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: Inge Meldgaard
Title of book and/or series: The Seed Gatherers
Brief summary of the story:

Set in the year 2457, on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, a crime committed by two young Norwegians affects the entire community living at the base of the Dandenong Ranges. If caught, Yngwie and his friend Torleif, who are expert communication systems hackers, must answer to the Federation Special Investigation Unit. Others who use the event as inspiration plunge the forests and its people into chaos. The lives of scientists, forest guardians and seed gatherers are placed at risk, as are their cats – extraordinary creatures bred in special centres and with the power to influence human emotions.

In this third book of the series, that began with ‘The Cicada’, followed by ‘A Death In The Making’, the story gradually links back to earlier, unresolved questions. It also continues to explore the relationship between the cats and their human companions. When the geneticists at the breeding centre in Werribee realise the cats can perhaps no longer be controlled, they are faced with an ethical dilemma. Similarly, after a new and intriguing forest inhabitant is discovered, those who know of its existence must decide whether to reveal its secret.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

By the year 2050, the world’s population had reached ten billion, and by 2090, had risen to twelve billion. Finally, by 2135, with a population of fifteen billion, Earth was in a state of crisis. Species extinctions increased exponentially and the planet’s ecosystems were at breaking point. The sick, the frail, the prematurely born and the disabled could no longer gain access to dwindling medical supplies and overextended facilities, so died in their hundreds of millions. Life expectancy dropped to a meagre fifty-six years in even the least affected countries.

As the world’s climate became increasingly unstable, and the wealthier nations began to feel the direst impacts, an awareness of the need for global government developed. The United Nations Assembly was transformed into the World Federation of Nations. Economic and technological aid, together with political incentives, were offered to those countries unable, or unwilling, to introduce population control or effective resource conservation measures. Some resisted what they perceived as interference and closed their borders, nationalising foreign-owned industries in a vain attempt to exclude the outside world. Others saw themselves as powerful enough to defy both the Federation and the inevitable consequences of their actions, so declared war – and solved their population problems by losing. Yet, by the middle of the twenty-third century, the world was finally at peace, although by this time had lost most of its natural forests and other wild places, while humans now numbered a mere three billion.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used for travel?

The ancient centres of inner London, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Amsterdam were now ghostly ruins, surrounded by water and inhabited by shadows, while the newer, and yet still relatively old, cities of Vancouver, Miami and New Orleans had been destroyed by the unleashed violence of tidal waves. The tidal waves followed a worldwide series of massive earthquakes, during which Japan and the American state of California were destroyed, together with countless other vulnerable regions and low-lying island states.

Melbourne was more fortunate than many other coastal cities, being sheltered from the worst storms by Port Phillip Bay. Some of the older buildings in the central area were lost, but those which had been well built, or were strategically placed on the summits of low hills, survived as islands in a shallow and gentle sea. The noise, smell and dirt of the city’s streets were, in time, replaced by the grace and silence of solar-electric powered watercraft. The walls of the buildings, once covered in grime from exhaust fumes, returned to their original colours, and after almost two hundred years, the sunlight now sparkled on clean waters.

What is the political or government structure in 25th century Earth?
The World Federation of Nations has member countries with democratic national governments and where relevant, State governments. Everyone is required to work a 25-hour week to the best of their ability, and in return are provided with all essential services, delivered by government organisations, receive a quota of scarce resources, and in addition, a number of credits with which to buy goods and services produced by private enterprises.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in 25th century Earth?
Although the world is now finally at peace, realistic attitudes towards the occasional need for self-defence, together with a wish to promote self-confidence and physical fitness, means children usually begin martial arts training at a young age, with an emphasis on Wing Chun kung fu, due to its overall philosophy of non-aggression.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in 25thcentury Earth?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
To some extent answering this question gives a significant part of the story away, so let’s just say that cats are not the only creatures who have developed strange powers: so have certain people, and they have ancestors who are described in the epilogue to the second book of this series, A Death In The Making. Notably, only Australians have these powers at this point in time.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I was born in Denmark, which has a long history of social equality, a remarkably sensible approach to life, and from the 1920s to the early 1990s, a socialist government, whereby everyone could feel secure in the knowledge that they could contribute to the country and in return be well provided for. My parents imbued me with a strong sense of social responsibility and the need to care for what we have, as well as our environment. This in turn led me to question many of the social norms of the decades in which I grew up, i.e. the 1960s and 70s, and to join various organizations to fight for social change. My novels are a reflection of my need to explore options, challenge assumptions, and to put forward possibilities for discussion and change, where needed. I don’t pretend to say my scenarios are ‘correct’, but I do intend them to be thought provoking.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
The main issues I focus upon are concerned with climate change as it affects both people and the natural environment; our relationship with animals; and the problems faced by people who are ‘different’ from the majority, in particular those with disabilities.
Author Autobiography:
 My family migrated to Australia in 1957, where I grew up in the small country town of Yallourn. After finishing high school in 1970, I studied at Monash University, in Melbourne, for a Bachelor of Science in botany and genetics. From 1975 to 1984, I worked in a variety of professions, including youth work and teaching. Returning to study, I completed a Graduate Diploma in applied social research at Swinburne University, then worked in politics and community development until I once again returned to study in 1989, this time obtaining a Graduate Diploma in information technology. Since then, until retirement in 2006, I worked in this field, finally spending nine years as an IT Manager with Monash University.
I now live in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne, and since retiring have spent more time enjoying photography and art; writing poetry, short stories and novels; producing an illustrated children’s book, and publishing a personal memoir for another author. My other life-long interests include gardening, interior decoration and the appreciation of pre-WWII architecture.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books? 
All my books are available in paperback and eBook formats (epub, pdf and Kindle), and the children’s book is also available as a hardcover edition. They are available worldwide from all major retail websites, as well as from Australian library suppliers.
Where can readers connect with you online?

I have a personal Facebook page, which is easy enough to find because I’m the only person with my name living in Australia. I also have a Twitter account @ingemeldgaard, a large profile on the world’s most prolific art website (redmatilda.deviantart.com) and my email address is [email protected]
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to 25th century Earth.  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 fantasy land of Victory Valley, in Realm Explorers Part LVIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima
Oftentimes in life, our biggest problem comes from the angle we’re looking at things. When we straighten out the perspectives, in our own minds, we might just see the solution readily available. That’s why our perspective should always be guided by the Bible. God’s Holy Word is the only straight angle that will keep us in the proper perspective.

This 4-week devotional for women offers a unique perspective from the daily life of a mom of six, a full-time caregiver, and a crazy cat lady all rolled up into one person.
Dealing with topics such as: getting lost in an elevator, everybody’s got baggage, following your heart, and loving what God loves, Right Angles: A Women’s Devotional looks at things we women deal with on a daily basis.
This devotional will be on sale for 0.99 cents from July 25 – July 27, 2015. Available on Amazon at
You can also find more from Sherry Chamblee at www.sherrychamblee.weebly.comor her Facebook page at

by Alana Terry

When Kennedy Stern’s childhood pastor asks her to volunteer at his new pregnancy center, she carves time out of her rigorous college schedule to promote the cause of the unborn.

After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child in the first place, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds.
Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory.
Alana Terry has won awards from Women of Faith, the Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books writing contest.

Download the book here.

Annie’s review:

I really enjoyed this book.  It’s a gripping story, quite fast paced in places.  Fans of the author’s international suspense novels (Beloved Daughter, Slave Again, and Torn Asunder) will enjoy getting to know Kennedy Stern, a minor character only referred to briefly elsewhere in the series.  But this book is a whole separate story, so it’s not necessary to have read the others in order to understand and enjoy this one.  

Unlike Alana Terry’s other books, Unplanned takes place entirely in the United States, instead of North Korea and China.  It starts readers off in the frazzled schedule of a new college student trying to juggle classes, church, friendships, and ministry activities, along with adjusting to life in a country she hasn’t lived in since she was little.  Then the ministry she reluctantly volunteered for opens a door to a huge problem that eats into even more of her time, and before she knows it, things spiral out of control.  Danger to herself and others plunges Kennedy into a crisis of faith as she struggles desperately to save three lives, including her own, and to get to the bottom of a mystery that may involve a prominent politician.

If you enjoy mystery and suspense, read Unplanned!  It’s an exciting story that deals well with a controversial subject.  The author doesn’t shy away from tricky issues, like where God is when things go wrong and prayers seem to go unanswered.  (She certainly doesn’t give pat answers to them, either.)  Not to give any spoilers, but this is not a story where all the problems are nicely taken care of by the end, everything is wrapped up, and everybody can go back to happy little lives.  Nothing that deals with issues this real and serious can end that neatly.  But the ending is as satisfying as it could realistically get, and there are just enough unanswered questions to let us know the author is planning a sequel.  And I can’t wait to read it!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Fall in love in Swallow’s Fall with
The Turnaround Treasure Shop
by bestselling Australian romance author Jennie Jones!

Introduction and Exclusive Excerpt
By Author Jennie Jones
Looking for a delightful, warm story about family and second-chance love? The Turnaround Treasure Shop follows the adventures of the heart for Lily Johnson. Everyone has the right to at least one dream coming true, and Lily is determined to achieve her goal on her own. But things are tough on the financial front and if she doesn’t take the chance offered to her by ex-Navy Captain Nick Barton, she might find that “one day” never comes.
The Turnaround Treasure Shop is book #4 in the bestselling Swallow’s Fall series. But each book in the series can be read alone and frequently are – Jennie’s had plenty of readers buy book #3 and then go back for books #1 and #2. 
Jennie’s fictional town of Swallow’s Fall is set in a remote country area in the Australian Snowy Mountains and boasts 100 residents. Lots of them falling in love, some of them longing for dreams to come true, some of them scheming or creating mayhem with their matchmaking plans – but all of them leaving a mark on this small country town.
Jennie has a great rapport with her readers all over the world and recently asked them if they’d read a new series: Daughters of Swallow’s Fall – and the resounding answer was – Yes! But before that, the next book in this series (#5) The House at the End of the Street is releasing on July 27th.
Read on for the excerpt…
“Good morning.” Lily Johnson didn’t look at Nicholas Barton, instead skimming her smile in the direction of the top of his head and off it again as fast as politely possible. Not that he noticed.
“Morning, Lily,” he said, dark head bowed to the breakfast plate she’d put on the table in front of him.
He wore a dark green crewneck with a white T-shirt beneath, the sleeves of his sweater pushed up his arms, the way they always were. How he got through the Snowy Mountains climate without a coat, Lily didn’t know. Even summers weren’t exactly drenched in heat in this part of Australia, and autumn always had a nip in the air. He was hardly ever out of dark green or bark-brown colours. A throw-back to his armed-forces days, probably. The strong silent type — but not mean or standoffish — just reserved. Which suggested a caring nature, Lily had always thought.
She moved to an empty table next to him and picked up a cruet set and a tomato sauce bottle, reminding herself to tell the young girl who’d worked Saturday night’s restaurant shift that she needed to make sure every table was set for the next day before leaving work.
“There.” She fussed with the salt and pepper, and straightened the napkin holder. “Enjoy,” she said, wiping her hands onto her white apron and hoping the salutation sounded the way it did when she said it to every customer she served breakfast.
“Thanks,” he said, in the same low-toned, unruffled manner he’d used to thank her for his weekend breakfasts for the last year.
He picked up his knife and fork. His forearms were thick and toughened with muscle. Those muscles wouldn’t stop at his elbows, they’d go right up his arms to support his heavy-duty shoulders. It was all that muscle which probably kept his body temperature warmed.
He looked up, his hooded leaf-green eyes holding an enquiry. “Everything all right?”
Lily stumbled over her laugh. “Sorry. Daydreaming.” Ouch. Daydreaming about Nick was taboo, and she didn’t want him knowing any of her taboo thoughts.
She turned for the kitchen of Kookaburra’s Hotel, and fanned her blazing face. Nicholas Barton made her tremble. He’d been making her tremble for 12 months and no matter how hard she tried to put the moment behind her, the recollection of the awkward position she’d put him in at last years’ Easter Bunny Ball fried her brain every time she saw him. Like a splash of hot oil on the scalp.
This year’s Ball was happening in two weeks’ time. Would he remember last year’s and stay clear? Or had he wiped the incident from his memory the way she wiped her hands on her apron? He was too much of a gentleman to have referred to it since, but sometimes Lily had the sense that behind his unflappable exterior, there was a zing of anticipation in the air between them. That was the bit that made Lily tremble.

The Turnaround Treasure Shop

(Swallows Fall, #4)
by Jennie Jones
Adult Contemporary Romance

Ebook, 142 pages
May 22nd 2015 by Harlequin MIRA

Fatalistic, long divorced and doing her best to give her children a good life, Lily Johnson works two jobs in her hometown of Swallow’s Fall, saving every spare cent for the day she can lease the empty corner shop on Main Street. She longs to open it as Turnaround Treasures, a second-hand shop bursting with rescued country curios — but there aren’t enough spare cents and Lily’s dream is slipping away.

Ex-Navy diver Nick Barton arrived in Swallow’s Fall a year ago to quietly reunite himself with civvy life. Recognising an instant attraction to Lily, Nick backed away fast. Given his track record of an unhappy ex-wife and the baggage that comes with a Special Forces career, Nick doesn’t think he stands a chance with shy, reserved Lily. He can’t be with her – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t see her.

Lily has spent her whole life cheerfully giving to others. When Nick offers her the ultimate chance for a turnaround, will Lily’s fear of being ‘second hand’ ruin the opportunity of forever love for both of them?

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Bestselling author Jennie Jones loves writing rich, warm-hearted and refreshing stories of adventures of the heart. She’s a self-confessed would-be small town country girl and longs for the day when she and her family can set up home in a cute country cottage in the middle of a huge field. Until then, Jennie is enjoying life a five minute walk from the beach. She can hear the ocean as she types her stories.

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God loves you. God loves me. He has great plans for your life.
On April 6, 2012, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “God loves you, God loves those you love and He has great plans for your lives.”
I was soberly leaving the funeral of my dearest friend, Heather. We had been friends since childhood. I still remember the day we met. What I remember most is her smile that lit up any room.

Heather was tragically killed in a traffic accident. She lost control of her car, hit a tree and was instantly killed. She left behind a loving husband and two amazing sons.
She had such a joy and vigor for life that it seemed such a waste to lose her so soon. In an instant, and without warning, the lives of her friends and family were intertwined like a violent whirlwind. We were in shock and at times just stood and looked at each other, dumbfounded, with no words to express our sorrow. 
But as we left the funeral home, I looked at my husband and said, “Some people ask the question ‘why?’ When people experience loss, they often ask God, ‘why?’ I don’t have to know why. I trust God. I know He loves me, He loves Heather’s family and He has great plans for our lives.”
November 2, 2012, I was reminded of those words again. Our two-year-old son, Ryan, had been sick for a month. After multiple trips to our pediatrician, we finally took him to the local children’s hospital. The doctors ran a battery of tests and then notified us that our son had type 1 diabetes. 

For some unknown reason, his little body attacked his pancreas and shut it down. That day we were hit with the realization that every day, for the rest of his life, we would have to fight to keep him alive. As my heart turned inside out and shock set in I heard the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit, “God loves you, God loves Ryan and He has great plans for your lives.”
Our heartache was multiplied at the end of 2012 when my Grandma Nesbit passed away and, two weeks later, my sweet Granny Burklund suddenly died.
When we experience unfathomable tragedy, we plead with God to give us words of grandeur and enlightenment that will encompass all our unanswered questions. Instead, He often steals our hearts and enraptures us with His love. He tenderly directs our hearts and thoughts to the purest and simplest ideas.
God loves you. God loves me. He has great plans for our lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 — “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
When tragedy strikes we may not feel like we have control over our emotions. We may feel we have lost our minds or even that His Spirit has left us. Even in these moments, we can access hope and a future gazing into His eyes and experiencing His almighty presence. We are given many examples of this in the Bible.
King David chose sin, but he repented, chose to seek after God, and was blessed with a legacy through Solomon and later through Jesus.
Jacob was tricked, but God gave him what was promised and much more.
Hannah was barren, but through keeping a promise to God, she had a son, Samuel, who was a prophet and a judge to the nation of Israel.
Esther, an orphan, became a queen and put her life on the line for her people. God used her obedience to rescue her people from death and persecution.
We never know when tragedy may strike, but we do know that we have a God who is with us in the midst of it. No matter what trial we face, if we choose God we choose hope and a future!

Angela is an adventurous mom who has traveled the world. Angela decided to start writing after her youngest son was diagnose with Type 1 DIABETES. Angela’s life message is that even when life is not so simple what you need is simple faith.

Visit her blog at  pureandsimplefaith.blogspot.com

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.  
You can download today’s book for FREE today only!

Author’s name: Katy Huth Jones
Title of book and/or series: Mercy’s Prince
Brief summary of the story: As second son of the King of Levathia, seventeen-year-old Valerian desires the quiet life of a scholarly monk. But when he fails to save his older brother in battle, Valerian must instead become crown prince. While a traitorous knight schemes against him, Valerian meets Mercy, a pacifist Healer with whom he can speak mind-to-mind like the great dragons. Their bond emboldens Valerian to seek out the legendary dragons and ask for their help against the monsters who killed his brother. Can Valerian survive the traitor’s assassins long enough to find the dragons? And if he does, can he convince them to lay aside their hatred of humans and help him save the land from destruction?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: Levathia was discovered 300
years ago by Valerian’s ancestor, who led several ships of people to a “new world” when they had to escape persecution in their homeland. It’s a peninsula with a jagged mountain range called the Dragon’s Backbone dividing the land in two. The north has rocky hills, evergreens, and lonely moors, while forest blankets much of the south. The land was called Levathia after the discovery of the many large dragon species.
If we were to visit Levathia as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? Definitely visit The Keep, the largest castle and seat of government in the north not far from the Dragon’s Backbone mountain range. Castle Westmoor is the most beautiful castle, situated on the western coast, and nearby are many lovely beaches.
What dangers should we avoid in Levathia? Unless you can speak mind-to-mind, you’ll want to avoid the sea dragons and be very careful around the great flying dragons. The most dangerous creatures are the river dragons, because they can’t be reasoned with.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Levathia? If you were to visit the pacifists in The Village of Peace, you would be served vegetarian meals, all rather bland. Mercy makes a great savory potato pie, though.  In other places about Levathia one can eat mutton, venison, wild pig, and some fowl supplemented by root vegetables and various types of squash and cabbage. Except for berries, fruit is a rare delicacy. The bread grains are coarse but flavorful. If you visit The Keep, you will most likely get to taste one of the head cook’s amazing confections, which are works of art with amazing detail.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Levathia? Because the original settlers encountered dragons of various sizes, some extremely large and dangerous, swords were abandoned in favor of spears and bows, in order to more effectively defend against the dragons. Now that Prince Valerian has found the 300-year-old sword of his ancestor, the lost arts of crafting swords and fighting with them will be revived.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Levathia? The society of Levathia most closely resembles Earth’s twelfth century, so most people walk, ride in horse-drawn carts, and those who can afford them ride horses. Master Murray, the armorer at The Keep, is trying his best to improve technology, but it’s a slow process.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Levathia that we don’t see on Earth? The plants are similar with a few exceptions, such as shaggy beard trees, Dragon’s bane (a beautiful but poisonous plant), and blue balmflower, which is used to control pain. The most obvious creatures that remind the traveler he/she is no longer on Earth are the many dragon species: the great flying, fire-breathing dragons who are fully sentient but can only communicate with a few gifted humans, the large sea dragons with a limited ability to communicate, the river dragons which can grow to the size of saltwater crocodiles, the scavenger dragons which resemble Komodo dragons, and the smaller ones: gliding tree dragons and crawling burrowing dragons. The reptilian Horde from the neighboring land of Mohorovia use weapons and primitive tools, but their species has a hive mentality and does not value the individual.
Some authors go to drastic measures to avoid actually writing their manuscripts.
Here’s the result of one of Katy’s sewing projects: Prince Valerian, Mercy, and the dragon leader Albinonix.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Levathia?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. There is no magic, per se, but a very few individuals are supernaturally gifted by the Most High. Valerian is a Seer and has the ability to read people’s thoughts and emotions when he makes direct eye contact. Mercy has the gift of Healing which not only enables her to see damage within and mend injuries but to touch plants and know which parts can aid in Healing. Unfortunately she has to be careful, because using the gift takes energy from her. Valerian and Mercy have the rare gift of being able to speak mind-to-mind with the great dragons, and also with one another, a hereto unknown gift.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Levathia. Every spring the king holds court at The Keep and during that time hosts a tournament, featuring a joust, individual weapons competitions, Highland games, and races for the squires. Music and dancing are popular throughout the land. Valerian’s squire, Kieran MacLachlan, is especially gifted at dancing.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Levathia as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? Yes, there are 12 months and 7 days in a week. There is a big feast held in each of the four seasons, and the king’s birthday (May 1) is a national holiday.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Levathia?  Please describe what it involves. The religion of Levathia is similar to a simplified version of the medieval Catholic church. Since the people fled their homeland and have lost contact, the highest office in the church is a bishop. The pacifists are a sect that broke away from the traditional church because they refused to fight or cause any harm to man or beast.
What is the political or government structure in Levathia?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he? Levathia is a feudal society, with the land divided into seven provinces. King Orland is supreme ruler, a wise and just man, though he doesn’t understand the importance of studying history and law in making judgments, as Valerian strives to do.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Levathia? Most people, men and women, wear their hair short, with the exception of the pacifists, who never cut their hair and wear it in a braid of three strands to represent the Triune God.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? The only possibly controversial topic would be how war and violence affects those with peaceful hearts and backgrounds.
Author Autobiography: Katy Huth Jones grew up in a family where creative juices overflowed and made puddles to splash in. When not writing or sewing or drawing or taking photos, Katy plays piccolo and flute in a regional symphony. She lives with her husband Keith in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Their two sons, whom she homeschooled, have flown the nest and live creative lives of their own.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links. Right now Mercy’s Prince is only available through Amazon in paperbackand Kindleformat.  The Kindle version is free today (July 20th)!
Where can readers connect with you online? 
I have a blog, a facebook page, and am on twitter and pinterest.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Levathia.  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 fantasy realm of The Underworld, in Realm Explorers Part LVII!
-Annie Douglass Lima
Jaye L. Knight’s new novella, Half-Blood, has been released! Learn more about this prequel story to Ilyon Chronicles and make sure you also enter the tour giveaway at the bottom!
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00026]
About the Book
The gasps and murmuring grew. Though some were hardly more than whispers, clear words reached Jace’s ears—dangerous, monster, animal, soulless. He tried to back away from their accusing eyes, but the collar pulled hard against his throat and held him in place.

For all his years as a slave, Jace has known nothing but the hatred people hold for his mixed blood—one half human, the other half the blood of a race considered monsters. Always, he is the outsider and quickly learns it is better to keep to himself. But, when his volatile ryrik blood leads him to do the unthinkable, he is thrown into a world of violence and bloodshed.

Forced to become a gladiator, Jace finds more and more of his heart dying as his master works to break down his will not to become the monster everyone believes he is. When a stranger interferes with his master’s harsh punishment, Jace’s world is upended yet again. But with it comes the possibility of hope that has long since died. Could the man possibly hold the key to escaping the hopeless darkness that is Jace’s life? Is there such a thing as life beyond the cruelty of slavery?
See where Jace’s story all began . . .
amazon-buy goodreads
Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!
About the Author
JayeAuthor2015Jaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Etsy, and on her new fiction forum where you can interact with other readers of the series.

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed giveaway pack! Prizes include an autographed copy of Half-Blood, a blue feather bookmark hand crafted by Jaye, a bronze sword pendant, and a $5 Amazon gift card! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)

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Wednesday, July 22

Downtown. Coffee shop. 2 AM.
One minute, Josh is firing off sarcastic remarks at his best friend Marc – the next, they’re running from shape-shifters. Apparently, even best friends don’t share all their secrets.
Now Josh is in danger. He can see the monsters among the humans.
When Marc is kidnapped, Josh finds himself pulled into the schemes of the fae courts, and throws in his lot with Marc’s allies: the lovely Larae, a human named David, and the fighter, Eliaster. But what began as a rescue mission becomes something much more involved…
And all Josh wants to do is get out before it’s too late.
Forged Steel is a new adult urban fantasy by H. A. Titus, releasing on July 17th. It will be available in print (Amazon) and ebook (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd). If you’d like a chance to win free books, ask questions, and hear trivia about the writing/publishing of Forged Steel, there will be a Facebook event party on July 17th from 7-9 pm eastern time on the author’s page, H. A. Titus Author.

The first five chapters are vailable for preview on Wattpad.
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: Andrea Buginsky

Title of book and/or series: Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen Series, Book Three
Brief summary of the story:

As a young hunter seeks a trainer, The Chosen prepare for an unforgettable adventure.
With Nature and Phantasma back in order, Halli and Silvor have settled into their new life in Drumple. During a visit from Striker, Kaidyla and Lumina, a request from an old friend of Halli’s family sparks a new challenge when she asks Striker if he’ll train their young son, Dylan. Working with Dylan gives Striker a chance to be a mentor once again, as he had been in his past.
This brings The Chosen to an area of Phantasma Halli has never seen before. What new dangers might be lurking in the forest? Will Halli have a reason to use her powers?
But Halli and Silvor are facing a new journey of their own, one that will change their lives forever. What is in store for The Chosen’s future? Will this latest escapade prepare them for what is yet to come?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Phantasma is the world where The Chosen live. It is a small world, with various areas, towns, forests, regions, and the Capitol City, The Castle of the Elves, which lies in the middle of Phantasma. To the East of the Castle is Drumple, the small Dwarf village. To the West of the Castle of the Elves is Loch Moss, a very strange area covered in a thick slime. There is a bridge going over the Loch, connecting it from the East side to the West side, and another bridge crossing it from the North side to the South. To the West of Loch Moss lies The Swamp Lands. This is a very dangerous area that leads to The Darkness, Phantasma’s most dangerous area. North of Loch Moss is the forest area where many of Phantasma’s creatures can be found, the Caprice Forest and the Shamrock Forest. The forests lead to Londonham, Londonham is the home of the goliaths, the gentle giants. It lies to the furthest West of Phantasma, safely north of The Darkness. It’s big, full of large trees and buildings, and built to resemble the outdoors, as the goliaths love nature. North of the Castle of the Elves lie mountainous areas where the air grows colder and snow begins to fall. It’s blocked by South Gate, the southern entrance to Ogre Land where the ogres are from. If you’re determined to get to the northern region of Phantasma, bring some friends to help get you through the ogres’ village and cross through the North Gate. North of Ogre Land is Polard, the most northern point on Phantasma.
If we were to visit Phantasma as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
You definitely want to visit the Castle of the Elves! It’s the Capital of Phatasma, and the best place to run into many of Phantasma’s safe creatures. The best hunting spots are the Caprice and Shamrock forests. I recommend camping here for a few nights. Drumple is a very friendly town to visit. The dwarves love visitors, and will treat you to an ale at the Tavern. You can take in the beautiful views of the Ironworks Castle at the top of the mountain. But Londonham is my favorite village to visit. The goliaths are very friendly, and the area is magnificent, with so many wonderful creatures that will take your breath away…
What dangers should we avoid in Phantasma?
You should avoid the Loch, but if you want to go to the Caprice and Shamrock forests directly from the Castle of the Elves, it may hard to do so. Be sure you have a good hunting party with you. And I’d recommend avoiding the Ogres that live within the South and North Gate region, but if you want to visit Northern Phantasma, again, this is unavoidable. Make sure you have another large hunting party with you. Do not, however, under any circumstances, go to the Darkness!
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Phantasma?
No, you’ll pretty much find a variety of foods from the animals and vegetation that are native to each region.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Phantasma?
You’ll see all kinds of arrows, swords, and blades, not to mention fantastical magic spells. There aren’t many common fighting styles, but you may come across some friendly dueling as you travel through.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Phantasma?
The only way to travel across Phantasma is to walk or on horseback. Due to the distance, I definitely recommend horseback.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Phantasma that we don’t see on Earth?
You’ll meet the goliaths, and see many odd creatures, including ogres, matadors, sea creatures, and various other creatures spread throughout the land. Plant life is everywhere, from many different species of flowers and trees, to the darker plant life in the marshes.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Phantasma?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic is a huge part of Phantasma. There are mages, druids, shamans and paladins. You’ll mages casting a wide variety of spells, druids and shamans communing with nature, and paladins both fighting and healing. All of this magic is used when battling evil creatures on Phantasma.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Phantasma?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
No, in fact, you’ll feel as though you stepped back in time to when there were knights on horses protecting their kingdoms.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Phantasma.
If you’re a hunter, you can hunt for sport. Most of the gatherings happen in taverns and eateries in various villages across Phantasma. There are several celebrations throughout the year at the Castle of the Elves, hosted by Queen Laurali and King Jerome.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Phatasma as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Yes, they are the same. There aren’t any particular special events or celebrations exclusively only to Phantasma.
What is the political or government structure in Phantasma?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Castle of the Elves is the center of Phantasma, and is the kingdom. This is where Queen Laurali and King Jerome live, the rulers of Phantasma. They are both wonderful, fair-minded, and kind rulers.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Some of the characters’ personalities and names are based on my family and friends.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
None that I can think of. I do touch on coming-of-age issues, such as learning who you are and coming into your own.
Author Autobiography:
Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer, and decided to try to write fantasy books for teens. The Chosen is her first book, and was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight.
Andrea has written five more books since:
  • Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
  • Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen, Book 3
  • Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy
  • Fate: New Avalon, book 2, a YA fantasy
  • My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
She is currently writing the fourth book in The Chosen series.

Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.

You can visit Andrea on her website or Google+
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
The Chosen: The Chosen Series, Book One Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print  
Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen Series, Book Two Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen Series, Book Three Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Destiny: New Avalon, Book 1 Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print
Fate: New Avalon, Book 2 Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print 
My Open Heart Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Print  
Where can readers connect with you online?
Twitter: @andreabuginsky
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Phantasma.  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 fantasy world of Levathia, in Realm Explorers Part LVI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re blitzing about the audiobook release of
Suspicious & The Sheriff of Shelter Valley
By Heather Graham & Tara Taylor Quinn

This Harlequin Bestseller Author Collection is the re-release of Suspicious by Heather Graham and The Sheriff of Shelter Valley by Tara Taylor Quinn, two best-selling romantic suspense books.
Find out more about this collection and the audiobook release from its tour here.

Exclusive Excerpt from The Sheriff of Shelter Valley
By Tara Taylor Quinn
“MAMA! MAAMAA!” Ryan’s scream tore through her fog of sleep.
Beth Allen was out of bed and across the room before she’d even fully opened her eyes. Heart pounding, she lifted her two-year-old son out of the secondhand crib, pressing his face into her neck as she held him.
“It’s okay, Ry,” she said softly, pushing the sweaty auburn curls away from his forehead. Curls she dyed regularly, along with her own. “Shh, Mama’s right here. It was just a bad dream.”
“Mama,” the toddler said again, his little body shuddering. His tiny fists were clamped tightly against her—her nightshirt and strands of her straight auburn hair held securely within them.
“Mama” was what he’d said when she’d woken up alone with him in that motel room in Snowflake, Arizona, with a nasty bruise on her forehead, another one at the base of her skull. And no memory whatsoever.
She didn’t know how old she was. How old her son was. She could only guess Ry’s age by comparing him to other kids.
She didn’t even know her own name. She’d apparently checked in under the name Beth Allen and, trusting herself to have done so for a reason, had continued using it. It could be who she really was, but she doubted it. She’d obviously been on the run, and it didn’t seem smart to have made herself easy to find.

Suspicious & The Sheriff of Shelter Valley

(Bestselling Author Collection)
Adult Romantic Suspense

Paperback, ebook, & audiobook 544 pages
May 26th 2015 by Harlequin
Audiobook Release July 7th 2015 by Harlequin


by Heather Graham

Cold-blooded predators lurk in the Everglades—and not all of them are gators

When Jesse Crane returned to his roots to serve on the Miccosukee police force, he’d hoped to leave behind the violence of the city and the memories of his murdered wife. But bodies start to pile up in Jesse’s corner of the sultry Florida swampland…

As he probes these crimes, Jesse is drawn to the beautiful Lorena Fortier, a new hire at the local gator farm and research facility. Lorena is a little too interested in Jesse’s investigation, but before he can uncover her true motives, they’re both pulled into a dangerous web of greed, ambition and animal cunning. To survive, they’ll have to decide whether they can trust each other…before the hunters become the hunted.

The Sheriff of Shelter Valley

by Tara Taylor Quinn

Six months ago, Beth woke up with no memory of her past, a bruised face and a little boy who called her “Mama.” Until her memory returns, the most dangerous thing she can do is to fall for the sheriff—the one man who can uncover the truth and destroy the person she’s become.

Amazon – Barnes & NobleBook DepositoryHarlequin

Heather GrahamHeather Graham

New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. She has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is also proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers. (And award for charitable endeavors.) Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts the Vampire Ball and Dinner theater at the RT convention raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region. She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

WebsiteWriter’s for New Orleans BlogGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Tara Taylor Quinn

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233. 

Click on the banner to take you to Tara’s landing page for all her tour events.

As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We’ll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!

Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).

Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter one each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.

Tour Giveaways

(All to one winner – US only.)
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th

Audiobook of Suspicious & The Sheriff of Shelter Valley
US Only