Tag Archives: magic

Monks, Machines, Saboteurs – just what more is there to add?

THE ACTUATOR 2: RETURN OF THE SABOTEUR, by James Wymore and Aiden James

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Genre: Science-Fiction Fantasy Thriller

 

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

 

Date of Release­­: 07/20/15

 

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design

 

Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 Description:

 The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.

Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.

Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.

Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.

None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.

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Moving often as a youth, James Wymore’s family finally settled in the desert paradise of Utah.

James Wymore

He spent a couple years in Korea contemplating the balance of opposing forces. After learning chaos theory in college he found the ideal environment to continue his studies of the uncontrollable, and became a teacher. He earned a Master’s degree before departing from the academic path to seek the greater freedoms of fiction. Still fascinated by the borders of randomness, he now spends his free time playing and creating games with his friends and children.

Although he patiently awaits the Tallest Writer in History award, James Wymore has won several awards for his short stories.

His early books, rumored to have been written as young as sixteen, are forever locked away. Now a published author, he has realized one of his childhood dreams.

In his dwindling free time, he draws a line of death themed comics called Parting Shots. You can see them along with games he makes and his disorderly blog at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com

Social Links: Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads | Amazon

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Aiden James :  I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville.

My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.

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My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.

I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.

Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?

Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!

Social Links: Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aiden James

 

 

I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville. My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.

 

My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.

 

I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.

 

Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?

 

Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!

 

Social Links: Homepage | Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | Goodreads | Amazon

Magical Libraries are the Flavour

Magical Libraries seem to be popping out everywhere I look.

First we have the Library of all books that I have already reviewed – The British Library on Steroids -, and then you have a complete series of books about a Lost Library of magical texts by Kate Baray – the 4th being called A Witch’s Diary -and now I find there is also a TV series about a Library under New York (but not really – more like in hyperspace), which is magic, with not only the first editions of every book ever published, but also a number of magical items. So it is a cross between all the libraries with Warehouse 51 thrown in for good measure!

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Just who is copycatting whom I start to wonder here? Or have some TV producers and book editors found themselves on a bar one night and started discussing how cool it would be to have magical library? Who knows, but here we are with competing books and a TV series too.

The TV series is OK but not 5 star. I can take it or leave it, but it is a bit of fun and the characters aren’t bad. It is just too reminiscent of the Warehouse series to be really exceptional.

The most interesting of the new items is the library that was lost but is now found and which contains magical texts which very few people can read. It was un-catalogued and in multiple actual languages, and the books are magically protected so that only the ‘right’ person can read them. And for some books that also means only the right person who knows and likes other ‘right’ people… confusing ain’t it?

I read the first 4 books of the Lost Library series straight off. It now seems to have become a habit with me. If the first in a series interests me, then i read the rest. But the first has to be of 5 star quality. It is just such a shame though that if the first book is a 5 star none of the rest are. So far that has been my experience. However, i still found them 4 star and thus I am ready and waiting to read the next in the series!

Singing? But for Who?

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Madison’s Song

By Christine Amsden

 

Her voice is enchanting; his soul is black…

Madison Carter has been terrified of Scott Lee since the night he saved her from an evil sorcerer – then melted into a man-eating monster before her eyes. The werewolf is a slave to the moon, but Madison’s nightmares are not.

Despite her fears, when Madison’s brother, Clinton, is bitten by a werewolf, she knows there is only one man who can help. A man who frightens her all the more because even in her nightmares, he also thrills her.

Together for the first time since that terrible night, Scott and Madison drive to Clinton’s home only to discover that he’s vanished. Frantic now, Madison must overcome her fears and uncover hidden strengths if she hopes to save him. And she’s not the only one fighting inner demons. Scott’s are literal, and they have him convinced that he will never deserve the woman he loves.

*Stand-alone companion to the Cassie Scot series

Book Excerpt:

“Silence,” David commanded.

Her throat continued to work, but no sound emerged. She felt like a fish being gutted, choking and spluttering as David returned to the work of cutting into the soft, sensitive flesh of her belly. Yet even as tears refilled her eyes and fear devoured her heart, some part of her recognized that her guts remained intact. Whatever David was doing to her with the dagger involved tracing shallow patterns across the surface of her skin.

Fight the pain. Take deep breaths. Ground and center. She was not in the empty living room of a house she had not quite moved into yet, she was at church, singing in the choir. Above her, Jesus hung from a cross, a crown of thorns atop his head, a soft glow surrounding him. She usually found the magic within that glow. She reached for it…

“Stop that!” David slapped her hard across the face.

Once again her eyes flew open. She saw the dagger dripping with blood – her blood. Had her feeble grab for magic actually made a difference? David seemed to have noticed something, but what?

“You’re just making this harder on yourself,” David said.

“What do you want?” Madison tried to ask. Her mouth moved, her lips forming the question, but no sound emerged.

She didn’t think he would answer; he couldn’t even have heard the question, but to her surprise he only hesitated a moment before saying, “Your soul.”

He lowered the dagger.

Her soul? What did that mean? What could a man do with someone’s soul? She now knew what he wanted, at least in part, but she’d been right – knowing didn’t make a difference. If anything, it made things worse. She couldn’t calm down now. She couldn’t focus. She needed to breathe, to block out all distractions, in order to find her quiet place. How was she supposed to block out the razor-sharp sting of a blade slicing across her abdomen? How could she focus with her very soul in danger?

Forget magic. Time to pray. Prayer was something she understood.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…

David slapped her across the cheek, leaving behind a fiery trail.

Madison prayed harder.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee…

She braced herself for the strike of his hand against her cheek once more, but it didn’t come. For a heart-stopping moment, she thought her prayer hadn’t worked this time. Then an ear-splitting CRASH shook the room. It felt like an explosion. Surely the roof would come crashing down at any moment. Madison instinctively covered her head with her hands and curled into a ball.

She didn’t have time to take in what had happened – either the crash or the fact that her invisible bonds had evaporated as if they’d never existed. The house still trembled and dust filled the air when a great, primal roar made every hair on Madison’s body stand on end.

Slowly, she lifted her head. David stood in profile to her, his face white with terror, his gaze fixed on the splintered front door, which now hung precariously off its hinges. The sun had all but set, casting the unlit room in deep twilight, but she could just make out who had blasted his way through that door.

Scott Lee.

Her heart gave a painful little twang at the sight of the man she’d spent the past few weeks daydreaming about incessantly. Now here he was like an avenging angel out of one of her fantasies, frightening her enemy and offering her hope. In that moment, she could honestly say she had never seen a more beautiful man. He wasn’t particularly tall, but he was powerful, the clearly defined muscles of his bare upper arms rippling with strength.

Rumor had it he was a werewolf, and perhaps he was. Something lent him superhuman strength. The evidence was there in the splintered remains of the front door and then, the next second, in the ferocity of his attack.

 

Author Bio

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that affects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.

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