Power in Time by Erudessa Gentian

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: Erudessa Gentian

Title of book and/or series: Power in Time, Epoch 1 of Kynaston Royal Saga

Brief summary of the story:

Twenty-year-old Larkspur is trapped 2,000 years in the future, but that’s not her biggest problem. Bestowed with strange superpowers, she’s adopted by one of the most powerful families known to the four inhabited planets. As heir, she’s responsible for an entire kingdom she didn’t know existed a few days ago. But when tragic surprises emerge from her past, Lark must decide where her loyalties will lie—past, or future?

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

Evren is the third successfully terraformed planet. It is a little smaller than Earth, has two moons, and four extra months in a year. Jewel and metallic tones are the most common colors found there.

If we were to visit Evren as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

Check out some of their nature reserves. The preservation of wildlife and natural resources is important there.

Power in Time by Erudessa Gentian

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Evren?

Evren was mostly settled by people from modern-day Europe and New Zealand, and some of their traditional foods came along. Their fruit is known for its succulence.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Evren?

Laser weapons are common, especially guns.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Evren?

Sky Trams are used for long travel, hovercraft is used for daily travel. Holograms are used in a lot of technology, including computers, maps, and text.

Cats as a species didn’t take well to the terraformation process, so all breeds are considered endangered and protected.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Evren that we don’t see on Earth?

There are no alien races in Kynaston Royal Saga, but plants do differ from planet to planet. Mostly in their colors, but some plants evolved differently depending on the chemical makeup of the planet.

Power in Time by Erudessa Gentian

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Evren?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

Magic is known as Arcane Science, but it’s not studied deeply. Some people are born with the ability to manipulate an element (air, electricity, fire, water, etc.), but it’s considered useless. It takes too much energy to actually do, you’d die before it would be useful.

In Kyanston Royal Saga, a select few are given bio-bots, which help enhance the gift.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Evren as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?

Weekdays are the same, but Evren has four extra months than Earth (one for each season).

Christmas is still a traditional holiday, and Evren’s Foundation Month is celebrated every two years.

What is the political or government structure in Evren?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

It depends on the country. The main story takes place in the Kingdom of Lothar, the first country on Evren, and still the largest/most powerful.

Erudessa Gentian

Avi Kynaston is the current monarch, well loved by the people. He inherited a kingdom on the brink of collapse, and led them back to prosperity. He just adopted Larkspur as his daughter and heir.

Author Autobiography:

Erudessa Gentian is a firm believer that clean entertainment can be powerful. Inspired by her love of cultures and learning, she produces dynamic art to spark imagination and touch souls.

Erudessa writes in multiple genres, but specializes in fantasy and historical fiction. She posts about lifestyle, travel and so much more on her blog.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.

All of Erudessa’s work can be found on her website.

Power in Time can be found on most major ebook retailers. Paperbacks are currently available on Amazon and her website.

Erudessa Gentian

Where can readers connect with you online?

You can find all of Erudessa’s social links and newsletter signup on her Contact Page.

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

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


Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!


Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers! -Annie Douglass Lima

 

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: Darlene N. Bocek

Title of book and/or series: The Last Noel (Return to Me series) (paranormal dystopia)

When fireman Reuben Morales learns his unsaved sister has been tragically killed, he struggles with her death until he is swept up into Judgment Day and sees her life and death through the eyes of God. The trauma of this vision propels him as he directs the church Christmas pageant and discovers the answers to his questions in an unexpected way.

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

The story takes place in Southern California. But at one point, Reuben is brought into a vision or dream of Heaven. The strange and fantastical, “speculative” world in this story is a paranormal view of heaven on Judgment Day. The “otherliness” of this story lies in the spirit world and its contact with us. This is the first book of a trilogy, in which the supernatural and paranormal (ghosts, phantoms, demons, dreams and visions) are examined in their real impact upon us. I call this realm “paranormal dystopia.”

If we were to visit Heaven as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

Ha ha. Judgment Day before the throne of God. I know I’ll be looking for Jesus to hide under the shelter of his wings.

What dangers should we avoid in Heaven?

Certainly, the way to avoid a dangerous Judgment Day is to listen and bend to the truth that is readily available to us today, in the Bible.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Heaven?

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Fruit from a tree that gives twelve different kinds of fruit.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Heaven?

There is the Sword of Truth that will cut through bone and marrow, soul and spirit.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Heaven?

In The Last Noel, a vision of the Nativity story and of the Crucifixion, is put on display at Judgment Day.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Heaven that we don’t see on Earth?

There will be a Tree of Life, and some beings described as having “the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.”

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Heaven? 

What are dreams? What are visions? Are they real? Are they merely mental impulses? Is there some kind of heavenly-tech that conveys things like that? I’m not sure the means but maybe it’s heaven-tech!

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Heaven? 

As a crossover contemporary/speculative novel, the supernatural experience of a vision or dream of Judgment Day compels Reuben toward finding resolution about the frightening thing that is Hell. But, moreso, the reality of such supernatural locations as Heaven and Hell as described in the Bible, help Reuben to understand and to treasure his life, his duty on earth, and God’s ways.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

Every Christian has had to face the death of an unsaved loved one. It is not an easy hurdle to jump, and is never a pleasant time. This book is fostered in the heart of someone who has faced the death of Muslim friends who have died without faith in Christ.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

Any Christian you ask would honestly say that the idea of “hell” is the most repulsive of all doctrines Bible-believers are to hold to. This book is the journey of one man who discovers, through his brief journey into Judgment Day, the rhyme and reason behind such a place.

Author Biography:

Faith-building “What-If” Fiction. Darlene is a thinker of big thoughts and a lover of nature’s message, and her words are a merger of both. Her fans enjoy being challenged by new people, strange places and old ideas helping them to think and grow like never before.

Darlene’s favorite genre to work in is near-future dystopia sci-fi, and her current “Pogland” dystopian trilogy is under consideration with publishers. It takes place in Los Angeles, has “aliens” and strange technology. As a native southern Californian, she likes to write about life and troubles there.

Her first work, Trunk of Scrolls, takes place in ancient Turkey and is available in paperback and ebook. Darlene is grateful for endorsements by Michael Horton, Darrell Bock, and Joel Beeke.

A native of San Diego, California, she studied Social Science at Westmont College, emphasizing ancient and modern Middle East, after which she received her teaching credentials.  As she is connected to Westminster Theological Seminary of California, her speculative writing is confessionally reformed.

As an armchair student of natural theology, an ancient history aficionado, a methodical homeschool mother, and especially as a pastor’s wife in Turkey, Darlene loves bringing readers and students into a deeper appreciation of the depth and truths of Christianity. 

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.

The Last Noel is available as ebook for FREE for the 2020 Christmas season only for signup HERE. After January 6, it will be for sale on Amazon. Follow Darlene N. Bocek on Amazon to get a print copy.

Where can readers connect with you online?  

Darlene is found regularly on Instagram and Facebook.

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

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


Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!

Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!

-Annie Douglass Lima

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: Juli D. Revezzo

Title of book and/or series:  Bitter Thorn Tribe (Stewards War, book 2)

Brief summary of the story:

Destined to be a bride, if only the gods will let her…

Stacy Macken tries to acclimate herself to her training under Tuatha dé Danaan druids—as if she doesn’t have enough work in planning her wedding to her beloved guardian and fiancé Aaron.

When Fomorii loyalists violate their treaty and seek revenge for their recent defeat, even Stacy’s druids are at a loss to explain the mayhem that ensues. Can Aaron and his brothers-in-arms stop it before Stacy and her family are caught in the crossfire?

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The city is a modern (fictional) town in Florida called Bitter Thorn Grove, named after its Medieval Irish counterpart. So its locale and weather is that of the Florida Gulf Coast, but, after the last battle, their druids did a little finagling and the environment is a tad cleaner than what you’d expect if you were to visit a modern town in the real world. It’s still hot as heck in the summer, but that odd winter Stacy experienced a few years ago where they were having snowstorms (you can see that in the previous novel Keeper of the Grove) has, blessedly, not returned.

If we were to visit Bitter Thorn Grove as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

Definitely go to Stacy’s Bitter Thorn Grove History Center. You’ll learn everything about the town there, and maybe, if you’re lucky, Stacy (the heroine of Bitter Thorn Tribe) will give you a personal tour. If you’re very lucky, she may tell you why Aaron and his harshad warrior buddies deem it their sacred ground.

What dangers should we avoid in Bitter Thorn Grove?

Aside from the usual dangers of any modern city, though normal crime is on the downswing since the end of what happened in volume one, Bitter Thorn Grove has to contend with Balor’s supernatural dragon-like beasts they call Harbingers. Nasty things that just won’t seem to leave Stacy alone.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Bitter Thorn Tribe?

Stacy’s granny makes this awesome jam that Stacy and Aaron are, on the side, trying to find the recipe for.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Bitter Thorn Tribe?

Aaron teaches a form of martial arts called Irish Stick Fighting. He also has a magical weapon called a harshad given to him and the others in his special regiment (the harshad warriors) by the Tuatha dé Danaan god Goibniu. It can split into three blades and wrap around enemies to pull them in for the kill, if necessary. Or it can become a knife, or a baton, or anything Aaron needs with which to defend Stacy and the Bitter Thorn Grove History Center. The name “harshad” is an in-joke within the warriors’ group meaning it can turn into roughly 500 different items. (A harshad number is a number divisible by the sum of its digits…for instance, 500, and the warriors fight their battle with Balor for dominance of the earth—when things go right—every five hundred years).

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Bitter Thorn Tribe?

Average normal modern technology, but the harshad warriors can teleport, and their druids use higher than high-tech computer systems that can log and calculate just about anything you can think of.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Bitter Thorn Grove that we don’t see on Earth?

Aside from Balor’s minions that are a mix of reptilian beasts and quite dragon-like, right now, the “grove” for which the city is named is sentient and can respond a threat to Stacy and reach out to help the harshad warriors guard and protect her.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Bitter Thorn Grove?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

There is magic. Aside from the magic of Aaron’s weapon, he can teleport, and create a magical wall of undulating glass as a shield, he (and some of his fellow worries) have magical healing abilities. The druids can do just about anything written up in the ancient Celtic myths, like call magical fog, resurrect warriors in their gods’ Cauldron of Rebirth, make magical healing draughts, spell mundane weapons to make them more effective, put magical locks on things, and transform into animals. Stacy is learning all that magic now. The druids have even pulled her consciousness into tales before.  

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Bitter Thorn Grove?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.

The harshad warriors weapons and the Cauldron of Rebirth are the only unusual tech I can think of. The druids are thinking of upgrading the world’s computers, if they can help it. So we won’t have to worry about pesky things like viruses and hackers. 😉

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Bitter Thorn Grove.

The usual, but outside Aaron’s Bataireacht (Irish stick fighting) school, Stacy doesn’t like or pay attention to sports. But outside sports, there are also movies, streaming and otherwise, music, and books and such, just like we have.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Bitter Thorn Grove as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?

Pretty much the same, except Stacy and Aaron celebrate the Celtic calendar holidays, Samhain, Lughnasadh, Beltaine, and Imbolc. Imbolc every five hundred years is when the main battles take place—unless of course, like now, Balor breaks the treaty. Samhain is also an auspicious date for them. It’s the time when all major events take place, in Celtic mythology, so…plays in as a spoiler in Bitter Thorn Tribe, so I can’t say how. 😉

Is there a particular religion practiced in Bitter Thorn Grove?  Please describe what it involves.

The general populace is a mix of Christian, Buddhist, et al, like us, but our main characters are ancient druids so they have their four main celebrations of the year. Usually with divining, revelry, prayers of assistance (if necessary), and new oaths given. They’ll also commune with their gods, who have a tendency to show up and advise or scold the main characters and their druids, as they see fit. Most people, outside Stacy’s family and small circle, don’t know about Aaron and the harshad warriors and druids; or, at least, they don’t realize they are different than you and me.

What is the political or government structure in Bitter Thorn Grove?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

A governor is in charge of Florida, and the mayor is in charge of Bitter Thorn Grove as a whole. Stacy is Queen of her own little tribe, though, and Aaron and the harshad warriors usually defer to her wishes—if her wishes don’t put her or the sacred ground in jeopardy of falling into Balor’s hands.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Bitter Thorn Grove?

You may want to call Stacy before you visit. You never know if Aaron will have to put pants on, or if you may walk into a battle with Balor’s strange minions, these days. (Where are they still coming from??? That’s what Stacy would like to know!)

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

Stacy’s history center in based on a small museum I worked for in college, and the whole druidic set up and use of the Celtic myth of the Battle of Mag Tuired as the series basis is influenced by my nearly-lifelong love of Celtic mythology.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

I’d say feminism and in some cases, eminent domain, as well as environmentalism, to some extent.

Author Autobiography:

Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the Antique Magic paranormal series and the Stewards Wars and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series, the historical romances, Camden Girls series, Vesta’s Clockwork Companions, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker’s Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.

It’s available now in ebook and paperback at Amazon.

The book trailer, should you like to see it, is here:

https://youtu.be/1ovxqx6FZjQ

Where can readers connect with you online?  

My links are as follows:

Website:  https://julidrevezzo.com/

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/signupforJulisnewsletter

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Juli-D.-Revezzo/e/B008AHVTLO

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/juli-d-revezzo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julidrevezzo/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jewelsraven/

There’s also a board dedicated specifically to the Stewards War and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series: https://www.pinterest.com/jewelsraven/related-to-the-celtic-stewards-chronicles/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julidrevezzo

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDP0TPb32YCWAEG6Q_Hiw7g

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

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima

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. 
Authors name: Antoine Bandele
Title of book and/or series: By Sea & Sky: An Esowon Story (The Sky Pirate Chronicles Book #1)
Brief summary of the story: 

With no magic, no brawn, and no pirate crew, Zala seeks to steal back the one treasure that matters to her most: her husband.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: 

African fantasy world inspired by mythology and folklore from the African diaspora and Pan African countries.
If we were to visit Port Kidogo as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? 

I’d definitely suggest hitting up the Seaborne Inn where you can get the best drinks—if not the best food. You’ll want to stop here mostly to get the lay of the land. There’s always gossip brewing about the latest on the island… just don’t piss off the brewmaster who frequents there or he might slip something nasty in your drink.

What dangers should we avoid on The Ibabi Isles? 

Unless desolation and barren islands are your thing, I’d suggest staying far away from here. Some even say the lands are cursed by the merfolk who used to live near its depths.

Karim

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Jultia? 

In Jultia, you might be surprised to find that there are no forks or spoons or other eating utensils. Almost all food is consumed by hand or by a spongy sourdough called injera (inspired from real live injera from Ethiopia), which often wraps around meats and veggies during meals.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common on The Sapphire Isles? 

The thing about the Sapphire Isles… it’s an intersection of many other regions. You’ll see Northern straight swords, Eastern curved sabers, Ya-Seti recurved bows, and Southern Spears. While the kinds of weapons you’ll come across are diverse, the fighting style is all the same. Many on the isles call it the “palm wine dance”. Almost everyone seems half drunk when they fight one another, even in brutal competition like the fighting arenas near Port Zanziwala.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to al-Anim? 

Though merely at the start of its major use, the Vaaji have started to construct airships to transport themselves from their coastal desert nation all across Esowon and beyond.
Shomari (a pakka) and Fon (an Aziza)

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Esowon that we dont see on Earth? 

In Esowon, especially in the more densely populated cities and towns you might find an aziza (usually half or quarter). These diminutive fae creates come from the Kunda Jungles, but many of those who are half or quarter breed have been disbanded or exiled from the ancient jungle and forced to live among humans and pakka. The pakka, also known as cat-people, are more common than the aziza. They stand slightly shorter than the average human but they are far more dexterous and nimble.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Esowon?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how its used. 

Magic is a dying thing in the world of Esowon. In centuries past almost everyone had it, and almost everyone could do extraordinary things (i.e. manifesting storms/moving mountains/predicting the distant future). But during the timeline of By Sea & Sky, nations that were built on magic are looking for alternative ways to dominate… the primary focus being technology. Many marriages are now determined by how much magical blood is within the bride and groom.
Lishan

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Esowon?  If you havent described it already, please give some examples. 

Yes, the mentioned airships are new to the world of Esowon. These ships are fueled by old magic in the form of skyglass found throughout the world (usually compacted within old mountains).

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Esowon

The Vaaji favor a game called King’s Way, which is very similar to Earth’s chess. Southern Esowoni enjoy a game called stone and marbles, which is based on mancala.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Esowon as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? 

Though Esowon has similar days and weeks to Earth, the people do not refer to months as months, but rather as moons. In fact, weeks aren’t weeks all the time. Sometimes, individuals (usually of the Old Faith) will say Àyá’s cycle instead of week. You see, this world has two moons. The big moon, or Yem’s moon, revolves around the world every 28 days, while Aya’s moon revolves around the planet every 7 days. So the people of the world have a perfect measurement of their weeks and months (yes, in reality this would break their world, particularly their ocean currents but… magic).
Jelani
Is there a particular religion practiced in Esowon?  Please describe what it involves. 

There are many religions in the world of Esowon, but the two focused in By Sea & Sky are Jo’bara (the Old Way) and al-Qiba (the One True Faith). Devotees of Jo’bara believe in the continued influence of the Old Gods, even though said deities have been gone for thousands of years. Devotees of al-Qiba only put their faith in one God name Shati (or Shati’ala if you use Her honorific). Shati is known to have given humans magic way back when humans were nothing more than primitives beating stones together. And thus, those of al-Qiba pledge faith to her, and her alone, as she gave humans not only magic, but free will, and more importantly, their inventive minds.
What is the political or government structure on The Sapphire Isles?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? 

Currently the reigning “government” on the Sapphire Isles is the golden lord and his Golden Court. Under him are several tide lords who oversee the seven major isles of the Sapphire Seas. The political structure is based around a meritocracy of earning gold for the golden lord. It is the aspiration of many “aggressive entrepreneurs” (aka pirates) to bring enough plunder to Golden Lord Zuberi to be accepted to the Golden Court in Port Zanziwala. At this place, it’s said that a person can live well into old age without worry about coin ever… so long as Lord Zuberi likes what you bring him.
Zala

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit the Sapphire Isles? 

Were you to visit Port Kidogo or any of the smaller towns, there is an old tradition called Six-Nights which is a huge event when there is a major loss of life or an important figure has died. It might be better if I just leave an excerpt from the prequel novella, Stoneskin, about this tradition…

The whole of the Six-Nights celebrated among the islanders was dedicated to two Gods: Ibanujẹ, the Goddess of Grief, and Ùkú, the God of Death. Six colors ranged throughout the festival, from the deep blues of denial, the stark reds of anger, the neutral grays of bargaining, the muted ash of depression, the vivid yellows of acceptance, and the simple black of death and finality. Each color lined the square by way of flags and tapestries strewn about storefronts, stoops, and tavern doors. Each night was dedicated to one face of grief, then ending with an homage to Ùkú’s power, so that He may take their loved ones into the ancestral planes.
Tonight, the rich colors of blues dominated the decor, whether it was adorned along a buildings banners or sewn into gomesi dresses worn by the women or kanzus by the men. The blue represented the face of denial. It was important everyone knew what they were fighting against. Everyone knew how easy it was to go numb, to feel like everything was meaningless. Jelani had felt that deeply throughout the day. The point wasnt to forget the dead or to forget the event. The point was to make sure the dead didnt die in vain. The point was to stir up the senses, to shake the weight of that overwhelming apathy that could so easily overshadow everything in ones life.
Issa
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? 

I’ve certainly been inspired by my real-life research but not much in the way of my real-life experience (that’s reserved for my contemporary young adult novel I’ve also got).
What, if any, hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? 

There aren’t too many hot takes in this book unless you have an issue with same-sex relationships.

Author Autobiography:
I’ve been a creative kid, whether writing stories, drawing comics, or directing home movies. I remember the first time I thought I was a “published” author. My father took my brother and me to an office supply store, where we got our books (which were made out of wide-ruled notebook paper) laminated and copied.
It felt so legit.
In elementary school, I kept filling out more notebooks with my stories. I was even brave enough to share those stories with friends during recess. The underside of the playground slide became my own library, but the only inventory was my books. They were stories about kung fu fighting teenagers who were stuck in their own dreams (still might develop that one day), or fan fiction covering my favorite franchises.
Growing up in Los Angeles, only a few miles from Hollywood, I started flirting with the film industry. This became my focus throughout my young adult years. I majored in Multimedia at California State University Northridge (though my diploma is still incomplete). That eventually got me on YouTube which (for most filmmakers in those early days) was the best place to archive and share your work. YouTube has turned into a different beast today, but I still seek out that sense of community it had among like-minded individuals.
If there is one thing that encompasses my life so far, one theme, it would be the pursuit of art. Whether I’m writing, drawing, editing or otherwise (though I really wish I had a talent for music), I’ve always been drawn to crafting art. That’s all I’m really about when it comes right down to the bare bones, everything stripped away. I’m fueled by creating make-believe, letting my imagination take me to wonderful worlds filled with characters who speak to my inner muse. 
So join me here on my small corner of the internet (a bit of an upgrade to the underside of a playground). I want to share my creativity with you.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
If you want to support me directly, the best way to do that is through my website, where I sell signed copies and audiobooks direct.
Where can readers connect with you online?
The best way to contact me, my home base, is my website:
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Esowon.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima
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: Donna E. Lane
Title of book and/or series: 
Whisperers Series – Sky Light Falls: Whisperers Book One; Sky Light Rises: Whisperers Book Two; Sky Light Ends: Whisperers Book Three (coming in July 2020)
Brief summary of the story:
 
The series takes place in another universe. The planet you visit was created as a single planet, where a variety of sentient species lived in harmony. One type of species is called Whisperers. They are made of light and energy and move freely through space and time. The other species are all matter-based humanoid creatures. Before the reader joins the story in Book 1, a revolt took place on the planet where a faction of the Whisperers joined with the 12 humanoid species to try to overthrow the Divinethos. In response, the Divinethos divided the one planet into two. The First World remained as it was created, but the Divinethos bound the Second World in time, making it have a beginning and an end. The revolutionaries were exiled to the Second World. As a result, those Whisperers lost their light and were left only as energy. They are now called Dark Ones. Over the course of thousands and thousands of years, the 12 species’ descendants forgot about the First World. When you join the story, the end of the Second World is approaching, so the First World’s Whisperers have now come to try and help those on the Second World who would listen. In Book One, the end begins as a cataclysmic natural disaster, a meteor strike, leaves devastation in its wake. Most of the planet is uninhabitable, and the few survivors must learn to work together if they are going to live. But the Dark Ones have other plans and use some of the survivors to bring further destruction. It is up to a child born with mystical powers, those who follow her, and the Whisperers to stop the Dark Ones from taking over the world. In Book Two, the survivors mourn. Their leaders are dead, their resources are gone, and their world has plunged into darkness. Hope seems a distant memory. The group of survivors splinters, relationships are broken, and they face unspeakable loss. While evil plots the culmination of its plan to seal the eternal fate of the world, the Whisperers lead one group of survivors to their only hope, a hidden orb that can pierce the darkness enveloping their world and rejoin the two planets. To find the orb, the ragtag group faces a series of trials they can only complete with the help of the Whisperers. Book Three follows the group as, aided by the Whisperers, they are tasked with transporting the magical orb to the high mountain to open a portal to the First World before their sky light goes supernova. On the way to the mountain, the Dark Ones confront them, and a massive battle ensues. Will they face their own despair and fear, overcome their desire for power, reach the high mountain, defeat the dark forces, and place the orb in time?
 
 
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: 
The First World is a place of great beauty, with crystalline waterfalls, emerald plains, and mountain spires reaching into a brilliant sky, but its most critical feature is it is unbound by time, meaning the world and its inhabitants can move freely through time and space. The Second World is bound in time and is a pale echo of the First World. When the reader joins the story, the Second World has been devastated by a series of natural disasters, so much of the world is uninhabitable.
If we were to visit the Second World as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? 
The best place to visit is the high mountain, where the Jacinthi prophets live; however, be warned: the Dark Ones have taken over the mountain during Book Two, so avoid the region during that time frame.
What dangers should we avoid on the Second World? 
The Dark Ones are everywhere, so their presence poses a constant threat. In addition, most of the waters in the western world are tainted, so don’t drink them! Watch out for earthquakes, which can happen at any time, as well as ice storms where ice falls the size of boulders, and fire from the sky, because as the sky light expands, the atmosphere is burning.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the Second World? 
If you are hanging out with the group transporting the orb, you’re in luck. They have a delicious fruit, given to them by the Whisperers in the cave where they faced their trials, that restores their health. But beware anything served by the Dark Ones: their food appears as delicacies, but in reality it is…well, I don’t want to spoil your appetite.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common on the Second World? 
The Whisperers fight with swords and light and fire. Most of the humanoids use basic implements as weapons as they are more primitive, but one of the 12 humanoid species have mechanical devices like bombs – and have even built a machine that creates black holes.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Second World? 
The Whisperers transport freely through space and time, so they don’t need vehicles. In Book Three, the magical child rides a panther-like creature with wings. Other than that, the creatures walk.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter n the Second World that we don’t see on Earth? 
 
The Jasperi are tree dwellers with dark green skin and fluffy tails like squirrels but the size of humans. The Emraldi, grassland dwellers, look like child-sized fairies with pearlescent skin. The Topazi are desert dwellers who look like tan-colored kimodo dragons but are larger than humans. The Jacinthi live on the high mountain and look somewhat like huge snowy owls. The Saphiri (think mermaids) are ocean dwellers. The Onyxi, cave dwellers, look somewhat like large black bears but are quite timid. The Carneli, cliff dwellers, look somewhat like red wolves. The Chalcedi look like hawks and live in an aerie on the mountain on the opposite side of the world from the high mountain They equal or exceed the Jacinthi in size. The Beryli look somewhat like seals and like in the gulf waters. The Turqosi live in the wetlands. They are a warrior race who look like the spitting dinosaurs with the frill around their heads from Jurassic Park. The Chrysoli, plains dwellers, are newly introduced in Book 3. They appear lionesque.  And finally, the Amthysti – the only species that looks like humans – live in a tower they built in the center of the world.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in the Whisperers series?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. 
The Whisperers appear very magical to the inhabitants of the Second World since they travel through space and time freely. The child who helps the Whisperers in Book One can manipulate fire. The Dark Ones can manipulate thoughts and can shoot electricity from their fingertips. The magic of the Whisperers and the child is used to fight against the Dark Ones. The magic orb is used to open a portal to the First World.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in the Second World?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples. 
The Amthysti are the only species with any level of technology. Their crowning achievement is their black hole creating device; however, they haven’t learned how to control it, so if it was ever used, the black hole would grow without limits and would consume the worlds.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in the Second World. 
They are too focused on survival for games, for the most part. The Onyxi play a game called Stones, where they flip pebbles at the wall to see who can land closest. The Emraldi like to roll and tumble down hills for fun.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in the Second World as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? 
The inhabitants of the Second World speak in terms of cycles, related to the rise and fall of their sky light. The cycles are shorter than Earth cycles, as are their seasons. They don’t celebrate any holidays or special events, because they really don’t have much to celebrate.
Is there a particular religion practiced in the Whisperers series?  Please describe what it involves. 
The Whisperers worship the Divinethos. They desire to bring the inhabitants of the Second World back to the same worship, but the inhabitants have no recollection of the Divinethos or the First World. During the course of the series, the group transporting the orb come to know the Divinethos and return to worship. The Dark Ones worship Skia Skotos, their Dark Lord. Skia Skotos seeks to bring the Second World’s inhabitants under his rule.
What is the political or government structure on the Second World?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? 
 
A thousand years ago, a huge war broke out between the 12 species that almost destroyed the Second World. A treaty divided the 12 species, giving each a portion of land and prohibiting contact between them, so the 12 species have had no contact for a thousand years, until the meteor strike destroyed so much of the planet and forced them to work together. Before that time, each species had their own form of government. Now, there is no government.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit the Second World? 
The Jacinthi have a unique burial ritual, which becomes significant in Book Three. The Chrysoli own slaves and force them to do all their labor. The Chalcedi use substances to heighten their senses and create a type of hysteria for battle. The Beryli issue challenges and fight each other for the ruling position in their culture. The Topazi mate for life and always remain in pairs.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? 
The Book of Revelation was my inspiration.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? 
Good vs. evil, the consequences of slavery, the consequences of drug use, the question whether scientific discovery without limits is always a good thing, the exploration of the true nature of evil, demonic inhabitation, eugenics, euthanasia.
Author Autobiography: 
Dr. Donna E. Lane is an award-winning author, Professor of Counseling at Mercer University and a Christian counselor in private practice since 1993.  She writes Christian fiction, Bible studies, devotionals, Christian apologetics, children’s books, and professional books such as her book on trauma treatment. She is a regular presenter at local, regional, national, and international conferences and workshops on such topics as trauma, grief and loss, Christian marriage counseling, Christian parenting, early childhood education, therapeutic writing, and soul care.  Donna is married to David Lane. They have two grandchildren, Coen and Petra, and three children: Hayden, Lindsey, and Cody, who passed away in 2007 after a battle with a degenerative neurological disorder. Cody’s journey informs much of her writing.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links. 
The Whisperers series is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats, and on Kindle Unlimited. Book Three will be released in July 2020. Here are the links: https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Light-Falls-Whisperers-Book/dp/1732811229
Where can readers connect with you online? 
Twitter: @Doctordelane
Instagram: @doctordelane
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Second 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 another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima
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. 
Note on this piece: There is love scene after they are married and it is NOT explicit.

Author’s name: Dana Bell writing as Belle Blukat

Title of book and/or series: Novella called The Woman He Won
Brief summary of the story: Marcie got dumped on a strange world after getting caught in a tornado. She awakens injured, in pain and is rescued by Lir a dark haired male with red eyes. He is both a healer and warrior self-exiled for a wrong he thinks he committed. As the weather grows cold he takes Marcie with him to his home and introduces his new mate to his mother. At the Little King ceremony Lir is challenged for Marcie, who must make the most difficult decision of her life.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The world has several moons, severe weather which caused massive damage and loss to the natives in the past. With their seeming primitive culture, the surprise twist is that they are not exactly what they seem.
If we were to visit as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? The odd island and how difficult it is to reach.
What dangers should we avoid in the Township? If you are a woman, don’t go there. You will be fought over by the men.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served? Feasting meats and vegetables.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in the Township? One on one combat and daggers.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Township? A large hairy beast who can jump great distances. Elevators and homes above the trees.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Township that we don’t see on Earth? Odd plant like creatures that crawl around on the outside of the windows.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. Not really.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples. The homes they live in have things like a stove, indoor plumbing and was built by their ancestors long ago, along with some sort of computer they can talk to.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in The Township as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? They have a celebration of the Little King. He was a leader long ago who helped saved their people. Everything is seasonal.
What is the political or government structure?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? They are ruled by Elders who make all decisions.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit? If you just share a bed with a man you are considered his mate.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Funny story on this one. I also write fanfiction and I was thinking of writing a love story with Luke on the island. However, I liked the idea so much I turned it into an original piece instead. I included a Wizard of Oz twist with how my heroine arrived and the two characters took me on a journey to their semi-happy ending. The dwellings my characters lived in came from seeing the tops of buildings that literally looked like they were floating on the trees. It was also my first attempt at writing a romance, which I submitted thinking it would be rejected. They loved it and published the novella.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? The dangers of genetic manipulation and the possible unfortunate outcomes, plus women’s rights when it comes to marriage.
Author Autobiography: Owned by two cats, Adara and Taj, Dana Bell writes stories staring her fur babies often. She loves to tell tales set in places she has lived or visited, has a fascination for lighthouses, Yellowstone National Park, super volcanoes, and doll houses which have taken over her basement. Her published books include Winter Awakening and God’s Gift. Her short fiction can be found in various anthologies for SFFH and she writes romance as well.  She lives in Colorado and works a day job so her cats have a warm house, food and lots of toys.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
Kindle
Where can readers connect with you online? 
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Township.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
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: Dana Bell
Title of book and/or series: God’s Gift
Brief summary of the story: Three siblings, Larry, Susanna, and Jeanie are allowed to board the last colony ship that leaves Earth before Yellowstone explodes. During the voyage they bond with others and are caught by surprise when survey reports do not match with the world they landed on. Susanna and Kal get separated by a lion like being and get lost during a heavy rain storm. Larry, Susanna and Jack, a young officer, search for them. They meet one of the Charon tribes and are taken to the Rover ship where they are reunited with Susanna and her companion. The colony is removed to another planet by the governing body of the Five Systems and in the end, a small group must decide which Rover family they will go with and be the long awaited messengers.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The story starts in Colorado Springs and moves to Mountain Home, Idaho. Part of it takes place on the ship and then on Charon, a world inhabited by intelligent felines, with odd colored plants and lots of rain.
What dangers should we avoid in Charon? Don’t go unless invited.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Charon? Odd mixtures of vegetables or nuts and spicy drinks.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Charon? The Charon hunt with claw and fang.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Charon? The Charon walk on two legs but the visiting traders called Rovers travel by spaceship.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter that we don’t see on Earth? Different color vegetation, caves, rough weather and large intelligent felines who don’t wear clothes. Introduced as well are Felcat. They keep the history of many worlds and most think they are just domestic pets.  The Rovers are introduced, as are the Aarkon’s military.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples. The Rovers carry a round globe for light and some of the women are healers.
Is there a particular religion practiced? Please describe what it involves. The Charon believe in God and have been waiting for the promised messengers to arrive. The Rovers believe in the All Knowing One and some of the healers the Great Mother.
What is the political or government structure? Tribal with female leaders for each group.  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she? No consolidated leadership.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? All the cats I’ve been owned by and behaviors observed while visiting various zoos and wildlife refuges like tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopards, servals and many more. Since I’ve visited Colorado Springs and grew up in Idaho I used those as locations. The description of the eruption was as accurate as possible since I remember the dark cloud and total silence after Mt. St. Helens went off. We had ash all summer long, cooler temps and lots of rain. Charon came out of my imagination of how I thought an alien world might look and be so a feline race could thrive.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? When the colonist discover there is a native species, there is some concern their effect on them might be like what happened with the American Indians. It has a direct bearing on the decision made by the colonists at the end of the book.
Author Autobiography: Owned by two cats, Adara and Taj, Dana Bell writes stories staring her fur babies often. She loves to tell tales set in places she has lived or visited, has a fascination for lighthouses, Yellowstone National Park, super volcanoes, and doll houses which have taken over her basement. Her published books include Winter Awakening and God’s Gift. Her short fiction can be found in various anthologies for SFFH and she writes romance as well.  She lives in Colorado and works a day job so her cats have a warm house, food and lots of toys.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
Kindle and Print on Amazon
Nook Book & Print from Barnes and Noble
Where can readers connect with you online? 
Note:  Next book in the series called Homefall Search is in progress. It happens just before and concurrently with God’s Gift.
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Charon.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
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:

M. L. Farb

Title of book and/or series:

Vasilisa, The Hearth and Bard Tales book 1

Brief summary of the story:

Vasilisa has always been strong. She’s strong enough to break the arm of the bully that daily taunts her. She won’t because she and her mother are servants at the Orlov manor, and her mother would be punished for her retaliation. Instead Vasilisa bides her time until she is sixteen and can return to the forest.

Only Staver, the master’s son, shows her kindness. His friendship pulls as strong as the forest, but their classes are divided forever by law. She is a forest born, fatherless servant and her future at the manor holds mockery filled drudgery.

War threatens. The forest calls. Will she stay to protect the one who can never be more than a friend, or flee to the peace that the forest offers?

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

Snowy day on a bridge in St. Petersburg

Ruska is a cold land. The people are strong, for they yearly fight winter. Those who win live to see another summer. Those who do not, find a home in earth that is frozen half the year. Come and enter a land of wolves and ogres, tsars and wars, and forests vast enough to hold whole nations. A land where the servant will always be the servant—unless. Come see.

If we were to visit Ruska as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

If you know some of the nobility, you will want to visit a manor house or even a palace. Their distinctive onion-shaped domes show from miles away, but it is the inside that is truly a marvel. Many Ruskan pass the long winter by creating beautiful carvings and paintings. Geometric paintings cover doorways and ceilings, intricate rugs and tapestries hang on the walls to help keep the cold away, and inlaid furniture grace the rooms. Watch for intricate clocks, like the one with a peacock that spreads its tail feathers.

If you are like me, the forest will draw you more than the palaces. Ancient forests spread across lands that could swallow whole nations. Birch and pine stretch above trillium. Peat bogs and meadows open to the sun. Otters play in streams, goshawks hunt, and shrikes sing their fierce evening song. These are not places to travel carelessly. Wolves, bears, and ogres roam the depths. Your visit may turn into a permanent stay.

What dangers should we avoid in Ruska?

The Scythians dwelling to the south live a nomadic life on windswept steppes. They are as fierce and unyielding as their land. If they decide to attack while you are visiting, flee. They sweep through, killing indiscriminately. A child is no safer from their sabers than a soldier.

Also avoid upsetting the nobility. They can be even more vicious and unforgiving than the Scythians.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Ruska?

Door in St. Basil’s Cathedral

Ruskans usually start the day with a slice of almost black rye bread slathered in butter topped by an equally thick slice of cheese or meat. On special occasions they take buckwheat (which isn’t a grain but rather the cousin of rhubarb), soak the seeds overnight, and the following morning cook it up in milk. It is rich, nutty, and has a chewy/creamy texture. You’ll never find anything else like it.

Other favorites: Borscht—a beet soup, Pelmeni—a dumpling stuffed with meat and onions, and Blini—a thin pancake eaten with jam and sour cream.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Ruska?

The longbow is preferred for both hunting and fighting. But it takes great strength to draw it. Some bows have 200-lbs draw weight. Imagine lifting a 200-lb weight with your arm, shoulder, and back, then holding it steady so the shot goes where you want it.

The Ruskan also use the Shasqua, a slightly curved sabre with a single edge. It is effective for both cutting and thrusting.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Ruska? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

Some people are able to shape-shift. However if they shift their shape, they also shift to animal senses, though they retain their human thought. Depending on the animal shifted to the world changes color, the faintest liquid trail becomes visible in the ultraviolet range, scents overpower, and sound takes on new dimensions. It is overwhelming for the first time user of this magic.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Ruska.

The Hopak is an acrobatic dance, usually danced by men. It requires immense athletic strength, agility, and balance. It is often performed in celebration by soldiers, and has no set steps, rather the dancers compete against each other to see who can outperform the other. Some of the steps are squat and kick out legs, crouch with legs crossed and alternately touch knees to the ground, cartwheel, flips, and leaps.

What is the political or government structure in Ruska? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

The tsar’s word is law. Each child from their first year of speech swears an oath to love, honor, and protect the tsar—not once but on each name day.

Within the manor the lord and lady have absolute control over their servants and slaves. There is no court that a servant can plead for justice against an unjust master. Marriage between social-classes is not only frowned upon, but illegal.

Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Ruska?

Many Ruskans love music, especially the balalaika, a triangular stringed instrument. It can be played like the guitar or the larger stringed instruments, like the bass.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

I lived in St. Petersburg, Russia for 6 months. I’ll never forget entering adulthood surrounded by a city and culture older than my home nation. And I’ll always remember the kindness and goodness of the people.

The idea for Vasilisa came from a children’s picture book Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women by Katrin Tchana. To save the man she loved, a woman disguised herself as a man and had to pass three tests of strength, skill, and strategy. The picture book took on tall-tale quality as the woman injured her opponents in wrestling and shattered a tree by shooting it with an arrow. How did she become so strong? I wrote Vasilisa to answer that question.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

This is what some of my readers are saying about Vasilisa:

“Public unrest, self-discovery, … and the choice to be good or evil.”

“Vasilisa must find the courage to face her deepest fears and challenge her deepest held beliefs about her past.”

Author Autobiography:

Ever since I climbed up to the rafters of our barn at age four, I’ve lived high adventure: scuba diving, hiking, climbing, and even riding a retired racehorse at full gallop—bareback. I love the thrill and joy.

Stories give me a similar thrill and joy. I love living through the eyes and heart of a hero who faces his internal demons and the heroine who fights her way free instead of waiting to be saved.

I create adventures, fantasy, fairy tale retellings, and poetry. I live a joyful adventure with my husband and six children. I am a Christian and I love my Savior.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? Please include links.

My books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats, plus one audiobook.

The King Trials:

The King’s Trial — Whitney Awards Nominee 2019

The King’s Trial audiobook (just released)

The King’s Shadow

 

Hearth and Bard Tales:
Vasilisa
Fourth Sister (coming later this year)

 

Where can readers connect with you online?




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

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
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:
Hi! I’m Shauna E. Black. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today!
Title of book and series:
Today I’m featuring The Phantom Nightingale, Book 1 of the Andul Guardians. There will be 2 more books in this series. The Skyhound Master is book 2, slated to be released at the end of March. The final book in the series is called The Angel Bandit.
Brief summary of the story:
Xanthe’s crew might all be kids, but that doesn’t mean he plays it safe. He saved them all once, and now they’ll go anywhere with him. But when news of a potential lost sister comes to light, Xanthe will lead them on their most dangerous mission yet – into the heart of the empire that wants him, dead or alive.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The books are placed in a futuristic world that uses steampunk-like technology. In this world, the polar ice caps melted, spawning a Time of Chaos that destroyed civilization until the Tyrian Empire arose to control much of Europe (now spelled Yurop). While many of the books’ locations may seem familiar to those of our day, the rising waters of the oceans have eaten away at the coastlines, virtually destroyed marine life, and caused continuous earthquake tremors. The Tyrians blame much of this unrest on an alien race called Andul that can slip instantaneously from one location to another using the power of song.
If we were to visit Tyria as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
You should definitely take a turn around Pragnov, the City Reborn. This is the capital of the Tyrian Empire, a shining testament to the power of humanity to rise from the ashes. It models such architectural triumphs as the Capitol Building, a vast edifice sprawling 200 square meters in the center of the city; and the Yugend Tower, rising fifty stories above the guide wires protecting it from earthquake damage and topped by the famous Yugend dome.
If your tastes lean more toward the country life (or if you’re on the run from the Tyrian government), you might prefer to visit the snowy slopes of the Alpun Mountains, or perhaps the turbulent coast of Pembrook with its crashing waves and mossy houses.
What dangers should we avoid in Tyria?
Angering the Tyrian government. Seriously. Mind your Ps and Qs.
And when the Child Conscription Authority comes knocking on your door to enlist youth in their required service to the Empire, don’t hesitate to hand over your children. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself on the run to one of those country getaways mentioned earlier.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Tyria?
Banitsa (eggs and feta cheese in a filo pastry) is excellent hot or cold, or you might try pelmeni (small dumplings). If you have a sweet tooth, go for palacinky (a crepe-like pancake filled with jam).
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Tyria?
Hand guns, rifles, and blunderbusses for ground engagement. Blunderbusses are also used on air ships, as well as the ever-popular particle canon. Some weapons are powered by the magic of Andul, such as the small hand-held stinger.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Tyria?
Air ships utilize the hummed harmonies of Geissler tubes filled with hydrogen that’s been charged magically by the singing voice of an Andul. There must be two Geissler arrays to enable a ship to fly; one mounted below in the orlop, and one mounted above on the mast. The sounds ping against each other to enable flight.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Tyria that we don’t see on Earth?
The Andul are an alien race that arrived on planet Earth shortly before the Time of Chaos. They are able to slipfrom one location to another when they sing. Tyria has harnessed this power – at the same time neutralizing the threat Andul supposedly pose to the planet – by controlling the Andul through a mineral called moldavite.
What is the political or government structure in Tyria?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The Tyrian Empire rules most of the Yuropene continent, with Chancellor Vaas at its head. He rose to power partly by convincing the population of the importance of subjugating the Andul. He believes strongly that youth are the treasure of Tyria and mandates that all children over the age of twelve leave home to be trained for their place in society.
The Confederacy, a conglomerate of the other countries of Earth, sometimes takes a narrow view of Tyria’s policies. But they do not wish to incite another war with Tyria, not after the devastation caused by the Global War twenty years ago, and so they often turn a blind eye to Tyria’s atrocities.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
My travels to parts of Europe inspired some of the settings, along with the culture of my ancestors (where “Pembrook” is concerned). The magic is an homage to my own love for music. Although I’ve never been a professional singer, I was trained classically as a mezzo-soprano.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Child slavery and the oppression and inhuman treatment of a foreign race. Forgiveness and unconditional love are themes woven throughout all three books in the series.
Author Autobiography:
Award-winning author Shauna E. Black smiles a lot. But her appearance can be deceiving. Like the legendary sirens of old, she enjoys luring innocent readers into the fantastical worlds she creates and trapping them there. It is rumored that Shauna domesticated a dragon by feeding him ice cream and keeps four young house elves to do her bidding, although one escaped when presented a sock. Shauna declares war on the mundane, living a charmed life camouflaged in the high desert of the American Southwest. If you decide to go against your better judgment and ignore all warnings, you can find out more about her adventurous fiction on her website, ShaunaBlack.com.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
The Phantom Nightingale is available at major online retailers, including:
·      Amazon
·      Apple Books
·      Barnes and Noble
·      Kobo
Where can readers connect with you online? 
I always welcome new subscribers to my eclub newsletter, plus you can get a free novella for subscribing. 😉
I’m not really great at social media (old lady alert), but I’m most active on Facebook. I like to post bookstagram images once in awhile on my Instagram account, and I frequently use Pinterest for writing inspiration, along with more prosaic household recipes and decorating ideas.
If you’d like to chat or just give me a shout out, I’m usually good at responding to email.
Thanks for reading!
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Tyria.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima
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:
An Unexpected Exploit, book 3 of Myth Coast Adventures trilogy
Brief summary of the story:
A regular summer hunting trip takes a new turn when Franklin falls into the mythical realm of Shinwano. When he returns home he finds a poacher, NSA agent, and his friends all interested in the portal—and all for different reasons.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Shinwano exists on a separate plane of the time-space continuum. It looks like Earth but instead of humans populating it, its inhabitants are mythical creatures.
If we were to visit Shinwano as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
First off, make sure to get the permission of the sanraksaka; otherwise you’re in for trouble. Once you have Ladaku’s approval, then you’ll be free to roam. Be sure to travel north to the Parhada Mountains and visit the dragons there. You’ll also want to meet the gryphons across the lake and, if they’ll let you, the fairies. Keep your eyes open for fauns and brownies as well. A trip to Tsenturi’s cave would be helpful as well. The centaur may allow you to look into his scrying pool.  Of course, your trip wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t look up Kajri the unicorn and hear her story of how she went through the rift in the time-space continuum not once but twice!
What dangers should we avoid in Shinwano?
For the most part, Shinwano is a peaceful land, but there is one creature that you’ll want to beware of. The guatama prowl through the night seeking creatures they can turn to serve their master. If they can’t trick you to follow them, they’ll destroy you. Their power has been growing recently, so be careful and stay inside at night, especially since they’re invisible!
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Shinwano?
Ladaku may try to serve you rasa juice. Don’t be put off by the bitter taste. Once you get pass that, the drink will provide energy, help your body heal, and quench your thirst. The rasa berry grows wild on bushes much like Earth’s blueberries do, but they have a taste more like a cranberry or a wolfberry. Cantharellus will show you the best wild mushrooms available and won’t be offended if you don’t like them because he’ll gladly eat what you don’t want.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Shinwano?
The manisa of the sanraksaka are known for their bhala, or staff, fighting. They train with tall, hardwood staves that are as tall as them and as thick as their wrists. To humans the Sanraksaka bhalas are as big as tree limbs.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Shinwano?
The only way to get to Shinwano is through the rift in the time-space continuum, protected by the Sanraksaka. Once there, you’ll travel on foot unless a unicorn, centaur, or dragon is willing to carry you.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Shinwano that we don’t see on Earth?
The forests around Gamu, Ladaku’s village, are full of tall, straight eucalyptus trees and bushy, mushroom-shaped myrtlewood trees. The ground cover consists in berries, mushrooms, and ferns.
Deer, rabbits, chipmunks, and other ordinary animals provide food for the inhabitants of Shinwano who prefer something more than vegetables. The lake is full of fish which is excellent grilled over a fire.
The inhabitants are what set Shinwano apart from Earth. Eight distinct races populate the land.
Sanraksaka are large, hairy, and ape-like. Humans may know them as sasquatch, bigfoot, or yeti. The sanraksaka live in villages throughout Shinwano. The women help create weapons for hunting and defending the portals and are in charge of food gathering, while the males are fighters or farmers. Both men and women train their baccaharu, or children, in the ways of Sirjanakarta, the Creator.
North of Gamu, centaurs roam the land. They prefer to live in caves and are known for their wisdom and insight. Across the lake near Gamu, gryphons soar on the thermal currents off the mountains. Fauns and satyrs live in the plains and woods north of Gamu. They interact with the unicorns who prefer the tree-covered areas.
Kopala, or brownies, hide among the lower bushes throughout Shinwano. They love the mushrooms that grow wild in the forests. Kopalalook like living, large teddy bears with their ears higher on their head.
Fairies live in each of the different sections of Shinwano—mountains, lake, grasslands, and woodlands. Every group has distinctive wings. The woodland fairies can be mistaken for butterflies. They flitter among the bushes blending into their surroundings. While in the grasslands, keep your eyes open for flowers that don’t look quite right. The king of the grassland fairies has deep red wings that look like rose petals. Over the lake, the fairies have wings similar to dragonflies, and in the mountains their wings are more durable and resemble beetle wings.
In the mountains to the far north dragons soar. They prefer the rugged terrain where they have ample food in mountain goats, bears, and deer.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Shinwano?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
In a realm of mythical creatures, magic abounds. Fairies, unicorns, dragons, and kopala wield magic in various amounts. Even centaurs could be considered magical in the use of their scrying pools. Unicorn horns give healing, while their tears provide longevity for skin. By their nature, dragons have magic. Their scales can be used to provide a source of magic to non-magic users. Kopala have the ability to use a small bit of magic, but they can track magic users. Of all the creatures, fairies can wield the most magic. They don’t have spells they cast, but a simple laying of their hands on an object can provide strength, imbue it with magic, or give magic to another. The guatama use their master’s magic. His goal is gather all the magic in the land and pervert it.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Shinwano?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
No technology exists in Shinwano, but humans have brought technological objects through the portal, even though it doesn’t last long without batteries or any way to recharge.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Shinwano.
The manisa train with hand-to-hand combat as well as their bhalas. This happens in a sandy arena outside Sam’mana’s yurt while other sanraksaka watch. At night the sanraksaka sit around the fire and the village storyteller shares tales with the baccaharu and adults alike. All creatures enjoy celebrations and feasts. The fauns and satyrs dance with unicorns observing and enjoying.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Shinwano as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Shinwano has seven days in a week and four weeks in a lunar cycle. They count the years in seasons. There aren’t any specific holidays or special events celebrated regularly.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Shinwano?  Please describe what it involves.
All creatures respect Sirjanakarta, the Creator of Shinwano and Earth. Even the guatama fear Sirjanakarta. The stars remind the sanraksaka of Sirjanakarta’s care and protection. He speaks to the different races in unique ways. The centaurs hear him through their scrying pools, while bhalascommunicate Sirjanakarta’s ways to the sanraksaka. Sirjanakarta speaks directly to fairies. Despite all this, the creatures of Shinwano have no specific religious practices. Their belief in Sirjanakarta permeates everything in their lives.
What is the political or government structure in Shinwano?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Each race has a different political structure. Dragons are solitary creatures without much internal governing, as are unicorns, fauns, satyrs, and kopala. The sanraksaka are ruled by the manisa, their warriors. The head manisa has the final say for the village. Each village has their own group of manisa and a head manisa. Fairies have a leader for each of their divisions.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Shinwano?
Just be open to different ideas in each people group.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The sanraksaka came about because a sophomore student suggested I write a book about sasquatch. At the time I knew it was going to be part of the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy, but I didn’t know how the story would unfold. As book 2 finished, and Kajri gave us a glimpse of Shinwano, I began to wonder, ‘what if?’ What if the tales of sasquatch, prevalent here in Southwestern Oregon, really were from protectors of portals sliding into our world?
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Surprisingly, there are no controversial topics; well, my main character, Franklin does go hunting. The main thing some readers may have issues with is this book has more of a Christian bent to it. As Franklin learns how to use his bhala and the longer he’s in Shinwano, he grows to learn more and more about Sirjanakarta.
Author Autobiography:
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
My books are available on all outlets in both ebook and paperback formats.
Myth Coast Adventures trilogy
An Unexpected Exploit
Dragon Courage series
Stand-alones
Where can readers connect with you online? 

I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook for social media, even though I do have a twitter account. I’m on Amazon, Bookbub, and Goodreads, and have my own website as well.

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

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

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
Are you an author of a sci-fi or fantasy novel that takes place in another world? Click here to find out about having it featured on Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima