The Sword in His Hand (The Darcentaria Duology #1)
By J.J. Fischer
Christian Historical Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 496 Pages
February 9, 2021 by Ambassador International
“One is an opportunity. Two is a threat. Three is an invasion.”
For hundreds of years, strange things have been washing up on the shores of Darcentaria. But when a young foreign woman named El is found unconscious on the beach amidst the burning wreckage of a strange metal craft, the villagers of Odessa are immediately suspicious—is she an agent of the Dalriadan Empire, their cruel oppressors for as long as they can remember? Or does she come from the Outside, the vast and legendary lands beyond their borders from which no man or woman alive has ever returned?
Torsten Eiselher, a talented young swordsman, has spent the last nine years of his life wrongfully imprisoned by his uncle, the Empire’s ruler. Betrayed and deceived at every turn, Torsten has survived by keeping a firm grip on his sword—and by staying well away from anything to do with the Outside. But when his young sister is murdered, Torsten finds himself irrevocably drawn to El despite her Outsider heritage—and he begins to question everything he has been told about her world.
Intrigued by the existence of a powerful and dangerously advanced world within his reach, the Empire’s ruler, Jurien Arminius, launches a hunt for El and the two Outsiders that arrived with her—the ones who could help him win his war against Torsten and the rebellion that threatens to topple his Empire.
Suddenly, Torsten is forced to choose between defeating his long-term enemy or saving the woman he has come to love . . .
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REVIEW by LAWonder10:
A Sword in His Hand was a very-well written, poignant tale. Five people, escaping from a modern world that has become corrupt beyond all reason, are in a plane caught in the Bermuda Triangle. They crash is an unknown world. Having to jump with parachutes, each land in a different place,
El awakes to find herself in a place where a couple of people try to help. However, it is a hostile place and soon her life is put in jeopardy, with only one family trying to save her.
From there on life is a living Hell. For every slight reprieve, more disaster and pain happens.
Torsten was a tall muscular man al the guards seem to fear, He was in heavy chains. El hated the cruelties and violence but found herself both admiring and respecting this man while at the same time hating him and detesting his violent reactions. Both he and El would die together.
There was a statement El made that is inaccurate. She stated vengeance and love cannot coexist. God contains the greatest love of all and he states, "Vengeance is mine." Also, throughout the works of the bible, groups of people are commanded to war with others at times. Still, His love is greater than all of mankind's.
There are many surprises and twists, constant adventure, love, loyalty, betrayal and brutality. The characters were portrayed in a way the reader felt he/she knew them. The scenes engulfed the reader in a way he/she felt a part of the story. It was easy to connect with the characters and their emotions.
The fast-paced novel captures the readers interest and is never boring. What I disliked was the sudden cliff-hanger ending. It felt the book was tore in half in the middle of a scenario.
Some may quickly order the second book of the duology, but it annoys me to the point of creating my own ending. Other than this, the book was great!
I offer a Four Stars Rating.
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
OTHER BOOKS In the SERIES:
The Secret of Fire (The Darcentaria Duology #2)
By J.J. Fischer
Christian Historical Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
July 13, 2021 by Ambassador International
Only one can save them.
The Rebellion has fallen.
The door to the Outside has been opened.
And the one who opened it—Jurien Arminius—is now the most powerful man in Darcentaria.
But everything they have known is about to change forever.
Separated by Arminius but fighting to get back to each other, El and Torsten encounter unlikely allies that reveal stunning truths about each other, the Outside, and the very beginnings of Darcentaria itself.
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ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Jasmine (J.J. Fischer) is living proof that it is possible to be addicted to tea and coffee simultaneously. Both made it possible for her to complete her Bachelor degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2012.
Jasmine is married to David, and together they are the proud owner-parents of five warring pet chickens who tolerate each others' existence—most days. When tempted away from the keyboard, she enjoys reading, thinking about lasagna almost as often as Garfield the cat, and working towards her black belt in karate. She vows to one day write the perfect fight scene. Jasmine makes her home near Sydney, Australia, where most animals want to kill you and drop bears enforce a daily reign of terror. If you're reading this, please send help.
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One winner will receive print copies of The Sword in His Hand and The Secret Fire, a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card and a $5 discount code to Ambassador International's store (US only) Ends July 21, 2021
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Talia Rothschild, Italian American, is passionate about stories in many forms—music, dance, photography, film and, of course, great novels. She believes in thick hot chocolate and creamer in your tea. When she’s not happily writing, she’s mothering the sweetest baby girl and making memories with her husband. Her debut book The Immortal Game, coauthored with A. C. Harvey, hits the shelves May 2021.
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Ashleigh Harvey is teaching high school physics and bringing her writing dreams to life. English-born and world-traveled, she loves filling her life with new adventures, such as visiting a new country or exploring the Wild West with her husband. She also finds escape in movies, music, literature, and yearly comic conventions. The Immortal Game is her debut novel, created alongside Talia Rothschild, her close friend.
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Scorn of Secrets by B. Truly
Publication date: April 27th 2021
Genres: Coming of Age, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis: I must keep it locked away—the memory of my darkest secret….
When the rising tides of my life peak, I’m left struggling with the currents of the storm. The first dilemma is my dad’s gambling debt. Mama bounces back quickly from the ramifications it causes. She proves this by getting a new man. Her Rico Suave is just the tip of the iceberg—she moves us across state to live with him and his two sons.
My outgoing, older sister fits right in—she’s the total opposite of me. I am Madison Guillory, the shy, quiet type. Taught to make the best of even the worst situations, I contemplate giving my new family a chance.
Living with my future stepbrothers is interesting, to say the least. They’re like night and day. I have more in common with the laid-back brother, and we become instant friends. I’m adjusting to Taylor High, and the arrogant brother is even starting to grow on me. Maybe everything will work out after all.
My life finally seems to be falling into place until a dreadful night shatters my dreams. My world is flipped upside down because of the consequences I must now bear.
The memories of that night lurk in the shadows to torment me. If I think of what happened, I’ll succumb to my fear. His face has scorned me. No one will believe me if I confess, not even my own sister. I hold the key to my darkest secret, desperate to keep it locked away
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Egotistical and Opinionated
Taking selfies and engaging in social media.
Don’t let anyone step in your way to fame. Live life on your own terms.
Name: Charlotte Guillory
Self—absorbed and Prideful
Hobbies: Baking and Decorating
You must fight to survive and seize opportunities when they come your way.
Name: Dariel Delandre
Adventurous and Spontaneous
Sewing and playing phone games.
Go to bed with a vision and make your dreams a reality.
Easy-going and Humorous
Playing basketball and watching movies.
Your troubles today will be your strength tomorrow.
Greatness is measured by being courageous and having heart.
Name: Jackson Jenkins
Headstrong and Pompous
Hitting the gym and surfing the web.
I’m strong, confident, and I am relentless. There is magic on the other side of fear
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old. She is grateful to have accomplished this dream. B. Truly has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of suspense and sci-fi. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, sci-fi, dystopian, and paranormal genres.
B. Truly likes to explore conflicted plots of romance with thrilling twists. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.
B. Truly has three wonderful children, and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.
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- $10 Amazon gift card +
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Kiss and Repeat by Heather Truett
Published by: Swoon Reads ~ Publication date: May 25th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
In Heather Truett’s Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl’s heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.
Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason.
Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?
But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he’ll risk – and gain – by being his true self.
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I get ideas from a zillion sources, but usually my own life. I did once pluck a creepy teacher from a news story, but usually I take personality traits from people I know and basically stick them in my mental blender.
For instance, quite a bit of Joan’s personality came from two of my friends, Kim and Izzie. Kim was my best friend in middle and high school, and I always wished I could be like her. In hindsight, I know she had as many confidence issues as I did, probably, but back then she always seemed so confident and such a bad ass. Izzie is a more recent friend, and when I was drafting this book, she and I were spending a lot of time together. She also has that this-is-how-it-is quality of attitude I admire and wanted for Joan. Joan looks and acts like a mix of these women, with a dash of other traits from here and there added in. Stephen has a lot of me in him, but also some of my sons, and a bit of my friend who died just before I sold this book.
Making characters believable is hard for me, sometimes. Over years of writing manuscripts, I realized I often gave my characters a way of thinking that matched my own. Since I am neurodivergent in multiple ways, that led to a lot of editors who didn’t understand my characters’ decision-making. I don’t process emotions in a neurotypical manner, so neither did the characters I wrote, which made it hard for the reader to be sure what they were feeling. In order to work on this, I spend a lot of time studying why people do what they do, in books and in life. I listen a lot more than I used to.
For my newest project, I am looking at my characters’ Enneagram types. There are lots of personality tools, but this one focuses on the why of our behavior, and it has been a good tool for my own self-understanding (I am a 4), so I hope it will help me zero in on why my characters do what they do.
Characters are a helpful way to understand our world, whether we are writing them or reading about them. I hope lots of readers seem themselves in my stories.
Heather Truett is a novelist and poet. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Memphis. She is represented by Hilary Harwell of KT Literary.
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- Print copy of Kiss and Repeat
Sedition (Children of Erikkson #1) by E.M. Wright
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: May 18th 2021
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult
She was created for more than slavery; she was built for rebellion.
In an alternate Victorian England, clockwork cyborgs provide the primary source of labor for the upper class. Known as biomatons, they are property by law and have been manipulated and mind-controlled into subservience.
Taryn Roft, a 17-year-old girl, attending classes at Grafton’s School of Mechanicks in London has a secret. What’s even worse—she cannot remember anything before her twelfth birthday.
When a mysterious privateer discovers her secret, he offers her an ultimatum: accompany him to his airship, or her secret will be revealed to everyone. For Taryn, it’s not much of a choice. Facing prejudice and cruelty may be nothing new to the only girl at an all-boys’ school, but the further from home she gets, the darker her situation becomes.
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E.M. Wright is an author from Portland, OR. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels set in original worlds.
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Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
- 10 eBook copies of Sedition,
- 1 paperback copy of Sedition,
- 1 paperback copy of Sedition +
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This grand prize giveaway - ends May 27th:
- Publisher : TreeStone Publishing (October 8, 201
- Print length : 257 pages
Rejected by his people, 14-year-old Red Blood and his horse Faster, who understands speech, seek their place in a cruel world. After rescuing a fair-haired girl from a giant eagle, the two teens are plunged into a violent struggle to save both their kingdoms.
Pitted against pirates, monsters, and wicked rulers, Red fights his way through, hoping to rescue her once again, desperately trusting she still lives. Bound by loyalty, he wagers all in the hope of finding his love and a place to call home.
A stand-alone prequel to The Lorian Stones Trilogy, HORSE BOY is an adventurous journey of a resourceful teen who encounters new worlds, battling both men and monsters in his quest to find his purpose, his identity, and where he belongs.
Red Blood lived within the Token tribe. Red was different than his other tribesmen and was said to be born under an "evil moon" and should have been destroyed. His father did not agree and was very proud of Red. He spent much time in teaching and instructing his young son. His father was not originally Token but through his unequaled quick reaction and strength, he soon became a strong leader. However, when Red was still a young boy, his father met his demise.
Red was a strong warrior by the age of ten. Although many in his tribe thought him to be a curse, other's respected his deceased grandmother and mother, so supported his right to remain. However, Red would never be accepted by most.
Red conquered many beasts, and was the only one strong enough to fight the young warrior wanting to claim Parsi as his. Red and his best friend, Tanner, also wanted their best friend Pharsi. Red would not allow her to be claimed by the brutal young warrior, no other could best in a fight. Weakened wounded, and confused by a recent event, Red must still defeat the brutal warrior for the sake of all three friends.
This was just the beginning of many further events and ongoing horrors. This is a story of evil striving to defeat all good. It is a fast-paced, action packed adventure of a young leader's destiny. It is rife in overcoming powerful obstacles. It is a book of portraying bravery, integrity,
honor, and overcooking one's weaknesses. Beware: There is a lot of graphic violence. It is a prequel to the new Middle grade/YA series, The Lorian Stones.
The characters are creatively designed. Other personalities are well-developed and interesting. The scenes are vividly described and constantly changing. The whole book is very well written.
I offer a Five Stars rating.
* This book was gifted me with no pressure, whatsoever, for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Lew Anderson is the author of The Lorian Stones Trilogy and other novels. He likes to write family-friendly, yet intense and engaging adventure fantasy for MG & YA readers. His books are action-based with heroic types using swords and bows, rather than wands and spells. He and his family spent six years in Asia helping impoverished schools, returning to then pastor in his home state of MN. Lew has an M.A. in cultural studies, is happily married with four adult children, and enjoys mountains and lakes, especially with skis, bikes, and kayaks. He also loves to hear from readers.
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Publisher: Chamberlain Publishing House (February 14, 2021)
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy/Romance ~ Tour dates: April 9-May 31, 2021
ISBN: 978-1792361357 ~ Available in Print and ebook, 310 pages
The Legend is true. The Fear is real.
Under the cruel ministrations of its Queen, the Kingdom of D’Land is in peril. With King Harrison away in foreign lands and neighboring Kingdoms unwilling to intervene, there is no one to protect the people from poverty, harsh punishment, and unreasonable rules of law – except for the Band of Brothers. Struggling with the death of her mother and the legendary Syphon powers she inherited, seventeen year old Dru wants nothing more than to escape her old life and join the motley crew of ruffians, pilfering from the rich to feed the poor and pay their taxes.
She’s able to do just that disguised as a lad, and even when her nature is discovered, nothing changes – except for the way her friend Hawkin treats her. But Dru’s new world is overturned when she and the Brothers seize the treasures of a Prince who threatens to reveal her identity. Together, Dru and her chosen family must find a way to reclaim her destiny and bring balance to the Kingdom. If not, there may be no hope left for anyone.
Buy Reclaimed Kingdom by Dana Claire: Amazon ~ IndieBound
This outstanding story triggers varying emotions within the reader of this tale. With the titch of a "wicked step-mother" theme, this is no Cinderella story.
Escaping the horrid situation that fate has dealt her, Dru, takes the drastic step of living a life of a gallant warrior boy, keeping her identity hidden from all her associates. Although she is petite, she is fast and very skilled in fighting. She is also very clever and quick-witted... This has earned her great respect among her colleagues. However, when "the Brotherhood" attacked a particular "royal coach", this was both, a blessing and a curse. There was much aid the prince freely offered, yet a painful reminder of "lost love" from the past. This is just thee beginning of a series of explosive situations, ending in a strong, yet intriguing way, which entices the reader to be anxious for the next book of the series.
In addition to generating a multitude of emotions, it is fast-moving, action-packed and totally captivating. It would make an phenomenal movie series!
The characters are all very diverse, well-developed and enables the reader to feel a connection to the story plot. The scenes are also vividly portrayed... many are very gruesomely portrayed. The Title is well-chosen and the Cover Image is simple, eye catching and very well chosen.
This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
The Reclaimed Kingdom was partially inspired by my navy seal brother and his group
of military friends and myself. I’ve always been one of the boys, in fact, sometimes I think they forget
I am a girl. And I have always been part of their brotherhood, hence the Band of Brothers. I’ve been their shoulder to cry on, their confident, and their sister but most of all, always by their side. The love our community has for each other is insurmountable and I’ve always wanted to write characters based on our chosen family.
The other half of my inspiration comes from my father. Growing up he exposed me to the likes of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood and other medieval times movies. I loved the sword fights, the damsels in distress, the costumes, and the good verse evil. When King Richard the Lionheart is captured, his scheming brother Prince John plots to reach the throne. Sir Robin of Locksley (Errol Flynn) and his merry men protect the kingdom until the escaped Richard returns and joins forces with Robin to prevent Prince John from taking the crown and pilfering. Robbing the rich to feed the poor is a theme I’ll never get tired of. I thought what if I write a female heroine and she has a superpower, and her arch nemesis has one as well. And what if those powers had to do with emotions rather than tangibility. A leech draws from pain and it strengthens her but it hurts others, and a syphon draws from the pain and it weakens her but it helps others. The objective of the two and why they use the power that they have…that’s the good verse evil. I find that dichotomy to be so powerful and inspirational.
By adding fantasy elements to a retelling of Robin Hood, I was able to change the story to my own while holding onto the parts of my childhood and family that mattered to me most. It felt very special for me when finished. And that’s how The Reclaimed Kingdom was born.
Dana believes that a good story is made through strong character development. When readers become attached to the characters’ emotional state and are invested in their objectives, the readers are there for the long haul backing the characters and their emotions. How cool is it to read a book and think about the characters long after you’ve read the last page? She believes that the beauty of reading is that one can live a hundred lives within the stories of books.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a vampire, slay a dragon, or use a time machine, there’s a book for that.
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Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.