New Release: The Troll Bridge – A Captivating Fantasy

A witchling child befriends a troll boy and changes the fate of a kingdom.

fantasy, kindle unlimited,My new fantasy novel, The Troll Bridge, is finally out! This captivating fantasy was an absolute joy to write. I channelled my enthusiasm for all the gorgeous fantasy novels of the 1980s and 1990s. Think of the magic of Robin McKinley and Patricia C Wrede, for instance.

The Troll Bridge is only 99c for a full-length novel (although it’s not one of those huge fantasy novels that in paper form can double as doorstops). It’s also available in Kindle Unlimited.

Buy link:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VRR76K

Blurb

A witchling child befriends a troll boy and changes the fate of a kingdom.

Trolls aren’t born. They’re made, and they fight for the kingdom of Adynn. They are its first and fiercest protectors, guarding the roads into the mountain kingdom.

When young Morgana befriends a newly made troll boy and names him Peter, she unwittingly reveals her magic to his creator. Sorcerer Veritas removes her from her remote village to the School of Sorcery. There she will learn to cast spells and forge charms, but she’ll also learn the high price of friendship, and the reality that someone with her magical ability will always be a target for others who seek power.

War is coming to the kingdom of Adynn. The Vlad Empire, with its death magic and slaves, is closing in. Morgana will be trained as a war wizard, but in her heart she resists the role. She doesn’t want to fight and she refuses to kill. So Sorcerer Veritas will provide a little motivation.

A powerful story of friendship, magic and high adventure.

Excerpt (from Chapter 1)

A green willow tree leaned over the stream at the northern edge of our village. Its reflection shimmered in the water, mayflies darting above it. At five years old, the beauty of the scene made little impression on me. I was more interested in practical matters. I crawled beneath the willow’s branches and smiled to find myself inside a small green “cave”. Here, I was safe from sharp eyes and bossy people who might scoop me up and carry me back to the inn and my da.

Adventures shouldn’t end with a parent’s disinterested disapproval.

I kicked off my shoes and peeled off my stockings, stuffing them into the shoes and abandoning both against the willow’s trunk. “Look after them, please.” I patted the tree.

According to village gossip, my mother had been a witch. Since she’d died giving birth to me, I’d never met her, but perhaps there was some truth to the rumor. Certainly, the world felt alive to me in a way that the other village children couldn’t understand. So I talked to the willow and I sang to the stream, and then, I darted out from the willow’s protection and ran barefoot along the muddy bank to the old stone bridge that I’d been forbidden to visit.

The bridge hadn’t been forbidden territory until last week. But that was when the sorcerer came. It had been a day of marvels and whispers. People had stared and pointed, but none had gotten close to the tall, gray-bearded man in his shiny blue robe. Except for my da, who’d served the sorcerer ale as if the wizard was no different to other men. Da had even taken time to discuss the weather.

The village had been awed by Da’s daring, and proud of him.

I’d sat on my low chair by the inn’s massive hearth. It had been one of those terrible spring days when the wind had hurled rain as if regretting the loss of winter. I’d been glad to be beside the crackling fire with a book open on my knees, pretending to be absorbed in the Bible stories.

I enjoyed an haphazard upbringing with the inn’s barmaids caring for me when they remembered. One had taught me the alphabet. Reading had happened naturally from there, and Da had bought me the book from a passing peddler. Perhaps he’d had some notion of countering the magic that ran through my veins with religion. But as I would learn, magic and religion could go hand in hand.

The sorcerer had chosen our remote village, tucked up against the Sighaway Forest with rolling farmland stretching to the south and east, as the sight for a nursery bridge. After he’d drunk his beer and enjoyed crusty bread fresh from the bakery and lavishly smeared with forest honey, he’d addressed the gathered villagers and explained matters.

Our stone bridge to the north would serve as the first bridge for the new troll the sorcerer intended to bring into the world.

Unlike humans, trolls aren’t born. They’re created out of stone by sorcery. What I hadn’t known was that they began existence as tiny trolls and grew. The sorcerer explained that each time someone crossed the northern bridge they would need to pay the young troll a toll. Unlike the grand trolls on the king’s highways, the toll wouldn’t be paid in money, but in stones. A pebble would do. What mattered was that the young troll was paid and acknowledged for his service in guarding the small bridge.

The villagers nodded assent, disregarding the fact that the bridge had survived for years without being guarded. This wasn’t about the bridge. This was about serving the sorcerer and King Ulryk by providing a nursery bridge for the troll. So the villagers agreed, the sorcerer created his tiny troll and departed, and the village quietly banned its children from going near or ever crossing the northern bridge.

I squelched through the mud, delighting in the way it squished between my toes as I crept to the shadow of the bridge. A trout leapt and splashed back into the stream. Tadpoles darted in the shallows. I squinted ahead. I’d never looked beneath the bridge before. I was more accustomed to standing on it and hanging over the side, playing the ever-popular Poohsticks, which isn’t as stinky as it sounds.

A group of us kids would drop sticks simultaneously from the upstream side of the bridge then turn and race to the other side—admittedly, only two steps for the bigger kids—to see whose stick emerged first downstream.

“Hello?” I called quietly.

The strange shape beneath the bridge rolled out and faced me.

I saw my first ever troll.

Buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079VRR76K

Happy Valentine’s Day! Free Books, Book News & So Much More!

It’s been a month since my last newsletter. I seem to have sprinted out of the blocks this year and not stopped to catch my breath. Well, writing-wise. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t run, not even from a fire-breathing dragon 😉

So, how are you? I hope 2018 is treating you well so far. It’s summer here, which means I hug my air-conditioner and praise it. May its chill live forever 🙂 Although thankfully this summer has been mild…yeah, I’m in shock, too!

My new fantasy novel, the one that was a secret project for a while, will be out in just a few days. No link yet – sorry! – but I’ll email you when it releases. The Troll Bridge is simply lovely. Writing it brought me back in time a few decades to the fantasy quests of the 1980s and 1990s.

I have a ton of fabulous book promotions in this post, including free books, so please scroll down. And if you’re waiting on The Ceph Sector, it will be out soon. It’s just that galactic politics are complicated and that delayed the book 😉

What does it take for a troll boy to grow into a man?

Valentine’s Day Speculative Fiction Romance Sale

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Snap up free and 99c science fiction and fantasy romance (including paranormal romance) until February 15. Don’t miss the great titles in this Valentine’s Day bouquet!

Link:  http://smschmitz.com/promo

Romance Book Fair! February 14-18

An intriguing mix of gorgeous romance novels, each 99c from February 14-18 (please, double-check before you one-click since Amazon sometimes does something weird to prices).

Browse the books here: http://irisblobel.com/bookfair/

Sexy Shifters – Magic Books!

The Sexy Shifters paranormal romance book fair runs till February 21. Invite some wild magic into your ereader 😉 The books are 99c during the promotion.
Link:  http://magicbookdeals.com/promo/sexy-shifters/

Fantasy & Magic Books in Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited has rescued my book budget. I read a book a day, and borrowing books in Kindle Unlimited lets me do that without having to visit a library or destroy my credit card. The challenge is to find books I enjoy in the huge array.

Fantasy and Magic Books is one of the sites I use to track down new and new-to-me books in Kindle Unlimited, and they currently have their February recommendation page up. Check it out here:  http://www.fantasyandmagicbooks.com/kindle-unlimited/

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Other Books

For those who haven’t read my sweet short western romance, Kiss Me, Quick, it’s free till February 17 on Amazon. Link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SF98CEE/

Secondhand bookstores and thrift shops used to be my happy hunting ground for old novels, but so many of my favourite decades-ago authors’ books are now available as ebooks that it’s temptingly easy to simply add them to my kindle.

If you look around, Project Gutenberg ebooks are available free on Amazon, like A Girl of the Limberlost  or Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter. But if you have a few dollars to spare then there are other options, too. Angela Thirkell’s mid-twentieth century British landed gentry novels are available as ebooks, now; like High Rising. Although, if you’re going to read anything from that era, my vote is always for the genteel thriller, The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham.

Speaking of classic books and authors, this article on Mark Twain and his wife’s love story is perfect for Valentine’s Day:  https://theconversation.com/mark-twains-adventures-in-love-how-a-rough-edged-aspiring-author-courted-a-beautiful-heiress-90739

And now, I really have to stop rambling so that you can go book browsing. Happy reading! Don’t forget The Troll Bridge will be out in just a few days.

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So Many Books! Plus News, Including a Secret Revealed!

If you need to fill your new kindle (I have an old kindle, but I still rush to fill it) then there’s some great promos in this newsletter – and some have awesome prizes attached. Good luck!

Also, if you scroll down to the end, there’s a tiny snippet from The Ceph Sector, which will be out in February.

And a secret project revealed.

Which reminds me! It’s time I got back to work 🙂

The Wolf Pack Freebie Feast, January 9-13

Grab these fantastic paranormal romances FREE January 9-13.

Wolf Pack Freebie Fest:  http://wolfpackauthors.com/wolf-pack-freebie-fest-jan-2018/

The Wolfpack Freebies! Giveaway January 9-13

Win an Amazon giftcard! Entry details:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdR8cPO1L6xDeNOmv2bAYyeMVBJKTp9I1673EOxYMk3JNqiAA/viewform

Kindle Unlimited SFF Bonanza for January

You can find some great scifi novels in Kindle Unlimited. This January, the SFF Bonanza showcases a few: http://sffbookbonanza.com/kindle-unlimited-jan-2018/

Plus SFF Bonanza has a chance for you to WIN a Kindle Paperwhite! Contest: http://sffbookbonanza.com/kindle-giveaway-jan-2018/

Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy in Kindle Unlimited

Check out these amazing Kindle Unlimited Reads! Link:  http://magicbookdeals.com/kindle-unlimited/uf-and-pnr-jan18/

ONE HUNDRED Authors are giving you the ultimate collection of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Books all available to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription! Stop by and pick up a bunch of new stories to enjoy!

The Ceph Sector Snippet

ceph sector, space opera, scifiromance, kindle unlimited,“Excuse us,” Professor Summer said abruptly. He gripped one of his niece’s middle appendage joints, the equivalent of an elbow, and despite his frailty and her princess status, hauled her to the door.

Nimrod leaned his head back and laughed. “An interesting meeting. At least the expedition won’t be boring.” Abruptly he looked at me, not Vulf. “Do you agree with your mate’s decision to put planet killers in place?”

Tilla halted in the doorway.

“Yes,” I said definitely. “It’s not the decision I would have made if I led the expedition—and I’d have been wrong. Vulf will make the necessary, hard decisions and live with the consequences.”

Devs pushed her chair back from the table and spun it a fraction left, then a fraction right, as she considered Vulf and me. “In case no one told you, leadership of the expedition is something none of us wanted. Whatever the outcome, there will be people unhappy with it.”

Nimrod pouted at his lieutenant. “Are you saying I chase popularity?”

She ignored his teasing. “None of us want to lead the expedition, but all of us want to use it to meet our own agendas.”

Vulf finally smiled.

Devs flinched and Nimrod was suddenly, startlingly still. His stillness was a fighter’s readiness, an answer to the teeth-baring challenge of Vulf’s smile.

My mate stated his position clearly. “I am not here to make friends. Jaya is.” He ran his hand along my arm in an instinctive caress, one of love and concern. “My mate likes people. I’m here to ensure her safety, and that means getting the expedition done fast and efficiently.” He didn’t add any threats to his statement. They were implied. Anyone who got in the way of completing our Galactic Court ordered intelligence gathering mission to the Ceph Sector would be dealt with, harshly, and the political consequences bedamned.

“And to hell with who you sacrifice to save Jaya?” Dan Carson interjected softly.

Nimrod’s head snapped around so that he could study the shaman weapons master.

“Is Jaya in danger?” Tilla took a step back into the meeting room.

The answer to that was complicated.

A Secret Project Revealed

fantasy, kindle unlimited,I’m working on a fantasy novel. Because, you know, working on The Ceph Sector wasn’t complicated enough!

The Troll Bridge is an old-fashioned fantasy like I read growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. Think Patricia Wrede. You’ll like it. I promise!

Stay tuned for more tantalising information…

 

Happy New Year!

What was with 2017? So many people had a tough year. I’m looking forward to 2018 and everyone having a chance to catch their breath and maybe even take a break.

Whatever your plans for New Year, I hope you have a fabulous time.

According to Chines Astrology, 2018 is the year of the dog. Interesting! I wonder if we’ll all go chasing after the mailman? No courier will be safe 😉

I usually write a post this time of year where I try and predict trends in the world of writing and publishing. For authors, I see a few are testing selling their books directly from their websites. Marie Force is one such author. It’s not something I intend to try yet. I haven’t even managed to get my books into audio-format. So many things to do, so little time!

In terms of genres that I think will be hot  *throws hands in the air*  I have no idea. Science fiction blew up as a huge thing for Kindle Unlimited readers. Lots and lots of new books there. Same thing for urban fantasy. Thrillers continue to dominate the charts along with romance.

I keep expecting gothic romance to re-emerge, but it hasn’t. Or else, it has, but in new forms. There’s reverse harem with loads of heroes to rescue the damsel in distress.

There are whispers that vampires are returning. I’m also seeing gryphons nudging at dragons to star in fantasy novels. Personally, I’d like to see more djinn. And if we’re talking speculative fiction, there could be a niche for Flat Earth stories.

Anyways, those are my guesses. What are yours? What sort of books do you wish someone would write or that you plan to write?

 

 

NEW & FREE! Grab New Release RAID & More Today!!!

Raid is out! It’s free till Dec 30 on Amazon, so don’t delay! Buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078KW1X1G

Raid is my end of year gift to you as a thank you for your friendship and encouragement throughout 2017.

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Plus…

Fill Your E-Reader, Dec 26-29

The Fill Your E-Reader promo runs from December 26-29, just perfect to add some great books to your kindles. Ahem. And perhaps to read them while enjoying Christmas leftovers. Hope you had a lovely Christmas.

Dragons & Spaceships Science Fiction & Fantasy Books FREE & 99c Promo

Grab free and 99c Science Fiction & Fantasy books any time until January 15 in the Dragons & Spaceships promo:  http://www.dragonsandspaceships.com/0-99%C2%A2/

More Science Fiction Romance!

Aurora Springer also has Grand Master’s Pawn at the special price of 99c at the moment! So if you’re one-clicking, don’t miss it!

One young woman challenges the secret rulers of the galaxy, and risks a perilous love.

Violet dreams of exploring exotic planets as a Grand Master’s pawn. When life-threatening cracks appear in the teleportal web, Violet is tasked with investigating the disruption.

Suspicions point to the twelve Grand Masters, and she must penetrate their curtain of secrecy to identify the culprit. Her challenges escalate when she meets the enigmatic man behind the griffin avatar. Armed with only her erratic powers and a mishmash of allies, she must challenge the most powerful beings in the galaxy.

Reminiscent of the science fiction stories of Andre Norton, Violet’s perilous adventures are sweetened by romance and a sprinkle of laughter.

Buy link (remember, currently 99c):  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TP1N5PM

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Giant Ebook Sale, Dec 26-Jan 1

scifi, science fiction, fantasy, books,

The SciFi & Fantasy Giant Ebook Sale runs December 26 – January 1. After all of these sales, none of your kindles (or other ereaders) can complain of being empty! That’s a great way to start the new year – with books!

For those of you waiting for The Ceph Sector

I’m working on it! Read Raid 😉

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