Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Feature: BY FIRE AND STARS, Chorillan Cycle, Commonwealth Universe

SF from Writers Exchange:


Vidan was again reaching out to the stars: sadder and wiser... and cautious, unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the ancestors. The Commonwealth was born, reaching out to lost colonies and establishing new ones, rediscovering lost technology and how to navigate the star-ways. Many of the lost colonies not only survived but thrived--and they remembered their abandonment and the harsh centuries of the Downfall...

Lucas Aidan, Kay'li Fieran's childhood friend, faces the greatest fear of children born on Chorillan: Phase. His family tries to hide his condition and ease his torment during the worst part of the illness, but when tragedy strikes he flees into the wilderness. He learns to survive, guarded by Azuli and learning the secrets of the Wildlings who never returned from Phase.

When he is captured and brought back to civilization years later, he is a figure of legend, a leader for all Wildlings, and someone the corrupt government of Chorillan would do well to fear.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Feature: SCOUTS; PRIDE, Chorillan Cycle, Commonwealth Universe

SF from Writers Exchange:


Vidan was again reaching out to the stars: sadder and wiser...and cautious, unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the ancestors. The Commonwealth was born, reaching out to lost colonies and establishing new ones, rediscovering lost technology and how to navigate the star-ways. Many of the lost colonies not only survived but thrived--and they remembered their abandonment and the harsh centuries of the Downfall...

When Miranda dies of the same degenerative disease that killed her father, Ian and their daughter, Kay'li, flee Chorillan to keep Miranda's powerful family from taking the child away from him. Ian returns to the Scout Corps, and Kay'li grows up on board the Leaper ship, Estal'es'cai, seeing first-hand the requirements and the price of true heroism.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Feature: AZULI EYES, Chorillan Cycle, Commonwealth Universe

SF from Writers Exchange:


Vidan was again reaching out to the stars: sadder and wiser... and cautious, unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the ancestors. The Commonwealth was born, reaching out to lost colonies and establishing new ones, rediscovering lost technology and how to navigate the star-ways. Many of the lost colonies not only survived but thrived--and they remembered their abandonment and the harsh centuries of the Downfall...

Scout Captain Ian Fieran cleans up operations after battling a Gen'gineer team that attacked and decimated a small colony. The crime of the colonists? Their genetics didn't suit the exacting standards of the Gen'gineers, who continue the dogma and goal of the Set'ri from centuries ago in their attempt to create the "perfect" Human genome. Captured data leads Ian and his team of Scouts across the galaxy to the Rim colony world of Chorillan, where they hope to track down a Gen'gineer nest.

At the same time, Miranda Riallon, a schoolteacher and daughter of very important members of the Colony Council, worries about one of her students. The boy is an orphan, and she wants to adopt him. However, Ranny shows all the signs of going into Phase--the sensory overload that hits some children near adolescence. No one knows what causes Phase, and there's no known cure. Some fear that the Azuli--sentient canines native to Chorillan--are stealing the children when they escape into the wilderness to ease their discomfort. When Ranny vanishes, Miranda heads into the forests of Chorillan to find him.

She meets Ian and his Scouts. They help her look for Ranny while she helps them hunt down the Gen'gineers. As each side educates the other, they come to a partnership, then friendship. The choices Ian and Miranda make during their hunt will change Chorillan for generations to come.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Off the Bookshelf: COILED, by H.L. Burke

There's been some excitement in the fantasy community over this book -- and well deserved!!

I heard the story talked about on various podcasts and on different Facebook groups, so I was pretty confident buying it.

COILED is lovely.

The simplest description is a re-telling of the Psyche and Cupid legend, and yet .... can I say WOW?

Laidra and her sister, and Calen and his brother are twins -- and more than that, both sets of twins are cursed at birth with what is called a mirror curse. And yet it's not the same curse in that the effects are not the same between both sets of twins. Laidra and Calen, our heroes, are considered the monsters .... and yet that is only physical. The personalities of their twins are truly the "monsters" in the story, and what their parents do to each other, to their children, and the lengths they go to try to break the curse and cure their children ... heartbreaking. And infuriating. I just wanted to reach through the screen and slap some of them. Don't get me started on the creep who put the curse on the innocent babies.

How enthralling is this story? I picked it up late at night, planning to read a couple chapters ... and finally stopped about 2am with dry eyes and about 20 percent of the book left to go. I would have finished it that night/morning, but I needed to get some sleep!

Take my advice and put aside a big chunk of time so you can read from cover to cover. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Feature: TAKSEARHE, Wildvine Book 6

Fantasy from Writers Exchange:


In multiple worlds, universes and dimensions of reality, there are tales of Hub Worlds where many different realms can meet and intersect. Some travel between worlds through the power of the mind and with Talents born into the blood, while others are chosen through vision and prophecy and step between worlds with the power of talismans. None can go to the others' worlds, except when they meet in a Hub World.

Wildvine County, somewhere in the United States, is that pivotal point where the travelers from multiple worlds and universes meet.

Bree has lived with the burden of knowing she's born to be a Taksearhe, the highest level of strength among all the Talents, with the ability to travel between worlds. Yet childhood trauma has blocked her gifts. She knows she travels to other worlds in her dreams yet can't remember where she went or how when she wakes up. The exiles from Rehdonna are depending on her, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to learn what's going on in her brain and dreams to awaken her gifts.

When she joins a dream and sleep study program at Lyndvale University, she's relieved when Dr. Harland, the man her mother is dating, takes her under his wing to protect and guide her. With the help of her roommates and then contacts in other worlds, she learns to awaken and control her gift, but not before she attracts the attention of evil forces that want to use her to open the doorway to Earth.

Bree's wishes come true, but the cost if she takes just one wrong step could deprive her of friends, her heritage, and the soulmate who's reached out to her from another world.