Two Brilliant Reviews for Let it Go! #Fiction #Cornwall

I was reminded today of just how far we have come with our writing and all that is involved with it and wanted to share our pride in our accomplishments.

Still, a long way to go, but loving what you do is a lovely way to do it!

(we didn’t do it all by ourselves, so we thank everyone who helped us along the way!)

About the Book

You read about families where everyone is happy, and life is wonderful.
That wasn’t my family.
My mother coped patiently with a drunken, obsessive gambler of a husband and a daughter with an insatiable sexual appetite. I loved my father, but he kept us one step away from the poor house. Loving my sister was harder because she hated me and constantly brought trouble to our door.
Me? I couldn’t wait to grow up and live my own life.
Then everything changed. Dad won a guest house in a card game, and suddenly we were off to a new life in Cornwall. A beautiful place steeped in legend and mystery.
Would trouble leave us alone now, or was it merely biding its time?

Excerpt from Let it Go

We hadn’t seen dad for nearly a week, and that was a long time, even for him.

Mum was going spare, ranting on about what she’d do to him when he finally came home. Poor dad, it could mean another black eye or a nose which wouldn’t stop bleeding for hours after mum lands one of her punches. This is pretty normal behaviour for my parents and had been going on for years. Considering my mother’s temper, you would think he would stop rolling home drunk and penniless, but he never did.

It was late Friday night when he finally came home. We knew it was him, even though it sounded as if something had been thrown at the front door. We listened to him fumbling with the key for ages, mum with arms folded, waiting for him to fall through it. How she controlled her temper and didn’t rush at the door and tear it from its hinges, I will never know. I think I would have done; it would have been quicker.

I heard the lock turn and dad swung in like a gust of wind, holding on to the key that was stuck in the lock. His dark, shaggy hair hadn’t seen a comb in days, and his clothes appeared to have been slept in. He stood there swaying, grinning at mum like an idiot.

She slapped his hand from the key, sending him flying across the hall, skidding on the mat that never seemed to want to stay in one place. I had a ringside seat at the top of the stairs and watched as she calmly removed the key and slammed the door.

Sally, my older sister by two years, came out of her room to see what was happening. At seventeen, she thought she’d been around the block and knew everything. As for the block, she’d been around it all right. There was no good way to describe my sister other than to call her a tart. She looked the part, too, with her smeared makeup and messy hair. Hanging over the bannister in her underwear, she told mum to kick his no good arse back out the door. Mum looked up at us with rage in her eyes and we both fled, creeping back when we felt it safe, even sliding down a few stairs to hear better.

They were in the kitchen now and something wasn’t right. Mum’s voice sounded cold, as though talking through ice cubes. We heard her say she was leaving him. After twenty years of going nowhere she’d had enough. Then silence. Why weren’t they speaking, shouting or smashing things like they normally did?

I sat there wishing I could see through the walls. I wanted to go in and say something, remind her that dad wasn’t a bad man. Stupid and unlucky, maybe, but it wasn’t his fault all his schemes and dreams came to nothing.

The silence frightened me. Mum couldn’t possibly leave him. She loved him, had stood by his crazy ideas all this time. Turning to Sally, I whispered, ‘We’ve got to do something. Put some clothes on, hurry, before Dad passes out and mum goes to sleep on the thoughts in her head.’

Sally stopped me from standing up, pulling me backwards, knocking the lower part of my back against the stairs. ‘We can’t, Mary. He’ll say something stupid in a minute, then she’ll go for him. You know what happened last time. You got mum’s elbow in your face, couldn’t see for a week.’

I looked at her, seeing her differently for a moment. Unable to stop the words from coming out of my mouth, I said, ‘I didn’t know you cared.’

‘Of course, I care, you stupid cow. You’re my kid sister.’

Was that a hurt look I saw or another of her acting games? I tried again to stand. Feeling her hand on my shoulder, I moved faster, not wanting to be pulled down again. My foot slipped forward on the edge of the carpet and gravity did the rest, pulling me headlong down the rest of the steps. I heard Sally yell, and then a chair scrape against the kitchen floor. My head hurt. I tried to move, and then someone turned out the lights.

I woke up on our living room sofa with dad holding my hand. Mum was putting a cold flannel on my head. Trying to move shot pain through the top of my head, much as I imagined dad must feel when mum slaps him with whatever comes to hand.

‘Lie still, Mary.’ Dad said. ‘Everything’s all right. Hard heads run in the family.’

From somewhere in the room, I heard Sally scoff. I struggled to sit up and could see her leaning against the doorframe, picking at her nails.

Looking dad square in the face, I said, ‘It’s not all right. Didn’t you hear mum say she’s leaving you? Couldn’t you hear the difference in her voice?’

Dad put the palm of his hand on my cheek and smiled. The smile made you believe in angels and held mum to him all these years.

‘Not to worry, Mary. I have something here that will put the warmth back in her voice.’ Taking some legal papers and a bunch of keys from his pocket, he gave them to mum and said, ‘Read it, Margaret.’

Waiting for mum to say something, to let us in on what could only be another of dad’s get-rich-schemes, seemed like waiting for hell to freeze over.

She read them once, and knowing dad of old, read them again. ‘Cornwall,’ she said finally. ‘A broken down guesthouse.’ She waved the paper at dad. ‘How did you get this with no money?’

‘Playing cards.’ Dad said. ‘I won it from old Tom. That’s where I’ve been, Cornwall, to look at the place. Margaret, it’s beautiful. Overlooks the ocean – a lick of paint, and it’ll be good as new.’

‘So, Michael Flanagan. How long has this place been closed, did you think to ask?’

‘A year or so.’

‘Right. So with eyes full of beer, you managed to figure out it’s a lick of paint we’ll be needing, nothing more?’ The temper still showed on her face and her words had thorns. It was no accident she had been born with red hair.

‘Don’t start, Margaret. Can’t you see that luck has finally found us? It’s what you’ve always wanted, to run our own place. And the money we get from this house will get us started. The girls can help out, even get paid for the work they do around the place.’

‘I don’t see myself as a chambermaid.’ Sally moaned, folding her arms across her chest like mum. She straightened her back, trying to look tough.

Dad spun on her. ‘Better than lying on your back with God knows who, whenever the mood takes you!’

Sally stormed off, and I heard the bedroom door slam shut as dad went on about her going the same way as his sister, Aunt Vivian, known hereabouts as the local bike.

Mum said he should hold his tongue.

‘Can’t do it, woman. I won’t see one of my own daughters end up on the same road. I’ll be putting the house on the market first thing in the morning. We’ve talked about nothing else for the past ten years. Now, it’s been handed to us on a plate.’

From the look on mum’s face, I could tell she was beginning to think it might be a good idea. After all, we had nothing to lose. It had plenty of rooms and hadn’t cost dad a penny, and this house would give them the money to do it up. But what on earth did they know about running a guest house? I decided that now wasn’t a good time to ask…


Two Wonderful Reviews!

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for fans of family dramas and coming-of-age stories

Fifteen-year-old Mary’s life is turned upside down when her father wins a large house in Cornwall in a card game, and her parents decide to up sticks from South West London, move down to Cornwall,  and run a bed & breakfast boarding house.  Mary does not have a good relationship with her sister Sally but is particularly close to her elderly and infirm grandmother (Nan).  Nan decides to make the biggest change of all and move with the family to live in a caravan at the end of the garden.
Mary finds an old diary written by a girl her own age who used to live in the house.   She reads of a particular event in the diary that happened years before, which she cannot get out of her mind.  Mary has a need to follow up the event and finds a new friend, Mark, who has knowledge of the local area and all its mysteries to help her in her quest.
The author has an obvious love of Cornwall, and this is evident throughout the book.   I enjoyed reading about the shifting family dynamics, Mary’s relationship with her sister, and the new life experiences that she had to learn to cope with.  I can recommend this four star read for fans of women’s fiction, family dramas, and coming-of-age stories.  There are a few grammatical errors, but they did not distract me from the story.  Well done!

 5 stars A fantastic look at family relationships

A fantastic look at family dynamics through the eyes of Mary, a fifteen-year-old who is older and wiser than her years. When her father wins a guest house in a card game, Mary’s has to adjust to a new life in Cornwall. In addition to her parents and sister, Mary also has her beloved grandmother, Nan, to aid in that adjustment.

This book is filled with wonderful characters and effortless writing. I adored the relationship between Mary and Nan. As narrator, Mary does an excellent job in allowing us to see the world through her eyes. From the vivid place descriptions to the strengths and weakness in the people around her, including her own family, the reader sees scars, faults and triumphs.

The plot thread with Mary’s sister Sally, and how the family rallies around her when she runs afoul of three local women is especially strong. I also liked the thread with Spike, an unexpected “lodger” and how his storyline turned out. The author has a great style and hooked me immediately. I plan to seek out more of her books. Consider me a fan!

These reviews for Anita’s book really thrilled us and made our writing life so much more rewarding. Everyone should review the books they read. It is easy to do and brings so much joy to writers everywhere!


I loved editing and reading Let it Go, which was probably inspired by the many holidays we have spent in Cornwall…Jaye Marie

The Midnight Library~ Best book of 2021 ~ #Fiction ~ #Review

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON
READERS’ MOST LOVED BOOK OF 2021
WINNER OF THE GOODREADS CHOICE AWARD FOR FICTION

‘BEAUTIFUL’ Jodi Picoult, ‘UPLIFTING’ i, ‘BRILLIANT’ Daily Mail, ‘AMAZING’ Joanna Cannon, ‘ABSORBING’ New York Times, ‘THOUGHT-PROVOKING’ Independent

Nora’s life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

Our Review

This book really made me think of my own choices, raising so many questions. Like, what would happen if we could choose our lives. Given this opportunity, would we choose wisely?

This quickly led to a fantasy world in my head, where I imagined what my life would have been like if I had the power to change things.

In the Midnight Library, Nora is given the opportunity to try different lifetimes to find one she liked. As I read on, I could tell that none of them were perfect. There are always parts that we must live with, isn’t there?

Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect life, seeing that humans are not perfect anyway.

This story made me appreciate all the perfect things in my own life, and I read on, hoping Nora would find something worth living for.

The Midnight Library is a beautifully written story and definitely thought-provoking.

I will remember Nora and her mission for a long time…

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 13 ~ The Harbour ~ #Review @teagangeneviene #Horror Fantasy

“Journey 13, The Harbor” is the penultimate installment of the epic fantasy series “Dead of Winter.” Action abounds as many threads are drawn together. Arawn has amassed overwhelming legions of the dead. Another unexpected but powerful foe comes into the battle. All of Emlyn’s companions and friends are in grave danger as they face insurmountable odds. Two goddesses could even the odds, but gods and goddesses are known to be unreliable. Will they help?
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Meanwhile the goal of the Society of Deae Matres is to re-create the Binding to again trap Arawn and any other nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead. Yet, what about Boabhan and Lucetius? Boabhan is at least half nightwalker. Lucetius, her son, was conceived when Arawn violated her while attempting to turn her. Will they be trapped in a new Binding along with their worst enemy? This is revealed in Journey 13.

Our Review

The penultimate instalment… the story of the Dead of Winter is nearly complete!

This is where the threads of this story get rather complicated and intense…

So many elements are gathering for the final showdown

The odds seem uneven, what with Arawn drawing the Legions of the Dead to his bidding. Surely, he must win with such an army at his disposal?

Away from the battle, Emlyn seems safe. But as she is an integral part of winning or losing, maybe she isn’t safe at all.

I worry that the Goddess Deae Matres will prove unreliable.

Is the Goddess trying to steal power from Emlyn and Lucetius for her own purpose? Emlyn seems worried too and that cannot be a good sign, although I do trust her to see the truth.

The new face in this journey is the small but mighty Goddess Coventina. She has arrived to exact revenge on Arawn but her alliance is not clear.

Could she do more harm than good?

An enchanting, yet frustrating episode, despite the upcoming battle.

Will they be able to make The Binding hold this time, and keep Arawn and the Nightwalkers in the Realm of the Dead?

Such a cliff-hanger at the end of this chapter, priming us for the final episode?

#Throwback Thursday~ A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs #Review #Thriller @KathyReichs

Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and the reason the dead man had her phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.
 
An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.
 
To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.
 
But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes …

 

Our Review

Temperance Brennan is back, but not in the pink if you know what I mean.

In this story, she has all kinds of problems, most she doesn’t have a dog’s chance of overcoming.

But you just know she will find the way.

This is the first story by Kathy Reichs I have read, but I have long been a fan of the popular tv series based on these books. It has been a real eye-opener to meet the real character.

She may not be the person I thought I knew, but she is someone I recognise. The same attention to detail and overwhelming need to know the truth.

It took me a while to accustom myself to this totally different Bones compared to the one I have been watching for years, but my first impression was favourable. The Bones in this book is a sensible, technically minded, deep thinking woman, one with a shocking sense of humour and the ability to swear like a trooper. Definitely, my kind of role model!

In A Conspiracy of Bones, Temperance is exhausted and confused, trying to come to terms with losing her job and her recent life-threatening brain trauma. She becomes involved in a nasty and mysterious crime through anonymous images and messages sent to her phone.

Written in the first person, I could feel the alienation with her circumstances, and be inside her head to know how her brain works. Frustrated with being incapacitated and unemployed, she desperately wants to discredit the one person who conspired to steal her job. Trying to solve a case long-distance tries her weakened capabilities to their limit, but fascinating to watch.

I loved the scene where she finally managed to fall asleep while looking at a tiny statue of Ganesh. I wondered if she was praying for him to solve some of her problems…

Biography

Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, and Terminal along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.

 

I Am Mayhem by Sue Coletta~ Review ~ #Paranormal Suspense @SueColetta1

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.
But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?

With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.
As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.
When Shawnee tries to fight back, she discovers her very existence is based on lies. But the full impact of the truth might become the headstone on Shawnee’s grave.

About the author

Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org awarded her Murder Blog with “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net” (Murder Blog sits at #5 — 2018-2021). She also blogs at the Kill Zone, Writer’s Digest “101 Best Websites for Writers” (2013-2021).

Sue lives with her husband and two spoiled guinea pigs in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two psychological thriller series, Grafton County Series and Mayhem Series (Tirgearr Publishing). She also writes narrative nonfiction & true crime (Rowman & Littlefield Group). She’s multi-published in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter. And recently, she appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series Storm of Suspicion. In November 2021, Sue will be a panelist at the New England Crime Bake.

Our Review

I have always loved the unusually complicated yet fascinating friction between Shawnee and My Mayhem, so I was a little surprised to find this relationship floundering after the death of Mayhem’s wife in this fourth book in the Mayhem series.

On top of this disturbing situation, a far more horrific threat has turned up, so trouble was coming at Shawnee from every angle and because of this, the story is far more tense than usual. Mysticism and murder combine to double the enjoyment of reading and I had trouble putting it down to get some sleep!

Trying hard not to reveal any spoilers, readers get the chance to see Mr Mayhem like you have never seen him before!

Myths, magic and mayhem, what more could you possibly want?

Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes #Review #HorrorFantasy @JanSikes3

The White Rune Series

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.
Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

Our Review

Rena Jett grew up inside the foster care system with her brother. I grew up in the same circumstances and identified with her every step of the way. I know how hostile and confusing her world must have been. It can confuse the way you see the world, a world you never knew existed while inside a system that meant well, but never felt like it did. The author has captured every confusing emotion and the way they interact with a person’s life, extremely well.

I especially loved Rena’s relationship with her brother, Sam. He tried so hard to be there for her and his constant caring and mysterious presence made this romantic and beautifully written love story lovely to read.

I have just heard that the second book in the White Rune series, Jagged Feathers is now available, and I cannot wait to read it!

#Throwback Thursday ~The Snow Killer by Ross Greenwood #Review #hard-boiled mystery @greenwoodross

‘Fear the north wind. Because no one will hear you scream…’

A family is gunned down in the snow but one of the children survives. Three years on, that child takes revenge and the Snow Killer is born. But then, nothing – no further crimes are committed, and the case goes cold.

Fifty years later, has the urge to kill been reawakened? As murder follows murder, the detective team tasked with solving the crimes struggle with the lack of leads. It’s a race against time and the weather – each time it snows another person dies.

As an exhausted and grizzled DI Barton and his team scramble to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the killer is hiding in plain sight. Meanwhile, the murders continue…

The first in a new series, Ross Greenwood has written a cracking, crackling crime story with a twist in its tale which will surprise even the most hardened thriller readers. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride.

Praise for The Snow Killer:

Move over Rebus and Morse; a new entry has joined the list of great crime investigators in the form of Detective Inspector John Barton. A rich cast of characters and an explosive plot kept me turning the pages until the final dramatic twist.’ author Richard Burke

‘With The Snow Killer, master of the psychological thriller genre Ross Greenwood once again proves his talent for creating engrossing and gritty novels that draw you right in and won’t let go until you’ve reached the shocking ending.’ Caroline Vincent at Bitsaboutbooks blog

‘Ross Greenwood doesn’t write clichés. What he has written here is a fast-paced, action-filled puzzle with believable characters that are spiced with a lot of humour.’ author Kath Middleton


Our Review

Detective John Barton is overworked and overweight, but one of the most likeable characters I have met in a long while. We discover that he is a happily married family man, most unusual in his line of work. His relationship with his family and colleagues is a delight to read about and a lovely contrast to the job he does.

The opening chapters are set fifty years ago in a snowstorm and sets a serious tone for the story, as a child watches in silent horror as his family is brutally slaughtered. Fifty years later, people begin to die every time it snows. But who is the Snow Killer?

The Snow Killer is a brilliantly written detective story with perfect pace and just the right amount of tension. Although, saying that, the end of the story will have you gasping for breath as the drama goes through the roof with such a twisting finale that I really didn’t see coming!

This is a story that will chill you to the bone and not just because the drama intensifies every time it snows.

I will be eagerly watching for the next story in the DI Barton series…

WIP Wednesday…

Where is my walk in the park?

There have been days in the last six months when I have had trouble doing anything writing-related. Days when I rely on autopilot to get me through the day.

What with all the worry about my sister’s health, my primary job as a carer has pretty much removed all hopes of my writing anything. Consequently, the current WIP, Ghost of a Chance, has become static. On a good day, I sit and look at it, hoping inspiration or something similar will turn up, but then duty or a problem calls, and I must walk away again.

Stubborn is as stubborn does though, and I have a new plan.

Ghost of a Chance has become a complicated mess with storyline plot holes big enough to swallow my desk and only two-thirds finished. I have realised that to keep writing, hoping it will make better sense as I go on, would be disastrous, eventually making the problem worse.

So, and I’m getting quite fond of that word, I have a new plan.

I have created a blank storyboard for all my characters, and I am slowly reading each chapter and placing them in what I hope will be the right places. This system should highlight the missing parts too, I hope.

Now I am no longer concentrating on the concluding chapters, I think I will be able to sort everything out, thereby making finishing it a real walk in the park. (Or at least something similar!)

Anita is home from the hospital, but far from well. We are taking good care of her and hoping for the best. And good news in two weeks at her check-up would be lovely too…

Ice by James Pyles ~ #Alternative History #Review @jamespyles

Ice

In aeons past, the armies of Surtur the fire goddess and Ymir the frost giant waged an unceasing battle for dominance over the Earth. For all those ages, they maintained an uneasy but enduring balance. Then humanity rose from the mud, and with the passage of time, came to fear fire more than ice, devoting their own meagre forces to the conflict. Not to be denied, Surtur beat back both mortals and giants, consigning the planet to unrelenting heat and the ice lords to seeming oblivion. Before leaving the material realm, in jest, she gave humanity the gift of magic and the curse of the return of dragons.

For thousands of years thereafter, the race of people knew nothing but a world without ice. Spanning the globe in sailing ships, the humans continued to thrive and remembered not the distant past. Then Captain Ki-Moon Yong of the Oceanic Trading Company vessel the Star of Jindo is assigned the task of solving the most profound mystery ever encountered. Another ship has gone missing and her only remaining crewman suddenly commits suicide after visiting the sunken continent of Antarctica. All of the dinosaur species of the south have gone mad, invading the guarded towns and cities on their way north, as if to escape some monstrous terror.

The answers to these enigmas all lie on the continent at the bottom of the world, and Captain Moon must take the Star to a strange research facility to discover them. But once there, he is confronted with a truth so profound and so nightmarish that it will change the very nature of reality. Can the Star of Jindo escape the inevitable in time to warn an unbelieving world of that truth, or will they be consumed in frozen horror?

Our Review

Centuries before this story was written, a battle between fire and ice was waged. Humankind endured a world of fire after the fire Goddess Surtur, defeated the frost giant Ymir and for a long time the earth had no ice, for Antarctica lay at the bottom of the ocean.

But is the ice returning?

This is an exciting adventure like no other, with dramatic scenery and gripping personalities. Intricately plotted, gritty and well written with distinctive movie quality.

Despite involving goddesses, giants and mythical beings, this version of our own world seems all too real…

The Author

James Pyles is a published science fiction and fantasy writer. He is also an Information Technology textbook author and editor, and technical writer for the IT department of a multi-state corporation. Forty of his short stories have been published in anthologies and since 2019 and he sold his first novella in 2021. James won the 2021 Helicon Short Story Award for his science fiction tale “The Three Billion Year Love” which appears in the Tuscany Bay Press Planetary Anthology “Mars.” “Ice” his first self-published science fiction novella, was published at the end of 2021. You can find him at https://poweredbyrobots.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jamespylesauthor/

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 11 ~ The Sumelazon Escarpment ~ #EpicFantasy ~ @teagangeneviene

Meet a new character in this Journey of Dead of Winter. She is a Deae Matres whose encounter with Gethin Gwilym has an unexpected result. Next in Pergesca, we get better acquainted with a noblewoman or “HaDritak,” who is an old friend of Zasha. She has a few tricks up her sleeves.
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Emlyn sees and experiences places, customs, and foods that are foreign to her. One of her gifts is growing.
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As the conclusion of Emlyn’s “Journeys” draws near, we see that our heroes are underdogs. They are out-manned, “out-spirited,” and under-powered — physically, magically, and politically. With no other recourse, they make use of deception and manipulation. Although, how can that possibly be enough?

Our Review

You tend to forget that Emlyn is so young and that this complicated and confusing journey must have terrified her at times.

So far, she has managed to face every crisis head-on, calmly, with a wisdom far beyond her years. Secret inner knowledge has guided her every step of the way.

A knowledge that I sincerely hope will stay with her until the end of the story, as I have a feeling it will become far more powerful as it draws to a close.

Powerful in ways only Emlyn will be able to control, and I hope she finds peace and happiness when the dust finally settles…