difference between them. Did this happen by chance or was there a strategy in mind?

You could say meeting Jade was by chance, I first met her through her parents.

Because of the nature of our story I thought it would be great if its authors represented their respective generations. Jade Nova, the name of one of our stories main characters is attending high school for a good part of the story.

What did I know about life for a young woman in high school in this day and age? To be honest, pretty well zilch.

As the story developed Co author-Jade came into her own. I would write a ‘rough’ scene, send it to her and together we would ‘work on it.’ When we started working with our Ghostwriter is when we were able to produce our final draft before passing it on to the Proofreader.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?hungry head beach crowds cropped

I live across the road from a row of virtually untouched beaches. Fair to say being on one of them fills a big part of my time away from writing. I can’t get reception for my cell phone or the internet in my little pocket of space. So, my phone calls and emailing happen on a beach walk, on a headland in my car, or in one of the adjoining town’s cafes. I don’t have a TV but I get to watch the latest DVD releases on my laptop. And, I still do a few landscaping projects each year.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in 20 or less words what would you say?

‘Hidden Wings’. It is an impossibly possible story, refreshingly original, wonderful characters, a voice of our times, captivating, heartfelt.

Is there anything in particular that inspired you to write ‘Hidden Wings’?

Absolutely! Rarely does a day goes by that we as individuals, parents and grandparents are not shocked by an event somewhere on ‘our’ planet that questions our sanity and humanity. There are 7 billion reasons for peace on this earth and many of us yearn for what appears the impossible dream. A gentleman by the name of ‘Gandhi’ once voiced a few poignant words… ‘Become the world you want to see’.

They are hugely challenging words because he’s saying, peace starts with each and every one of us, in us, from us and where possible to ‘be’ a living example of it in our own little ways. As I said, ‘hugely’ challenging.

At one point in our story Sammy the Deva says to Jade Nova ‘when you are at war with yourselves you don’t realise you are at war with your Earth, a point will come when she will not be the silent witness you fully expect her to be’.

Just want to say I mainly refer to our story as Jade and the Deva. ‘Hidden Wings’ is the first book in our series. I discovered some months ago another book by the name of ‘Hidden Wings’ was released some months after we released our ‘Hidden Wings’ so that’s an interesting coincidence.

Would you share a ‘blurb’ with us?

Because we have created an extensive website (JadeandtheDeva.com) for this purpose it would be much easier for myself and readers to pay it a visit because there’s lots of blurb ready and waiting there.

Would you share a short excerpt with us?

Love to but again, you will find sample chapters on our website and Amazon offers six chapters for you to read at no cost of course.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes we do, we really appreciate people who take the time and interest. This is all new to us. At the time of writing we have four 5 star reviews on Amazon that’s after 11 days of having ‘Hidden Wings’ on there. I don’t know if that’s good or, if it’s the ‘norm’ perhaps you could let us know.

Australians including me are not that exposed to the world of eBooks especially when it comes to sale price. The thought of selling an eBook of 95,000 words and years spent bringing it to life for $1.99 is for want of a better word ‘madness’ as is $2.99 or $4.99. Aussies are so used to buying a print book for $19.99 or $24.99; it’s hard to get your head around prices like that even though we are talking eBook formats.

We have a ‘glut’ of wines in our country right now and you can get a very good bottle of wine for ten dollars at the moment. There are people here who throw a dinner party and won’t buy that particular wine because they don’t want their guests to think they are ‘cheap’.

We have just set our price for ‘Hidden Wings’ at 99c and it was hilarious because we, the decision makers involved, could hardly get the number 99 out of our mouths. We are first time unknown authors, we want to make our first book available to as many people as possible. We’re learning as we go. We’re currently self publishers so it’s a sensible move, especially because we have two books following this one as a series.

How did you come up with the title and cover designs for your book/books. Who designs the covers for your books?

The name ‘Hidden Wings’ came about after I watched a ‘Kingfisher’ one day as it hovered over a waterhole, it was fishing. The little blue bird remained motionless but its wings were fluttering so quickly they appeared to be invisible.

A young man by the name of Jake Stollery conceived our first book cover way back in 2007. He was in Year 11 at the local high school when I first heard about him. I was entering a large photographic piece in a local art competition and wanted to add some graphics to my piece. Even back then I thought ‘wow’ this young guy is some kind of graphic design ‘prodigy’.

Amazingly, our cover is the very first he had ‘a go’ at designing. To say I am proud of this young guy’s achievement and our ensuing relationship is an understatement, but none more than him being flown to New York last year to accept his award in a global design initiative. To top it off when our PA of everything, Kelly Trevisan, travelled to the Gold Coast to catch up with Hugh Howey, one of the first things he said to her is, ‘man, that book cover of yours is just awesome’. Suggest you go to Jake Stollery.com and have a look for yourself.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Of course, our lives and stories, the stories over a dinner table or around a camp fire are nearly all based on our experiences of people, places and things.

Is there a certain author who has influenced the way you write?

Yes, for better and for worse. I admit I am not an avid reader although Jade is.

Mary Stewart wrote a series based on the life of ‘Merlin’ I read her books when I was a young fella.

She presented Merlin in such a practical ‘real’ way, not in the mythical enchanted manner we are so familiar with. It was a revelation to me, an author writing with such clarity and insight about a man who could well have been the way he is depicted in Mary’s series. On the other hand I have read books that are lazy and non nonsensical leaving me with the thought… why bother?

I am sure we have all seen a film or two that falls into the same category.
One Author revealed to me how to write a story and another author taught me how not to write a story. Guess you could say both were teachers to me.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback or paperback?

Arr, I have never read an eBook… just being honest. I prefer paperback they are easier to carry around.

What is your favourite book and why? And have you read it more than twice?

In earlier years, ‘Lord of the Rings’. I enjoyed Neale Donald Walsch’s ‘Conversations with God’ Series. I thought it was such a fresh, innovative concept and lately Mike Dooley’s ‘Leveraging the Universe’. His material is super easy to read, cleverly done and enlightening.

Do you think books transfer to movie’s well? Why or why not?

Personal opinions… oh boy, there are a lot of entangled circumstances as to why a book does or doesn’t transfer onto film successfully.

If musicians want their music played on commercial radio they have to tailor their songs to, or… just under a designated time limit.

Most films have a time frame I have often heard people complain about the amount of storyline left out of a film. Lots of stuff had to be left out of Lord of the Rings trilogy and they were three hour films.

How much ‘say’ does an author have over the screenplay, the direction and production of their story… is the time of release a bummer, how is it promoted… what about the reviews? Will they be 2 star or 4 star, will it be rave reviews or the film gets slammed? So many factors.

When we were developing Jade and the Deva I wrote as if I was watching a film… a film I always wanted to go and see.

I’d hear a song and would see a whole scene right down to the location, the camera angles, the emotion of that scene and its effect on an audience.

I have already picked out a young up and coming Australian Director after watching his debut film and listening to him in the ‘extras’ afterwards.

I also have a growing list of muso’s (musicians) who I would like to approach for the soundtrack. Maybe that sounds a bit over the top given at this point we only have one book that’s been on Amazon for less than a fortnight.

But, we project what we want to create and we do the little things that start the ball rolling and hey, we’re confident in our stories potential.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?

Apart from the sports section in a newspaper my reading centres around research, self publishing and working on our next two books.

Is there a book you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I couldn’t get into Harry Potter at all or the movie offshoots. Don’t know why, maybe it’s a bit like food, we have our individual tastes.

What do you think about book trailers?

I don’t know much about them so I wouldn’t be the best person to ask.

Like any form of promotion or advertising it can be hit or miss. If you produce a high quality book, have a great cover and a great storyline then produce a cheap tacky trailer to represent it, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Every authors new book is the best thing since sliced bread we want to tell people that, spruiker it wherever possible.

What I’ve learnt is… don’t overdo it. The simple and the understated is a formula that gets results more often than not regardless of what you’re promoting.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Well, we are new writers so what do I say? From a ‘life’ point of view, I have come across so many people who have an idea; they have a passion for that idea but never once make a start on it. They talk themselves out of it, convince themselves it’s impossible or they have people around them who tell them that.

A great journey can start with as simple an act as sitting your butt on a chair and penning… once upon a time. That’s enough, make a start.

The other thing I would say is this. Get yourself away from negative people. I would rather have helium balloons tied to me instead of anchors.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Arr, no I haven’t and I wouldn’t.

If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?

One of the Orbs. When I’m finished here as a human being I would love that to be my next adventure.

If your Jade and the Deva series were to be made into films, what actors would you like to see play the main characters?

We haven’t thought about it but I figure we will down the track. Maybe they will be relatively unknown. I am sure some of those actors will be completely unknown there is an awful lot of awesome talent out there I do know that.photo (1)

Buy Links for Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings:

BUY: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings on Amazon

BUY: Jade and the Deva: Hidden Wings on Smashwords

 

 

Carol 1

 

I want to thank you, Keith for taking out so much of your valuable time to do this fascinating and informative interview for us today. I wish you much success now and in the future with Jade and the Deva.

 

 

 

Interview with Author Susan Waterwyk & Review of Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?interview 007 (3)1

I am Susan Waterwyk. I was born in Texas (the big flat part). I now live in the gold country of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains (one of the most rugged and beautiful places on Earth).

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Life is a canvas and patience is the first art. As a child I was often content to play by myself in an imaginary world populated with magical beings.  My first major artistic endeavor came in the form of music. When I was ten years old, I discovered, on a neighbor’s piano, that I had a talent for music, and my parents proceeded to give me lessons. I eventually went on to compete in the Van Cliburn Competition.  In high school, I became interested in architecture and did rather well in the science of building. The many paths of life that a teenager takes to adulthood led me away from art and into the mainstream of the working class and raising children, but the need to create art was always in my heart.  When I turned thirty, I began painting imaginary landscapes (or dreamscapes) on canvas. Writing poetry taught me how to paint pictures with words. My husband explained the technicalities of poetry, but I struggled for a long time with meter.  Then one day, while working in my garden, to the rhythm of the rake, I had a revelation from the working meditation, and a poem took its shape about the magic life creates. Writing poetry eventually led to the desire to write a story, but I had no inspiration until I had a dream of a conversation with a dragon.  A few days later, I began writing my first novel.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to sit on my deck and toss peanuts (roasted unsalted) to the birds and squirrels that come to visit Dragonwood. We named our little acre in the forest for the twisted red trunks of the manzanita trees. I also enjoy working in my garden, and I still paint from time to time.  

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

phpWRjFo5AM(1)LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY: A story of a sanctuary world where refugees from two worlds (dragons and humans) co-exist peacefully.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, if two books constitutes a series. I do not at this time have plans for a third book. The sequel is titled: A TALE OF TWO WORLDS.

Would you share a blurb with us?

Eighteen-year-old Tylya Lansing lives in a small town in the mountains of California’s gold country. Her grandmother Lenora claims to be from another world, and the story she tells of Lantamyra are irresistible, the magnificent vistas, the ancient gardens and enormous trees that are treasured assets, festivals that celebrate the seasonal changes, and dragons that play chess.  The most intriguing story, however, is about the women and men that learn to control the power of crystals.

In a rugged Sierra canyon, Tylya finds what her grandmother lost forty years ago (which stranded her on Earth) and it provides the means for them to journey to Lantamyra. Tylya is determined to learn the secrets of crystal power and become a keeper of dragons.

Would you share a short excerpt?

Nightkeeper Kyra Starszyn from Chapter 8: “This night belongs to lovers and dreamers, a night when threads of love are woven into a tapestry of fantasy, a night to magically transform into the character you wish to play. This is the night to banish hatred and all things sad and dark, a night to tell a story and share a whispered secret.” She placed a finger to her lips and blew softly.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I am currently working on A TALE OF TWO WORLDS, the conclusion to LANTAMYRA. Earth is beginning to experience the Great Change (tectonic upheavals), and the gathering of refugees from countries all over the world is essential. Tylya and Lenora are in command of some of the missions, which includes a mission to retrieve the lost crystals of Atlantis.  Tylya’s former lover, Josh Hamilton, has taken the dangerous job of crystalseeker in the mine at Queen’s Heart.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I wrote my first pages on Mother’s Day 2005. I was inspired by a dream of a conversation with a dragon.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes, occasionally, and I intend to offer more in the near future.

Would you ever consider writing with a co-author?

It would depend on the type of book and the compatibility with the co-author. I   would be reluctant to sentence another human being to endure my artistic eccentricities.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

My title LANTAMYRA A TAPESTRY OF FANTASY was created in two parts. I created a few words in an “ancient language” and mixed them together. “Lan” means world or mother and “myra” means crystal. The “Tapestry of Fantasy” was added later to give the reader a clue on the type of book. I designed and painted the book cover on canvas to give the readers a visual dreamscape. I intentionally chose a dark foreground to act as a gravity well to draw the viewer’s attention into the picture and to some of the critical elements of the story , i.e., the dragon, the two moons, the White Queen (mountain on the left), Bodhran Rock (on the right). 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

No, the characters are fictitious, but I gave a few of them physical descriptions similar to a few people I know.  All events are fictitious.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Anne McCaffrey is my favorite author, but I have been influenced by many great authors.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I like all three and each has its advantages.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

The three books of the CRYSTAL SINGER series by Anne McCaffrey because of the imaginative world she created and the enjoyable characters that populated it. I have read each book several times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

It depends on the book and the movie producers.  A few good examples: THE GRAPES OF WRATH, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  and THE GODFATHER. Bad examples are far too numerous and are frequently described as “loosely based” on the book.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I’m reading the paperback NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austen. In hardback I’m re-reading A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. In eBook I’m reading THE COLLECTOR WITCH by Carol and Tom Phipps and LAKE CAERWYCH by J.A. Conrad.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I will never read books that focus on horror, violence and hate. There are many books I have started but never finished. I will not single one out.

What do you think about book trailers?

I thought they were called “bookmobiles.” But seriously, I have not viewed any, so I cannot give an opinion.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Read your entire story aloud several times, the ear will often catch mistakes in logic, grammar, or anything else that interrupts the flow of the story, and my last advice is edit, edit, edit, edit, edit. I have even gone to the extreme of reading chapters backwards. I start at the end and read one paragraph then go to the one before it and so on, all the way back to the beginning of the chapter. WHY? Because it prevents me from getting wrapped up in my own story and reading over errors that are subtle and easily overlooked.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Yes, because privacy is important for me to continue writing.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

I don’t keep track of the Hollywood crowd anymore; I would have to delegate that task to the casting director.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

No, I write fantasy for the heart and science fiction for the future, no other genres inspire me to write.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I believe eBooks will endure as long as there are people and computers. It is so advantageous to hold a tablet that can contain many books, change the font size, define obscure or archaic terms, etc. However, there will always be a few humans who love to hold an old-fashioned book in their hands.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

I have not actually tried to obtain a traditional professional publisher. An attempt at obtaining a literary agent was aggravating enough to encourage me to try self-publishing. Mark Twain and Zane Grey self-published to start their careers, so I felt it was worth a shot. I believe both types of publishing have their own advantages and disadvantages.  A major disadvantage to indie authors is the way that Amazon presents their books. Amazon forgets that they are in the business to sell books. If the majority of reviews are good then those are the ones to display on the ad page. They should make the few bad reviews less noticeable like the ingredients on the back of a can of soup. If Amazon ran a restaurant there would be two signs in the front window: OVER 100 PEOPLE THOUGHT OUR FOOD WAS GREAT!!! and next to it THREE PEOPLE THREW UP AND TWO SAID THEY WOULD NOT FEED IT TO THEIR DOG!! How long do you think it would take before they went out of business?

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Early on I experienced writer’s block but not for long, if I was blocked from writing the next scene, I would simply jump ahead in the story and write a scene for another chapter.

 

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?  I have a blog on Goodreads.phpWRjFo5AM(1)
Your web site? Not at this time.
Your facebook page?
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @waterwyk
And any other information you wish to supply? Reader questions and comments can be sent directly to Waterwykarts@gmail.com

 

Buy Links for Lantamyra: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009KWM4LW/

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you, Susan, for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

 

Review: Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy

phpWRjFo5AM(1)Lantamyra is uniquely different from most other fantasy worlds. It is not break-neck action or violence racing you and your heart through every page. It is, rather, a page-turner of discovery and delight. The author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted the 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.

From the moment Josh Hamilton, Tylya Lansing’s long-time love, finds her grandmother’s crystal scepter you are catapulted into a world where dragons rule and humans serve. But there is neither tyranny nor coercion involved in the relationship, which is almost a symbioses of harmony in which they live and work to achieve their common goals and the welfare of all.

Lantamyra is full of great wonders like the crystal starships and the vast myra crystals that are so powerful they are not only energy for the ships but give the keepers and the dragons their magical abilities. You’ll even meet the Keepers of Akosh, ancient magical beings and the founders of Lantamyra who have  the ability to open doorways into the crystal realm. It was they who originally discovered the amazing giant myra crystals on Lantamyra which are capable of powering vast starships to search for more living worlds.

Many other marvels will captivate and astound you during your visit to this incredible world, such as the wee fairy folk (not too bright, but definitely beguiling), the mants (rather frightening and venomous beasties), and the scarp (a seafood delight of monstrous magnitude) and much, much more.

So what are you waiting for? Open a portal and send for a dragon to carry you away to Lantamyra today. But be warned: you may not want to leave.

BY: Carol Marrs Phipps

Fantasy: Escapism or Genius?

Mel 060902_170600

I recently watched a National Geographic episode on J. R. R. Tolkien’s, “Lord of the Rings” and what inspired him to write it. 51P5KQW1FDL__AA160_ National Geographic DocEvery writer takes in their surroundings and life events and puts them into a box, opening it up later during the writing process. Lots of what we live, we write.

However, fantasy writers seem to be attacked more often than other fiction writers. While “attacked” might be a strong accusation, it is the most apt description. Fantasy writers seem to be frowned upon where other fiction writers are praised. Even sci-fi authors get the “Oh, I’m so sorry” look from people when telling them what genre they write.

I’ve said it before, though: Every writer includes fantasy in their work.
But the real reason for the “attack” is that people hear that you are a fantasy writer and immediately assume you can’t handle real life so you escape from it. The biased opinions don’t fade easily, either. Unless of course you are Tolkien, George R. R. Martin or Terry Brooks. If you are not a well known, successful fantasy author, you better have a thick skin. Apparently people equate success and riches with intelligence. But have you ever looked at a fantasy/sci-fi book and thought to yourself that the person must be some kind of bumbling idiot?

Every writer out there interacts with society on so many different levels, but the one key thing they all share is a deep, intellectual understanding of their fellow human beings. Good writers, fiction or otherwise, know what makes people tick. And they’re smart!

So think about that for a moment and now look at fantasy and even sci-fi authors. Look at the worlds they create, look at the underlying politics, the issues, the people and then ask yourself if you think they’re idiots or geniuses. It takes a certain level of intelligence to write, yes. But personally, I think it takes exceptional intelligence to write fantasy or sci-fi. So go ahead, call me a nerd or a geek. I know I am. I know how to face real life issues like a pro and roll with the punches. Because I take what I learn and I put it out there in my writing for the world to see and to help those who are struggling with life issues to find a solution somehow. What’s your writing IQ?All writers do. We’re equals, no matter what genre we choose to focus on and channel our skills into. Tolkien was a genius.



Mel~

~ I’m a blogger: www.caledonialass.blogspot.com

~I’m an author: www.mlchesley.webs.com

www.writing.com/authors/relanda

~Find me on Twitter: @MLChesley

~Find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mel.chesley

The Tyrant King Blog Tour with Cheri Chesley

 

Review of The Tyrant King

 When a mysterious stranger with an eerie resemblance to Gregory Gildersleeve, her deceased husband, arrives upon the heels of a devastating letter bearing the news of her younger brother’s death, Queen Krystal is catapulted into a series of events wrought with intrigue, danger and heartbreak. As time passes she learns that her beloved husband, Jareth, and the Kingdom of Fayterra are the true targets of the stranger, now known to be Gregory’s son, Donovan Gildersleeve. However, Donovan considers the destruction of everything and everyone important to King Jareth part of his revenge against the king he considers responsible for his father’s death.

Though Queen Krystal came from peasant stock she proves once again that there is nothing common about her as she takes up her sword and prepares to defend and protect those she loves, propriety be hanged!

There are an abundance of page-turning revelations and mysteries in this fantasy tale to keep you up well after your bedtime. But this engrossing story won’t make you regret the missed hours of sleep.

By  Carol Marrs Phipps

Interview with Cheri Chesley

 

I’m Carol Marrs Phipps and today I am interviewing Cheri Chesley, the very talented author of The Tyrant King. The eBook was released on July 20, 2012 and print version July 31.

Hello Cheri. I want to thank you for granting this interview today. How are you doing?

A little sleepy, actually. But otherwise great! 🙂

We’ll begin our interview today with a few “Cheri” trivia questions.

Favorite Book: That depends entirely on my mood. It’s like asking me which is my favorite child.

Favorite Author: Again, tough to narrow down. I love Gail Carson Levine, Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, C.K. Bryant, Ali Cross and Karen E. Hoover. And that’s just the top of the list.

Favorite Genre: I read pretty much everything but horror and erotica. But, right now, because I’m writing fantasy, I’m reading fantasy.

Pet Peeve: Having to repeat myself. Especially with my kids.

Place you’d most like to visit and why: Ireland. It’s always been Ireland. Part of my family heritage can be traced back there, and I love ruins, castles, scenery, and the like.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in AZ, where I nurtured an early love of books and writing into creating my first novel in high school. I married in 1996 and had 5 children in rapid succession (I had twins, so that helped). In 2006 a series of personal and family incidents caused me to refocus on my writing. Now I’m writing, working, raising my kids, and trying to keep it all together–like everyone else.

 What is your worst nightmare?

Call it a superstition, but I don’t believe in acknowledging my deepest fears and having that information out in the universe.

Were you inspired by any other writers?

Certainly. Most of the time it’s books I read and think, “I can never be that good” that inspire me to be the best I CAN be.

Would you tell us a little about your upcoming book? Is it a stand alone book or part of a series?

The Tyrant King is the sequel to my first book, The Peasant Queen, and it takes place 4 years after TPQ ends.  Trouble starts when a stranger arrives in Fayterra with a link to the past that threatens to spiral Krystal’s entire peaceful world into chaos. I really think it’s the best thing I’ve written so far.

There is an unofficial fourth book in the planned trilogy that I released last year called The Wild Queen. It’s primarily for readers who liked my villain from The Peasant Queen (there were surprisingly many of them) and wanted to know more about his past.

The final book in the series, The Lost Princess, will be out next year.

If you could become one of the characters in The Tyrant King who would it be and why?

For a long time I’d have said Krystal, because in so many ways she was me. But, really, I’d want to be Alana. There’s a lot more to that character than the readers get to see. Maybe someday I’ll write her story, too.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

The seeds were planted in high school, but I waffled about it for a long time. Sure I’d love to be a writer, but is it hobby or profession?

It wasn’t until 2006 that I began to take myself seriously as a writer. It seems like a long journey, since it encompasses over 20 years of my life, but I wasn’t writing all that time. I was spending a lot of it growing up, getting married and having my own family.

What genre(s) do you write?

My current focus is YA fantasy, with a dash of romance. But I have several irons in the fire, so to speak. I have contemporary YA, good old clean romance, middle grade fiction, even a couple of mysteries.

 

How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your books? Who was the designer of your current book?

I work with the amazing Deirdra A. Eden for my covers. She does awesome work. The titles are mine–usually the third or fourth attempt at finding the “perfect” title for the story.

What do you think about book trailers?

I’m still on the fence. I admire so many of the trailers I’ve seen, but I’m not sure how effectively they help sell books. And I admit part of that is due to my severe creative handicap at coming up with one of my own. 🙂

Is there any book that you know you will just never read? If so, why not?

50 Shades of Gray. Honestly, I’m not remotely tempted. I’m simply not a fan of graphically sexual or violent books.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write. And read. And write some more. And share. Be open to learning how to make your writing better.

Would you share one thing about yourself that no one else knows?

That is impossible, since my husband knows everything about me. But something that perhaps is not well known is that I hate berries. I really do. I won’t eat anything with berries in it–unless it’s store bought blueberry waffles. Weird, but true.

When and where do you usually write?

I write whenever the impulse strikes, and wherever I am–I always have paper of some kind with me. But I prefer to sit at my desk when I’m working on my stories. That’s where I take all my scattered ideas and try to make sense of them.

Why did you choose Indie Publishing?

I was traditionally published at first, but they declined to take on the sequel so I decided to publish it myself. It’s next to impossible to find a publisher willing to start in the middle of a series.

But the more I get into it, the more I realize I like it. I like having control over the finished product–cover, formatting, editing, etc. The Tyrant King went through a professional edit after I was done editing it myself and sending it out to writer friends and reader friends for feedback. I believe in putting out the best book I can.

Are you currently working on something new and if so would you give us a sneak peek of what it is about?

I plan to have another book out by the end of the year. It’s called City of Light, and it’s about a young woman who purposely thwarts a demon’s prophecy to save her sister’s life.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

I don’t think we covered whether or not I have any pets. 🙂 For the record, I have the perfect little dog for our family. She’s a recent acquisition and we call her Sunny.

Where can readers follow you?

Blog: http://www.cheri-chesley.com/

Website: http://www.cheri-chesley.com/p/home.html

Goodreads author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CheriWrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheri-Chesley-Author/117640374915557?ref=hl

Any other info you wish to share:

Readers who have read The Peasant Queen may enjoy the alternate ending I added to my website.

Also, I put up the first chapter of The Tyrant King on my site for those who want to read more.

Thank you so much Cheri for taking time to interview on our blog. It has been a genuine pleasure getting a peek into your writing world.