Pre-publication Extract from Wizard of Ends, Book 1

If you haven’t already read the first pre-publication extract and introduction to this new fantasy adventure series, please read Wizard of Ends – A Magical New Adventure Series. If you enjoyed that, read a second, different extract on Richard Foland’s blog.

Fantasy book bloggers (authors and/or readers) who to participate in the Wizard of Ends virtual book tour later this year and/or receive an ARC, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the below extract, from my first draft of Book 1.

Wizard of Ends 1King Lanaran slid his hunting knife from its ankle sheath. A pathetic weapon against creatures of dark magic, but his sword was out of reach. Amkesh tried to swap weapons with him, but Lanaran glared and yanked the knife out of reach.

“Now is not the time for heroics, Captain. We need all able hands.”

Amkesh opened his mouth to argue again.

“That’s an order!” Lanaran barked.

A clear, sharp voice rang out. “The king has ordered your death this day, and so it shall be.”

Lanaran gaped as Lashlor – the fake wizard – stepped into the circle of beyeni.

To Lanaran’s amazement, Assassa took a step back. It seemed she was afraid of the fake wizard, but surely she could sense he was not a fellow magic user and posed no threat?

Even the beyeni hesitated, then some snarled at the fake wizard and turned their attention to him.

“He’s trying to divide them to give us a greater chance,” Lanaran murmured.

“He’s a fool.” Amkesh jabbed his sword at a beyeni that got too close.

What in all the lands were the dark creatures waiting for? It seemed their mistress had commanded them to toy with the prey before going in for the kill.

Lanaran shook his head. “No. He’s a hero.”

“He’ll die.”

“A hero.” New respect for the fake wizard flooded Lanaran. “But not alone. Come, Captain. Let’s get this over with. If they will not attack first, we will.”

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5 Quotes for Writers to Live By

We all need encouragement and inspiration from time to time, and I find the following writing quotes do the trick when I hit a slump in my writing. Thankfully, I don’t need inspiration right now, as my muse is keeping me on my toes lately, but I hope they inspire others like they have me.

  1. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~ Ray Bradbury
  1. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London
  1. “Being a successful writer is 3% talent, 7% hard work, 11% luck, and 79% not being distracted by the Internet.” ~ Drachen Jager
  1. “Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.” ~ Ray Bradbury
  1. “Before we are storytellers or thinkers, we are conscious beings. We are aware that I AM… That awareness is underneath all stories.” ~ Gangaji

If you have a favourite writing quote that inspires or encourages you, please share it with us in the comments.

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REVIEW: The Crusader by JP Wilder – 5 out of 5 stars

The crusader imageReview by Alex James

I actually downloaded the entirety of this book believing it to be the sample. I read the ‘sample’, enjoyed it, and was going to buy the book before I realised I already had read it all.

The story is 11, 000 words, and I was very impressed. It read like a fantasy of the crusades. I particularly liked the heathen sorcery and Dark Men (assassins) aspects of this short story. I found it to be a twist that the Dark Men fought for the Crusaders and not the Saracens.

The story has a lot of fighting and a bit of betrayal. The action was fun to read, and I liked how it ended.

This book was free when I downloaded it from Smashwords. My only annoyance is that I felt I would have to download another book to read the continuation of this story.

Overall, if you like fantasy or the crusades then give this an immediate read!

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Order of the Four Sons, an epic fantasy adventure series

Enter the world of the Order.

The Order of the Four Sons is a sprawling, fast-paced, epic adventure that encompasses multiple worlds and an ensemble cast of characters. Two ancient organizations, the Order of the Four Sons of Horus and Starry Wisdom, have been battling for centuries for possession of a powerful artifact known as the Staff of Solomon. Whoever has possession of the staff can rip open the very fabric of existence.

O4S CoverBook I

The series’ heroes are introduced: Colonel JD Garnett, novice mage Kate West, Detective Ryan Murphy, scholar Doug Grigori, and field techs Bill Welsh and Cecil Morgan. The team is dispatched to investigate the disappearance of one of their own in a small town. There, they uncover a lot more than they bargained for – a segment of the Staff of Solomon, and the evil forces that are converging to claim it.

Book I is permanently free through Smashwords and other e-book retailers.


CarcosaBook II

Carcosa follows the team – JD, Murphy, Doug and Kate – as they pursue Countess Elizabeth Bathory across the face of a sinister desert planet filled with untold dangers. O4S Director Clayton Grabowski and the Oracle find themselves mired in the political intrigues of the Order’s leadership, while back on Earth, Bill forges an uneasy alliance with a government agent. As they race to recover the Staff of Solomon, they uncover truths they had never expected about their enemies – and themselves. Continue reading

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Dogon Legend: Visitors from Sirius

Before we get to the juicy stuff, let me introduce you to the Dogon tribe of West Africa’s Mali. Out of all the Orion legends I’ve heard, this one resonates with me the most, since I live on the same continent, in South Africa. The Dogon’s origins are not entirely clear, but it’s believed their ancestors were Egyptian. The Dogon believed that Sirius, a bluish star in the Orion constellation, had an invisible companion star. This companion star, known as Sirius B, was not discovered until 1970 (some sources say 1862)! How did the Dogon know this?

Finding Sirius_blogNow here’s where it gets juicy, and this legend is what inspired the T’Acan (Book 2 onwards) in my sci-fi fantasy series, Legends of Origin:

Dogon legend has it that, thousands of years ago, a race of amphibious beings from the Sirius system came to Earth. These beings were called the Nommos, took the forms of whales, dolphins, mermaids and mermen, and are also mentioned in Sumerian, Babylonian and Accadian mythology. The Nommos’ home planet is said to orbit another star in the Sirius system, Sirius C. Lending some credence to this, in1995, it was suggested for the first time that there might be a third star; however, not many scientists believe that life is possible in the Sirius system.

Legend has it that it was the Nommos who told the Dogon about Sirius’ invisible companion star, along with other things about our solar system that modern humans only discovered after the invention of the telescope.

Some, like astronomer Carl Sagan and writer Ian Ridpath, believe that Dogon priests discovered the knowledge of the stars from Westerners and then incorporated it into their legends. While this is certainly possible, it doesn’t explain a 400-year-old Dogon artefact that seems to depict Sirius, or how they knew about Sirius B’s super density.

It’s intriguing, at the very least.

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Tethered – 50% off in August!

Tethered_453x680She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

Buy links:

Breathless Press – for the whole of August, Breathless Press is offering 50% off to celebrate their 5th birthday!
All Romance ebooks
Add it to your Goodreads TBR here

Sign up to Pippa Jay’s no-spam newsletter to get updated on the latest releases, giveaways and special offers. Exclusive snippets and stories coming soon!


PippaJayAfter spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

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Smashwords’ Site-Wide Promotion: Get Alianne Donnelly’s The Royal Wizard at a 75% Discount!

During Smashwords’ site-wide July promotion, from 1 to 31 July, you can get Alianne Donnelly’s The Royal Wizard at a whopping 75% discount using the code SSW75 on check-out. Grab it while it’s hot!

TRWThe kingdom of Wilderheim stands bastion between the world of humans and the Otherlands. It is ruled as much by people as it is by creatures Other and as such, it must always have a wizard at the right hand of its king. Nico has seen three generations of rulers sit the throne; he knows he will not see the fourth. Desperate to find a worthy apprentice, when Nia appears like a godsend in his path he wastes no time taking her under his wing as his last sworn duty to the young king Saeran.

But Nia and Saeran have many trials ahead of them. With destinies converging toward an inevitable battle for power, countless lives hang in the balance, including theirs. As love brings them together, so strife tears them apart and as the balance between justice and magic shifts, the royal wizard and her king get caught in a maelstrom of colliding forces. Nothing is ever as it seems with a trickster hiding in the shadows. When the gods begin to play, mortals tremble…

New Adult appropriate.

AlyDAlianne is an avid lover of stories of all kinds. Having grown up with fairy tales in a place where it almost seemed they were real, it was no surprise when she began making up her own stories. She loves books, music, hiking and archery, and won’t shy away from travel and zip lining. Alianne graduated with a business degree and, when she’s not off in the land of fantasy, she lives in California.


Follow Alianne online:

Twitter: @AlianneDonnelly

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Extract from Tales from the SFR Brigade – a sci-fi romance anthology

•A space captain discovers the cyborg she loves just might be her greatest enemy.
•A mind-wiped prostitute risks all when she recruits a dangerous stranger to help her escape a terrible fate.
•A prisoner-of-war confronts the comrade who loved her, then left her for dead.
•A space-obsessed physics teacher is kidnapped by a far-too-charming alien.
•An apocalypse survivor battles the biomech-enhanced hunter who seeks to capture her.
•A young artist must choose between her comfortable life on Earth or a war-torn space colony with her beloved.
•A daring thief is on the run from the alien law man who is determined to bring her to justice.
•A widowed rebel leader tries to save the last remnants of humanity, one stranger at a time.

From Earth to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, explore the worlds of Science Fiction Romance with stories from Linnea Sinclair, Marcella Burnard, Erica Hayes, Liana Brooks, Pippa Jay, Berinn Rae, Amy Laurens, and Kyndra Hatch.

Extract from Imprint by Pippa Jay:

The door slid open and Tevik walked in. Jiona resisted the urge to leap up and tackle him. There’d be time for escape plans when she knew the deal…and had some clothing. A semi-naked female running loose would attract too much unwanted attention, even one as skinny as her. He’d done her a favor. Dammit, he’d saved her life. Plus, he held a tray with food and drink on it, and her stomach was already clenching in ravenous anticipation. Continue reading

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Interview with Books & Shovels founder, Jeremiah Walton

“Individually, we are whispers. Collectively, we are a scream.” ~ Books & Shovels

DSC01294_thumbToday I bring you an interview with Books & Shovels founder Jeremiah Walton. Jeremiah’s vibrant personality caught my attention from the word go, and I believe that, if anyone can make a success of Books & Shovels, he can.

First, a little about the man behind the dream:

Jeremiah WaltonJeremiah Walton is the founder of Nostrovia! Poetry and a member of UndergroundBooks. After graduating high school in 2013, he hit the road hitchhiking and ran a small ‘bookstore’ out of his frame pack on street corners and at open mics, hoping to give art a good kick in the balls. The world kicked back hard, making him realise that the bar needed to be raised in order to broaden the poetic community and encourage others to pursue their dreams even if it means some sacrifice. Thus, Books & Shovels became a reality.

Books & Shovels

artsy shovels_thumbThe goal is to promote Passionate Living over Making a Living. We’re meshing grass roots promotions (busking, DIY open mics, broadsides), and opportunities of the 21st century (blogging, social media, all that jazz). We’re going to make this a more personal process through the streets, and grab the attention of the masses through their electronic devices.

This is an assault on apathy. We’re going to widen the poetic community by bringing to the masses, but this isn’t just for the poets. This is to encourage others to bleed for their dreams, to not be afraid to make sacrifices for their aspirations. We’re assaulting apathy, promoting freedom, promoting loving one another, gender, race, and ideals aside.

Books & Shovels distributes chapbooks, street books, full collections, novels, cook books, paintings, graffiti, records, CDs, any form of passion.

~ Quoted with kind permission from the Books & Shovels website.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Jeremiah. To begin with, please tell us what it took to set up Books & Shovels.

Running with the idea. Sam Lennon, Captain Thornton and I compose the Books & Shovels team. We’ll be living in a 1995 Volvo station wagon. After procuring the car, we began selling off our possessions and busting ourselves wage slaving to obtain necessary funds.

To further ensure launch, we’ve launched an IndieGoGo campaign to fund raise the last needed funds, reaching out into the artistic and poetic community through social media and blogging to find pledges. We’ve received 100s of donated publications and artworks to distribute, along with printing Nostrovia! Poetry and UndergroundBooks publications.

Were there any setbacks and/or major challenges to starting Books & Shovels? Continue reading

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Get ALL my books at bargain prices – or FREE – during Smashwords’ Site-Wide July Promotion

I’ve gone a tad crazy and discounted all my books – or made them FREE – for Smashwords’ site-wide promotion, which runs from 1 to 31 July.

Snatch them while you can!


FuturescapeScience fiction meets the real world in this short story anthology, with stories guaranteed to spin your mind into an alternate reality. Are you ready?

Lydia isn’t scared of much. She deals with walking corpses on a daily basis without flinching, yet her fear of cockroaches is crippling and may be her undoing. Then there’s Katrina, whose blood has been genetically altered without her consent, inexplicable murders on a newly colonised planet, alien invasion, galactic exploration and more.

Use the code SSW75 at check-out on Smashwords to download Futurescape for free.

A collHorroticaection of short horror stories that will leave you with chills and urge you to think twice before taking anything at face value.

Is a supernatural serial killer taunting Detective Cassandra Beckett, or has she lost her mind? Can a werewolf’s human side overcome the animal instinct that merely wants to feed, feed, feed? Can online relationships really work, can too much sex be bad for one’s health and should strange daggers be trusted?

The answers lie within, but beware… nothing is as it seems.

Use the code SSW75 at check-out on Smashwords to download Horrotica for free.


Can’t decide between horror and thriller? Chill your bones with thrills from this three-part anthology including flash fiction, Lovecraftian horror and short stories.

Terrorscape brings you a full scope of terror, from abandoned buildings, sociopath chess players, neighbours from Hell and serial killers on nicotine withdrawal to whispering shadows, evil gardens, terrifying creatures, tormented writers and Bloody Mary.

Read it in the dark… if you dare.

Use the code SSW75 at check-out on Smashwords to download Terrorscape for free.

LifeLife is a collection of 27 poems about life in general, some deep and emotional, a few morbid and angry, with a little light humour in between.

Use the code SSW25 at check-out on Smashwords to download Life for free.





December 21, 2012A large proportion of Earth’s population believes that December 21, 2012 will mark the onset of Armageddon – whether biblical or otherwise. Others proclaim that the human race will somehow be enlightened on this date, and that it will be the dawn of a Golden Age. Still others laugh at the idea of anything cataclysmic devastating the globe.

Can we afford to scoff with some of the scientific evidence to support possible catastrophe, such as our sun’s current activity, which even NASA admits concern over?

December 21, 2012: Survival Guide explores some of the theories, predictions and science about this date, but focuses more on survival in nature and a post-apocalyptic world. Much of the information included can be used in everyday life, even if there is no cataclysm, and knowing the planet you live on is never a bad idea.

Discover factual evidence of past cataclysms and ancient legends. Learn how to build your own survival bunker or outdoor shelter. Understand the human body, how much it can endure and what keeps it alive. Gain survival knowledge like fire making with unconventional means, basic first aid, and self-defence tips that even children and the elderly can learn to defend themselves with if attacked.

Use the code SSW100 at check-out on Smashwords to download December 21, 2012: Survival Guide for free.

Books discounted to only $1:

Ashes to AshesWhen Mathieu Cousteau dies, twenty-seven-year-old Michelle van Wyk is relieved that the man intimidating her can no longer make good on his threats. Her relief is short-lived, however – Mathieu’s soul lives on, and is hell bent on avenging his murder. Michelle’s situation grows direr when Mathieu’s handsome brother, Pierre Dumaine, becomes obsessed with her, and drags her into his world of warped love, murder and treachery, where things aren’t always what they seem.

Michelle soon finds herself on France’s Grand Serre Che ski slopes, where her will – and ability – to survive are put to the test. If Pierre’s love doesn’t kill her, his dubious ‘colleague’, Frédéric, or one of his crime bosses’ other lackeys, just might.

Pitted against harsh weather and Frédéric’s hatred, with merciless gunmen and an angry poltergeist hot on their trail, Michelle fights the ultimate battle for survival. Can they perform the ritual to destroy Mathieu’s soul before he kills them? Will Frédéric give in to his desire to kill her, or will Pierre’s love be the death of her? Only time will tell – something Michelle isn’t sure she has enough of.

“The story grabs you from the first chapter, and takes you on a non-stop ride to the stunning conclusion.” – Merry Muhsman, author of Peddler’s Trials.

Use the code SSW75 at check-out on Smashwords to download Ashes to Ashes for only $1. Continue reading

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