Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Ilyon Chronicles Fan Art Contest


Yes, it’s that time of year again! Time for the 2nd annual Ilyon Chronicles fan art contest! Last year’s fan art contest was a huge success, and I can’t wait to see how this year goes. You’ve got a little extra time this year—a month and a half instead of just a month. That way you can do some art from Samara’s Peril if you want. :) Just hop over the the official contest page for all the details. I’m so excited to see your entries!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review—Siren’s Song


About the Book

“The realization hits: We’re not going to win. It’s why I couldn’t defeat Draewulf in Bron—because this power was never mine anyway. I drop my arms and let the energy die off. And turn around to Face Eogan.”

After a fierce battle with Draewulf, Nym barely escaped with her life. Now, fleeing the scorched landscape of Tulla, her storm-summoning abilities are returning; only . . . the dark power is still inside her.

Broken and bloodied, Nym needs time to recover, but when the full scope of the shapeshifter’s horrific plot is revealed, the strong-willed Elemental must race across the Hidden Lands and warn the other kingdoms before Draewulf ’s final attack.

From the crystalline palaces of Cashlin to the legendary Valley of Origin, Nym scrambles to gather an army. But even if she can, will she be able to uncover the secret to defeating Draewulf that has eluded her people for generations? With a legion of monsters approaching, and the Hidden Lands standing on the brink of destruction, the stage is set for a battle that will decide the fate of the world.

This time, will the Siren’s Song have the power to save it?

My Review: 5

Wow, what a ride this series has taken me on! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. This book picks up pretty much where book two left off. Things are pretty dire, and you really wonder how it’s going to be resolved in the end. I can’t say too much without spoiling the book, but I’m satisfied with how the trilogy wrapped up. What I can say is that I think Mary Weber is fantastic at writing first person point of view. That’s one of the things I particularly loved about this series, especially since I haven’t read much for first person fantasy.

Of course, this series might not be for everyone. There was a lot of violence and, especially in book two, things felt pretty dark at depressing at times. The romance might be a bit over the top for some readers too. That said, I very much enjoyed the series. It felt very unique to me—kind of a cross between fantasy, steampunk, and X-Men. And it ends on a lighter note that makes up for the darkness that was present in parts of it. Actually, the very last line had me laughing out loud. I think it was a fantastic way to bring it to a close.

I received a copy of this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Gladiator and the Guard—Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Annie Douglass Lima’s new book, The Gladiator and the Guard! I haven’t read either books in this series just yet, but I hope to soon. I have a thing for gladiator stories, after all. ;) Below you’ll find all the book information and an excerpt. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1:

The Collar and the Cavvarach_thumb[2]Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with "have a rack"), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

The Gladiator and the Guard_thumb[3]

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) for $2.99 a discounted price of just 99 cents through May 30th!


“Go!” the guard ordered, prodding Bensin from behind with the point of his whip. “Get out there!”

A gladiator in red was jogging toward them from the Competitors’ Cave, blade bobbing up and down as he ran. He’s coming to kill me. He’s not just another opponent battling me for a trophy. He’s been told to end my life, and he’s going to do it.

“What a coward,” scoffed one of the gladiators behind Bensin. “Look at the prisoner, just standing there.”

“You can’t put it off forever, kid,” someone else called. “Get on out there. It’s time to die!”

“Go, or I’ll lash you,” warned the guard, raising his whip.

Bensin forced his legs to move, though his knees felt wobbly. He stumbled toward the center of the arena, where he had beaten his opponents in every Grand Imperial match just a few weeks ago.

There was no rope ring in place now. In regular martial arts tournaments, competitors fought within carefully defined spaces. Here, he had the whole arena floor to die in.

Are those blood splatters in the sand?

The audience was still booing enthusiastically. No one had ever booed for Bensin before. Did they really want him to die? He wondered if some of them were the same spectators who had cheered with such enthusiasm the last time he had fought here.

Will they be cheering when I’m killed?

About the Author

Annie Douglass Lima_thumb[2]Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.


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Friday, April 1, 2016

Samara’s Peril Blog Tour Signup Open!


Signup is now open for the Samara's Peril blog tour! If you are a blogger and would like to participate, simply fill out the form below. I'm also offering a signup for Amazon reviewers who don't have a blog to read and review Samara's Peril on There are limited slots for this signup and as soon as it is filled, I will take the form down.

During the tour, I will also have more character Q&A sessions, because who doesn’t love those, right? Well, besides my characters, that is. So now is the time to get me your questions! If there is anything you would like to ask any of my characters, just submit them using the last form. I’ll compile the questions throughout the month and sit my characters down for a little chat. ;)