Tag Archives: fantasy

Review of Return of the Dragons by R.S.Williams

As you will have noticed, I took the festive season off. Now I’m back!

Happy New Year to you all.

Today I’m posting a book review. I finished reading this book a while ago, but have only just got around to reviewing it.

Overview.

This book is the second part of the Kane Saga. It continues where the first book left off.

Story

Elijah, the prince who was believed to be dead, has returned and is now betrothed to Princess Sienna.

The dragons, hidden in human form, are making themselves known. 

But Elijah has to go on a quest and leave his beloved behind. The dragons tell him that two things are needed to defeat the Master. One is a staff and the other a time. 

He sets off with his trusty friend, Salah, a grumpy dragon called Maelor and a feisty elf.

Needless to say, all does not go according to plan.

The plot is interesting and gripping. But sadly, it does not resolve the problems but leaves you hanging in the air, waiting for the next book. I don’t like series that do this. It’s a serial, not a series. Although in all fairness, Ms Williams calls it a Saga, not a series.

Blurb

Having grown up in Rheanydd, all Elijah wanted to focus on was entering the annual Hollom horse race. A year later, he’s one of Princess Sienna’s Elite bodyguards in Adelith, where he learns more about his hazy past every day.

King Roderick’s solution to Eli being revealed as the missing crown heir is to marry Eli to Princess Sienna and combine their two bloodlines. But when a body is found with a blood-splattered message and the queen reveals a secret about Eli’s magic, a wedding is the last thing on everyone’s mind.

Eli starts to doubt the Dragon Elders’ motives when their answers only come in the form of cryptic messages. Yet he can’t help but feel a connection between the dragons and himself. So, he agrees to fulfil their task to get the relics before The Master’s Agents of Cyran.

But the agreement between the dragons and his father is due to end soon, setting the dragons free from their human forms and able to rebuild their race. Unless The Master gains control of them.

Can Eli and the dragons work together to stop The Master from getting the relics, or will he gain control over the dragons to rebuild the world and become a god?

Characters.

I enjoyed the characters in this book. They are all different, with their own characteristics. Maelor is always grumpy. Salah is always loyal. 

They are all well-drawn.

Writing.

Sadly, like the first book, this is riddled with errors. I found a number on every page. Grammar, wrongly used words, typos, syntax. Also, I understand that the author is from Somerset, England, yet at least once she uses the American, ‘gotten’. While not wrong in an American book, it struck a harsh chord here.

There were other things not strictly wrong, but that gave me a strange picture. Like ‘Eli dropped his eyes to the ground.’ Too many superfluous words, mainly prepositions, too. 

Punctuation also left a lot to be desired, too. Often there were commas where there should have been a full stop, and missing commas when someone was named. And there were a few places where I had to go back and read a sentence or paragraph more than once to make sense of it 

This is such a pity, because the story is good, but because of my experience with the writing in the first two books, I am wondering if I can manage to read the next one.

This month is National Reading Group Month.

October is National Reading Group Month.

If you are a member of a reading group, would you like to share with us what your group is reading?

I would be interested in what you have to say about reading groups.

  1. Do you think they are helpful? If so, in what way?

2. How does your group choose the books you are going to read?

3. How long do you have to read it before you meet to discuss it?

4. Do you meet and discuss parts of the book?

5. What kind of things do you talk about when you meet?

6. Are there any groups that specialise in particular genres; for example, historical fiction, women’s literature, science fiction, literary etc.

If you aren’t in a reading group, perhaps you could tell us something about your favourite genre, and what is your favourite book?

I’m not in a reading group. However, I enjoy fantasy, historical fiction and science fiction. Having said that, there are many books not in those sections that I enjoy.

As to my favourite books. Well, that’s a difficult one. It might well be the last book I read, provided it’s not dire!

I really enjoyed reading the latest book by Diana Wallace Peach, The Necromancer’s Daughter. You can read my review of it in last Monday’s post.

Miserichorde by Cynthia A. Morgan is another fantasy I’ve enjoyed recently. You can read my review here.

Of course there is The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. A brilliant series. The characters really gripped me. It is currently being filmed by Amazon and screening on Prime. I’ve not reviewed any of these books, but be assured, they are excellent.

I enjoyed Down to the Needle, by Mary Deal, too. Another talented writer. This is a gripping tale of a woman’s search for her daughter, and her fight to save her from execution. My review is here.

Shadow Stalker series by Renee Scattergood is another good fantasy series (my review of book 2 is here.) as is The Secret of Excalibur and the other Excalibur books by Sahara Foley. (My review of Book 2, the Revenge of Excalibur is here.)

Please answer in the comments box.

And while I’m at it, Jealousy of a Viking is now available as an audiobook. Here is something of what the narrator, Ink Arnadine, said about it.

I am absolutely loving the book and have read on to chapter 20 in the guise of ‘prep’ but honestly, it’s because I am loving the story! These are the signs of a really enjoyable, great read and it’s a real pleasure (and honour) to have the opportunity to narrate it.

I like your writing, the flow is elegant and informative and utterly compelling. Absolutely fab. Your amazing narrative flow is the absolute backbone of this story.

You really are a great writer and although this is only the second book of yours I have read, I am keen to add more to my recreational reading list! There is an honesty of emotion and emotional strength in your writing that I absolutely adore.

If you would like to listen, here are the links.

UK audio and US audio

Or if you prefer to read it, follow this link and it will take you to where you can buy it from your favourite supplier.

Review of The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower by Charles E. Yallowitz

Review of Prodigy of Rainbow Tower by Charles Yallowitz 

OVERVIEW:

This is a continuation of the story told in The Beginning of a Hero. In this book, Luke and his companions, Fritz, the gnome, Nimby, the halfling, Aeden, the priest,and Fizzle, the little dragon-like creature known as a drite, set off to escort the heir to Duke Solomon home to Gods’ Voice.

First, though, they need to collect a caster apprentice from Rainbow Tower. She is a very prickly individual. Her first meeting with Luke does not go well.

The book is full of action. On the journey along the L’landrin River, they meet with traps and agents of the litch from book 1 that are trying to kill them.

We also learn that the litch is serving a much more powerful master that even the gods themselves fear.

This book has some shocking twists, but \I won’t spoil it by letting the cat out of the bag.

You will laugh and cry reading this book.

BLURB

Luke Callindor and his friends are about to learn that the life of an adventurer can be brutally unforgiving.

Hungering for another adventure, Luke agrees to escort the heir of Serab along the L’dandrin River and into the safety of Gods’ Voice. A deadly gauntlet of cunning traps and savage creatures lay before the young warrior and his companions. Lacking the powerful magic needed to combat his enemies, Luke’s survival and victory may be in the hands of his newest ally. That’s if the temperamental Nyx doesn’t set him on fire first.

Luke will bravely face everything that is thrown at him, but how can he defend himself when he’s ignorant of the truth behind his mission?

CHARACTERS

Mr Yallowitz has continued to enthral his readers with his story. We meet a new character in this book. She is the Prodigy of the title. Her name is Nyx and she is an extremely powerful caster. Sadly, she has a character flaw. She loses her temper extremely quickly, and with her being such a powerful caster, with a tendency to use fire magic, she is a dangerous individual.

Mr Yallowitz writes strong women. I love them.

We meet a new enemy, Trinity, the Queen of the Chaos Elves, who wishes to exact revenge on Nyx after they fight over the rooftops. Of course there is the Hellfire Elf who seems almost human in his desire to get his revenge on Luke.

There is the usual squabbling between friends, but nothing serious. This is how friends behave in real life. And we see lasting friendships beginning to form.

Nyx’s growing friendship with Luke makes her become less prickly.

As before, Luke and his friends are well-drawn. I fell in love with them all, but especially Fizzle.

WRITING

The world is believable, and fully realised and described.

We are introduced to a number of fight scenes that Mr Yallowitz describes excellently. As I have already said, the characters are well drawn and believable, and change as we progress through the book.

Sadly, though, this book has many typos, as well as grammatical errors and the wrong word used in some cases. (as Nyx’s weapon, a morning star, which Mr Yallowitz calls a mourning star all through the book.)

This gave me a problem as to how to rate it. The story deserves 5*, but the typos and grammar should have put it at 3*. I compromised by going with the average.

I gave the book 4*

My ranking of books. In order to get a particular number of stars, it is not necessary to meet all the criteria. This is a guide only.

5* Exceptional. Wonderful story. Setting well drawn, and characters believable. Not perfect, but with flaws. Will keep you up all night. No typos or grammatical errors.

4* A thoroughly enjoyable read. Great and original story. Believable setting and characters. Very few grammatical errors or typos.

3* I enjoyed it. Good story. Characters need some development. Some typos or grammatical errors.

2* Not for me. Story not very strong. Unbelievable and flat characters. Setting not clearly defined. Many typos or grammatical errors.

1* I hated it. Story almost non-existent. Setting poor. Possibly couldn’t finish it.

Book review, review of Legends of Windemere, Charles Yallowitz, The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, fantasy, fantasy review,

Review of Beginning of a Hero by Charles Yallowitz 

OVERVIEW:

I got this as a bundle of 3 books, but I am going to review them separately as I read them.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Luke Callindor, even though he has a very Earth-like name for a half-elf!

It is filled with action and great characters. We have a mystery at the beginning. Luke is contracted to safeguard the heir to Serabia. There is only one problem. He doesn’t know who the heir is, for even whether he’s protecting a male or female. When Luke discovers who it is, he is plunged into further problems as he is pursued by a powerful lich and a demonic elf.

BLURB:

Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

CHARACTERS:

Luke Callindor is the main character in this story. He is a forest ranger, tasked with keeping the forest in good health, but he is not the only one of interest.

There is a halfling called Nimby who is great fun. He’s a retired thief and helps Luke in his quest to find out whom he is supposed to be protecting.

Fritz, a gnome, is an illusionist and his illusions are a help in the story. His steed, bizarrely, is a sheep!

Luke, Nimby and Fritz are joined by a half-elf priest, Aedin who is invaluable when people get injured. As they do during the practice fights in the Acadamy.

My favourite character, though, is not humanoid, but a small dragon, a drite called Fizzle. Fizzle is a simple creature, but not without intelligence. He loves apples, especially when baked in a pie.

And there is Luke’s loyal companion, a dog called Stilletto.

As the main character, Luke develops from an inexperienced young fighter to one who learns that strength isn’t the only way to win fights.

All the characters are well-drawn, and have their own clear characteristics, as well as character flaws.

WRITING:

There are a few typos, and, in a couple of places a wrong word is used, but on the whole the writing is good.

Mr Yallowitz paints a clear picture of the world he has created. He shows us how the characters react to each other so we can easily picture the scene.

I enjoyed reading this book and will soon be starting on the second one.

I gave the book 4*

How I rank books.

In order to get a particular number of stars, it is not necessary to meet all the criteria. This is a guide only.

5* Exceptional. Wonderful story. Setting well drawn, and characters believable. Not perfect, but with flaws. Will keep you up all night. No typos or grammatical errors.

4* A thoroughly enjoyable read. Great and original story. Believable setting and characters. Very few grammatical errors or typos.

3* I enjoyed it. Good story. Characters need some development. Some typos or grammatical errors.

2* Not for me. Story not very strong. Unbelievable and flat characters. Setting not clearly defined. Many typos or grammatical errors.

1* I hated it. Story almost non-existent. Setting poor. Possibly couldn’t finish it.

First book in series, FREE

Get a free copy of the first book in 3 of my series.

Vengeance of a Slave

A story set in Roman Britain

The Wolf Pack

An epic fantasy tale

The Stones of Earth and Air

A fantasy story of mystery, adventure and danger

If you get the books, or any of them, I would greatly appreciate a comment on Amazon and/or Goodreads, or anywhere else for that matter, depending on which platform you get the book.

Reviews are most important to authors. They are the main way we get our books known. Just a simple comment on whether you liked the book or not, with a reason is enough.

3 first in series free.

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Vengeance of a Slave

A story set in Roman Britain

Prolific Works – Claim a free copy of Vengeance Of A Slave (A Family Through The Ages Book 1)

The Wolf Pack

An epic fantasy tale

Prolific Works – Claim a free copy of The Wolf Pack (The Wolves of Vimar Book 1)

The Stones of Earth and Air

A fantasy story of mystery, adventure and danger

Prolific Works – Claim a free copy of The Stones of Earth and Air (Elemental Worlds Book 1)

The Final Part of War of Nytefall is available at last.

On the eve of Clyde’s dream becoming reality, his life will be torn asunder.

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

As his dream of peace becomes a reality, Clyde faces his darkest challenge.

With the Dawn Fangs’ existence exposed, the time for negotiations has begun. Mortal rulers and the council of Nytefall gather to discuss terms, but chaos is already stirring. It does not take long for Clyde’s dream to become a nightmare as villages are slaughtered by a Dawn Fang who is rumored to be the newly crowned Vampire King. Bodies of friends and enemies pile up as this mysterious imposter reveals why mortals should fear Clyde. Will Clyde’s final adventure see his dream of peace fail before it is realized?

The truth is more horrifying than the Dawn Fangs ever imagined.

*****

Curiosity piqued? Check out this teaser!

The Truth?

Coming to the windmill, Magrus coats his body in a protective shell and carefully climbs to the top of the broken structure. Slowly turning in a circle, he scans the area to get a full sense of the remaining magic. He ignores the auras of the guards, who are sifting through the wreckage to find more bodies. Those who have been located have already been moved to the outskirts where they are being prepared for transport. Peering down the narrow road, he can see an oxen-driven cart is getting closer and sighs at how it will not be enough to collect all of the dead. Magrus considers warning the lieutenant, but he fears it will lead to a long conversation and waste more of his precious time. He turns to where the man is helping to prop up a wall, which has crushed a family of four. Shaking his head, the Zarian climbs down from his perch and uses his staff to help him navigate his way out of town. Nothing catches his interest, but he stops momentarily to send a few more lost souls to the afterlife.

“Let us see what really happened,” Magrus whispers as he reaches the woods.

Turning back to the village, the man plunges his staff into the earth and grips it tightly to prevent himself from falling over. His eyes develop a rainbow shimmer over the gold as he wavers on his feet. Fighting through the looming fatigue, the priest lets his magical vision change from what is in front of him to revealing phantoms of the past. Transparent buildings rise back into place and ghostly figures go about their lives even though he can still sense a little of what is truly there. Magrus scowls at the sight of a black-haired figure landing a few feet away, the puff of dirt revealing an illusion covering the small crater. Within seconds of appearing, the man rushes at the town and begins destroying everything in sight. Using only his fists and feet, he breaks houses and shatters people. The attacker’s speed is almost too much for the Zarian to follow, so he focuses on examining the phantasmal carnage for clues. He spots bite marks on several necks and sees the chickens were devoured in the blink of an eye. Torches and candles are knocked over to start the fires, which explode into an inferno connected to the illusionary plume of smoke. Magrus is not sure what caused the sudden blast since the attacker had been tearing the local blacksmith in half at the time. Deciding he has seen enough, the man freezes the vision before falling to his knees from the exertion. He is able to hold the image for another second before it disappears, but it still gives him a clear view of the rampaging figure.

“This cannot be shared,” Magrus says as he takes out a piece of paper. He mutters a spell to transfer the image of a black-haired man with a corn-shaped necklace from his brain to the parchment. “It would appear that Clyde of Nytefall is not as big a fan of peace as one would believe. Yet, I still see mysteries here. The fires grew without his influence and I see no reason why he would want this place discovered. I have many questions, Lady Zaria, so I cannot purify the Vampire King until I have answers. There has never been a man or monster who has escaped my thorough investigations. This one will be no different. I swear on my goddess’s crimson hair that Clyde and the Dawn Fangs will be judged. Then, if necessary, they will be punished.”

Click here for your copy of the Dawn Fangs’ final battle for
99 cents on Amazon!
Help spread the word by adding it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

*****

New to War of Nytefall?Grab all 8 Volumes for 99 cents each ($8 total)!

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Interested in more Windemere?  Then don’t forget to check out Charles E. Yallowitz’s first series: Legends of Windemere

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Enjoy Clyde’s final adventure by clicking here!

The Stones of Fire and Water

Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay

Here is an idea that would make excellent Christmas presents for a young adult in your family, or even for a not-so-young adult!

Did you get your free copy of The Stones of Earth and Air at the beginning of the month? If so, you can now get the second (and final) ebook for only 0.99 £ or $ from today until 29th.

Find out if Pettic manages to get the gems from the worlds of Fire and Water. What are the quests he will have to undertake in these worlds? (If you like dragons and mermaids, you’ll like this book.)

Will he be able to use these keys to rescue Crown Prince Torren? And who has imprisoned the prince? If he does manage to release him, how can anyone know the real prince from the doppleganger?

Click on the button to go to Amazon where you are.

If you missed the freebie earlier, you can get a copy of The Stones of Earth and Air by clicking the following button.

Both books are available as audio books, and in other formats, too.

Evenings are now drawing in, and we will have the long, dark nights to contend with. What do we do? We sit around the fire and read a good book.

Escape from the cold by reading.

Wolf Moon

is also on offer for 0.99 £ or $ from today until 29th. Follow the adventures of half of the group that calls itself Wolf as they try to escape from the enemies pursuing them after their friends have been captured. (Read about that in The Never-Dying Man.)

Follow them deep into the mountain caves where a surprise awaits them.

Get your copy by clicking on the button below.

Although the third book in the Wolves of Vimar series, this book can be read as a standalone.

If you buy either of these books (or any others) please consider leaving a comment on Amazon. Comments and reviews are very important to authors. There are millions of books, and it’s very difficult to get people to find books they’ll enjoy, so reviews and comments are useful to them as well.

Please leave any comments in the comments box.

NEW BOOK RELEASED

I apologise for no post last week, but I’ve been away on holiday for the last week, without internet access! Shock, horror!

Anyway, when I got back to civilisation, I found that my latest book has been released in my absence. I knew it was close, but not that close.

This one is another of the fantasy series, The Wolves of Vimar prequels. I’ve already written the story of Carthinal’s parents, Jovinda and Noli, and Carthinal himself, The Making of a Mage. This one tells the story of Aspholessaria, known as Asphodel, and the turbulent affairs that led to her becoming a priestess of Sylissa goddess of life and healing.

Here’s the blurb.

Escaping an arranged marriage, young elf Asphodel flees her homeland with her lover, Vass.
They find a home in the capital of Erian, but their idyllic life soon comes crashing down when Vass gets in with the wrong crowd.
Can they resolve their problems, and can Asphodel find her dreams of helping others and living a life of peace and harmony?

And a brief taster.

This is where Asphodel arrives in the Grosmerian city of Bluehaven for the first time, along with a priestess she met on the way.

Asphodel and Trinelli sat alongside the driver as the caravan approached Bluehaven.

Asphodel sniffed. “There’s a smell in the air. It’s not unpleasant, though, just different from anything I’ve smelled before.”

Trinelli smiled at the girl. “That’ll be the sea. Bluehaven lies on the Inner Sea, almost directly opposite Holy Isle and Aspirilla, the capital of Grosmer. It’s the biggest of the three seas and the one furthest away from the ocean.”

Asphodel could see the white houses of the city in the distance. They gleamed in the summer sunshine as they tumbled down the hill to the sea. From this elevation, Asphodel could see the harbour. There were two large ships there, and a number of smaller ones.

Surrounding the harbour, the houses were smaller and not as white. They huddled together as if for shelter from the waves of the sea.

Soon the caravan approached the walls and stopped at the gate, along with other wagons waiting to enter. Asphodel looked at the chaos. Something was stopping them from moving forward. Straining her eyes, she saw a large wagon stuck in the gateway. People rushed around shouting.

“He’ll have to come back,” someone shouted.

“No, if we push we can get him through.”

A third voice said, “Stupid of him not to think of the width of the gate. He’s been here before.”

People milled around, no one knowing what to do. Six men got behind the stuck wagon and pushed. Nothing moved.

Trinelli sighed. “Looks like we’ll be here for a while.”

As she said this, a cheer sounded from the gate and the wagon popped through like a cork out of a bottle.

After a further half-hour’s wait, their turn came and a guard inspected all the wagons to make sure they were not carrying any contraband.
He poked and prodded at everything inside, then asked them to get down. “Open your packs, please.”

After rifling through everything, and creasing up their spare clothes, he waved them through. The driver clucked to the horses and they rolled on through the gate. Asphodel looked up as they passed under the arch. It looked solid at first glance, but she noticed a few of the stones had begun to come loose. The walls were in not much better state. It would not take much to make them collapse.

She asked Trinelli about it.

The priestess shrugged. “Walls aren’t needed nowadays. There are no wars. The old days, when city fought city, have long passed.”

Asphodel gazed around. The smell of the sea was stronger here in the city. She breathed deeply. It smelled of freedom and adventure. Seabirds wheeled above them, crying their raucous calls to one another.

“I wonder what they’re saying,” she said to Trinelli. “They have lots of different calls. They must all mean something.”

Trinelli shrugged. “I’ve never given it much thought. They’re just birds that are always here, making a noise. They can be annoying first thing in the morning when you want to sleep.”

“But they’re so beautiful. Look how white they are against the blue sky.”

The birds soared above them as the wagons began to descend the hill into the city.

Asphodel thought this city more beautiful than Frelli. As their wagon trundled on, they passed buildings of white stone that seemed to glow in the sunlight. There was a park with trees, and Asphodel determined she would go there as soon as she could. There had been no trees in Frelli.
They arrived at the caravanserai, which was close to the harbour. There were seven wagons in their caravan. Four of them carried goods, and only three had passengers.

As they descended from the seat on the wagon and retrieved their things from the back, Trinelli turned to Asphodel. “Where are you going to stay? Have you any idea?”

Asphodel’s face fell. “No. And I’ve only my ring. I’ll need to sell it after all, in spite of your kindness.”

Trinelli shook her head. “No! I’ll not let you sell something that means so much to you.”

“I won’t take anything more from you. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, but I’m on my own now. We’re here, and I’m safe from Vass. I’ll manage.”

“You don’t need to take anything from me. Come with me to the temple. See how we live and if you’d like to join us as a lay healer.” She smiled. “I can understand if being a priestess might not be what you want.”

The pair walked the short distance from the caravanserai to the Temple of Sylissa. Here the temples were scattered around the city. Trinelli told her that some cities had a temple district where the temples of all the gods clustered together.

The temple of Sylissa stood much taller than the other buildings around it and Asphodel could easily see its dome over the roofs. They crossed a busy market square, with bustling crowds shopping at the many stalls. Shopkeepers and stallholders cried their wares to the passers-by, but Trinelli did not stop and so Asphodel had to content herself with brief glimpses of the wares.

Being on the sea, Bluehaven had things for sale that Asphodel had never seen before. What were those small, blue fruits? A large leafy vegetable caught her eye, but it was red, not green.

One trader called out “Dragon sausages. Get your dragon sausages. Real dragon meat from the dragons in the Mountains of Doom.”

I wonder if they’re really dragon meat? I didn’t know you could eat them. I thought they would be more likely to eat you

Asphodel drew her cloak closer to herself and kept glancing from side to side. So many people.

“Keep close and hold on your ring,” Trinelli whispered to her. “There are pickpockets here.”

Asphodel looked around. Most people appeared prosperous, but every so often, a ragged child appeared. She thought she saw a handsome, auburn-haired youth take something from a girl of similar age and then walk casually away. Were these the pickpockets? She gripped her ring as tightly as she could.

Trinelli led her along a broad street leading up the hill from the market. The round temple of Sylissa stood tall in a square with a fountain in the centre. Shops surrounded the other three sides and people wandered in and out, stopping to chat with people they knew.

If you would like to read more of Asphodel and why she was in Bluehaven, you can read all about it in Dreams of an Elf Maid, available from Amazon. Simply click on the book title to go to Amazon where you are.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Did you enjoy that brief extract? Perhaps you wondered why Asphodel left Vass, the love of her life. I’m not going to tell you, of course. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments box.

If you would like to know more about me, and get an exclusive short story, then click on the link below. This will sign you up to my newsletter. I only send one each quarter, so you won’t be bombarded with emails.

If you sign up, you can unsubscribe at any time, but the exclusive story will be yours to keep. You will be unable to get it anywhere else.

bramble, the dog

I don’t usually interview animals, but today I’m welcoming a dog to my blog. Rather than ask him questions, I think I’ll allow him the freedom to tell you about himself in his own words.

Hi. My name’s Bramble and I’m a dog.

I’m quite a big dog. At least I’m bigger than the others I lived with. I’m what humans call black and tan.

I live in the pages of a book, or rather, a series of books, called The Wolves of Vimar, and you’ll meet me first in book 1, The Wolf Pack.

Let’s get back to me and my life.

After Borolis came and took me from my mother, I cried. I cried quite a lot. He took me to his farm where I met three other dogs, his wife and three children.

His wife, a kind woman, was called Elpin and they had three children, twin boys called Krom and Voldon, and a sweet little girl called Amerilla. I loved that little girl. She was kind to a frightened, lonely puppy.*looks sad*

I learned about the smells on the farm: which belonged to the other farm animals and which were enemies’ scents. There were wolves that tried to take the larger animals, and foxes that would try to get the hens. The big dogs chased them off. Sometimes a big bird, called an eagle, tried to pick up a lamb. Those big birds scared me when I was little. One of them could easily carry me off and eat me.

Once, Nettle, a large black dog, who led the pack, managed to catch and kill a fox. It didn’t taste good when we tried to eat it, though.

This is Nettle.

My humans smelled good. Borolis smelled of fields and hay. There was also a lingering smell of horse about him. Elpin smelled of cooking and kindness, while the twins smelled almost the same as each other. I can’t tell you why, but their scent reminded me of adventure and fun.

But Amerilla—ah, little Rilla, as they called her—she was special. She had a light scent. Candles, sugar, spices. I loved that little girl. *whine*

The other two dogs, another black, called Bracken, and a black and white one called Bandit, all obeyed Nettle. He was fierce if they didn’t give him priority, and showed his teeth.

Bracken
Bandit


I didn’t cross him either, even though I was now bigger than him. He could be scary.

One day, I went to the water trough for a drink. As I drank, Nettle approached and growled at me to let him drink first. I was thirsty and ignored him, so he attacked me.

He knocked me from the trough and stared at me. I stared back, and began to growl. He walked stiff-legged in my direction, growling in response to my growl. I could smell the aggression coming from him, and knew he meant to put me in my place, once and for all.

Once he was bigger than me, but now I’d grown. I leaped at him and bit his ear. Blood flowed as his ear tore. He tried to bite my neck, but I grabbed his jaw and held on.

I shook his head from side to side, and he began to make puppy noises. That didn’t affect me. I knew this was a fight for leadership in our little pack. He’d bullied me for long enough.

I bit harder, and tasted blood. It tasted like iron horseshoes smelled.
I released my grip and tried to grab his neck, but was too slow. He managed to bite me in my shoulder as I dodged, and I felt blood trickling through my fur.

Then I leaped and got him onto the ground. I seized his neck and shook. I didn’t want to kill him. Not really, but I would have done so if necessary. He whined again. I don’t think the other dogs had ever challenged him and he didn’t like this fight that was going against him.

He rolled onto his back in surrender. I walked away, back to the trough and took a drink, watching him out of the corner of my eye.

He slunk away to wait until I’d finished before slaking his own thirst.
It was then I knew I was now leader of the farm dogs.

I believe I was a good alpha male.

This was my life until I ended up with the group of people who call themselves Wolf. Wolves have very little to do with it, but this group of humans decided to call themselves Wolf for some reason.

I made a brief appearance in The Wolf Pack, but I didn’t think that was enough for a dog like me, and so I told the author, V.M.Sang, I thought I should have more to do.

She kindly added me to the second book, and I’m also in the third. I’m hoping to be in the fourth, too, although at the moment she seems to be more concerned with a stupid, irresponsible little dragonet, called Muldee. If I could catch him, I’d chew him up a bit.

I think Muldee also asked her if he could have a bigger role than the one he had in Book 1. She’s too soft with these characters, if you ask me. She also let in Grimmaldo, who’s a friend of Carthinal, and someone who didn’t even appear in Book 1! Called The Cat, of all things. That’s something I’d never want to call myself.

You can find out more about Wolf, and why they call themselves that by reading The Wolf Pack.


You can buy it from Amazon in a variety of formats, including Audio.
V.M. tells me that if you click on the link below, it will take you to Amazon wherever you are. Sounds very clever to me. How does it know where you are?

Thank you, Bramble. It was good to have you here on my blog.

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