Frances Hoelsema, author of Growing Up Neighbors, is pleased to announce the release of the second book in her Neighbors series: Next Door Neighbors!


Elena Montgomery, an elderly victim of fibromyalgia, has two main loves in her life: Brian, her attractive and hard-working son; and Jill Stevens, her caring friend and next door neighbor. When Brian and Jill meet for the first time, they have a chemistry that no one can deny.

Although Jill finds herself wanting to get closer to Brian, she believes she can’t. Being hurt in the past, she vows to remain single the rest of her life, thinking it’s better not to love than to love and get burned. Brian, on the other hand, wants to get to the bottom of her fears and show her that not all men are the same. He is determined to win her trust, her heart and her hand in marriage. Through pain, passion and pursuit, will Brian be able to prove to Jill what true love is all about? 

Next Door Neighbors is a clean, contemporary romance that will not only pull on your heart strings, but leave you wanting to read more! Here’s an excerpt:

For the few brief seconds that they gazed into one another’s eyes, Brian’s urge to kiss Jill grew intensely. If there was ever going to be a moment to display his affection, this was it. Brian slowly, eagerly leaned over to just inches before Jill’s lips, stopping just shy of delivering their first kiss. Excited she didn’t move away, he reached his destination, brushing his lips with hers.
Their kiss started off gently, softly. It was tender and sweet. The longer it lasted, though, the more Jill had melted into it, and the deeper and more passionate it became.
She needed him.
He needed her.
But a moment later Jill froze. The heat between them instantly turned to ice as she abruptly pulled away from what the two of them were enjoying just seconds ago.
Puzzled, Brian asked, “Is everything all right?”
She couldn’t do it. As much as Jill admitted to wanting Brian and as great as their kiss was, traveling down that road again was too big a risk. And with him leaving soon, she didn’t want to start something she could never finish. Shaking her head, she said, “I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I can’t allow myself to get involved with you or any other man again.”
Providing no other explanation, she completely freed herself from Brian’s hold and ran out of the room.
Brian followed swiftly while shouting, “But I’m not like…”
With the slam of a door, Jill was gone.

Next Door Neighbors is available on Amazon at:
For more information on Frances and/or her writing, please connect with her on Facebook at OR on Twitter at: You can also find updates on her blog at:  

by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
The past is the past—or so they say…
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?




Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.

I saw I had a text from Simone. Oh great, maybe she was asking for my blessing to go out with Nick, or if I was still planning to go to Watson High School next year so she could make out with him in a different hallway from my locker.

Simone: Are you mad at me? Nick said you’re upset because you found out he used to like me.

Oh fabulous. He told her the whole gross story. Well, of course he did, seeing as how he was always over with her clique and he could tell the love of his life anything.

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.
1,400 miles. 3 countries.  2 men she can’t trust. What could go wrong? 


FINDERS KEEPERS is the first book in the new Jane Barnaby Adventures series:

It should have been a simple job. All archaeology student Jane Barnaby had to do was pick up a box her professor needed and deliver it to him at his dig site, along with his new car. Yes, his office was in Oxfordshire, and his dig site was in Spain, a trip of 1,400 miles across three countries and two bodies of water. Still, it should have been simple. And it was, until Jane discovered she picked up the wrong box by mistake. Not the one with boring pottery samples, but instead the one with priceless ancient Egyptian artifacts. The one that a team of international art thieves is after. Now she’s chasing – and being chased by – the thieves. And she’s picked up a pair of passengers who claim they can help her outwit them, get her professor’s pottery back and return the artifacts to their rightful owner. If only she could figure out which one of them is working with the thieves and which one she can trust in this high-stakes game of finders keepers.

It’s available everywhere eBooks are sold: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback) Smashwords Barnes & Noble (Nook or Paperback) Apple iBookstore Kobo


About the author
J.J. (James) Dibenedetto’s fans would swear he’s got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy. His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment. Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.
You can follow him at his website, on Facebook and on Twitter. And you can find all his books (including the complete Dream Series) on Amazon and on audiobook at 

Here’s an excerpt from Finders Keepers:

The thieves simply made a mistake. Whether Tom had put his box in the wrong room, or whether the thieves had gotten their wires crossed, who knew? She’d had trouble reading Professor Welldon’s writing; she hadn’t been sure if she was meant to go to Room 16 or Room 18 herself. It hadn’t mattered because the thieves had already gotten there and made the choice for her. 

“When they finally got where they were going, they opened it up, and you can imagine their surprise.” Jane noted the vagueness there; she assumed Alex knew exactly where that was and, for whatever reason, didn’t want to say. She didn’t challenge him; she kept up her happy façade instead, and he went on. “They knew they couldn’t go back and steal the right box, but they had the label on your pottery, they knew where it was supposed to go.”

“They’re headed to Mallorca!” Jane couldn’t help herself; the words just poured out. “They’re going to wait there until I show up and try to trade, the pottery for the artifacts!” She knew she’d said too much. Alex’s eyes lit up, just for an instant, when she mentioned Mallorca. That was something, obviously, he hadn’t known. But he caught himself almost immediately, and so did she. She wondered if he knew that she knew he was putting on an act. She wondered if he knew that she knew that he knew she was, too. And she wondered if she had any aspirin in her purse, because that train of thought was giving her a headache.


Last, but not least, to celebrate the launch of FINDERS KEEPERS, I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of either this new book, or any one of my Dream Series novels (winner’s choice). For your chance to win, just click HERE to enter!)

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:K.M. Weiland
Title of book: Dreamlander
Brief summary of the story: 
Every night, Chicago-born journalist Chris Redston dreams of a woman riding a black warhorse through the mist. The only thing she ever says is, “Don’t come.” And then she shoots him—every single time. And every single time, he wakes up in a cold sweat and wonders … what if dreams aren’t what we’ve always been told they are?
Only one person in a generation may cross the barrier of dreams to reach the other world—a world of war-scarred countries and fallen faiths. When Chris finds himself on the far side of his dreams, he must hurl himself into battle to save a princess from her own people, two worlds from annihilation, and himself from a dream come way too true.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Lael is a parallel world to our own. Every person in our world also has a body in Lael–in which they live while dreaming in our world, and vice versa. I had a lot of fun building Lael. In the beginning, it was much more medieval. No technology. Very Crusades era. But then I had the fun idea for the water-powered guns. That immediately gave me a 16th-century/Three Musketeers vibe. So I started exploring that era a little more, particularly in regards to fashion and architecture. The skycar was a very late addition, during the last big rewrite.
If we were to visit Lael as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? 
I really love the skycar stations, particularly the five-story Faramore Station in the capital city. Réon Couteau, with its waterfall caverns, was pretty fun too. And I love the Karilus Wall, just for sheer geographic massiveness.
What dangers should we avoid in Lael? 
Mostly, the war. The neighboring duchy of Koraud, on the eastern border, is threatening war, especially now that rumors are circulating of the resurrection of its famed warlord Faolan Mactalde. Plus, there’s the threat of religious and political unrest from the Nateros protesters—a faction of fanatical traditionalists—within Lael’s own borders.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Lael? 
The traditional meal at the ceremony to anoint the latest Gifted—the only person in a generation who can cross between the “dream” world of Lael and the “real” world—includes capon with olives and chestnuts, roasted salmon, eggs with cream and honey, chocolate-covered dassberries, and craniss wine.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Lael? 
Single-shot firearms, powered by a hydraulic system that draws moisture from the air, are popular. However, they take too long to reload to be of any use in close combat.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Lael? 
Horses and skycars are the most common. The skycar is a glass-encased cable car that glides upon the steel cables that crisscross most of the country. The skycar trains run on a basic pulley system, operated by steam engines at stations spaced along the tracks. Depending on variables such as rain and wind, the skycars can maintain the speed of a horse’s gallop all the way across half the kingdom, gliding half a league above terrain too rough with hills and lakes to offer straight roads.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Lael that we don’t see on Earth? 
You might encounter Cherazii—a race of berserking warriors, who are servants to the traditions of the Gifted, passed down through the ages. Their skin is the color and translucency of an egg white, veined with blue. Both men and women traditionally wear their hair long, veiling but not hiding the batwing ears that rise two or three inches above their heads.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Lael?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
There is no magic in the traditional sense, only the ability of the Gifted to cross between the worlds and use the sacred Orimere—or “dreamstone”—to transport physical objects from one world to the other.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Lael as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Although the Cherazii keep their own time among themselves, pretty much everyone recognizes the central calendar of 365 days a year. The hours are counted down from dawn. Laelers observe several holy days, including the Commemorating Festival, the Feast of the Camp, and the Day of Prayer. They also customarily celebrate the king’s birthday, a day of prayer and thanksgiving at the end of the harvest, and, although not official, a mid-winter week of merry-making.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Lael?  Please describe what it involves.
Lael is monotheistic and worships the “God of all.” Clergy are paid by the tithe tax of the people. The entire government is actually considered to be part of the church. But only a select few actually stand in the position of “pastor” or “orator.” The priests in the city temples are chosen and elected in much the same manner as the judges. A man does not have to be ordained to preach, so many smaller churches throughout the country exist, but these men are not paid by the government.
What is the political or government structure in Lael?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Lael is a monarchy, currently ruled by King Tireus II. He is a strong, if not particularly diplomatic, leader, but he will be remembered primarily as the father of the current Searcher, Allara Katadin—whose responsibility is to find and guide the Gifted when he first crosses into Lael.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The original idea for the book was my brother’s. He suggested I write a story about a parallel world we visit in our dreams. My imagination took it from there!
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
The primary theme of the book centers around the conundrums and difficulties of faith. I wanted to build a fantasy society in which religion was widespread and widely accepted, but I dealt with Chris—my “real world” character—and his faith much more subtly, because, although I wanted to deal with religious themes, I didn’t want the story to necessarily be one that was about his personal redemption. So I got to discuss faith-based elements much more obviously in the POV of the dream-world character Allara.
Author Autobiography:
K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book?  Please include links.
Dreamlander is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.
Where can readers connect with you online?

Readers can find me on my website, my writing blog HelpingWriters Become Authors, Facebook, and Twitter.
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Lael.  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 Fiori, in Realm Explorers Part XCIV!
-Annie Douglass Lima

When thirteen-year-old Sam Barrette’s baseball coach tells her that her attitude’s holding her back, she wants to hit him in the head with a line drive. Why shouldn’t she have an attitude? As the only girl playing in the 13U league, she’s had to listen to boys and people in the stands screaming things like “Go play softball,” all season, just because she’s a girl. Her coach barely lets her play, even though she’s one of the best hitters on the team.
All stakes now rest on Sam’s performance at baseball training camp. But the moment she arrives, miscommunication sets the week up for potential disaster. Placed at the bottom with the weaker players, she will have to work her way up to A league, not just to show Coach that she can be the best team player possible, but to prove to herself that she can hold a bat with the All-Star boys.

On Being a Teacher/Author
Stacy Barnett Mozer is a third grade teacher and a mom. She started writing books when a class of students told her that there was no way that a real author who wrote real books could possibly revise their work as much as she asked them to revise. She’s been revising her own work ever since.

A couple of year ago a parent of a former student sought me out to let me know how much her daughter missed being in my class. She said her daughter told her, “Mrs. Mozer gets it, Mom. She’s a writer.” What her daughter meant by that is that she knew that I understood what it’s like to work hard. To keep going even when other people haven’t connected to your vision.
As a teacher I have incredibly high standards for my students. I expect them to take ownership over their work and to strive make it the best it can be. But working at becoming your best is challenging. You have to accept that you may have to do things more than once before you get it right. By bringing my own experience as a writer to my class, I am able to show them that nobody gets things right the very first time, not even their teacher. As we look through pages of my marked up manuscripts, they understand that everyone needs feedback and that they can’t take it personally when the piece they thought they loved still needs a bit more attention before it can be shared with the world. They see first hand that real authors who write real books do revise more than I ask them to revise.
The other amazing thing I get to bring to my students is a personal connection to authors. My students love hearing about my experiences at SCBWI writer’s conferences, rubbing elbows with many of the authors whose books lines our shelves. They also get to meet some of them when friends stop by for Skype visits or because they are in the neighborhood. My new favorite thing to do is to ask authors if I can video tape a hello message. Having an author say hi means so much them. They rush right over to the author’s book and read with gusto because they feel a personal connection.
Teaching brought me to writing. Writing strengthens my teaching. It’s a great match. Even if I had never published a book, I would have been glad I became a writer.
The Sweet Spot launched from Spellbound River Press on March 25. You can find purchase information at Visit Stacy online at You can follow her on twitter at @SMozerand on Facebook at
Click here to enter to win one of five copies of The Sweet Spot!

  Title: Drawn To You
  Author: Liwen Y. Ho
  Genre: Christian Romance, Asian American Romance
  Release Date: March 21, 2016

  Blurb: Wanted: A man who can handle his alter ego. Quick reflexes recommended. Feisty and adventurous, art teacher Sam Koo is used to getting what she wants, including talking her way out of traffic tickets. When it comes to money matters though, she’s a lost cause. Her studio is in trouble, and there’s no way of charming herself out of this mess. Police officer Lucas Choi is the last person she expects to rescue her. Handsome and rule-abiding, he was the best—and worst—part of her high school experience. When they meet a decade later, he’s still on her case and quick to point out her flaws. Their differences drive each other crazy, but also draw them closer. The attraction is tangible, yet so are Sam’s fears. Will she choose to protect her heart or trust the only man who ever rejected her?

Get it now on
Add to Goodreads.

 ***This novella is part of the Taking Chances series, but each book in the series is a STANDALONE book.***

Can love overcome the past?
Can love be colorblind?
Can love embrace differences?

Liwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay-at-home mom) and a writer by night. In her pre-author life, she received a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children, and blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist at

Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * YouTube

  BookBlast Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally) Ends 3/31/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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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 book. This one is temporarily being discounted to just 99 cents!

Author’s name:
M.T. Magee
Title of book and/or series:
The Treasure of Gwenlais  The Rienfield Chronicles Book 1
Brief summary of the story:
Princess Laurel of Gwenlais finds herself tragically and quickly thrust into a world of danger, so unlike the idyllic and sheltered life she has known. These dangers from an unknown enemy also unexpectedly throw her into the arms of Caleb, the warrior Prince of Heathwin, the nearby kingdom with which Gwenlais has a tense alliance.  The more refined people of Gwenlais find their neighbors and protectors of the West necessary, but consider them uncouth and sometimes barbaric. The long and bloody feud between Heathwin and the mysterious, frightening, and misunderstood, race of beings called the Rabkins, had finally reached an uneasy truce, by the hard fought and diligent efforts of Prince Caleb. This fragile agreement was soon shattered by an attack from outside that threatens both kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin. Laurel and Caleb find themselves not only fighting for the peace and existence of their kingdoms, but fighting for their newfound love that is imperiled at every turn from a nameless enemy, and their own people as well.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The world I have created comes from the inspiration of both my Scottish heritage and my husband’s Irish descent, with pride and respect for both cultures. The beauty of the Scottish Highlands, as well as the lush rolling meadows of Ireland, serve as a backdrop for the mythical realm of Rienfield. Many of the names of villages and towns that are used are actual names of towns and villages of Scotland and Ireland. They are used in direct correlation for what their rich past made them known for and is applied with loving respect for their history in the story. Many of the names of the characters are Irish, Scottish, or Gaelic, again showing my love and admiration for our heritages. The characters also speak Old Irish, from time to time, referring to it as ‘old speak.’
If we were to visit the kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin, as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you were to visit the kingdom of Heathwin in the Planting season (spring) you would be able to enjoy the wonderful Planting Festival. Filled with music, dancing, visiting merchants, and wonderful food. If you were visiting the kingdom of Gwenlais during the Harvest Festival, you would see the city of Gwenlais full of merchants and local farmers displaying their crafts and local crops. As well as traveling minstrels, acrobats, and even the Princes of Heathwin would be there as well.   
What dangers should we avoid in Gwenlais and Heathwin?
In Gwenlais there is always a danger of raiders or highway men so best to not travel alone on the roadways at night. In Heathwin the land is much wild and untamed. Creatures such as Dragon’s Tooth, and Boracs live in the deep forest. A Dragon’s Tooth in a man eating plant which closely resembles a mossy tree stump. It had poisonous tendrils which feel out for unsuspecting victims, then quickly grabs them dragging them to their waiting jaws. The Boracs are clumsy but vicious creatures the size of large dogs. They are hairless with long tails and hides, with large floppy ears almost hiding their faces, covering their long jaws filled with sharp teeth. They will catch and eat anything in their path if they can.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Gwenlais or Heathwin?
Gwenlais is a kingdom of rich farmlands. So anything from their many farms and gardens is always on the menu. They are particularly proud of their honey, which they make mead with. And raise an ugly little animal called a Gork. It resembles a small wooly pig with horns and a rather large head. However, it is prized for its succulent rich meat. In Heathwin, most of their produce and crops come from Gwenlais, but they have lovely apple orchards, and also enjoy wild game such as venison, wild boar, and salmon.   
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Gwenlais and Heathwin?
The warriors are mainly from the kingdom of Heathwin and are typical of the fighting style of Medieval Scotland and Ireland, between the 12th and 15th centuries. Broad swords, long bows, cross bows, as well as hand to hand are used. They also train and use large cats called Scimitar Cats, because of their long front fangs for defense and to track slavers and raiders.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Gwenlais or Heathwin?
Again what was commonly used in Medieval times, wagons, horses, boats, oxen carts, etc.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Gwenlais and Heathwin that we don’t see on Earth?
As mentioned earlier, Dragon Tooth, Borac, Gorks. But also glow moths, tiny blue sprite dragons, that glow blue at night. Also the noble and misunderstood race called Rabkins. That is the fellow you see peering out of the woods on the cover. Though they appear to be animals, they are actually an intelligent and mysterious race of beings that at first only Prince Caleb of Heathwin can talk to. There is also the Kadesh. They look like to be child-sized people who resemble rodents. They are traveling merchants, love bright colored clothing, and are Prince Caleb’s favorite informers, as they travel throughout the realm of Rinefield.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people there?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
I really don’t use magic, hence no wizards or magicians. Rather I use abilities that certain races such as the Rabkins have. The characters have to work so to speak to achieve their agendas. Knowledge in highly regarded. Princess Laurel, the heroine, leans to become a healer or Ollam, as they are called. Scribes are the record keepers and spiritual leaders of the people.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Gwenlais or Heathwin?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Only the use of colored stones surgically implanted into the skulls of the Scimitar Cats to help control them.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Gwenlais or Heathwin.
All the people of both kingdoms enjoy music, dancing, and playing games such as Fidchell (ancient game of checkers) Tablut (ancient game of chess) Pass the Boar (a dice game favored among children) as well as reading, horseback riding, especially in Heathwin. Both Kingdoms love art and sculptures. Archery is a favorite sport in both kingdoms as well.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Gwenlais and Heathwin as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Seasons are mentioned such as Winter, Planting season, Growing season, and Harvest season.
NO days of the week are mentioned, a month is a month, two weeks is called a fortnight. Festivals in Planting and Harvest are celebrated. The royal family in Heathwin has a Family gathering yearly in winter. Another example is instead of saying a person is so many years they say seasons. In the beginning of the story Princess Laurel is 18 seasons, Prince Caleb is 28 seasons.  
Is there a particular religion practiced in Gwenlais and Heathwin?  Please describe what it involves.
The people of both kingdoms worship an entity called The Maker. There are no churches or temples, though men called Scribes are considered the spiritual leaders as well as historians and they keep track of all the histories of the realms. The household heads are encouraged to lead their families in a prayer of thanks at meals and gatherings.  One day out of the week is considered a day of Prayer and Reflections, where local businesses are closed and families are encouraged to spend the day together at home in prayer and reflection.
What is the political or government structure in Gwenlais and Heathwin?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? Iwenlais is a monarchy fashioned after the early rulers of Britain. King Garron is the ruler at this time. He is a fair and just ruler, though he does tend to still carry the old bigotries of his father and grandfather in regards the people of Heathwin, who they have an alliance with.  In Heathwin the structure of rule is very fashioned after the Clans of Scotland, with King Fergus, Prince Caleb’s father, being the king and Chieftain of his Clan. He is a well loved and respected leader as his father and older brothers were harsh in their dealings with the other Clans.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit?
The people of Gwenlais, where the heroine Laurel is from, tend to consider themselves more refined, never really having to fight or defend themselves as the Sentinels, or warriors of Heathwin do this for them, in exchange for growing crops and livestock for Heathwin. The people of Heathwin tend to be more relaxed and sometimes bawdy in their behavior, which those of Gwenlais tend to find uncouth. Both tend to misunderstand each other often. The ruling family of Heathwin and their Clan as well as the Sentinels, speak “old speak”, which is actually Irish Gaelic. Caleb then begins to teach Laurel how to speak it as they draw closer. I loved introducing this aspect into the story. Readers will never have to wonder what is being said as I make the dialogue meaning clear, with the explanation given by the characters.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? My grandparents are from Scotland and my husband’s family from Ireland, county Clare to be exact. We both have a love of history and the medieval period is my favorite. I also enjoyed studying Irish Gaelic.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Without standing on a soap box, I do touch on the subject of brutality against women, as it sadly has become a trend in many genres. Basically making it something that is frowned upon, especially by the younger generation. As well as the prejudices and misunderstandings of different races and cultures towards each other.
Author Autobiography:
My name is M.T. Magee and I live in New England on our small farm with my husband and son. We raise an assortment of silly goats, quiet rabbits, far too many ducks and chickens, and a high strung Border collie cross named Gronk. I have always loved fantasy and fell in love with Tolkien at age eleven. I read all of his works at age twelve. I have been writing stories since I was ten years old and have always wanted to be an author. After fulfilling my dream of becoming a nurse, marrying the love of my life and having two wonderful sons, I have finally been able to fulfill my first dream of publishing my first book. My youngest son is severely disabled and I am his full-time caregiver. The long winter months here in New England make it virtually impossible to go out very often, so I used this time to begin my story The Treasure of Gwenlais. Fifteen months and 1144 pages later I am very happy to present my story to all of you. I love strong female characters, who are still able to convey a sense of vulnerability and be very relatable. I also love strong male leads who are not afraid to show their soft side. Love of family is important to me as I am sure it is to everyone and I convey this in my story. So welcome to the world I have created and I hope you enjoy visiting often.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book? 
My book is currently in e-book format, and I am very happy to announce I am now having a promotion running from Mar.21st until the 25th for .99 regularly 3.99.  I currently have over 20 five star reviews.*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Where can readers connect with you online? 
I have a lovely website with beautiful pictures, music, excerpts, and reviews.

I have a twitter acct.

My author page on Facebook

As well as my Gwenlais board on Pinterest where you can see the inspirations behind the story as well as the next books that will be coming in the series.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Gwenlais and Heathwin.  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 Lael, in Realm Explorers Part XCIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima

The Wrecked and Yours Second Chance Trilogy is now complete with book three, A Beautiful Wreck. Written to be a stand alone, this sweet romance is all about hope restored.

Blurb: Her love may heal him, but his secret may destroy her. One terrifying, emotional mission to return a family heirloom sends Cassie on an unexpected search for the person she never knew she needed. Luke is tough, strong, and was once the best cop in town. Until the mob took away the one person he ever wanted. Now he’s trapped in fear over the man he’s become. Cassie wants to bring him redemption, but fears she will never open her heart again.Each is the only one who can understand the other.If they’d just let their walls down.

  Author bio- CeeCee James is a wife, mom, owner of two mini-dashchunds, writer, and watercolor artist. Most of all, she is a survivor. The story about overcoming strife is one that resonates with her. She lived it herself. An advocate for adult survivors of child abuse, her Ghost No More series is her true story of surviving and healing from childhood trauma. CeeCee’s blog- Her fictional series, Wrecked and Yours, is about love, secrets and navigating life. It’s romantic, uncertain and messy, like life often is. It’s describes their season to make a choice, “look at life honestly and deal with it, or continue to run away.” CeeCee absolutely loved writing it, and hopes it resonates with you because everyone has an important story of what they’ve overcome. 

CeeCee James Author Page- How to reach CeeCee James— My journey as an author first started as a child who loved to read. Growing up in a household that was often painful, in and out of foster care, I made my escape in several favorite books, who continue to be favorites to this day. 
 My first favorite that is near and dear to my heart is the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small series. Those four books made me laugh, cry, and feel like there was a place of goodness and hope still in this word that set me on my own personal journey to find that place. He was an amazing author. 
 My second favorite books are the C.S. Lewis series, The Chronicles of Narnia. Yes! Still a favorite. It was here I saw other kids escape to new lands, and I lived vicariously through them. They reminded me to be brave, and continue to look for the beauty and whimsy in the world. I adored reading them out loud to my own children, over cups of hot cocoa. As an adult, my favorites have gone far and wide. 
But nothing has yet measured up to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. His world building skills continue to hold me in awe. These books have influenced my own writing, which centers on the main characters emotional journey. I try to drop in whimsy, and beautiful moments that are all around us all the time. 
Thanks for letting me share! 
CeeCee James

Nyssa Glass is a reformed cat burglar turned electrician’s apprentice, settled into a life repairing videophones and radio-sets. However, when her past comes calling, she finds herself forced into one last job. No one has entered Professor Dalhart’s secluded mansion in almost a decade, at least not and returned to tell the tale. If Nyssa wants to ensure her freedom, she’ll brave the booby trapped halls and mechanized maids. Nyssa has skills, but this house has more than its share of secrets. As she steps into the cobwebbed halls lined with dusty mirrors, she has to wonder. Is the House of Mirrors really abandoned?

My Review:
Five stars. I really enjoyed this book! I haven’t read much steampunk before, and Nyssa Glass was a great introduction to the genre. I enjoyed the main character and her creativity in solving problems, as well as her technical and mechanical abilities. The author made it sound quite realistic, obviously having done her homework on some of those devices and their uses. This is a fairly quick read and a hard-to-put-down adventure story. I recommend it!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Click here to preorder the book on Amazon.

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: Sterling R. Walker

Title of book and/or series:
The Orphan Ship Trilogy (contains three previously published books, The Orphan Ship, The Lost Sheep, The Last Orphan)

Brief summary of the story: This is hard to do without giving too much away, so this is the back cover blurb for book one, The Orphan Ship:
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?

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Mars Station, a biosphere city home to two million inhabitants. My books are also set in some locations on Earth, including Lahaina, Maui; Bangkok, Thailand; and Guangzhou, China.

If we were to visit Mars Station as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
The economy is so bad that it’s not a place you’d want to visit. The central park would be attractive but it’s been taken over by the homeless.

What dangers should we avoid in Mars Station?
The corrupt Central Intelligence Police, commonly known as CIPs.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served?
It’s an international station so every type of food on Earth can be found on Mars. There are food vendors/kiosks everywhere. Meat is too expensive for all but the very rich, so most people exist on a vegan diet.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common?
Regular guns that use bullets, although they’re more advanced (tiny semi-automatic pistols).

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel?
The main character, Captain Danae Shepherd, owns a passenger starship, but there are also merchant ships, warships, and freighters. Ground transportation is solar-powered, including solar cycles and solar cars. There are also electric trams driven by androids for mass transport around the station.

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Mars Station?
Anti-grav (to move heavy items, hands free) and an assortment of advanced medical devices, including scanners which can detect any internal illnesses or damage, Hemorrhage Freeze, probe androids for surgery, fusion lasers for mending broken bones, synthetic blood, bone, flesh for restoring any damaged body part, and a machine that can restore neural pathways in the brain, just to name a few.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment.
Holo-vids, which are just 3D movies.

Is there a particular religion practiced?
All Earth religions are practiced openly and harmoniously (even Islam).

What is the political or government structure?
Mayor and city council that are elected.

Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The station police chief is the real leader. He controls the police, the courts, and the council like a mafia boss.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I’ve been to Maui, Bangkok, and Guangzhou, so it was easy to create futuristic versions of these places. I’ve also adopted children from China and Thailand, have volunteered in foster care, and visited many orphanages, so I have a lot of insight when it comes to homeless children. I have a special love for Asian cultures and mention many details when my characters travel to Thailand and China.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Human trafficking, especially as it relates to children.

Author Autobiography:
Author Sterling R. Walker has been writing since she was old enough to spell. She earned a BA in English from North Carolina State University, with an emphasis in Creative Writing. The Orphan Ship is her first published young adult science fiction novel. It was awarded a 2012 silver medal from Children’s Literary Classics.
Walker lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina, with her husband and five of her six children, including two daughters adopted from China. Her oldest son is married, and she has one grandson.  

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?
My first three books are on Kindle, Nook, Apple, and Kobo, and in paperback. The trilogy is just on Kindle, for now. Click here to buy book one in paperback:
Click here to buy my new release on Kindle:

Where can readers connect with you online?

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Mars Station.  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 Fiori, in Realm Explorers Part XCII!
-Annie Douglass Lima