Cover Reveal! Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair

Today I am delighted to be able to share with you the amazing cover for the much awaited Sci-Fi novel by debut author Jonathan Nevair: Goodbye to the Sun.

I think you’ll agree it’s a very attractive, atmospheric cover!


Book Blurb

The dilapidated spaceship floating above the Gobi, digital painting.

Tucked away in the blue sands of Kol 2, the Motes are on the brink of cultural collapse. Razor, a bold and daring pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit against their local oppressors, the Targitians. The plan – abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore her people’s independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat. Battling furious Wind Tides and pursuit by an infamous bounty hunter, Razor and Keen find mutual assistance in a dubious freelancer with a knack for exposing cracks in people’s pride.

Light years away on Heroon a radical resistance blossoms. The alluring rainforest planet haunts Keen. All his problems started there during the Patent War, but it’s where Razor’s troubles may find a solution. The moral tide ebbs, exposing an impossible choice that links their futures together more tragically than they ever thought possible.

Goodbye to the Sun – a nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle and character-driven adventure.

Described as a “space opera inspired by Antigone”, it sounds like a fantastic story and I can’t wait to read it!


Book Information

Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair
Series: Wind Tide (#1)
Expected Publication: May 2021
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQ+
Cover Art: Zishan Liu
Quote image artist: Zishan Liu
Concept art (Kol 2): Stephen Wood
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57698402-goodbye-to-the-sun


Author Information

Jonathan Nevair is a science fiction writer and, as Dr. Jonathan Wallis, an art historian and Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia. After two decades of academic teaching and publishing, he finally got up the nerve to write fiction. Jonathan grew up on Long Island, NY but now resides in southeast Pennsylvania with his wife and rambunctious mountain feist, Cricket.

You can find him online at https://www.jonathannevair.com and on twitter at @JNevair.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


KOL-2 by Stephen Wood

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Chaos Rising (The Nine World Chronicles, Book 2) by Lyra Wolf

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Chaos Rising by Lyra Wolf, organised by Storytellers on Tour. Thank you to Justine and Timy for having me along on the tour.

Please take a look at the other excellent bloggers who are also taking part in this tour here. There is also an international giveaway of a signed paperback copy of this book later in this post, so stay tuned until the end!


Book Information

Chaos Rising by Lyra Wold
Series: Nine World Chronicles (#2)
Published: April 9, 2021
Genre: Mythic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 314 (Print Length)
Content Warnings: Mild gore, PTSD


Book Description

Let’s start Ragnarok, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

Nothing pisses off a trickster god more than being imprisoned for five hundred years and not being able to annoy Thor. There are other reasons, secrets, and promises behind Loki’s rage, but that’s for Loki to know and the gods to find out—preferably painfully.

When the chance to start Ragnarok presents itself, Loki feels the apocalypse is as good a way as any to burn Asgard to the ground. And, it is, until the gods reveal their own teensy, tiny little surprise for Loki.

Suddenly, Loki has every reason in the worlds to stop them from ending. But this is Ragnarok, and one does not simply stop the apocalypse.

Chaos is all well and good, so long as Loki is in charge of it. Except chaos isn’t about to start taking orders from anyone, not even the god of pot-stirring himself, and it has a universe to destroy…


My Review

I was given an electronic copy of Chaos Rising by Storytellers on Tour in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Justine, Timy and Lyra.

Chaos Rising is the second book in The Nine World Chronicles series by Lyra Wolf. It starts in the present day, with events following on from the prologue scene from Truth and Other Lies

Loki has managed to escape his five hundred year torture in a cave beneath Basel, and is now determined to avenge the deaths of his beloved Sigyn and their twins Nari and Narfi. The story is once again told in first person which enables the reader to feel Loki’s anger and pain all the more keenly. He discovered in the previous book that he is ‘The Destroyer‘,  destined to bring about Ragnarok, the destruction of all the realms and of the gods themselves. In Chaos Rising Loki is a heart-broken, devastated, tormented and vengeful god. We experience his gut-wrenching depth of feeling with regard to the broken oath between himself and his one time lover, Odin:

As it is, I thought about you every day as well,” I said, stepping towards him. “How I would kill you. How I would cut out your bowels. How I would watch you burn as I drowned in the venom eating me alive…

Loki the avenger seeks his daughter Hel in order to persuade her to let him use her army of the dead to fight against the gods at Ragnarok. She requires Balder’s death as payment, since she wants him by her side forever. Loki happily kills him using a weapon made from mistletoe which is one of the many well-known Norse myths that Lyra Wolf skillfully weaves into her Loki story. 

Odin shows Loki that he saved Sigyn – she is alive after all and living in Alfheim with her new fiancé Falael, who Loki wickedly keeps referring to as ‘falafel’.  There is a lot of humour and wit peppered throughout this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed every instance. Loki’s giant wolf son, Fenrir is now a vegan living as a man in Vienna, posting daily food photos to social media. With the approach of Ragnarok, Fenrir’s anxiety has been growing. He has been meditating, using vitamin supplements and herbal remedies to try and keep his anger under control, and the wolf firmly contained within him – but the sight of his father Loki, is too much for him:

A pressure has started building in me. Like a thunderstorm raging in my head. It’s been lashing out, and when I saw you, Father…

Loki changes his mind about Ragnarok, since he does not want any harm to come to Sigyn, despite her having moved on and found love with someone else, but it’s too late. Events are out of control and Ragnarok is approaching inevitably. Loki finds he is increasingly unable to control his chaos. 

There are elements of the classic tragic love triangle in this story. After all the torment and torture Loki has been put through, to then find his beloved Sigyn is now engaged to a beige-wearing elf is unbearable. I found myself rooting for him to win back the girl.

There is a lot of descriptive detail about the locations used in this novel, which helps to bring them to life. For example, in Vienna we are shown the Spanish Riding School, Hotel Sacher and St Stephen’s cathedral, among other famous locations. While in Vienna, an exciting, fast-paced action sequence unfolds, as Odin and Loki battle the army of the dead, while nonchalantly carrying on a conversation about their past relationship and how much they had loved and hurt one another. This cinematic scene ends with them leaping on board a subway train pursued by the dead army, much to the horror of their human onlookers. This was my favourite part in the book, I could easily visualize it and imagine it being made into a movie. I also really enjoyed the humour of a scene in which Loki, Fenrir, Falael and Sigyn are about to head out into the streets, which are being rampaged by the army of the dead, and Sigyn starts arming them all with kitchen implements:

Sigyn walked back out and handed him a serrated knife. Fenrir took the overly large and overly pointy serving fork she held out to him.  “Which is?” I asked, refusing a spatula crusted in layers of dinners past. I’d really have to get them some proper weapons…

Chaos Rising is a thoroughly enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone adult. 
There are some sex scenes and a fair amount of violence and gore in the final fast-paced and heart-stopping battle scenes of Ragnarok, so I do not think it would be appropriate for a younger audience. I can’t wait to read the final part of the trilogy, At Realm’s Edge!

Add Chaos Rising to your To Be Read list:

www.goodreads.com/book/show/55813907-chaos-rising

Buy Chaos Rising here:

http://mybook.to/chaosrising

Read my review of Truth and Other Lies here


The Giveaway

Prize: A signed paperback of Chaos Rising by Lyra Wolf –INTERNATIONAL!

Starts: April 14th, 2021 at 12:00am EST

Ends: April 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm EST

Enter here or click the banner below:


About the Author

Lyra Wolf is an author caught between worlds. Ours, and those of the characters that won’t stop pestering her.

A lover of travel, Lyra has lived all over, from the cornfields of the Midwest, to the rugged mountains of Switzerland. Now, she calls the swamps of Central Florida, where “The Mouse” rules as supreme overlord, her home.

When Lyra isn’t at a theme park, listening to classic rock, or otherwise procrastinating, she writes about fantastical places and the complicated people who live there.

Lyra has earned a B.A. in History and M.A. in English.


Contact Lyra Wolf here:

Website: www.lyrawolf.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/lyrawolfauthor 
Instagram: instagram.com/lyrawolfauthor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lyrawolfauthor
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/20139297.Lyra_Wolf
Newsletter (Subscribers get a free novella!): https://lyrawolf.com/newsletter 


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Murder It’s All In Your Head by Cynthia Hilston

Today is my stop on the blog tour organised by R & R Book Tours for Supernatural Thriller Murder it’s All In Your Head by Cynthia Hilston. Thank you to Shannon from R & R Book Tours, for having me along on this highly enjoyable, gripping thrill-ride! There is a paperback giveaway at the end of this post – so be sure to stay tuned until the end!

Book Details

Publication Date: December 5, 2020

Genre: Supernatural Thriller/ Horror

Print length : 204 pages

Book Description

Someone has been getting away with murder for over 100 years in the small town of Hurston, Ohio. But the wrong person has been convicted of those murders every time. In 2018, Cassie Meadows is on her way to school when a bright flash comes out of nowhere, and she wakes in millionaire Randy Davis’s body with blood on her hands…the blood of Randy’s wife, who lies in a pool of crimson in the bathtub with her throat slit. Meanwhile, an old man everyone calls Jimmy Williams raves that he’s the real Randy Davis as he lives out his days in a ward for the criminally insane. In 1914, young Helen Hawkins is unloved and repetitively abused by her father, who is also the town’s pastor. Her only escape is in her dreams, where she wakes in others’ bodies, living other lives, but when her dreams turn out to be reality, the tables are turned on her father. In a story where no one is who they seem, how can Cassie, the latest victim accused of a murder she didn’t commit, end the cycle?


My Review

I was kindly sent a signed paperback copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Cynthia Hilston and R & R Book Tours.

Murder it’s all in your head is a psychological thriller with unexpected plot twists and turns and an unpredictable ending. Set in Ohio across a century, from 1914 – 2018, this novel has a clever and original premise . A wronged soul becomes able to possess other bodies and jump from one to another as the whim takes her. When she does this the soul who belongs in her chosen body ends up being displaced into the last body she possessed.

The first example of this is when in 2018, teenage girl, Cassie, out riding her bike suddenly experiences a blinding white flash and finds herself in the body of a bearded millionaire, Randall Davis, whose wife, Danielle she finds lying in their bathtub with her throat cut. When the police arrive Cassie/Randall is the prime suspect and due to her ravings about being a teenage girl is sent to an institution for the criminally insane, after being convicted of murder. By a quirk of fate it turns out that Randall’s soul is also in this facility, in the body of an old man, James Williams, who killed his neighbors and keeps insisting to the authorities that he is actually Randall Davies.  Randall in James’ body makes the assumption that  the soul of the old man, James must be in his body (a straight swap) and therefore must be his beloved Danielle’s murderer, leading him to attack his own body on sight. Confused yet?  

Cassie’s body is now inhabited by the actual murderer and Cassie’s unsuspecting family is the next target. Can these two natural enemies, Randall and the person he thinks murdered his wife, work out what is going on and hatch a plan together that will save Cassie’s family in time? Along with these poor unsuspecting individuals, we experience the frustrating horror of not being able to escape the body they now find themselves in, as they are punished for the deeds “they” have done.

As the story develops we learn that the murderer is a girl named Helen, with a tragic backstory from back in 1914 when she was only twelve and her monster of a father, a pastor who is questioning his faith, would beat and rape her repeatedly. In this way we find out what exactly has warped and crazed her to make her become such an evil monster:

“A wound that remained open as long as hers never healed”

I liked the way the narrative jumps between times and locations giving us a taste of each character before jumping on to the next one. The characters often dream of their own memories and sometimes those of the body they inhabit, which helps to fill in the back stories of each character, making them more well-rounded and believable.

The mystery deepens and we wonder how it can ever be resolved. Twisted Helen has been killing and body jumping for a long time now and developed a taste for it. Her motto is:

“I always finish what I start”

This book is a gripping page turner. I couldn’t imagine how these unfortunate victims left in the wrong bodies were going to be able to bring an end to their situations, so I kept on reading trying to figure it out. In fact the way the story concluded took me completely by surprise!

This book has an unsavory theme running through it of mean and sadistic fathers and uncaring or incapable mothers. There are also examples of murder, child abuse and torture.

Bearing that in mind I would highly recommend it for fans of murder mystery with a supernatural flavor. 5/5 stars.

Add to your To Be Read list here:

www.goodreads.com/book/show/54547664-murder

Buy Here:

US: www.amazon.com/Murder-Its-All-Your-Head-ebook/dp/B08CMBKSY2/

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Its-All-Your-Head-ebook/dp/B08CMBKSY2/


The Giveaway

For a chance to win a paperback edition of the book, click here or on the banner below to enter the giveaway!


About the Author

authorphoto2

Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Supernatural and Outlander, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

Cynthia Hilston | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Book Tour Schedule

Please check out these amazing bloggers/IGers who also took part in this tour:

April 12th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
@liliyanashadowlyn (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/liliyanashadowlyn/

April 13th
Michelle Meng’s Book Blog4 (Review) http://michellemengsbookblog4.simplesite.com/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

April 14th
Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/
@brendajeancombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/
@geauxgetlit (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/geauxgetlit/
Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

April 15th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

April 16th
@amysbooknook8 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amysbooknook8/
@thrilledtoreadya (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thrilledtoreadya/
@tiny.bibliophile (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tiny.bibliophile/
Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/
Sue’s Musings (Review) https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

Tour organised by R & R Book Tours


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Indie Spotlight – Bjørn Larssen

Today on my blog I am welcoming indie author Bjørn Larssen into the Indie Spotlight.

Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one, following this achievement several decades later with his first book containing multiple sentences and winning awards he didn’t design himself. His writing is described as ‘dark’ and ‘literary’, but he remains incapable of taking anything seriously for more than 60 seconds.

Bjørn has a degree in mathematics and has worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland. He owns one (1) husband and is owned by one (1) neighbourhood cat.

Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal winner (Storytellers)
2020 Stabby Award Nominee (Children)

Contact Bjørn here:
www.bjornlarssen.com
www.twitter.com/bjornlarssen
www.facebook.com/bjornlarssenwriter


Hello, Bjørn. Welcome to my blog.
What made you decide to publish your books independently? 

I spent a year researching traditional publishing as I was working on Storytellers.

Photo by Stefan Stefancik on Pexels.com

I was under the impression that I would just sit in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, creating like the Artisté that I am, while some other people marketed my books and made sure they were selling. The more I learned, the wider my eyes opened. The agents expected me to already have a strong social media presence. The publisher’s interns might send review copies of my book out. My advance would be four figures split into three payments… and then in 2020 “zero advances” became a thing. I’d have no say about the cover artwork, the way my books would (or wouldn’t) be promoted, I’d have to change my book until the publisher was satisfied. What would I get out of this, I asked myself, apart from validation?
There was also the time factor. I saw a tweet tagged #ShareYourRejections, in which the author told us she took 9 years to find an agent, 4 years longer for the agent to find a publisher, and next year her book would be out. All I could think about was “I might be dead 14 years from now”. And so I never received any rejection, because I never sent any queries.

That’s a serious chunk of time! I can see why that would put anyone off going down that road.
What are the benefits of being an indie author? 

Artistic control. This is a pro and a con, of course. My successes are mine, but my failures are also mine. My editor is my employee – I pay her to adapt the book to my vision, where a publisher would make me adapt my book to theirs. Every time I see a reviewer use a variation on the phrase “I have never read anything like this,” I know that no legacy publisher would have touched my book. Children is a very strange novel, dark and funny, mythological and political. It doesn’t fit into any particular genre. I would never get away with that in legacy publishing, because it’s difficult to market and sell something like this. But this is the book I wanted to write.
I also own all the rights. My books will never go out of print, unless I decide to pull them myself. If book two in a trilogy doesn’t sell well, nobody can drop me, keeping the rights to those two books. If a publisher goes bankrupt and my rights are one of the assets someone keeps, I don’t have to sue to get them back. (This happened to two of my friends.) I can price my books however I want. I can change the cover and blurb every week if I feel like it.

Those are some definite advantages. On the flipside what challenges do indie authors face? 

I’m never going to see my book on “10 Books We’re Looking Forward To The Most In 2022” lists or get reviews from Real Critics in Real Papers. (Mind, it’s not like all that many trad authors get those reviews either, there is less and less space dedicated to books.) I only ever get bitter when I read articles about how there are simply no new, original voices in literature, or reviews of awful books. This space could have been devoted to incredible indie books those critics won’t acknowledge.

Being an indie writer/self-publisher means owning a small business. Any business needs investing in at first. I am lucky, because my background in graphic design allows me to take care of covers and formatting, but most people need to hire someone to do this. I had to pay my editor and proofreader. A “real” publisher would have covered all those costs. But my royalties would be 7.5% of cover price, out of which the agent would take 15. I wouldn’t see a cent before the advance is earned out. As things are, I get 35-70% royalties on each ebook. I earn the same money selling 1000 books that a trad author would on 10000 sales

What advice would you give to aspiring indie authors? 

Work with an editor. I can’t emphasise this enough. I’d suggest starting with a sample chapter, to see whether you’re going to be a good fit – there’s nothing worse than spending $1000 to have someone give you extensive notes about how very much they didn’t understand what you wanted to communicate. Get a proofreader – there are people who delight in finding typos in self-published books (I don’t know why either).

Everyone judges the book by the cover. If your cover looks like it took 15 minutes to design, people will assume it reflects the overall quality of the book and won’t bother reading even the shortest blurb. If the cover is not genre-appropriate, people will pass, or, worse, leave one-star reviews. They’ll feel cheated, and rightly so.

An average debut sells 100 copies in the first year and 500 copies in the book’s lifetime. Mind, I said “average”. Some books sell one copy, to the author’s Mum. Set your financial expectations very, very low and you can’t be disappointed.

What have you learned from being an indie author? 

We’re judged more harshly than legacy-published authors, but we also have much more freedom. I can’t deal with deadlines – I’m chronically ill – so I don’t. The next book will come out when it comes out.
I’ve found wonderful writer friends who struggle with the same problems as I do. We beta-read for each other, critique each other’s manuscripts, and cry on each other’s shoulders when we need to. Actually, this might be my favourite part – becoming friends with incredibly talented people.
And… for all the sweating and cursing and shouting at my laptop… it’s fun!

And last, but by no means least…What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2021? 

Hopefully Land, the sequel to Children. I’m also working on a different project, also related to Norse mythology, but this one would be all about the humour. And last night I had an idea for writing a cosy mystery set in the same small town as Storytellers. AND I would also like to write a non-fiction book about the Norse Gods and lore. Actually, that’s what you should look forward to seeing from me between 2021-2030… 
Thanks so much for having me!

Thank you so much for joining me today, Bjørn. I am looking forward to reading Land later this year!


Storytellers

Would you murder your brothers to keep them from telling the truth about themselves?

On a long, cold Icelandic night in March 1920, Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith, finds himself with an unwanted lodger – Sigurd, an injured stranger who offers a story from the past. But some stories, even those of an old man who can barely walk, are too dangerous to hear. They alter the listeners’ lives forever… by ending them.

Others are keen on changing Gunnar’s life as well. Depending on who gets to tell his story, it might lead towards an unwanted marriage, an intervention, rejoining the Church, letting the elf drive him insane, or succumbing to the demons in his mind. Will he manage to write his own last chapter?

Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal – Best Historical Fiction Novel

Read my review of Storytellers here

Buy Storytellers here:

https://getbook.at/storytellers

Add Storytellers to your To Be read list here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44153250


Children

Gods make lousy parents.

All Magni wants is peace and quiet, but when your father is the God of thunder, you don’t get to live the life you want. When Thor destroys all his son knows and loves, Magni vows to bring prosperity and end the violence… forever. But can you escape cruelty in a universe built on it, or the shadow of your father when everyone calls you by his name?

Maya, her rage more powerful than she knows, wants freedom to pursue her own destiny. Neither torture nor blackmail can make her obedient or pretty enough for Freya, her foster-mother and Goddess of love. Fighting for independence and revenge, can a mere human win a game where Gods dictate the rules?

2020 Stabby Nominee –Best Self-Published/Independent Novel

Read my review of Children here

Buy Children here:

https://getbook.at/children

Add Children to your To Be Read list here:

www.goodreads.com/book/show/55586820-children


Coming Soon…


Who’s next on Indie Spotlight?

Evan Witmer is the sole writer and webmaster for oddfiction.com where he posts free short stories. At the end of each year he takes down the last ten stories he wrote and self-publishes them online; containing the ten stories within a surreal framing device. 
He has a Masters of Bioengineering and does tech transfer for the University of Buffalo. Tall and quirky, he collects beer labels in his free time. He relates more to the works of MC Ride and Tarantino than to most modern authors. He’s trying to lose forty pounds.


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Loners: A Mercenary DND Dwarven Dark Fantasy by D.B. Bray & Wahida Clark

Book Description

Jari Rockjaw just wants a quiet life and a homestead to call his own. He has been a bounty hunter in Labrys for over 100 years. And it’s getting old. Battle after battle, allies lost and gained, he now wants to smoke his pipe in the solitude far from the human cities he despises. An option to do so comes his way when the king of Ekepia asks for a favor. Jari is tasked with destroying the evilest dwarf ever to walk the world! 

With Jari’s best mates at his side, they team up for one last mission…a mission that will be nearly impossible to pull off. But just like everyone else, if the juice is worth the squeeze, you take the risk. The only question he must ask himself is…. Is retirement worth dying for? 


My Review

I was given an audiobook by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you D.B Bray. The narration is done by Walt Allen and is really exceptional. His voices brought each of the characters to life and were very well defined. He had me laughing out loud, especially with the gruff voice of the female minotaur, Betha and Toli Hookhand’s cackling laughter! Lord Polis, the human, seems to be somewhat Scandinavian in accent and Zog the orc sounds Russian. Walt Allen is a real master of voices and accents!

Map of Labrys by @ChaimHoltjer

Loners is a rip-roaring hearty adventure full of humour and plenty of fast-paced action scenes. The pace is set right from the beginning of the prologue and continues relentlessly throughout the story.

Set in the land of Labrys, the story follows a misfit band of mercenaries who collect scalps for money, led by Jari Rockjaw, a fierce one-eyed dwarf. In his band, Jari is accompanied by Betha the gruff Minotaur and another dwarf called Toli Hookhand, a comical character obsessed with female dwarves whose warcry is “For the dwarven lasses asses!” In contrast, Jari seems rather serious. The no-nonsense leader has decided it might be time they all retire if they can only earn enough money.

Zog the drunk orc, partial to drinking gut-rot, is coerced into joining them by Betha. We learn that his entire tribe was killed, making him another Loner. Betha is the band’s ruthless muscle with a checkered past, which she doesn’t talk about. Each of these characters is well-rounded and believable if decidedly quirky in their own way!

Despite the name of their fellowship, the Loners are a good example of found family. They are a close-knit group of companions brought together by a need for coin, kept together by familial loyalty.

They are offered a contract which could be their ticket to retirement if only they can survive. It seems like an offer they can’t refuse, especially since they have been mercenaries for over a century and are getting tired of the hard life. On this job, they face many scary foes in battle, including Red Widow spiders, and end up with various wounds and scars, both physical and emotional, due to the tragic outcome of one episode.

One of many funny parts has the group learning to ride the fearless Bohal goats, to differing degrees of success. The goats are hesitant of these inexperienced riders and they end up being bucked off in a variety of unsavory positions. Oh and did I mention there are riddles in an encounter between Jari and a ghost. I always love a riddle!!

This story would be enjoyable for most fans of fantasy and D n D, who enjoy groups of companions on a journey fighting whatever may come their way. Or equally for fans of well-written characters with a ton of heart and irreverent humour thrown in for the hell of it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Buy Loners here:

US: www..amazon.com/gp/product/B08MDSRSZP

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08MDSRSZP

Add Loners to your To Be Read list here:

www.goodreads.com/book/show/55851186-loners


About the Author

D.B. Bray is an author and the publishing director at WClark Publishing, the best traditional publishing house in the world. During COVID, he decided to get on Instagram for the first time in his life, and just woke up one day and thought, “I want to start a show called The OoooWeeee Chronicles to showcase underrepresented African American creatives.”

And so began the IG show, The OoooWeeee Chronicles where he has interviewed some of yours and his favorite writers of all time. After asking Wahida Clark to come on the show (with a really janky flyer), his life changed in more ways than he could have dreamed. And every day he gets up, he thanks God for the opportunities he’s been given.

He is the author of the crime series Blood & Whiskey, narrated by the magnificent Irishman, Karl Haycock. The YA adult novel The Last Tribe, narrated by the supercalfragalistic Walt Allen (also of Emperors & Assassins). And as a personal accomplishment, D.B. has co-written with the Queen of Street Lit, on her way to becoming the Queen of Fantasy with your help!

They have co-written The Loners, a mixed mercenary companies of DND characters with a street lit edge. And the topper is their collaboration, The Light Brigade, a new age inclusive Underworld, releasing soon.

When not signing talent, writing, zoom calls, or anything else that happens in his crazy day, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Dolores and his three dogs (Japanese Chins), Chin, Juno, and Sushi. Most days you can find them walking the quiet streets of Ft. Monroe in Hampton, VA.


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The Ultimate Tour Experience from Storytellers on Tour

Storytellers on Tour set a fun reading challenge called The Ultimate Tour Experience for their roadies at the beginning of 2021 and this is the first check-in.


The Ultimate Tour Experience is a bingo-like reading challenge where you can collect tickets for each blog tour or book blitz you take part in. There are three VIP Bingo cards each containing 9 tickets which participants are trying to fill by December 19th in order to win a prize:

The Rules
  • Take part in our events! Each book you read during one of our events (tours and book blitzes count) is eligible to collect maximum of 2 tickets on any given card. For hard mode, you can go with 1 book/ticket.
  • We’ll do 3 check-ins throughout the year when you’ll be welcome to post about your progress (this does not mean you can’t do it anytime you want, please feel free to do so!) and enter to win one of our giveaways. These check-ins will happen:
    • April 12th – 18th
    • August 9th – 15th
    • December 13th -19th
  • Between the participants (those who make at least one post during the check-in weeks and will fill out our google form we’ll be sending out) we’ll draw winners for giveaways. If you only collected one ticket, that still counts as long as you post about it on either your blog or any of the social media platforms and tag us and fill out our form.
  • Those who’ll have at least one V.I.P ticket (this can be done by collecting all the tickets on the cards) by December 19th will be entered to win the grand prize. More V.I.P tickets (maximum of 3) mean extra entries into the drawing. We’ll draw the winner on December 20th.
  • During the duration of the challenge, we’ll give you one chance to switch two prompts of your choice. For example, you only need the “Man’s Best Friend” ticket to upgrade to V.I.P, and you already have the “Blood suckers” ticket from another card. You can ask for a switch between these two tickets. If you’d like to do this, please email us at tours@storytellersontour.online
  • To help you with the challenge, we’ll list on every book tour page which tickets any given book is eligible for.

My Progress So Far

These are the blog tours I have taken part in the first quarter of the year and the tickets they can earn:

The Place Below by Dan FitzgeraldPOSSIBLE TICKETS: An Unforgettable Sidekick, Represent, It’s All About the Journey, The More the Merrier, A Villain You Love to Hate, Storyteller in the House, Bring On the Magic.

I am going to use this one for AN UNFORGETTABLE SIDEKICK (VIP Ticket #1) and A VILLAIN YOU LOVE TO HATE (VIP ticket #2)

In the Orbit of Sirens by T. A. BrunoPOSSIBLE TICKETS: Lost in Space, A Gate to Another World, That Ship Has Sailed

I am going to use this one for LOST IN SPACE (VIP ticket #1) and THAT SHIP HAS SAILED (VIP ticket #2)

Rising Shadows by Phillip BlackwaterPOSSIBLE TICKETS: Elves and Dwarves and Orcs, The More the Merrier, The Wings of Change, Bring On the Magic

I am going to use this one for ELVES AND DWARVES AND ORCS (VIP ticket #1) and THE MORE THE MERRIER (VIP ticket #2)

Truth and Other Lies by Lyra WolfPOSSIBLE TICKETS: Represent, It’s All About the Journey, That Ship Has Sailed, Snark It Up, Love Actually, A Villain You Love to Hate, The Wings of Change, I’m Not Crying, You Are Crying, Valhalla Awaits, Bring On the Magic, Simply Mythical, A Gate to Another World

I am going to use this one for REPRESENT (VIP ticket #1) and SNARK IT UP (VIP ticket #2)

Fly Free by Allison RosePOSSIBLE TICKETS: It’s All About the Journey, The More the Merrier, A Villain You Love to Hate, The Wings of Change, Bring On the Magic

I am going to use this one for IT’S ALL ABOUT THE JOURNEY (VIP ticket #1) and THE WINGS OF CHANGE (VIP ticket #2)

So when that is all translated onto the Bingo cards it looks like this (no change to card #3):

I’m looking forward to trying to fill in the remaining prompts!


Book Blitz – The Demon of Yodok

TheDemonofYodok

Today on my blog I’m happy to share YA Dystopian novel, The Demon of Yodok! Book 1 in the Juche series. Read on for book details and a chance to win a signed hardcover edition. Oh and for all of you book reviewers, you can request a copy of this exciting book from R&R Book Tours!

Juche part one - eBook - Copy

Demon of Yodok

Genre: YA Dystopian

A highly addictive Young Adult Dystopian Survival series that will keep you glued to the pages.

JUCHE [dʒuːtʃe]

Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family are taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then – her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in face of the mounting evidence he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

AC Logo 2

Adria Carmichael is a writer of Young Adult Dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format – books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games – she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a signed hardcover edition of The Demon of Yodok, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveway will run from today, April 12th until April 15th!

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

I’m a sucker for…found family

I was challenged by @Fantasybooknerd, www.fantasybooknerd.com to write a post about a trope in fantasy that I’m a sucker for. There are so many to choose from, but one in particular that I enjoy is that of the “found family”.

I’m thinking of the characters who are orphans or come from unloving families or dangerous backgrounds who find a group of friends who become their support system, more than their biological families ever did.

Characters who come immediately to mind are Áed from The Hidden King by E.G. Radcliff, who has found a family with his beloved Ninian and their eight year old ward, Ronan. His adopted mother had been extremely cruel to him – smashing his hands with a bottle and throwing him out at the age of ten.

Lyra Bellacqua from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series is another favourite whose biological family are lacking. Her parents are both alive but she grows up amongst the University scholars of Oxford and finds family amongst the friends she makes along her journey, including Lee Scoresby the aeronaut and Iorek Byrnison the warrior bear.

Another obvious found family story is of course Harry Potter. Whatever we may think of J K Rowling’s beliefs, Harry will always be a favourite of mine with his found family being Hermione and Ron and also to a degree, all of the Weasley family.

I think this trope resonates with me in particular because of my own situation of moving to a country thousands of miles away from my family. I have developed a support network of amazing friends who have become my own found family here in the USA.

If you have any favourite books with found family in them leave a note in the Comments – I would love to hear about them!


Time of the Twins by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

This week on Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub‘s blog is Dragonlance Week – so I thought I should get my act together and post a Dragonlance review before the week is over! There have been many excellent Dragonlance posts this week – including an interview with Margaret Weis so head on over and take a look:

Book Description

New York Times–bestselling series: The War of the Lance has ended, and the darkness has passed. Or has it?

Sequestered in the blackness of the dreaded Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, and surrounded by nameless creatures of evil, archmage Raistlin Majere weaves a plan to conquer the darkness—to bring it under his control.

Two people alone can stop him. One is Crysania, a beautiful and devoted cleric of Paladine, who tries to use her faith to lead Raistlin from the darkness. She is blind to his shadowed designs, and he draws her slowly into his neatly woven trap.

The other is Raistlin’s twin, Caramon. Made aware of his brother’s plan, a distraught Caramon travels back in time to the doomed city of Istar in the days before the Cataclysm. There, together with the ever-present kender Tasslehoff, Caramon will make his stand to save Raistlin’s soul.


My Review

Time of the Twins is the first book in the second Dragonlance trilogy, Dragonlance Legends, following on after the end of Dragons of Spring Dawning. This second trilogy follows the stories of the Majere twins, Caramon and Raistlin. Caramon’s devotion to his brother is stretched to the utmost limit in Time of the Twins. We see his character go from hopeless drunk, sent back through time to the time of the Cataclysm when the gods destroyed Istar, to protect the lady Crysania, sobering up and training to become a successful gladiator in the process. Raistlin meanwhile continues his expert manipulations of people and situations always with his own goals at the forefront of his mind.

The other main characters in this novel are Tasselhoff Burrfoot, the beloved kender, and Crysania, a devout and annoyingly perfect cleric of Paladine’s faith. Sent back through time to save Raistlin she falls in love with him and tries to persuade him away from his dark path.

Tas also travels back with Caramon and Crysania, by accident, but without him to keep an eye on Caramon, the drunken warrior would never have survived the time they ended up in. Tas also provides some fun moments as usual and proves himself to be as brave and loyal as any of the companions.

I enjoyed this book, but definitely missed having the other companions involved in the story, having got used to their group dynamic in the previous trilogy. I will be continuing my travels through Krynn with War of the Twins next month. 


About the Authors

Margaret Weis graduated from the University of Missouri in 1970 with a BA in Creative Writing and Literature. Following a career in publishing, she became an editor with TSR in 1983. Her hobby is flyball racing. She is captain of the Barkbarians Flyball team and lives with her flyball racing dogs in Wisconsin.


`Dragonlance’ originators Tracy and Laura Hickman have been publishing game designs and stories together for over thirty-two years – nearly as long as their marriage – and thus started them both on a life of adventure and imagination.

Tracy is a NYT Best-Selling co-author (with Margaret Weis) of many Dragonlance novels including the original `Dragonlance Chronicles’, `Dragonlance Legends’, `Rose of the Prophet” and “Darksword” trilogies as well as the seven-book “Deathgate Cycle”.

Tracy and Laura are remembered together for their role-playing game designs in `Dragonlance’ and the `Oasis of the White Palm’ series but are perhaps best known for their classic adventure, the original `Ravenloft.’

Life now has provided them the opportunity to fulfill a dream: to write novels together. Tracy and Laura work from adjoining offices in their home and answer questions on their work through their website at http://www.trhickman.com.

Visit www.dragonhearthproductions.com for information on our monthly podcasts.


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