Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:

Geralyn Wichers
Title of book and/or series:
Brief summary of the story:
“A manufactured person is no person at all.” Human cloning technology has advanced to the degree that clones are mass manufactured and used as a customizable workforce. Dominic is a clone who escaped from the cloning facility and made a life for himself. Now he returns to Caspian Genetics, the factory that birthed him, with revenge on his mind. Though he tries to steel himself from the plight of the other clones, when he sees a clone about to be killed for being out of specifications, he cannot turn away. Dominic’s plot begins to unravel, complicated by an unlikely alliance, a secret romance, and the creeping doubt that he’s been lied to. Is he human after all?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The story takes place in a near-future version of our own world, and I designed it to be generic. ‘The City,’ where the characters live, is never named.
The City is a grey, impersonal megalopolis. It is a bit like a fussy eater’s plate: everything has its own section, and nothing touches. The people are separated from each other based upon their strata of society. The working poor live in a ghetto. The professional class lives in modest houses and condos around planned neighborhoods. The rich avoid the city entirely, sequestering themselves in estates in the countryside. It’s also cold. The story starts in the winter, and the winter never seems to come to an end. I wanted the story and the locale to have a dark grey pallet.
What dangers should we avoid in The City?
The city is a fairly safe place if you’re in your own neighborhood. The city government keeps very close tabs on its citizens, particularly the middle/professional class. They make it difficult to get away with anything.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in The City?
The food the characters eat blends into the sparse city rather well. Dominic lives on a regimented diet of chicken breast, vegetables, almond milk, and other health foods. Food isn’t a priority to him. It’s more like filling his vehicle with fuel, and the best fuel at that. Working class characters Justine and Casey live on wild game, rice and other staples. Yet, you get the idea that they do very well with what they have. Most of the meals in the story take place at their house–they’re hospitable people who’d share their last bit of food.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to The City?
Public transport, such as buses and a network of monorail trains, is important in the city. Wealthier characters, such as Dominic, use self-guided cars. He speaks his destination into the navigation system, and the car takes him to that place.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in The City that we don’t see on Earth?
The key difference here is the entire race of clones, or as they’re called in the story, Manufactured Persons, MP’s or ‘Empties’. The MP’s are perfectly human, but the common belief is that they are not. They are considered soulless, unable to form real relationships or survive in the world.
There are several types of MP’s. The story centers on Caspian Genetics, which produces Manufactured Fighting Personnel for military use. Other types include domestic MP’s, manufactured by Homeland, which fill ordinary labor roles, and High Performance Manufactured Personnel (HPMPs), manufactured by Symbiosis Genetic Labs, who are custom designed for special roles.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in The City?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
One bit of technology that will play a key part is tracking technology. The Manufactured Persons are all tracked by a chip embedded under the skin. Employees at Caspian Genetics are tracked by a bracelet they wear, and in the City at large, anyone with a cell phone is tracked constantly.
Is there a particular religion practiced in The City?  Please describe what it involves.
On the whole, religion is not encouraged in the city. There is a state-sanctioned Christian church. Some characters are involved in a clandestine Christian church.
What is the political or government structure in The City? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The City is governed more by giant bureaucracy than by a figurehead. Its departments are famously bad at communicating with each other, which is exploited by one more nefarious character in the story.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Oh, definitely! The idea came from the pharmaceutical manufacturing plant that I work in. Caspian Genetics isn’t modeled on my workplace but many small details are borrowed–the gowning procedures, the documentation, the general feel of the production area.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
I would call it a very ‘pro-life’ book. Humanity, and the value of human life, is a reoccurring theme. Dominic has lived his life convinced he isn’t human, but Casey, an important character he meets along the way, is determined to convince him that he is just as human, just as valuable, as any citizen of the city.
Author Autobiography:
I live in Manitoba, Canada. When not writing, or working in the factory, I can be found running down the sidewalks and trails of my hometown, singing in the church choir, or staring into space–possibly all while carrying a massive book.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?  

Where can readers connect with you online? 
You can come by my blog. I write about adventures in running, relationships, personal development, and humor. You can also read samplesof Sons of Earth and my other book, We are the Living.

Or, if you’re on Twitter, I tweet from @GeralynWichers. I’d love to chat with you!

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to The City.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world, in Realm Explorers Part XXXXIV!
-Annie Douglass Lima
Welcome to the biggest book promotion event I’ve ever seen, let alone held! To celebrate the release of four new books in the Trifecta catalog on March 31st, we’re putting everything on sale. We’ve also asked several of our friends to join with us, making this an amazing event. Please scroll down through the entire post so you don’t miss anything!! 
Then, on March 31st, head on back to www.trifectabooks.com and check out the four new releases – their purchase links will be live. They are:

Captain Schnozzlebeard and the Singing Clam of Minnie Skewel Island 
by Rebecca Blevins

Fire Gate (Shinehah Saga #1) and Crystal Gate (Shinehah Saga #2)
by Pendragon Inman

Nemesis: Knight (the Chess Quest series #2)
by Michael D. Young
Let’s start with some Trifecta books!

Middle-grade Fiction


When ten-year-old Andy moves from California to his new house in Colorado, the last thing he expects is to meet a ghost named Annie.

Annie has been living in that house for eighty years. Will Annie spook Andy away? Or will the two find out that sometimes, the best of friends might not be who you first expected?

The Andy & Annie series by author Jenni James and illustrator BC Sterrett is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Junie B. Jones with a paranormal twist. Your young reader will love getting to know these characters and going with them on amazing adventures!

You can purchase A Ghost Story for Kindle here and print here. Special event price: .99!

Andy and Annie are back at it again. This time, they’ve decided to conquer the bullies who like to tease Andy for wearing green shirts. 

Annie uses her magical ghostly powers for good in this funny early reader story. She decides it’s time the school learns that wearing green isn’t mean—it’s cool! Join Annie and Andy on an adventure that will change even the toughest of hearts, and maybe even make the principal happy, too. 

You can purchase Greeny Meany for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

When nerdy eighth-grader Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a paladin, a white knight in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history, and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life.
Rich’s grandmother leaves him one thing before disappearing for good—a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life-or-death contest against his nemesis, a dark knight in training. With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead. 

You can purchase Paladin: Pawn for Kindle here or for Nook here. Special event price: .99!

Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

Dancing is Cami’s escape from her dark home life. It’s the only thing that gives her hope – until she meets Adam Black. A talented dancer in his own right, he asks Cami to be his partner, and she gains strength and confidence as he unlocks whole new possibilities for her.

When Cami’s abusive mother overdoses and her already-broken family falls to pieces around her, dancing with Adam helps Cami pull through. But he has secrets of his own, and someone wants him found at any price. Cami gets dragged into a web of danger and deceit. Now she must make a choice between familiar darkness and uncertain light.
You can purchase Dancing with Black for Kindle here and in print here.   Special event price: .99!

Mattie’s smart and she’s in line for a college scholarship, but she’s not exactly the most popular person in school. When the hot and hunky guys at the women’s convention bread booth give out free samples to all the cutest, trendiest girls in the room, they overlook her. It’s just proof that she’s not worth their attention—she’s not a free bread girl.

What she really wants is to date Travis Banks, her high school’s soccer king. But he just can’t see past her clumsiness and frizzy hair to the real Mattie underneath, and sometimes, she can’t either. What’s it going to take for Mattie to find the free bread girl within? 

You can purchase Free Bread Girl for Kindle, Nook,  and print. Special event price: .99!

Does true love really prevail?

All Lilly Price has ever known is living in the shadow of her widely successful foster family. But when a twist of fate deals Lilly the hand of Harrison Crawford, the most popular guy in Bloomfield, NM, everything flips upside down.

Sean Benally is a hard worker, he’s funny, he’s generous, and he’s kind.  He’s also the most amazing guy Lilly has ever known. And she’s totally fallen in love with him. But he’s her foster brother…

Now she must choose between the unavailable love of her life—or the guy who promises to be available forever.

You can purchase Mansfield Ranch for Kindle here and print here. Special event price: .99!


Young Adult Fantasy

A black dragon hovered outside of Newtimber. Sianna rubbed her eyes, but the dragon was still there, clutching a round object that looked like a spotted egg. And then the egg fell, hitting the ground like an atomic bomb, sending out waves of a slow-moving fog that distorted everything it touched.

The citizens of Newtimber change. Griffins. Vampires. Zombies. Creatures from the myths of every culture come to life through the people. Even Sianna changes, her skin becoming stone hard, and she gains the ability to travel from the human realm into the dimension of the fae to battle the evil bent on taking over the world.

One person to heal a family, a town, and save the world. It seems an impossible task, but with the help of her new friends, it could happen. Right?

You can purchase Newtimber: Fractured for Kindle here, Nook here, and print here. Special event price: .99!

Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid. Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone. 

But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage. 

As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever be trapped inside her nightmares. 
You can purchase Endless for Kindle here and for print here. Special event price: $3.99 – going to .99 on the 31st!

Jenny’s had it with her life. Six siblings in an overstuffed house are enough to drive anyone crazy, and sometimes she dreams of escaping to some fantasy world. When she suddenly wakes up to find herself being kissed by a strange—but very handsome—prince, Jenny knows her life just got a lot more exciting. Now stuck in a medieval land of castles and royalty, when Jenny learns that the queen has agreed to marry her off to the prince, it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She goes on a quest to find out who dragged her to this time while trying to keep from falling in love with either of the boys vying for her attention.

Princess Genevieve has only known life under her mother’s rule. She wants to do more than go to battle or deal with suitors. She wakes to find herself in a new world filled with gadgets, electricity, and moving carriages. She finally has the freedom to be who she wants to be with a family who cares deeply for her and a boy worth any sacrifice. It’s more than everything she always wanted.

As Jenny and Genevieve settle into their new lives, they face an unknown evil which threatens everything they care about and makes them face tough questions—like who they are and what they really want their lives to become.

You can now purchase The Princess and the Prom Queen for Kindle here and print here. Special event price: $2.99 – going to .99 on the 31st!
Realistic Women’s Fiction

It’s only been a year since her divorce, so why would Jane Adamson do something as stupid as attempt to date again? Wasn’t her marriage scarring enough? The answer was simple—her kids. They worried about her and wanted to see her happy again. 

She needed to be happy . She needed to learn to trust again and feel pretty again and human again. 

As a mom of five, it was too easy to hide herself away and focus just on her kids. Who needs men, anyway? 

Join Jane in part one of a six-part journey of self-discovery, conquering the past, understanding love, and most importantly … healing, as she finds the woman she once was.

You can purchase Drowning for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!


Sweet and Clean Romance Collection

Love Notes#1. Elahna Nezario gave up her musical dreams to help run the Queen of Hearts, her mother’s chocolate shop, after her sister’s sudden death. After an unfortunate run-in with Elahna’s childhood crush, owner of the Dolce Theater, not only do her dreams surge back to life, but so does her heart.

You can purchase Hearts in Harmony for Kindle here. Special event price: .99!

Love Notes #2. Meredith Aaron lost all hope for love after a car accident put her in a wheelchair. Who would want her, broken as she is? After her brother tells her to save a dance for him at his wedding, she decides to somehow learn how to dance on the only legs she has left—her wheels.

You can purchase Waltzing on Wheels for Kindle here and Nook here. Special event price: .99!

Love Notes#3. Camille Clark spends her time bringing light to the memorable moments of Dolce—playing her harp at weddings, anniversaries, and even funerals. She can’t help but wonder if someone will ever play for her. Will the dark secrets of her past come to Dolce and ruin her future? Or will she find her soul mate and finally walk down that aisle?

You can purchase Healing a Broken Harp for Kindle here and Nook hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #1. Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends all her time helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Logan Reese is easily the most irritating man on the planet, and for some reason, he’s made annoying Laurie his mission in life. Will true love ever come Laurie’s way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after while she sits on the sidelines?

You can purchase And Something Blue for Kindle hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #2. Cynical Morgan learned at an early age that life is just plain hard. She’s decided that no one could possibly fall in love with her – all the good guys want perfect girls, and with her messed-up family, she’s anything but perfect. But then along comes the guy who falls head-over-heels in love with her just as she is and helps her find the bright side of life – and a second chance for perfection.

You can purchase For Love or Money for Kindle here and Nook hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #3. Even though Cara has lost her childhood weight and is now composing her own music, she can’t see her own beauty and she has no confidence in her talent. A bumpy relationship with her mother certainly hasn’t helped. Only the right guy can help her see inside herself to the amazing person who has always been there, and to mend her frayed family ties in the face of her greatest sorrow.

You can purchase Five Golden Rings for Kindle here and Nook hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #4. Quinn spends all her time managing D’Angelo’s Bakery – so much time, in fact, that she rarely does anything else. When things get tough for the bakery’s owner and she’s needed more than ever, dreams of romance and a family of her own fly out the window – but then along comes someone who shows her just how sweet life can be.

You can purchase Just Desserts for Kindle here and Nook hereSpecial event price: .99!

Main Street Merchants #5. Regan spends her days working in a bookstore and her nights reading. She goes on grand romantic adventures in her head . . . but not in real life. That all changes when someone sweeps her off her feet and carries her up a mountain.

You can purchase Between the Lines for Kindle here and Nook hereSpecial event price: .99!

And now for some books from our friends! Authors are listed alphabetically by last name.

Big dreams take strength and determination.

Cami Lockhart’s dream is on the verge of becoming a reality. Lockhart Sanctuary, a refuge for abused and confiscated cats, is what Cami has worked for her entire life. But a dream that big requires a daily commitment. Cami yearns for someone to share the dream with, and knows everyone in town thinks Alex is the perfect man for the job. There’s one problem. She wants fireworks with every kiss, not just friendship with a hint of something more.
Sometimes what you wish for is closer than you think.

Alex Reynolds shares Cami’s passion for the sanctuary, and as the head ranchhand, spends every day helping her dream come true. He longs to tell Cami she’s held his heart since childhood, but losing a lifetime of friendship is a big risk to take. Being by Cami’s side at the sanctuary is better than letting go, but Alex knows someday he’ll want more.
Risk losing everything or fight for the dreams to come true.

The sanctuary is put in jeopardy when ignored threats take a deadly turn. Cami and Alex must each choose to stand and fight, or lose everything they dream of.  Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

A Secret to Save Them All . . . 

It was whispered years ago that when a pirate cursed a Philippine village with langbuan, or flying undead, a boy received a secret that would protect him from certain death. But even armed with a secret, can anyone survive the undead for long? 

Seventeen-year-old Antonio Pulido has never known a time when the langbuan didn’t roam the streets every Ghost Moon Night, killing anyone in their path. He works hard to protect his family and the girl he loves from the deadly attacks, but he wants them stopped once and for all. Can Antonio uncover the decades-old secret and will it help him defeat the langbuan? Or will Ghost Moon Night come again and take someone he truly cares about? It falls on Antonio to save his village, but time is running out. The next Ghost Moon Night is nearly here and Antonio knows this is his last chance to destroy the undead and end their reign of terror — or die trying. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

When she was nine years old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted. 

Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. After all, it was only a kiss. 

But things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. Then other girls and other boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down. 

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking about how the simplest things mean so much. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Parkview Manor has a secret, and eighteen-year-old Cynthia is curious!

When Cynthia Holt takes a job at a former sanitarium, now operating as an assisted living center, she instantly discovers something more is occurring than simply providing the elderly with housing and care. Something very strange is going on behind the locked door of Room 913!
After she is warned to stay away from the room and to not discuss it or the occupant with her co-workers, she is even more intrigued – and suspicious! Letting her curious nature guide her, she immediately begins asking questions. When she finds that Room 913 has been closed off; locked and sealed for many years, her curiosity turns to concern. Though rumors abound, no one seems inclined to talk about it.
Not giving up so easily, Cynthia persists in her pursuit until she finds out the truth – or does she? 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Twelve-year-old BFFs are matchmaking geniuses. They schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. Then Ginnie stumbled upon her late mom’s journals, making life totally awesome sauce … until her dad confiscated the journals.

Ginnie is counting on Tillie’s help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie’s not sure the ghost of Ginnie’s mom will make a good addition to their new family tree.  When a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her BFF and having her questions answered.

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

In The Darkest Hours of Addiction, A Light Shines 

When one LDS woman’s husband flies off to Mexico to meet another woman, she sells his stuff and starts a new life. To support her three children, she guts part of her home to start a preschool and rents out another two rooms. 

Her life is soon filled with new friends and activities, but the new friends bring problems of their own. Is hope and healing possible as they strengthen one another and rely on the Lord? And will romance blossom again for Jessica? 

Intercession is a story of love and friendship loaded with drama, inspiration, romance, and the tenacity of three young women who find their strength in the Lord. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

The only thing she stands to lose are her shoes.

Cinderella is an ordinary teenage girl, with an extraordinary name.  But because of that name, she and her cousins, Belle, Aurora, Ariel, and Snow White suffer years of torment from their peers.  Then as the girls enter high school and the enticing world of dating, a life-altering decision must be made.  Is it finally time to stop fighting, and surrender to the fairy tale clichés that have been holding them back?  By embracing their names, the girls discover an inner strength they never knew existed. And by putting everything they have on the line, maybe, just maybe they will discover there really is such a thing as ‘happily ever after’. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Bracken is a typical teenage boy, more interested in the angles of the girl’s exposed back teasing him from the seat ahead of him than in anything the geometry teacher could present. His life is filled with school, video games, and thoughts of girls, not necessarily in that order. Life just flows along uneventfully and unacknowledged, like the electricity that courses through the power lines — until PF (Power Failure) Day. On PF Day, the sun strikes Bracken’s world with an unseen surge of electromagnetic fury, which cripples power stations and burns transformers to crispy nuggets of regret. 

No one in Bracken’s world had ever thought about how much they depended on electrical power, but now, without it, they are plunged into survival mode. Bracken soon realizes how lucky he is to live on a farm in the Midwest. What seemed like a dull and backwards life before is now the greatest chance for survival in what seems like a powerless world. Food, water, and heat are readily available, although hard work is required to make use of them. Bracken and his family must learn to survive like their ancestors, who settled their land. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

When eight parade floats explode during the annual Fourth of July celebrations, Agent Chris Harmer must find who planted the bombs before the terrorists strike again. His troubles aren’t isolated to terrorism. Chris falls in love with the FBI’s feisty psychiatrist, Alexis Osborne. She won’t commit to someone who doesn’t share her religious values, and Chris has no desire to convert. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

At forty years of age, I was impoverished and severely addicted to tobacco cigarettes. I could not even afford a decent birthday gift for my dear friend Cathy I had met online years earlier. In this book, I tell the story of how my friend turned my makeshift present for her into a gift of life for me. I tell how I overcame my addiction gradually. I share tips, photos, and more! If you have ever said, “I wish I could quit smoking,” or “I wish I could cut back,” I hope you will read this book. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Professor Miri Keeler’s life is perfect, and she knows just the sort of man she wants to share it with.  When she meets a genie who’s willing to grant her a favor, she uses her wish to get the attention of her crush, poet Jamison Arbor.  But has the genie’s magic missed its target? Miri suddenly has the attention of both Jamison and Alex, an attractive maintenance man.  How will she know which is the right match for her, or what’s real and what’s magic? 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

At twelve years of age, Maddy Richards has everything she needs in life – good friends, a loving mother, and a home she loves. When her mother announces that she’s getting married, Maddy’s seemingly perfect world is rocked to the core, but when she discovers that not only that her mother is getting married and she’ll have a new dad, but there’s another, even more world rocking change planned, Maddy, thinking there’s no way out of her predicament, forges a plan that she’s sure will put a stop to at least one of these sudden changes in her life. 
With her best friend Hannah in tow, Maddy embarks on a journey, hoping that will prompt her mother and new husband-to-be to change their minds, but a horrific storm is about to complicate matters further. What looked like a solution suddenly becomes more of a problem. 
Maddy will have to gather her resolve and determine if she’s ready to trust God, regardless of what is happening, and let life unfold as it should, even if that means her life will never be the same again. 
Book One of The Madeleine Richards Series, “Rebellion in Riversleigh”, a Tween Christian fiction book, is a must read for girls aged ten to thirteen, who are looking for a heart-warming story, full of adventure, personal struggle, and Christian values.  

Purchase here. Special promotional price: FREE!

Freedom to Choose is Paramount for any human.

An arrangement made when Elizabeth was just a babe ties her to someone she has never met, never spoken to, never loved. Now she desires freedom—a way to choose her own path—her own husband. The moment Elizabeth meets Patrick she knows he is her soul mate. But when you are bound to a crown how is any choice your own? 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: $2.99!

Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.

Blessed—or cursed—with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he’s a missing piece of her own soul.

Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she’s not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it’s not just Abby’s life at stake.

Purchase here. Special promotional price: .99!

Three magical romances in one collection 
Pete & Tink: Pete Pancerella loves two things in life: Video games and Spongy Cremes. He’s happy, content, and he’s also a geek. All that is about to change when his mother wishes upon a star and Tink answers the call. But will it take more than a five-and-a-half inch faery to whip this manga-loving goofball into shape? 
Loving Marigold 
Young Marigold Yarrow has a secret. She’s also in love with Jack Mahoney. In the middle of her ninth grade year, Jack’s family up and moves to Port Fare, New York, leaving the small town of Sugar Maple, West Virginia – and Marigold – far behind. 
Nine years later Jack and Marigold meet again. They join forces to weed out the shady Abbott boys. The unscrupulous brothers are illegally selling moonshine near her home on Sugar Maple Ridge. And they’ll do anything to get Marigold to leave the ridge. Anything. But this time it could be magic that tears Jack and Marigold apart. 
Angel in a Black Fedora Ciel Björk died a tragic death…but she got over it.Now she works as an undercover angel, answering people’s prayers. 
Chloe is obsessed with achieving perfection to please her unpleaseable father. Chloe’s BFF Austin Powers will do anything to support her in achieving her goal, including helping her win the heart of Bridger Reed. 
Ciel is sent to the sleepy little town of Port Fare, New York to help turn Chloe’s dreams into reality. Ciel soon learns that things are not as simple as they seem as secrets are revealed. 
Angel in a Black Fedora is the newest book by best selling author Sherry Gammon. A funny and touching tale of life and its challenges. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: $1.99!

Alissia Roswell had worked hard to overcome her past, and she took immense pride in her independence. Just when she thought she was truly satisfied with her life, she wakes up to find herself in another reality. As she searches for answers, her body begins to change in mysterious ways, and for the first time in her life, she is forced to rely upon others. As everything spins out of her control and danger lurks around every corner, her heart begins to betray her, and her mind haunts her with memories of her past. 

Join Alissia on her perilous quest full of adventure, magic, and romance as she travels the challenging road of finding one self, maybe even love along the way. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: FREE!

There’s no way I’m taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of our friends is over, I’m resigning as VP. Really.

Except people say the fire was no accident.

(I say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)
When I read the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, I know what it means. To get to the truth I have to come out from under my paisley comforter.

But, seriously, what stage of grief says I have to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe I’m the one who’s broken. 

Purchase here. Special promotional price: $3.99!

Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land, a landmass in the South Atlantic Ocean undetectable to the outside world. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society. As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land. 

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Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. 

Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family. 

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding. 

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan. 

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Enslaved when invaders take over Alasia, ten-year-old Anya discovers ways to spy on the enemy and slip information to the resistance. But then Anya uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family and is confronted by a stranger who seems to know her secrets. Holding her life in his hands, he claims to have proof that her father was involved in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself. 

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2014 Whitney Award Finalist in Romance
After watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.

Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together. 

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She had never been loved before. He thought he would never love again.
Zeke never imagined he wouldn’t marry the pretty girl from his village. It was as good as done—until she fell in love with someone else during the war. Captain Helaman’s estate in the city is the perfect refuge, far from pitying eyes and nosy village women. But though time has healed his battle wounds, it hasn’t bound up his broken heart.
Abandoned and alone in the world, Eliza asked Uncle Helaman to take her in. She has everything she could want at her new home on the grand estate—everything but the attention of Helaman’s handsome guard. When Helaman sends her on a journey with the brooding Ezekiel, she’s determined to find out what makes him so sad, but in her search for the girl who broke Zeke’s heart, Eliza has to find a way to guard her own. 

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Starting at a new high school is hard, especially as a senior. At age 17, Derek moves with his family from North Carolina to Utah. Derek learns about the unwritten laws of dating in Utah, and that his mom and dad have a history at his new school—a history that threatens his future.

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The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile.

At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.

Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty. 

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Sixteen-year-old Macy is not your average teenager–she’s a member of the Chosen, an elite group of gifted and magically talented children responsible for protecting humans from the monsters of the Hidden race. But when the Shard of the Ninth Chosen arrives at her Watcher’s door with the deadly Shadow Wraiths in hot pursuit, her world is shaken. The Ninth is to lead the Final Battle against the evil forces of the Dark. And when that Ninth turns out to be Tolen Parks, a clueless seventeen-year-old who  has no idea he’s anything other than a freak, she figures the world is a gonner. The two of them are swept down a dangerous path that tests everything that Macy is . . . and brings out everything that Tolen can be. Amidst monsters and Radia Warriors, the pair must discover who they really are and face the heart of darkness in order to find victory . . . and their destinies. 

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Though Angela Donovan is out of work and needs money for rent, she yearns for her eight-year-old daughter to have a carefree holiday. The last thing she wants is the pressure of her daughter expecting a miracle. But when they pick out a Christmas tree at a cozy Massachusetts tree farm that’s exactly what happens when they learn the trees might be miracle trees. 

Mark Shafer is soon to be the new keeper of the Christmas trees when he inherits the family farm. He’d like to run it with a family of his own, but his girlfriend wants nothing to do with farm life. He makes plans to sell so he can propose to his girlfriend and pursue a career in music. Then he meets an unforgettable customer and her daughter, and an anonymous gift compels them to learn the truth about the trees. 

With a buyer willing to pay top dollar for the land, Mark has the fate of the trees in his hand. Will he be able to see what and who is most important? And will Angela give the miracle of love a chance? 

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Midian has lived in Gevkan Castle for almost all of her twenty-five years, growing up alongside Princess Arien. Though timid, she’s content in her life and comfortable with the people who surround her. It’s not until she meets Kelson, best friend of Prince Dmitri, that she realizes how deep her shyness runs. Kelson is outgoing and wildly flirtatious, pushing Midian away when all he wants is to draw her closer.

Midian’s life is put in danger when she’s kidnapped by the neighboring king who thinks she’s the princess and wants to leverage her life for power and money.

Will Kelson be able to stop the king fast enough, proving his affections for Midian, or will the king’s scheming keep them forever separated? 

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Treena is nervous for Rating Day. A single number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life and boyfriend back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart. 

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Readers will be delighted with nine sweet, contemporary romance novelettes in Sweet & Sassy: Hidden Identities. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again.

THE BEST OF ME by Paige Timothy, SECOND-HAND HEARTS by Jo Noelle, FIRST LOVE, SECOND CHOICE by Lindzee Armstrong, HACKED by Stephanie Connelley Worlton, TO LOVE AND PROTECT by Ruth Roberts, CLOSING TIME by Candice N. Toone, SINK OR SWIM by Laura D. Bastian, WRITE AND WRONG by Kaye P. Clark, UNDERCOVER LOVER by James C. Duckett. 

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What happened in Vegas should stay there, not follow Amanda home, newly wedded to the man who broke her heart.

After celebrating college graduation with her friends in Las Vegas, Amanda St. Claire wakes up with a terrible hangover and a ring on her finger. Her day gets worse when she finds out she’s married to rich playboy Blake Worthington—the guy she has loathed the past four years. Amanda convinces Blake to legally terminate the marriage and they both return home like nothing ever happened. That is, until Blake shows up on her doorstep and Amanda has to come clean with her family.

Together for better or worse while the legalities are cleared, Amanda reluctantly plays along, but then the unthinkable happens—she finds herself falling in love with Blake.

Can they overcome the past? Or will it end their future before it even starts? 
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Brynn Sawyer is a successful project manager in Houston. When her best friend from high school convinces Brynn to attend their ten-year reunion, Brynn hopes she’ll have the chance to reconnect with Troy Richards, the guy who stole her heart back in middle school.

Craig Dawson, an attorney in San Diego, is in a relationship that’s going nowhere and wonders why he can’t seem to commit. When he sees Brynn at their reunion, he thinks he might finally understand why. The only problem—she’s still infatuated with Troy what’s-his-name.

Will Brynn find the love she seeks with Troy, or will she realize the best kind of love has always been right in front of her? 

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Alexa Fulbright doesn’t expect the man she’s been trying to forget for the past 7 years to show up on assignment from the FBI…and she really doesn’t expect him to kiss her. 

Sam Dubois doesn’t want to be on this assignment, even though he requested it. He doesn’t want to see Alexa and he definitely doesn’t want to put away the thug she calls her boyfriend…but most things in life aren’t fair when it comes to her. 

After Sam shows Alexa proof that her boyfriend is a drug dealer with connections to the Columbian cartel, she refuses to believe it. Until a gun is pointed at her head and ‘said boyfriend’ puts a bullet in Sam’s shoulder. 

Now Sam has to get her out of dodge and Alexa has to make a choice—face the past or live a lie that could destroy her and everyone she’s ever loved. 

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For the last six years, Siri has sought a way to fulfill a vow made during the last hours of her beloved mother’s life. Faced with an unwanted betrothal, she knows any chance to honor her mother’s request is dwindling. 

Risking her life to escape the arranged marriage, she unwittingly triggers an ancient elven curse. Death and destruction will begin with the rise of the next full moon. The only recourse is restoring an ancient talisman to the elves. But pleas to return it go unanswered.

Siri’s journey plunges her into a land of mystical creatures, some terrifying, some fascinating. As she begins to lose her heart to one very handsome Master Archer, his valley spirals toward irreversible ruin. Siri begins to wonder if she holds the key and how one lowly human could ever make a difference in a strange land of myth and magic. 

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Stranded 225 million kilometers from home on Mars Station, cousins Jake O’Brien and Lorina Murphy are drawn into a fledgling effort to help the hundreds of abandoned street children who call the station home. Jake becomes a medical apprentice in an outreach clinic, while Lorina volunteers at a juvenile shelter. They soon discover that their efforts may be in vain because something much more serious than poverty plagues Mars Station.

Also stranded on Mars Station, ship’s captain Danae Shepherd faces the difficult task of hiring replacement crew after an alien virus claims the lives of four in her employ, including her husband. She stumbles upon the same problem that has Jake and Lorina stumped: why are homeless children disappearing without a trace? 

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Twenty-one-year-old Emma Matthews lost the song in her heart the same night she lost her dad. With an unfulfilled promise and an ultimatum shadowing her junior year of college, maybe it’s better that way. You can’t hurt if you can’t feel. 

But when the reflection she sees in musician Riley Preston’s eyes borders dangerously close to the one she’s spent the last five years searching for, Emma discovers her walls can’t guard her heart from its fiercest desire. Terrified of what she’s experiencing, and even more afraid of what she might lose, Emma grapples for the courage to hold on to one dream without abandoning the promise of another. 

Contemporary New Adult Romance novel Eyes Unveiled lets you relive those heartfelt moments when you don’t know how you’d survive a day without your best friend, when you’re trying to figure out who you are and what you’re supposed to do with your life, and when falling in love changes everything. 

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When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old Colorado high school teacher wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a vacation diversion; what fate provides is Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and its temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. 

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship–on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. But Lyn’s painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic. 

Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa. However, paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped. Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.

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Young cavalryman Carl Owen returns from the Civil War to find the family farm destroyed, his favorite brother dead, food scarce, and his father determined to leave the Shenandoah Valley to build a cattle empire in Colorado Territory. Crossing the continent, Carl falls in love with his brother’s fiancée while set to wed another girl, but he might lose everything if the murderous thug Berto Acosta has his way. Carl battles a band of outlaws, a prairie fire, blizzards, a trackless waterless desert, and his own brother—all for the hand of feisty Ellen Bates. 

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Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren. Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling. 

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart. 

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth. 

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them. 

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Sixteen-year-old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her, until a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. If that weren’t enough, he follows her around, making sure nothing goes right. 

What Louie didn’t count on was Megan’s friends standing by her. No matter what he throws at her, they’re by her side to pick her back up again. 

When Megan learns about Louie’s ultimate plan for her family, it’s a race against time to stop him before he destroys everything she cares about. 

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Best Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Tag line: Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.
Blurb: Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.
Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends, Peyton and Ashanti. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.
I was so nervous the night of the basketball game. At first, I didn’t even want to go into the gym, but I mustered up the courage just as the game ball went streaking past my head and I almost got knocked over by a referee. The ref blew the whistle and went to hand the ball off. Vladi was standing right there and he nodded at me. Peyton squeezed my arm as we sat down, but I didn’t think it was that big a deal because he didn’t smile at me or anything.
          “Duh, he was playing basketball, but he acknowledged your existence,” she said.
         “Kind of like how that cheerleader who keeps screaming out his name is acknowledging him?” I pointed to the girl with glossy straight brown hair who was doing back flips on the sidelines.
        “Forget her. He must like blondes anyway. He didn’t check me out after all,” she said.
         I checked around to see if Carey was there, but I didn’t see her. I did see India sitting with Doug and Cristian though. I poked Peyton, but she had already seen them.
         “Devon would kill her,” she said.
         “Um, should we tell her? They just started talking again,” I said. I didn’t want to get in the middle of another fight and I could tell that Peyton felt the same way. Besides, it wasn’t like Doug was Devon’s boyfriend. I’m sure India thought she would be safe since other than her and Devon, the rest of us hadn’t gone to the away games before. Peyton said we should try to avoid them after the game so we could pretend that we never saw them together. However, I ran into her on my way out of the bathroom at halftime.
         “Landry,” India’s aqua blue eyes widened. “Are you here to see Vladi?”
         I nodded and we both stood there. Peyton came in to see what was taking so long and almost passed out when she saw India.
         “You guys, could you not say anything to Devon about this? I came by myself and I just ran into Doug here,” India said.
         Peyton and I acted like we hadn’t even seen Doug. I knew India had to be lying because who would go to a game by herself? We agreed not to say anything. The whole time I worried about what would happen if Devon found out that I knew about Doug and India. Peyton told me to relax because we weren’t doing anything wrong. I wasn’t sure which was worse: keeping a secret from Devon or breaking up her friendship with India?

India walked in, tossing her shiny, honeyblonde hair behind her. She walked right over to the girls at the juice machine and hugged the one with the mascara problem. Then India pulled out her Little Rose compact and started applying pink blush right in the hallway. She totally fit in with those other girls — India appeared about sixteen, beautiful, and like she belonged there.
Meanwhile, I was standing in a corner with Ericka, who had a snowman sweater on and was wearing a hair scrunchy — a scrunchy. It wasn’t as if she was trying to be retro either. Only little kids and my bus driver, Mrs. Jackson, wore scrunchies. At least Ashanti was super pretty, but I wasn’t so sure about how I came across. Did I look like a kid or a teenager? I had worn a royal blue turtleneck and jeans because I didn’t want to call any attention to myself. Part of me would have liked to have the effect that India did when she walked in, but there was also a part of me that would have been perfectly comfortable wearing an invisibility cloak for the next four years of high school. At least being a “nobody” would have been better than being a friendless loser.
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ&feature=youtu.be
Author Bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?
Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):
From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”
From Books & Authors Spot: This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.
Buy Links:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Forever-Landrys-Colors-ebook/dp/B00UIP1N5S/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427190742&sr=1-2
Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S
Barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/krysten-lindsay-hager
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/best-friends-forever-19
itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/true-colors/id890673002
Connect with Krysten:
Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25145859-best-friends-forever

Book cover - low res
GOD TELLS THE SUN TO SHINE: An amazing story of love and forgivenessBy Femi Bolaji
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About the Book:

God tells the Sun to Shine is a short story about ambition, love, intrigue and forgiveness. The main character is the second-born of twin boys Esau and Jacob. Jacob struggles to come to terms with the privileges that the natural birth order accords the first-born twin Esau. He becomes so obsessed with the desire to become the alpha male in the family enterprise that he plots with their mum to upstage Esau. Although his plan succeeds, he is forced to flee the homeland after Esau plots to kill him in retaliation. For two decades, his life in exile is marked by turmoil in love, marriage and work. When a business arrangement goes pear shaped and he is faced with bankruptcy and the loss of his family, he decides instead to return to his country and face his nemesis – Esau. How will Jacob maneuvre his way through the ordeal?


Femi Bolaji - photo
Femi Bolaji is a seasoned writer and commentator on topical Christian themes. He likes to tell Bible-based stories in contemporary language and style that would appeal to all, yet with profound insight and application to the pressures of modern day living. He is an alumnus of the Bartlett, University College London. He lives in London, United Kingdom.

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  a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.  
Don’t forget!  At the bottom of this post there is a link to enter a giveaway for a number of free books, including Prince of Malorn!

Author’s name: Annie Douglass Lima
Title of series: Annals of Alasia
Titles of books: The main trilogy consists of Prince of Alasia, In the Enemy’s Service, and Prince of Malorn.  There is a short companion book entitled Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews.
Brief summary of the series:
Each book in the trilogy deals with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn.  Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life.  In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded.  Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion.  In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap.  Though each of the three can stand on its own, they each fill in gaps left by the others and together provide a much more complete picture of what was going on in the two kingdoms.
Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is a collection of twenty-four “interviews” I conducted with major and minor characters in the other three books.  Though not a novel in and of itself, it is interesting to read alongside the trilogy.  In the interviews, characters reveal more about their personalities, motivations, and backgrounds, talking about themselves in their own “voice” and giving extra insights into the events of the series.  You can download it for free here.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The kingdom of Malorn is mostly surrounded by a huge mountain range that curves around it to the east, south, and west.  To the north, the Grenn River separates Malorn from Alasia.  The Impassable Mountains, as their name suggests, are dangerous and difficult to travel through even in summer, and almost impossible in winter.  The highest peaks are covered with snow all year round. 
Two races of people live in Malorn.  The Mountain Folk are a small, nomadic tribe of hunters and gatherers who live in extended family groups up in the Impassables.  Each family keeps a flock of goats for milk and meat.  They seldom venture down to the “Lowlands”, as they call the rest of Malorn, except when they must trade for supplies in one of the foothill towns.  But they are suspicious of Lowlanders, whom they accuse of cheating them in trade and mistreating them, and they avoid interaction with them whenever possible.
Lowlanders (who think of themselves simply as “regular” Malornians) live mostly on the plains, where they make a living through a variety of trades.  Many work as farmers, since the weather there is mild and ideal for growing a variety of crops.  Coffee grows well in the foothills, so you’ll find coffee farmers there, but few Lowlanders care to venture much higher than that.  Miners do travel into the mountains in search of gold, but again, most of them prefer to set up camp in the foothills where it’s safer and life is easier.  Those who live on or travel into the lower slopes of the Impassables are suspicious of Mountain Folk, whom they regard as dirty and primitive.  They often accuse the Mountain Folk of cheating them in trade and stealing crops.
If we were to visit Malorn as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you like hiking or mountain climbing, there are numerous rugged and scenic spots to explore.  If shopping is your thing, you may enjoy browsing some of the high-class shops in Sazellia, the capital city, where you can buy fine clothing, jewelry, or gold decorations for your home.  Music is popular throughout the Lowlands, and minstrels can often be found performing in taverns, parks, or on street corners.  It’s polite to leave a coin or two if you stop to listen.  The best musicians perform in large concert halls where admission is expensive, but if people like a street minstrel’s performance, they may hire him or her to play for a party or special event at a more reasonable price.
What is the political or government structure in Malorn?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Malorn is a constitutional monarchy, so the king there has less power than in neighboring Alasia.  The government is made up of a High Council, which includes the king and up to 19 other members, and a majority vote among them is required to pass new laws or make most decisions for the kingdom. 
King Kerman passed away under suspicious circumstances four years ago.  His son, Prince Korram, was still too young to take the throne (the legal minimum age for kingship in Malorn is 18), so a regent was chosen from among the king’s High Council to hold the reins of power until the prince came of age.  An honorary member of the High Council in the meantime, the prince can offer input into the running of the government but has little real power.  Regent Rampus, on the other hand, has done much to improve life for Malorn’s citizens and thus has been gaining popularity throughout the kingdom.  Conveniently, his political opponents have almost all dropped out of the picture due to a variety of unfortunate circumstances.  Rumor has it that if Prince Korram were prevented for any reason from taking the throne next year, the High Council would be sure to select Rampus as the next king.  In the meantime, Rampus continues to rule in Korram’s name, and the kingdom rests assured in the knowledge that their beloved regent is assisting the inexperienced prince in his royal duties.
Prince Korram is concerned that Rampus may not be planning to allow him to survive to his eighteenth birthday next year.  But there is no one to turn to for help, since practically everyone of any consequence in the kingdom is under the regent’s control in one way or another.  Even the military answers to him.  Only Malorn’s reclusive Mountain Folk, who care nothing for Lowland politics, are certain not to be influenced by any threats, bribes, or promises from Rampus.  And so Korram determines to journey into the Impassables to recruit his own personal army from among them, hoping thus to protect himself until he can legally claim his rightful throne.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Malorn that we don’t see on Earth?
A root vegetable similar to a turnip, called lumjum, grows plentifully in the mountains.  Other plants in Malorn are pretty much the same as those you’d find in similar climates on Earth.  If you trek high enough up in the mountains, you may glimpse a snowcat, though I don’t recommend trying to find one or getting close to it if you do.  This pure white, long-haired feline is about the size of a tiger and at least as dangerous.  Korram has two separate (and very different) encounters with snowcats during his time in the Impassables.
Humans are the only sentient race in Malorn.  However, Mountain Folk would argue that their horses are more intelligent and affectionate than mere animals.
What dangers should we avoid in Malorn?
It would be unwise to venture into the Impassables alone or with anyone not familiar with the area.  Besides the risk of getting lost, you would probably have difficulty finding food, unless you’re experienced in wilderness survival and living off the land.  In addition, you would face the possibility of blizzards and avalanches on the higher slopes.  Wild animals, including snakes, wolves, bears, and snowcats, are plentiful there.  If you met any Mountain Folk, they would be unlikely to help you for free, though for enough money they would probably sell you goat milk or a little of their food.
You would be much safer in the Lowlands, though there is always the risk of encountering pickpockets and other petty criminals in the cities.  Regent Rampus is not to be trifled with, but unless you plan on speaking out publicly against his leadership, you are not likely to attract his attention.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Malorn?
I hope you like coffee!  It’s by far the most popular beverage in the Lowlands and is available at any time of day anywhere food or drinks are served.  You can request it pretty much however you like, but it’s most commonly brewed strong and served with cream.  Lunch and dinner often include either potatoes or a variety of flatbread made with several types of grain, served beside vegetables (and meat, for those who can afford it).  A popular breakfast dish among the upper class involves eggs scrambled with cheese and sausage.
Mountain Folk have an unusual meal schedule which they fit around their day’s work schedule.  They typically wake up early to milk their goats, and then they share a small “meal” of goat milk.  after that, two or three members of the extended family group will take the goats out for the day to graze on a nearby slope (the grass is better the higher you go).  They will usually pack leftover cooked meat or other food to eat later in the day.  Meanwhile, the rest of the family will spend the next few hours working in the area where they are camped (usually in a valley by a stream or river).  They fish and gather nuts, berries, lumjum, and other edible plants, or they may go further afield to hunt.  They also spend time shaping tools from wood, stone, or bone; gathering firewood; or skinning animals they have caught, tanning their hides, and sewing them into clothing or bags or tents.  In the autumn, they will butcher several of their goats and dry the meat to last through the winter.  They keep busy at these tasks through most of the day, but they do take a break in the mid morning for breakfast.  In the early evening when the goats are brought back to camp, everyone stops their other work to help milk them.  After that, they eat supper and drink the milk together.  Both breakfast and supper can consist of meat, fruit, and small fried cakes made from mashed lumjum.  Though they don’t eat lunch, Mountain Folk snack on berries or anything else edible they come across throughout the day.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Malorn?
Soldiers in the Lowlands fight with broadswords.  Mountain Folk make wooden spears, though they’re primarily for fishing.  They occasionally use them to protect their goats from predators or to scare Lowlanders who they feel are threatening them, but on the whole they are a peaceful people and practice no traditional fighting techniques.  This makes Korram’s job all the harder when he seeks to raise and train an army from among them.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Malorn?
Lowlanders usually ride horses (or mules, if they’re traveling in the foothills).  Carriages are common among the upper class, and farmers will take their crops to market in carts or wagons.  Mountain Folk use horses as pack animals when they move camp every few weeks to find fresh grazing.  They seldom actually ride them, though, except occasionally for short hunting trips.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Malorn as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Yes, they are the same, though only Lowlanders use them.  Mountain Folk don’t keep track of days or months, measuring time only with seasons and phases of the moon.
Every year, Mountain Folk look forward to the Mid-Autumn Gathering.  This week-long event is basically a reunion in which their entire tribe comes together in a certain valley deep in the Impassables.  During this time, most work ceases, and friends and extended family members who haven’t seen each other since last year can relax and enjoy each other’s company.  Weddings always take place at this gathering.  It’s also a time to share news and discuss any issues of interest to the whole tribe.  During the rest of the year, the Mountain Folk live and travel in extended family groups, usually of ten to fifteen people, but at the annual Gathering, these groups are often rearranged so people can spend the coming year with different relatives.  Occasionally unmarried young adults will arrange to spend a year with someone else’s family, especially if they are hoping to get to know a friend of the opposite gender better.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Malorn.
Most Malornians in the Lowlands are more interested in the performing arts than in sports.  Horse races are popular, though, and many people from the middle and upper class enjoy social outings on horseback through meadows and farmland, often including a picnic. 
For most of the year, Mountain Folk lead busy lives that don’t leave much room for sports and games.  In the Mid-Autumn Gathering, however, they often engage in activities such as archery and spear-throwing contests, and young people play games similar to tag and hide-and-seek on horseback.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Racial prejudice is a theme I delve into in Prince of Malorn.  Those Mountain Folk and Lowlanders who are willing to get to know each other and learn the reasons behind their cultural differences find that they are not as different as they had thought.  But they come to realize that they can’t just blame the other group and sit around waiting for “them” to stop mistreating “us”.  Both sides have wronged each other over the years, and both need to be willing to take the first step toward reconciliation.  I believe it’s the same in our world: it’s easy to hide behind cultural differences and assume that “they” are strange and different and “we” are normal, and “they” are in the wrong for any conflict or misunderstandings.  But if we’re willing to get to know each other and learn about each other’s cultures, I think we’ll all discover that we’re not as different as we might think.

Author Autobiography:

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 eight books (three YA action adventure/fantasy novels, a collection of character interviews, one puppet script, and four anthologies of her students’ poetry, all available through the links in the sidebar to the right). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?
Prince of Alasia ($2.99 temporarily 99 cents)
In the Enemy’s Service ($2.99 temporarily 99 cents)
Prince of Malorn ($3.99 temporarily 99 cents)
Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews (available for free!)
Where can readers connect with you online? 

Click here to enter to win free books – including a Kindle copy of Prince of Malorn – in the Ultimate Reading Quest!

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Malorn.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to a science fiction world known simply as The City, in Realm Explorers Part XXXXII!
-Annie Douglass Lima
“Isn’t that what you planned to do all along? Stop them from trampling on that human soul?” -Casey, Sons of Earth.

It began on the manufacturing floor of the factory I work in. I was a brand new operator in a pharmaceutical plant, adjusting to the new regimen and rules. There were so many rules! Any product that didn’t meet the strictest of parameters was ‘reject’–garbage. One day I got this funny idea. What if we were manufacturing clones? What would the factory do with clones that didn’t meet their specifications?
With the idea of human ‘reject’–garbage clones–Sons of Earth was born.
A manufactured person is no person at all. Designed to fight and die, Dominic escaped from the metallic womb of Caspian Genetics. He knows that if he is found out he’s as good as dead, but he cannot forget that his brothers are enslaved. 
He matches his wits against Caspian’s might. But how can Dominic stand against an industry that denies his personhood when he doubts his own humanity? As his plans unravel, Dominic is forced to face the question: Was he lied to? Is he human after all?
Can you just ‘throw out’ a human being? I suspect a normal, rational person would say no. But what if we believed they weren’t really human? Some might think this is a giant leap, but I would contend that dehumanization is easier and more common than you’d think. Case in point: the YouTube comment section.
Have you heard the adage “Do unto others as you would have them do for you?” This golden rule is nowhere to be found in comment section debates, where the slightest difference of opinion is grounds for ridiculous name-calling. Unfortunately, I cannot exempt myself from this tendency, in the interest of full disclosure. Why do we do this? On a subconscious level we don’t believe they’re as human, or as valuable as we are.
Let’s move down a layer. One of the main arguments in the prolife/prochoice abortion debate is ‘When does the fetus become a human being?’ By the grounds of ‘it isn’t a person,’ thousands of babies are aborted. The motto, “To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss” could be aptly applied.
So it doesn’t take a big stretch in my overactive imagination to picture clones that didn’t quite make spec being fatally injected and incinerated. Rights? They have no rights. Those who are good enough are sold, and their owners do what they please with them.
Dominic, Casey and Justine do not call them worthless. Dominic calls them his brothers. Caspian Genetics treated him like scum, and he’d like to serve it back to them. Casey and Justine are devout Christians and see the clones as God’s creation, just as they are. But they are just blue-collar workers, nobodies themselves.

A penniless son of a drunk struggles to make a good life for his family. A clone’s search for revenge lands him in a relationship that will break the heart he didn’t know he had. An unlikely alliance challenges an industry.
What is a life worth? Explore this with me in Sons of Earth.

Geralyn Wichers writes from Manitoba, Canada. When not writing, or working in the factory, she can be found running down the sidewalks and trails of her hometown, singing in the church choir, or staring into space–possibly all while carrying a massive book.

Author’s blog: http://childrenofthewords.com/
Amazon link for book: http://mybook.to/sonsofearth 

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Covering HomeCovering Home
Heidi McCahan
Adult Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 310 Pages

January 18th 2015 by Snug Corner Cove Press

On assignment in Japan, television personality turned sportscaster Britt Bowen is determined to land an interview with the most reclusive pitcher in baseball and prove she can succeed in a demanding profession. A relationship with a self-absorbed professional athlete is the last thing Britt needs. 

Shunning all media attention, former All-Star pitcher Caleb Scott is focused on rebuilding his career in Japan, far from his past and the horrible tragedy that nearly ruined him. Then he meets Britt, who is everything he vowed to avoid. 
But it doesn’t take long before Caleb is battling his attraction toward Britt. While she works to uncover his secrets, she can’t deny she’s drawn to his wounded soul. At a crossroads, Caleb must decide if he can break free from his past mistakes and give love another chance. And Britt must choose between advancing her career – or falling in love.

Behind the Scenes of Covering Home

A novel about a female sportscaster and a professional baseball player set in … Japan? How did you come up with that? How much research went into the writing of this novel?
These are the most frequent questions I’ve answered from readers. Often a story idea sort of percolates in my head and I play with it for a while and see if I can build a whole novel from that one idea. But Covering Home came to be in a much different fashion.
Initially, I saw a call for submissions from a publisher for a story set in Tokyo, Japan that featured a bat, a bell, and an angel. For the non-writers out there, a call for submissions is something writers pay attention to because it’s the publisher’s way of telling writers what they are looking for. This particular publisher wanted a novella, which is about 25,000 words or so. As soon as I dropped Britt Bowen and Caleb Scott in the lobby of that hotel, I knew I had something special going on. Once the characters came to life on the page, I couldn’t stop at a novella. It was sooo much fun to write. It wasn’t always easy, though, and I stopped and started many times. But I kept going and eventually had almost 90,000 words in the first draft. Needless to say, some serious editing and re-writing went on. Many authors say the re-writing phase is where the magic happens, but I still find it to be a daunting task. I did work that bat, bell and angel in there, too. You’ll have to see if you can find all three.
A trip to Japan several years ago helped me describe the scenes in Tokyo, including the train rides, the experience of attending a baseball game and some of the cultural observations. But the scenes involving eating at the restaurants, the differences between baseball in Japan versus the US, as well as the inside of the hotel (and the amusement park outside) required quite a bit of research.
In a former career, prior to marriage and children, I worked as an athletic trainer at a university and watched A LOT of baseball games. The banter between the athletes, an athlete’s response to injury, the experience of being in a dugout, were all things I’d witnessed at the college level. Even though I’m not a sportscaster, I was able to piece together enough details to create believable scenes. Writing the parts about Caleb pitching the ball required research, as well as the rules of the game that impact wins and losses. That was perhaps the most grueling part because I wanted to get it right.
I’m proud of this fun, sweet romance. Not only does it have a subtle message of hope and redemption, it also gives readers an opportunity to see a little slice of life in a land you might not have visited yet. I hope you all enjoy reading Covering Home.

Heidi McCahanHeidi McCahan is a Pacific Northwest girl at heart. She spent her formative years in Alaska, where her unique upbringing, coupled with Alaska’s breathtaking scenery, fueled her active imagination and loosely inspired her debut novel, Unraveled
Heidi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University and a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband, Steve. They currently live in North Carolina with their three boys. 
When Heidi isn’t stepping on Legos, chauffeuring the boys around suburbia or watching one of their many sporting events, she loves to read and write heartwarming romance.


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18th: Launch
31st: Grand Finale

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– US Grand Prize: Birchbox 3-month subscription ($30 value) & signed paperback of Covering Home (US Only)
– Gift Card Grand Prize: $20 Gift Card for Amazon/iTunes/B&N (winner’s choice) & an ebook of Covering Home (open internationally)
– Ends April 7th

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A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

The Best Laid Plans (Chicago Sisters, #2)The Best Laid Plans
(Chicago Sisters #2)
Amy Vastine
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages

March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She planned on falling in love. Just not with him!

Emma Everhart’s life is going according to plan. Finish nursing school with flying colours? Check. Get a great job in the ER? Check. Marry a handsome doctor and have two babies, three years apart? Not quite yet. But with a dreamy new doctor joining the hospital staff, she’s so close she can almost taste the wedding cake. Now is not the time to let the tall, dark and flirtatious paramedic Charlie Fletcher distract her! He may be the best date and best kiss she’s ever had, but he’s definitely not part of her plan. No matter how he makes her feel.

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Harlequin

The Better Man (Chicago Sisters)The Better Man
(Chicago Sisters #1)
by Amy Vastine
Adult Romance 
Harlequin Heartwarming
January 1st 2014

Kendall Montgomery’s six-year-old son has barely spoken in the past year, locked in his world of silent grief. Then one day, he spots his dead father across a crowded street.

Max Jordan moved to Chicago to be closer to his own son and prove he can be a better father than his deadbeat dad. His striking resemblance to Kendall’s husband and his track record with fatherhood make her determined to keep her distance – until Max helps her little boy come out of his shell. But can she trust him with their future? How can she be sure he won’t take off just when they need him most?

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all the readers out there! St. Patrick’s Day isn’t my most favorite holiday but it does make me a little excited. March 17th means spring is almost here and we might finally get to put our winter coats away here in Chicago. It also makes me feel lucky.

The Irish are synonymous with being lucky. Apparently it’s an American thing not an Irish thing. The Irish immigrants and the Irish Americans who were part of the gold and silver rush of the 19th century were associated with a lot of good fortune. It became a joke that the Irish must be lucky because they didn’t have the smarts to be so successful. Ouch!
I am not of Irish descent, by my husband is. His maternal grandmother’s family was Irish. We were lucky enough to get to visit Ireland with his parent back in the late 90’s. It was a gorgeous place with some of the friendliest people I have ever met. I understood once I got there why green is the color of the Irish. Everything over there is the most beautiful shade of green. My husband had lawn envy for sure!
I think we all wish for some luck now and then. Some people carry around a lucky charm or some go through some superstitious ritual to ensure some good fortune. We want to be lucky in Las Vegas. My dad is always feeling lucky when he buys a lottery ticket. But money isn’t the only thing we seek the help of luck to find. There are many out there hoping to get lucky in love.
If you think about it, if we all have a perfect match out there, how lucky do we need to be to find that person? That’s the big question for Charlie Fletcher in The Best Laid Plans. He’s beginning to fear he’ll never be that lucky. When he finds the person he believes is perfect for him, he worries he’s not lucky enough to be the perfect person for her.
Charlie doesn’t need luck, though. Luck doesn’t win you love. Charlie gets the girl because of who he chooses to be each and every day. Sometimes we have a little bit more control over our destiny than we think. Don’t chase the rainbow, looking for the pot of gold. BE the rainbow and the pot will come to you! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody.

Author pic

Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.
In September of 2012, she saw a tweet about Harlequinís So You Think You Can Write contest. She entered, hoping for nothing more than a little feedback from some people in the business. Amazingly, The Weather Girl made it into the semi-finals, thanks to the many wonderful voters out there! The manuscript didnít make it to the finals, but the editors over Harlequin were still interested. A few revisions later and The Weather Girl was contacted for publication with Harlequin Heartwarming ñ a dream come true!
Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.
Website – Goodreads – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest
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15th: Launch

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– $50 Amazon gift card & signed paperback of The Best Laid Plans (ebook if international winner)
– 5 copies of The Best Laid Plans (paperback to US winners and ebooks to international winners) and Chicago swag and Sweet and Heartwarming Bracelet for (US winners only)
Ends March 29th

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Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured books. 

Author’s name: Annie Douglass Lima
Title of series: Annals of Alasia
Titles of books: The main trilogy consists of Prince of Alasia, In the Enemy’s Service, and Prince of Malorn.  There is a short companion book entitled Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews.
Brief summary of the story:
Each book in the trilogy deals with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn.  Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life.  In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded.  Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion.  In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap.  Though each of the three can stand on its own, they each fill in gaps left by the others and together provide a much more complete picture of what was going on in Alasia and Malorn.
Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is a collection of twenty-four “interviews” I conducted with major and minor characters in the other three books.  Though not a novel in and of itself, it would be interesting to read alongside the trilogy.  In the interviews, characters reveal more about their personalities, motivations, and backgrounds, talking about themselves in their own “voice” and giving extra insights into the events of the series.  You can download it for free here.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
I’ll focus mainly on the kingdom of Alasia in this post.  It has four medium to large cities (Almar, Tainabi, Wistra, and Mosra), along with hundreds of smaller towns and villages.  Alasia is on a peninsula just north of Malorn, which is its only bordering nation.  Its culture, level of technology, etc. are much like that of medieval Europe.  The climate is warm in the summer and uncomfortably cold in the winter, though you won’t often find snow except up in the hills.  The people who live there are human, and there are no other sentient races.

If we were to visit Alasia as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you enjoy swimming or sunbathing, Alasia has miles and miles of beautiful beaches, and you might see dolphins playing in the surf or sea lions sunning themselves there.  A large factory in the city of Wistra produces glass for the kingdom for both practical and decorative purposes; they give free tours, and there is a gift shop where you can purchase glass tableware and other souvenirs.  You should definitely make sure you stop by the capital city of Almar to see the magnificent palace on its hill overlooking the sea, although you probably won’t be allowed inside unless you have royal connections.
What dangers should we avoid in Alasia?
As in most cities anywhere, I would recommend staying away from low-income areas at night, especially if you’re alone.  Overall, though, Alasia has been primarily a safe and peaceful kingdom until recently.  Now, you’ll want to avoid the Malornian soldiers (easily identifiable in their red and black uniforms) who patrol the streets of every major city along with many of the smaller towns.  Though officially looking for the missing prince who slipped through their fingers on the night of the Invasion, they also tend to be looking for trouble.  Avoid antagonizing them or even catching their attention if you can help it, and if you’re lucky they will leave you alone.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Alasia?
If you’re fortunate enough to be invited to a royal banquet, you will be served delicacies such as roast venison in a honey glaze, smoked salmon with lime sauce, and/or apricot stuffed quail.  At an average inn, you might eat roast pork or beef with gravy, mixed vegetables, and bread or potatoes.  In the coastal towns, little stands selling fresh grilled seafood are common.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Alasia?
The military uses broadswords and shields, along with bows and arrows. Twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin is skilled with both the bow and sword, though neither does him much good when he is forced to live in disguise.  Erik, Jaymin’s young bodyguard, is an expert in using unarmed combat against sword- and dagger-wielding opponents, which is a more useful and much less common skill.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used for travel in Alasia?
Those who can afford one usually ride a horse, and many people in the middle or upper class also own a carriage, wagon, cart, or small buggy, depending on their occupation.  Boat travel between coastal cities is common as well.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Alasia.
Bow hunting is common throughout the kingdom, and garden archery is a popular hobby among the upper class.  It’s also common for wealthy families to have their sons trained in fencing (using unsharpened weapons only).  Many families entertain themselves indoors (especially on winter evenings) by telling stories, singing, or playing card games.  Outside, children often jump rope or play a sport similar to soccer.  Those who can’t afford a real ball will fashion a makeshift one from a bundle of rags tied up tightly with twine.
What is the political or government structure in Alasia?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Alasia is a monarchy.  King Jaymin III was the ruler until he was assassinated by invaders from neighboring Malorn.  Now the kingdom is under the control of Malorn’s Prince Korram, with Regent Rampus holding the reins of power until young Korram comes of age.  The Malornian conquerors have been gripping Alasia with an iron fist, levying new taxes and carefully controlling who is allowed to travel where.  They have also seized control of important products such as glass and have begun sending them back to Malorn.
Jaymin III was a benevolent ruler but not really in touch with the lives of citizens in the middle and lower classes.  His newly orphaned son, Prince Jaymin IV, has his eyes opened as he is forced to live in disguise in an especially poor part of a poor town.  Coming face to face with poverty and need in the lives of ordinary citizens, young Jaymin is determined to improve his people’s lives someday if he is ever able to claim his rightful throne. 

Author autobiography:

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 eight books (three YA action adventure/fantasy novels, a collection of character interviews, one puppet script, and four anthologies of her students’ poetry, all available through the links in the sidebar to the right). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?

Prince of Alasia 
In the Enemy’s Service 
Prince of Malorn 
Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews (available for free!)
Where can readers connect with you online? 

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Alasia.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the kingdom of Malorn, in Realm Explorers Part XXXXI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

 On tour with Pristm Book Tours.

It’s the Grand Finale for THE SWEET ROMANCE TOUR:
Rough Edges
By Kimberly Krey

Did you miss any of the sweet EXCLUSIVE CONTENT from this tour? 
If you did, go back and learn more about this book and series now!

Brooke Blogs – Excerpt

     Their eyes met once more, and a shot of heat flooded his chest like a liquid bolt of lightening, forcing his pulse to rush. “I’ve missed you,” he blurted.
     Her eyes widened in response, and Braden wondered if he’d been too bold. He’d hardly meant to speak it. It’d been more of a thought. A longing, really.

Pieces of Whimsy – Braden’s Workshop

I thought it might be fun to take a look at Braden’s workshop, or at least the way I picture it…
(Photo Details ID 11628233 © Gleb Semenov | Dreamstime.com http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-workplace-carpenter-image11628233)

Beck Valley Books – The Second Chances Series

Now for a peek into the rest of the Second Chances Series:

Rough Edges
(Second Chances #1)
by Kimberly Krey

Paperbook & ebook, 322 Pages
January 23rd 2015

Rough Edges starts off my newest series, Second Chances – a companion to the Sweet Montana Bride series. Featuring some of the characters you know and love, this series will give Allie, Logan, and a new character, Bree, (you’ll meet her in Allie’s story) a second chance at romance. If you haven’t read the Sweet Montana Bride series, no worries. This series, as well as each book within, will stand alone just fine. Now for a bit about the book.

Divorced mother, Allie Emerson, never imagined she’d be raising two teenage girls on her own. Between parenting and paying the bills, she hasn’t even thought about meeting a man. That changes once she hears local carpenter, Braden Fox, is in need of a secretary. Back in high school, Allie had done all she could to deny the sparks burning between her and Braden; but would the chemistry still be there after all this time?

Braden has heard all about what Terrance did to Allie and the girls. He’s been planning to stop by and see how she’s getting along, but Allie beats him to it by showing up at his shop in search of a job. Her unexpected visit reignites the old flame Braden used to torch for her; trouble is, old feelings of resentment return as well. Allie did choose Terrance over him, after all. And as much as Braden wants Allie in his life, he’s not sure he can open his heart to her again.

With a second chance at romance, will the bumps in their relationship be too much to get over, or will this carpenter learn to smooth out the past?

Allie Emerson gets her happy ending at last in my new release, Rough Edges, available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About Kimberly Krey

Writing Romance That’s Clean Without Losing the Steam!

I’m a reader of good, clean romance, a lover of family time and Diet Coke, and the ultimate hater of laundry.

I’m not patient enough to enjoy yoga, or tall enough to be great at basketball, but I do love to run – anywhere but on a treadmill. I love the sound of a rainstorm when I have no place to go, the feel of Soft Lips chap Stick on my lips, and the first peek of blue water as we round the mountains toward our favorite getaway in Bear Lake.


Tour Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Rough Edges, the author is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one winner, and a paperback of Rough Edges to another. Good luck, all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prism Book Tours