Anita's Haven

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Dragonblood Throne by Tom Fallwell – fantasy fans, this is for you!

It gives me great pleasure to be able to present you the new release by fantasy author Tom Fallwell. Enjoy yourselves!




Orphaned as a young child and growing up alone in the forest, Delina lives a life of isolation; her only companion a saber-toothed panther. Her strange eyes frighten those she occasionally encounters, so she keeps to herself, until a young, wounded warrior ends up at her doorstep. As she nurses him back to health, she discovers she is more than just a young woman with unusual eyes, she is a dragonblood, destined to become the ruler of Almar.


Now hunted by the dark sorcerer who murdered her father, usurped his throne, and killed all her kin, she must find out how she can release the essence of the dragon inside her to defeat him. Everything depends upon her willingness to embrace her legacy and reclaim the Dragon Throne.

Excerpt from Dragonblood Throne: Legacy, by Tom Fallwell

Copyright © 2017 by Tom Fallwell – All Rights Reserved

Ignoring the two scribes fidgeting nervously behind him, Kargoth anxiously watched the cosmic tableau of the moons unfold in the darkened sky from his balcony. The rare, lunar eclipse was only moments away from its apex, the new moon phase of Tibel almost centered within the bright ring of Sianor behind it.

While he would never admit it, not even to himself, Kargoth was fearful as he waited to see if the prophecy was true, if there would be a sign indicating a dragonblood still lived in Almar. The words of that prophecy played continually in his mind as he waited with bated breath.

Ring of the heavens,

Ring shining bright.

Darkness the lesser

Than greater moon’s light.

When the ring glows bright

As the moons above turn,

Blood shows the sign

Of the dragons return.

A dragon reborn

From an innocent child.

The power will grow

As emotions run wild.

The dragon will rise

When all hope seems lost.

All evil will pay

The dragonblood’s cost.

The dragonblood comes,

The darkness will die.

The dragon wings spread

And the dragon will fly.

“Here it comes,” Kargoth said, never removing his gaze from the moons. “Now we’ll see if there is any truth to this prophecy.”

The scribes trembled, fearing their High Lord’s wrath, as Tibel firmly centered itself in front of Sianor. The light in the night lessened momentarily as Tibel covered much of Sianor’s full and bright splendor.

The slim circle of light around Tibel began to burn brightly, becoming a brilliant glowing ring in the night sky. For a moment, the scholars hoped that perhaps the prophecy was false, but a red glow began to fill the darkness of Tibel. It was as if some celestial being had poured a bowl of blood into the mold of the darkened Tibel, now glowing with a red, unearthly light. The eclipse became a white circle filled with a blood-red glow.

The prophecy was true! It was a sign of blood! Of dragonblood!

The scribes slowly backed away from the balcony in fear, anticipating the wrath of their lord. They could almost hear Kargoth’s rage brewing inside him as he suddenly turned on them, his steel eyes boring into their souls.

“It’s true! That beast, Jeraldin, had another child!” His anger turned on the two robed figures. “You should have known this sooner! You impotent cretins!”

He raised both hands in front of him, palms outward. The terrified scribes turned to run, but it was too late. A dark fiery energy streamed from both his hands, as jets of black, searing flame engulfed the two men. Their horrifying screams of agony echoed throughout the chamber and into the halls beyond as their bodies were consumed by the deadly power Kargoth had loosed upon them. Within seconds, only smoldering piles of ash remained on the floor.

Dropping his hands in frustration, a deep and tortured frown peeked from the shadows of his hood. Kargoth stormed toward the throne room door. “Guards! Guards! Get my generals! Now!”

Whoever this dragonblood was, Kargoth had to make sure they never lived long enough to be a threat to his power. He would scour the entire kingdom and find this dragonblood. He couldn’t allow one of their kind to live.



Early in life, Tom Fallwell discovered a love for fantasy and science-fiction, delighting in the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of. Weaned on the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, and Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called ‘Chainmail’, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love: the love of creating adventures and stories of his own. ‘Chainmail’ evolved into ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM) for decades. Such activities helped him develop his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that constantly fill his mind and shares them with the world.





Rangers of Laerean Series:

Dragonblood Throne Series:

Where to buy



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NYSSA GLASS & THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS by H. L. Burke – my review no.59


This book was recomended to me by a friend who knows my fascination with old houses and their secrets, and quirky stories balancing the thin line between fantasy and reality, and my friend was right – I like this book.

The plot is engaging and imaginative. The main character, the 16-year-old orphan girl Nyssa, is well-portrayed; you practically get the full picture on her character through action scenes of the first 2 chapters, and then some added info later. The story oozes with elaborate gadgets and the quirkiness of details (vehicles, clothes, machines) is both fascinating and scary. The author’s style is fluent, easy to read and well-edited, with no superfluous words, but the right amount of description and action. The use of artificial intelligence and robotics will probably be a thrill for the geeks among readers, although for me, it was their human aspect which interested me most. The infinite whatifs in the potential of AI combined with human character are clearly displayed in the story with many of their positive and negative effects.

Nyssa Glass is a very curious and skillful teenager, great with electrical gadgetry but slightly weaker in social skills, who has pulled herself out of her shady, thieving, troublesome past, only to be pulled back in through scheming,  blackmail, violence and, ultimately, her own curiosity. She is a witty survivor with a good heart, and the only thing I missed was a sidekick for her. In a way, I did get my wish, but that remains to be explained for those who read the story.  I even liked her fashion sense and can see her in a movie.

The villains got me curious and I wished we’d had a closer look at them, especially Albriet (I envisioned her as Eva Green for some reason), who showed such facets to behaviour and speech that I wished she’d hung in there longer. In fact, the author shows great potential in portraying characters, the proof of which is also the brief but important appearance of the benevolent Mr C., and I hope to see her balancing more characters in her stories in the future.

The house Nyssa is ‘investigating’ for some shady customers with iffy motives but convincing arguments, is truly a nest of nasty and formidable surprises and horrifying shocks (avoiding spoilers). The author toys with the everlasting idea of humans who play the Creator (just) because they can, with personal agendas which, even if understandable, should always be questioned before implemented into action, but never are (or are questioned too late). Dr Frankenstein meets SF is  a motive which keeps the author balancing the thin line between Dr Frankenstein and SF.

If you are a fan of steampunk, Nyssa Glass has quite a wide age span. The main character, gadgetry, tentative young love and quirkiness are attractive for younger audiences, although there is some adult content. Being a parent and teacher myself, I worried, throughout the entire second half of the book, what age group I would feel comfortable with reading this kind of a story, and this is what steered me away from awarding the highest rating. Certain gruesome details and the weird romance do need parental guidance and are not for the faint-hearted and impressionable younger teenagers. Adults will find the morality issues interesting, especially because most of it is not guided by financial greed, but parental love and how far would we go to save our own child. However, for the adults, the romance in the end is slightly weaker when compared to the rest of the story. This is a story Tim Burton would be interested in, and for a younger teenager it may be emotionally charged, so they might need a warning such as ‘do not try this at home’. Then again, warnings are usually invitations for teenagers anyway.

The discoveries Nyssa makes in the house and the culmination of the story logically lend themselves to a sequel, which already exists and will make fans happy, thanks to the author’s intelligent writing and creativity. Nyssa and her new companion, an utterly uncommon couple, slightly eerie though romantic, will undoubtedly go through many more adventures and it will be a thrill to follow for those who like steampunk, interlaced wih horror, romance, wit and technology.

Since I have been asked to write this review for Readers Review Room, I am happy to award it a blue worm, well-deserved by the author’s writing style and vivid imagination.

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A WHISPER IN THE SHADOWS, book 1 by Tom Fallwell – my review no.56

Author Tom Fallwell has created a dangerous, wonderful and intriguing world, right down to its calendar, history and scents. Fantasy fans will relish the detailed tapestry of characters, customs and lands in this story. True, paralels can always be drawn between our world and this one, but it is precisely why stories and fiction exist – to help us deal with reality. And what better way to find yourself than to lose yourself in fantasy once in a while!

You may wonder what exciting and mythical things may be in store for a bunch of rangers, but nothing is ever what it seems. Even the title of the book bears a mystery, soon discovered, but reaching its true potential in the very end (wait for it, as I am avoiding spoilers here).


Despite the apparent lack of spectacular events in the beginning (do not be intimidated by the geographical and historical data of Hir presented by the author at the start), the further I moved into the plot, the more I found myself wanting to read on. There is a steady pace of intensity, no huge epic battles in the first half of the book, not too many characters and creatures to get lost in, but enough to keep you interested and involved. I liked that. It is, after all, a ranger’s tale, not an elf’s or a king’s, so the slight down-to-earth feel to the story is natural. But do not think there is lack of magic, superhero courage or peculiar events and creatures. On the contrary! They are merely introduced with a sense of measure, not to overwhelm and drown the characters in ‘special effects’. What starts off as a simple rescue mission to save a kidnapped princess, soon develops into a myriad of complications and a world-threatening power struggle, selflessly suffered by the heroes and heroines.

The characters, in my opinion, are the true wealth of the story. The romantic couple is strong, each with a formidable personality and skillset. The chemistry set between Baric and Raimerestha (or Whisper) is instantly clear, and even predictable, but I love that sort of romantic notion, of a contrasting couple joined through turmoil.  Baric is an unassuming, strong and unavoidable hero, set in his ways but open-minded, whereas Whisper is wonderfully incomplete, unaware of her true potential and she grows throughout the story. Even the nickname is perfect!

“She looked over to Baric again. “I am not a warrior as you would consider. I fight from the shadows and with deception. Not face-to-face, as I am sure you do.”


This is really intelligent writing with attention to detail, not only in descriptions, but also the behaviour of characters. Here is an example.

“He could see the slight fluctuations of the irises in her eyes, the almost imperceptible twitch at the corner of her mouth. ”

The rangers and minor characters are all memorable and never overshadowed by magnificent and frightful beasts or magic. I truly enjoyed Tom Fallwell’s depiction of the mindset of the Rangers as they set out on a quest together. He manages to portray the brotherly pack mentality with loyalty and discipline, without wasting words. The Wolf-Bear relationship is one we expect and look forward to in adventure stories, and wish for in real life.

The creatures, architecture and nature are wonderfully painted, both fascinating and horrifying, and the action scenes are spectacular, especially as the story progresses. I found the scene of Baric fighting a lion particularly dramatic and almost movie like in its graphic quality. It might also make a good plot for a video game. What adds to the strength of the scene is the fact that it’s the first time Baric sees a lion and he is not on familiar ground. And this scene is only a hint of the cliffhanger moments to follow.

The author’s style gets better and stronger as you read on, as if he himself was more and more immersed in the story. The second half of the book, will have you biting your nails and hating to leave the book to go to work. It will make you dizzy and have you rooting for the characters, and leave you wanting for a sequel once you reach the ending.

I love a story which occasionaly has such powerful or lovely lines which don’t deter you from the story, but shine through and can even stand alone. One of my favourites is:

“she was having a hard time trying to act superior around a man that seemed not to care about such things.”

The main thing fantasy should do is make you feel as if you are there, make you want to follow the characters on their adventure, help them out and visit those worlds again. Tom Fallwell’s world has that inspiring, inviting quality. You can compare it to other famous fantasy authors – the key object being an item of ultimate power which must be destroyed, the brotherhood of rangers led by a tiny being to save the world, etc., but comparing does not diminish the strength this story carries within its own genre. Sometimes I even like to compare reading certain books to music. This one played out to me like Ravel’s Bolero. Slow and steady in the beginning, with a tumult of epic action and emotion in its second half. And the tune stays with you even when you set it aside. I can see this book read and analysed by fantasy geeks who will read and reread it in search of any flaws or timeline glitches, just as they do with the fantasy classics.

I am always in awe of authors and artists who manage to create a whole new world, with creatures, plants, laws, cultures, languages… True, it does all come down to the same good vs, bad principle, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy the diversity. I love the way Tom Fallwell’s main character Baric explains it.

“Baric just kept smiling. “They’re just people. Some people are good, some people are bad and some people just don’t care. Some feel superior, some feel inferior, but we’re all the same when you get right down to it. People are people, whether they have fur and sharp teeth, dark skin and pointed ears, short bodies and long beards, it’s all the same. There’s no one better than me, there’s no one lesser than me. We’re all equal. We’re all just … people.”

This review is written for the Readers Review Room, and it is my pleasure to award it a gold worm, the highest rating in that group. It started off as a blue, but, to my great joy, it really enthralled me and delighted me. This is  book I will gladly recommend to all fantasy and adventure fans, and read the sequels myself. Read it for yourself to make the most of the experience, and remember this quote from the book:

“Knowledge is the goal.
Wisdom is the key.
Ignorance can be deadly.
You can never know too much.
You will always know too little.
Seeking knowledge is a lifelong pursuit.”


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Truly enjoyed this fantasy adventure! Read my review here.

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Check this book out on lulu for only $0.99!

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Yo-ho-ho! The Good Pirate is active!

Yipppeeeeee and yo-ho-ho and oooooooh my! Big news! Just self-published another children’s book!

A good man goes pirate to marry the girl he loves;) – a positive book for kids! Extra activities added! (Paperbook coming soon!)
The Good Pirate e-book
(Other purchase sites by summertime)


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DRAGONFRIEND by Marc Secchia – my review no.15


Nothing better for a book-lover than to be given a book to read, especially one that is to our liking! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy of M. Secchia’s Dragonfriend. I love reading fantasy and am always in awe of authors who go iut of their way to create brave new worlds many of us would like to visit or live in. Knowing full well such magic only exists in books and movies, I readily grabbed the text and dove into reading.
From the very first chapter, thrilling and action-packed, you just love the heroine and will probably, just the way I did, devour the following pages, rooting for her and her dragonet friend (no more spoilers ahead, I promise to be very careful about that) throughout all their hardships and friendships. Whether you are a teenage fantasy fan or an adult with an adventurous heart, this intriguing story will lure you in from the start.
Spectacular landscapes, amazingly graphic action scenes, gorgeous descriptions with plenty of detail… My absolute favourite scenes are the ones in which the differences in the world, habits, traditions and capabilities of humans and mythical creatures are displayed, with so much humour, insight and emotion, that a proper fantasy fan will relish in every discourse line and every thought shared telepathically between the characters. In this kind of a book, I like to be able to feel the story with all my senses, and the author writes using them – he shares the sounds and silence, the scents and touch, and shows you what he sees, so you can be immersed in reading, just the way a good movie will do, and even better. 
I mean, if you don’t enjoy all that in a fantasy book, then how about majestic creatures described with such detail that you can imagine them in the room next to you, feel their breaths and hear their thoughts in your heads? Life-threatening situations which will have you gripping the covers or your readers till your knuckles are white? And if that doesn’t do the trick, a human girl in the midst of the battle of worlds with… oh no, no spoilers! Go ahead, read the book if you dare!
And then hope for the sequel soon, with the rest of the fans! Pure fantasy, with all the flavours you need in a great fantasy adventure!

Dragonfriend is available here:)