I loved this book! 

Like all of Anne Elisabeth Stengl‘s anthologies, Five Magic Spindles is a collection of five very different novellas that all involve events and themes from one fairy tale – in this case, the Sleeping Beauty story. I highly recommend this fun anthology! Here’s a little information about each of the individual stories.

The Man on the Buckskin Horse
Emma, a good-hearted midwife, rushes to warn a neighbor about the hired gunman headed to his ranch but can’t prevent the catastrophe in store for his daughter.

A fairy tale retold as a Western? How fun! The author makes it work entirely without magic. This story was also unique in that the main character was neither Sleeping Beauty nor the prince.

Guardian of Our Beauty
Palli, the prophesied daughter of a king, is fated to rescue her people from the destruction called forth by a vengeful priest. 

Talk about an unusual part of the world to set a re-told fairy tale in. But the author pulled it off! I enjoyed Palli’s personality and abilities.

The Ghost of Briardale
Roselee, a ghost with a faulty memory, flits through the halls of an insane asylum in search of the mortal boy who can help her save the day. 

I thought this one was quite clever. True Heroes in this world are people who have either saved a kingdom, slain a dragon, or moved a mountain, and only a True Hero can get through the enchantment around Sleeping Beauty. How is an ordinary boy with a hero’s heart supposed to manage?

Spindle Cursed
Arabella, a living spirit trapped in her own comatose body, helplessly watches from the realm of dreams as her usurping cousin plots to destroy her once and for all. 

This story is unique in that it’s told largely from the fairy godmother’s point of view. Unlike most of the others, it begins shortly before the prince sets out to rescue Sleeping Beauty instead of before she falls into her enchanted sleep.

Out of the Tomb
Tanza, a tomb raider on a distant planet, struggles to make a living and doesn’t need a long-lost prince to complicate her difficult life. 

I have to say, this one is definitely my favorite out of the five. The author has done an amazing job of worldbuilding, perhaps the best I’ve ever seen in a story of this length. Her descriptions give a vivid picture of the planet’s history, technology, plant and animal life, and culture. In many cases, this is done with just a few well-placed words and phrases here and there that blend seamlessly with the action. I definitely want to read more by Ashley Stangl!

In summary, this is an exciting and entertaining book that is definitely worth the $3.99. Grab your copy today!

Download your Kindle copy here!

Order your paperback copy here!

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: Diane Rapp
Title of book and/or series:
HOWL OF THE WOLF, Book 1 of Heirs to the Throne Trilogy (I also have a prequel to the trilogy titled THE ALPHAS)  The whole series is reasonably clean and violence is not graphic.
Brief summary of the story:
This science/fantasy novel takes place in a distant future.  When a human colony ship lands on the distant planet Drako, the occupants of the world…telepathic wolves…try to communicate with the two-legs.  The wolves decide there are no intelligent creatures to speak with them.  They wait, hoping a two-leg might acquire enough intelligence to finally speak with them.
Meanwhile in civilized space, the process of Transfer is developed by a team of four scientists.  They save lives and correct genetic conditions by sending the mind of a patient into a clone, creating virtual immortality.  Unfortunately, the scientists turned the process over to clerks in the Institute that they established to handle the paperwork and lost power over the invention.
Hundreds of years later the medical spaceship Zebulon flees from Institute assassins, who were sent to kill all the scientists and their teams.  Captain Donovan chooses the remote planet Drako to hide with his crew and protect the scientist leader, Dr. Alexander.  (They don’t know that an evil assassin stowed away on their ship.)  After landing and destroying their ship, they discover that Donovan must compete for the crown of the dying king to secure sanctuary for his people. 
Faced with superstitions, hatred, and eminent danger, the spacers must adapt to a feudal society without using modern tools or weapons.  Fortunately centuries of Transfer enhanced the natural talents of each crew member which might give them an advantage on the backward planet.  (The evil villain has the power of mind control.)  
An intelligent wolf leader, Kriegen makes telepathic contact with Donovan and must decide if he will help protect the pack of the two-leg commander.  The wolves’ Council of Elders might be difficult to convince, but Kriegen knows an evil human lurks nearby with plans to kill his targets and gain control over the pastoral world of Drako.  Mind control is against the code the wolves live by, so Kriegen believes the Council must act.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Drako is a pastoral planet located on the fringe of civilized space.  Although the planet proves suitable for colonization, a society of telepathic wolves already occupies the lush world.  The wolves try to make contact with bad results and decide to wait.  They watch two-legs clear the land and develop Drako into a recreation planet for wealthy tourists.  Settlers become feudal lords, desert sheiks, oriental samurai, and ordinary peasants depending on a level of investment.  After several generations the monarchy revolted against technology and closed Drako to off-world visitors.  Distaste for technology eventually mutated into superstitious hatred.  Anyone caught with spacer tools or weapons could be executed.
The planet is part of a two-sun system.  The main sun is like our own.  From ground-level the second distant red dwarf sun looks like a red moon at night and provides extra warmth to grow lush plants.  The pastoral planet is perfect for people hoping to escape modern technology and live a simple life.  Peasants, knights, and kings become common-place and scientific knowledge is shunned and soon forgotten.
If we were to visit Drako as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Should tourists be permitted to visit Drako once more, they would be immersed in life from bygone eras.  Kings and castles, sheiks and desert riders, peasants and merchants can be found living a simple existence without modern conveniences.  There are telepathic wolves in the shadows (if you can find a pack) and tales about dragons by the seaside tantalize visitors. 
What dangers should we avoid in Drako?
Don’t whip out a camera or cell phone as use of forbidden instruments of technology warrant death.  Superstitions mark technology as witchcraft, so you wouldn’t want to burn at the stake.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Drako?
Medieval weapons like bows and arrows, as well as swords, knives and spears, are used by trained knights and desert riders.  Gigantic war horses are an integral part of any soldier’s weaponry.  The Samurai are trained to kill with their bare hands but archery skills are learned as well.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or in Drako?
People travel on foot or by horseback, however, by the end of this series Dragon Riders make air travel across the world much easier for lucky young people.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Drako that we don’t see on Earth?
Earth-type plants grow on Drako but night-blooming varieties thrive in the red light of the distant second sun.  A society of telepathic wolves occupied the planet before the arrival of humans.  Separate wolf packs are ruled by a combined Council of Elders, who “host” the minds of many ancestors to provide wisdom and a living history.  A wolf host voluntarily accepts the minds of a dying pack member and those minds give advice until the wolf’s death.  The host hears ancestor voices but any final decision is left to the living host.  The Council of Elders does not believe that two-legs are intelligent creatures, so it does not interfere in the society of lower animals.  They protect forests and the holy structure on the Bloody Lake by scaring two-legs away.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Drako?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
There is not actual magic on Drako, however, centuries of Transfer left spacers with special abilities that have been magnified over time.  Telepathy, healing powers, incredible speed, visions of the future, and mind control talents might seem like magic to superstitious natives.  Using these abilities give the spacers an edge if they do not allow the skills to brand them as sorcerers.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Drako.
A sporting tournament to choose the successor for the dying king includes archery, horse racing, and various matches in a ring (hand-to-hand combat, saber, foil, and sword contests) help contestants win points.  In the final two combatants face off to win the crown.
What is the political or government structure in Drako? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The government is a monarchy, but the ruling king’s entirely family was recently poisoned.  King Halder is also dying from the same strange poison.  He secretly sends an interstellar message to summon a distant heir.  Captain Donovan returns to Drako, unaware of his lineage, but agrees to compete for the crown.  King Halder has his own “special mental skills” and plans to use Donovan to ferret out his family’s killer and take a revenge.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Drako?
Mullahs who rule with an army of Desert Riders are descendants from colonists migrating from Middle East region on Earth.  They follow their own traditions and religious beliefs.  The Mullahs plan to gain power on Drako by winning King Halder’s throne.  A separate region is ruled by Marasuta, an Oriental Samurai who pledges allegiance to the King.  He trains his soldiers in the Samurai code and traditions, making sure they are skilled warriors.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
When I began writing this series, I asked a series of “what if” questions and imagined how society might develop from potential answers. 
1.     What if cloning provided doctors with the ability to transplant a patient’s mind into a new body free of genetic problems?  What if the expense of such immortality caused people to work as virtual slaves to pay off the debt?  How would society develop?  Would people finally decide that freedom in a short life is better than slavery? 
2.     What if telepathic creatures occupied a world ripe for colonization?  How would humans make “first contact” with telepathic creatures?  What if everything went wrong?  Would those creatures destroy humans or wait until we developed enough intelligence to properly communicate?  Could the creatures become allies to telepathic humans and help save lives?
Author Autobiography:
Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she started her own dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner; she sold real estate, started an office supply/copy center, and performed free-lance advertising design. During all those years Diane wrote stories for herself as a cure for insomnia.  She imagined distant planets and mysteries set on Earth.
After writing a tour guide book to the Caribbean together, Diane’s daughter gave her the idea of writing a mystery/romance set on cruise ships in the Caribbean. She got serious about publishing her books.  “Murder Caribbean-Style” and “Murder on a Ghost Ship” are the first two novels of a High Seas Mystery series. Readers meet the main characters of the series and learn about life aboard a ship while solving murders. There is danger and romance mixed in with the action. The third book in the series, “Murder for Glacier Blue” takes the reader on a cruise to Alaska with an art heist, murder, and a wedding on Glacier Bay. 

Diane’s first love has always been science/fantasy.  “The Alphas” is the prequel to the Heirs to “Howl of the Wolf”.  The story is a mystery blended with science/fantasy.  The heroine tries to solve the murder of an old friend and discovers why her beloved German Shepherd was stolen. The novel also introduces telepathic dogs and the wolves who eventually travel to the planet Drako.

“Howl of the Wolf” is the first book in the Heirs to the Throne Trilogy.  The novel introduces the planet Drako, telepathic wolves, and the crew of the space ship that took sanctuary with people who banned technology from their world.  In “The Havenshire Resistance”, the second book of the series, Queen Krystal’s three teenage daughters learn to use inherited powers to help rescue their father. Krystal leads an army of Samurai women, telepathic wolves, and ragtag commoners against an evil usurper in a dramatic battle. In “Dragon Defense”, the third book of the trilogy, the planet is under threat from space when an Institute battleship arrives. King Donovan must train bored teenagers to operate forbidden defense technology while his daughters befriend a flock of wild dragons.  Will the crazy defense tactics save Drako from destruction?

Diane took a break to write a fractured fairy tale for her granddaughter.  “Dragon Knight: and the Heart’s Blood Curse” is a humorous fantasy that adults will enjoy reading to their kids. When a witch turns a magnificent dragon into a puny human knight, Dragon must complete a quest to regain his powerful dragon form. A demon steals dead musicians from the mundane world and forces them to perform songs that change people into evil creatures. He plans to steal a living musician, Jimmy Buffett, and use his songs to destroy the barriers between the worlds.  Dragon is the only creature who could destroy the demon and save the day.  Wizards in the mundane world use smart phones as wands to protect Buffett from capture while Dragon and a young sorceress, Robyn, fight the demon in the magical realm.

Last year Diane added a new mystery to her growing catalog.  The characters from her High Seas Mysteries travel to Colorado to find a family gold mine.  “Golden Legacy” features a journal written in 1888 by Kayla’s ancestor, a woman traveling alone from San Francisco to Ouray, Colorado.  Kayla reads the journal to uncover clues to fine the gold mine and prove herself worthy of inheriting the family legacy.
What is next? 
I am currently working on a new science/fantasy novel.  When Dr. Alexander and his team arrived on Drako, the three other scientists who invented Transfer fled to other planets.  Now readers can explore what happened to these talented men, what kind of worlds they chose to inhabit, and what interstellar threat might bring them all back together.  If you enjoy character-driven science/fantasy, start reading the first series today.  The next book should be ready by the end of this year.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books? 
All nine books are available in e-book and print formats exclusively on Amazon.com.  My author’s page can be found at http://Author.to/DianeRapp
Please include links to the books:
Science/Fantasy Series:
The Alphas, Prequel to Howl of the Wolf:  http://viewBook.at/TheAlphas   
Howl of the Wolf:  http://viewBook.at/HowlWolf
The Havenshire Resistance:  http://viewBook.at/Havenshire
Dragon Defense:  http://viewBook.at/DDefense
Mystery Series:
Murder Caribbean-Style:  http://viewbook.at/HighSeas1
Murder on a Ghost Ship:  http://viewBook.at/HighSeas2
Murder for Glacier Blue: http://viewBook.at/HighSeas3
Fractured Fairy Tale:
Dragon Knight and the Heart’s Blood Curse:  http://viewBook.at/DKnight
Where can readers connect with you online? 

Visit www.quicksilvernovels.com to learn more about all of Diane’s books.  Contact Diane from the website.  You may also find Diane’s posts at https://www.facebook.com/quicksilvernovels and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DianeRapp.
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Drako.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world world, in Realm Explorers Part XCXX!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Who doesn’t like a good mystery? I’m sure there are a few, but most people do like mysteries. What about a mystery within a mystery. Faith Blum’s new novella is just that. First there’s the mystery of who tried to dupe five mail order brides. Then Adelaide finds out someone is claiming she’s a runaway bride. What happens to her? Find out in Blessed Assurance.

About the Book

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Adelaide lost her parents a year before and now a rich man in town is making unwanted advances toward her. Desperate, she writes to two men and quickly accepts the one from Cheyenne, Wyoming. On the final leg of her journey, in a stagecoach with four other mail order brides, her suspicions are confirmed. Will she ever find a man she can truly trust?

 About the Author  

Faith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she

could write better than Dr. Seuss. Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.

When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana, someday to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.
There are many ways to connect with Faith online. All of them can be found in one convenient place: http://FaithBlum.com. On her website you can find links to her various social media sites and both of her blogs as well as learn about any events she has coming up. 


Detective Bradley Connor stepped off the train in Cheyenne and gathered his horse, saddle, and saddlebags from the cattle car. After stabling his horse at the livery and finding a hotel, he headed to the sheriff’s office.
“Are you the sheriff?” he asked the man behind the desk.
“I am. What can I do for you?”
“Bradley Connor. I’m a Pinkerton detective and I need some information from you.”
The sheriff sat up straighter. “Sheriff Leland Granger. I’ll certainly help in any way I can. What do you need to know?”
“Do you know of an Adelaide Brown?”
“Yes, I do. Surely she isn’t a criminal!” Sheriff Granger’s face was filled with horror.
“No, nothing like that. She simply ran away from someone and that person is looking for her. Could you tell me where she is staying?”
Sheriff Granger gave him an assessing look. “Why?”
“I need to speak with her alone. I have an uncomfortable feeling about the person who is looking for her and need to hear her side of the story first. Is she married?”
Bradley leaned forward. “But she came out here as a mail order bride.”
“Yes, but she, and four others, were lured here by those ads. They were meant to be sold to saloons, but the outlaw’s plans were thwarted. Four of the five have now married. Adelaide is the only one who has not.”
“Why not?”
Sheriff Granger shrugged. “I don’t know. As for where she lives, she lives with Allen Reese and Edward Harris.” He gave Bradley the address. “But I would be careful about approaching her.”
Bradley nodded. “I will. Thank you.”
Bradley found the house and watched it carefully. It only took a few hours before he caught his first glimpse of her. She was truly as beautiful as his client had said she was. So why had she run away?


Faith’s sister, Naomi, graciously hand painted two beautiful bookmarks for this giveaway. There will be one lucky winner. The bookmarks are made with Adelaide in mind. Aren’t they gorgeous?

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Tour Schedule  

August 26
BookishOrchestrations-Tour Introduction
August 27
Blue-Brown Books-Author Interview
August 29
August 30
August 31
September 1
Writings, Ramblings, and ReflectionsCharacter Interview (Adelaide)
September 2
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Conclusion and Winner

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: Chess Desalls

Title of book: Glistens
Brief summary of the story:
Marian is a teen Glisten—a fairy that takes the form of a firefly—who hopes to become a guardian. She’s stuck in summer school when she hears a call for help. Will she be able to answer her ward’s call and complete her class project? Or will summer and its distractions make her lose focus?
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Glistens is set in the real world. The Glistens are a fairy-shifter society whose colonies exist among humans. They use glamours to stay hidden. Ancestors of the Glistens in my novella settled in Applewold, Pennsylvania, along the Allegheny River.
If we were to visit as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If the Glistens grant you sight into their world, I’d recommend a tour of their schools and homes. They are much different than how they appear on the outside. Otherwise, you might want to spend a day fishing.
What dangers should we avoid?
Stay away from the Rabbits.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served by Glistens?
Glistens enjoy vegetable stew and vanilla breakfast cake, as well as nectar ices and pollen nuggets. They maintain a vegan diet.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common to Glistens?
This breed of fairy shifters is, for the most part, peaceful. But they have a magic system with a basis in fire and cold light. They use their light to transform objects and guide others to safety. But sometimes their magic is needed to combat evil forces.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. do Glistens use to travel?
Glistens don’t own motorized vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. One of the Glistens in the story has managed to get his hands on an old bicycle. Even so, their preferred method of travel is flight.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter that we don’t see on Earth?
If you’ve seen a firefly, you’ve probably seen a Glisten in its insect form. They don’t keep pets and they share the same vegetation as humans.
There are also Rabbits that are nothing like the fluffy creatures we know. It’s best not to feed them.
Author Autobiography:
Chess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She’s a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
Glistens is free for Kindle, iBooks and Wattpad.
Where can readers connect with you online? 
Readers can connect with Chess through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, her website, and her blog.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Glistens’ world.  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 world of Drako, in Realm Explorers Part XCXVIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima
by Christa Nardi

The drama program has never been so dramatic.

It’d be the season to be jolly if only someone hadn’t set the stage for murder. When a student is arrested for the crime, Professor Sheridan Hendley is cast in the role of amateur sleuth. Tensions run high, friendships are strained, and the college administration is beginning to panic. As the plot thickens Sheridan is yet again drawn deeper into danger. Will she find the truth before the final curtain call?

Cold Creek Series Book 4, Murder in the Theater by Christa Nardi, is another great cozy mystery.

Books in the Cold Creek Series

For more information on the Cold Creek Series:  


Excerpt from Chapter 4 of MURDER IN THE THEATER

Soon the sounds of Phantom of the Opera wafted into the kitchen. By the time dinner was ready and on the table, I found Brett asleep on the couch with Charlie curled up on his lap. Charlie immediately jumped up when she saw me causing Brett to stir.

“Dinner?” He rubbed his hand over his face and sat forward. He looked like he hadn’t slept while he was in Altavista.

I smiled and reached out my hand. “Ready and waiting.”

I knew better than to ask about the case and didn’t want to share Max’s theory in case it put Brett on the spot. That limited topics for conversation. I had just broached the topic of Thanksgiving again when the doorbell rang.

“Expecting anybody?”

I shook my head and went to the door. Charlie beat me to the door and Brett followed behind me. I looked through the peephole and commented, “It’s Marty.”

I noted Brett’s jaw working but didn’t understand the sudden tension. I opened the door.

“Hi Marty. Come on in. What’s up? Are you okay?”

Marty looked a mess. An attorney, Marty Cohn most often dressed for court even when walking on the college campus. A suit, dress shirt, and tie, all perfectly pressed comprised his standard uniform. Tonight, though, his shirt was half untucked and both his shirt and pants looked like he’d slept in them. His jacket was nowhere in sight. His eyes were heavy and bloodshot – a perfect match to Brett’s. If I didn’t know Marty better, I’d have wondered if he had been on a bender.

Marty didn’t answer. He glared at Brett who stared back at him. Charlie picked up on the tension and emitted a low growl. As if on cue, the crescendo from the Phantom played. The animosity between them was palpable but I didn’t understand it. I felt helpless to diffuse the situation.

“Someone want to fill me in?”

“You want to tell her, DETECTIVE? Or should I?” Marty shouted, his face flushed and his hands clenched. Charlie growled again and I spoke softly to her to calm her. I shifted my gaze to Brett with trepidation.

“Leave her out of this Marty. She has nothing to do with it. You have to know I didn’t take any pleasure in this process. It would have gone down the same.”

“If it has nothing to do with me, then why is he here?”

I looked from Brett to Marty and back again. Marty didn’t answer and he didn’t move a muscle. It was déja vu from when I worked in a residential treatment center with teenage boys facing off over some perceived slight.

“Nobody wants to talk? Then how about we all sit down. Marty, we were eating dinner, can I fix you a plate? Get you something to drink?”

He fizzled out and slithered into the armchair, rubbing his hands over the stubble on his face. Another first. In the six months I’d known Marty, he’d never needed a shave.

Brett turned and went back into the kitchen. I followed. I looked at him with raised eyebrows silently asking him what was going on. He shook his head ever so slightly and got down another plate. Between us, we got the food and wine for all of us out to where Marty still sat, head in hands.

Brett handed Marty a glass of wine. “Here, you need this.”

Marty looked up, opened his mouth but no words came out. He took the glass of wine and then the plate and utensils I handed him. Brett and I sat on the couch with our plates, our glasses of wine nearby. Charlie sat at attention between Marty and Brett in guard mode.

I kept shifting my gaze from one man to the other for some hint as we ate. Nobody said a word and the tension remained. Marty picked at his food initially, then cleaned his plate without even looking up. I wondered when he had last eaten.

When all the plates were clean, I asked if anyone wanted more. Both men shook their heads in silence. I picked up the plates and took them to the kitchen. The sound score from Phantom was the only sound other than my heels clicking on the kitchen tile.

I rejoined the men. Neither said a word. I looked to Brett as he seemed more in control and asked again, “Could someone fill me in please?”

“What have you heard about the case in Altavista today, Sher?”

I glanced at Marty, not sure where this was going.

“The last I heard was someone had been brought in for questioning and an arrest was expected. That was early this afternoon. I haven’t checked since and didn’t catch the news tonight.”

“Isaac Waxman was arrested for the murder of William Thompson. Waxman is Marty’s nephew.”

My jaw dropped as I shifted my attention to Marty. I glanced back to Brett once the realization sunk in.

“Were you the arresting officer?”

Brett exhaled and pulled his hands through his curly hair, a sure sign he was stressed.

“I assisted in the investigation and was present when he was initially questioned and when he was arrested. For all intents and purposes, this is still local jurisdiction. The Altavista Police Chief officially made the arrest. Waxman is scheduled for arraignment in two days.”

He hesitated before he added, “One other thing, Sher. Isaac is a sophomore at Cold Creek College. He’s in Fine Arts.”

Brett held my gaze and I felt the tension rise as my eyes opened wider. Marty still didn’t say anything and his head was back in his hands. We sat there for a few more minutes in silence.

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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. 

Author’s name: Malinda Andrews
Title of book and/or series:  The Ryder Chronicles, The Incalescent Trilogy
Brief summary of the story:

To Riona, life was simple. She and her mother lived on the outskirts of a village in the secluded Rhal-Dages Mountains of Bjergen. They grew, or hunted what they could, and traded for the rest. Her best friend for the twenty years of her life, Damien, and his family were there for her without question. At least until a mysterious figure reveals something within her, setting in motion events that sweep Riona into a conflict decades in the making.

After another figure’s unexplained visit, Riona is required to accept that the abilities she has had for so long, and tried to hide, come from magic. But since Moriel destroyed the legendary Ryders and their powerful dragons twenty-one years prior, magic was something to be feared by the people. Magic was dangerous, and those using it were sought out and killed.

Forced to leave her home, Riona is stalked by nightmarish shadow figures, as she tries to uncover the truth of who she is. Her choices, and discoveries, could mean the destruction, or salvation of the people she loves most.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The entire world for this trilogy contains several Realms. The Realm where book one takes place, and where the main characters are from, is called Bjergen. It is a mountainous realm that also includes a large, ancient, forest to the west of the mountains. Rivers, and small streams litter the landscape, providing the necessary irrigation for the people to farm small plots of land to supplement their hunting.
If we were to visit Bjergen as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
If you were to visit Bjergen you would be in for a hiking lovers trip! This Realm covers the Rhal-Dages Mountains and surrounding forests. Most of the realm is made up of small villages, but the capitol city of Erskine is the crown jewel. The majority of the city is built directly into the mountains! The home of the ruling family is extensive, and offers rooms to accommodate visiting Dragon Ryders and their Dragons, complete with oversized balconies!
What dangers should we avoid in Bjergen?
At one point in the history there would have been the danger of wild dragons. Now, there are wolves, and large wildcats that stay away from the villages and populated areas.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Bjergen?
No, the main faire is pretty typical medieval menus. Ales, meads, venison, roasts, fowl dishes are all common.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Bjergen?
Heavy armor complete with heavy horse and infantry units make up the majority of Erskine’s standing army. Due to skirmishes on their eastern front, Erskine is also well versed in archery and building defensive structures.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Bjergen?
The main mode of transportation is either wagons, horse back, or of course walking.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Bjergen that we don’t see on Earth?
Prior to both the rise of the Ryders, and then Moriel’s vengeance, dragons would have been prevalent throughout the realm. Some are friendly, some not so.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Bjergen?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic was once something that was common, but after the fall of the Ryders magic became taboo. There are three types of magic systems. One is inborn magic, magic that runs through the blood of the first people in the 5 Realms. The second is the magic of the Dragon Ryders. Being bonded to a dragon gives the human abilities that they would have otherwise not have had. Using and having those magical abilities will change the individual at a genetic level, which will pass to the offspring of a Ryder. The third type is ritual magic. This is extremely taboo, and banned. The books that contain this knowledge have been hidden away. This magic is also extremely dangerous to the user.
What is the political or government structure in Bjergen?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The line of Charncoite has ruled unbroken in Erskine for thousands of years. The previous king was a wise and kind ruler, who passed his crown upon his death to his twin sons who are to co-rule. Along with the king there is a council of advisors that aids in making decisions and provides support and information to the king.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I had come up with this story/realm when I was much younger, but it wasn’t until I was visiting the highlands of Scotland that I really “saw” the landscape. Being amongst the craggily mountains, and sweeping hills really cemented the realm in my mind.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

There really aren’t any “hot-button” or controversial topics, but I do often explore the concept of “nature vs nurture”. There are a few twins, and backstories that include sharing the same upbringing, but how different two people can end up.
Author Autobiography:

A transplant to the Midwest from Washington State, Malinda Andrews works as a desk jockey by day, but by night—and sometimes on her lunch break—she escapes the ordinary by writing. The love of writing started young (she credits, or alternately blames, her parents for her love of reading and writing) and she followed her passion for the written word into college. Forgoing financial security, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in December 2012.

The novel that started it all, Through the Mountains, was dreamt up when Malinda was sixteen. Though the assignment was only a ten-page short story, Malinda handed in the first twenty-five pages of her novel. Despite her passion, it would take until the last semester of college for inspiration, planning, experience, and momentum to culminate for the novel to be finished.

An avid reader, Malinda also enjoys crocheting, watching TV and movies, book shopping, hiking, and camping. She lives with her husband and their cats.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?  Please include links.
They are available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback.
Through the Mountains: http://amzn.to/2aqfmwh
Across the Sea and Hills: http://amzn.to/2aamPxK
Fire and Snow: http://amzn.to/2amLH7u
Where can readers connect with you online? 
I can be found online at:
Twitter: @OnADragonsWing2
Instagram: @onadragonswing2
Pinterest: Onadragonswing2

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Bjergen.  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 _____ world of ______, in Realm Explorers Part XCXVII!
-Annie Douglass Lima
Have you ever had to sacrifice something to bring back something or someone you love? Peggy McAloon is here today to talk about the second book in her Lessons from Fiori series, Missing. Elle’s brother has been kidnapped. Will she be able to save him?

About the Book

Kidnapping. Monsters. Magic.

Elle’s desperate to find her kidnapped brother. She teams up with the winged warriors from the dimension of Fiori to save him, but JJ isn’t the only one in danger. What will Elle sacrifice to bring her brother home? Can she fulfill the ancient prophecy and restore the magic of the Bronze Pendant?
You will love this Coming of Age, action-packed fantasy for middle-grade readers. Elle Burton’s goal is to rescue her brother. What she discovers is pure evil. The author provides a female role model who strives to overcome her flaws and inspire kids everywhere.
“Missing” blends the magic of a fairytale with the contemporary realities of the world today’s youth inhabit. You will discover a new world order through the journey of a young girl who exhibits both compassion and jaw-dropping courage in her quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Find yourself caught in the ultimate struggle between good and evil. “Missing” is the second book in the “Lessons from Fiori” series.

About the Author

Peggy M McAloon is on a mission to inspire kids everywhere to stand up to abuse and bullying. Her “Lessons from Fiori Series” about a young girl from Wisconsin, provides a strong female role model who isn’t afraid to show compassion or hack into a con man’s computer if the need arises. Peggy’s courageous battle with depression, abuse, and a traumatic brain injury has enabled her to identify with both children and adults who have suffered from abuse and bullying.

She’s a retired trainer and speaker in the field of commercial credit. Her first book, “The Art of Business Credit Investigation” was featured in Inc. Magazine. She’s been interviewed by the Associated Press and appeared on news shows in her efforts to protect our water resources.

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/peggymoundmcaloon/
Twitter: @peggymcaloon



There are seventeen prizes with seventeen winners! Peggy is generously giving away 5 signed copies of the first book in her series, Elle Burton, 10 signed copies of her new release, Missing, and 2 replicas of Elle’s necklace.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


      The scream lodged in Jimmy’s throat as his body shifted and his feet began to slide out from under him.
He didn’t slide far, but it made his stomach turn over like it did when the car went over a hill too fast.
His dark eyes popped open just as his feet slipped farther down the corrugated metal roof on the back side of one of the older white-board buildings at the county fair.
He realized his mistake immediately. He’d wished himself back to the fairground’s main building, but he was thinking about the mini donuts when he made his wish.
“Lie back to slow the momentum!”
Jimmy glanced around as he continued to slide down the steep roof. He didn’t see anyone to connect the warning to, but he tried to shift himself back as far as he could. His arms swung in a wide arch above his bushy red hair.
He scrambled to regain his footing as he slid down the roof toward the edge. He could see the crowd of people scattered throughout the fairgrounds from his vantage point. Just as he was about to topple over the edge, his feet found purchase. He loudly expelled the huge breath he’d been holding since the moment his feet hit the roof.
“Hey, kid! Get down from there right now, or I’ll get someone to escort you out of here.” A food vendor stood with hands on his hips as he glared up at him.
“Yes, sir! Sorry about that,” Jimmy stammered. “I lost someone and thought maybe I could see them from up here.”
“No one’s allowed up there!” The man spat on the ground.
Jimmy sat down on the edge of the roof, judging the distance to the grass below. There was no problem jumping to the ground from the branches of the old willow tree down at Wolske Bay, and this wasn’t any higher. He swung his legs over the edge of the roof. He used his arms to push himself off the edge.
“You stupid kids take too many risks!” The angry vendor stomped away
Jimmy’s feet hit the ground. He rubbed his eyes vigorously with his knuckles as he thought about what happened only moments ago.
Was it all a dream? He’d eaten a bunch of garbage at the fair. Maybe it was all some weird hallucination because of the mix of hot dogs, cheese curds, cotton candy, and mini donuts. Was there anything else?
He shuddered in spite of himself. An adventure in another dimension was all too bizarre to be real.
Jimmy swatted at a pesky butterfly that kept trying to land on his shoulder and rubbed his head again. He had so many unanswered questions he didn’t know where to start. He took a deep breath to calm himself and tried to remember what happened when he jumped into the fountain.
That’s it! Where was the guy with the lion’s hair? Jimmy glanced around the fairgrounds. He’d be here if it all truly happened. They’d left Fiori together, hadn’t they?
Again he swatted at the butterfly flitting around in front of his face. “Go away you stupid bug!”
“Hey, buddy, I’m right here.”
Jimmy continued to look from left to right. He raised his arm to swat at the butterfly again.
“Whoa, you’re gonna hurt me if you keep swatting at me like that! Give an old guy a break here, buddy.”
Jimmy stood completely still. He looked at the butterfly more carefully.
“Bernstein, how’d you get to be a butterfly?”


 The first book in the series, Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals has been reduced by Amazon. The softcover is at 56% off, or $6.11 for the 276-page book. Double check the price before purchasing, though, since Amazon can change the price at any time. Missing is also free on Kindle Unlimited. 


 Tour Schedule

August 8
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction

August 9
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview
So You Want to Write Christian Fantasy?-Character Interview with Amadeus

August 10

August 11
Peggy’s Hope 4U-Character Interview

August 12

August 13
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

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:Kandi J Wyatt

Title of book and/or series: The Dragon Courage series—book 1 Dragon’s Future, book 2 Dragon’s Heir, book 3 Dragon’s Revenge, book 4 Dragon’s Cure (releasing August, 2016), book 5 Dragon’s Posterity, Prequel Dragon’s Past
Brief summary of the story: 
In a world where dragons and humans live in peace with each other, it is a privilege to be a dragon rider, but riders, like everyone else, must find their purpose. In this series, twins Ruskya and Duskya fight for their dragons’ futures and their lives! Braidyn struggles with balancing justice and mercy as he searches for a stolen nestling. Kyn and a new friend, Ben’hyamene, discover a breed of wild dragons which have been at war with humans for four hundred years, and the two learn that peace is better than revenge. Kyn helps Duskya and her daughter, Carryn, search for a young rider who stumbles upon a slave trade. Carryn learns that bitterness leaves a person in bondage as much as being a slave. Follow along the riders’ quest in this exciting middle grade fantasy series by author Kandi J Wyatt.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: 
The world itself has many of the same things our world has: lakes, deserts, mountains, swamplands, oceans, and mines. The center of the world is the inland lake. From there, we tell directions. North of the inland lake is the canyon country of Woolpren and Three Spans Canyon. Here the people are steeped in tradition. To the south of the inland lake is Boeskay. It is situated just south of the lake on the River Sur. The land is fruitful and many people farm here. To the east of the inland sea rolling sandhills spread out as far as the eye can see. The people here herd livestock and roam from oasis to oasis. Heading south and west of the inland sea will bring a traveler to the land of The Carr. A river overflows its banks creating a massive swamp. People live in sod houses on rocky outcroppings or in wooden cabins up on stilts. Their livelihood is dependent on the land whether in logging, farming, or ranching. To the south and west of Boeskay the city of San Valencia sits at the base of tall, rocky mountains. The mountains hold mines for ebony. To the west of The Carr sits the ocean. Its rolling surf crashes against rocks and plays a hide-n-seek game with the grasslands as they ebb and flow between the surf and the mountains.
If we were to visit the Lands of Dragon Courage as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? 
First and foremost, ride a dragon! You’d have to ask a dragon rider and the dragon for permission, but it would be the best thing ever. Secondly, I’d recommend that you visit the El’shad’n in the sandhills and experience one of their feasts. The heat will have dissipated by the evening feast and their pavilions will be open to guests. Drums will provide a beat for dancing, and after dark, the fire dancers will grace the grounds with their intricate work of twirling fire and blowing it in great balls into the air. Roasted lamb never tastes as good as it does at an El’shad’n feast. There’s just something about the way they grill it over the fire that brings all the favor to the front and gets rid of the grease lamb is known for. While on your visit, you must swing by and say ‘hi’ to Duskya or Ruskya and have a cup of tea. Listen to them tell the stories of the lands. Finally, if you’ve never been to an ocean before, go explore the coast. Listen to the roar of the surf. I’d suggest going in the summer during the Youngling Challenge.
What dangers should we avoid in the Lands of Dragon Courage? 
You’ll want to be cautious of the wild drakes in The Carr. They’ve been at peace with humans now for a few winters, but they are still wild. You don’t want to disturb their lands. They can be territorial. As long as you aren’t caught out in the open in the winter in Three Spans Canyon or Woolpren you’ll be okay, but winter storms have been known to lock people in their homes for days on end. In the summer time, Boeskay can have tornados. If you’re there in the summer months, you’ll want to keep an eye on the sky.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the Lands of Dragon Courage? 
Depending on where in the land you are, your food will vary. The northern lands of Woolpren and Three Spans Canyon serve meats from their livestock along with corn and wheat. Boeskay is known for the farms. All kinds of fresh produce comes through the market and fish is caught in the river. Tea is a prominent drink in the north; while coffee is served in the sandhills, and lemonade on the western coast of the inland sea.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the Lands of Dragon Courage? 
Swords, knives, arrows, and basic hand-to-hand combat are practiced among all the peoples of the land.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Lands of Dragon Courage? 
Wagons and horses are the most common means of transportation. A few people are fortunate enough to be dragon riders. They have the wonderful opportunity to travel by way of dragon. Those living in the sandhills can travel using animals bred for the heat.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Lands of Dragon Courage that we don’t see on Earth? 
There is a plant that encourages dragons to have twins. It has a similar effect on humans as well. Dragons are another species that are specific to the Lands of Dragon Courage. Other than that, the world is very similar to ours.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the Lands of Dragon Courage?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. 
Magic exists mainly in the form of dragons and their abilities. However, there are some items that are magical—an herb that produces twins, an amulet that binds dragons to people and enables the person to hear others’ thoughts, ebony crystals that can hold the essence of a person so that their presence is felt in an area, creating mental cages of memories to keep a person from knowing who she is. These are all magical happenings. The abilities of telepathy and telekinesis are explained by way of magic.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in the Lands of Dragon Courage. 
The main entertainment happens in the summer along the coast. The Youngling Challenge is held where all the young dragon riders who are ready to graduate to full-fledged riders come to prove their abilities as riders. There are competitions for them to show how well they work together as a group, individually, and in team sports as well. They have hand-to-hand tournaments, races, and show their prowess with their abilities to wield their minds as weapons.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the Lands of Dragon Courage as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? 
The days and months are the same. However they rate the passing of time by winters. The seasons are the same in the land but the severity of the weather depends on where you are visiting. The Carr has rain, fog, and sun all year long, while Woolpren and Three Spans Canyon have distinctive seasons with extremes. The special event for the north is the Youngling Procession where the dragons and prospective dragon riders meet every winter. The dragon rider colony then celebrates the arrival of new riders. In Boeskay, each winter they celebrate when their younglings are old enough to become full-fledged riders.
What is the political or government structure in the Lands of Dragon Courage?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? 
The Carr has two different sets of government. There is the leader of the humans and the leader of the dragon riders. In recent years, the two have become one. The leader is a young girl by the name of Calum. She is guided by her father, the former human leader, and the former dragon rider leader, Shaylah. The El’shad’n look to Braidyn as their Ah’doneye or leader. The other areas have no political struggles. The riders are helpers who keep peace. In Boeskay, the riders help by fertilizing the farmlands with dragon fire.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit the Lands of Dragon Courage? 
In the north, people bow in reverence and greeting to each other. The traditional greeting is “May your dragon fly true.” Among the men of The Carr, they shake hands instead of bowing. They are less formal. The El’shad’n had been ruled by a man who abused power. He required everyone to bow down to him as a king. He also kept the women separate from the men. This is changing, but there is still a cultural reticence for the two to mix in public without a family member around.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Woolpren and Three Spans Canyon are based on two canyons I have visited personally. When I was between my junior and senior years in high school I went to Northern Arizona and saw Canyon de Chelly. I loved the idea of a town built into the canyon wall. The canyons of the high desert of Eastern Oregon are where my in-laws live. When I blended the Northern Arizona landscape with the foothills of the Blue Mountains of Oregon, I created Woolpren and Three Spans Canyon.
Boeskay comes from my childhood in the Mississippi River area of Southern Iowa. The farmlands surrounding the river and the bluffs fill the land. Even the tornados and thunderstorms come from my childhood. However, the market place comes from my time in Ecuador. I loved the way the vendors would set up their wares in colorful displays. The sing-song calling out of what they had to sell also comes into the Boeskay market.
The Carr probably is my favorite because it is what I have known for the past twenty-one years. It is based on the Coquille River valley in Oregon. In the winter time, the fertile fields fill with runoff and the river itself takes on a life of its own as it spills into the plains. The mountains around the valley used to supply many log mills with lumber. They aren’t conducive for dragons, but the valley floor works well for the flying creatures.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? 
For the most part the series avoids anything controversial and focuses instead on family, friendship, courage, justice balanced with mercy, and revenge versus peace. However, in book four, the topics of survivors of childhood abuse and human trafficking come into play. When I wrote it, I wrote out of my own experience of overcoming the abuse coping mechanisms. At the time, human trafficking wasn’t even spoken about. Yet, somehow, I was able to put together a very believable experience of how young girls can fall into the clutches of this despicable system. As one character says, “I’d like to take down the whole system! Wing, tail, and horns. From the sellers to the traders to the buyers.”
Author Autobiography: Kandi J Wyatt is a wife, mother of five, teacher, artist, and author. In her free time, she enjoys writing fantasy stories and Christmas programs, and drawing with graphite and colored pencils. Portraits are her specialty. Kandi also enjoys photography, thanks to her photographer husband who has let her join his journey as both his model and apprentice, and she occasionally serves as his assistant when he needs a “light stand with feet.”
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
Dragon’s Future is available on amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Scribd.
Dragon’s Heir is available on amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Scribd.
Dragon’s Revengeis available on amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Scribd.
Where can readers connect with you online? 

Feel free to connect with me on my website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google Plus, and Pinterest. I blog every week about things not necessarily book related but what I think would help my readers or about what’s happening in my own life. On Facebook, I share not only my blog posts, but any videos or pictures that pique an interest for my readers or would follow with themes in my books. I participate in Twitter games, #MondayBlogs, #TuesdayTitles (where I suggest books that are great reads), #1lineWed (snippets of either works in progress or from my books), and #momlife. My Pinterest boards are divided by things that fit with my books as well as a favorite quote and a favorite book board.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Lands of Dragon Courage.  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 Bjergen, in Realm Explorers Part XCXVI!
-Annie Douglass Lima

Everyone has their secrets, and Tayte, Agnes, and Noah are no exception. In Agnes’s home, though, those secrets—or dragons—might just tear them all apart. Part of the Kindle Scout competition, The Dragons of Alsace Farm was hot and trending for four weeks before its launch. Find out why during this blog tour!

About the Book

In need of his own redemption, Noah Carter finally confronts his childhood hero, the once-beloved uncle who betrayed him. Instead of vengeance, he offers forgiveness, also granting Uncle John a most curious request—for Noah to work on the ramshackle farm of Agnes Deveraux Keller, a French WWII survivor with dementia.
Despite all Agnes has lost, she still has much to teach Noah. But the pair’s unique friendship is threatened when Tayte, Agnes’s estranged granddaughter, arrives to claim a woman whose circumstances and abilities are far different from those of the grandmother she once knew. 
Items hidden in Agnes’s attic raise painful questions about Tayte’s dead parents, steeling Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save, and the secret her proud grandmother has guarded for seventy years.
The issue strains the fragile trust between Tayte and Noah, who now realizes Tayte is fighting her own secrets, her own dragons. Weighed down by past guilt and failures, he feels ill-equipped to help either woman, until he remembers Agnes’s lessons about courage and love. In order to save Agnes, the student must now become the teacher, helping Tayte heal—for Agnes’s sake, and for his.


“You were amazing, Agnes . . . so brave. You knew just what to do.”
She smiled. “I am all they have. Being needed makes you brave. Sometimes we simply do what we must. But then, you know a bit about that as well, don’t you?”
Noah looked at his pocked arms. “You mean my scars?”
“From cigarettes??”
Noah’s lips pursed as he remembered the feel of the burns. “It was my father’s way of motivating me.”
“Beast.” It was spoken like a curse, and it made Noah smile. “The shame is his. Not yours.”
Noah undid the ties that fastened the three-inch-wide leather band worn over his wrist. Beneath it were rows of straight scars. “Not just his, Agnes. I did these myself.” He felt his face burn with shame.
Agnes leaned on her shovel and searched an unknown spot in the sky. “When the bombings ended, only one tree remained in the park near my house. Everyone said we should protect it and honor it. I went out at night and threw rocks at it. I pulled on its branches and tried to kill it because I thought, better I should kill it than wait for the dragons to return and destroy this one also.”
Now Noah understood. “The Nazis were the dragons?”
“There are many dragons, mon cher. You fought yours in the only way you knew how, but that war is over now.”
“You think so?”
Agnes walked to him and placed a wrinkled hand on his cheek. “You slew your dragons. I can see peace in your eyes.”

About the Author

L.C. Lewis (Laurie) was born and raised in rural Maryland, surrounded by history-rich Philadelphia, Washington, and Baltimore. She and her husband Tom reside in Carroll County, Maryland, where they raised their four children.
The Dragons of Alsace Farm, Laurie’s eighth published novel, was inspired by a loved one’s struggle with the dragon of dementia. Her women’s fiction novels include Unspoken (2004) and Awakening Avery (2010), written as Laurie Lewis. Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812, America’s nearly forgotten second war of independence: Dark Sky at Dawn(2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming(2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).
Dark Sky at Dawnand Twilight’s Last Gleaming were finalists in the 2008 USA Best Books competition. Oh, Say Can You See? was a 2010 Whitney Award finalist.
Three new books are in progress. Please watch for her remake of Awakening Avery, a political suspense novel titled The Shell Game, both of which are slated for later in 2016, and a March 2017 novella, Laurie’s contribution to the multi-author “Destination Billionaire Romance” series.
Laurie loves hearing from her readers and may be contacted through her website: www.laurielclewis.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @laurielclewis or on her blog at www.laurielclewis.blogspot.com. She also enjoys interacting with book clubs. Contact her to arrange a video chat with your group.

Book Club

The back of the book contains some thought-provoking book club questions. Laurie would love for you to schedule a video conference with her if their book club chooses The Dragons of Alsace Farm as one of their selections in the next six months. You can email her at: [email protected].


First and foremost, The Dragons of Alsace Farm is a love story, about the power of tested love, the promise of new love, and the strength of family love. Here’s a love basket, with a fun date night, Agnes’s favorite breakfast for the morning, and an autographed copy of the book to read on a lazy afternoon.  Always remember love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodreads Giveaway

Enter herefor the chance to win a paperback of The Dragons of Alsace Farm.


Tour Schedule

July 31
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
August 1
August 2
August 3
August 4
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview
August 5
Phrey Press-Author Interview
August 6
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Conclusion and Giveaway Announcement


The Cove by Julie Spencer 
Free on Kindle August 1-5, 2016!

In honor of the Summer Olympics, and because the main character in The Cove is a famous Olympic swimmer, Julie Spencer is offering her novel, The Cove free on Kindle this week only.
Here is a blurb about The Cove:
Some accomplishments are easier than others…
For Olympic swimmer Gail Pederson, gold medals came easy. Finding true love and marrying him in the temple? Not so easy. Especially with three men competing for her attention, and temptations leading her further and further from her goal.
Choices have consequences, and each choice Gail makes affects all four of them. One choice changes their lives forever, and leaves unexpected consequences in its wake.
Innocence lost, promises broken, and friendships destroyed. Gail may choose how to live her life, but she can’t choose the consequences.
Here is an excerpt from The Cove:
“Why did you do that?” Gail stood in his lit doorway, dripping wet in her designer swimsuit. Todd kept the screen door closed between them, anger in his eyes and a scowl on his face. Gail pushed the door open and stomped into his house, leaving water all across his linoleum floor. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then grabbed the kitchen towel from the handle on the stove. As he stooped down to wipe up the mess, she grabbed her long hair in her hands and wrung the water from it so that it left an even bigger pool of water beside her. He paused, clenched his hand around the towel and wiped up that mess as well. When Todd stood up, he tossed the towel at Gail’s chest.
“Dry yourself off.” Todd snapped at her. “You’re making a mess in my kitchen.” He walked back over to the counter where he had been making himself a sandwich. How can he possibly be hungry after all that food at the country club?
“Why did you have to show up there anyway?” Gail demanded.
“I was invited!” Todd turned back to her with fierceness in his eyes. “By your fiancé!” He spat the words at her and she flinched back from his accusing eyes. He stepped away from the counter and crossed the room to her. She was glad he’d put down the knife he’d used to cut the salami for his sandwich. Not that she thought he would ever really get so mad he might hurt her, it just would have felt a little more threatening.
“Stephan invited… you? Why?” He ignored her question.
“Do you have any idea how much Patrick loves you? How much it’s going to hurt him when he finds out that you’re engagedto someone else?”
Julie L. Spencer lives in the central Michigan area with her husband and teenagers. She has a very full life managing a conservation district office, writing grant proposals & book reviews, and chasing after several teenage athletes. Julie’s been writing since she was in junior high, but prior to publishing The Cove, her only published work was her Master’s Thesis. She loves to read and write New Adult Contemporary Clean fiction and has several more novels and non-fiction projects in the works.
Julie loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at [email protected]
Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSpencer98