Indie Weekend: #Bookreview and Q&A: The Necromancer’s Daughter: #authorinterview

Indie Weekend is my effort to help Indie/Self-Published authors with the daunting task of marketing. Indie authors have so much on their plate. If I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do so. I would ask for your help as well. Please share this book review with your followers so we can introduce it to as many people as possible. Be sure and check out my Q&A with the author below!

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she, too, learns to heal death.

Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.

As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.

To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

From best-selling fantasy author D. Wallace Peach comes a retelling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. Set in a winter world of dragons, intrigue, and magic, The Necromancer’s Daughter is a story about duty, defiance, cruelty, and sacrifice— an epic tale of compassion and deep abiding love where good and evil aren’t what they seem.

BOOK REVIEW

What an amazing saga of a young girl who is brought back from death and learns to do the same for others. Raised by her Necromancer father, Aster learns to bring others back to life, but her own life is constantly threatened by men who seek power and control. As she flees assassins, her journey through her icy world has only one ultimate goal–peace and safety for her father and herself.

The descriptive ability of this author is impressive. I don’t recall an author ever doing such an amazing job of bringing their characters’ surroundings to life in such an immersive way. I could almost feel the icy wind in my face as I slid down frozen cliffs with Aster. Each character was so fully developed I could see and hear them as I read. I felt more like a part of the story than I ever have. I was captivated by every facet of Aster’s journey. The inclusion of dragons was a joyful addition for me, and I love the way they were portrayed and the way Aster connected to them. This is a remarkable, immersive journey through a frozen and warring land full of fascinating creatures and sometimes treacherous peoples. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, magical stories, and legends.

About The Author

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Q&A with D. Wallace Peach

Question: Let’s go beyond the bio.  Tell us something about yourself that we might not know after reading your bio.

Thanks so much for inviting me over to your place for a Q&A, Bonnie. I never get tired of talking about books and it’s an honor to join you today. Probably most people don’t know that when I was a kid, I wanted to be a Shakesperean actor. I’d read more than half of his plays by the time I was twelve and got to live out my dream for a few years in college.

Question: Is The Necromancer’s Daughter a stand-alone or the beginning of a series? 

It’s a stand-alone. For about seven years, I binged on writing series. But they take a long time to craft, and they’re a commitment for readers. I decided to give everyone a breather and write some stand-alone novels. Eventually another series will wheedle its way into my imagination.

Question:  This is a re-telling of the legend of Kwan-yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. At the end of the book, you included a short version of the legend. What is the most important concern you have when you are writing a retelling?

Most of all, I wanted the retelling to be completely fresh to readers. The original story provided the inspiration and theme, and I pulled some characters, plot elements, and story details (like dragons) from the narrative. But the rest was up to me, and I was happy to add my own twists to the tale.

Question:  The description of the icy world Aster lives in is so realistic that I felt immersed in it immediately.  What did you use as inspiration?

I grew up in northern Vermont. The winters were so cold that when the thermostat rose to freezing it felt downright balmy. My family did a lot of snow-shoeing and winter camping, so sleeping on pine boughs in the snowy woods is familiar to me.

**Comment from Bonnie:  That makes sense!  You lived in a beautiful, icy world yourself.   

Question:  Although this is the first book of yours that I’ve read, I noticed that some of your other books also include dragons.  What is it about the dragon legend that inspires you to write about them?

In addition to The Necromancer’s Daughter, I have one series that includes dragons, The Dragon Soul Quartet. In that 4-book story, dragons represent spirit, and merging with a dragon is the equivalent to connecting with one’s soul. In The Necromancer’s Daughter they’re simply semi-psychic, wild beasts. If I were looking for a common thread, in both cases, they represent immense power, something within our control if we dare to connect.

**Comment from Bonnie:  I’m looking forward to checking out The Dragon Soul Quartet!

Question: If we were to take away only one message from this book, what would you like it to be?

Ah, that’s an easy one, Bonnie. That what is good and evil isn’t defined by political power or doctrine or wealth, or by the rules we’re taught or the biases we all navigate on a daily basis. All people are individuals, and “goodness” is a matter of heart, kind intentions, and a desire to do no harm.

**Comment from Bonnie:  I love that!

Question: The cover and other artwork for this book are absolutely beautiful.  I was looking for the artist’s name, and it appears you created these yourself. They are gorgeous!   Do you always do your own artwork for your book covers?

Thank you!  About half of my covers are professionally done. The other half, I created myself, along with my extraneous artwork for trailers and promotions. You’re not going to believe it, but I do it all on plain old MS Word, using free and purchased images that I blend and modify. When my brain is tired from writing and needs a break, I play with visuals.

**Comment from Bonnie:  MS Word!  I’m obviously not using MS Word correctly because that cover is gorgeous and I’d never guess it was made on Word.

Question: You have been an indie author for a long time and have written several series.  Tell us a little about your journey as an indie author:  Is marketing the hardest part?  Do you feel you can be more creative as an indie author?  Is there anything about indie publishing that you didn’t expect?  Is there something you have learned about indie publishing along the way that you can pass on to new authors?

I started out as a traditionally published author and found the lack of control over my work frustrating. I had plenty of creative freedom, but everything took forever, and my naïve hope that my publisher would handle the hard task of marketing was a pipedream. Eight years ago, I canceled my contracts and republished as an indie. I’ve been an indie author ever since and never regretted the switch. My advice to new indie authors? Follow your creative dream, never stop studying your craft, and seek honest critiques of your work because that’s the fastest way to improve.  Love what you do, because it’s not for the weak of heart.

**Comment from Bonnie:  One of the things I love about the Indie community is the willingness of authors to help one another.

Bonnie: Thanks so much for answering my questions today, Diana! I appreciate it.

Diana: That was great fun, Bonnie. Thanks again for the feature and review and for the fun discussion. Happy Reading!

BUY LINKS

Amazon | Amazon UK | Google

ADDITIONAL ARTWORK

BEFORE YOU GO

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way

Self-Published Spotlight: The Hedge Witch and the Musical Poet #Poetry #Flashfiction

Self-Published Spotlight is my attempt to help self-published/indie authors promote their books. It is not a book review, but a closer look at the book and the author. Here is a collection of poetry and flash fiction by MJ Mallon that will be released August 16th.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet is a collection of poetry and flash fiction celebrating the beautiful vulnerability of the forest kingdom. It begins with the poetic tale of the kind-hearted Hedge Witch, Fern, who discovers an injured stranger in desperate need of her woodland spells and magic.

The sweet pair learn from each other, and through Fern’s guidance, Devin embraces the power of magic to leave behind his troubled past and become The Musical Poet.

Poetry/flash fiction titles in section one of the collection include:

The Hedge Witch & The Musical Poet, Rain Forest Love, A Forest Baby Boy, A Forest Baby Girl, A Modern Witch, Rock of Mine, Chester Don & I, The Network of Trees, More Trees Not Less, Two Boys Watching War, Mum Climbing Trees, Let’s Play, The Scorched Tree, Owl’s Holiday Home, A Man’s Holiday Home, A Child’s Excitement, The Teddy In The Woods, Run! The Organutans, All Hallow’s Eve Candy Girl, The Forest Bash, Dreaming At Halloween, A Face on Bark, Golden Willow Tree, Rainbow – Parasol of Light, Lollipop Sunshine Tree,

In Section two the author pays tribute to the following poets: 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Ruby Archer, King Forest, Bliss Carman, Woodland Rain, Emily Dickinson, Who Robbed the Woods, Rupert Blake, Stopping by The Woods on A Winter Evening,Oscar Wilde, In the Forest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MJ’s motto is to always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even it if appears that the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.

MJ’s favourite genres to write are Fantasy/Magical Realism and Poetry because life should be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Her writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: Paranormal, best-selling Horror, Supernatural short stories, Flash Fiction, and Poetry. She has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and has also written a spin-off poetry collection entitled Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic).  Her eclectic blog shares details and information about her new releases, author interviews, character profiles, and her love of reading, reviewing, writing, and photography.

PRE-ORDER LINK

Amazon | Amazon UK

Book Review: The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie #Romanticfantasy

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Lolly Blanchard’s life only seems to give her lemons. Ten years ago, after her mother’s tragic death, she broke up with her first love and abandoned her dream of opening a restaurant in order to keep her family’s struggling Seattle diner afloat and care for her younger sister and grieving father. Now, a decade later, she dutifully whips up the diner’s famous lemon meringue pies each morning while still pining for all she’s lost.

As Lolly’s thirty-third birthday approaches, her quirky great-aunt gives her a mysterious gift—three lemon drops, each of which allows her to live a single day in a life that might have been hers. What if her mom hadn’t passed away? What if she had opened her own restaurant in England? What if she hadn’t broken up with the only man she’s ever loved? Surprising and empowering, each experience helps Lolly let go of her regrets and realize the key to transforming her life lies not in redoing her past but in having the courage to embrace her present.

The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie is a delightful story of lost love and second chances. It asks the question, “What if I go could back and make a different decision?” The characters are endearing and the “road not taken” plot is one of my favorites. In this book, Lolly gets to explore some roads not taken. Will she choose one of them? Can she? The book transitions well between the past, the present, and possible futures. It is a fun dream–magic lemon drops that can change your life. Mix together a sweet romance with a few “what ifs” and some fairy dust in the form of lemon drops, and you have an entertaining read. I really enjoyed all of it, from the captivating cover to the lemon meringue pie.

I received a free copy of this book from Berkley via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of Larks, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, WA where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.

RACHEL’S SOCIAL MEDIA

WEBSITE|FACEBOOK|INSTAGRAM

CLICK PHOTO BELOW TO PRE-ORDER

Blog Tour and Book Review: Wilson Indeed

*Book Review near the bottom of the page

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Book Blurb :- In The Market Square, the fantastical setting for all his dream activities, Wilson Armitage is able to take night classes on any subject and absorb a wealth of knowledge from just a few hours of sleep.  As though logging into a wifi of dreams to download information.  As his childhood passes, both wary of and reticent to acknowledge his extraordinary ability, Wilson attempts to lead a normal life and stay beneath the radar of family and friends.At the age of seventeen however, his cover is blown by Daisy Meadowcroft.  During a chance encounter in The Market Square, they agree to meet the next day and are propelled from a dream world into the reality of a coffee shop in the centre of Manchester.  Enthralled by their shared gift, they strike up a close friendship and encourage each other to seek a rational, scientific explanation for their unique talents.

Butterfly Assassins, the second book in the trilogy, is available on Amazon.

In a recent survey, 85% of people said yes to the question: “Do you believe there are things out there that science can’t explain?”

If you’re one of those 85%, you’ll love The WiFi of Dreams series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Walsh

For twenty years Steve Walsh honed his skills in prose as an advertising copywriter; the ‘ideas’ man in a Manchester based marketing agency that carried his name.

In the late 1990’s he stumbled into the world of the dotcom entrepreneur and his claim to fame is as the creator of the hotel booking service, laterooms.com and the first car insurance comparison site, easycover.com. So, the birth of Meerkats, a Welsh opera singer, and being confused.com might be considered as down to him, for which he apologizes. 

He now uses his vivid imagination and gentle Mancunian wit to write visionary fantasy novels with bold concepts. Wilson indeed, the first book in his trilogy The WiFi of Dreams takes the reader on a richly imagined, fact meets fiction adventure story to which we can relate and feel we can touch. A whimsical interrogation of the inexplicable and fundamental tenets of our lives – the role and meaning of dreams, the nature of the hereafter, hard and soft science, a love story – what more can you want? 

BOOK REVIEW

I was captivated by this imaginative novel that immediately throws you straight into the action on the first page. At first, this book seems to be going a certain direction, but suddenly you realize you are reading something extraordinary and going on an amazing adventure with the intriguing young Wilson. Going to school in his dreams, Wilson can speak several languages, restore classic vehicles, perform life-saving medical procedures, and more, and he is still a kid.

When he meets Daisy in the dream state and they decide to meet in the real world, that’s when the fun really begins, and when danger starts to lurk ever closer. From the dream world to the real world, Wilson’s abilities soon become known to the “powers that be.” When Wilson and Daisy investigate the disappearance of Vanessa, the mother of Wilson’s best friend, they truly begin to shake things up.

Wilson Indeed is a captivating mix of fantasy, science and mystery that will take you on a fascinating ride into the world of dreams. Through Wilson and Daisy, we can explore the possibilities of what can happen when the fantastical world we visit when we sleep crosses into real life. This is the first book in the Wifi of Dreams series. I highly recommend this to fans of Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery, and Science Fiction, as well as those who love genre mashups.

Thank you to Zooloo’s Book Tours for a copy of this book. I also purchased one on Amazon. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

This is a 5-star read for me. I will note, however, that the book needs a better cover. The cover should be as fantastical and imaginative as the story.

BUY LINKS

BUY WILSON INDEED (BOOK ONE)

BUY BUTTERFLY ASSASSINS (BOOK TWO)

#Book Review – Jukebox Hero

#Book Review at the bottom of the page.

HTML

JukeboxHero

“PRETTY IN PINK MEETS MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE” Is that a great tagline or what? Welcome to the tour for Jukebox Hero by Jason Stuart! Read on for book details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway — A signed copy of the book AND in keeping with the theme, a couple of John Hughes box sets (80’s movie classics)! Untitled_Artwork Jukebox Hero (SledgeHammer: A Rock and Roll Fable #1) Expected Publication Date: April 30th, 2021 Genre: 80s Mashup/ Superhero Fantasy Publisher: Burnt Bridge It’s Back to the ’80’s like never before! Things aren’t all rainbows and cupcakes at the corner of Elm and E streets. Molly Slater just wants to forget everything she can’t remember and play heavy metal with her best friend in the garage. And maybe get a date for prom if he’s not a skeeze. But someone in this ‘burb has been killing redheads, and Molly has the reddest hair of them all. When a night of babysitting gone wrong gets her in the crosshairs of the local gang scene, Molly discovers fabulous secrets about herself. The hunted becomes the hunter as she prowls the darkness that has crept into her sleepy town. But a far more sinister force, some thing from another world, has other plans in store for her…

Excerpt

Sister Christian” 

—Night Ranger, 1983

Three standing grandfather clocks gazed down at her that morning, ten years to the day since they found her wandering alone with no memory—not even a name.

There, at the corner of Elm and E Street, Molly Slater (the name they’d given her) gripped her Fender Stratocaster like it were a weapon forged for her hands. Her fingerless gloves whispered at the strings, ready to saw down some serious noise. Jordache jacket with the sleeves ripped off at the shoulder. Purple lipstick and double-earrings. Corvette red hair. Bette Davis Eyes. 

The garage smelled like the early morning—no other sound but her Cons slapping the dewy concrete. She kicked away shorted out gizmos and various half-finished contraptions littering the cold slab floor. Hoyt, her foster dad, fancied himself the inventor. Any day now he’d invent their way into riches untold. Any day now.

Those grandfather clocks ticked at her as she plugged into the Peavey. More of Hoyt’s tinkering, thinking he could set his machines by them. Each triggered a different chain reaction every morning. One fed the dog. Another opened the garage to the day. A third…well it never worked anyway. She stared at them, as did they her in return. They held no judgment, only the looming doom of the impending hour. 

As the garage doors groaned, opening to the dim autumn light outside, she cranked up and twist-tuned her axe. She gave it a gooseneck and sliced right in. Mötley. Halen. Bowie. Duran. Whitesnake. Saxon. Maiden! Fluidly, she moved from one riff to another. She was totally, epically zoned. 

She lived in that fifteen minutes. 

Those granddads thundered their terrible news. 

The parentals shouted. 

“Shut that racket off! You’re gonna be late, I swear to every god,” the mother said. As if there were gods. Molly just shook her head, put up the guitar and grabbed her bag. “And put on a hat on that red hair. I don’t want you getting murdered by that maniac!” 

So dramatic. Like anything that interesting could ever happen. 

She always knew it would be like this.

Available on Amazon About the Author ZomboDroid 07022021083326 Jason Stuart is from the ’80’s. He came through that cocaine-fueled fever dream and lived to tell this story. Find him on Twitter: @raiseaholler on IG @80sinsane and Facebook.com/raiseaholler. This is his 4th book. And, no, that’s not his real hair. Burnt Bridge Giveaway: Signed copy of the book plus two 80’s classic movie box sets! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

#BOOK REVIEW – BONNIE READS AND WRITES

This is an 80s based mashup of Science fiction, fantasy, and thriller that will take you on an amazing ride. I loved the fact that each chapter (or episode) is entitled with the name of a rock song from the 80s. I’m a sucker for anything 80s, and this does not disappoint. Start with some 80’s high school kids, then throw in some 80’s rock, robots, superheroes, and murder, and that adds up to a mesmerizing read.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

Lottie’s Locket

It’s Lottie’s 11th birthday, but her parents have to go out of town to help her much older sister, who is having a crisis. Lottie is not thrilled about going to stay in her Aunt’s cold house on her birthday while her parents are gone, but is slightly cheered by the birthday present her mother has left behind. Inside the package is a locket, which takes Lottie on an amazing adventure to another world, Orovand. But Orovand, like Earth, has problems too, and soon Lottie’s locket is missing, a man is dead, and her chance to return home is in jeopardy.

This was a good middle grade fantasy with a murder mystery thrown in. I think the mystery was engaging and there were some twists and turns. The world-building was not interesting enough in my opinion. It appeared to be a very colorful world set up like an ancient kingdom, where the King rules all. Although I feel it was an interesting story, I was not drawn in enough to want to return to Orovand for any further adventures. There are some intriguing aspects of Orovand, but I won’t reveal them as to avoid spoilers. 

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited at the request of the author. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own. Fans of middle grade fantasy and mystery novels may enjoy this one.

Link to Lottie’s Locket on Amazon

Link to Maria Johnson’s Amazon Page

Link to My Goodreads Review