Monthly Archives: September 2016

Virtual FantasyCon 2016



14188507_1786311431645974_4999446160604391904_oVirtual FantasyCon is a fun and interesting online event happening in October and best of all it’s free. The location is your computer. You can drop by any day during the event and check out the booths for that day. There will be authors, bloggers, editors, artists, and publishers to list just a few. There will be a Cosplay booth, Blog Hop Hunt booth, panel discussions, and a new booth this year an Author Cache Sale booth (This booth is new and is only for the participating authors on the day of each event. Books on sale for $1.99 or 0.99 can list these books in the comment section below for guests to find and buy.) It is put together by lovely people like Carol March, Raven Williams, Denise Garrou, and others who have worked behind the scenes to make this event happen.


It’s a place to catch up on your favorite author and discover new authors. There is epic fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, children’s fantasy, and YA fantasy to name just a few of the different types of authors that will have a booth during the event.



To find out more about the event check out the following social media links:


Reader’s Corner


Virtual FantasyCon


Blog Hop Hunt



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Posted by on 09/29/2016 in blog hops



Cover Reveal: Magic Unveiled Anthology

Magic Unveiled: An Anthology

Either the wondrous or the perilous awaits us when we play a hand at magic.

A hard boiled detective chases the supernatural, unveiling a frightening world right alongside modern man’s. A mother, able to grant wishes, shows us we must be careful what we wish for. An African Orisha might just pass you in downtown Los Angeles, eager to siphon some of your energy so that he will not fade out of existence.

From heart wrenching, ghostly goodbyes to relatives, to discovering sparks of otherworldly magic permeating contemporary society, these nine tales of magical realism and paranormal fantasy come together to form this enchanting and gripping anthology.

Magic Unveiled is presented to you by USA Today bestselling author Samantha LaFantasie, Seattle Times and Amazon bestselling author Raven Oak, Amazon bestselling authors Alesha Escobar and Devorah Fox, NIEA Finalist H.M. Jones, Alice Marks, Jayme Beddingfield, Ronovan Hester, and Keith Goodno.

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Posted by on 09/28/2016 in Cover Reveal



Guest Post: A Pinch of Romance, Please! by Cyci Cade


A Pinch of Romance, Please!

by Cyci Cade

                Romance is an important part of a good fantasy novel. It´s the element that helps the plot flows in an enticing and seductive way. It turns things more fascinating.

            I believe 99% of the books I´ve read are romance fantasy novels. They are my favorite genre, as well the option of great part of the readers. Do you know why? Because the idea of romance generates a feeling of anticipation and expectation.

            I believe everybody wants to love and be loved. Okay, there are exceptions. There are readers tired of romance; they want something different. Maybe a world where creatures fight for power, solitary dragon´s slayers, an epic fight between the god of chaos and the god of sun, and so on.

            I have a theory. God created the man, then He created the woman because He thought it wasn´t good for the man to be alone. He created males and females to form couples. Therefore, this feeling is rooted deep inside of all creatures. As I said, there are exceptions.

            There are fantasy books without romance. They exist. Where are they? I don´t know! Not in the best-sellers´ list. Not at the top list of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others bookstores. I´m sorry if you don´t like romance, but it is a fact.

            In a high or low level, the idea of romance between the characters adds more emotion to the story and rouses strong expectations. Why will a prince fight for his kingdom if in the end the book he doesn´t have a princess to share his accomplishments?

            It reminds me one of Arnold Schwarzenegger´s movie—Conan – The Barbarian. In the end of the movie, he sat in a throne alone. He made everything to save Valeria, but he failed. He ended alone. It wasn´t the end I was expecting. It was frustrating.

            The main point is, why to fight for power, save the world, or accomplish great things if in the end the character is alone? It doesn´t have much sense.

            It´s seems that romance fills a gap even an excellent fantasy story is unable to fill.  Do you think that Twilight series would be a success without romance? What about Divergent series? It´s dystopian, I know, but the principle is the same. What about Harry Potter? It started as juvenile books and evolved to young-adult books as the characters grew up, as well the audience. J.K. Rowling understood what readers wanted—a pinch of romance.

            How to find balance?  I suggest you to follow the bestsellers´ list and the reviews of those books. After that, read them and learn how those writers have added romance to their stories. Then, you´ll have an idea how to add romance to your book—or not—it´s your choice.

            Remember, a project is ready when you decide that it´s ready. You can always edit your manuscript and make the necessary arrangements.


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Posted by on 09/27/2016 in blog hops



Guest Post: HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO By Joseph Malik




By Joseph Malik


So, personally, I took a bit of a different tack on the hero’s journey. Pour yourselves a cup of coffee; I’m going to show you how I got here, but it’s going to take a minute.

When I started my series, some years ago, my current villain was originally the protagonist. And the current protagonist was originally my villain.

So, yeah. There have been some changes made. I want to talk about how I got here from there, because there’s a lot to be said about finding the real story within your story, and identifying the hero.

The first draft of Dragon’s Trail was the same story that everyone writes in high school, I think: a group of gamers find their way into another universe. This story is still being told; c.f. Stranger Things. Not that it’s not genius, but I was telling this story – a mix of The Neverending Story and Poltergeist – back in 1988.

Follow-on drafts became a book called Of Memory and Empire, a story of a young Vegas stage magician here on Earth who can do actual magic but can’t tell anyone about it. He gets summoned to another world, where he learns that he’s actually a lost prince. Together with a few friends he makes in this fantasy world, he develops his magic and combines it with modern knowledge to win back his father’s throne, fulfilling a prophecy. (I still have that manuscript, and will eventually release it as a prequel. Relax; it’s coming.)

As I began shopping Of Memory and Empire, I started plotting sequels.

Thought experiment: Think of any college kid you know who’s upset that things aren’t going his way and he has to actually work at stuff. Now make him a king, impervious to judgment and consequence. Now give him Gandalf powers.

See it, now? That.

Like most people thrust into positions of power, he has no idea how to handle it, and turns into a jerk. In my line of work, we call this a second- or third-order effect. Action – consequence – consequence. Dominoes falling.

Third-order effect: About ten years later, a neighboring country learns that the king next door is actually an alien, and the things he’s doing – the laws and rights he’s instituting – make no sense to them and pose a serious threat to their power. (The working title for Dragon’s Trail was originally The Year Everyone Got Nervous.) The neighboring kingdom launches a mission to Earth to find someone to kill the sorcerer-king.

For this, I needed a ringer. I had them hire a drunken, violent, down-on-his-luck stuntman from Earth; a wisecracking, womanizing, alcoholic, volatile loose cannon who was good with a sword and knew all the fantasy tropes from his work on movie sets. He was wonderful to write: outrageous, funny, spontaneously and hilariously violent. He kept surprising me as I wrote him, and I started to really resonate with him.

When he still didn’t seem dark enough, I added a backstory, and made him a fallen-from-grace Olympic saber hopeful who’d killed another fencer in a drunken duel. When I developed a fictional world of illegal underground dueling, the whole thing flipped, and I realized that the real story in all this was about the drunken swordsman’s personal struggle for redemption, not the young magician’s “coming of age in a magical world.” Because come on. That story has been told ten thousand times. Maybe twenty.

But this one:

The morning’s breath in his throat, dry and ugly; a grip in his gut as a solid year of hell—still so fresh he could smell it if he lay still enough—stampeded across the darkness. A delusional ex-champion with a rapier. Endless months of crying coaches and shouting lawyers. A kaleidoscope of TV cameras and microphones, a magnificent life vanished like sand through his fingers, and a girl, achingly beautiful, who might as well be a ghost now. All of it an utter screw-up.

And now this.

Nobody’s telling this story. It’s the story within the story, and it’s where the real heroism in the tale resides.

By flipping the lens, the series ceased being the coming-of-age, “Voyage of Discovery” Young Adult “Tale of the Lost Prince™,” and became an adult-themed redemption saga about a man who lost his entire life and is crawling out of a bottle one Kardashian fencing lesson and back-alley duel at a time when he gets a chance to put it all on the line and possibly win his soul back. It’s a much better story. More to the point, it’s a story that nobody else is telling. In point of fact, I didn’t even have to prologue the sorcerer-king’s backstory; it’s been told so many times that I could knock it out in a few paragraphs in Dragon’s Trail. You already know his story. You know it so well that I can tell another story altogether, and weave that one in.

The real story is not always the story you set out to tell. You need to take a good, hard look at your story and your characters and see if you’re telling the important part of the tale.

We see this a lot if we know where to look. I’m not alone in thinking that the real story in Twilight is the story of Charlie Swan – a jaded 40-something cop in a small town who discovers a supernatural war between werewolves and vampires, with the leaders of both clans vying for the affections of his emotionally distant, brain-dead, horny teenage daughter. Holy crap; you couldn’t tear me away from a series like that. Throw in a series of movies with Charlie Swan portrayed by the criminally underrated Billy Burke (doing his best wisecracking, gun-slinging John McClain/Jim Hopper impression) and you’ve got me for life. Take my money; I’ll buy every book and every movie ticket in advance. Right now.

The hero’s journey doesn’t have to be the bildungsroman. It doesn’t have to be the same journey that every other hero takes. Every one of us is the hero in our own story; that’s one of the essential points of being human. Your hero may not be who you think it is. Everyone you meet is in the middle of a war.

Look closely at everyone. Find their heroism. Now, look closely at your characters. Find theirs. Write it.

– JM


brooks-brothersJoseph Malik writes and lectures on advanced intelligence theory and asymmetric warfare for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has worked as a stuntman, a highrise window washer, a freelance writer, a computational linguist, a touring rock musician, and a soldier in the United States Special Operations Command. His hobbies include boxing, fencing, Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA), traditional archery, and linguistics. A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he lives in the Pacific Northwest along with his wife and their two dogs, and currently serves in the Army Reserve.

Dragon’s Trail is his first novel, slated for release on September 30th, 2016. A sequel, The New Magic, is scheduled for summer 2017.

An interview is available on the website.

Social media:

Author website

Blog: On Writing and Fighting




DRAGON’S TRAIL by Joseph Malik

“I didn’t come here to sell my soul. I came here to buy it back.” Once dubbed “The Deadliest Man Alive,” Jarrod Torrealday is a former Olympic saber hopeful and medieval weapons expert banned from competition for killing another fencer in a duel. He now scrapes by as a stuntman and technical consultant for low-budget fantasy films. A young sorcerer from another world offers Jarrod the gig of a lifetime: adviser to the war council of a magical realm teetering on the edge of collapse, with a foreign army massing just beyond its borders. Swept into a treacherous and deadly world of intrigue and conspiracy, Jarrod soon learns that the enemy mastermind is also from Earth, and has laid the foundations for a new kind of war.

Dragon’s Trail is currently available through Kindle Unlimited and is also available for review and comment on Goodreads.

Digital edition ISBN: 978-0-9978875-0-1 ISBN: 978-0-9978875-1-8 Oxblood Books 4810 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW #204 Gig Harbor, WA 98335

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Posted by on 09/26/2016 in blog hops



#IWSG: Writing


Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Thanks to Alex for hosting this each month. Here is the complete list of participants.

It’s been a busy time for me the last few months. I’ve been helping to put a blog tour together that happens at the end of this month. Putting one together is hard work but a learning experience at the same time for if I ever want to do one of my own. Which I will admit it has given me some possible ideas for the future. 🙂

Writing is going good. I’ve finally put the projects in the order of what needs to be finished first due to deadlines that I have given myself. Having deadlines has made me feel more accountable and writing is getting done.

Have started working on potential ideas for next year’s A to Z challenge. This time I’m going to make sure I have all the posts written at least before April. If I can get that part of it done then the scheduling will be easy.

That’s it for now. Look forward to your comments. 🙂








The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting Review

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


Review Tour for THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights #2) by Mary Ting!

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About THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights Book 2)


A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine

When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.

There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.


Order this title at these online retailers:

Amazon US Amazon UK 


 Add THE CHOSEN KNIGHTS to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Teaser of The Chosen Knights (Book 2) by Mary Ting:


“It’s beautiful.” I breathed. How this pendant, which was the size of his thumb, could give off so much light was unfathomable.

“Isn’t it?” Eli agreed, staring intensely at me while taking a step toward me.

My heart pounded mercilessly from his words. A hint of playfulness was behind his tone, especially since he wasn’t staring at his pendant but directly at me.

“Umm.” My face flushed. I changed the subject. “We need to get back to our friends. They’re worried about us, and they might need our help.”

He took another step, followed by my backward step. We continued that way for several steps more until I bumped into a tree.

“They’ll be fine,” he said. “Time stands still when we astral travel. It sounds strange, but we could be here for days, and only seconds will have passed in the present.” Eli stood before me with hunger in his eyes. The nearness of his six-foot-plus strong and masculine body caused fluttering feelings to erupt in my stomach.

“What are you, Eli?” I tried to break whatever was happening between us because God help me, I was falling.

Eli cupped my face tenderly with the palms of his hands. With his eyes deeply set on me, I imagined he could see right through my soul. “I am…everything,” he answered softly but sternly. Then he paused to brush his lips ever so gently on mine. “And you…are my girl with wings.” I was frozen in place, as stiff as the tree trunk supporting my back. The only thing that moved was my chest and my heart racing at the same speed as his. Just before he crushed his lips onto mine, he said in somber tone, “You will be the destruction of me.” 


Review of The Chosen Knights (The Angel Knights #2):

I couldn’t put it down. It’s another great installment to the series. Love the characters and world that Mary has created. It is full of twists and turns. Readers will be drawn into the story from the first page. If you haven’t read this one or the first one you need to you won’t be disappointed. Put it on your TBR list. I look forward to reading the next one in the series.



Check out the entire Angel Knights series!



About THE ANGEL KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights Book 1)


Michael and Claudia’s decision to move back to Crossroads was to keep their children safe, but they can’t escape who they are. Their children, Zachary and Lucia, were destined to be demon hunters—Venators. From the age they were able to hold a sword, they were trained to become the best and to ensure they would become leaders one day.

All is peaceful throughout the land until the Fallen and demons’ presences were felt in the between and on Earth. As the Venators investigate these locations, they will quickly learn how dangerous their lives are. Hearts will be broken. Teammates will lose their lives. And they will face obstacles which will test their faith.

As danger grows, the fear of fallen angels and demons regrouping has the Divine Elders on pins and needles. Now, Zachary and Lucia, along with Uncle Davin, must prepare themselves—mentally and physically—to live on Earth to investigate where the focal point of evil resides before it’s too late.


Add THE ANGEL KNIGHTS to your TBR pile on Goodreads!


Order this title at these online retailers:

Amazon US Amazon UK 



About THE BLESSED KNIGHTS (The Angel Knights Book 3)


Eli, Lucia’s half-demon love interest, has been stabbed with a true-cross dagger and captured by Cyrus, master of the possessor demons.


The Chosen Knights must work together once again not only to save Eli, but also to decipher a clue to find the second missing page of Jacques de Molay’s journal. Meanwhile, Uncle Davin informs Crossroads Divine Elders of the danger ahead and learns there is much more to fear.


Countless children are being taken from all over the world to be turned into demons.


Michael, one of the Divine Elders, has no choice but to intervene. The Chosen Knights track down Mortem, the demon who is the key to finding Cyrus, and learn they must travel deep into the pit of a Hawaiian volcano.


When they astral travel to the past in search of a clue and follow Jacques de Moley to Roselyn Chapel in medieval Scotland, what they find will rewrite history.


Out October 28, 2016

Pre-Order this title at these online retailers:

Amazon US Amazon UK | Amazon AUAmazon CA


 Add THE BLESSED KNIGHTS to your TBR pile on Goodreads!



1 Grand Prize: $20 Giftcard to Amazon

2 Runner-Ups: Digital Edition of Any Backlist Title from M. Clarke or Mary Ting

Rafflecopter Giveaway


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Author Bio:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great.
Connect with Mary:

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Newsletter |

Instagram | Pintrest | Goodreads


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Posted by on 09/01/2016 in Reviews


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