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Archive for May, 2018

STRAYED by KristaLyn A. Vetovich,YA/NA Fantasy

Title: STRAYED
Author: KristaLyn Vetovich
Publisher: Glass House Press
Genre: YA/NA Fantasy
In the struggle between good and evil, humans don’t stand a chance—not on their own. Which is why, for every living soul, there is a Firn: a spirit assigned to guide and defend humans from demonic spirits like the Aropfain. But earning a place in the fight is a process that requires several lifetimes—of service, experience, and sacrifice.
Having just returned from her most recent life as an Ancient Romanmartyr, Anaya is only one step away from achieving that goal. And if she succeeds, she might become the Firn with the most important mission: guiding the human that will either save—or end—the world.
But when she’s paired with the notoriously difficult Jordin, her chances of success suddenly start to slip. Because Jordin isn’t like other souls. He’s strong, volatile—and a prime target for the Aropfain. And he almost immediately falls for an Aropfain ploy that could not only jeopardize his chances of becoming a Firn, but also endanger the entire
world.
As his partner, Anaya is the only one who can save him. But will she succeed? Or will she fail—and take the world down with her?

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF

 

CHAPTER ONE
Well, it happened again. I died.
The bloodied sand of the colosseum shivers out of focus as my soul shakes
off its physical limitations in favor of a higher vibration. Instead of
centurions and weeping family, I’m now surrounded by snowy white noise and
quiet.
They came for me at dawn. I can still hear my mother’s sobs. I was only
twelve.
I blink the memories away just as a man bends and pulls into view before
me, then straightens with a blithe sort of smile. “Welcome back,” he says in an
excessively soothing tone. He wears glasses I know he doesn’t need, and behind
them, his unearthly blue eyes trace my face, looking for signs of stress.
And it comes back to me like the snap of fingers. An Advokat. Here to
help me adjust to the trauma of crossing over from life to death.
Suddenly I wonder how he sees me. Do I have blue eyes now? In
life, they were brown, but here in death I’ve always imagined others see me
with crystal blue. I guess it would depend on how much they like me. Appearance
is entirely based on impression here. We see what we feel. Feelings are real,
vision an illusion.
And this Advokat must be new, I realize a moment later. If he’d been
here for any length of time, he wouldn’t be using the sappy voice they put on
for the newer souls. The ones who don’t understand how it works. He’d know that
I’m something of a regular in the transition between life and death—that I’ve
lost count of how many of these interviews I’ve had to sit through. I’m sure I
know the process better than he does.
Because I’ve had his job before, mastered it long ago.
I skim him, searching the endless trove of memories trying to break
through the fog of earthly business still clouding my mind. I don’t remember
him. And I can see that he doesn’t know me.
Definitely new. Which means he’ll play the interview by the book. I
groan.
The Advokat reaches out as if to comfort me, like my groan was one of
anxiety and not disdain. “Try not to panic.”
I resist the urge to roll my eyes and flatten my gaze at him instead. I
understand it’s his job to help me recover from the shock of death, but
honestly, I’m fine. So I died—so what? There are many things worse than death,
and one of them, if anyone ever bothered to ask me, is living. I’m actually
thrilled to be back here—and I don’t need an Advokat to counsel me through the
transition.
Also, I’m in a bit of a hurry. I have important business to attend to,
even higher vibrations to achieve. I’m so close now, and he’s the only thing
standing in my way.
I tap my foot and glance around for someone—anyone who might recognize
me and give me an opportunity to walk away from this unnecessary formality.
“Everything will make sense soon.” The Advokat’s voice echoes through
the white expanse around us. Clearly, all other souls are keeping their
distance to allow me to transition without any added shock. Or—I narrow my eyes
at the Advokat—he’s followed protocol by requesting they give us space.
And do we ever have it. As far as the eye can see, there’s nothing but
static white. But I smile, and my shoulders relax—because this is my true home.
Just the way I remember it.
The Advokat leans into my line of sight. “Do you know your name?”
My smile drops.
In life, my name was Agnes. In this life, anyway.
There have been so many lives, so many names, but between them all, just
one feels like home.
When it comes, my voice sounds like a lost, cherished memory. “Anaya.”
My first word after death. The truest word I know.
The Advokat smiles and nods. He doesn’t take any notes or write anything
down, and I know about that, too. The answers are in his mind, ready when he
needs them, downloaded into his head from the source of all truth on the
highest plane of vibration there is: El Olam, our master and creator. He sits
so high none of us can reach him, above laws and structure. The world is as he
makes it, and we are simply stewards of his creation, here to serve.
And today I’ll go one step further in the process of becoming a defender
of creation. I’ll become a Firn.
The Advocat, who is becoming more annoying by the moment, interrupts my
thoughts with yet another question. “Good. And do you know where you are?”
Where I am? Well it’s a much better place than where I was…
I was in Rome, in the fourth century. I rejected a boy, and he sold me
out as a Christian. It took them forever to kill me—first with shame, then with
flames. But all I gave them was a blank stare through the numbness. They
couldn’t shame me. I wouldn’t burn when they strung me to the stake and lit the
fire—even the flames knew not to touch me. But the Roman officer’s sword
through my throat did the trick in the end. I was gone before I felt anything.
So I guess the joke’s on them. There was darkness, then a burst of light—
And now I’m home, where none of that matters anymore. I’m free here.
Because no one can shame or kill the dead. I’ll be safe as long as I stay.
“This is Lemayle,” I say quietly. “The afterlife. The real world.” And I
have no intention of ever living again.
He rocks back and grins. “Wonderful!” Then his face stiffens. He
swallows and his eyes shake as he looks me over for a second time, now scanning
for any truths beneath the surface, anything I’m hiding from him. If souls
could sweat, he’d be a mess as he prepares for the most important question of
the interview.
I used to have his job, so I know what comes next. My answers from here
on out will decide my final destination.
“All right.” He clears his throat. He doesn’t have to. It’s the nerves.
I will be his enemy if I answer poorly, but he has to remain objective. He’s a
professional, after all, and he doesn’t know whose side I’m on yet—what changes
this most recent lifetime might have made in me.
I was martyred, and not all martyrs come back home the way they should.
Martyrs go into life as warriors for El Olam’s cause … but don’t always return
feeling their suffering was justified. Some turn against him and defect to the
one who seeks to depose him.
And me? How do I feel about the suffering I was put through? Have
I changed my mind about who to serve? And how dangerous does that make me to
the fragile balance of the world? That’s what the Advokat needs to find out.
“Do the names El Olam and Narn mean anything to you?”
Good and evil. That’s what they mean. Free will and slavery. But which
is which? Is El Olam good … or is he evil? Are Narn’s plans for less service to
living souls and more dominion over them more appealing? Are they justified? No
soul chooses evil.
They simply choose what they believe is right.
I hide my laugh with a cough at the tension in the Advokat’s hunched
shoulders. If he’s new—and he wants to stay—he’ll need a stiffer a spine than
he’s got now. I might as well be the one to give it to him.
I level my gaze at him, eyes wide open to appear just a little less
threatening. “Yes. I know them.”
He nods, more rigidly this time, and rubs the back of his neck as he
braces for my response to his final question.
“And … your allegiance?”
I stare at him for a long moment, watching the anxiety build behind his
bright blue eyes. He doesn’t want any trouble, but his other hand twitches at
his side, ready to summon the support of a slightly higher power—just in case I
came back tainted.
Just in case I’ve decided I hate the way the world works … and want to
serve the one trying to turn it upside down.
“Oh calm down,” I finally chide him. This has gone on long enough to
bore me. I have business to attend to, and honestly, after fifty lifetimes, a
soul should be able to just skip this process. “I chose El Olam lifetimes ago.
I’m bound to be a Firn. This was my last run.”
His whole body wilts as the tension releases. Had I said Narn, the
Advokat and I would have had a few issues. Because it would have meant I was a
soul with eyes toward flipping the script, turning the world upside down—force
living souls to do as we say, and ruling over them as gods.
He’d have had to immediately summon one of Lemayle’s second-highest
authorities—a Malekh, El Olam’s archangels—to deal with me. And it wouldn’t
have been pleasant. The Malekh don’t like jokes. Most of them, anyway.
“Well that is a relief.” The Advokat’s hand slides from the back of his
neck to clutch his chest, steadying the phantom sensation of a palpitating
heart.
And I grin, even though I shouldn’t. But what’s the fun in seniority if
you can’t mess with the rookies?
“We need as many Firns as we can get,” he admits, “events accelerating
as they are.” I perk up at that. Accelerating events is much more my
speed—though it gives me less time to meet the final criteria for joining the
Firns’ ranks. “The living souls need all the protection we can give them,” he
finishes.
I couldn’t agree more. And that’s where I come in—where all the Firns stand
and serve El Olam. Without Firns to guide living souls and protect them from
temptation and harm, Narn would flip the script. And humans would walk
right into their own slavery.
But El Olam won’t allow it.
So neither will I. I’m so close now. Just one step left, and if I
impress the Malekh and El Olam enough in my next job as a soul collector, then
I’ll become a Firn, and one day I’ll be even more than that. If I perform well
enough, I’ll be chosen as the Firn who oversees El Olam’s plan to defeat Narn
once and for all. It has to be one of us, so it might as well be me. And I
won’t stop until I see it happen.
Meanwhile, the Advokat extends his hand to me. “Best of luck to you. I
hope you make the cut.”
I glance at his hand and back up to him. So he really hasn’t
heard of me, then. I may not be a Firn yet, but I have made a name for
myself as the one to watch for earning the coveted position in El Olam’s plan.
Well, if he hasn’t heard of me yet, he will soon enough.
“Thanks.” With a smirk, I grip his hand and shake it firmly enough to
knock him off balance. “But I really don’t need luck.”

 

KristaLyn A. Vetovich is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight May 31
  • Winner will be contacted via email on May 31
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

KristaLyn is the internationally published author of seven books and one short story, including the upcoming Prelude of the Reyn Gayst series releasing in 2018 from Glass House Press. She graduated in 2011 from
Susquehanna University with a degree in English Literature and began traditionally publishing her novels the next year. KristaLyn is also acertified health and life coach and enjoys infusing her stories with motivational themes and characters from all walks of life.

KristaLyn lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their corgi, Jack.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 

 

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Title: Ordainment Betrayal

Author: Dennis Quiles

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Format: Ebook



Jack Steele is an ex–naval intelligence officer turned private investigator who has just proposed to his girlfriend, Martha, over dinner when he sees a bloodied and frightened boy running toward him outside the restaurant. After Martha steps in to protect the boy from the two men in hot pursuit, a gun battle ensues, leaving Jack’s beloved fiancée dead on the sidewalk. While Jack grapples with the ramifications of her tragic death, he is unwittingly pulled into the dark world of human trafficking at the hands of an Albanian mob doing business near Lake Michigan. Desperate for answers, Jack partners with a Chicago police detective to learn about the organized crime culture and develop a plan to stop the trafficking operation and free their victims before they are sold on the black market. As Jack puts his own life on the line, he must battle the powerful Catholic Church and stop the cunning exploits of a deranged pedophile priest who believes he is doing God’s work by turning children into little angels. But will Jack manage to accomplish his heroic mission before it is too late for more innocent victims? Ordainment Betrayal shares the thrilling tale of a former intelligence agent’s dangerous quest to stop an Albanian human trafficking operation in collusion with the Roman Catholic Church..


 

PURCHASE HERE

BOOK REVIEW:

When Jack becomes a private investigator he has no idea what his life is about to become. After losing his newly recent fiancé in a gun battle after she protects a young boy, he vows to get to the bottom of her death no matter the cost. What he never anticipates is how deeply he will be pulled into a world where the mob and the Catholic church play major roles.
A very intriguing and believable book, Mr. Quiles has created a story that could be pulled from the headlines. The plot and characters are very well done and you keep turning the pages as fast as you can to find out the ending. Very well written!

WhenDennis Quiles earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in business administration. A US military veteran and an accomplished professional of the protection business, he is the director of global security for one of the world’s largest multinational corporations. Quiles and his wife have three children and currently live in Illinois. This is his third book.

 

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Title: Chubby Wubbles: A Ferret’s Tale
Author: M.J. Abrams
Publisher: Trafford
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Ebook
A delightful story about the adventures of a young man and a mischievous ferret awaits in Chubby Wubbles!
This vibrant picture book tells a compelling story about the bond that develops between them. As the story unfolds, their loneliness leads to a fateful meeting and a growing friendship. Together they embark on an exciting journey that progresses with lots of humor, fun, and unexpected drama along the way. Chubby Wubbles will warm the hearts of children everywhere!
Book review:

 Not familiar with ferrets I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. But, it was just adorable! I loved the pictures and the characters throughout and think that it is a great story and perfect for little one (not that older kids can’t learn a lesson). Great book and highly recommend.    


After being an observer and non-pet owner, I was thrown into the mix because my son was leaving and I couldn’t bear the thought of him having to give up his pet ferret to someone else. Since I’ve grown so attached to this lovable critter, I agreed to take care of him while he was away. Because of the many experiences my son has had with this adorably sweet animal, I decided to write a children’s book based on a true story about their adventures and misadventures.

 

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Title: A Thousand Points of Truth
Author: V.P. Hughes
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: History
Format: Ebook

My interest in Colonel John Singleton Mosby began in 1950.  However it wasn’t until 2002 that it led to extensive research on the subject centered upon newspaper reports on the man begun during the Civil War and continued throughout and even after his life. And while I rejected Virgil Carrington Jones’s observation on Mosby contained in the preface of this work I did not contemplate writing this book until an even more disparaging observation came to my attention during my research.The comment was contained in an article in the Ponchatoula Times of May 26 1963 as part of a six article series written by Bernard Vincent McMahon entitled The Gray Ghost of the Confederacy.  Mr. McMahon in turn based his comment upon General Omar Bradley’s judgment of what might have been the postwar life of General George Patton. Now substitute Mosby for General Patton in the book A General’s Life by Omar Bradley I believe it was better for General Patton, Mosby and his professional reputation that he died when he did. He would have gone into retirement hungering for the old limelight beyond doubt indiscreetly sounding off on any subject anytime any place. In time he would have become a boring parody of himself a decrepit bitter pitiful figure unwittingly debasing the legend emphasis mine McMahon however only proffered in his writings the widely accepted view of John Mosby held by many if not most. However like General Ulysses S. Grant I have come to know Colonel Mosby rather more intimately through the testimony of countless witnesses over a span of 150 years and I believe that it is time for those who deeply respect John Mosby the soldier to now also respect John Mosby the man. A century ago the book of John Singleton Mosby’s life closed. It is my hope that this book will validate the claim he made during that life that he would be vindicated by time.

BOOK REVIEW

Being a history buff, I jumped at the chance to read this book. And, while I knew quite a bit about General Grant, I wasn’t too familiar with Colonel Mosby. The author did a great job of not only laying out a timeline that was easy to follow, but also exploring the life of Colonel Mosby and the ups and downs he went through.
Quite an interesting historical account, this book made me want to dig out my history books and search the internet to find out even more, not something I am drawn to do very often. Very well written and researched, I’m glad I took the time.
For many years, V. P. Hughes has been drawn to certain historical figures whom she researched at great length and in considerable depth regarding not only the person of interest but the period in which that individual lived and his influence upon it. Over the years, she has studied such heroes as Sir William Marshal (1147-1219), Sir Harry (Hotspur) Percy (1364-1403), Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), Sir William Wallace (1270-1305), Francis Marion (1732-1795) and the legendary figures William Tell and Robin Hood. The last three were of especial interest because they, with their few followers, engaged the most powerful armies of the time-and prevailed. Of course, John Singleton Mosby was another such champion-a man who defeated his adversaries with cunning and courage rather than brute military force.Yet Mosby became an even greater curiosity when during her research the author discovered that he had died twenty-five years to the day and hour of her own birth-May 30th, 9 a.m, 1916 and 1941 respectively. Although acknowledged as a mere coincidence, however curious, Mosby’s unique style of warfare and his astonishing success under the circumstances extant, made him of especial interest. Early on, her knowledge of the man centered around the Civil War, but then, copious written works as well as the opinions of past and present day Mosby sages brought to light his post-war life in a manner that seemingly disparaged and negated all the glories that had gone before. Finding this both troubling and unacceptable, when the opportunity arose to refute these calumnies and slanders, the author felt obligated to undertake what is, in essence, a posthumous defense of the man. It is hoped that this unique work will achieve the goal of undoing a great injustice and restoring to a noble American hero the respect and admiration he so richly deserves.

 

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Benjamin Mester is native of San Diego but can often be found wandering the woods of northern Minnesota. He fell in love with language at an early age – the eloquence of poetry or the grandeur of an epic story. Fantasy is his favorite genre, crafting new and magical places of heroism and adventure. When he isn’t writing, he’s often taking long walks through nature or wondering about his place in the wide world.
Benjamin is the author of The Banished Lands series.
You can visit him on Goodreads.

About the Book:

A kingdom in danger. A prophecy that will change everything. But will they understand it in time? The old world is gone, and barely even histories remain. But something from that time is returning. The closing lines of a farewell poem, written centuries ago by the last great king of the age to his slain wife, might be more than just a poem:

The world and all its light shall fade,
I’ll stay with her beneath the shade
And wait until the world’s remade…

Join us in this epic fantasy adventure as three friends plunge into the great mystery of their age, twelve centuries in the making. A mysterious fog blankets the forest just outside the sleepy town of Suriya. A dark plot unfolds as Durian and his friends discover ties between a strange wanderer and the warlike barbarian kingdom far to the north. Are the mysterious things happening in the forest a prelude to invasion? What happens next will propel Durian and his curious friends into the middle of the oldest riddle in the history of their kingdom, a dozen centuries old.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Other Books in The Banished Lands Series


Would you call yourself a born writer?

Definitely not! My mom constantly expresses her surprise every time I finish a new book. I loathed writing as a younger man and the passion for it sprung up out of nowhere in my mid twenties.

What was your inspiration for The Banished Lands?

I’ve always loved poetry – the mystery of it and the feeling that there was something deeper just out of reach that I couldn’t quite describe. The inspiration for The Banished Lands series was to take that feeling of mystery and indefinable profundity and explore it in a fantasy world in a way I don’t think has been done before.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Poetry. Friendship. Love. The epic struggle of good vs evil. What it means to live ones life to the full – discarding what’s good in search of what’s best. All your classic archetypes that probably sound very cliché when boiled down to a paragraph of description 🙂

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It has really taken a decade to finish The Banished Lands. Every time a new book in the series came out, I felt compelled to rewrite the first book.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Morning is my favorite time to write. Cup of coffee in hand, the freshness of the day inspires a likewise freshness in my creativity. Most days I have only an hour to frolick around in fantasy before real life takes hold, so I end up writing at the end of the day.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The initial chapters for sure. Because I’m not one for shock and awe, or beginning with superfluous action sequences to hook the reader, it was very challenging for me to introduce my world in a compelling way and to integrate the overarching story within the story.

What do you love most about being an author?

Being able to finally express how I’m really thinking and feeling. Studying poetry made me fall in love with the beauty of language. When you feel something like passion or inspiration, describing it to the reader in a way they understand is difficult enough. But describing it to them in such a way that it evokes similar feelings and passions is the true glory of the written word.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I went the self publishing route and I’m very happy I did. I’m constantly revising and improving my work, especially as new books in the series come out. Having the freedom to make edits is a huge benefit. I want my work to be the very best it can be and until my books find themselves into enough hands that I can no longer make changes, I’m going to keep improving them. If you start small, keep improving till you hit the bigtime.

Where can we find you on the web?

Goodreads has my full collection of books and some video walk throughs of my favorite classic poems. Here’s the link:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13934655.Benjamin_Mester

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smokecover1Writing is a rush, like leaping from an airplane without an anvil. Writing this book provided a special rush. Inspiration and ideas for writing Smoke grew over a period of time. I finally had to let the ideas stain the paper (or computer screen) like blood from a head wound. The characters created the story. I began with the characters locked in an unexpected kiss; they took over the story from there. The characters kept pressing forward, urging me to write their story. Naturally, I had to make some decisions, add additional characters, imagine scenes, and decide the ultimate conclusion. Although the characters drove the story, they didn’t write it themselves. Fictional characters have a remarkably poor work ethic in that respect.

As often happens, life intervened. I had to set aside Smoke about half way through so that I could fulfill my obligation on another project—Finding Jack: The Orb. I returned to writing Smoke as soon as I could. It has been a delightful ride. I think of Smoke like chocolate chip mint ice cream: The chocolate chips are reminiscent of My Favorite Brunette; the mint flavor is a bit like The Maltese Falcon.

Here’s part of the blurb:

She walked in hotter and sweeter than a peppermint candy cane covered in white phosphorus. She had my attention and held it like a pup in a steel trap. I had never enjoyed a trap more. There was just one problem. She wanted me to find her husband.
She was the first woman to complicate my life that day. She wouldn’t be the last. The investigation soon took a sudden turn, just like the quarry road where her husband’s car didn’t. He challenged gravity and came in second. Was it murder or suicide? Was it a business rival, or the mob? Were they after the secret Nazi diamonds her husband had liberated at the end of the war? Either way, I had to walk carefully to avoid joining him on the wrong side of the grass.

Authorphoto

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stanley Wheeler lives and works in Idaho. Smoke is his third novel available on Amazon. He enjoys reading, writing, hiking and motorcycling. He can also be found on occasion dressed in borrowed clothes performing at the community theater.

His frequent ramblings can be found here:

www.stanleywheeler.blogspot.com

Purchase Smoke at:

https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Stanley-Wheeler-ebook/dp/B07CK73CXB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524849026&sr=8-1&keywords=smoke+stanley+wheeler

 

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