review:Evasions by Chrystalla Thoma

evasions_smallEvasions by Chrystalla Thoma

In Fantasy Author Chrystalla Thoma’s EVASIONS, Finn and Ella have defeated the errant Shades—for now—and now they face an even greater challenge—their first Valentine’s day as a couple.

Ella hasn’t cared for the commercialism of Valentine’s day for a long time, not even her new love can bring her around to thoughts of hearts and candy that most women look forward to this time of year. Yet for some reason Finn seems a little surprised to learn this—and not in any kind of relieved way. Continue reading

Launching…Michael S. Fedison’s The Eye-dancers in paperback

I’ve been following Michael S. Fedison and his intriguing novel The Eye-Dancers for a while now, so when he told me he had a new edition of it, I asked him to come tell you, my readers, a little more about it.  He kindly agreed. Michael, you have the floor….

The Eye-Dancers, a Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel that explores the very concept of what we term “reality,” has been available as an ebook since late 2012, and while it was a great feeling releasing the novel as an ebook, it is especially rewarding at this time to release it in paperback form.
What is The Eye-Dancers about?  Here is a quick synopsis! . . .

The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. FedisonSeventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

I also wanted to include an excerpt.  What follows is a portion of the opening sequence in the novel . . .

Peering out his bedroom window, his eyes flattened into squinting slits, Mitchell Brant saw her.

“No,” he said.  “It can’t be her.  It can’t be.”

But it was.  She had come again.

He looked away, at the night-shadows on the floor, at the sheets jumbled and strewn on his bed.  Maybe she wasn’t really out there.  Maybe it was just an illusion, some odd distortion of the light.

He looked out the window.

She was still there.

He felt the fine hairs at the nape of his neck stand up.  Gooseflesh, cold against the stifling humidity filtering in through the open window, speckled his forearms.

The girl was standing under the streetlamp, looking straight in at him—the same way she had last night and the night before.  She was just a child, probably no more than seven years old—his sister’s age.  What was she doing out in the street, alone, well past midnight?  Was she a runaway?  And why had she come three nights in a row?

 

I asked Michael a few questions about the book, here’s what he said. :)

 

What inspired the story of The Eye-Dancers?

Michael: Actually, the germ of the idea began decades ago!  When I was in high school, I had a nightmare I never did forget.  In the dream, there was a little girl, maybe seven years old, standing out in the road, beneath the street lamp.  The light from the lamp streamed right through her–she was more ghost than girl.  In the dream, I was looking out through my bedroom window, and she saw me, beckoning me with an index finger to come outside.

I sensed, more than knew, that she wanted to take me somewhere–perhaps the cemetery, or some version of limbo where I might forever remain, a prisoner.  When I woke up, my bedsheets were jumbled in a heap at the foot of my bed.  I was sweating, my heart beating too fast and too hard. 

Once I managed to get my bearings, I realized I had some very gripping material for a story.  (Even back then, I wrote all the time–I’ve always needed an outlet for my imagination!)  I jotted down the pertinent details of the dream, determined to include this “ghost girl” into a story.  Over the next few weeks, I tried, but nothing worked.  It appeared the “ghost girl” might remain on the fringe, never able to fit into a workable story.

Then, two decades later, I experienced the same dream!  But this time, upon waking, the idea for The Eye-Dancers was in place.  When I had gone to sleep the previous night, I had nothing.  Then, in a flash, after a restless night, I had a novel to write.  The creative process never ceases to amaze me. 

The opening scene of The Eye-Dancers, where Mitchell Brant, one of the novel’s main characters, has a nightmare of the “ghost girl,” mirrors my own dream. 

Finally, after twenty years, the “ghost girl” had a home, after all.

Who’s your favorite character in the book?
Michael: Mitchell Brant is one of four main characters in The Eye-Dancers.  He was the most personal character for me–by that I mean, he shares several of my own characteristics at that age.  In that sense, he is the character I feel the strongest kinship with.
That said, Marc Kuslanski, the science wiz, was awfully fun to write for. I’ve always had a soft spot for the science genius/know-it-all/idiosyncratic character.
Is there a particular intriguing tidbit you’d like to share about The Eye-Dancers?
The parallel world where Mitchell and his friends find themselves is loosely based on 1950s America.  I wasn’t even born in the ’50s, but nevertheless, I have always been drawn to the decade.  The styles of the ’50s have always called out to me.  It was fun incorporating this element into an alternate reality novel.
Is there a secret about Mitchell and his pals you can tell us that your readers might not know?

Michael: Actually, the four main characters–Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski–are all inspired by friends I knew growing up.  I still keep in touch with them, even after all these years. 

What authors might you list as particular influences?
Ray Bradbury would have to top the list.  His unparalleled enthusiasm and imagination have always inspired me.  Truman Capote is a master wordsmith.  When I want a primer in how to write well, I simply open up one of his stories.  Stephen King’s characterization, an underrated quality to his writing, has left a mark as well.  His characters tend to be well-rounded and real.  And, though a different medium, the original black-and-white Twilight Zone has always been a favorite.  The Twilight Zone features numerous landmark episodes that stretch the imagination and yet, at the same time, force us to look inward–at our society, our values, ourselves.  One of the greatest shows in television history, without question.
Now for a fun question: if you could face and vanquish any literary (or movie) villain, who would it be?
Michael: Hmm.  That is very interesting!  This is where my comic book geekiness will come out.  Who else but Doctor Doom?
Uh oh! Remind me never to get on your bad side! ;)Finally, do you have any forthcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers? What’s next for you, now that The Eye-Dancers is released?
Michael: A short story collection is in the works.  And I am currently writing the sequel to The Eye-Dancers.  The sequel takes place five years after the conclusion of The Eye-Dancers.  Writing for the characters now that they’re older–one year away from heading off to college–has been a very interesting and fun experience.  I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

As part of The Eye-Dancers coming out in hard-copy format, I am running a special promo for the ebook.  Until September 30, 2014, The Eye-Dancers, the ebook, will be on sale for just 99 cents.  Please grab a copy today!
At Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-ebook/dp/B00A8TUS8M
At B &N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eye-dancers-michael-s-fedison/1113839272?ean=2940015770261
At Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/255348

And, if you’d like to buy a hard copy! . . .

http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-Michael-S-Fedison/dp/0692262784/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Or . . .

https://www.createspace.com/4920627

Sounds great, Michael. Good luck with it!

author Michael S. FedisonAbout Michael:

Michael S. Fedison was born in Rochester, New York, and now lives with his wife, Sarah, and regal cat, Luke, in the green hills of central Vermont. Michael has been writing creatively for as long as he can remember, and has had short fiction published in several literary magazines, including Iconoclast and The Written Word. He works as a full-time technical writer and also is a freelance proofreader and copy editor.

Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.

Connect with Michael at his blog: http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/msfedison27
At The Eye-Dancers Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Eye-Dancers/213004492164436
And at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592469.Michael_S_Fedison
*********************

 

I think The Eye-Dancers sounds really intriguing, don’t you folks? Best of luck, again, Michael, and thanks for being here!

Indie Book of the Day

I was awarded Indie Book of The Day award for Changeling’s Crown for September 1st, 2014.

IBD winner :) Pretty nifty, huh?

Changeling's Crown; Juli D. Revezzo; fairy godmother; paranormal romance

Cover art by Boulevard Photografica

If you’d like to read it, Changeling’s Crown is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Createspace.

 

 What a nice surprise on Labor Day. I had to share.:)

 

I hope you all have a good one!

Athena’s Oracle Cover Reveal

I’m pleased to have an author here today many of you might know. Paranormal author, Ms. J.D. Brown, has a new book release and she’s sharing it with me. *rubs hands gleefully* Entitled Athena’s Oracle it looks to be a good read. Shall we check it out? Okay.

Here’s the blurb:

 

For sale August 18, 2014…

Athena’s Oracle: An Heiloom Vampyres Novella
by J.D. Brown

Leena’s ‘gift of sight’ secures her place as the next great oracle of Athena. Instead of being groomed for wifehood like other girls, Leena spends her days within the walls of the Acropolis, shuffled around by the clergy and doomed to be a virgin forever. Before her ascension, Leena decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her father’s book of alchemy, she casts an incantation calling forth her own personal hero. But when that hero turns out to be a rogue vampyre prince with a haunted past, Leena begins to question if her feelings for him are the work of divine intervention, or a love spell gone horribly wrong.

Athena’s Oracle is a prequel to the novels Dark Heirloom and Dark Liaison, also by J.D. Brown. Set in 4th century B.C.E., Athena’s Oracle chronicles the romance between Leena and Jalmari during the very early trials of their immortal lives.

Oh my gosh! That sounds awesome, doesn’t it, folks? Ready for the pretty cover? Okay, Continue reading

H. L. Burke – Dragon’s Curse – The Dragon and the Scholar Tour

I have another guest for you today, fantasy author H.L. Burke has stopped by and she’s brought dragons! Don’t worry, they don’t really look hungry. ;) They’re just kinda guarding us. So do come sit by the fire, have some coffee, or ale, whatever you like best, while H.L. Burke tells us a little story about the latest in her fantasy series, The Dragon and the Scholar … H.L.  And do check out her giveaway below. Without further ado, H.L, The floor is all yours.

ABOUT H. L. Burke

Author H.L. Burke

Author H.L. Burke

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Dragon's Curse by H.L. Burke

 
 On her first assignment out of the Academy, young healer and scholar, Shannon Macaulay is summoned to the struggling kingdom of Regone to see to the wounds of a young but crippled king. When the unwanted attentions of an aggressive knight and the sudden appearance of a hated dragon turn her world upside down, she decides to take matters into her own hands even if doing so proves dangerous. Finding herself strangely drawn to the company of the dragon, Gnaw, Shannon must force herself out of her safe world of books and botany to come to the aid of her unexpected ally in a strange kingdom, cursed by a fateful encounter with a dragon and the loss of a beloved prince. Can she learn to put aside her fears, and perhaps sacrifice her deepest desires, to help a friend and restore a family?

Dragon’s Curse is available on Amazon.com.

H. L. Burke on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/H.-L.-Burke/e/B00EYQ1HLW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

H. L. Burke on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter

H. L. Burke on Twitter:https://twitter.com/typativemamacat

H. L. Burke on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7230868.H_L_Burke

H. L. Burke’s Author Website:http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

Click here to fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway

More about H.L. Burke

There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” ~G. K. Chesterton

A long time lover of fairy tales and folk tales, I’ve always had an affinity for a “fairy tale” romance, but I’ve also been amused at popular perception of what a fairy tale romance is. Even the Oxford dictionary defines “fairy tale” as Denoting something regarded as resembling a fairy story in being magical, idealized, or extremely happy: a fairy-tale romance.”

This wouldn’t be my definition. When someone describes a love story as “fairy tale,” I want to know whose toes got cut off, who had to spend a year hopping about the swamp as a frog, and if there were any dragons involved. Usually such inquiries lead to disappointing stories about idyllic dates and rose petal paths and the like. I always wonder, have these people actually read fairy tales?

Fairy tale love can fall into the shallow, cliche of love at first sight and princesses sleeping while they wait for first kisses, but if you dive deeper into the collections (basically past anything that has been adapted by Disney) you’ll find so much more.

Love endures much in these stories. People are sent upon impossible tasks. In The Blue Bird the heroine must walk until she has worn out three pairs of metal shoes. Other leading ladies ride upon the wind, discover the Water of Discernment, and wash shirts . . . well, washing shirts may not be thrilling stuff, but it is practical. Also, sometimes heads are cut off.

As a child reading these stories, I never imagined being rescued by a prince charming. Yes, a portion of them feature this, but my favorites involved a lady–princess or peasant–going on quests to find her stolen love. Perhaps she lost him due to her mistakes. Like Psyche she could not resist lighting that forbidden candle. Other times the fault lies with a jealous stepmother or rival who set a trap to turn her love against her (and in her lover for not seeing through it).

So to me a fairy tale romance is one where the lovers face insurmountable odds and defeat them through sheer determination.

Fairy tales also do not always involve the unions of “beautiful people,” at least not right away. In fairy tales love conquers physical repulsiveness and focuses on true positives. Princes and princesses deprived of their beauty win their loves because they are kind or brave or clever.

Having the love interest cursed to another form brings the appealing prospect of being loved for a sense of self beyond physicality. The king may merely be a voice in the darkness. A bride may be a clever frog. A girl may turn to a frail old woman with the waning moon. Love truly can make any being beautiful.

And this is why I love fairy tales romances. Because they are anything but “fairy tale.”

The dragon, Gnaw, has survived a battle with Sir Roderick. Worried about him, Shannon comes to his cave to see to his wounds.

“Gnaw lay in the dark, trying not to concentrate on the throbbing puncture in his wing. It was a flesh wound and a clean one at that, but it still hurt like the devil and the prospect of infection worried him.

When he heard the approach of another person his heart skipped a beat. He had not the energy for a second battle today and fleeing, in the dark, with a wounded wing, would be difficult. He breathed deeply. The approaching human smelled of crushed herbs, tea leaves, and books. He sighed in relief.

“Gnaw! Gnaw!” Shannon called out. He managed enough of a flame to light the pile of branches and illuminate the cavern again. She rushed to his side. “Are you all right?” she stammered.

“Aye, no thanks to that rabid lap dog you set on me,” he snorted. “My advice, put that one down.”

“I didn’t set him on you,” she sniffed.

“Well, he seemed convinced you wanted him to do it,” he said. “Of course, he was obviously insane. He kept coming after me when most men would’ve been lying on the ground in tears or running for the hills.”

“And you still let him live,” she smiled at him.

“I did? That was careless of me. I’ll be more thorough next time.” He lay his head back down.

“Thank you; he’s too much of an idiot to see that you had mercy on him, but for myself, I thank you. If you had killed him he would have died because of me, and I don’t know if I could sleep at night with that on my conscience.”

“You wouldn’t be responsible for his idiocy.”

“Are you hurt?” she pressed.

“No, well, not much.”

“May I see?”

He unfurled his wing towards her. She winced.

“I’ve never bandaged a wound like this. I mean, the wound isn’t unusual but . . .”

“It’s on a dragon?” he pointed out.

“Well, in a wing, I was thinking. During my training, I treated an injured bird, but the structure was a little different and a lot smaller. I think I can figure out something, however. Hold still, please.”

He winced a little bit but didn’t make a fuss as she cleaned and bandaged his wound.

“All done,” she said. “I’m so sorry you were hurt.”

“I’ve had worse.” He carefully folded his wing back against his body and lay still. He glanced out of the cave. “It is well after dark. You trip over your own feet enough in the day time. It’s a miracle you made it up here without breaking your neck.”

She grimaced.

“Well, I was worried about you, and I couldn’t exactly ask Roderick if you were all right. Still, I hope you are fine with me staying the night. I don’t want to make the descent until sunrise.”

“Of course. I can fly you down at dawn,” he said.

“Are you certain that is a good idea?” She caressed his wounded wing.

“I’m hardly crippled,” he scowled. “It will be fine.”

She nodded and rubbed him behind the ears. His ego bristled. He wasn’t a lap dog or a barn cat. What did she think she was doing? Oh, that felt good.

He shut his eyes with a contented moan as she continued to rub the back of his head and neck.

“I am not sure if you are a witch or an angel,” he murmured.

“Semantics,” she teased.

He laughed.

He let himself doze off, only marginally aware of what was going on around him. After a while he realized she had stopped her massage and opened his eyes to find her asleep, her head, arm, and shoulder draped over his neck. He curled his head back again to form a cradle for her body and listened to her breathe.

Such a pretty little thing. Would it be wrong to keep her?

 

 

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it folks? Thank you for stopping by, H.L.! Good luck with Dragon’s Curse. Folks, if you’d like to get a copy, again, Dragon’s Curse is available on Amazon.com.

Enjoy the rain…Well. Maybe.

keepcalmrainTwo stops on the blog tour tonight, if you’d like to see them: Coffee, Art and Books, with a guest post about Changeling’s Crown and Peace Love and Writing. It’s been a rainy, thundery day today so I did way more plotting than anything (yep, I’m writing again!).

 

Pick your favorite rain related song and have a great one! :)