Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Airion Return to Zire by J.S. Council



Airion: Return to Zire
 J.S. Council

Series:Airion Series
Genre:Young Adult Epic Fantasy



Blurb:Aside from his outward appearance, Kobi is a normal thirteen-year-old boy. Living with his mother, his father, and his identical twin brother, Raili, with whom he spends most days at the cove watching dolphins and whales feed, he is happy with his life just the way it is. But his fourteenth birthday is coming and Kobi has no idea how much his life is about to change.

When Raili is pulled through a puddle in the floor of their second floor bedroom by a monster armed with poisonous, spiked tentacles, Kobi goes in after him. What he finds isn’t Raili, but a new world all together, buried beneath the ocean. With a bounty on his head that has been there since he and Raili’s birth, Kobi will have to learn to fight or die before he can be reunited with Raili again. Everything he knew to be true was a lie.

People he loved and trusted are not who they seem. He isn’t the normal boy he thought himself to be. A transformation is coming. Raili is gone. Blood is shed. Traitors lurk, waiting for their chance. War is inevitable. The fate of the world of Airion rests in his hands. The Wise one speaks. Failure is certain.

My Review:

This is a coming of age tale of twin boys Kobi and Raili who are mysteriously taken to another world and immediately separated. Kobi desperately tries to find his twin, worried that something dire might have happened to him. He meets a local named Kaiyen who is more than willing to help Kobi find Raili.
Kaiyen introduces the new world and its many creatures to Kobi as they travel through to Zire. A place it turns out the twins have a familial connection to.


Kobi learns that his twin Raili has been captured and that they may have been betrayed by someone close. He has to find his brother before their fourteenth birthday when they are to come into a magical power which could be controlled by the wrong people. With war threatening on the horizon two nations will be looking at Kobi and Raili to see if the prophecies about them are true or not.

I enjoyed reading Airion: Return to Zire, as it followed the twins who landed in different parts of their new world. Kobi in Zire and Raili in Cella, two nations who may be going to war, this creates for an incredible twist which makes for an incredible adventure. 

This is a fantasy you can easily slip into and enjoy. I’ve always found fantasies that involve families, destiny and war, stories that I’ll come back to and re-read as they have a different narrative and quality about them. Airion: Return to Zire is a book that will be staying in my library and its sequel Airion: Light and Dawn will soon be keeping it company.  





Book Links:





Amazon  




About The Author:
“Although I didn’t fully commit to making writing my life’s work until my sophomore year of college, I have always been a writer at heart. I was the only student in class to get excited about school papers, even asking to write a few for extra credit on occasion. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in Creative Writing – Fiction. After graduating, I moved to Japan where I wrote most of my debut novel, Airion: Return to Zire and all of my second novel Airion: Light and Dawn – the first two of a four book series. Japan was a peaceful place to just sit and write, but life in Japan was also filled with adventure. However much I loved it there, I had to return home to do what I love most. Write.”


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Airion: Return to Zire by J.S. Council


Title:Airion: Return To Zire

Author: J.S. Council

Series:Airion Series

Genre:Young Adult Epic Fantasy

Publisher:Self Published

Formats Available In:Paperback, Ebook (HTML, Kindle, Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, Plain Text (download), Plain Text (View)

Blurb:Aside from his outward appearance, Kobi is a normal thirteen-year-old boy. Living with his mother, his father, and his identical twin brother, Raili, with whom he spends most days at the cove watching dolphins and whales feed, he is happy with his life just the way it is. But his fourteenth birthday is coming and Kobi has no idea how much his life is about to change.

            When Raili is pulled through a puddle in the floor of their second floor bedroom by a monster armed with poisonous, spiked tentacles, Kobi goes in after him. What he finds isn’t Raili, but a new world all together, buried beneath the ocean. With a bounty on his head that has been there since he and Raili’s birth, Kobi will have to learn to fight or die before he can be reunited with Raili again. Everything he knew to be true was a lie.

            People he loved and trusted are not who they seem. He isn’t the normal boy he thought himself to be. A transformation is coming. Raili is gone. Blood is shed. Traitors lurk, waiting for their chance. War is inevitable. The fate of the world of Airion rests in his hands. The Wiseone speaks. Failure is certain.

Book Links:





Amazon  

About The Author:

“Although I didn’t fully commit to making writing my life’s work until my sophomore year of college, I have always been a writer at heart. I was the only student in class to get excited about school papers, even asking to write a few for extra credit on occasion. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a degree in Creative Writing – Fiction. After graduating, I moved to Japan where I wrote most of my debut novel, Airion: Return to Zire and all of my second novel Airion: Light and Dawn – the first two of a four book series. Japan was a peaceful place to just sit and write, but life in Japan was also filled with adventure. However much I loved it there, I had to return home to do what I love most. Write.”

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Excerpt

            Raili sat up, grimaced and lay back down. His wounds had been dressed but were still fresh. Could people feel pain after death? Raili didn’t think so. Somehow he was still alive. But alive where? Wincing, he examined his bandages. They were neatly wrapped with white cloth, soiled from within by Raili’s blood. He could smell a sweet scent coming from them, like an ointment.

            Suddenly, Raili heard footsteps and his heart began to race like he was about to be caught doing something wrong. But when a young girl walked through the door, Raili relaxed again.

            “Oh, you’re awake,” she said when she saw him. She put a tray on the table by the entrance. “Umm, wait here, I’ll get Master.”

            “Hey, wait!” said Raili as the girl disappeared through the doorway again. He was about to follow her but sat back down from the pain and his lack of clothing. He looked around. His clothes were gone and no other pair took their place. Irritated, Raili sat with his back against the wall, covering only his legs and hips with his blanket, and waited for the girl and her master to return.

            Soon, Raili heard footsteps again and again his heart raced as he became guarded. The girl had returned and brought another woman with her. The girl was very pretty and around the same age as Raili. She wore a green and yellow blouse coupled with a long yellow skirt that flowed as she walked. The woman, too, was very beautiful and wore a yellow dress that also flowed. Both women wore white cloths around their waists. Their skin was a pale tan color and they had eyes of light grey. Their hair was dark red, or maroon, and was pulled up into tight buns behind their heads.

            “So you are awake,” said the woman, her smile making her ageless face even more beautiful. Raili said nothing as they sat their trays on the floor around him.     “Take heed, however, Krawth’s poison spread deep into your bloodstream. Even with our advanced antidotes, we were nearly unable to save you.”

            “A Krawth?” said Raili, curiosity getting the better of him.

            “A horrible monster with spiked tentacles and more rows of sharp teeth than a shark,” said the girl, setting down a tray of fresh bandages and a vial that gave off that familiar, sweet aroma.

            “Surely you must remember it from your ordeal?” said the woman, setting down another tray of herbs, a small packet with some type of powder inside, and a steaming kettle.

            Raili remembered. It had grabbed him and dragged him through the puddle. “I thought I was dead,” he said, his voice low.

            “We thought you were too,” said the woman. “But, thanks to Sub Leader Balin, you were saved in time.” She mixed the powder and herbs into a cup, slowly pouring in the hot water. “This won’t taste very pleasant, but it will make certain the poison is out of your system before you can be allowed to move.”

            “Ummm, okay. Whoa, wait! What are you doing?” said Raili as the girl tried to lift his blanket.

            “Your wounds must be redressed or they could get infected,” she said, her voice never rising. Then she grinned slyly. “You can keep yourself covered if you wish. But it’s not like I haven’t already seen you.”

            Raili turned almost the same color as the girl’s hair. He pulled the blanket up to the very top of his legs, keeping the rest of himself covered. “There,” he said, looking away from her. “That’s all you get to see.”

            The girl giggled and got to work slowly and carefully removing the old, dirty bandages. Raili’s wounds were deep. He looked away and bit his lip in order to not yell out as she unwound the bandages touching his skin. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Faire Eve



Title:Faire Eve

Author:Catherine Stovall

Genre:YA Fantasy


Formats Available In:All eBook formats and Print

Release Date: May 31, 2013

Find Faire Eve at Amazon.com


Blurb:Under the watchful eye of her over protective mother, Eve grew up in a world without magic and fancy. She never cared about riding a unicorn, dancing at balls or being a princess. Now, all the things she never desired are hers and every other girl's dream is her nightmare"

The Sidhe ruled over fairy magic from the twilight city, Trig Na nOg, until a beast cast a dark spell to send them into a death-like sleep. In an attempt to reap revenge on the fairy people, Tiritchiq hunts Eve and her entourage as they campaign to place the halfling princess on the throne.

In order to save the world of Evalon and a family she has never known, Eve travels through dimensions, crosses dangerous landscapes, and learns to accept the Sidhe blood within. With the moody and handsome Daione Warrior Eldon by her side, she must embrace the darkness inside of her and face down a powerful foe.

Excerpt:
She looked like the apparition of a goddess as she walked across the blood soaked ground. Without seeing, she managed to glide effortlessly over the deep gouges in the earth where the dragon’s claws had dug ravines in the streets. Eldon wanted to go to her, but something inside told him to wait and be cautious. The girl was not his Eve. The fairy queen replaced the broken child as she went to kneel beside the Ki’Lin mare and her mate.
            Bright tears rolled down Eve’s cheeks as she laid a comforting hand on the mare’s withers. To the group’s astonishment, the mare turned to Eve and nuzzled the girl with her nose for a brief second. Eldon made a move to go to Eve, intending to pull her away but something in the tenderness of the moment stopped him. No other creature would have been able to approach the grieving Ki’Lin and yet, the mare seemed to welcome her.
            Eve knelt beside Jayno for a moment, crying openly, as if she too, felt the cavernous rip in his mate’s heart. A shadow passed over her face and she hesitated. Rising to her feet, she turned away from the fallen unicorn and walked a few yards away to where the heart of the battle had taken place. Eldon stepped forward, willing her into his arms so that he could comfort her. When he looked into her eyes, he froze.
            Her eyes were empty of all recognition or want. They shined as brightly as they had moments before the dragon had come but something in them lay listless and dormant. Not seeing the others, Eve continued blindly until she stood above the place where Eldon had struck out at the dragon. A small pool of black blood steamed at her feet. Unaware of the dangers to herself, Eve knelt and plunged her hand into the sticky fluid.
            Outside, her body was numb. Eve did not feel the terrible heat from the dragon’s blood blistering her hand. She did not smell the scorching of her own flesh. Inside, she was not in control of her own mind. She acted on magical instincts and thousand-year-old knowledge passed down through her royal line that she did not understand. She was still partially lost inside the dragon’s spell.
            No one moved to stop her or help her. Most of the onlookers trembled in fear. Even Eldon’s men, soldiers and great warriors, found themselves frightened by their queen. Unblinking and moving with a strange stiffness, Eve rejoined the fallen Ki’Lin and his mate once more. The mare snorted and pawed at the ground in trepidation but did not move to intervene with Eve’s task.
            Eve knelt by Jayno. Her voice rose in an eerie sonata that filled the streets and echoed in the silence. She sang an ancient hymn with no recognizable origins. The melody was timeless and the words foreign. A power began to build around her. The skin of her hand burned and cracked under the heat of the dragon’s blood.
            At last, Eve was silent and she placed her bloody hand on the unicorn’s ice sheathed horn. The mare neighed in protest and reared back on her powerful hindquarters. To touch the horn of a living Ki’Lin was taboo unless the creature offered the privilege. To touch the horn of a dying Ki’Lin was sacrilege. Eve’s head twisted towards the mare but no fear showed in her eyes.
When she spoke, her voice was quiet but the tone raised the hairs on the back of the others’ necks, “Calm down, Kellan.”
            The Ki’Lin mare stumbled and her powerful hooves came crashing down inches from where Eve sat. Eve did not flinch. As Kellan lowered her head and gazed intently at Eve, the girl returned her focus to Jayno. She held his horn in her burned and gore-covered hand as gently as cradling an infant’s head. She whispered words no other could hear and the ice began to melt.
            Eve’s body shook with pain and power. Her eyes blurred with tears. She was a ghost inside herself, watching as her own injured and matted hand held strongly to the horn. She felt a strange and nameless sensation creeping through her body. Icy fingers trailed along her spine, followed by the gentle lapping of a candle’s flame.
            She heard herself cry out but her voice sounded miles away. A ripping sound echoed in her ears and she felt as if a dull knife had filleted her shoulder blades. She felt her body arch in response to what must have been pain, but the recesses of her mind closed the physical sensation off from her. She knew she was hurt but could no longer remember what the perception of pain felt like. 


About Catherine Stovall:

Catherine Stovall is the author of Faire Eve, The Requiem of Humanity Series, Fearful Day, Sweet Sally Slasher, and Bloody Freedom. Stovall is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the creator of International Bug Your Library Day, an operation to spread awareness for Indie and Small Press Authors. 

Catherine is a fearless creature who surrounds herself with the joys of life both in and out of her fictional worlds. She lives in Southeast Missouri with her husband, three children, and pets. When not writing, she spends her time riding motorcycles, wearing elaborate hats, and genuinely enjoying the oddities in life.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hearts in Exile


Title:Hearts In Exile

Series: Tallenmere (stand-alone)

Author:Mysti Parker

Genre:Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Publisher:Melange Books

Formats Available In:All eBook formats and Print

Release Date: June 3, 2013


Blurb:Somewhere, hidden in the waters of the Southern Sea, lies an island unlike any other. Within the amber glow of its pyrogem-laden cliffs, legend says the very heart of the dragon god Drae keeps the island, and its occupants, alive.

LoraleeMunroviel, daughter of Leogard's High Priestess Arianne, had no idea what she would face when she arrived by boat ten years ago and was left alone in exile. All she knew about Draekoria's inhabitants was written in one tattered notebook. Now, her life revolves around keeping Drae's descendants happy. Never in her life did she imagine being a Dragon Keeper.

Captain IgrorioEverlyn, known as Sir Robert to his unit of Holy Paladins, has faced his share of hell, battling the evils of Emperor Sarvonn's tyranny and the dark god Tyr's abominations. But none of that compares to the ten years of hell he's been without Loralee, presumed dead.

One freak storm changes everything. Now the two of them must fight to re-establish the delicate balance of the island before the dragons take things into their own hands. Through it all, they discover the secrets that kept them, and their hearts, exiled for a decade.

Excerpt From Chapter Three:

After a shipwreck, Sir Robert wakes up in a strange cottage, only to find Loralee, the love of his life, whom he thought had been dead for a decade…

“I don’t understand. What is this place?”

“It’s an island. Very few know of its existence.”

I shook my head, trying to clear the fog of this confusing dream come to life. “But, why would you be here, and why would you be sorry? Unless…”

The words wouldn’t come. My racing mind pitched in to help. Unless she didn’t want to marry me after all.

Wrenching pain I’d kept tucked inside broke free, and I clambered to my feet. Loralee followed suit, backing herself into the small dining table.

I tried, but could not hide the bitter anger in my words. “How could you do this to me? Do you have any idea what I’ve been through?”

Her eyes widened. She clutched the table with one hand and her robe with the other. “What you’ve been through? I didn’t want this. I was forced here.”

“What do you mean, forced here? Where are your shackles?” My voice roared through the little cottage as I gestured around me with one arm. “Where are the bars? This looks like no prison I’ve ever seen.”

Her voice cracked the air, rivaling with my own. “I was betrayed, forced into exile. Don’t you understand? I never wanted to leave you. I never wanted anything so much as I wanted you.”

Pacing away, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I had to calm myself, to let the weight of this discovery, the improbability of her explanation to sink into my water-logged brain.

I couldn’t bring myself to look at her just yet, so I stared at my bare feet instead. “Why didn’t you tell me, write to me?”

“I tried. I begged the supply ship crew to bring my letters to you. They always took them, but never brought one in return. I suspect they destroyed them, but I had no way of knowing.” She sucked in a shaky breath as though trying to hold back her tears. “I never stopped loving you.”

Turning back to face her, I felt like a mindless beast. Here I was, raging against the love of my life when she’d all but been brought back from the dead.

“Loralee.” I eased toward her. She cringed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Without a word, I leaned in and pressed my forehead to hers, allowing myself to breathe in her scent for the first time in a decade. We stood suspended like that for a while, lost in time, and emerging from a purgatory neither of us had imagined ten years ago. I would have been content to stand like that forever, but Loralee burst into tears and wilted to the floor.

I followed her down and opened the quilt to wrap us both inside. I held her tight while she cried.

While I cried.

I finally got enough breath to speak again. “What did you mean by forced here? They told me you were…” I couldn’t say it, not with her warm and so very alive against me.

“I know.”

The weight of it all came crashing down on me. “This is my fault, isn’t it? You’re here because of me.”

She made no attempt to wipe her cheeks, but shook her head and stared at the rafters as though entreating the gods. “No, it’s not your fault. Not at all. There is so much to explain, I don’t know where to start.”

I couldn’t comprehend any of it, so I focused on the here and now. “You found me on the shore?”

She nodded.

“The crew, Francis…did you find anyone else out there?”

“No, I had Xax-, I mean, no, I searched but didn’t find anyone else.”

The familiar weight of grief squeezed my chest, and a few more tears escaped before I could stop them.

She pulled me close and whispered, “I’m so sorry. I know how much you loved him. We all did.”

“We all grieved for you. You’ve been here…all this time?”

“Yes.”

“By the gods, Loralee, I’ve missed you so much.” I put my wet cheek against hers and pressed my lips to her soft skin. “Part of me died the day I thought you… please…just tell me how you ended up here.”

Loralee took a few deep breaths and finally pulled away from me. She caressed my cheek and smiled weakly.  “I’ll make us a pot of tea. And then, I think we should start at the beginning, back to the Great Plague and when we first met. Do you remember that?”

Smiling past the sadness, I covered her hand with mine and closed my eyes. “How could I ever forget?”


About Mysti Parker:

Mysti Parker (pseudonym) is a full time wife, mother of three, and a writer. Her first novel, A Ranger's Tale was published in January, 2011 by Melange Books, and the second in the fantasy romance series, Serenya's Song, was published in April 2012. The highly anticipated third book, Hearts in Exile, has already received some great reviews. The Tallenmere series has been likened to Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series, but is probably closer to a spicy cross between Tolkien and Mercedes Lackey.

Mysti's other writings have appeared in the anthologies Hearts of Tomorrow, Christmas Lites, and Christmas Lites II. Her flash fiction has appeared on the online magazine EveryDayFiction. She has also served as a class mentor in Writers Village University's six week free course, F2K. 

Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication, and is the proud owner of Unwritten, a blog voted #3 for eCollegeFinder's Top Writing Blogs award. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.


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