THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Riddler’s Gift (First Tale of the Lifesong), Greg Hamerton {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}}

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Greg Hamerton‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Riddler’s Gift:

A shadow steals across Eyri. One by one, the Lightgifters are snuffed out. When darkness strikes her family, Tabitha receives a dangerous legacy. Soon the Riddler walks beside her, but is he on her side?

The more she searches for answers, the further into treachery she is led. The more she tries to flee, the harder she is hunted. And the more she sings the ancient Lifesong, the more the world begins to change.

Can she grasp her gift before the darkness captures the last of the light?

“In a darkening realm, which is better: the power to save your love, or to save your love from power?”

 

Accolades:

“When you reach the end of The Riddler’s Gift, you’re left wanting more. Highly, highly recommended.”
– FANTASY BOOK CRITIC

“I absolutely LOVED this book…every darn minute of reading!!! This is a stay up half the night, read at stop lights kind of book…just couldn’t put it down. Thank you so much!!!”
– KATHYREEL (recent Amazon customer)

“The world created by the author came alive. The characters had enormous depth and the plot was superb. I looked forward to settling down to read this each night, and now that I’ve finished it, I will definitely be buying the second book!”
– KRISTIN (recent Amazon customer)


Amazon Reader Reviews:

The Riddler’s Gift currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.3 stars, with 38 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

The Riddler’s Gift is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Excerpt from The Riddler’s Gift:

PREFACE

There is a song that drifts on the breeze through all the world. Its rhythms are echoed in our breath, the music is caught in our laughter, hidden in our language, woven through our life. Singers reach for the melody, but it is too delicate to hold and too elusive to remember. As the Ages pass, so the Lifesong retreats under the sounds of our time, its potent beauty and danger ever more a mystery.

Few know how the Lifesong has shaped our world, for those who hear its tune would rather sing than write, and to grasp its tale we must go back, far back beyond our brief and incomplete history, to when the world was changing, when Life was shadowed by a mighty legend.

In that most vital era, when the destiny of Humankind was balanced on a blade, the inhabited Earth was known as Oldenworld. Magic was a raw force then, released from the confining code that so tightly binds it today, yet to master that magic required great patience and even more wit; few apprentices became casters, fewer still became masters.

So much power in the hands of so few. Ever has it been the cause of woe. At first those gifted masters wrought works of great beauty in the rising civilisations of Oldenworld. But they became distracted by the powers they had discovered, seeking majesty, seeking mastery. Seeking might.

And so those who had first been hailed as the Wise, the wizards, now fought amongst themselves, determined to prove one lore over another, to justify one vision of magic as superior, all-encompassing and absolute.

The battle for power was fierce. Those wizards who did not fight to prove their lore, fell.

At first the wizards used principles of Dark and Light for their spells. Such an elementary form of magic came to be known as the first axis. After much study the Wise discovered a second axis, but this only intensified the conflict as those who summoned raw Energy now rallied against those who could command solid Matter. The wizards were driven by the escalating violence to find a resolution; Oldenworld could not sustain such a conflict. Their urgency led them to the third and most advanced axis, a lore of Order, a lore that promised ultimate peace.

There was a hidden price to pay. Order demanded perfection. Order demanded knowledge and structure, it demanded control. The wizards could see no danger; they eagerly developed the magic of the third axis, hoping to mold Humankind into ever greater stability. How different the world would be, if wisdom preceded action.

Too late they considered what might develop on the opposite pole of their third axis, too late they noticed the one who had mastered Chaos.

He swung the third axis like a warhammer: Ametheus, the Sorcerer, the Unbinder. The bringer of Ruin. He tore apart their ordered web of control before the wizards had even recognised their common foe; he smashed their College and their future with it. When the wizards gathered again, they numbered only twelve of thirty-three. By the time they had agreed to unify in one Gyre, they numbered only eight. And eight, they found, was too few.

They had failed to prepare for the coming of the tide, and Oldenworld began to change. The entire lowlands north of the great mountains fell to the Sorcerer’s way, one realm after another corrupted by the spreading web of silvered essence, the horror named Wildfire.

The Gyre fought to restore Order, they fought to save the precious networks of commerce and culture, but Ametheus severed the veins of every system and corrupted the blood of every resistant soldier. Such was his hatred for the wizards and their Order.

Those who could, retreated south, to the heartlands, where for a time the Sorcerer’s power could not reach. But all things that slumber, awaken renewed. When his influence began to spread again, the Gyre suspected that Oldenworld faced its doom.
Ametheus. Some said he was mad from the first. Some began to whisper that he was the shadow of another, more ancient evil, for it was true that he reached beyond the knowledge contained in any of the wizard’s lores; he drew his inspiration from a mightier source.

The wizards of the Gyre even began to fear that their own reasoning had become affected by Chaos. They trusted their perfect foundation of knowledge, but they fought amongst themselves, and had begun to serve the Sorcerer’s ends in so doing. They needed a champion to resist the Sorcerer, someone with a special talent, different to their own. Yet such a champion would have to be born in a place where nothing was known of Ametheus, where no trace of his power lurked. And so they conceived of Eyri, the most secret of secrets, a realm to be sheltered from Chaos for as long as possible.

The battle for Oldenworld continued, and in the years that passed, the Gyre began to understand their foe. They found ways to bring peace to places he had ravaged, they struck blows that shattered his cruel inventions, and they survived, as a pack of wolves survives when facing a bear. Yet before their eyes Oldenworld continued to crumble. So much was lost, so many lives were stamped into the mud of battlefields that should not have been trodden upon, so many people lost their lives to despair.

The wizards of the Gyre grew tired. To assert Order required continuous effort; spreading Chaos took no effort at all.

Ametheus surged into the heartlands, his presence pouring in from both the west and the east. As the beleaguered Gyre fought, their fear grew, for they suspected that the Sorcerer would not stop until he had disrupted everything. He reached for powers that should remain untouched. He would bend the course of Time upon itself until it ruptured. His vision was of all Order ended, replaced by an existence so far from our natural course that nothing precious would remain, not a leaf, not a light, not even the tale of the Lifesong. The Sorcerer reached for the End, and no one could stop him.

The only hope lay in Eyri. And yet, for years, there was only silence from that mountain-rimmed realm.

1. THE GLEE OF GENESIS

“The strength of a song can be marked
by the silence that surrounds it.”—Zarost

The shadows were long. The fading sun rested among the tall western peaks. The forests which carpeted the slopes around the high village had begun to darken, and the wind had a bite to it—a warning there would be snow before winter thawed. The scent of smoke lingered in the lee of the buildings; indoors there would be warm hearths and watchful hounds, but the people would be gone.

Tabitha quickened her pace through the empty streets, worried that she would be late. Her soft boots hardly made a sound on the cobbles, only the fabric of her dress whispered with every step. A curl of hair blew across her face, and she tucked it hurriedly behind her ear.

She knew that she shouldn’t have lingered for so long to practice, but she had been determined to perfect her recital. She had tuned her familiar lyre again and again, but it wouldn’t hold the notes to match her voice, as though the instrument knew of the contest tonight and shuddered under her nervous fingers. She wanted to win a place amongst the three best singers, and so earn a chance to perform in the King’s Challenge. All the villagers of First Light would be at the inn, and a good many visitors besides. She should be there already.

The street held a tense air as if the neighbourhood waited for Tabitha to pass. A building moved, or its shadow shrank against a wall. Her mind was playing tricks with her. She turned away from the imaginary disturbance to take a short-cut, but just as she did so, a toddler tottered into the street up ahead.

He was a lone little figure in a hooded red coat, small between the looming buildings. The child wobbled uncertainly, then turned towards Tabitha. She recognised him, and she guessed that he had only just realised he was lost. Kip was too curious for his own good, and his mother was often too distracted to keep a constant eye on him. His expression showed that his curiosity had once again led him beyond the limit of his bravery.

A tall man rushed from a doorway beside Kip. Although his back was to Tabitha, his black robe seemed to pull the shadows in his wake. He snatched the toddler from the cobbles, and strode off toward a side alley, with Kip’s head protruding from under his arm. Kip gasped like a fish, but didn’t make a sound. Tabitha stared after him, too surprised to move.

A queer shiver ran down her spine; what she was seeing could not be true.

“Hey! Wait!” she shouted.

The man threw an angry glance over his shoulder, and disappeared into the shadows of the alley at a run.

“Stop! Child-snatcher!” Tabitha shouted, but the street was empty of help, and the windows dark.

She ran for the alley before she could consider the consequences. Her lyre bounced hard against her back on its strap, and she lost a moment securing it under her arm. The alley was gloomy, and the cobbles were slippery underfoot. The man was so fast that only the flutter of his robe showed where he ducked around the corner. He seemed to blend with the shadows.

Kip still hadn’t made a sound. He should be bawling his lungs out.

Tabitha sprinted. Her foot slipped at the corner, and her dress tangled around her legs, causing her to careen wide of the turn. She caught herself against the far wall of the alley. When she gathered her dress and ran again, the child-snatcher was out of sight. The street into which she emerged was empty, but for a broken-down cart which slumped against a wall, and too many shadows.

The sound of running came from her left, and she chose the first break in the buildings to dart that way. The passage opened onto another deserted street, where the last of the sunlight was fading from the roofs.

Tabitha slowed to a jog. The little one had to cry out soon, and she would follow that sound.

But there was nothing to hear—only the wind moaned through the eaves.

Her stomach knotted tight. She tried to ignore her mounting dread, and peered alongside every building.

What kind of man steals a child?

A smudge of red caught her eye, but when she turned her head, there was nothing there. She tiptoed between the buildings and into a short dead-end street. A jumble of crates occupied the wedge of two converging warehouse walls.

Then she caught sight of a little face behind a latticed crate-side; a panicked prisoner within the discarded cage. Kip’s face was screwed up, his body shook, but although it was clear that he was crying, he still made no sound. Tabitha looked nervously around. The doorways nearby were empty, the doors closed deep in the shadows.

The strange dark man was gone.

Relief made her legs weak. The black-robed abductor had been more than just a stranger; the way the shadows had clung to his shape, his swift movement, like a predator, stalking. He had preyed upon a child! She hoped that she would never see him again.

“Oh, Kip, it’s all right, it’s all right!” she called out, making her way to him. She tipped the crate aside, and reached for the little adventurer.

A sudden, cold gust crept up her skirts. The street darkened at her back, and she realised she was not alone.

“Hullo, pretty.”


The Riddler’s Gift is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Greg Hamerton:

Author Website: http://greghamerton.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/greg.hamerton

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden), Jedidiah Behe {$0.99}

Sponsored Post

Jedidiah Behe‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden):

Choices, we all make them, every day moment by moment. What most people do not realize is how a simple choice could very well alter their own life and those of everyone around them greatly. What would you do if you were blessed with the curse of being able to see evil and how they manipulate those around you? Would you choose to run in fear, ignore what you have just seen, or fight against something that no one else can see, and therefore limits their belief?

Lucian was chosen to be such a man, much to his dismay. On a path of vengeance he strikes out to find a murderer, unknowing that the world around him is at the brink of war. He pushes on through pain, treachery, despair and even death, only to receive a Revelation that shows him what could very well become the future of his world, and it terrifies him. He is given the ability to see the creatures of shadow, set to destroy the world of the living and manipulate mankind into an evil existence. He is now faced with choices that would change the world forever. The pathways to his destiny are set, but he must choose to follow the correct path, for free will must always be heeded.

 

Accolade:

5-Stars – What an Amazing Story! {Amazon Reader Review}

I picked up this book and hated putting it down. Every time I had to leave it I would be itching to pick it back up again. As long of a book that this was, I tore through it.

This book has everything: Tragedy, romance, action, suspense and so much more. I loved learning about all of the characters, each and every one of them, amazing. Lucian and Kyrianna were wonderfully created. The villains had me cringing and I found myself loving to hate them.

The plot was great, typical fantasy good versus evil, but intricate enough to make it very interesting.

Behe describes such a beautiful world. I was able to visualize every place that he took me in the story. I loved the cities and fortresses.

The action scenes were probably my favorite part of this book. The way Behe walks you through these battles makes you feel like you are watching it play out right in front of you.

There were some editing errors or maybe format conversion errors throughout the book but I found myself enjoying it so much that I started to barely notice them.

I think this is an amazing first book and I will be gnawing at the bit until the second book in this incredible series comes out.

Behe did an outstanding job with Revelations of Doom and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves an epic fantasy tale.

 

Reviews:

Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) currently has a customer review rating of 4.5 stars from 9 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99!

 

An excerpt from Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden):

The assassin slipped from shadow to shadow along a maze of corridors within the vast castle that was built into the side of the Barodine Mountains. Blood trickled off his fingertips, slowed by the tight strip of cloth he had tied around his upper arm just above a wound.

He had found an entrance into the castle. Now he crept along the dark interior walls, nearly invisible. He was truly a master of the shadows. He was in his element. The dark passageways and many intersecting halls were ideal for his trade. Like a dark cloud of death he floated down another hallway, avoiding contact, not wanting to leave any dead bodies that would be found and cause an alert. Sometimes an hour would pass with him moving only several feet. Progress was slow. He was well trained on the basic structures and layouts of castles and palaces. Most were built in a similar manner, and it wasn’t hard to figure out where to find those of importance. This castle however, was amazing in its design of defense. The labyrinth of halls made it difficult to know what direction you were heading. They were all cut the same, with no identifying features that would help in their navigation. But Adrian was not without his wit. He used small dashes of chalk to mark the hallways he had been down. It didn’t take long before he found himself out of the maze of halls and into an area with larger rooms, one of which must have been the dining hall. And then he found what he was looking for.

What could only be the council chamber was a large rectangular shape. The ceiling was at least twenty feet high. Huge stone pillars lined the walls around the room stretching from ceiling to floor. The stone walls had intricate designs carved in them as well as the pillars. It had to be the best sculpting work he had ever seen. A long thick wooden table stretched the length of the room almost twenty yards. The table looked to be carved by the same hands that had done the stone walls. It was simply beautiful. At the back of the room was an elevated platform, seven stone steps led up to a massive marble chair, a throne. The arms were carved to look like legs of a beast, a lion, he discovered, when he looked to the backrest. It was carved into a huge head of a lion. It was quite impressive. One who sat in the seat would have the appearance of sitting in the cradle of the mighty beast. The king’s chambers were generally close to the council room.

There was the slightest noise that came from the hallway outside. Adrian slipped over to the back corner of the room, melding into the shadows. He waited, mentally scolding himself for letting the beauty and craftsmanship of the room capture his attention so. He heard no other sounds coming from the hall but he needed to check and make sure. He moved to the doorway and slid across checking each end of the hall as much as he could see. There was no one, unless they were standing flat against the inside wall where he wouldn’t have been able to see them. The only way to check was to enter the hall. He certainly wasn’t going to simply stick his head out there for a look. No, that was a good way to get one’s head lopped off. He calmed himself and with a vipers speed he leapt out into the hallway landing on his hands and rolling to a crouch against the far wall. The movement was executed perfectly. Not the faintest sound could be heard. After a quick glance confirming there was no one in the hall he slipped back into the room.

 

His stomach lurched. Icy prickles ran all over his skin. He thought he was seeing things at first. A man was sitting on the throne that he had just been admiring and was staring at him with not even the slightest bit of concern. His first instinct was to turn and run but something told him that he would not survive that venture, by the look on the man’s face. He sat in the large chair with a look of complete calm. It was just as he had envisioned it. The man looked to be sitting in the cradle of a mighty lion. And by his casual appearance it was as if he actually thought the lion would protect him. But the assassin did not fall for the appearance. He quickly appraised the man’s skill by his outfit. He wore no armor and carried no weapons except for two ornately jeweled gauntlets that protected him from fingertip to elbow. The backs of his hands were covered with a thick steel slab that stretched from his wrist just past the knuckles. It was secured by a leather strap that wrapped around the hand and jointed at the wrist. At the end of the steel plate above the knuckles rose three short, thick, squared spikes. And three larger squared spikes ran up the middle of each forearm plate. The brightly polished steel was rimmed with fine gold. There were small intricate designs etched into the gauntlets and filled with gold. The assassin marveled at the fine craftsmanship. He had seen lesser ones selling in markets for a small fortune.

The man wore robes that were cut from what must have been an extremely expensive cloth. But the assassin took note in the design of the outfit. It was obvious that this man used his entire body as a weapon. His tunic was sleeveless so as not to impair his arms. His leggings were loose fitting and tucked in, below the knee, to thin leather boots that were wrapped tightly in cloth from ankle to knee. He was as tall as the assassin but his frame looked to be chiseled from stone.

Just the fact that he wore no armor told the assassin that this one was not to be taken lightly. He had heard of men like this before, men that trained their entire lives, making their bodies into lethal weapons. He allowed himself to grin. If this fool thought he was a match for an assassin he was making a grave mistake. Assassins were trained to take a life with deadly proficiency. His body was a lethal weapon as well. He had been trained from a young age in nothing other than the art of killing.

He started walking toward the man in the chair slowly, taking the path around the table to the right so as to set up his left hand for a throw. He had a small throwing knife inside his left handed black leather gauntlet, and with a small unnoticeable twitch of his wrist, he could drop it into his waiting hand and in a blink, launch it at a target with pinpoint accuracy.

“So I suppose that any moment now a dozen men will come running in here and cut me into pieces?” asked Adrian as he moved ever closer.

The man continued to stare, remaining in his casual posture on the seat. He raised his hands out to his sides. The corded muscles in his arms rippled with the gesture.

“No men will come. It is just you and I assassin. But fear not, my name is Solomon and I am the one you have come to kill.”

Adrian slowed a bit. This man can’t be such a fool. He thought that any second, soldiers would come rushing in and cut him down. How else could he be so calm, so confident? “So you are the King?” He kept his eyes on the strange man as he stepped closer. The rest of his senses reaching out in all directions searching for any other threat.

“We have no King,” said Solomon, “but as I said, I am the one you seek.”

Adrian was beginning to tire of this crazy fool. “So what are you? Or should I just call you the dead man.” He stepped closer, a few more steps and he would be within range for his dagger. He would not miss.

“I am a priest.”

 

Adrian was caught off guard by this last bit of information. How could they have no King? He had never heard of such a thing. He decided that this man was only trying to trick him. He was probably sent as a diversion while their true King tried to escape.

“If you think that I won’t kill you because you’re a holy man, you are deadly mistaken.” He was within range, the priest still sat there as if he had an invisible shield protecting him. The assassin wasn’t fooled by his casual pose, he knew the man was poised, ready to attack, this was all meant to throw him off guard. It didn’t matter, even if he reacted quickly enough and managed to move so the dagger wouldn’t hit him in a critical area, that reaction alone would be the only hesitation the assassin needed to move in close enough and finish the man with his blade.

“It is you who are mistaken, assassin.”

As the priest finished those words, Adrian let loose his dagger, the motion was a blur. The dagger ripped through the air aimed at the heart. The priest brought up his gauntlet, as if he had been waiting for the dagger to come, and easily deflected it. It rang off the wall behind the throne.

The assassin was shocked at the seemingly effortless block of his dirk but he didn’t slow his attack, in three quick strides he was at the priest, just after his dagger rang of the gauntlet. His blackened steel blade came out, snapping up and thrusting in at the priest’s chest. The thrust was meant to cause the priest to throw up a block and then he would retract and slap the block away coming in with a second thrust under the arms, slamming his blade into the priest’s heart. But he underestimated this man.

Solomon was surprisingly fast. Before Adrian could pull his hand back the priest brought both his in, slapping the outside of the assassin’s sword hand with one, and the inside of his forearm with the other. Adrian blinked in shock as his blade flew from his grip across the room, but he didn’t hesitate, and thrust in with his other hand like a knife, aiming for the throat.

The priest easily caught his outstretched fingers. It was like he knew what the assassin was going to do before he did it. As he wrenched back Adrian’s fingers with a quick jerk, there was a snapping sound. He screamed out until the priest’s foot came up behind him, slamming into the back of his head. His face smacked into the marble, lion-head backrest with a loud crack.

Solomon was still sitting in the chair as Adrian toppled backward, falling down the steps landing hard in front of the large center table. He clutched his forehead as blood rolled down his face.

The priest stood from his chair and slowly started down the steps as Adrian recovered, trying to keep himself steady as he stood. His arm shook as he held his mangled fingers. He tried to make himself look defeated and hoped it would give him the opportunity that he needed. The priest reached the bottom step and the assassin lunged into the air snapping out a spinning back kick at the priest’s head. It was a desperate move, if landed it would have surely snapped the priests neck, but if it missed he would be left vulnerable. Desperation led to disaster.

The priest easily ducked the kick, coming in close to Adrian as he landed. He was off balance from the attempt at the deft maneuver and there was nothing he could do as the priest came up with a left elbow under his chin, snapping his head back with the blow. Adrian thought he heard his jaw snap. The priest was still in motion, spinning around backwards connecting with a right elbow to his head, whirling him around. As Adrian came back to facing the priest, the man landed a powerful sidekick into his chest, sending him flying through the air, to land on top of the table.

Solomon was shocked to see the assassin immediately roll backwards with the momentum, come up in a crouch and then spring back into a flip, landing at a safe distance away. He gave the assassin a slight bow of his head. “Impressive.”

 

Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99!

 

Connect with Jedidiah Behe:

Twitter: @jjbehe

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden), Jedidiah Behe {$2.99}

Sponsored Post

Jedidiah Behe‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden):

Choices, we all make them, every day moment by moment. What most people do not realize is how a simple choice could very well alter their own life and those of everyone around them greatly. What would you do if you were blessed with the curse of being able to see evil and how they manipulate those around you? Would you choose to run in fear, ignore what you have just seen, or fight against something that no one else can see, and therefore limits their belief?

Lucian was chosen to be such a man, much to his dismay. On a path of vengeance he strikes out to find a murderer, unknowing that the world around him is at the brink of war. He pushes on through pain, treachery, despair and even death, only to receive a Revelation that shows him what could very well become the future of his world, and it terrifies him. He is given the ability to see the creatures of shadow, set to destroy the world of the living and manipulate mankind into an evil existence. He is now faced with choices that would change the world forever. The pathways to his destiny are set, but he must choose to follow the correct path, for free will must always be heeded.

 

Accolade:

5-Stars – What an Amazing Story! {Amazon Reader Review}

I picked up this book and hated putting it down. Every time I had to leave it I would be itching to pick it back up again. As long of a book that this was, I tore through it.

This book has everything: Tragedy, romance, action, suspense and so much more. I loved learning about all of the characters, each and every one of them, amazing. Lucian and Kyrianna were wonderfully created. The villains had me cringing and I found myself loving to hate them.

The plot was great, typical fantasy good versus evil, but intricate enough to make it very interesting.

Behe describes such a beautiful world. I was able to visualize every place that he took me in the story. I loved the cities and fortresses.

The action scenes were probably my favorite part of this book. The way Behe walks you through these battles makes you feel like you are watching it play out right in front of you.

There were some editing errors or maybe format conversion errors throughout the book but I found myself enjoying it so much that I started to barely notice them.

I think this is an amazing first book and I will be gnawing at the bit until the second book in this incredible series comes out.

Behe did an outstanding job with Revelations of Doom and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves an epic fantasy tale.

 

 

Reviews:

Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) currently has a customer review rating of 4.5 stars from 6 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99!

 

An excerpt from Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden):

The assassin slipped from shadow to shadow along a maze of corridors within the vast castle that was built into the side of the Barodine Mountains. Blood trickled off his fingertips, slowed by the tight strip of cloth he had tied around his upper arm just above a wound.

He had found an entrance into the castle. Now he crept along the dark interior walls, nearly invisible. He was truly a master of the shadows. He was in his element. The dark passageways and many intersecting halls were ideal for his trade. Like a dark cloud of death he floated down another hallway, avoiding contact, not wanting to leave any dead bodies that would be found and cause an alert. Sometimes an hour would pass with him moving only several feet. Progress was slow. He was well trained on the basic structures and layouts of castles and palaces. Most were built in a similar manner, and it wasn’t hard to figure out where to find those of importance. This castle however, was amazing in its design of defense. The labyrinth of halls made it difficult to know what direction you were heading. They were all cut the same, with no identifying features that would help in their navigation. But Adrian was not without his wit. He used small dashes of chalk to mark the hallways he had been down. It didn’t take long before he found himself out of the maze of halls and into an area with larger rooms, one of which must have been the dining hall. And then he found what he was looking for.

What could only be the council chamber was a large rectangular shape. The ceiling was at least twenty feet high. Huge stone pillars lined the walls around the room stretching from ceiling to floor. The stone walls had intricate designs carved in them as well as the pillars. It had to be the best sculpting work he had ever seen. A long thick wooden table stretched the length of the room almost twenty yards. The table looked to be carved by the same hands that had done the stone walls. It was simply beautiful. At the back of the room was an elevated platform, seven stone steps led up to a massive marble chair, a throne. The arms were carved to look like legs of a beast, a lion, he discovered, when he looked to the backrest. It was carved into a huge head of a lion. It was quite impressive. One who sat in the seat would have the appearance of sitting in the cradle of the mighty beast. The king’s chambers were generally close to the council room.

There was the slightest noise that came from the hallway outside. Adrian slipped over to the back corner of the room, melding into the shadows. He waited, mentally scolding himself for letting the beauty and craftsmanship of the room capture his attention so. He heard no other sounds coming from the hall but he needed to check and make sure. He moved to the doorway and slid across checking each end of the hall as much as he could see. There was no one, unless they were standing flat against the inside wall where he wouldn’t have been able to see them. The only way to check was to enter the hall. He certainly wasn’t going to simply stick his head out there for a look. No, that was a good way to get one’s head lopped off. He calmed himself and with a vipers speed he leapt out into the hallway landing on his hands and rolling to a crouch against the far wall. The movement was executed perfectly. Not the faintest sound could be heard. After a quick glance confirming there was no one in the hall he slipped back into the room.

 

His stomach lurched. Icy prickles ran all over his skin. He thought he was seeing things at first. A man was sitting on the throne that he had just been admiring and was staring at him with not even the slightest bit of concern. His first instinct was to turn and run but something told him that he would not survive that venture, by the look on the man’s face. He sat in the large chair with a look of complete calm. It was just as he had envisioned it. The man looked to be sitting in the cradle of a mighty lion. And by his casual appearance it was as if he actually thought the lion would protect him. But the assassin did not fall for the appearance. He quickly appraised the man’s skill by his outfit. He wore no armor and carried no weapons except for two ornately jeweled gauntlets that protected him from fingertip to elbow. The backs of his hands were covered with a thick steel slab that stretched from his wrist just past the knuckles. It was secured by a leather strap that wrapped around the hand and jointed at the wrist. At the end of the steel plate above the knuckles rose three short, thick, squared spikes. And three larger squared spikes ran up the middle of each forearm plate. The brightly polished steel was rimmed with fine gold. There were small intricate designs etched into the gauntlets and filled with gold. The assassin marveled at the fine craftsmanship. He had seen lesser ones selling in markets for a small fortune.

The man wore robes that were cut from what must have been an extremely expensive cloth. But the assassin took note in the design of the outfit. It was obvious that this man used his entire body as a weapon. His tunic was sleeveless so as not to impair his arms. His leggings were loose fitting and tucked in, below the knee, to thin leather boots that were wrapped tightly in cloth from ankle to knee. He was as tall as the assassin but his frame looked to be chiseled from stone.

Just the fact that he wore no armor told the assassin that this one was not to be taken lightly. He had heard of men like this before, men that trained their entire lives, making their bodies into lethal weapons. He allowed himself to grin. If this fool thought he was a match for an assassin he was making a grave mistake. Assassins were trained to take a life with deadly proficiency. His body was a lethal weapon as well. He had been trained from a young age in nothing other than the art of killing.

He started walking toward the man in the chair slowly, taking the path around the table to the right so as to set up his left hand for a throw. He had a small throwing knife inside his left handed black leather gauntlet, and with a small unnoticeable twitch of his wrist, he could drop it into his waiting hand and in a blink, launch it at a target with pinpoint accuracy.

“So I suppose that any moment now a dozen men will come running in here and cut me into pieces?” asked Adrian as he moved ever closer.

The man continued to stare, remaining in his casual posture on the seat. He raised his hands out to his sides. The corded muscles in his arms rippled with the gesture.

“No men will come. It is just you and I assassin. But fear not, my name is Solomon and I am the one you have come to kill.”

Adrian slowed a bit. This man can’t be such a fool. He thought that any second, soldiers would come rushing in and cut him down. How else could he be so calm, so confident? “So you are the King?” He kept his eyes on the strange man as he stepped closer. The rest of his senses reaching out in all directions searching for any other threat.

“We have no King,” said Solomon, “but as I said, I am the one you seek.”

Adrian was beginning to tire of this crazy fool. “So what are you? Or should I just call you the dead man.” He stepped closer, a few more steps and he would be within range for his dagger. He would not miss.

“I am a priest.”

 

Adrian was caught off guard by this last bit of information. How could they have no King? He had never heard of such a thing. He decided that this man was only trying to trick him. He was probably sent as a diversion while their true King tried to escape.

“If you think that I won’t kill you because you’re a holy man, you are deadly mistaken.” He was within range, the priest still sat there as if he had an invisible shield protecting him. The assassin wasn’t fooled by his casual pose, he knew the man was poised, ready to attack, this was all meant to throw him off guard. It didn’t matter, even if he reacted quickly enough and managed to move so the dagger wouldn’t hit him in a critical area, that reaction alone would be the only hesitation the assassin needed to move in close enough and finish the man with his blade.

“It is you who are mistaken, assassin.”

As the priest finished those words, Adrian let loose his dagger, the motion was a blur. The dagger ripped through the air aimed at the heart. The priest brought up his gauntlet, as if he had been waiting for the dagger to come, and easily deflected it. It rang off the wall behind the throne.

The assassin was shocked at the seemingly effortless block of his dirk but he didn’t slow his attack, in three quick strides he was at the priest, just after his dagger rang of the gauntlet. His blackened steel blade came out, snapping up and thrusting in at the priest’s chest. The thrust was meant to cause the priest to throw up a block and then he would retract and slap the block away coming in with a second thrust under the arms, slamming his blade into the priest’s heart. But he underestimated this man.

Solomon was surprisingly fast. Before Adrian could pull his hand back the priest brought both his in, slapping the outside of the assassin’s sword hand with one, and the inside of his forearm with the other. Adrian blinked in shock as his blade flew from his grip across the room, but he didn’t hesitate, and thrust in with his other hand like a knife, aiming for the throat.

The priest easily caught his outstretched fingers. It was like he knew what the assassin was going to do before he did it. As he wrenched back Adrian’s fingers with a quick jerk, there was a snapping sound. He screamed out until the priest’s foot came up behind him, slamming into the back of his head. His face smacked into the marble, lion-head backrest with a loud crack.

Solomon was still sitting in the chair as Adrian toppled backward, falling down the steps landing hard in front of the large center table. He clutched his forehead as blood rolled down his face.

The priest stood from his chair and slowly started down the steps as Adrian recovered, trying to keep himself steady as he stood. His arm shook as he held his mangled fingers. He tried to make himself look defeated and hoped it would give him the opportunity that he needed. The priest reached the bottom step and the assassin lunged into the air snapping out a spinning back kick at the priest’s head. It was a desperate move, if landed it would have surely snapped the priests neck, but if it missed he would be left vulnerable. Desperation led to disaster.

The priest easily ducked the kick, coming in close to Adrian as he landed. He was off balance from the attempt at the deft maneuver and there was nothing he could do as the priest came up with a left elbow under his chin, snapping his head back with the blow. Adrian thought he heard his jaw snap. The priest was still in motion, spinning around backwards connecting with a right elbow to his head, whirling him around. As Adrian came back to facing the priest, the man landed a powerful sidekick into his chest, sending him flying through the air, to land on top of the table.

Solomon was shocked to see the assassin immediately roll backwards with the momentum, come up in a crouch and then spring back into a flip, landing at a safe distance away. He gave the assassin a slight bow of his head. “Impressive.”

 

Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99!

 

Connect with Jedidiah Behe:

Twitter: @jjbehe

Confliction Compendium (Dragoneers Cycle One), M. R. Mathias {$8.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

The Confliction Compendium is an omnibus edition of the Full Confliction Cycle of Dragoneers novels which kicks off with a special “Amazon Exclusive” Foreward by Derek Prior,

CONFLICTION COMPENDIUM contains these Full Length novels:

The Royal Dragoneers, Cold Hearted Son of a Witch, and The Confliction

as well as these novellas and short stories:

The First Dragoneer, Crimzon & Clover, Crimzon & Clover II – The Tricky Wizard

What readers are saying:

A Great YA Author and Trilogy, By sshulcy

This review applies to the entire trilogy of the Dragoneers, not just the first book. The series is a really good YA trilogy, with real characters who have real foibles, dreams, fears, desires, unkind thoughts and everything else that comprises the range of human emotion. There are no “Mary Sues” in this saga. The female characters are smart, strong and emotional; the male characters are confused, brave, and scared. They are all elated at the bond they share with their dragons and absolutely terrified of the alien menace that reveals itself gradually through all three books. There is no “magic bullet” or “super-mage” that comes along to make an end to the devastating problems faced by all characters (not just the Royal Dragoneers). The solutions come along gradually with trial and error; various other entities decide to help or not as the story unfolds. I would definitely recommend this series (and the short stories that accompany it) for anyone whose teens/young adults are looking for something other than vampires, magical solutions, or werewolves but still want to read good fantasy.

Fun series with great characters, By D.P. Prior “Derek”

The First Dragoneer (included in this compendium) is a brief induction into the world M.R. Mathias has created for his epic novels. The reader is immediately dropped into the midst of a hunting trip – the last such to be enjoyed by childhood friends, Brendley and March. It’s an easy task for the reader: the dialogue is so natural and genuine, the descriptions succinct and yet hitting the mark with exactly the right amount of imagery that it almost reads itself. I started to enjoy the tale from the outset because of this deceptively simple writing style and because so much information (back-story, mise en scene, motivation) was established contextually and without lengthy exposition.

The narration blends seamlessly with the characters’ thoughts and feelings, which are never obtrusive. Mathias makes good use of his writer’s palette, taking from his toolbox just what he needs and no more.

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 5 stars {3 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Confliction Compendium (Dragoneers Cycle One) for $8.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime from Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden), Jedidiah Behe {$2.99}

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Description of Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden):

Choices, we all make them, every day moment by moment. What most people do not realize is how a simple choice could very well alter their own life and those of everyone around them greatly. What would you do if you were blessed with the curse of being able to see evil and how they manipulate those around you? Would you choose to run in fear, ignore what you have just seen, or fight against something that no one else can see, and therefore limits their belief?

Lucian was chosen to be such a man, much to his dismay. On a path of vengeance he strikes out to find a murderer, unknowing that the world around him is at the brink of war. He pushes on through pain, treachery, despair and even death, only to receive a Revelation that shows him what could very well become the future of his world, and it terrifies him. He is given the ability to see the creatures of shadow, set to destroy the world of the living and manipulate mankind into an evil existence. He is now faced with choices that would change the world forever. The pathways to his destiny are set, but he must choose to follow the correct path, for free will must always be heeded.

 

Accolade:

5-Stars – What an Amazing Story! {Amazon Reader Review}

I picked up this book and hated putting it down. Every time I had to leave it I would be itching to pick it back up again. As long of a book that this was, I tore through it.

This book has everything: Tragedy, romance, action, suspense and so much more. I loved learning about all of the characters, each and every one of them, amazing. Lucian and Kyrianna were wonderfully created. The villains had me cringing and I found myself loving to hate them.

The plot was great, typical fantasy good versus evil, but intricate enough to make it very interesting.

Behe describes such a beautiful world. I was able to visualize every place that he took me in the story. I loved the cities and fortresses.

The action scenes were probably my favorite part of this book. The way Behe walks you through these battles makes you feel like you are watching it play out right in front of you.

There were some editing errors or maybe format conversion errors throughout the book but I found myself enjoying it so much that I started to barely notice them.

I think this is an amazing first book and I will be gnawing at the bit until the second book in this incredible series comes out.

Behe did an outstanding job with Revelations of Doom and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves an epic fantasy tale.


Reviews:

Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden)currently has a customer review rating of 5 stars from 4 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99!

 

An excerpt from Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden):

The assassin slipped from shadow to shadow along a maze of corridors within the vast castle that was built into the side of the Barodine Mountains. Blood trickled off his fingertips, slowed by the tight strip of cloth he had tied around his upper arm just above a wound.

He had found an entrance into the castle. Now he crept along the dark interior walls, nearly invisible. He was truly a master of the shadows. He was in his element. The dark passageways and many intersecting halls were ideal for his trade. Like a dark cloud of death he floated down another hallway, avoiding contact, not wanting to leave any dead bodies that would be found and cause an alert. Sometimes an hour would pass with him moving only several feet. Progress was slow. He was well trained on the basic structures and layouts of castles and palaces. Most were built in a similar manner, and it wasn’t hard to figure out where to find those of importance. This castle however, was amazing in its design of defense. The labyrinth of halls made it difficult to know what direction you were heading. They were all cut the same, with no identifying features that would help in their navigation. But Adrian was not without his wit. He used small dashes of chalk to mark the hallways he had been down. It didn’t take long before he found himself out of the maze of halls and into an area with larger rooms, one of which must have been the dining hall. And then he found what he was looking for.

What could only be the council chamber was a large rectangular shape. The ceiling was at least twenty feet high. Huge stone pillars lined the walls around the room stretching from ceiling to floor. The stone walls had intricate designs carved in them as well as the pillars. It had to be the best sculpting work he had ever seen. A long thick wooden table stretched the length of the room almost twenty yards. The table looked to be carved by the same hands that had done the stone walls. It was simply beautiful. At the back of the room was an elevated platform, seven stone steps led up to a massive marble chair, a throne. The arms were carved to look like legs of a beast, a lion, he discovered, when he looked to the backrest. It was carved into a huge head of a lion. It was quite impressive. One who sat in the seat would have the appearance of sitting in the cradle of the mighty beast. The king’s chambers were generally close to the council room.

There was the slightest noise that came from the hallway outside. Adrian slipped over to the back corner of the room, melding into the shadows. He waited, mentally scolding himself for letting the beauty and craftsmanship of the room capture his attention so. He heard no other sounds coming from the hall but he needed to check and make sure. He moved to the doorway and slid across checking each end of the hall as much as he could see. There was no one, unless they were standing flat against the inside wall where he wouldn’t have been able to see them. The only way to check was to enter the hall. He certainly wasn’t going to simply stick his head out there for a look. No, that was a good way to get one’s head lopped off. He calmed himself and with a vipers speed he leapt out into the hallway landing on his hands and rolling to a crouch against the far wall. The movement was executed perfectly. Not the faintest sound could be heard. After a quick glance confirming there was no one in the hall he slipped back into the room.

 

His stomach lurched. Icy prickles ran all over his skin. He thought he was seeing things at first. A man was sitting on the throne that he had just been admiring and was staring at him with not even the slightest bit of concern. His first instinct was to turn and run but something told him that he would not survive that venture, by the look on the man’s face. He sat in the large chair with a look of complete calm. It was just as he had envisioned it. The man looked to be sitting in the cradle of a mighty lion. And by his casual appearance it was as if he actually thought the lion would protect him. But the assassin did not fall for the appearance. He quickly appraised the man’s skill by his outfit. He wore no armor and carried no weapons except for two ornately jeweled gauntlets that protected him from fingertip to elbow. The backs of his hands were covered with a thick steel slab that stretched from his wrist just past the knuckles. It was secured by a leather strap that wrapped around the hand and jointed at the wrist. At the end of the steel plate above the knuckles rose three short, thick, squared spikes. And three larger squared spikes ran up the middle of each forearm plate. The brightly polished steel was rimmed with fine gold. There were small intricate designs etched into the gauntlets and filled with gold. The assassin marveled at the fine craftsmanship. He had seen lesser ones selling in markets for a small fortune.

The man wore robes that were cut from what must have been an extremely expensive cloth. But the assassin took note in the design of the outfit. It was obvious that this man used his entire body as a weapon. His tunic was sleeveless so as not to impair his arms. His leggings were loose fitting and tucked in, below the knee, to thin leather boots that were wrapped tightly in cloth from ankle to knee. He was as tall as the assassin but his frame looked to be chiseled from stone.

Just the fact that he wore no armor told the assassin that this one was not to be taken lightly. He had heard of men like this before, men that trained their entire lives, making their bodies into lethal weapons. He allowed himself to grin. If this fool thought he was a match for an assassin he was making a grave mistake. Assassins were trained to take a life with deadly proficiency. His body was a lethal weapon as well. He had been trained from a young age in nothing other than the art of killing.

He started walking toward the man in the chair slowly, taking the path around the table to the right so as to set up his left hand for a throw. He had a small throwing knife inside his left handed black leather gauntlet, and with a small unnoticeable twitch of his wrist, he could drop it into his waiting hand and in a blink, launch it at a target with pinpoint accuracy.

“So I suppose that any moment now a dozen men will come running in here and cut me into pieces?” asked Adrian as he moved ever closer.

The man continued to stare, remaining in his casual posture on the seat. He raised his hands out to his sides. The corded muscles in his arms rippled with the gesture.

“No men will come. It is just you and I assassin. But fear not, my name is Solomon and I am the one you have come to kill.”

Adrian slowed a bit. This man can’t be such a fool. He thought that any second, soldiers would come rushing in and cut him down. How else could he be so calm, so confident? “So you are the King?” He kept his eyes on the strange man as he stepped closer. The rest of his senses reaching out in all directions searching for any other threat.

“We have no King,” said Solomon, “but as I said, I am the one you seek.”

Adrian was beginning to tire of this crazy fool. “So what are you? Or should I just call you the dead man.” He stepped closer, a few more steps and he would be within range for his dagger. He would not miss.

“I am a priest.”

 

Adrian was caught off guard by this last bit of information. How could they have no King? He had never heard of such a thing. He decided that this man was only trying to trick him. He was probably sent as a diversion while their true King tried to escape.

“If you think that I won’t kill you because you’re a holy man, you are deadly mistaken.” He was within range, the priest still sat there as if he had an invisible shield protecting him. The assassin wasn’t fooled by his casual pose, he knew the man was poised, ready to attack, this was all meant to throw him off guard. It didn’t matter, even if he reacted quickly enough and managed to move so the dagger wouldn’t hit him in a critical area, that reaction alone would be the only hesitation the assassin needed to move in close enough and finish the man with his blade.

“It is you who are mistaken, assassin.”

As the priest finished those words, Adrian let loose his dagger, the motion was a blur. The dagger ripped through the air aimed at the heart. The priest brought up his gauntlet, as if he had been waiting for the dagger to come, and easily deflected it. It rang off the wall behind the throne.

The assassin was shocked at the seemingly effortless block of his dirk but he didn’t slow his attack, in three quick strides he was at the priest, just after his dagger rang of the gauntlet. His blackened steel blade came out, snapping up and thrusting in at the priest’s chest. The thrust was meant to cause the priest to throw up a block and then he would retract and slap the block away coming in with a second thrust under the arms, slamming his blade into the priest’s heart. But he underestimated this man.

Solomon was surprisingly fast. Before Adrian could pull his hand back the priest brought both his in, slapping the outside of the assassin’s sword hand with one, and the inside of his forearm with the other. Adrian blinked in shock as his blade flew from his grip across the room, but he didn’t hesitate, and thrust in with his other hand like a knife, aiming for the throat.

The priest easily caught his outstretched fingers. It was like he knew what the assassin was going to do before he did it. As he wrenched back Adrian’s fingers with a quick jerk, there was a snapping sound. He screamed out until the priest’s foot came up behind him, slamming into the back of his head. His face smacked into the marble, lion-head backrest with a loud crack.

Solomon was still sitting in the chair as Adrian toppled backward, falling down the steps landing hard in front of the large center table. He clutched his forehead as blood rolled down his face.

The priest stood from his chair and slowly started down the steps as Adrian recovered, trying to keep himself steady as he stood. His arm shook as he held his mangled fingers. He tried to make himself look defeated and hoped it would give him the opportunity that he needed. The priest reached the bottom step and the assassin lunged into the air snapping out a spinning back kick at the priest’s head. It was a desperate move, if landed it would have surely snapped the priests neck, but if it missed he would be left vulnerable. Desperation led to disaster.

The priest easily ducked the kick, coming in close to Adrian as he landed. He was off balance from the attempt at the deft maneuver and there was nothing he could do as the priest came up with a left elbow under his chin, snapping his head back with the blow. Adrian thought he heard his jaw snap. The priest was still in motion, spinning around backwards connecting with a right elbow to his head, whirling him around. As Adrian came back to facing the priest, the man landed a powerful sidekick into his chest, sending him flying through the air, to land on top of the table.

Solomon was shocked to see the assassin immediately roll backwards with the momentum, come up in a crouch and then spring back into a flip, landing at a safe distance away. He gave the assassin a slight bow of his head. “Impressive.”

 

Revelations of Doom (The Light Warden) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99!

 

Connect with Jedidiah Behe:

Twitter: @jjbehe

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath, #1), Nadia Scrieva {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath, #1):

Deep under Arctic waters lies an ice kingdom carved into a glacier. Those who dwell within it possess magnificent biological secrets. Due to the dangers of impending war, the Princess of Adlivun is forced to flee her undersea utopia and regroup with her sisters in Alaska.

Captain Trevain Murphy is a successful king crab fisherman who has spent his life building his empire above the sea, and knows nothing of the empire beneath it. When he meets a mysterious dancer whose father has recently died, he extends kindness towards her, unaware of her unique genetics and royal lineage.

Trevain’s attraction to the enigmatic Aazuria Vellamo will involve him in dangerous designs that will forever change his life, and his perspective on himself and his world. He embarks on perilous journeys in which he will need to release all of his insecurities and inhibitions in order to survive.

 

Accolade:

“You know you’ve read a great book when you’re still thinking about the characters long after you’ve finished the story!”

“I really loved “Drowning Mermaids”. The world that Ms. Scrieva has created is an absolutely enthralling – and very believable – one. I’m not a big fan of fantastical stories about mermaids, but her mermaids make complete and perfect sense. It’s all about science and biology, with a little bit of mythology and lots of romance. I adored every page of the book!”

“Harry Potter enchanted Wizards, Drowning Mermaids enchanted Mermaids. The vivid imagery and sharpness of the characters put you right into the story. I finished this book being thankful to live in Florida, because I wanted to take a swim! The author has a way of breathing life into the experiences you read about in the story that is utterly invigorating. In the way that Rowling ruffled our imagination with the possibility that wizards live among us and maybe *we* could be a wizard, Nadia has done this with Mermaids. The author keeps this majestic story grounded with roots based on fact, you can tell she put her research hat on in writing this story. I cannot wait to see where Aazuria’s story goes with the groundwork that has been laid in this novel. I guess this is not the kind of thing you judge a book on, but it was so refreshing to read a thesaurus of the coolest, prettiest names I will ever come across in my life! I could not put this book down (or minimize it :P)! Reading it was an adrenaline rush from beginning to end with many twists characteristic of the author’s work. The delicate relationship of Aazuria and Trevain was beautiful and dramatic! To truly appreciate the story and the characters, you really just have to dive in!”

“A delightful tale for the casual reader, there are also engaging themes weaved throughout the book for those seeking a little more. It challenges the meaningfulness of age difference, the precepts of gender stereotypes, the tensions of past and present loss, and the perilous blinders of passion.”

“Initially skeptical of the title and its aquatic setting, I quickly realized “Drowning Mermaids” reminded me of a lesson from other great fantasy novels such as “Dune”. Water is the lifeblood of the body, and an excellent background up against which to be the lifeblood of an engaging fantasy world.”


Reviews:

Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath, #1) currently has a customer review rating of 4.5 stars with 25 reviews! Read the reviews here.


Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath, #1) is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or borrow FREE with Prime!

 

An excerpt from Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath, #1):

“Why are we here, Brynne?” Trevain asked, leaning against the wall angrily.

“I wanted a snack,” she said, rummaging through the cupboards.

“I didn’t.”

“Well, you need to eat dinner,” she said with her mouth full. “We’ve been fishing all day.”

“I’m not hungry. Look Brynne, is there a reason you haven’t left my side this whole trip? Do you think that I’m emotionally vulnerable because Aazuria left me and I’m going to fall into your arms or something?”

“Here, just relax and let me cook something good for you.”

“I appreciate your concern for my health, but I already told you that I’m not hungry…”

“Why is there sound coming from this bag of rice?” Brynne asked, putting her ear to the bag. “That’s weird. It sounds like a clock.”

Trevain frowned and moved over to the bag of rice to listen to it.

“Reminds me of that story about the captain and the crocodile—he could always tell the crocodile was near because it had swallowed a clock, and he could hear the ticking…”

“Shut up, Brynne.” Trevain said, pulling a knife out of a drawer and slitting the bag open, causing rice to spill out all over the floor.

“Hey, you’re making a mess!” Brynne scolded.

“Where the hell did you get this?” Trevain yelled, staring at the strange homemade bomb which was nestled in the rice.

“A blond woman on the docks gave it to me…”

“Dammit!” he cursed. “There’s no time.”

“No time?” Brynne asked in confusion. Trevain grabbed her hand and was pulling her into the next room. “What are you doing?”

“Get in the bathtub, Brynne!”

“What? Why? I’m not into kinky…”

“Down, now!” Trevain grabbed Brynne and dived with her into the bathtub, covering her body with his and waiting for the sound.

The next second, all that they heard was—nothing. The sound of the explosion was so deafening that there was a moment of intense pain in their ears before they lost the ability to hear. They felt, however. They felt the pressure of the bomb exploding. They felt the heat of the explosion burning their skin and singeing their hair. They felt the bathtub being ripped from the ship, and pieces of debris colliding with their bodies. Trevain felt large objects colliding with his head and back, before he was aware that they were surrounded by water.

It was several seconds before the heat subsided to the cooling water, and he was able to open his eyes. He could barely make out the scared expression on Brynne’s face in the darkness. There was debris everywhere; pieces of the broken ship. Trevain was completely disoriented. It was difficult to figure out where they needed to swim. He could tell that pieces of the ship near the surface were burning. He looked around for the other members of his crew, trying to get his bearings.

The flames were growing stronger. The ship’s diesel was leaking from the ruptured gas tank. They could not swim to the surface, or they would be burned. Brynne’s face was lit by the flickering firelight as she panicked and tried to communicate with him, but they could not understand each other. He appreciated the need for sign language more than ever at that moment. Brynne was freaking out and she began swimming off in one direction. He was sure that was not where they needed to go. He tried to reach for her, but he was feeling dizzy from the lack of oxygen flowing to his brain. He looked around, trying to figure out where to go and what to do. He was panicking too.

Trevain tried to swim away from the flames, but he could not get very far. He needed air badly. He realized he was going to drown. He could not breathe underwater; he did not have the ability. He did not know how. What Aazuria and his mother were talking about—he wished it was all true, but it was not. Not for him.

He knew that he was about to die. His lungs painfully begged him to take a breath, but he knew that the moment he did, he would drown. Although he had almost wanted something exactly like this to happen to him when he had set sail earlier, he now realized that he had been fooling himself. As demented as he had been feeling, as self-destructive as his intentions, it had all been just a farce. He did not really want to die.

He tried as hard as he could to hold onto his last few moments of life.

A flash of white caught his eye, and he saw that an exquisite creature was suddenly before him. Long white hair fanned out around her face, and the purest sapphire blue eyes stared at him. The lovely phantasm was smiling, and reaching out to take his hands; he knew it was an angel.

It was his angel. He knew her, although she looked nothing like before. She was his Aazuria, his mythical heroine. In the dancing glow of the oil blaze, she was simply too dazzling to be real and he knew that he must be dying. As she hovered in suspension before him, her skin and hair were almost luminous in the dark water, almost phosphorescent. Perhaps she never had been real. It did not matter—she was firmly grasping his hands, and it sent a feeling of comfort and tranquility through him. He knew that she loved him.

He could see forgiveness and acceptance in her expression. None of the turmoil between them mattered any longer in this pacific moment. In her benevolent gaze, he could finally forgive himself. He smiled at her, although his vision was fading, and the world was disappearing. He tightly gripped her hands to thank her for coming back for him. He could not bear the thought of letting go; he did not want to be robbed of her touch. He tried to keep his eyes open for as long as possible, to keep looking into her unfamiliar ultramarine orbs. So this was what she really looked like, in her element. He wished he could have known her true form. It was mystical.

Trevain could imagine no better way to die. No better sight to see the last time he closed his eyes. A peaceful smile descended on his face, and the captain’s tired eyes closed for what he knew to be the last time ever.


Drowning Mermaids (Sacred Breath, #1) is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99 or borrow FREE with Prime!

 

Connect with Nadia Scrieva:

Website:   www.NadiaScrieva.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NadiaFans

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book 1), Scott Marlowe {$2.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!}

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Scott Marlowes Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book 1):

Aaron—scholar, alchemist, and sorcerer’s apprentice—wants nothing more than to study his tomes, perform his experiments, and spend time with his closest friend, Shanna. Substitute the occasional romp about the city for the books and plenty of games of crutchit for the smelly alchemicals, and Shanna is just fine with that, too.

Their routines—and their lives—are thrown into chaos when an elemental attack is launched against their home. Aaron thinks Shanna killed, while Aaron himself is forced to flee for his life. For Shanna, who survives that fateful night, the greatest adventure of her life is about to begin. Only the worst of nightmares awaits Aaron: pursued by dwarves, hell hounds, and a demon who will not stop until he is dead, the only thing keeping him alive is his own resourcefulness and an eslar mercenary whose reputation as a killer might make him the worst threat of all.

Though Aaron and Shanna travel different paths, their purpose is joined when they individually learn of the mysterious Fifth Element. Shanna sees it as the final piece in the puzzle that is her destiny. To Aaron’s logical mind, it is an impossible ambiguity. Whatever the answer, the Fifth Element draws them back together and into a final confrontation not as allies, but as adversaries.

 

Accolade:

Terra Harmony, author of the Akasha Series

Wow – just wow. I added this book to my TBR list because of ‘the elemental power’ aspect which I incorporate into my own books. I was curious to see another author’s take on it. What I didn’t expect is to be sucked into the book to where I was forced to shirk all work, parental, and clean-up responsibilities just so I could find out what happened next in this world Scott Marlowe created! He is, as far as I know, a relatively undiscovered author – but give it time, people.

Although this book is appropriate for maybe PG-13 audiences, the writing is a little more sophisticated and the description of setting, characters, and action is superb. Without posting any spoilers, I have to say I caught on to the ‘twist’ at exactly the right moment. Many of the mysteries and questions Scott created keeps the plot moving and sets a good pace.

As an epic fantasy adventure, Scott blends magical realism, elemental powers, alchemy and mechanics into a fascinating story. Get it now!

Amazon Reader Reviews:

The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book 1) currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars, with 9 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book 1) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


An excerpt from The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book 1):

“Aaron?” It was Shanna. “Where are you going? The water… it’s rising.”

She was right. He had to hurry. “Not far. I’m coming right back. Don’t worry!”

“Aaron! Don’t leave—”

He heard the tinge of fear in her words, and wished as he sloshed away that he’d more time to offer reassurances. One of the other girls—it sounded like Rachel, who had never really liked him—yelled, “I always knew you were worthless, Squeak!” Aaron ignored her. The moment he was able to pull himself from the water, he set off at a run, backtracking until a juncture led him down another passage, through an arch, and to the workshop of Marcus Gentry. It was locked, of course. Fortunately, Aaron had a key. Not a real key, but enough syrin acid stowed away in one of his vest vials to melt away the knob at its base. A quick dash of pedric neutralized the acid, and Aaron was just able to manipulate the exposed workings and undo the lock. Aaron dashed inside, finding the items he needed in no time at all. Then he was trudging back to Shanna and the others.

The first thing he heard upon returning was the sound of arguing all centered around Aaron’s departure and the belief that he wasn’t coming back. It sounded as if Shanna was the only one defending him. A yell from Aaron silenced them all. “Someone get a chair,” he said. “A strong one.”

“What good is a chair going to do?” one of the girls asked.

“We’re going to lift the door.”

“With a chair? You’re an idiot, Squeak!” Rachel again. “You’re wasting our time. Why don’t you go find someone who can lift—” Sounds of a scuffle. Then Aaron heard a sharp cry of pain. “Call him that again,” Aaron heard Shanna say, “and we’ll leave you behind!” That was that. Shanna prompted Aaron to go on.

“Take these!”

Aaron tossed his nearly spent torch into the water and, using both hands, handed off two thick, iron wagon axles through the opening beneath the drop-door. Each four foot in length, Marcus smoothed and polished them by the batch for the narrow, two-wheeled calashes that plied Norwynne’s byways on any given day. “You’re going to lift the door using the axles as levers. Slide one end underneath, then as many of you as can fit along the remaining length need to lift. Do it together. Don’t waste your strength.” Aaron waited for the barrage of protests and condemnations, but there was nothing but silence. He took it as an acceptance of his plan and went on. Or almost did. One look at the briny, soupy mix, tainted with dirt and dust and the death he’d seen above, and he had to take a moment to shake off a sensation of disgust and fear. “I’m going under the water. Once you lift the door I’ll prop it up using the peg holes in the rails. Lift it as high as you can and hold it there until I come back up and tell you to let go. But be careful! Ease it down gently, or it might not hold at all.”

“We understand, Aaron!” Shanna said. “Tell us when to start lifting!”

Aaron took a series of breaths, readying himself. “Now!” He took one last breath, then plunged beneath the surface. He kept his eyes closed against the stinging filthiness, using his hands instead to judge their progress. Right away, he received confirmation that his plan was working as Shanna and the others raised the door above one and then another of the peg holes, which ordinarily were used to hold the door in place during repairs. By touch, Aaron shoved iron wheel spokes that he’d placed into his satchel into the exposed holes. It was a tight fit, but with enough twisting he was able to force the spokes home. When the door’s progress slowed, and rose no higher, Aaron inserted one last spoke, then shot back to the surface. The water had risen even higher. Aaron asked them to lower the door the moment he’d drawn enough breath to talk. It went down inches and—Aaron breathed a sigh of relief—held.

Aaron didn’t have to tell them what to do next. There was some hesitation; they must have felt the same dread Aaron had before he’d submersed himself in the fetid water. But they did it, swimming through the enlarged gap to come bursting to the surface. They were all girls, something Aaron became more and more conscious of as each emerged. Every one of them thanked him. Rachel managed only a nod. They clustered together a short distance down the hall, cold, numb, and frightened.

Shanna emerged last. Aaron’s heart leapt to see her, but before he could transform his elation into words Shanna locked both arms around him in a tight embrace. Then she pulled back just enough to kiss him full on the mouth. Whatever Aaron had wanted to say was lost amidst the sweet saltiness of those lips and a mind-numbing sensation that rose from every part of him at once. The kiss lasted only a moment, then Shanna pushed away to smooth wet hair from her face and to adjust her borrowed cloak that she still wore draped over her shoulders. “Thank the Old Gods you came! There was someone… then Corrin, but they couldn’t—They both left us! I thought for sure we were going to… What are you staring at?”

Aaron felt the heat rise in his face. “I’m not—I mean I was—”

A rumbling from the earth put an end to Aaron’s stammering. Ripples raced across the surface of the water and, beneath their feet, the floor vibrated. The tremor—an aftershock, Aaron realized—lasted only a moment, but it was enough to drive the girls into a panic. As one, they fled down the hallway. Aaron and Shanna, in no less of a hurry, followed. The group made it as far as Bronzehome Juncture—not very far at all—when the earth awoke again. The girls plunged into the water filling the juncture, managing in their mass hysteria to listen to Aaron’s direction as he bid them return the way he’d come. The last of them had just managed to fight through the rush of water flowing from the passage and leave the juncture when Aaron and Shanna heard the ceiling above them cracking apart. In desperation, they plunged forward, trying to reach the other passage.

Too late.

Great chunks of rock and a streaming avalanche of water fell from above, extinguishing wall lanterns and creating a chain reaction that shattered the floor beneath their feet. Aaron only just managed to grab hold of the edge of one passage’s railing. Shanna somehow found his other hand. For one terrible moment, as the floor collapsed and Shanna’s weight jolted his, Aaron thought both of them were going to fall. They didn’t, though almost immediately Shanna’s grip on his began to slip.

“Don’t let go of me!”

Panic Aaron had never thought to hear from Shanna somehow rose above the roar of falling water and debris. He tried to tighten his grip, but it seemed the more he squeezed the more Shanna’s slipped free. Aaron tried to cry out to her, but his mouth filled with water and he fell into a fit of choking instead. Unbalanced, he lost what footing he’d gained. Unable to see, hardly able to breathe, Aaron focused everything on holding fast to Shanna’s hand. Sheer thought was not enough, though, as their hands slipped further.

“Don’t let go of me!” she said again.

The earth groaned, beckoning Shanna into its embrace as the water streaming past them tried to pull her away from him. Aaron wanted to shout out, yelling that the earth had taken enough and that it could not have her, too. But he’d no strength left. Only their fingers touched now, and then not even that. His fingers slipped along hers, and then her hand was gone from his.

“Shanna!”

She did not hear his cry, for she was gone, taken by the water’s ferocity. It did not deter Aaron from shouting, nor yelling, nor even sobbing her name until he was so drained of strength he could do nothing but hang in place while bits of rock and sheets of water continued to fall from above. Minutes—or hours—passed before Aaron lifted himself to safety. He made it only a short distance down the passage before he collapsed. He stayed there for a long time.


The Five Elements (The Alchemancer: Book 1) is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


Connect with Scott Marlowe:

Web site/blog: http://www.scottmarlowe.com

Twitter: http://wwr.twitter.com/scottmarlowe

Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two), M. R. Mathias {$6.69}

Join Hyden Hawk Skyler, and some great new friends, on an adventurous quest, over land and sea, to find the Silver Skull of Zorellin.

Fight with Mikahl, Ironspike, and fierce King Jarrek as they try to free the enslaved people of Wildermont from King Ra’Gren and his Dakaneese Overlords.

Patrol the skies with Shaella, and her new black dragon, Vrot. With her father’s spell books, and the Priests of Kraw, she decides to aid King Ra’Gren, while scheming to free her lover, Gerard, from the hellish Nethers.

Demonic love, valiant battles, and foolhardy heroics await readers in this 175k word (600+ page) continuation of the epic ‘Wardstone Trilogy’ that was written in a Texas prison cell, by author, M. R. Mathias.

The ***MAP*** of the Mainland Kingdoms can be found at: mrmathias.com

Also abailable for Kindle:  The Sword and the Dragon – The Wardstone Trilogy Book One

What readers are saying:

This book is an awesome continuation of the amazingness that was the first part of the trilogy.  – K. Malinczak

I love the story and devoured both the first and second book and wait ever so impatiently for the third. – Mysticmoore

This has been a fun and entirely engrossing story. I love the characters. The action is amazing. This book and series are simply great stories told well. – Tracy Sato

The average Amazon reader review is currently 5 stars {12 reviews}.

Hemlock and the Wizard Tower (The Maker’s Fire), B Throwsnaill {FREE!}

How is power gained, retained and exercised; and what happens to a power structure when a young girl with magical abilities hacks and slashes her way into the very core of its apparatus?

In a magical city that travels through multiple dimensions, a young girl named Hemlock has risen from being a lowly cutpurse to discovering that she is a powerful fighter. Under the guidance of an aging freedom fighter named Safreon, Hemlock battles to keep the peace in her run down district, while across the City the upper class Elites enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom.

The Wizard Tower looms in the center of the City, casting a long shadow over its affairs. The Wizards rule behind the scenes, dictating and controlling the use of magic. Hemlock instinctively feels that the Wizards are her enemies, but Safreon will not discuss openly opposing them, as he seeks to methodically mentor Hemlock, and advance his own cryptic plans for the City.

Hemlock makes a decision to make a bold attack on the Wizard Tower alone, convinced that she can destroy or undo whatever method the Wizards are using to control and ration magic. As the novel opens, we join Hemlock just after she has infiltrated the Wizard Tower, learning what happens through a narrative interspersed with flashbacks to events leading up to the attack.

Look for the next volume in the series scheduled for release in spring 2012!

What readers are saying:

“A Fantasy Read At The Highest Level. A Wonderful Fulfilling Novel.”

The average Amazon Reader Review Rating is currently 4 Stars {6 Reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Hemlock and the Wizard Tower (The Maker’s Fire) for FREE from Amazon!

*Be sure to verify price before 1-click buying. The price may change from time of posting.

 

Draykon (Draykon Series), Charlotte E. English {$0.99}

Description: When shy and retiring Llandry Sanfaer discovers a mesmerising new gemstone, she suddenly becomes the most famous jeweller across the Seven Realms. Demand for the coveted stone escalates fast; when people begin dying for it, Llandry finds that she herself has become a target.

Lady Evastany Glostrum has her life in pristine order. Prestigious, powerful and wealthy, she is on the verge of crowning her successes with the perfect marriage. But when her closest friend is murdered for the jewellery she wears, Eva is drawn into the mystery surrounding the curious “istore” gem.

The emergence of the stone is causing chaos across the Seven. Gates between the worlds are opening at will, pulling hordes of creatures through from the shadowy Lower Realm and the glittering Uppers. As Eva works to discover the culprit behind the spreading disorder, Llandry must learn the truth about her precious istore stone – before she herself becomes a victim.

Draykon is a full-length, high fantasy mystery novel of 95,000 words (approx. 380 pages). It is the first book in the Draykon Series.

What readers are saying:

“…a gripping story, full of intrigue and magic — and wonderfully three-dimensional characters.” – S. Tryon

“I really liked the story-telling style of the author and the two different story-arcs run smoothly along till almost then end when they collide magnificently and culminate in a crescendo.” – riteshkala.wordpress.com

“This book was… an absolute gem. The writing was excellent, the descriptions of the worlds were so vivid I could see them and the characters were each unique.” theriaka-ebooks.blogspot.com

The average Amazon reader review is currently 4.5 stars {6 reviews}.

 

 

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