Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

FreebitsSincerest thanks to all who have visited this blog for Friday Freebits all these weeks. As with all good things, we have run our course. This will be the last installment.

Today’s excerpt is again from my work in progress, Sword of Names.  At her grandfather’s urging, Elthwen, the young daughter of the king and twin sister of Elthric, has changed into Tolmer’s clothes. The disguise, he insists, will keep her safe on the road and help hide her true identity from the bad guys who probably mean to kill her.


“I am afraid I will fool no one with this disguise.” With a sigh, she dropped the garment she clutched to her chest and opened her arms. Through the coarse-woven wool of the tunic, her nascent breasts made barely a wrinkle.

He smiled and opened his mouth to speak, but quickly reassessed the wisdom in proffering his candid observation. Indeed, she had grown. The progression from coltish girl to young woman—with all the complexities and annoyances associated with the female sex—had been hard to ignore, especially over the past few years. Yet, even a blind man would sense her want of certain feminine attributes. Outwardly, she lacked the fineness of feature and figure—some would call it beauty—that graced her mother’s face and shapely form.

As Elthwen grew through adolescence, so did her perception of these qualities as imperfections. If only she could see, he often pondered, that her features—while by no means plain—revealed a strength of character and intelligence that had long ago opened her child’s mind and heart to the world around her. It was obvious in her direct and penetrating gaze—the way she studied a flower or peered into a person’s eyes as if they were books to be read. The set of her jaw—noble without pretensions—a trait she had exhibited since her earliest years. But Nirmanath in Her infinite wisdom had chosen as her lot to be long in the leg and flat as a fintil seed cake.

“I was about to say that you make a fine-looking lad.” He could not lie to her. “Except for your hair…”

The pained and angry look with which she regarded him conveyed the tangle of thoughts and emotions coiled up inside her. He could not blame her, after all she had been through…all she had experienced over theE&G4 past three days.

“It is only for a short time, my sweet. Until we reach Elyndrus.” His light touched her with gentle warmth. He smiled again and flicked his finger over her cheek. “Now put on your cloak before you catch a chill.”


Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Friday FreebitsWelcome to a new edition of Fridays & Freebits. This week’s excerpt is again from my work in progress, Sword of Names. Here we meet Elthric, son the Lothrian king and twin brother of Elthwen, the heroine. The king has been dispatched on an errand of dubious nature, compelling the queen to quietly send Elthwen away under her  grandfather’s care. Othreld, the king’s smarmy brother, has organized a search for them.


Elthric clenched his jaw. His uncle knew his feelings for Lokthar. His distrust had long since grown beyond the childish competitiveness that once had colored his regard for the man Othreld relied on as his captain. Sentiments once inspired by jealousy had solidified into an intense aversion. The thought of Lokthar anywhere near his sister caused Elthric’s blood to run hot. He swallowed his displeasure as he would a vile-tasting remedy and again nodded his understanding.

“Yes, Uncle….”

“Elthric….” Othreld lowered his gaze. His cheek and eye continued to twitch.

Amid the sudden clamor of morning birds, his mother’s voice sounded in his ear, as if she were standing at his side. Startled, Elthric turned, then glanced up at the turret overlooking both the harbor and the courtyard. The parapet remained empty. And yet the touch of her breath on his ear remained tangible. Be wary, she had said. Trust no one.

“Why has my mother not come to bid us a good leave-taking?”

Othreld turned his gaze toward the parapet. “The queen sends apologies. Her woman said she was feeling unwell…. Elthric….” He clasped Elthric’s shoulder with a trembling hand, his face pale and tense, as he once again fixed on his nephew. “You have been like a son to me.”

A shiver of foreboding gripped him. He forced a smile and covered Othred’s hand with his own. “And you have been like a father.”


Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Friday FreebitsThis week’s Friday Freebits excerpt is a little different from my other posts. Following is from the “eternal novel,” a medieval fantasy I’ve been working on, off and on since the latter years of the past millennium. Sword of Names is a story of truth and lies, mistaken identities and disguises, unlikely alliances, good-guys versus bad-guys, and with a hint of magic.

In this short piece, we meet Tolmer, a boy of 15 from a race of people of little—if any—moral character who have, among their other skills, the ability to make themselves invisible. Nochlan is an aging wizard-type who must rediscover his craft on the fly, and who is also the grandfather of the heroine. He and Elthwen, the deposed king’s daughter, are on the run from unsavory characters at the beck and call of the Main Evil Dude. Prior to this bit, Tolmer has been caught trying to steal Nochlan‘s corrath, Glaer, a crystal with powerful capabilities and her own personality.


“I saw no one, sir!”

The corrath flared red. “If you are lying to me, rogue, your tongue will turn black and choke you with bitter bile!”

“I swear!” Fear flashed across the young villain’s face and his ragged voice broke on the strain.

Nochlan leaned on his staff, Glaer’s  intensity cooling. “I accept your word.”

“Thank you, sir.” Choking down a breath, the boy shuddered.

“But I am once again of a mind to change you into a toad…or perhaps a fish…yes, a fish!” He wrinkled his brow in pretended thought, his corrath flickering slowly. “Perhaps your mother would prefer something more useful. A dog is a fine companion that can hunt and fetch and protect her.”

“Please, sir. I beg you. Leave me as I am.”

Nochlan rubbed his chin. “Then again, I fancy you would make a handsome bird. A rooster or a goose…. Oh, unquestionably a goose!” He raised the staff, its stone emitting a blinding light.

“Oh please, sir….” Tolmer cringed, shielding his eyes with his hand from the intensity of the glare. Tears streamed down his face, his lanky form tremulous with cold and distress.

“Very well, then.” The stone’s light dimmed. “For your old, sick mother’s sake, I will spare you this once. But only under one condition.”

“Anything, sir. I will do anything.” He wiped his runny nose with the back of his hand.

Nochlan raised his eyebrows. “Anything?”

“Please, sir….”



He took in the lad from top of his coppery head to his coarse woolen leggings—patched in the knees—to his soft deerskin boots, already short in the toe. He shook his head, his lips pursed. “No, that would never work.” He pondered some more. “No, unacceptable…except perhaps….Yes, that is it!

“What is it, sir?”

He glanced around quickly and, having spied a small copse of blooming bracklethorne at the forest’s edge, he motioned to it with a tip of his staff. “I will let you go, Tolmer of the Navith Milithos, but only if you surrender your clothes.”


Fridays and FreeBits is a regular feature on Ginger Simpson’s blog, Dishin’ It Out. To read more excerpts from some great authors, click here.

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Wolf Magic, Avador Book 5

He reached her cell and–


Shock rendered him speechless, his throat dry. His heart pounded wildly.

Sitting on the floor, she held her shift in clawed hands, her arms and legs covered with fur. Her face red with shame, she turned away from him. He heaMartin-WolfMagic200x300rd her sobs, saw her trembling.

This is Annwn?

He clenched his hands, fighting for control. Helpless to do anything, he could only stare. He discarded his shock; his heart turned over with love and pity for her.



Please stop back next week for a few lines from Juliet Waldron.

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There, in the bright light, walked a tall muscular man, young, his long blond hair framing a tan face with icy gray eyes… The visage of Adonis on Hercules’ body.

Zania’s gaze roamed over the regular lines of his jaw, the full, sensual lips, dimpled chin, down the expanse of his hairless pectorals, and stopped on the leather cod piece embossed with Tor’s hammer. That’s all he wore. So, he was a Viking.


Find out more about Vijaya’s books at:



Make sure to visit again for a few lines from Sydell Voeller, the week of April 26.

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Walters-AffinitiesBook1Escape200x300Affinities, Escape, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, two sets of halfling twins, Ashlea, Brandien, Jaydren and Kylandra sent away from their home by their parents to protect them from trouble, search for mentors to teach them how to use their affinities. Each of these young teens has an affinity for one of the elements. Ash for Air, Bran for Water, Jay for Earth and Ky for Fire. During the escape, they face many problems forcing them to use their affinities by trial and error. They also meet Alizand, the son of the ruling prince of Wesren. Zand has an affinity for Fire and this will keep him from gaining the rule. Dom Senet, an advisor to his father, and once a friend of the quartet’s parents suspects Zand’s affinity. He wishes to corrupt the teen and use him to gain control of the four princedoms of the land and of the highlands. The evil dom has all four affinities. The four must reach a secret place and find teachers before the evil man discovers them
In Havens, the four teens, led by the mysterious birds they believe are their parents seek a place of safety where they can learn to control their affinities. They find a place of refuge with Doma Jandia, grandmother of their friend Zand. The doma plans to take them to the highlands but news of the capture of two of their friends by Dom Senet, sends them on a rescue mission. Their powers are not strong enough to defeat the evil dom. They must find a way to succeed or their friends will be corrupted forever.
In Searches, having found a safe place in a tower fortress, the four and their companions set out to find what they need to defeat Dom Senet and He Who Walks With Evil. They divide into three groups. The first group seeks the focus stones that enhance their affinities. The second group looks for the remaining artifacts, the swords, the staffs, the flutes and the scrying bowls. The third group sets out to find those with their affinities to round the groups to four of earth, four water, four air and four fire. Their strength will be needed in the final battle.
In Confrontations by J.L. Walters, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, Ash, Bran, Ky and Jay along with their friends have now mastered their affinities. They now control their ability to use Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The time has come for them to face Dom Senet and He Who Walks with Evil. They have learned a disturbing fact. He Who Walks With Evil is able to exchange an old body for a new one. Dom Senet wishes to obtain the secret and he is willing to sacrifice even his own son to gain this power. The four sets of companions set off to rid the doms and domas of Dom Senet’s bonds and to defeat the two evil men. Can they or will they become pawns to evil?

Available from Books We Love
Stay tuned for Margaret Tanner

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Curse of the Lost Isle Book 4

Finally, the long awaited Lady of Luxembourg, Book 4 in the Curse of the Lost Isle series, is out in kindle!

Find it today at:


978 AD Melusine the Fae, immortal and cursed Lady of Luxembourg, managed to hide her Pagan nature from mortals for many years. She fiercely protects her handsome Count, Sigefroi, but in their princely bliss, neither of them seems to age, and a few suspicious bishops take notice. Then an ondine wreaks havoc during a battle, luring enemy soldiers into the river.
Betrayed, Sigefroi reflects on his many sins from the depths of a rat infested dungeon. Under torture, will he reveal her deadly secret? And when her beloved turns into a devout Christian, can Melusine salvage her happiness? Can love truly redeem her curse, or will she burn at the stake?

This gritty, edgy, realistic medieval romantic series is not for the faint of heart. If you like realism in your medieval novels, this series is for you. Reviewers gave it five stars and called it “bloody and bloodthirsty in places.” So beware!

The books in the Curse of the Lost Isle series can be read separately, but if you are like me you’ll want to read them in the right order. Here they are:

BOOK 1 – PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE http://amzn.com/B007K1EGAM

BOOK 2 – PAGAN QUEEN http://amzn.com/B007Z8F7IA

BOOK 3 – SEDUCING SIGEFROI http://amzn.com/B008LW18EG

BOOK 4 – LADY OF LUXEMBOURG http://amzn.com/B00BO0MYX6

There is also a special edition including the first three books in the Curse of the Lost Isle in one kindle download, for a bargain price at:

Find the entire series as well as my other books on my Amazon page, here: http://amzn.com/B0091HX7EE

Vijaya Schartz, Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/vijayaschartz

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/vijaya-schartz

Check again on March 11, for author Cheryl Wright.

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