Reviewing Indie Authors One Book at a Time

Posts tagged ‘fantasy’

Earth Drummer – Echo Fox

ED-EFSimilar to His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman where each person’s soul is a visible extension in the form of an animal, the characters of the world Cerea are each accompanied by an animal totem that is selected for them at birth by the local Shaman. Featuring twins Geanna, with her totem Iris the swallow, and Gentian, with Tern the lynx, we observe the traditions and magic of the world of Cerea.

Geanna wants to break with tradition. She is not interested in woman’s work and would rather run the family farm. Gentian wants to keep tradition and marry a young woman from a large farm in the area, expanding his father’s farm, and raising a family  in a similar tradition. However, Gentian appears to be blessed (or cursed) with the ability to dreamwalk and to communicate with his deceased mother. The Shaman wants to take him on for training, meaning he would have to break with tradition and give up his dreams of marriage and inheriting the farm.

Meanwhile, drought and animals are damaging the crops, and some people are acting strangely, including the twins’ father Jerrod.

This story kept me interested in reading, and I was willing to absorb this fantasy world that seems to be from some unknown ancient Earth history or possibly on another planet where the same Roman gods rule: Zeus, Demeter, Hades, etc. Other than the language seeming very modern with its turns of phrase, the conversations flow in a natural pattern and are easy to read. The story seemed to be written toward younger adults with simpler language and vocabulary, though I’m not sure if it is classified as such.

4 Stars –Kept me entertained and curious as to the outcome of the story.



Guardians of Terath: Seeking Sorrow

CBB Book Promotions Presents



An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable mana event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth, 
it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about manaeven as they learn to trust one another’s abilitiesThey must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same. 
Even success comes at a price.


About the Author:

Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff at Very active on Facebook, Twitter (@ZenDiPietro), and Pinterest.


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Ends 4/28

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Notes from Writerbee:

While I’m only a third of the way through the book, I’m enjoying the carefully constructed world and the array of characters. The matching and contrasting of their personalities and abilities makes for an interesting detective team. There is a mix of magic and science that creates a blended genre that will appeal to both lover’s of fantasy and of speculative fiction. The mission is an intriguing one, and I hope to know very soon what they find out. This has been one of those books that compels me to read into each and every line and look for subtle nuances and clues, so I need just a little more time! Check back soon for a full review.

Updated Review (5/12):

I’m finally finished with this full-length, stand-alone novel. The number of characters and sub-plots kept growing as the book progressed. Terath is a world rich in magic and it is the mana-holders and manahi that control and utilize the magic. Mana is what powers everything when used in simple and controlled forms. However, harnessing too much mana at once can be disastrous.

And this is where our story begins, with an entire community reduced to ashes and no explanation as to the cause. A team of hired experts is sent to investigate.

Along the way, the author spends ample time exploring the relationships between the characters. These deep and winding emotional journeys bind the characters together at levels that display an in depth knowledge of the human condition.

I did find the “twists” in the story a little on the predictable side, but that didn’t ruin the overall story being told.

If you enjoy an epic fantasy tale that combines magic and science, pick up a copy of Guardians of Terath.


This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.



Spotlight Author – C. S. Boyack

It’s time for another Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author!

C. S. Boyack has a new book out called The Cock of the South. This is his first attempt at writing fantasy. It involves a group of conquered peoples banding together to ensure they have a place in the world. It is set in a Greco-Roman environment, rife with everything fans of those stories might expect. Craig author pic

Let’s turn this post over to him.


The main character in The Cock of the South is a lost member of the Southern Dwarves. He was taken as an infant, by a young officer as a trophy of war. Raised as Paulus Atrius by humans, the townsfolk all call him Cobby. A cob is a short coupled horse.

Cobby grows up as a Remsian citizen. He is a local merchant, and is talented with his hands. He makes timepieces and blows glass into beautiful hourglasses. When the peaceful coastal city is raided, the locals lash out at him as a member of the ruling family.

Cobby is a great character to explore this strange world through. He really doesn’t know much more than his sheltered life has shown him. Readers get to learn about the nation of Remus and the Southern Dwarves along with Cobby.

There are other fantastic creatures out there, and Cobby soon becomes acquainted with them. He learns that Remus views them as little more than an amusement for their use, or abuse as the case may be.

They are all worth money, some for the horns on their heads, others as entertainment in the arena, and still others as bed slaves. They live like refugees and are on constant watch.

Cobby knows more about Remsian society than the others. He is kind of a reluctant hero. He’s not a great fighter, and gets hurt frequently. He has the ability to make good friends though, and there is safety in numbers.

I had a great time writing The Cock of the South, and I hope everyone will give it a chance.


Cockof the southHow writers go about producing a story is always an interesting topic. I love reading about the process of others. Rather than just lurk, I decided to talk about my own machinations as I wrote The Cock of the South.

I keep quick notes in an app on my phone. These are just a line or two to remind me of stray thoughts. When I keep dwelling on an idea I take out a notebook and fountain pen and expand the idea a bit. If it really sticks with me I start a storyboard.

This is my first fantasy story. Being true to the genre was important to me. I actually did mountains of research into mythology to spark my imagination. I didn’t want to rewrite one of those tales, so I stole bits and pieces to weave into my stories. I made small piles of index cards. These didn’t all get used, but I like to have notes to refresh my imagination.

It was equally important to me that I was true to the setting. Ancient Rome and Greek mythology are something readers are used to, and I wanted to use this to ground the story. I find that building fences with plot and setting serve as a governor to my imagination. The imagination flows and focuses in a different direction. My storyboard was covered with sticky notes to include more marble columns and bath houses at one point.

When it comes to characters I try to be a bit different. Hercules might be the best hero, but what if someone less qualified had to solve all the problems? I found a lost member of the Southern Dwarves who was raised by humans. His dwarven heritage has been hidden from him, and he lives as a short broad human. Because of his physical makeup the people around him nicknamed him Cobby.

I also wanted the freedom to vary some of the historical parts of the story. I stewed on this for a long time, but in fantasy the world ought to be different. It was a delicate balance to preserve the setting and believably change some elements. I dug deep into mythology and decided that Remus killed Romulus. Rome never got built and the nation of Remus took its place. This allowed me to modify weapons, change trade routes, and still keep some familiarity in the story.

I always try to challenge myself to try something new with each story. This isn’t obvious to the reader, but it’s important for my growth. In The Cock of the South I wanted to use fairytale structure. This is a great way of telling a story, but casual readers might not pick up on everything.

Since this post is likely to be read by as many authors as readers here are some things I included. Cobby is the outsider of three brothers. Each brother represents one facet of the father. Cobby will have to master all three of these elements before he can succeed. There is a scene involving magical gifts from a friend. If you pay very careful attention, there are even seven dwarves together on one adventure. I included more elements, but this is a blog post and you’ll have to watch for others as you read the story.

I love this story, but readers will be the ultimate judge. I hope you’ll give The Cock of the South a chance. I had a great time writing it, and hope you’ll enjoy reading it.


You can follow Craig at the following places:

His blog – Entertaining Stories

On Twitter

Pick up a copy of The Cock of the South

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Wizard Dawning – C.M. Lance

WDCMLWhen you think of wizards, you think of ancient mystical times, with castles, kings, and dragons…Right? Well, not in Wizard Dawning. Set in the future of Earth, this story works on the premise that global warming processes have opened up pockets of magic and more people than ever before have access to special powers. You can even get a degree in magic for universities.

In the case of our protagonist, Sig, his family possesses old magic that has been passed down through the bloodline, along with the responsibility of being a Battle Wizard. These Battle Wizards fight dark magic with the use of a talisman, an artifact from an ancient time when gods and demons ruled the world. Throughout his young life, Sig has been stalked by a dark mage hoping to get his hands on that family talisman.

C.M. Lance weaves a rich tapestry of past and present where the characters live in a modern technological world with mystic secrets. The characters display full personalities that come out through the progress of the story. The relationship between the family members are wonderfully realistic, even with the complications of magical genes.

There is a lot of magic, a little bit of zombies, and some fights with demons, brought together with mythology.

4 Stars

Wizard Dawning (The Battle Wizard Saga Book 1) is available on



The Bleaklisted Books – Promo



Welcome to the teaser tour for The Bleaklisted Books by David M. Brown and Donna Brown. This is humorous non-fiction for every cat and animal lover. The Bleaklisted Books releases December 1st!


My mini-irons,

I urge you to embrace the goose-spell of Animal Farm and you will find sanctuary when our difficult war is over. I will add, of course, that given that conquering the world means a long, long, long, long, long war, I will permit you to read another book every now and again.

Just remember which books are bleak-listed; e.g. Barry Potterer, 100 Years of Silly Tudor, Prude and Perjury, The Hungary Olympic Games, The Chronicles of Nerdia and Of Mike and Ben.

In the meantime, here is a list of books I have vetted and will reconsider for approval if the appro… apprap… proper changes are made. Read this manyule carefully mini-irons.

Your Cat-tain

Charlie Brown

What happens?

Some spy is told to carry out an assignment in East Germany to uncover a double agent but he falls for someone prior to this and love ultimately messes the operation up.

Reason for bleaklisting?

Proper spies don’t fall in love. Wimps they are!

What should have happened?

Eric is sent on an exclusive mission into East Germany to assassinate a double agent. Before setting off he is approached by an air stewardess named Fiz who fancies him but he turns her down. She does warn him that it’s cold in East Germany and gives him some cough syrup.

Suspicious of the bottle labelled poison with a skull on it, Eric tosses the syrup and completes his mission. When he returns home to England he has a runny nose and is coughing a lot. Fiz realises he has seen through the poison expertly disguised as cough syrup and she runs away. She is shot and killed by a traffic warden who believes her car is parked on double yellow lines. Eric ends the novel by nipping to the pharmacy for some genuine cough syrup.

Special instruction

Make available at MI5, MI6, CIA, B&Q and M&S and rename The Spy Who Came Home with a Cold.


Mr B compares the stories

Dear me, Charlie, I thought you’d like John le Carré’s 1963 Cold War Novel. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold does deal with Communist East Germany where Alec Leamas is sent, under the pretence that he is defecting, and with the intention of locating Mundt, suspected of being a double agent. Alec has a romance with Liz which ultimately throws a spanner in the works. There isn’t anything about cough syrup thankfully and as with Charlie’s other efforts, this one is likely to disappear into the ether. My apologies to Mr le Carré for this despicable alternative to his story.

About the Authors: 
Donna: Donna is a longtime book lover and sometime book reviewer and has devoured books from an early age. She writes short (or long) stories as and when inspiration hits and is married to fantasy author David M. Brown (Fezariu’s Epiphany, A World Apart). She was also co-contributor to David’s book, Man vs Cat, a humorous look at life with six rambunctious rescue cats.Donna has lived in many different areas of the UK over the last 30-something years but has remained in Yorkshire for the past decade. She ardently disputes the misnomer that ‘It’s grim up north’. You can find Donna on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, or visit her and her husband’s shared blog: B-Lines and Felines.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram 

David: David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David’s dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.

Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu’s Epiphany and A World Apart, combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten., David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month travelling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.

Feline Central

$20 Gift Certificate for Amazon or B&N & paperback or audiobook of Man vs. Cat (INT)

Ends December 16th.

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


Red Axe, Black Sun – Michael Karner


This is the tale of a band of mercenaries who become tangled in a war meant to bring about the end of the world, despite their intentions to stay out of anything political. They each have their own idea of how to spend their remaining days, and fighting with a war band isn’t among them. Ultimately, they are waiting to see what comes out of the “constellation” when it aligns properly in the sky. There is quite a bit of love tangle (more than just a triangle) along the way, eruptions of magic and war, and some very dark murders.

First of all, there is a lot going on in this book, and a great number of characters to keep track of. We tend to only get a little snippet at a time from each one’s perspective.  It’s almost too much for one book. It’s probably just me, but I prefer to limit the number of eyes I look through for any particular story.  A large portion of the center of the book is a battle and siege. If your into bloody, epic, medieval battle sequences, this will be right up your alley.

That being said, the descriptive writing is a multi-layered tapestry suited to the Fantasy genre. Everything from the landscape to the magical manifestations is depicted with outstanding language that brings the mystical realms home. The use of historical terms for weaponry and clothing was dead-on.

I ended up giving this a 3 Star. It’s not a badly written book, by any means, though I felt there were just too many people to keep track of and many were similar to each other.  I found myself wanting to rush through portions (like the long waged battle scenes) just to get back to the relationships and the ultimate peril the plot was leading up to.

Red Axe, Black Sun is available on


Ondine Quartet Super Sale & Giveaway

Another great announcement from CBB Book Promotions.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for a Kindle HD!

I’m heading over to Amazon right now to pick up copies of these novels to add to my very long list.

It’s the Ondine Quartet super sale! Buy the first three books (Whirl, Billow, Crest) in this thrilling, action-packed, mature young adult urban fantasy series at 0.99 cents each for a limited time! Preorder Breaker and get it at only .99 cents, it’ll be $4.99 on release day. That’s less than $4 for the full Quartet! You can also enter to win a Kindle Fire HD 6 in the celebration giveaway!About Ondine (Ondine Quartet 0.5), a FREE novella
“I shouldn’t get involved.”

Rebellious and headstrong, sixteen-year-old Kendra Irisavie doesn’t have much respect for authority. An ondine with the powerful gift of Virtue, she uses her tough attitude and Empath magic to navigate
through high school and keep others away.Because being an ondine also means keeping secrets.

Kendra and her mother are Rogue water elementals in the middle of an ancient war. They hide among humans, their survival constantly threatened by monstrous Aquidae demons.

Along with a rigorous training regimen to mold Kendra into a lethal fighter, her mother has instituted four rules to keep her safe.

Trust no one. Relationships are weaknesses. Emotional attachments are dangerous. Be responsible only for yourself.

But when Kendra witnesses a classmate in trouble, she intervenes and her decision to break the rules comes at a price.

Sometimes, humans could be more dangerous than demons.

Ondine is a short prequel novella for the young adult urban / paranormal fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet.

Ondine (#0.5): Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo


About Whirl (Ondine Quartet #1):

Outspoken and independent, Kendra Irisavie has always played by her own rules.

She’s an ondine, a water elemental gifted with the powerful magic of Empath Virtue and trained to be a fighter. Pursued by Aquidae demons, she and her mother remain Rogue, hiding among humans to avoid becoming casualties in an ancient war.

Everything changes when violence erupts on Kendra’s seventeenth birthday. A dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past and stirring unexpected feelings in her fiercely guarded heart.

But as Kendra uncovers the truth about her heritage and future, she realizes just how deep the lies and deception run. Now, in the face of unthinkable odds, she will need all her wits, skills, and magic to fulfill an extraordinary prophecy.

The first in a sweeping urban fantasy series, Whirl is the beginning of a young woman’s exhilarating journey for survival,  ove, and hope as she fights for her place in a world where she doesn’t belong.





Breaker (Book 4) Preorder links:

Pre-order Breaker now at the special 0.99 cent pricing and receive a bonus post-Breaker short story during release week! This short story will not be available anywhere else for six months after Breaker’s release.

Simply pre-order from any retailer and complete this form to receive this exclusive bonus!


Author Bio:

Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. She is the author of the young adult urban /contemporary fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet, and Lost Blood, the first installment of the forthcoming young adult urban fantasy series, Chancer. She’s also working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.
An avid traveler hopelessly addicted to diet coke and coffee, she currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii with her husband and German shepherd.


  • One winner will receive a 16GB Kindle Fire HD6 tablet
  • Giveaway open international
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