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Spotlight Author – Michael Eging

As a Rave Review Book Club Spotlight Author host, I have the honor and privilege of introducing my audience to a variety of independent authors.

Please welcome to the stage the latest Spotlight Author, Michael Eging. Eging is the author of Annwyn’s Blood, a fantasy thriller set on the isles of Albion. In a unique offering, Mike interviews Princess Marianna of 6th century Britain. Happy reading!


A Princess With A ProblemAnnwyn's Blood Cover

As princesses go, Marianna grew up in the lap of privilege in 6th century Britain. Her father was the High King. She lived in a town with a picturesque view of the Welsh coastline. And she had suitors, a very long line of suitors who wished to align themselves with the royal house. So, what really happened on the road back to Caerleon? Well, we’ve decided to ask the princess that very question.


Mike: You know, Marianna—may I call you Marianna?

Marianna: I am a princess of the blood.

Mike: So Highness? Princess?

Marianna: If you must.

Mike: Well, after so many years together—you know, with rewrites, revisions, edits, and then more rewrites, it just seems like we’re more familiar than that.

Marianna: How dare you! Why, my father has strung up men for less!

Mike: My apologies, your highness. I meant no offense. With your indulgence, I have just a few questions about that fateful night on the road.

Marianna: Oh, while returning home from a pilgrimage…

Mike: Yes. The book doesn’t show that directly, but there are various reports that reached your father’s court.

Marianna: Well, I’m sure those reports were sufficiently detailed. Then again, you know how knights are. They don’t write and they tend to exaggerate.

Mike: Could you tell us in your own words—it must have been horrifying?

Marianna: At first it seemed unreal. I mean, who in their right might attacks a squadron of the King’s finest cavalry? We had barely left the shrine when the first arrow flew. Under a sliver of the moon, it was hard to see, but I’m sure they attacked from all sides! And as the men struggled, I felt something. You know, like a cold chill that crawled up my skin.

Mike: So this was more than just an ambush?

Marianna: Well, at the time I was afraid for my life. It’s easy to miss a soldier and hit royalty in the dark, you know. One missed cut and, well, for a brigand it means loss of the ransom and a very bad day. And for a princess – when I die, I want rose pedals strewn along the way. Not tossed into a muddy ditch.

Mike: Of course, there are those considerations. But when did you realize this was not a typical abduction?

Marianna: When the noise died down, it became apparent that the robbers had overwhelmed my guard. They were a motley lot, dressed in rags. And they smelled. Their leader swooped in among the dead and dying. I noticed him pause, half lifting a dying man. With his men already plundering the corpses, and killing the rest, he bent… I know this sounds mad, but he lapped at the wound like a hungry wolf. When he was done, he dropped the corpse to the ground. I slapped my horse’s withers with the reins and tried to escape. But he moved with such speed. He grabbed the bridle and jerked my horse’s head around with such force; I thought he broke its neck.

Mike: And in the midst of that attack—were you in fear for your life?

Marianna: Of course, yes. There was so much noise. And dying.

Mike: I recall the first time I heard the tale. It sent shivers up my spine.

Marianna: And now?

Mike: Well, there’s much more to the story.

Marianna: You mean after my abduction? Well, I’m not sure I was written in the best light.

Mike: We tried to be true to the events and the motivations. Each character was given latitude to…

Marianna: Please. I come off as a spoilt brat with major daddy issues! How cliché is that?What's In A Name Cover

Mike: But after the attack everything wasn’t as it seemed.

Marianna (standing and voice rising): What? You believe my dad? Or what about Erik? I know! It’s that mewling creature Aldonzo, isn’t it? Or Blaine! Do you have any idea what it’s like to be highjacked like I’m an object? I’m not a trinket or a bauble!

Mike: Princess, I’ve a few more questions…

Marianna (storming out): One bite—just one bite. Let it go already!


Well, there you have it. Life changes for the princess after a fateful night when a band of brigands ambushes her escort and sets in motion the events of Annwyn’s Blood!


Author BioMike Eging-9468sml

Mike has wanted to write since he was very young. His earliest memories are of carrying a battered old notebook around full of illustrations and stories. He would often transpose those ideas on his grandmother’s old typewriter. While in college, he was inspired by professors and visiting writers to BYU. Literary classics such as Song of Roland and Inferno were often in his backpack, along with Russian textbooks. Chapter 4 of Annwyn’s Blood was written during this time as a short story.

Mike works in Washington, DC since pursuing graduate studies in Russian History. He focuses in domestic policy issues. Recently, Mike has pursued an interest in writing screenplays for feature films with his first option being a medieval epic, Song of Roland. He continues to focus on a variety of script/movie projects, most recently a horror thriller, Feast of Saint Nicholas, and a political thriller, The Prince. Recently, he founded and launched Filibuster Filmworks with his partners to produce and develop feature films, television and other projects.

He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Lori and his wonderful children. He dreams of one day driving to Alaska in his old Defender with his kids and their dog, Marlin.

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Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy…


Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy & Pacifyin’ is for Kids
by Nonnie Jules

If I could rate each of the “essays” compiled into this book, there would be a couple that would receive 4 star consideration. My favorite was entitled “Why I Want to Be an Author…”  This brief explanation of why Jules chooses to write encapsulates a lot of feelings that all writers have: it’s all we think about, even when we’re busy doing other things. Many of us are good at it. We do it because we love it, even if we don’t always receive recognition or compensation.  I also appreciate her desire to make a better world for our children by changing the culture of violence that is being proliferated in social media and through mass-marketed entertainment. She makes several good points about the effects of bullying and the opposite effects of positive feedback.

Overall, the content of the book made several good points, many of which could have received more deconstruction by the author and possibly some supporting evidence for the opinions voiced. Considering these as blog posts, some of them work for the purpose of starting a conversation of current issues, but considering them as a book length compilation, I would like to have seen more poetic word choices and a more formal structure to the rhetoric. Others may enjoy the completely informal style pleasant to sit and read in one sitting, but this just didn’t fit into my expectations.

3 Stars

This book is available at


Spotlight Author-Robin Chambers

It’s time again for another Spotlight Author from Rave Reviews Book Club. This virtual book club consists of authors and readers all looking for peer support and lots of good books to read.

If you would like to join Rave Reviews, hop on over to their site.

Enjoy this bit from Robin Chambers.

A1 book covers

Three Questions

Fairly recently, the very kind and immensely sympathetic Irene of Irene’s Book Oasis ( asked me three interesting questions. Answering proved a voyage of self-discovery.


  1. Why did you start writing?

One day (it was in 1974) I heard myself say to a class of boys in a school in Hackney where I was Head of English: “Some of you are writing better stories than I ever could.”

Then I thought “How do you know that’s true? You’ve never even tried since you left school.” The thought stayed with me: that I was teaching other people how to write better and better stories but never trying to write any of my own…

Shortly after that another classroom situation occurred that had a really significant effect on my decision to try one day to write stories for children full-time. I describe it in my blog: “Was that true?” That year I wrote half a dozen stories for children, sent them to Penguin and they published them. Life was simpler in those days…

So why did I start writing again after a gap of almost forty years? Well there’s nothing like narrowly surviving a murder attempt to concentrate the mind. I describe that incident in my blog: “Don’t Leave Things Too Late” I could easily have died that night without ever having started what I hoped – and still hope – will be the major work I leave behind.

 author photo 128 x 128

  1. What is the hardest thing about writing?

Doing it well, I suppose. In the 1970s I lit the blue touch paper without really knowing what I was doing…

Predictably the firework fizzled out; but that initial success gave me the confidence to work at the craft of writing for the ensuing 30 years, mainly by developing the talents of dozens of promising young writers.

Finding the time and strength of purpose can also be hard. My job as the Head of a big coeducational comprehensive school in the most stressful social services area in the country took 70+ hours a week for over fourteen years, and every ounce of creative energy I possessed.

After that comes patience and self-belief… I was 68 before I found the time to write again; but then, quite suddenly, I had all the time in the world. I wrote for 8-10 hours a day, 7 days a week (give or take the odd day) for 3½ years. I didn’t put the first 4 books in my “Myrddin’s Heir” series into the kindle store until I had polished and re-polished them, and tried them out on friends and family: until I was reasonably sure they were as good as I could make them. I published all four at once on May 1st 2013. I have revised them at least twice since. That’s just one of the enormous advantages of self-publishing: you can upgrade text and covers and have the latest version available within 12 hours.

But without doubt the hardest thing of all is promoting what you have written. By and large you have to find your readers and engage with them: because as sure as a really sure thing they won’t find you on their own, no matter how good you are. I’ve been told I need to spend at least half my time on marketing/promotion to have any hope of building a sizeable reader-base. It isn’t enough to be a great writer; you have to be a great salesperson as well.

Book 5 came out in April 2014. Subsequent books in the series are likely to appear once a year. At that rate it will take another 15 years to finish the story of “Myrddin’s Heir”; by which time, I will be 87.


  1. What kind of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Learn from Ted Hughes: throw caution to the winds and write, write, write; after which, put what you have written aside for at least a week and then edit, edit, edit. Be ruthless in cutting out anything that is superfluous to the primary task: to drive the story on as powerfully and as meaningfully as you can.

Read, read, read: decide on the genre that calls to you, find the best examples of writing in that genre and analyse it to determine why it’s good. Learn the CRAFT of writing: the effective use of punctuation, variation in the length of sentences, the blending of effective descriptive detail with realistic dialogue…

Whatever your choice of genre, make your readers laugh, and make them cry.

Avoid the continuous present like the plague, except when one of your characters is recounting a story and it’s realistic to write: “So I give her my steely glare and raise my voice a bit – you know – and I says: ‘WHAT did you just say to me?’ and she goes ‘YOU heard…’ Cheeky cow…!”

Avoid subordinate clauses beginning with ‘as…’: it is almost invariably better to put a full stop and let that clause have its own sentence. It’s diBk 1 cover compressedstressing how many writers have an ‘as…’ clause in the first sentence, and another six of them on page 1.

Send me a chunk of whatever you’ve written ( ) and I’ll give you my honest opinion and constructive advice, which you can profit from or ignore – entirely up to you. I’ve worked with aspiring writers for almost half a century…

You can find out more about my series – Myrddin’s Heir – and what people think of it, by visiting any or all of the following sites: author page kindle store page
Goodreads profile page
Self-Publisher’s Showcase
Irene’s Book Oasis


A Wizard of Dreams reviews:

Stephan Myers
Lucy Hay
Lesley Hayes

My Facebook Myrddinsheir page

My blog

The Outrider Legion-Christopher Pepper

Book Review

Within the first pages of the prologue, I was drawn in by the curiously magical Master and the mission on which he sends our self-described “turncoat” narrator.  The story drops us into a world filled both with magic and mechanics, where some creations are imbued with both. This Sword and Sorcery brand of fantasy uses elements of Steampunk for an out-of-the-ordinary, believable world just outside this reality. The story takes us on an adventure with a freshly graduated squad of Outriders, and their first mission turns out to be much more perilous than they could ever have anticipated or asked for.

Pepper’s style depicts strongly framed characters both in personality and description. He expertly weaves archaic and common terms in a no-nonsense tone, bringing the story to life.  The story contained elements of fun to punctuate the seriousness of a mission gone awry.  Using terms from ancient Rome, he solidifies the image of the Legion members in the reader’s mind.  His monsters are morbidly grotesque, and the fight scenes are engaging.  It will be interesting to see where our Legion will adventure next.

I recommend this book to fantasy readers who like a taste of Magic and Mayhem.

I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars.  There were a few slow spots that held me back from a full five, moments when I wanted to skip ahead to get back to the action.  The style in the strong opening scene wasn’t kept up consistently throughout – a few trouble spots, but forgivable due to the strong, overall story line, and a full circle beginning to end.


Available an

Outrider Cover


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