Monday, June 26, 2017

The Love of Reading & Writing by Nathan Bush


The Love of Reading & Writing by Nathan Bush


Hello out there to all my fellow readers and authors.  No matter what our genre of preference, I’m sure none of us will ever forget when we first fell in love with the written word.  For me, it was The Hobbit.  I still have the first, and only, copy I bought many, many decades ago.  The opening line grabbed me and never let go.  That’s all it took.  I have been a fan of reading ever since.

The love of reading eventually turned me to a new passion, one of writing.  I have written hundreds of thousands of words for short stories, poems, and songs.  All unpublished and most unread by anyone other than myself.  Mainly because I was afraid to let anyone read them for fear of ridicule.  Who hasn’t felt the gut wrenching fear of unanswerable internal questions?  Is it good enough?  Will anyone besides my mother like it? Or even want to read it?


I finally won out over my fears.  After spending two long years writing and rewriting, and editing, I published my first completed novel, Written in Blood, in July of 2016.  It is the first book in my Christian-based crime series, The Foley Chronicles: Files from the 8th District.  While it has not won critical acclaim, it has garnered multiple 4 and 5 star reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.

I am now ready to choke out those nagging questions and mixed emotions once again.  The second book in my series, Root of Evil, will be available by June 15th, on both Amazon and CreateSpace.  

Thanks, and happy reading.



Here's a few links (hope they work):


Thanks for having me on your blog.  You are most awesome!

Nathan



Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Guardian Falls by R. Tran




A Guardian Falls

by author R. Tran

Genre: Fantasy



Book Blurb:

All looks bleak when Mara is forced to return home after her love’s brush with death. She only has one magical artifact and the army seems out of reach. The consequences should she fail or even succeed finally set in and Mara has doubts about everything.  There will be a war of blades and magic with Mara at the center, but Mara wonders if she has the strength to survive.



Excerpt:

In the dim morning light, Mara heard voices in the distance too faint to understand. Bishop shifted below her, anxious for the coming battle. Mara pulled her cloak tighter against the chill air and damp drizzle as she waited for news of Laran’s army. A few of the horses behind her snorted their dislike of Drake’s swift approach.



“It’s just as we thought. Half his troops went south in an attempt to flank us and back us into the mountains, but the remainder are coming head on. It shouldn’t be long now. Is the shield in place?” Drake asked, looking off to the horizon.



“It has been since first light. Its constant hum is driving me crazy. Every fiber in my body longs to bring it down,” she informed him.



“You’ll be distracted soon enough,” Drake assured her.



Mara gave a forced smile. “I only want one man’s life. It’s a shame so many will have to die defending him.”



“I’m sure he’s saying the same thing.”



“He’s not on the battlefield. He’s locked away in the castle somewhere. I can feel it,” she spat annoyed at his cowardice. She looked to Drake. “How was Kess?”



“Worried about you. Don’t worry, you’ll see each other tonight,” Drake promised.



Mara looked up when a spell crashed into the shield above. Unsure of what was going on, Bishop sidestepped. Mara calmed him and he didn’t move when another spell crashed into the shield. Flames licked the shield overhead but rolled off like water on oiled canvas.



“What are they up to?” Drake asked, looking up as well.



“My guess is they’re trying to bring down the shield so they can kill us with magic.”



Drake gave her a weary look. He was all too familiar with magic. “Are you sure this will hold?”



“No, but it was created by magic far stronger than any they have,” Mara replied as blue lightning crackled over the shield’s surface. “They’re getting closer.”



Arrows darkened the sky in the distance. “The battle’s begun,” Drake said menacingly. He drew his sword with a mischievous grin and kicked his horse into a run. “See you tonight,” he called as he rode off. Mara drew a short sword and kicked Bishop into a run. The other men were at his heels. Everyone was eager to begin. The sooner it started, the sooner it would end.



Mara reined Bishop into a throng of men ahead of her. He eagerly rushed in and pushed men out of his way. She swung down on an enemy soldier successfully severing an artery. Blood sprayed out as he fell to the ground. She caught another squarely in the chest knocking him backwards. She barely had time to pull out her axe before he fell. Mara cut off a man’s hand as he raised it to swing at one of her soldiers.



As Mara pressed forward, a man lunged into her path. She instantly threw her axe and struck him in the chest. Mara heard the crunch of bone when it hit and the man sank to his knees gasping for air. Three men caught her by surprise and rushed toward her with the intent of dragging her off her horse. Mara wouldn’t have time to go around them.



Bishop, on the other hand, saw them and stopped suddenly. Rearing up, he kicked one man in the head on the way up and another in the chest on the way down. Mara formed a blue ball of flame and held it in her hand waiting to hurl it at the third when she landed. His eyes went wide when he saw the ball headed towards him.


Get this brand-new release as well as book one as a FREEBIE for a limited time:




June 12 – 16, 2017




Author Biography: R. Tran is a first-time author who started writing as therapy after losing her father at 16. Her first manuscript was finished 4 years later but sat around for years gathering dust before she had the courage to let someone read it. Sixteen years and many revisions later, what began as therapy is now a published novel.
Twenty years after her father's death she has a husband, two children, and a dog he never met.



Social Media Links:


twitter: @rtranbooks

email: (used for book promotions) mailto:rtranbooks.com@outlook.com

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Tale of Two Parrots by Chrys Cymri

A Tale of Two Parrots

The story of a second chance at love--and inspiration

By Chrys Cymri

If the smoke detector hadn’t gone faulty, Xander would not have died on Christmas Eve.


23 December 2015. A malfunction in my house’s alarm system had meant that every thirty minutes, for around ten minutes, an ear-splitting noise would spiral throughout the building. The alarm company, after trying to talk me through a fix over the phone, finally sent someone out. He cut the wires, advising me that the fault was irreparable and the unit would have to be replaced.

The four hours of aural hell had left me with a splitting headache. I let my green cheek conure out of her cage and started to get ready to cook my dinner. I popped into the next room to collect a magazine, and when I tried to shut the door, it caught on something. 

It only took a moment for me to realize that the ‘something’ had been my bird’s head. Xander flew onto a kitchen cabinet and made a noise of such distress that the air was sucked from my lungs. I could see that her head pained her. Only the next morning did I notice that the lower mandible of her beak had been shoved sideways. She couldn’t eat, and even drinking was difficult.


Finding a vet open on Christmas Eve was a challenge. The specialist avian practice was shut for the holidays. The general vet sent me home with a syringe and liquid hamster food (!). However, even when I managed to pin Xander down and squirt food into her beak, she coughed and gasped. The physical damage was just too great. So I arranged for a friend to drive me back to the vet. And I held my little bird while the vet gave my beloved bird the injection which would end her life.

Xander had been with me through so much. My divorce, a change in career, more house moves than any creature should have to face. She had given me a reason to smile on the darkest days. And now she was gone. I had her ashes incorporated into a small glass heart as I grieved.


This should have been a good time for me. After many years of writing fantasy novels, I had finally come up with a new series which beta readers loved. Xander had been the inspiration behind Morey, the small gryphon who accompanies the main character, Penny White. When I published the book, ‘The Temptation of Dragons’, I dedicated the novel to her. 

My life seemed empty. I was now living totally alone. There seemed no reason to return home from work. I knew that I had to share my life with a new companion, for my own sanity’s sake.

Since there are so many parrots looking for second chances, I started looking for a rescue bird. Through searching the web I found Tilly, a year old green cheek conure looking for a new home, and in March I collected her.

I was very nervous. I felt I had the experience to deal with whatever issues a rescue bird might have, but on the other hand, Xander had been so tame and trusting. And I’d had Xander from the age of three months old. Would this new bird and I be able to form a bond?

Things were a bit rocky to start with. I’d make assumptions which Tilly didn’t share! But I read up and employed clicker and target training, and taught her a number of tricks (including flighted recall). Our relationship grew from strength to strength. 

There were some adjustments to be made. I’d gone from a mature bird to a youngster! I went to the Think Parrots show and spent a small fortune on toys--Tilly becomes bored far more easily than Xander ever did. I bought a bigger cage and transitioned her to a different type of pellet diet. Unlike Xander, Tilly doesn’t really care for dried chilli pods, but she would sell her grandmother’s egg for a Nutriberry.

My new companion also influenced my next novel. Tilly is much cheekier than Xander, and her antics fed into the character of Clyde, the small snail shark who lives with Penny. 

A few days before Christmas, ‘Your memories on Facebook’ offered me a video I’d made of Xander. Watching her dance to my rendition of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ brought tears to my eyes. But then I lifted Tilly to the computer screen, and let her see the video. ‘That’s your sister,’ I told her. ‘And I love you both very much.’