Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Author Geralyn Wichers Channels Anxiety into an Otherworldly Serial

This new science fiction story has a deeply personal bent to it. No, Geralyn Wichers has never helmed a covert expedition through an inter-dimensional portal, but like Charlane, ex-army officer and lead character, she never feels quite good enough. “As women today, we face pressure from every side,” says the Canadian author. “Be it our career hopes, expectations of family, or body image, it’s everywhere. It’s right on the phone in our hand. No wonder so many of us live with anxiety.”

bridger cover 1


Bridger: a Dystopian Serial is a science-fiction story told in episode form. It’s set in a world bled dry by global war and swiftly running out of resources. With her mental health and career in shambles, Char has left the army for a remote research facility. But when a humanoid creature from another world appears, Char agrees to helm a covert mission to follow the creature back to his world. The mission: find new resources and gain an edge in the war. But an encounter with her estranged husband leaves Char torn between saving her country and saving the love she didn’t know still lived.

As she wrote, Geralyn felt a kinship with Char, who had given everything she had to advance her career. “Char thought if she just got one more promotion, she’d feel worthy of love and respect,” Geralyn says. “In my own life, I catch myself thinking ‘if I would just lose a few pounds, if I would get nicer clothes, if I wasn’t working a dead- end job—then people would like me.’” But this isn’t a morality tale. Geralyn leads readers on a cross-world adventure full of danger, lies and romance. Visit bridgerserial.com to subscribe and read for free.


Processed with Snapseed.  Geralyn Wichers is a science fiction and fantasy author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her previous works include urban fantasy trilogy Society of Immortals, sci-fi dystopian story Sons of Earth, and We are the Living, an apocalyptic romance. Geralyn is a journalism student, coffee enthusiast, and recently dabbled in stand-up comedy. Visit her on Instagram and Twitter @geralynwichers.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXIX: Visit Maluhia with C.S. Johnson

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name: C. S. Johnson

Title of book and/or series: The Princess and the Peacock, (Birds of Fae, #1)

Brief summary of the story:

Kaipo carries the vivid memories of his mother’s death in his heart, just as surely as he bears the scars from the fires that killed her—the same scars that mark . But he also has in his heart a dream—he wants nothing more than Princess Mele to fall in love with him. When he hears Princess Mele is searching for a suitor, he and his adopted brother Rahj make their way up the Forbidden Mountain where the Fae Queen Jaya resides. For those who make it to the top of her mountain, she grants a wish of their choice—but she does it in her own way. Kaipo might wish for the beauty that will win Mele’s heart, but Jaya has another idea in mind …

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The island of Maluhia is located in the Indian Ocean, with a Hawaiian influence around the 1850s. For several generations, the kings of the island have allowed them to flourish as a small island.

If we were to visit Maluhia as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

There are several places to visit. In the capital of Shanthi, there is a bustling marketplace, with lots of different goods to examine. The big draw of Maluhia is the natural beauty of the surrounding seas, the sandy beaches, and the high peak of the Forbidden Mountain. 

What dangers should we avoid in Maluhia?

The kingdom trains its warriors to protect their island, but it is always best to watch out for abuses of power, bribed fighters, and vengeful families raging against each other over generational battles. There are also traders who would kidnap and sell people into the sex trade on other nearby islands. In addition to this, sickness and superstition runs through the island.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Maluhia?

There are plenty of fruits and fish, with other birds that are served—including peacock!

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common?

The island lore is beholden to sharks as animals of power and rage, so a lot of their weapons have shark teeth that decorate the blades of their daggers and swords.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Maluhia?

So far, only boats have come.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Maluhia that we don’t see on Earth?

The Forbidden Mountain is the key feature of Maluhia. It is a very tall, steep mountain that reaches into the clouds. The mountain offers a barrier to the capital city on the inside of the island, but the poorer villages are situated all around the mountain.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Maluhia?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

Jaya, the Fae Queen, resides at the top of the Forbidden Mountain, where she has created a small, supernatural bubble in which she can live. Her Fae magic—inborn, as a child of a fallen angel—leaves her with “Eden’s Curse,” in that if she is not careful with her magic, it can ultimately overtake her. She cannot stop using it, however, just as she can’t stop from causing mortals trouble.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Maluhia?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.

There is nothing that would qualify as “unusual,” unless you count the Fae Queen, Jaya, who has taken up the peak of the Forbidden Mountain as her home. She offers a bit of magic to the islanders, but they know not to worship or trust her entirely. It is only because he is so desperate that Kaipo even attempts to see her at all.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Maluhia.

There are plenty of sports, but most have come from their warrior training traditons.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Maluhia as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?

They go by the seasons more than the years, but they keep track of things based on the stars. There are feast days, but more of them are regulated to the culture more than religion.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Maluhia?  Please describe what it involves.

Since it was founded after Christianity came to Hawaii, but there is a mix of cultures, there is a general monotheism that is mixed with older superstitions. That is why Kaipo’s scars make him alienated from culture, and the whispers of Rahj’s birth damage their family.

What is the political or government structure in Maluhia?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

The kingdom is on an island, and they are traditional monarchy that rules through bloodlines. King Ahanu is in charge, and he is a gracious and understanding ruler. He recently lost his wife a few years before, and since then, he can’t say no to his daughter.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Maluhia?

They are a culture of respect, so it is important to make sure you are being respectful, as much as you can. They value strength and cunning, and beauty, too, but their most celebrated value is loyalty.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

I have traveled a lot, and I have a cousin I call my “Hawaiian Princess cousin.” She is just so pretty, and I used her as inspiration for Princess Mele. The best part is that she is exactly like Mele in that she wants to add beauty to others’ lives and she does this as a teacher. One of her students is even named “Kaipo.”

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

One of the more indirect elements of the book is dealing with the Indian eunuch culture. While it is less rare today and there is not a lot of vocal news on the matter, India’s “third gender” has been growing in its awareness. Some of the eunuchs are taken from childhood and others chose that direction, but overall, I wanted to bring awareness to the table, that there are broken men who have been castrated and while some have been content with their lives, some of them are quite devastated. I wanted to, in my own way, speak to them that their life is still capable of beauty and still worth living. There are people who love them and no matter what suffering they’ve faced, they are still able to be loved and cherished as children of God.

Author Autobiography:

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.


Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.



Where can readers connect with you online?  


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Maluhia.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Stuck: a Dystopian Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Stuck
By Samantha Durante

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

I am *so* thrilled to be kicking off the Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) tour! We’ve got lots of awesome stops planned with exclusive Stitch Trilogy content you won’t find anywhere else, plus a big giveaway to celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited conclusion of the series!...


A Tale of Three Book Covers

Even a writer has to admit that (as the saying goes!) a picture is worth a thousand words. It comes as no surprise, then, that *almost* as much thought must go into cover design as into the book itself.

When designing the covers for the Stitch Trilogy books, I had several goals in mind:
Captivate: Of course, a cover needs to get readers interested, and one of the best ways to do that is to make it pretty!

Signal: The cover’s job is also, naturally, to give readers some clues as to what is in the story by referencing the genres and major plot points.
Unify: And, finally, knowing that this was going to be a multi-book series, I needed to come up with a consistent theme that would tie each cover together.

So how did I accomplish all this? By driving my cover designer crazy, of course! :-) ...


2.) Tell us about the rest of the series.


Over the course of the trilogy, you join our protagonists as they uncover the sordid truth and dark history of their society, Paragon, a place set in a world much like our own but with some important (and chilling) differences. In fact, some members of this society are so blinded to the truth that they don’t even realize they are, in fact, living in Paragon… which is something you get to experience firsthand in Book 1. (Trying not to give away too many spoilers here!) In Book 2, we learn more about how this world came about, and in Book 3, the main characters struggle against nearly insurmountable odds to try to bring those responsible to justice. And of course, there’s some romance along the way!

Paulette's Papers - Guest Post

Playlist: Music to Go with Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3)

It’s no secret that I love words (I am, after all, a writer). But sometimes, nothing captures a feeling *quite* like a song. So without further ado, here is a selection of hand-picked songs to go with several of the most pivotal chapters of Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3):...

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Not a Bear

“But how can we continue to keep this from everyone?” Janie interjected. “It’s not right. They deserve to know!” she hissed.

Alessa shrugged in defeat.

Yes, she thought, just like Isaac deserves to know that his brother might still be alive – but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything about that, either, knowing the guilt would eat him alive. She at least had to be sure first. She had to know it was really Joe.


" I really liked the first two books in this series, and I waited 5 years between book 2 and this one. There was one point I know that I even reached out to the author to find out if this one was coming soon, because I needed to know what would happen next. . . . There was just so much going on in this book! . . . if you haven't started the series yet, you are the lucky one to get to start with all three of them out now. You can sit down and read them all, back to back, and get all the feelings that will come with a good series."


"I've waited a long time to read this last book in the Stitch Trilogy. I loved this series from the first book. It was so unique and had so many twists and turns that kept you reading. Guess what? Things haven't changed in this third book: It's still has so many unique things in the story line and the the twists just keep on coming. . . . If you like the Dystopian and Sci-Fi genres, you need to put the Stitch Trilogy on your To-Read list immediately."

FUONLYKNEW - Review

"There’s plenty of action, intrigue and betrayal. But there’s also bravery, romance and hope. . . . A perfect finale to a series that fueled my imagination and captured my heart."

Bri's Book Nook - Review of STITCH

"This premise for a science fiction novel is so unique, and that truly drew me in. . . . I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA or NA science fiction trilogy with a strong female main character."

Colorimetry - Excerpt

Happy Pills

“Seriously, Alex?”

Deion chuckled and shook his head at the sight of his best friend – shirtless, sweat gleaming off his abs – precisely positioned so that anyone passing by the construction site would get an eyeful of his chiseled physique.

“First of all, it’s only 50 degrees out –”

“58,” Alex argued, heaving another stone on top of the wall he was building for this set of Paragon’s latest drama. “That’s almost in the sixties.” He paused to swipe a dusty, rippling forearm across his brow, brushing the fringe of straight black hair from his striking, angular eyes, which were narrowed against the sun.


"It's been a privilege to follow along with Samantha Durante since this trilogy first started! I felt a little woeful as I started to read Stuck, only because I knew that this was the end of my time with these characters. After completely falling in love with the last book, I knew that this finale was going to be a rough read for me either way. It's the end of an era, really. It's been fun! . . . If you haven't started this trilogy yet, you're in for such a treat. I envy you. I really do.

Lovely Reads - Spotlight

Chapter Break - Interview

Is there anything you would like people to take away from your book?

There are SO MANY things I’d like people to take away from the Stitch Trilogy! First, that things aren’t black and white. Just like real life, no one in my books is infallible, and anyone can make a mistake that can really hurt other people – and this can happen on a small or very large scale, even with the noblest of intentions. Second, that anyone can make a difference. It would be easy for anyone living in that world (or any world!) to feel insignificant and powerless, but the characters work really hard and work together to make things better, and they manage to do so even against odds that seem insurmountable. Third, that inclusivity and diversity of thought are good things, especially when it comes to leadership – otherwise you’re almost certain to further exploit already marginalized groups, and foster a lot of ill-will. And finally, that love conquers all. At the end of the day, even (perhaps, especially) when the world has gone to hell, all we have is each other. Be selfless. Be brave. Be kind.


"Stuck is a phenomenal completion to a wonderfully complex, challenging, and heartfelt adventure. My heart jumped for joy when I found myself finally reading the last chapters of this brilliantly original and deeply captivating journey full of heart, hope, and love. . . . I have been looking forward to this elusive ending, and I found myself completely and totally satisfied in every way a story can offer. . . . Samantha Durante has once again left me in awe of the depth of her brilliant creativity and boundless heart."

Books & Such - Guest Post

Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society?

Over the course of the Stitch Trilogy, we’ve gotten to know several different groups within the society of Paragon, from plucky rebels and manipulated citizens to mastermind Engineers and bloodthirsty Stuck. Where do you fall amongst these ranks? Take this quick quiz to find out!...

fundinmental - Interview & Review

1. What made you decide to be a writer?

I don’t know if it was a *decision* so much as a compulsion! I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was a kid. I got away from it for a few years in college and afterwards, but even as a software engineer, I managed to“sneak” writing into my job. So when it came time for a major life change (moving back across the country to be near my family), I knew it was a good time to see if I could shift gears and get back to doing what I’d always loved.

"If you love having your emotions ramped up to a fever pitch, if you love white knuckled reading, if you love apocalyptic/dystopian novels and are looking for an original storyline, you may want to grab the Stitch trilogy."


Style in Dystopia: 3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit

Dystopian societies aren’t often known for their embrace of individuality and free-thinking… which unfortunately means their fashion trends tend to lean towards the sterile and conformist, at best.

But don’t let that post-apocalyptic thinking get you down! As the characters of the Stitch Trilogy show, there are lots of ways you can buck the trend and give that old standard-issue jumpsuit a fresh spin...

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Stuck
(Stitch Trilogy #3)
By Samantha Durante
YA Dystopian, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 306 Pages
December 15, 2018

3, 2, 1… BOOM.

Things are finally looking up for the Resistance. Sure, Alessa is still processing the revelation that the best friend she’d presumed dead is miraculously alive, though far from well… And her boyfriend is being manipulated under threat of blackmail. But her quest for justice against those behind the systematic extermination of the world population is so close to victory she can taste it.

And then in a matter of seconds, everything Alessa believes in is shaken to the core. Months of preparation are obliterated. The people she cares for most are lost.

But Alessa is still standing. And Paragon must pay.

The odds are grim, but unexpected allies surface in the most unlikely of places: A new pair of citizens still under the colony’s rule who notice something amiss in the latest drama. An old adversary who realizes the error of her ways. And a veritable army of inhuman power and terrible strength, with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. The trustworthiness of each of these factions is yet to be proven, but without many other options, Alessa may have to take what she can get. Especially since the Engineers, never to be outdone, also have a few more tricks up their sleeves…

The long-awaited final installment in the riveting Stitch Trilogy, Stuck will have readers gripping their seats as Alessa and a handful of intrepid survivors usher their harrowing journey to a close, risking everything as they endeavor – once and for all – to set things right.

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Samantha lives in Westchester County, New York with four of the five loves of her life – her husband, son, younger daughter, and cat – and carries her fifth love, her stillborn daughter, in her heart. An avid reader herself, Samantha’s dream is to bring the same delight to readers that other authors have brought to her life. In addition to penning novels and writing candidly about grief, she is also a sometimes freelance writer/consultant – though more often than not these days she’s on full-time mom duty! A former software engineer, Samantha said goodbye to the corporate world in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and lifelong love of writing. Learn more at www.samanthadurante.com.


Tour Giveaway


- 1 First Place Winner will receive: Signed Print Copies of All 3 Books in the Trilogy, a Limited-Edition Stitch Scarf, Bookmarks, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card
- 3 Second Place Winners will receive: eBook Copies of All 3 Books in the Trilogy for You *and* a Friend, plus a $5 Amazon Gift Card
- Open internationally
- Ends December 27th

Grab Our Button!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXVIII: Visit Falling Waters Shrine with Arthur Daigle

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name:
Arthur Daigle

Title of book and/or series:
Tales of Ever After in the Fellowship of Fantasy series.  Short story title is "Believing Fairy Tales", which is set in the same world as William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins (pictured above).

Brief summary of the story:
Four criminals attack Falling Waters Shrine under the cover of darkness, taking the shrine’s attendant Nestor prisoner.  The criminals believe an old fairy tale there is a blessed sword hidden in the shrine, a weapon worth a fortune, and they’re willing to kill to get it.  But not all fairy tales end happily ever after, and Falling Waters Shrine holds more secrets than the sword.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Falling Waters Shrine is on the world of Other Place, home to many races and fantastic monsters.  The shrine is in a mountainous region too rocky for farming, and is next to the Truly Might Jostle River (known to goblins as the Won’t Shut Up River).

If we were to visit Falling Waters Shrine as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Falling Waters Shrine is an ancient pilgrimage site, famous for its statues and collection of religious texts.  The area around the shrine is beautiful, but ear protection is necessary for long stays, as the Jostle River includes a waterfall so loud that it can render men deaf if they stay too long.

What dangers should we avoid in Falling Waters?
Monsters occasionally approach the shrine and can be dangerous.  Magic wards protect the shrine if it is attacked.  Rumors say that there have been several such attacks, all failures.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Falling Waters?
Locals make what they call meal bread, a mix of dried tomatoes, shredded beef, cheese cubes and spices wrapped in bread dough and slowly baked over a low fire.  Meal bread travels well and has all a man needs to keep healthy.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Falling Waters?
Falling Waters Shrine is owned by the Brotherhood of the Righteous, a religious organization that prefers to deal with problems through negotiations whenever possible and consider any loss of life a tragedy.  On those rare situations when violence is unavoidable, the brotherhood has small teams of heavily armed paladin, be they human, dwarf or ogre, to deal with dire threats.  Brotherhood priests are also capable of calling upon divine aid, typically healing, but combat spells are also used.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Falling Waters?
The land around Falling Waters Shrine is so rocky that it was never truly settled, and the river so fast and rough that boat travel isn’t safe.  People going to the shrine do so on foot or ride donkeys.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Falling Waters that we don’t see on Earth?
Other Place is home to many intelligent races like men, elves, dwarfs, ogres, harpies, sirens, dragons and more.  It also has countless species of monsters, some extremely dangerous.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Other Place?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic exists but is not relied upon.  It’s generally easier, faster and cheaper to do a job by hand than to hire a wizard.  Monsters are rare in most areas and not to be trifled with.  There are a lot of magic items for sale by dwarf corporations, but these items are notoriously unreliable and not under warrantee.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Other Place.
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is an enthusiastic supporter of music and sponsors music schools across Other Place.

Is there a particular religion practiced in  Other Place?  Please describe what it involves.
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is similar to the Catholic or Orthodox Christian churches on earth.  They favor grandiose architecture and elaborate religious ceremonies.  The brotherhood is highly organized and can bring millions of followers and untold treasures to bear when faced with a problem.  The brotherhood is also actively spreading to new regions with missionaries and holy men.  Not all kingdoms like the brotherhood, because when they are strong in a nation they can make the kings follow the rules.

Competing religions include the Servants of the Cause, elf Temples to the Perfect Way, dwarf Churches of the Great Maker, and the rare elf doomsday cult called The Repentant, who actively sabotage their fellow elves from achieving world domination.

What is the political or government structure in The Brotherhood of the Righteous?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Brotherhood of the Righteous is a hierarchy with a pontiff, followed by cardinals, bishops and priests.  The current pontiff is Gregory “Because I Said So” the 8th, who works tirelessly to prevent regional wars by greedy, vengeful and often bigoted kings.  Needless to say, it’s a difficult job.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Falling Waters Shrine?
Falling Waters Shrine is open to pilgrims and tourists any day of the week.  Donations are accepted, and we ask that visitors please be patient with staff members, as some of them are dealing with personal issues.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I was inspired to create Falling Waters Shrine after visiting Holy Hill basilica in Wisconsin.  The grounds around Holy Hill are indeed quite rough with lots of ups and downs, and the basilica is beautiful in ways words can’t fully express.

Author Autobiography:
Arthur Daigle was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He received a degree in biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which sounded like a good idea at the time. This led to work as a zoo intern at Brookfield Zoo, an assistant fisheries biologist at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and a research assistant at Morton Arboretum. Most recently he's been employed grading high school essay tests and working as a garden associate (yeah, the job market is that bad). In addition to writing, Arthur is an avid gardener and amateur artist.

Arthur is the author (no jokes, please, he's heard them all) of six books. These include William Bradshaw King of the Goblins, William Bradshaw and a Faint Hope, William Bradshaw and War Unending, William Bradshaw and Fool's Gold, Goblin Stories and Dr. Moratrayas Mad Scientist. These books were almost inevitable given that the author has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since he was old enough to walk. Arthur is also a regular contributor to the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology series. Major influences include the works of the puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson and the British artist Brian Froud. Expect more books in the Will Bradshaw series, as all attempts to stop Arthur from writing have failed.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
All books in the Fellowship of Fantasy series are available as paperbacks and free ebooks on Amazon.com.

Where can readers connect with you online?  

"Believing Fairy Tales" is a short story in the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology Tales of Ever After, which is available for FREE! Find out more below.



Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.

The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.

This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Falling Waters Shrine.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima
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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXVII: Visit Charmant with Alex McGilvery

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. (In this case, you can get it for free!)


Author’s name: Alex McGilvery

Title of book and/or series:  Tales of Ever After (an anthology)

Brief summary of the story:  A Week After Midnight is a follow up of the classic Cinderella. What happens when the farm girl moves into the palace? The prince is shy, and the magic has worn off, or has it?

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The story is set in a fairy tale land, but it has problems with drought and taxes. I have a fair number of fairy tale stories, so imagine it connecting with Snow White’s land over to the west, and mountains with trolls to the north. While I don’t name it in the story, I think of it as Charmant, a Kingdom of Prince Charmings I created decades ago.

If we were to visit Charmant as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The palace is always interesting, but there are also local craftspeople who would love to show you the work they do. After all, someone needs to pay for all that luxury.

What dangers should we avoid in Charmant
While the evil witches live to the west, one should be careful when buying apples from old crones, you never know. And if you get lost in the woods, neither gingerbread houses nor porridge are recommended for consumption.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Charmant?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. 
Magic is mostly the province of the nobles, with the occasional exception for seventh sons. The people of Faerie who have maintained the enchantments for generations are getting bored, so they might get silly and confuse the stories, there is nothing quite like the Frog Prince and the Seven Giants. Good thing his name was Jack.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Charmant? 
While one can count on royal balls for one reason or another, the regular folk are busy farming and working, but do find time to poke fun at the royals while drinking a pint or two at the inn.

What is the political or government structure in Charmant?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Being a magic Kingdom, the government is nominally a monarchy, but as in most places the bureaucracy does all the real work. A wise ruler lets them get on with the day to day business and concentrates on doing what royals do best, which is alternately befriended and annoying the Faerie.

Author Autobiography:  
Alex is an author and editor. He’s been writing books for decades, but only started publishing in the last ten years. He now has 16 books in print. He writes in genres from fantasy to horror to thriller to steampunk to contemporary fiction. He has a free collection of fairy tales and other stories.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  
All my books are available in all formats in most ebook retailers. With the ISBN on the book sample page at https://alexmcgilvery.com one can order a print book from a bookstore. Here is the landing page to take you to the retailer of your choice. https://www.books2read.com/ap/x2o0ZR/Alex-McGilvery

Where can readers connect with you online?  
On alexmcgilvery.com you can read samples of all my books as well as some of the short stories he’s written over the years. You can also connect through my facebook page www.facebook.com-/Author.AlexMcGilvery.

"A Week After Midnight" is a short story in the Fellowship of Fantasy anthology Tales of Ever After, which is available for FREE! Find out more below.



Rescue a princess, meet a mermaid, win your reward.

The authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy tackle fairy tales from once upon a time to happily ever after. Explore twists on old tales and brand new magical stories. Meet feisty mermaids, friendly lampposts, and heroes who just might be monsters themselves.

This fourth anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy will lead you on a quest for entertainment and storm the castle of your imagination. So make a wish and enter the deep dark woods to find stories that will make you laugh, shiver, and maybe even fall in love.



I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Charmant.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.


Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Northern Deception: a Romantic Suspense Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Northern Deception
By Laurie Wood

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

I’m thrilled to bring you my first book from Anaiah Press: “Northern Deception: Heroes of the Tundra, Book One”. I’ve dreamed of writing Canadian stories and Anaiah Press made my dream a reality. Northern Deception takes place in Churchill, Manitoba which is aptly called the “Polar Bear Capitol of the World”. Canada has more to offer than ice, snow and polar bears but I wanted to catch an editor’s eye with our well-known Canadian icon, and I did!...


"The thrilling ride that is Northern Deception captures readers from the first word and keeps them riveted throughout the remainder of the story. Non-stop action, stunning twists and chilling suspense (quite literally) combine seamlessly with a sweet second-chance romance and poignant reflections on faith. Wood has skillfully created layered characters and a vivid setting, and I look forward to more books from her in the near future!"

Mythical Books - Excerpt

Kira Summers shivered as she stood beside her brother’s open grave. Winnipeg Memorial Cemetery stood bleak and empty. The November sky churned with rain clouds as purple as bruises.

Her fingers trembled on the handle of her black umbrella. Sleety snow swirled across the grass and lashed around her ankles in her short dress boots. Kira’s pulse roared in her ears, and for a split second she swayed, feeling light-headed. She stifled her sobs with a tissue.

“I’m sorry I’m late.”

“Oh,” she gasped. Her heart thrummed against her chest. She didn’t need to turn around to know who was behind her.


"I absolutely love this intense and truly romantic story. The story line is fantastic. Once I started to read I couldn't put it down. . . . I highly recommend this book!"

E-Romance News - Excerpt

A van screeched up beside her driver’s door, sliding sideways onto the grass as it came to a stop. She glimpsed a male driver with sunglasses and a ball cap just before her door was thrown open by another man.

“Out, out, out!”

The man wore a navy blue ski mask. He grabbed her by the shoulders and hauled her halfway out of the car. Muscle memory allowed her to shove her right palm hard against his nose. It gave a satisfying crunch even as he pulled her from the safety of the driver’s seat. He clasped her arms like a vise, but she kicked hard and felt the solid heels of her boots connecting with his shins.


"I enjoyed the fact that the readers were brought immediately into the action, and it is great that realism is seen from page one and following. Sometimes these romance stories have little real conflict and they follow the same, exact formula. The author departed from the formula and added her own special touches thus making this book truly her own."

Wishful Endings - Guest Post

Interview with Character Ruby Gallagher

AUTHOR: Hello, Ruby thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. I guess you know plenty about Churchill, Manitoba, and Kira Summers and Lukas Tanner.

RUBY: Hi, thanks for having me. I was born in Churchill and I met my husband Rob when he came here as a commercial pilot in the early ’70’s. We bought a bakery on the main street and built on to it until we made it into a Café and a store for essentials like cold weather clothing and tourist gifts...

Remembrancy - Review

"Debut author Laurie Wood transports readers to the barren and dangerous Canadian tundra while delivering a story that doesn’t let up from the first page to the final one. . . . Great character development, intense action, and the unique setting make Northern Deception a debut you don’t want to miss."


"Ahhh … this was a great book. Mystery! Suspense! Dogsleds! Canadian spelling! LOL. . . . a fast-paced read that I’d happily revisit. I especially enjoyed the medical components, working in that industry myself, as well as the Canadian setting."

Colorimetry - Guest Post

The Story Behind The Story

To be honest, I decided to set my romantic suspense in a small sub-arctic Canadian town because polar bears are such a Canadian icon. And I had fun delving in to the research about Churchill, Manitoba, researching polar bears and the conservation efforts preserving their species...


"I loved Northern Deception! . . . The characters in this book are ones you’ll fall in love with….Kira, Lukas, Ruby, Sophie….even the minor characters are great…well not the bad guys. But, you probably won’t be able to figure out who the bad guys are…at least not all of them…until close to the end. . . . You won’t want to put it down once you start! I give this five big stars!"

Uplifting Reads - Guest Post

Kira Summer’s Fun Polar Bear Facts:

I love doing research and learning about polar bears was no exception. Some of these facts made it in to the book and some didn’t:

- Canada is home to about 15,000 polar bears
- Adult males weigh 772-1,543 lbs and measure 7ft 10in–9ft 10 in in total length...


Recurring Themes

NORTHERN DECEPTION is my first published novel but I’ve written three others which will never “see the light of day”, as the cliché goes. The recurring theme of what I write is loss and forgiveness and every novel has dealt with it in various ways. NORTHERN DECEPTION is no different.

Splashes of Joy - Review

"There is quite a bit of action going on here, several twists to the story that will have you wondering what is going on and the question of whodunnit! And you might just be surprised just who is behind all of the suspense! This debut novel is sure worth your read. Pick up this new thriller from new author Laurie Wood and have a seat for a few hours of thrills and chills!"

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Northern Deception
(Heroes of the Tundra #1)
By Laurie Wood
Inspirational Romantic Suspense
ebook, 170 Pages
December 4th 2018 by Anaiah Press

Reunions can be deadly.

After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.

Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.


About the Author


Laurie Wood has followed her RCAF serving husband across Canada, raising their two special needs children to adulthood, and "keeping the home fires burning" while she began her writing career. She's a member of Romance Writers of America, where she's finalled in several prestigious contests, as well as American Christian Fiction Writers. She writes romantic suspense and historical novels.

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a 100 page hardcover Journal + matching pen, magnetic bookmarks, wooden Christmas ornament, and Abalone and Silver Polar Bear necklace, ebook of NORTHERN DECEPTION. (NOTE: wooden box holding up bookmarks and ornament pictured is NOT included.)
Open to US and Canada
Ends December 12, 2018

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