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!

  

                              

BLURB

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  

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.

Website: http://tomfallwell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomFallwell

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Fallwell/e/B00IV2JSJI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11303749.Tom_Fallwell

Rangers of Laerean Series: https://www.facebook.com/RangersofLaerean

Dragonblood Throne Series: https://www.facebook.com/DragonbloodThrone


Where to buy

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073SYDP68

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/735008

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Meet Anais Chartschenko

Here is a chance to meet a new author, both of books and music – ANAIS CHARTSCHENKO! Stepping out of our comfort zone is a challenge, and this lady faces it in her unique way.

Bio:

Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include two collections of poetry, Bright Needles and The Whisper Collector as well as a novel in verse, The Weightless One. 

Excerpt from The Weightless One


Reasons I Have To Stay

I was signed in, 

I have no choice.

They tell me 

My heart is failing.

They tell me

When you starve 

Long enough, your body

Starts to eat your muscles.

Your heart is a muscle. It becomes

Your unwilling dinner. 

They show me charts with

Low iron, low this and low that.

They tell me I need to take this

Serious. 

But it doesn’t seem real.

All that is real is my sudden

Total lack of control, total

Forced surrender, it feels 

So broken it can never be

Fixed- 

I can’t agree to any of these

Things. Not even when I 

Feel my heart forget a beat.

Not even when I’m hooked

To machines. 

Reasons I Should Get To Leave

I don’t count calories.

I don’t weigh myself.

I don’t obsess over models.

I don’t exercise.

I don’t take laxatives or

Diuretics. 

I don’t make myself

Throw up. 

I don’t care what you think.

I think for myself.

I’m not this, I still have

My period. 

Okay?

Little Fish

We lay in a tight row

Like sardines, 

Wrapped tight in

Blankets and thick

Fuzzy pajamas

Getting our blood 

Pressure checked

Lay down, and close

My eyes to the other

Girls’ gossip, they

Try to include me,

But I have nothing

To say in the morning

This is a strange torment,

Laying so close to the others

Trapped between laughter

And the talk of having to

Drink ensures or not,

Of having to go to an

Increased nutrition plan,

Of family therapy sessions

Coming at the end of the 

Week.


Doll
Kara began

Pulling out 

Her hair

Extensions

Bundles of 

Blonde lay 

On the floor,

Her lion mane

Alopecia found

“I’m sick of

 The lies!”  She

Twisted her

Face up her

Hands knotted

In hair

“Where did this

Come from?

I didn’t grow it!”

We watched 

In horror

We watched

Unable to

Look away

From her

Transformation

Underneath she

Was so small

Like a fragile glass

Doll,

Her features too

Large for her head

Her hair was only

A few inches long

Thin dirty dishwater

Blonde strands like

Weeds dried out 

In the sun

She smiled

She laughed

She burrowed

Her face in 

Borrowed hair

And

Cried. 

Books

The Weightless One

The Whisper Collector

Bright Needles

Music

Howling at the Moon: Live from my Living Room

Immigration

Social Media Links

Youtube     Facebook     Twitter      Website

Goodreads       Instagram      Amazon Page

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The Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick

This is indeed a treat – being able to introduce you to a great author and be part of her Blog Tour – so meet Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick! All the info is provided here about her new release. I hope you find her writing as intriguing as I do. I was fascinated by the intro to the series, her short story Safe Haven, and am currently readint The Running Game, the first novel in the series. The Border Lines will definitely follow.

Synopsis

When the perfect job comes up, Charlie doesn’t think twice about taking it. This is the break he’s been looking for and nobody, not even the rest of his team, can persuade him otherwise.

The job means working for an old enemy and crossing the border into London. Both are risky, but Charlie has no idea how high the stakes really are. The team will have to confront their past, each other and a killer who is closer than they realize. But can they all make it out of the city alive?

“We all remember that kid in Piccadilly. That determined look he had on his face as he willed all those people to him. Just using his mind, he pulled them close then blew them all to pieces. It could be anyone. Your neighbour, your friend, your lover. Remain vigilant. Reachers are everywhere.”

Border Lines is the second book in L.E. Fitzpatrick’s Reachers series.

Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/ 

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/ 

Start with Book One, The Running Game

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes, and always be ready to run.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher, wanted by the government and the criminal underworld for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John have a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless crime lord, only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher… one of their own kind.

With the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

MY REVIEW FOR THE RUNNING GAME: (by Anita Kovacevic)

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GIGM1X8/ 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GIGM1X8/ 

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01GIGM1X8/ 

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01GIGM1X8/

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 x $10 Amazon Gift Card, 1 x signed paperback, The Running Game, 3 x ebook copy, The Running Game

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e3d66a100/ 

About the author

L E Fitzpatrick was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, but now lives in West Wales, with her family plus lots of dogs and cats. She manages an office, volunteers as a room steward for the National Trust and also supports independent authors as a proofreader and beta reader. She obviously has no spare time because of this, but if she did it would probably be invested in walking in the countryside and enjoying the peace and quiet.

L E Fitzpatrick published her first series Dark Waters in 2011 and is currently working on her Reacher series.

Interview

1. What’s your latest project?

I’ve been working on the Reacher series for a few years. The latest released instalment is Border Lines, which is book 2 in the series. I’ve got book 3 in draft and due to go off to editing soon. And all being well I’ll be working on book 4 in the forthcoming weeks. So basically my project is my Reacher series and it probably will be for a little while yet.

2. What is your favourite character among the ones you created?

I get asked this a lot and the answer is always the same: Roxy. Although he’s not the lead, he’s a great character to write, especially when things get dark. He adds a little bit of comedy relief, but there are many layers to his personality and each book uncovers something special about him. Whereas in The Running Game he was full of bravado and confidence, in Border Lines he’s much more vulnerable and repentant.

3. What has been the most difficult thing for you to write so far?

The most difficult thing to write is always blog posts. I have a blog and, as you will see from my last entry, I just don’t use it. I can sit and write for hours and hours when it’s a novel or a short story, but I am totally useless and creating anything snappy and interesting to read online.

4. How do you deal with criticism, promotional activities, editing/proofreading?

I would hope that, as I work as an editor and proofreader as well, I cope very well with the whole finishing process. In truth I quite enjoy it. Marketing is another story. I rely heavily on a great company called Eyes on Books, who I’ve worked with throughout the Reacher series. I’m just not marketing minded. And criticism, well I have a know it all 8 year old who is smarter than me, so I’m subjected to a lot of criticism on a daily basis. You learn to grow a thick skin. And my key is to consider all criticism, if I agree with points raised then I’ve learned something, if I don’t, then I can disregard the feedback and it doesn’t get to me.

5. What are your writing plans for the future?

The Reacher series is my main focus at the moment, but I’m also hoping to do more with my Dark Waters fantasy stories. Ideally one day I’d like to write a kids’ book for my son, but with my current schedule he probably won’t get it until his twenties.

6. What makes you happiest in the writing process?

Each stage of writing has its own merits. I think when I’m undertaken a stage, be it first draft, fourth draft, editorial, it’s all pretty awful and I want to throw in the towel. But when I look back there are two drafts I really love; the first is second draft when I’ve got most of the story together and I can work on imagery and content, the other is the editorial stage, just because I love going through the text line by line (as you have probably guessed I don’t get out much).

7. What do people usually say about your writing?

The one thing everyone feeds back to me is my characters. I’m a character writer and if the characters don’t work the book falls apart. Particular in the Reacher series readers have favourites of the main four characters, which always amuses me. I hear a lot of “I’m a John fan” or “I’m more of a Charlie girl.” I love getting feedback like this and hearing what readers want for the future. Unfortunately the series is almost entirely planned out, so in many cases I know the readers won’t get what they want – but they’ll be surprised and hopefully delighted anyway.

8. If you didn’t write, would you try any other arts or crafts?

There is a part of me that likes to think I’m incredibly arty. I’m not. I can’t sing, dance, play, draw. The only thing I can do is graphics on a computer, which I have cobbled together for book promotions. Probably if I wasn’t writing books I’d be decorating them instead.

9. What was your favourite book when you were younger or a child? Why?

My all time favourite book as a kid was Pride and Prejudice. I read it in school. Then read it. And read it. And re-read it. And have several copies in case one goes missing. And why do I love it? Well as a teenager I was really taken with Elizabeth Bennet, who despite being of the weaker sex, was strong and determined and very witty. The connection between her and Darcy was electric and clever. I always felt they were on an equal playing field, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t be interested in each other.

10. Do you have any special promos, charity releases, appearances or book releases you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve got a few appearances this year. I’ll be attending the author signing event in Manchester in mid August. There’s Darker Side of Fiction event in Peterborough in October. Then in 2018 I’ll be heading off to the Titanic centre in Belfast for an amazing book event. Hopefully I’ll manage some events in Wales and hey, if anyone wants to invite me further afield I’m always happy to oblige.

Social Links

Website: http://l-e-fitzpatrick.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lefitzpatrickbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/L_E_Fitzpatrick

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/L_E_Fitzpatrick 

Excerpt
However long it took the greeting was always the same. Border watch stopped each car, surveying it with suspicion before checking the passes of the passengers. Babies to pensioners were inspected, their ID’s scanned and, if the border patrol took offence, they’d even strip search travellers in the street.

Rachel rapped her knuckles on the passenger seat as the car ahead of them started to move forward. This was closer than she had ever dared go to the border. There were stories about guards having scanners that picked up Reachers, even if that was a lie it still left her fake ID and the boot full of weapons to worry about. The urge to use her powers was overwhelming, but Charlie insisted they get through legitimately – well as legitimately as fake ID’s and a car full of weapons would allow.

She glanced at John as he drove forward. He was focused, but unconcerned with the task at hand. The brothers were used to crossing the border. They’d seen what it was like on the other side. She hadn’t even seen through the gates. The world she was used to was the one they were parked in – dirty, decaying, depressing. What could be hiding behind that concrete wall? How good was it on the other side?

It was their turn. Rachel followed John and Charlie’s lead, placing their hands on the dashboard and the front seat. Three border police circled their car. One ducked down to see underneath and, satisfied, they gestured that John slowly open the window.

“Passes,” the man ordered, shuffling his rifle back onto his shoulder.

Rachel handed the three fake passes to John, her heart racing. John handed them to one watchman to process, while another began his interrogation.

“Is this your first visit to London?”

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Average Daydreamer SNEAK PEEK

In honour of the weekend and best friends (missing some of mine:?), here is a sneak peek into the chapter-three intro of my chicklit work-in-progress, ‘AVERAGE DAYDREAMER’. Hope it brings a smile on your face…

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Chapter 3 – ROCK’N’ROLL

So the zumba lesson with Petra went pretty well! Although it was a bit too unstructured and wild for my personality, I did try to make myself enjoy it all the while, telling myself it would boost my immune system, make me feel good about myself and maybe make one of those ‘oh-I-wish-there-was-such-a-thing’ perfect guys notice me.

Feel good about myself I did, right until the moment I finally got the dance routine and stopped looking at the steaming hot blonde leading the course, so I could catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was so psyched into seeing the new Shakira-Priscilla shaking off the stress with sexiness, and oozing a sparkling cocktail of self-confidence, mischief and charm! Major letdown! My expectations and reality were such an oxymoron that it pained me to put it in thoughts, let alone words! So I’ll keep it brief here – my sexy just wasn’t happening. Period.

Petra was awesome – she was jamming all her pre-bridal enthusiasm into each move and hit that wretched beat every single time, like dotting her new married signature surname! I love her! She’s just the best pal you could wish for. True, as we shared an enormous salad afterwards (oh gosh, the beauty of colours I crammed into that veggie delish, topped with fresh basil to die for!), she did tell me off. You know, the strong, severe, friendly earbashing.

‘Be grateful for what you have and are, sweetie! Flaunt it! D’you know how many poor guys out there would die to spend an evening with you? And I mean, just dinner, let alone some action! You, my darling, are a catch! Gorgeous…’

I smirked and sniffed to disapprove, but she cut me off, grabbing me by the shoulders and staring me in the eyes so seriously it felt like she was about to tell me a state secret.

‘Gor-geous, working, single, talented, funny… When all our looks are gone, you have the qualities that last. Got it?’

‘Got it.’

I nodded sheepishly. It was better not to debate when she had that avengers-shield face on.
So she continued, tilting her head to emphasize a change in direction.

‘True, you can be too picky, stubborn, procrastinating, indecisive, opinionated and temperamental, and…’ She blinked and stopped.

I was holding the salad fork in my mouth like a lollipop and my eyes were bulging with bubbling tears, about to burst. If it had been my mum telling me off like that, I’d have contradicted her all the way. But Petra is a friend. Best. Ever. So I just swallowed a lump and took my penance.

She smiled as she continued, but her eyes still meant it.

‘… and sometimes I’d just like to kick you in the butt and lift your skirt up in public to embarass the hell out of you in the rush hour at the main city square or a hip shopping mall, and knock you off that high-horse pedestal seeking perfection from everybody… I’d let you fall off it and land into the arms of a sweaty, chubby butcher boy with a hygiene problem and mummy addiction, so you could pretend to be able to fix all his flaws and he could spends the rest of his life worshipping the ground you walk on.’
What a relentless lump of honesty! Boy, that was a huge one to swallow. I stared into her mouth and couldn’t believe such a tiny woman had so many words packed in her. I was still processing the images she planted in my head, but she went on.

‘There, I’ve said it! Now finish that salad so we can have some wine and agree on when we are going to go looking for my wedding dress!’

Ice-cream and wine followed. And it helped. I spent the night dreamless, subconsciously mulling over Petra’s honesty. Her talk-dishes were always served plain and simple, take it or leave it, with no thick dressing to cover up the fact that chicken was still just chicken. A cold-hearted, perfectionist, over-thinking chicken in my case! I was the one who liked to use dressing.

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Fingers crossed for Average Daydreamer. Planning to have her novel out by midsummer, so stay tuned♡

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Amazing!

After winning 3rd place as favourite indie novella in the Bottles&Books Reviews Annual Reader’s Choice Awards for 2015, The Threshold got nominated in 2 categories in the Summer Indie Awards by Metamorph Publishing
Proudly wearing my badge for my first book….

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To honour this challenge, I am sharing a sneak peek from The Threshold today…

Part 4 – THE HOUSE, THE OWNER & THE SHOW

‘Thank you for signing your contracts, girls and boys. Now if you’d just get your make-up and hair checked by Janet over there one last time, and Bob and the guys will fix your headcams, and then… we can get this show on the road!’

Sally’s voice and body were in their usual backstage-TV overdrive, as her left hand gestured the five candidates politely towards the crew, and her right hand collected all the five signed waivers, and tucked them safely under her arm, like a magician performing one of his skillful tricks. She backed up her actions with a professionally fake smile, known as ‘you’re-safe-we-know-what-we’re-doing’, and scurried to the van. Her eagle eyes scanned through the documents to check the signatures once more and then she put the wavers in the official Scott-stamped briefcase and locked them in the safe. Waivers – the impermeable protective shield Scott’s lawyers had concocted, sort of a reality show pre-nup contract which basically told the Fabulous Five this: ‘If anything happens to you, it’s your own fault!’ The ‘in case of death or disappearance’ clause was a particularly cynical, yet appropriate touch, with its ominous Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde ring to it. Sally secretly wondered if Scott had bought the rights to use that R. L. Stevenson quote…

Sally Jenkins was a 32-year-old divorced mum and ambitious producer. She didn’t mind being divorced at all. She had entered her marriage too immature, a complete mess of a person, a work in progress. During the marriage, she felt like moist washing powder tossed carelessly into the washing machine shaft, and sucked into the fast and noisy tumble-dryer. By the end of the marriage, she felt like leftover traces of that powder mash, splattered undissolved all over clothes like a proper nuisance, not really having done what it was supposed to have done, but still sort of there. Her 6-year-old son was her only secret treasure, bounced around on the rollercoaster of her love, her own mum’s care, the kindergarten and the occasional glimpses of the boy’s father, her distant ex-husband, passing through town. She had been working as a producer for a couple of years, but this reality show was her first really big break. Providing ratings were good, Sally was promised a nice bonus and even a considerable steady raise, and it would be so nice not to have to blush in the principal’s office because her ex failed to pay another monthly fee for their son’s preschool.

Her own life’s mediocre reality had long before ushered her easily into the insensitive world of reality shows, where she learned so much about the infinite universe of human stupidity, yet also became aware of the unbelievable knack some people had for survival. So if these five people were going to do whatever it was they were going to do, and were willing to sign a waver for it, then it was no skin off her back. They had their dreams, and she had dreams of her own. Securing her son’s education, buying a house of her own, getting her mum that new TV oven she kept talking about, and maybe even travelling some… so many dreams, so little money.

Sally was not particularly vane, but her job made her aware of how much attention people paid to a person’s outside image, so, before leaving the van, she quickly checked her figure in the mirror attached to the door. It encompassed her full figure, from head to toe, not that there was much to reflect. She was unusually petite, pale and extremely thin, borderline anorexic, and as flat-chested as no girl ever wanted to be, but she knew how to wrap herself into richly draped blouses, and she was wearing a white one just like that for this occasion. Giving birth had provided her with the only attribute she had going for her physically – her wide hips. No wonder she loved her tube-like, knee-long, tight red velvet skirt which showed off those hips. Her black hair was always in a pixie cut, really short and practical to maintain, with any cheap black dye brand, which she could apply herself whenever her grays started betraying her already bountiful life experience. She pinched her strong cheekbones for a natural blush. Making sure everything was in place, she stepped outside.

She locked the van, her set of a dozen or so metalic bracelets clanging away as she did so, and stashed the key on a silver chain, which she put around her neck and carefully hid under her blouse. Then she walked into the excited crowd, pasting the smile on her face and arching her back. Her cheap stilettos were killing her, but she knew how well they looked on footage, so pain was pushed aside along with her dreams, at least for the time being. The individual camera guys were already obeying the directors orders and running around, shooting preparations with dedication, as if they were making a documentary about obtaining world peace.

‘Well, you five, daydreaming away and no nose-picking. Let’s all get this party started,’ she cheerfully called the anxious candidates back as she approached the frontyard of the creepy house.

She was charming, but all work and no play, avoiding chit-chat with participants to spare herself the pain of attachment. She casually waved at the press and the fans, and the candidates imitated her actions. The crowd was loud and filled with all kinds of people, most of whom just had nothing better to do on a sunny day than observe other people fight over money.

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To read the rest, go to any major purchase site and look for The Threshold.

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Awesome Teasers – THE EYE OF THE MARES by Rocky Rochford

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Rocky Rochford is a prolific author, member of the #Awethors group, with an unstoppably strong creative streak. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing his dark and witty short story The Devil You Know, and am proud to be part of his blog tour introducing his new book. Enjoy the show!

PS: all materials used in this post have been graciously provided by Rocky Rochford himself.

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The Eye of Mares Blog Tour

To celebrate the release of the second instalment in the Rise of the Elohim chronicles, the Eye of Mares is going to blog hopping like a headlining rockstar, multiple showings for over the course of two weeks, with a new page shared with each appearance, continuing from where the last one went off and today I get to host the latest page:

The Eye of Mares – Part 5

…has matters of great importance to discuss.” The dragon turned human replied.
“Then let us go to him,” Shimay called back in response.

“No, not you, Shimay, he only wants us. You know, the Shanzi that matter.” The dragon, Mongra, burst out laughing. His brothers joined in before the three of them departed quickly, turning to clouds of shadows that disappeared from sight.

Gremora turned to Shimay and looked at him angrily. “Your tongue is getting careless, Shimay. You swore to serve Darkari to the very end. You took an oath and you will honour it.”

“I was born the day our race came to be. Not many a Shanzi here can boast such a thing, not you and not Darkari.” Shimay hissed. He was one of the oldest Shanzi to exist and one of the first to wage war on Oceania.

“A fact you remind me of often, but you are not the same as you were then. When you pledged allegiance to Darkari, you gave him most of your strength, as did the others who choose to follow him. He is your Master now and source of life. You can either serve him willingly and see Oceania become ours, or be made to serve him. You forfeited your choice a long time ago.”

Shimay glared at the Shanzi Warlock, only to watch him turn into a cloud of shadow and go join his fellow Generals and King.  Now alone, Shimay opened his mouth and let out a deafening roar of rage.

****Here concludes todays Page****

Be sure to check out the continuing blogs to watch the story continue, or pick up a copy direct from Amazon: The Eye of Mares – Out now!
You could even let the adventure continue and check out its prequel, where the story began and the series was created: The Spirit of Iris – Out now!

****Book specifics****
Author: Rocky Rochford
Illustrator: Ashleigh Longman
Title: The Eye of Mares
Series: Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles
Genre: Illustrated YA fantasy adventure
Book Content Rating: Suitable for ages 12 and up
Tag-line: “Darkness has many forms and Mares is its playground.”

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Blurb:

Nearly four years have passed since Zach drew blade against the Shanzi Shimay and now the time has come for him to draw his sword once more. The Realm of Mares has fallen victim to invasion as three terrifying beasts of darkness, seek to destroy the world around them, as they await the inevitable arrival of their King.

With dark times ahead, the numbers of the Watchers on Iris has grown, as Zach is joined by seven fellow students, all too eager to prove their worth. It’s not long before the students are put to the test facing off against the Nein Navy and uncover a dark secret.

The stage is set and the Battle for Mares is under-way.

Rocky Rochford Biography

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Rocky Rochford is your standard guy, if your standard guy scuba dives, partakes in underwater photographer and is a wake-boarding, adventure seeking, sword collecting, marine conservation supporter. After living life on the road and the places between, he finally settled down but not without benefiting from all the lessons life had to teach him.

Self-professed “Student of Everything, and Master of Nothing,” Rochford does not choose what he writes, but writes what chooses him, be it fantasy, crime, poetry, philosophy or even adventure. Life is a journey we all get to experience, just like a good book.

Every read into another of his typed works is another trip into the imagination of his mixed up, crazed and deranged mind and this year along those works include the likes of full novels and novellas such as:

London Calling – a Deep Water Novel (Spy Thriller)
Don’t Even Blink – Part of the Don’t Turn Around Trilogy (Horror)
Wait and Bleed – The Don’t Turn Around Collection (Horror collection of the entire Don’t Trilogy)
And now The Eye of Mares – Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles (Illustrated YA fantasy adventure)

Other works released by him, are a number of short stories pertaining to horror, paranormal and romance, as well as other works released as part of an anthology:
The Devil You Know (Paranormal short)
Salt in the Wound – Part of the Entwined Saga (Paranormal short)
The Food of Love (featuring Him & Her) – An Anthology by Solstice Publishing (Romance filled Anthology)
Him & Her (Romance Standalone release)
Don’t Say A Word (Horror)
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Volume II (featuring The Devil Before) – An Anthology by the Solstice Shadows (Paranormal themed Anthology)
Awethology Dark (featuring Ghosts) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme)
The December Awethology Dark Volume (featuring Seven Years Bad Luck) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme, set around December)

****Welcome to the World of Rochford****
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Social Media Links:
Rocky Rochford’s website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon page

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Rochford writes a little something for everyone, so if Mares isn’t your cup of tea, you can guarantee one of his many other works certainly is!

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Awesome Teasers – HORRORS by Suzi Albracht

This was a tough one – Suzi Albracht has a triple set of horror books, and it is almost Halloween…

WARNING: This is not for the faint-hearted or language-sensitive! Suzi is a real horror writer!

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Author’s Bio

I love to write horror thrillers with intense personal relationships between characters. I started reading earlier in life than most of my friends and spent many hours hidden in closets and under beds, sneaking in just another ten minutes of whatever book I was reading. As soon as I was old enough, my mother would send me to the library to pick up books for her. This delighted me because it opened up a whole new world of books not available in school.

I read everything I could get my hands on but was drawn to sci-fi, horror and thrillers. As I matured, I would say my main influences became Stephen King, Dean Koontz and William Faulkner. My writing definitely reflects those influences.

I can honestly say my twitter bio describes me to a T – Write, scare myself, turn all the lights on, write some more. Take a break, play pool, kick butt/get butt kicked, go write more horror, double lock door.

To reach me regarding my book (s) or to just say hello (please, no spam), email me at SuziAlbracht@aol.com or tweet me on Twitter: @SuziAlbracht.

Send me an email if you want to be alerted of new book releases.

Links:
Death Most Wicked
Scorn Kills
The Devil’s Lieutenant

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Excerpt from The Devil’s Lieutenant

Mikael palmed the Walther and started across the street. He was ten feet out when he thought he heard the smallest sound, a clicking noise, metal on metal. He turned to look but he didn’t see anyone or what could have caused the noise. His heart fluttered and skipped a beat. Mikael shook it off. He told himself to focus on getting the hell of there.

His car was a block and a half down the street so he picked up his stride. He was worried enough that he pulled his one remaining vial from his pocket with his free hand. The vial was nearly empty. He prayed there’d be enough if that noise turned out to be what he thought it was.

The noise came again, this time louder. Now there was no doubt, someone was taunting him.
Of course, it was them. But how did they find him? He had covered his tracks the entire day. He wondered who they sent this time. He hoped it’d be a new one. They were the easiest to handle.

Keeping to the dark side of the street, he did a low jog toward his car. He transferred the vial to his gun hand and fumbled around in his pocket for his keys, found the leather tab and pulled on it. They clattered to the pavement. Jesus, he was acting like a rookie. Mikael fell to his knees, fumbling around on the pavement. Where the hell were they?

Then the footsteps came. They were slow, deliberate and male.
The bastard was toying with him. It had to be someone he knew. A new one would be more careful. A name flashed through his head. No, it could not be him. He didn’t dare to look. Mikael focused on finding those damn keys. There they are. He snatched them up and sprinted the last few feet. Fumbling the keys into lock on the driver’s door, impatiently he pulled on the latch until it gave and he ripped the door open.
Mikael chanced a quick look back. And then he saw him. The bastard was marching out of the shadows. Tossing a red vial up in the air and then snatching it out of thin air, over and over.

His vial! No. He must have dropped it when he dropped the keys. No. No.
Mikael scrambled into his car and locked the doors. He shoved the keys at the ignition but his hand shook so hard he couldn’t get the car key into the ignition slot. When he finally jammed them in, the car roared to life. He tried to position the Walther on his lap but it slipped off his thigh and clunked onto the floorboard near his feet. He reached to grab it but the damn thing was stuck on something.

Come on Mikael, grab the damn Walter and shoot the bastard’s face off. Jesus, what’s wrong with you? This is nothing new. You’ve faced death many times. Shoot him before he tags you.
Something crashed against his window, shattering the glass. The car’s alarm system screamed. Splintered glass exploded into the car.

A meaty ham hock of a hand reached through the driver’s window and grabbed the collar of his jacket.
An inhuman screech pierced the air… it was moments before Mikael realized that it was his screech.
Mikael shouted aloud to himself, “Get a grip. Fight back. Damn it. Fight back.”

Still he was frozen, unable to act as he had been trained. Finally, he forced himself to consider the potential implications for his son. Did he want the bastard coming for Ivan? Because that’s exactly what the bastard would do if he thought it might get him leverage with the Master. That thought pushed Mikael into high gear, kicking in his training.

Mikael pulled away. He grabbed the first thing he saw and threw it at the attacker. The attacker cursed and then laughed. Then Mikael realized that he had thrown his dinner leftovers from the Corner Stable at him. While his attacker laughed in the background, Mikael started to scramble over the gearshift to the passenger side of the car. He had one leg on the other side of the gearshift knob, when he was dragged back across the seat by his shirt collar.

Mikael was unable to twist his neck enough see where to aim, but he threw a wild punch over his head. Miraculously, he felt his fist connect to something solid. The blow must have hit a vulnerable spot because his attacker grunted and loosened his grip on Mikael’s collar. He head other sounds that suggested that the attacker staggered backwards a step. Mikael took his chance and shrugged out of his jacket. It flew out the window.

Moments ticked by without another movement toward him so Mikael decided the man was either reconsidering his options, or had accomplished his mission. Meanwhile, Mikael searched for his gun. He got his fingers on the butt of the gun but it wouldn’t budge.

“Mikael… Mikael,” The voice spoke his name with his native accent, taunting him.
“Did the old man send you or did you come on your own?” Mikael managed to wiggle the Walther to one side but whatever it was hooked on wouldn’t give.
“Why does it matter? You know what you’ve done. Tick tock, Mikael. Tick tock.”
Mikael knew then that his attacker wasn’t going to grab him again, so Mikael gave up on getting the gun loose. He rammed the gearshift into drive.

“Tell him you failed, asshole. Next time, I’ll send you to hell,” Mikael snarled out the window.
The man didn’t follow. It didn’t matter, he’d be coming after him on another night.
As he raced away, Mikael felt something on his face. He glanced in the rearview mirror. Without a doubt, there was movement just under his left eye. Was it a twitch? It had to be.
It moved again, this time near the side of his nose. His eyes froze on the movement. Jesus, it was real. It was happening.

And then Mikael’s face settled back into normalcy. He decided it must have been his imagination. The stress of the attack had caused his imagination to run wild.
Well, he was done fooling himself. This attack proved to him that they weren’t going to let him leave. When they came for him again, they would not find a sniveling coward making mistake after mistake.
He’d have to kill his way out or die.

(All materials used in this post with permission by the author)

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Awesome Teasers – RATATATAT by LG Surgeson

An absolutely exclusive preview of Ratatatat by LG Surgeson… (If you want to see it published, see voting link below:)

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Bio

LG Surgeson is a teacher and a writer who lives in a cottage by a stream in the wilds of Mid-Wales with her 2 cats and her long suffering partner. She blogs about education and mental health and writes fantasy and fiction stories in the spare time she creates by ignoring the housework and not sleeping properly. Her cats like to help; they aren’t very good at it.

Links

Voting link
FB
Twitter: @LGSurgeson
Amazon
Goodreads

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Book Excerpt – Ratatatat by LG Surgeson

Clara was in charge of gathering up their harvest greedily and shoving it into four potato sacks that she had brought for this very purpose. She had a good eye for what would sell.

“I feel almost bad,” said Min tugging the combs out of the woman’s mahogany locks, “She was actually lovely.”

“You’re not turning soft I hope?” grunted Angel who was trying to heft the woman’s skirt free without touching the body.

“I said almost,” returned Min looking a little wounded, Angel didn’t notice.

“You know what,” said Luce, cutting the lacing on the corset with a single run of her blade, “this is the best scam yet.” She watched the whale-bone and fabric relax as the tension suddenly released.

“They silk?” said Clara distractedly pointing to her stockings. Angel gingerly ran a rough finger over the sheer white fabric and nodded,

“She’s even got matching garters, with pearls on.”

Angel sounded disgusted. Of all of them, she was the only one who actually despised the rich. The other three just saw themselves as wealth farmers, harvesting the ripe pickings from whichever unwitting soul came their way next.

“Right,” said Clara, “let’s have ‘em. She’ll do in her chemise and bloomers, unless they’ze silk an’ all.”

“Nope, just cotton,” snorted Min, as she took the fine gold chain from around the slender neck, ” She can find out what it’s like to walk on this alleyway without any shoes on.” Min had been quick to shove her own feet back into the stiff boots she had proudly re-appropriated during the last plague.

“I swear,” said Luce, checking that nothing had been missed before they rolled her on to her back, “if Min ever grows breasts we’re in trouble.”

“If I ever grow breasts,” retorted Min handing three rings to Clara, who stuck them in the least wholly sack.  “I’m going on the game. It can’t be much different from this.”

(All materials used here with author’s permission)

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Awesome Teasers – STAR STRUCK by Karen Mossman

Sharing another exclusive excerpt – this time from Star Struck by Karen Mossman. Don’t forget to help your favourite authors by leaving a rating and review on purchase sites, Goodreads and various book clubs. Reviews help independent authors get their voices heard!

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Author’s Bio:

Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grand father and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a great, great grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to have gone into the fiction market.

Karen has been writing for many years, but had not pursued it professionally. However in 2013, she found herself redundant from her job and decided to write full time. “Putting together collections of short stories was exciting as I didn’t think my writing would ever reach a wide audience,” she said.

She hopes to add to her short story collection and will have a novel available for kindle in the near future. Karen is also a proud contributor to the upcoming anthology of stories which will be published by #Awethors – Awethology. Watch out for her short story called Down by the River, inspired by Richard Mark’s song called Hazard.

Links:

Facebook 
Twitter – @KarenJMoss
Google+
Goodreads.com 
Website
Amazon

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Extract from Star Struck which is set in the 1980s

Jalo’s was a vast place inside, a mass of coloured lights and mirrored pillars. A big circular dance floor, slightly raised, slowly turned. It had mirrors round the sides, which collected reflections and shot beams of colours round the room. There was a long bar across one wall with a mirror stretching the full length above it.

“Very nice,” said Joanna, taking it all in.

The place was already filling up, but as Solly had said earlier, it never got too crowded because of its size.
“What would you like to drink?” asked Jack.

“Lager for me,” Joanna said absently, as she watched people dancing as the floor moved and sparkled.
“Anything for me, surprise me,” said Sandie.

The lads went off to the bar and Sandie picked up the beat of the Duran Duran and headed for the dance floor.

Unconsciously, the sisters had dressed similarly. Joanna was wearing a short pink skirt and Sandie was in a short yellow one. Their tops were similar too, in contrasting colours and with wide shoulders. Sandie had back-combed her long hair till it was full around her face and she wore a scarf as a hair band. Joanna had moved her ponytail to the side of her head, wrapped it in a pink tie-dye, and let it fall in a long loose drape, to move with her hair.

Joanna knew that being with each other made them both feel good; they felt strong because they were a unit that fitted together. They didn’t need to say things because they understood each other so well. Quite often they would say one thing, but each knew they meant something else entirely.

Occasionally, as they danced, their eyes met and a smile played on their lips. They were aware they looked good and that people watched them together and they liked the way that made them feel.

After dancing to Flock of Seagulls and Richard Marx, they came off the dance floor and joined the lads, who had been watching them too. Jack handed them their drinks.

“Let me guess,” said Sandie, sniffing the glass before tasting it. “Martini?” Jack nodded.

“Are you both dancers, then?” Solly asked Joanna. Sandie was a showgirl who worked in the theatre.

“Oh no, I’m just a shop assistant,” she said leaning close to him so he could hear above the music.

“Just? There is no only just, as far as jobs are concerned.”

“Why, aren’t you working?”

“Not at the moment,” he said, taking a mouthful of beer. Joanna noticed he preferred the handled glasses and a beer with no head, whereas at home, the lads liked a straight glass with a good head of beer.

“What do you do?” she asked.

He leaned down a little closer, “I do anything and everything. I’m a builder by trade, but I’ve been working at the Newmarket Theatre, been building sets recently.”

“So why aren’t you now?”

“I left.”

“Walked out or sacked?”

“Disagreement with the stage manager.”

“What happened?” asked Joanna curiously.

“I belted him.”

“What!” She gasped and laughed.

“There are some new offices going up on the Tottenham Court Road, I have a mate there who says he can probably get me in.”

“Well, there’s confidence for you.”

Solly took another mouthful of beer and shrugged half-heartedly.

“So why did you belt the stage manager, then?”

He narrowed his ice-blue eyes. “What are you so bleeding interested for?”

Joanna laughed, “Oh stop being so serious, I’m making conversation, that’s all.” She drained her glass.
“Do you want another?”

She nodded and handed it to him.

As she watched him go to the bar, Sandie tapped her on the shoulder. “Do you want to dance again?”
Joanna found herself chatting to Solly for most of the evening after that. Sandie stuck with Jack, Woody flitted between Jack and Solly, and John went off with a dark-haired girl.

Somewhere around her sixth glass of lager, Joanna realised she was tipsy, and Solly was most willing to keep them coming. The alcohol had loosened both of their tongues and Joanna found herself flirting outrageously with him. After all, she was a free agent now. Solly seemed very receptive and they were both giggling about something when Sandie came over and asked if she wanted to go the toilet, which of course meant that she wanted to talk.

The toilets had four cubicles and a mirror that ran just above a shelf, with stools fastened to the floor all along. Coming out of the cubicles, they washed their hands and sat down to touch up their make-up and hair.

“I would watch that Solly if I were you,” said Sandie, as she re-applied her mascara. “Why?” asked Joanna, smudging in more blusher with a finger.

“He has a bad reputation.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s got a fast temper, I’ve heard. He likes to use his fists. I’d watch him Jo, if I were you.”

Getting out her hairbrush, Joanna ran it vigorously down her ponytail.

“How do you know, have you seen him?”

“Well no, but Jack’s been telling me.”

“You don’t want to listen to gossip, Sandie, you should know that.”

“I’m just watching out for you, that’s all. After everything that’s happened, I don’t want you to get hurt again.”

Setting down the brush, Joanna looked at her through the mirror. “I’ve only just met the guy. I like him. I know you’re only looking out for me, but I just want a bit of fun.”

“That’s what I want too, but just be careful. I know what you’re like, too.”

Joanna gave her a wicked grin and left.

(All materials used here with permission from the author)

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Awesome Teasers – THE KOTA by Sunshine Somerville

Representing books by a fantastic group of #Awethors…

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Author bio:

Sunshine Somerville lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She self-published her first book in college in 2004 and has been evolving The Kota Series since she was nine, basing the story on childhood fantasies derived from watching too much X-Men and Star Wars and reading too much Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time. Besides writing, her creative outlets include painting and making feature-length, spoof movies.

She would like to point out that, yes, this is her real name.

Links:

Website
Amazon
Facebook
Twitter

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The Kota – teaser extract

Why does anything happen the way it does? Because a grand purpose works in everything. Unfortunately, mankind ceased long ago to trust a grand purpose. In trust’s place we wanted control.

As I look back on our past achievements, I wonder why we did it to ourselves. I wonder why the bloodshed, the destruction, or the terror of war had to be. Perhaps the most troubling fact I see is that there is no single point in time that can be scrutinized and blamed. Our fate built upon itself throughout our entire race’s existence, and each generation’s bite of the forbidden fruit brought us closer to hell on earth. Throughout time, we strove to know too much and then to abuse what we learned. We refused to be what we were meant to be, and we tried to control our destinies by taking each moment into our own hands. The whole of our history seems to be filled with more pain than was needed, but, as a species, we fought what was meant for us and decided for ourselves how life should be. We did not appreciate that we were part of a bigger plan. We tried to control life.

On the fortunate side of things, we were never abandoned. An age once existed when miracles flowed freely to guide us, but in these latter days the miracles diminished as man grew bolder in his rebellion. Through it all the grand purpose kept ticking, and the miraculous was never taken away, only hidden. We thought we were on our own, but we never were. We were given hints and helps, but it was largely up to our finite minds as to how we interpreted their meaning. The grand design always allowed our choices of will to play a part in the workings of fate. That is the greatest blessing of the grand purpose – we are never left without a choice. Just as we are given the freedom to choose evil, so we are given the freedom to choose good. Free will can bring us to dust as a species, but it can also bring us to redemption. We are given the power to change mankind’s daily fate for better or for worse, and we are never abandoned in this choice.

Despite the miracles offered to generation after generation, mankind still chose to live as we saw fit and ignore anything outside ourselves. Think back. The conduct of Cain and Abel was not a one-time occurrence, nor was that of Romulus and Remus or the Karamazov brothers. Two brothers formed into different races so that, in the end, the races didn’t even remember they were of the same blood. Each man ran to his own corner of existence, forming his own world and calling all others alien. We repeatedly abused every gift given to us and yet scorned those who came before us for doing the same.
Mankind as a whole chose to continue down this road of self-destruction and ignore – no, worse than that – defy faith in anything beyond our control. I accept as true, also, that somewhere in the back of our minds we never really believed we would get what we deserved. But, we have always created our own destruction. However stupid we were, free will was always given. Even as our world crumbled under our pounding fists, man still had the twisted right to destroy himself. So, we were at last allowed to take life from ourselves.

I myself am not immune to man’s pride, but I’ve been blessed with objective hindsight in ways you cannot yet imagine. This is why I am recording this history: I know that, however far we have fallen from what we were meant to be, there is always a grand purpose behind everything, and it works for our benefit if we follow its path. Specifically, this record will highlight the story of some who accepted and followed what the rest of mankind cast aside. These flawed heroes were given a choice, and the grand purpose worked itself out through them in miraculous ways. So, I hope to give you a glimpse of how and why this particular history of these particular heroes played out as it did – there was more to what happened than what was in their hands.

Learn from their lives. Above all, remember not to control life. Trust, and let whatever happens happen.

(All materials provided here with author’s permission)

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