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Archive for September 1st, 2015

 

Reflections of Infinity Book 1
Epic Fantasy
Date Published: February 2015

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Amid the power struggle for the throne of a vast Empire, mortals and newly born magical gods come into contact for the first time on the Known Worlds. Meanwhile a young boy is swept along with a fierce group of warriors on their expedition to a only recently discovered Wild World where otherworldly dangers and treasures await!
EXCERPT
Chapter 1
Awakenings
Deep in the heart of a colossal blue giant star
Something stirred suddenly in the rotating light and fire of the stars core. A little girl clothed in dense layers of blue light, wearing a gleaming white locket around her neck, sat up, slowly coming awake, her eyes popping open to reveal the same blue light that rotated around her; burning in her eyes. She looked around at the star’s heart blazing all around her curiously for a moment before yawning and exploding off into space in a blue blur looking for someplace to play.
The tiny toddler lifted her little fingers out in front of her as she streaked through the void, grasping the liquid fabric of space and time and pushing it out ahead of her, warping it until it formed a tunnel stretching away around her: allowing her to travel across thousands of stars in moments.
                                              ***
Planet Kalemia
Northern Continent
     Pillus tried his best not to drop the heavy buckets of water, the wooden rod holding them digging into his shoulders, his back burning painfully as he trudged up the steep hill towards his master’s estate dominating the skyline on the hill top above. “I’ll be WHIPPED if I don’t get back on time!” He thought to himself in anxiety, stumbling distractedly, both buckets sliding to the right tipping his slight form over to plop down on his backside.
      He sat there beginning to cry, watching helplessly as the water from the buckets ran down the hill, thinking: “great, now I’m gonna get the worst lashing by my master that I’ve gotten in all fourteen sunstrokes of my life!” He wiped his running nose with the back of his thin bony arm as he hugged his knees to himself sitting where he had fallen in the dirt feeling like giving up completely.
 
        Then, suddenly he saw beautiful blue light reflecting in the tiny pools of water left in the buckets, frozen in mid sniffle in shock as he stared at it; his eyes widening as he spun around to stare at the late afternoon sky. There, plummeting through the cloudy sky was a streaking ball of liquid sapphire blue fire, lighting up the clouds sporadically as it blazed toward the ground. Pillus rose to his feet, absently dusting off the burlap rags the noble kids made him wear as he started running down the hill; his dark violet eyes locked on it; the water he was supposed to be fetching for his master completely forgotten.
     There was a small plume of blue fire as the fireball slammed into the ground, half a league a way, near where he remembered the ice rapids to be. Taking a deep gulping breath of air in preparation, he broke into a loping run; his growing excitement giving him an intense adrenaline rush as his short brown hair whipped around wildly in the wind.  He concentrated on nothing but the rhythmic sound of his gasping breaths as he forced his burning legs to keep churning, feeling exhilaration for the first time in his meek and dreary life.
     The hundred span high Kalemian vines streaked by, looming overhead in a thick interwoven canopy, leaving glaringly bright shafts of yellowish white sunlight streaming down through sporadic gaps as he pressed on; beginning to feel his heart pounding in his temples as his body screamed at him to stop and regain his breath. He checked his position, using the towering glacial mountains to his left as a landmark, all locked in ice even in the height of summer. Suddenly he stumbled over a rock as out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of an orb of pulsating white light off to his right.
 
    Slamming into the ground with a high pitched shriek, he sat up moaning spitting out a mouthful of dirt, his dark purple colored eyes locking on the orb immediately. He jumped to his feet his wounds forgotten in growing excitement as he ran over, stumbling up to stand over it; the light beginning to fade: revealing a beautiful pearly white locket.
     It lit up the ground around, giving off its own soft white glow, just barely visible in the diminishing daylight within the thorn patch that it lay in. He reached in excitedly cursing in pain and anger as one of the thorny vines whipped out and wrapped around his arm, tightening viciously.
 
    He screamed in pain as he tried to rip his arm back, the thorns sinking deeper into his arm, staring at the locket, appearing blurred through his tears; his brow furrowing in determination. Shrieking in growing agony he reached down as quickly as he could and snatched up the locket with his other hand, jerking it back in fear as more thorns reached for it. He gasped in surprise as the vines surrounding the arm holding the locket pulled away as if injured; the locket suddenly beginning to glow more intensely in his clutched fist: turning his hand a warm red color.
     He stared wide eyed down at the luminescent piece of jewelry, holding it up to his other arm and watching in amazement as the thorns uncoiled, slithering away leaving him staring down at it, completely oblivious as blood pumped from his arm through the gaping holes covering it. He reached up and placed the locket around his neck, swaying dizzily from loss of blood; leaving bloody hand marks on the pristine chain as he ran his fingers over the casing for a moment before carefully opening it. His gaze became glassy as if only half awake as the swirling bluish white light within reflected in his eyes. Completely forgotten was the streaking ball of blue fire which had brought him to the vine forest in the first place as he stared down mesmerized, the soft white light coming from the locket growing stronger as unnoticed to him; the wounds covering his arm slowly healed closed.
                                            ***
     Tikus pulled tight his bow, the muscles under his tan skin tightening as he glanced over at his watching eight sunstroke old son to make sure he was looking, and then retraining his aim at the forest stag grazing on small, thorn less bright red flowering vines covering the forest floor; the foamy white ice rapids: swollen with snow melt blocking its escape. Just as he released the arrow, a ball of blue fire roared past deafeningly overhead, throwing off his shot as he lowered his bow and looked skyward: reaching down to pat his son, Piccus on the head as he felt the child clutching his leg in fear.
     He shaded his yellow colored eyes with his hand as the ball of fire slammed to the ground fifty spans away in a large ground shaking explosion, sending a plume of blue fire expanding up into the air. “Piccus, stay here my boy.” He yelled over his shoulder as he broke into a run towards it, overwhelming curiosity filling his mind. He swore in frustration as he heard Piccus following behind him, turning and glaring at him suddenly; stopping him in his tracks, the child’s green eyes going wide with fear; before continuing on through the huge interlacing vines stretching away on all sides.
     He stumbled suddenly into a large clearing of devastation created by the explosion, looking around in amazement at the scorched remains of giant vines all around and then he caught sight of something at the center of the blast crater. There within the large crater at the center of the blast zone was a small girl, barely out of infancy, staring curiously up at him, somehow wearing blue light as if it was clothing: her eyes filled with swirling light of the same shade.
     “What are you?” He whispered in awe as his wide yellow eyes glanced around at the leveled forest then back at the mysterious child. She cocked her little head to the side in confusion for a moment before giggling, saying: “you talk funny! My name is Taisa, what’s yours?” Tikus just stared down at her dumbly, his jaw hanging open in disbelief as little Piccus ran up beside him, his brown hair fluttering in the breeze; looking up asking: “what is it father?” 
     “I don’t know son.” He whispered, slowly pulling Piccus behind him as the little girl looked down at her herself frowning in puzzlement before looking up at them asking with a pout: “have you seen my locket?”
                                       ***
     Pillus stumbled back up the hill towards his sleeping cot in the slave quarters, scarcely taking his eyes off the luminescent pearly surface of the locket, the last rosy light of dusk lighting the sky turning his pasty skin a deep red shade. At the last possible moment, he saw his master rounding the corner of the quarters; hurriedly taking off the locket and shoving it in the folds of his burlap rags. He squeaked in fright, running towards his cot as his master spotted him reaching for his whip with an angry scowl adorning his wrinkled aging face.
     He cringed, cowering deeper in his hiding spot in a crawl space behind the wall that he had concealed with a large pale of hay as his master’s booming voice resounded through the paper thin old wooden walls beyond: “you miserable whelp, come out here or I’ll have you fed to the wild hounds!” He covered his mouth, tying his hardest not to make a sound, his eyes clinched shut in anticipation as he listened to the vicious old man lash out in frustration, cursing as he smashed what little tables and clay plates his slaves had before stomping off into the night leaving Pillus alone in the quarters: all of the other slaves having already left for meal time.
     He lay in the pile of straw he had strewn in the hiding place absently scratching at the maddeningly itchy folds of his burlap rags as he pulled the locket forth, placing it around his neck once again; the itching ceasing instantly. He gently ran his fingers across the pearly white casing, shimmers of rainbow colored light trailing his caress as if it was reacting to his touch. Suddenly the thought popped into his drowsy mind: “I’m going to run away tomorrow. I’d rather die in the wilderness than live as a slave.” He smiled at that, hoping that his parents would be proud of him in the Realm of the Dead; curling up into a comfortable position and staring down at the fiercely beautiful locket until he nodded off to sleep.

 

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Afterthoughts

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Afterthoughts (Minds Benders – 1) by Lynn Tincher

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Detective Paige Aldridge’s family are prey for a serial killer. Desperate to help her sister, she is determined to find out who is behind it all. After being the victim of a kidnapping, she is traumatized by memories she does not know she has. She sees visions of the murders and believes she is being followed by someone she’s only seen in the shadows. Trying to run from her dreams, she is sent spiraling down a path of self doubt, fear and betrayal. Paige finds an unlikely friend that tries to help her by telling her unbelievable things. Teamed up with her partner, Jay, she tries to put all of the pieces together. Are all of these things connected? Will Jay believe in her and most importantly will Paige believe in herself? Are the memories true or is it just an elaborate mind game? Can she get her thoughts together before it’s too late?

We start with Detective Paige Aldridge at her brother-in-law, Anthony’s election party. After it is announced that he is reelected as senator Paige has to hurry off to a stakeout that goes wrong. When she goes to burn off some steam she gets the call that Anthony has been found strangled and all signs point to his son Richie and a week later Richie has committed suicide. But there is more to this case than just a murder suicide and it becomes clear that something is going on.

As Paige is working through this she is also having flashbacks. Paige disappeared for two months, which she doesn’t remember. It was clear that she was abducted and abused but she has no memory of the event. When she starts getting flashes and visions she doesn’t know what to think of them. But the guy that kidnapped her has not forgotten about her and clearly wants to keep playing with her.

I admit that I had a hard time getting used to Paige. She is such a bull-headed, difficult person. But when you learn more about her and her past you can understand why. I did feel really sorry for her with the murders and her own abduction. Then learning about her own abilities was a great addition.

This was a great read. I easily got sucked into it and didn’t realize that I had finished the book in one sitting. I can’t wait to read Left in the Dark and see what happens to Paige next.

For more information on Afterthoughts, or to purchase the book, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received a copy of Afterthoughts from White Handed PR for free in exchange for an honest review.

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The Gates of Evangeline

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The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .

When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.

After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie’s dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana’s prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family’s sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust—and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could’ve imagined.A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won’t be able to put down.

Charlie Cates recently has lost her 3 year old son. She is still in mourning when she starts having nightmares of another little boy asking for help. She initially just thinks it is from the loss of her own son. But then she is offered the opportunity to write a book on the disappearance of Gabriel Deveau from the Evangaline estate in 1982.

Charlie accepts the offer to stay at the plantation while doing her research and learns that the little boy in her nightmares is Gabriel and he needs her help. She also starts having dreams of other children that need her help. But this is not going to be an easy research assignment. There are years of family secrets, mysteries, and betrayals on the Evangaline estate. Hopefully Charlie can help Gabriel and the other children she dreams.

I loved this story. It has the gothic southern mystery with an extended family with all kinds of secrets. I felt for Charlie with the loss of her own son and loved how she decided to follow the nightmares and help the children. There is a little romance thrown in for Charlie but I loved how it enhanced the story instead of taking over.

This is a great mystery that takes place in a plantation in Louisiana. Make sure to check it out. I am very curious to see what happens in the next book.

For more information on The Gates of Evangeline, or to purchase the book, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Hester Young’s website.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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