All posts by Alex McGilvery

A new book by Annie douglass Lima


In the Double Agent’s Service
a fantasy novel by Annie Douglass Lima
Book Description:


Erik would give his life to protect King Jaymin. However, when an old enemy shows up with new schemes, that may not be enough.
Anya longs to be noticed by the king’s handsome bodyguard. But as she finally gains Erik’s attention, the notorious spy and double agent Dannel blackmails her into fulfilling a favor she has owed him for years. Anya is forced into a terrible choice: save Erik’s life, or protect her homeland.
Can Erik and Anya thwart an assassin and prevent a war before Dannel destroys everything that matters to them and to the kingdom?
In the Double Agent’s Service is the final book in the Annals of Alasia. Here’s a glimpse of the rest of the series!
An orphaned prince and his young bodyguard must disguise themselves and go into hiding after the kingdom of Alasia is overrun by invaders.  Can Prince Jaymin save his kingdom – and himself?
In the Enemy’s Service (just 99 cents through June 14th!)
Enslaved by invaders, Anya spies on the enemy to help her captive people – but when her own father is implicated in the betrayal that led to the Invasion, can she save him?
Prince of Malorn (FREE through June 11th!)
Can Prince Korram recruit an army from among the elusive Mountain Folk and claim his rightful throne before power-hungry Regent Rampus crushes them all?

The Nameless Soldier (just 99 cents through June 14th!)
The lone survivor of a brutal attack, can teen warrior Tarvic reclaim his honor and find a way to fight for his crippled kingdom under enemy occupation?
Pursued by assassins, can Princess Kalendria help her brother reclaim his throne and prevent a war – and catch the handsome neighboring king’s attention while she’s at it?
Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews (available for FREE here!)
An orphaned prince. A devious double agent. A well-meaning merchant who may have just doomed his kingdom. Meet the citizens of Alasia and Malorn and prepare to be drawn into a tangled web of war and intrigue.
With the first six books ALL free or discounted, this is the perfect time to grab the whole series! Click here to see the Annals of Alasia series on Amazon.
Meanwhile, here is the first scene from In the Double Agent’s Service!
Pain.
Cold.
The smell of dry dirt.
A hard, gritty surface beneath his cheek.
Erik mentally catalogued the sensations in order of their intensity. He opened his eyes, blinked, and added another to the list.
Darkness.
Where am I? He struggled to sit up, and his pulse spiked at the realization that he couldn’t use his hands or feet. His ankles were bound together, and his wrists were tied behind his back.
What’s going on? Erik forced himself to a sitting position, noting the dirt floor beneath him, a rough wall at his back. Brushing his fingers over what he could reach of it, he discovered that the wall seemed to be made of the same hard-packed earth as the floor. 
Am I underground? Though not completely smooth, the surfaces were too flat to be natural. Not a cave, then, but perhaps a cellar of some sort.
Or a cell.
He held his breath, straining his ears for any sound in the darkness. “Hello?” he whispered. 
There was no response. 
“Hello?” he said, a little louder. The acoustics hinted that he was in a small room. His head, already sore, throbbed anew at the sound of his own voice. 
Erik leaned against the wall behind him, trying to keep calm. What happened? And where’s Jaymin? 
Jaymin. Erik’s pulse started racing again. Had something happened to Jaymin?
Calm down, he ordered himself. He couldn’t afford to give in to panic. Instead, he would investigate his surroundings. Perhaps Jaymin was lying unconscious nearby.
Erik struggled to his feet and promptly smacked his head on a low ceiling. Dropping to his knees with a grunt of pain, he drew in a deep breath while a wave of dizziness rolled over him. When it passed, he shifted to a sitting position, bound legs in front of him. Moving slowly because every movement set his head throbbing, he began to crawl crab-like on his backside, feet, and hands. Keeping one shoulder against the wall, he scooted forward. 
It didn’t take long to discover he was in a circular room, the walls curving back around toward where he had started. After eight steps, if he could call them that, his toes bumped something hard. Feeling with his feet, he discovered a stair in front of him, perhaps eight inches high. Shifting his weight, he leaned forward and took a little crouching jump into it. Another stair lay above it, and another. When he jumped onto the third stair, he winced as his injured head bumped the ceiling again.
Craning his neck and brushing an uninjured part of his forehead lightly back and forth against it, Erik discovered that the ceiling was made of wooden boards. Ducking lower with every hop so as not to bump it again, he made his way up the rest of the stairs until they ended at the wall. Twisting around, he hunched over awkwardly and ran his elbow back and forth across the low ceiling. As he had expected, a rectangular trapdoor lay just above him. He could feel the seams where its edges didn’t quite meet the surrounding boards. The hinges must be on the other side, but he thought he could detect a keyhole at one end. Nothing happened when he pushed up against the door with one shoulder, not that he had expected it to open for him.
Descending the steps again, Erik felt his way around the rest of the room. Eleven shuffling steps took him all the way around its circumference and back to the stairs. Criss-crossing the middle several times, he discovered it was completely empty.
If Jaymin wasn’t in here, where was he? Erik sat down and leaned against the wall, his head pounding from the exertion. Bending to brush it gently against his raised knees, he could feel a lump on his right temple. In addition, his upper lip was swollen and tasted like blood. It felt as though he had some bruises on his arms and torso, as well.
Erik closed his eyes — not that it made any difference in the complete darkness that surrounded him — and strained to recall what had happened. Had he and Jaymin been on a trip? He thought he remembered something about embarking on a journey. Where were they going? Was there an ambush? What happened to the palace guards who always accompanied the royal carriage?
Surely Jaymin couldn’t be dead. No one would kill the king but take his bodyguard captive. Would they?
And why would anyone take a bodyguard captive in the first place?

About the Author
Annie Douglass Lima considers herself fortunate to have traveled in twenty different countries and lived in four of them. A fifth-grade teacher in her “other” life, she loves reading to her students and sparking their imaginations. Her books include science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, Bible verse coloring and activity books, and a fantasy-themed cookbook. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Annie can often be found sipping spiced chai or pomegranate green tea in exotic locations, some of which exist in this world.

Update

Right now the stories of Mythical Girls have been edited and I’m getting back final revisions. Two of the eleven illustrations are done too. We’re on schedule for our June release.

I will be releasing the last two books in the Belandria Tarot this year. Book Four I’m aiming for April, Book Five for July. Jian Guo, the talented artist who did the first three will be working on them.

Since I finished the Spruce Bay trilogy last summer, I have started a new series ‘Blue in Kamloops’, like Spruce Bay it will be a crime series. The detective for this one is Blue, a street person with a past he doesn’t talk about. I’m looking at a June release for the first book Tranquille Dark.

Update on Mythical Girls

I’m hugely excited to say that we’re at 80% of our goal with fifteen days left in the campaign. You can support the anthology here at Kickstarter.

There are only two Writer’s Packages left, get a full assessment of your book for plot, character and more.

We’ve also added the ability to bundle the anthology with other books by contributing authors. Check it out and support today.

Summer Release

My newest release is the third in the Spruce Bay books.

Mines are dangerous, never more so than when greed outweighs everything else.

When a series of events leads to the death of Georgia’s fiance, she packs up and heads south. Behind her Jim and Leigh struggle with their own issues. Training cadets to be special officers in the north sounds good, but when a class gets off track, it could be deadly.

Georgia can’t escape the grief and anger the mine caused with Brad’s death, and when she find echoes of that death in Peru, she sets her sights on making things right. Dangerous men don’t want her to succeed.

Links to buy: books2read.com/u/3L

New(ish) Release

I’ve relased the third in the Belandria Tarot, The Empire Unbalanced.

The series was originally planned to be four books, but the story refused to be contained and it will be five books.

Click on the cover to the right and read a sample of the book and learn where you can purchase it.

I will be looking for beta readers for book four this summer. That means to read the book, then tell me what you don’t like in it. Contact me if you are interested.

LITERARY SHIRTS

Some people like going to the mall, theme parks, or maybe for a drive around town, but personally I like curling up in in front of the fire with a really good book. Or sometimes an audiobook. Reading has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Before I could read I was read to. Weekly trips to the library have helped me to experience so many different stories and points of view, from Rudyard Kipling’s adventures in The Jungle Book to stories of an entirely different nature, such Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

I am inspired primarily by books, literature, and authors. A lifetime of stories has helped me understand and comprehend these works of literature to represent them properly as graphics, typography, and color. I also draw a large amount of inspiration from art history. I am particularly drawn to impressionist works, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas are a couple of artist whose inspiration I draw heavily upon.

The dichotomy between visual and written art is something I have always been interested in. The collection of books t-shirts, are sometimes book covers, but often simply visual representations of the novels. Putting together the collection has helped me to comprehend this difference in representational and artistic mediums.

I started with just a few designs and little knowledge of printing, websites, or high level graphics programs. After much trial and error there is now the store you see today. I design each product with care and curate the selection to showcase popular as well as more obscure titles and authors.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading some of reasons why I started this company and what inspired me to do so. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email at any time. I love hearing from other readers and fans of literature.

For those interested, the code ALEXMCGILVERY20 can be redeemed to discount 20% off on any order. This coupon code does not expire and there is no minimum spend.

Written by Melissa Chan, designer of bookish gifts at Literary Book Gifts

Kumbuya Blues

That summer that everything happened. Bob could have dealt with one disaster. It was the way they piled up in an unending collision of disasters that had him feeling punch drunk. First his son rolled the car.  Scary, but Rick wasn’t hurt and the insurance company was understanding. Then the storm knocked out the power across the entire county and dropped a tree on his boat. He wanted to sell it anyway, but the insurance company was a little less phlegmatic about it. Still, he had fire wood to last him through the next decade.

The robbery at the bank his wife worked at was shocking. No one was hurt – physically, but Marsha was one of several tellers who just couldn’t go back to work. At least the disability was a different insurance company.

While all this was happening Bob still had to keep up with his business. He was an agricultural consultant. He travelled through the entire area helping farmers deal with their stress. Grains were at an all time high, but with oil prices up, so was the cost of fertilizer and running equipment. The meat producers were looking at huge increases in feed cost and wondering if it was time to retire. Bob helped them sit down and look at their options and make decisions that were good for them and their family.

Bob was so busy doing his bit to make the world a better place that he really didn’t have time to deal with the pain in his leg that was nagging at him. After all it wasn’t anywhere near his heart. But it didn’t stop; it got worse. Bob found himself driving with his left leg to ease the pain. After a near miss on the highway when he got his feet tangled while trying to brake, Bob decided it was time to visit the doctor.

The doctor wasn’t encouraging. She told Bob to stay off the road or she would pull his driver’s license and set up an MRI. Rick enjoyed being his dad’s driver for half of the first day. Then it got boring. Bob called his clients and apologized for cancelling, then asked Rick to take them home via the electronic store that stocked his son’s new favourite video game. They bought the game and a hot dog from the vendor to stave off starvation. Peace once again assured, at least for the night they arrived home to find the house surrounded by police cars.

In a panic, Bob hobbled to the door to find his wife in tears and the police packing up. The sergeant took Bob aside to explain that his wife had been sure she had seen the bank robber in the bushes. The police had responded to learn that the neighbour’s son in law was home for a visit and had decided to trim the hedge between their homes. He gave Bob a card to direct him to Victim Services, and suggested a change of scene might be a good idea.

Marsha packed her bags and went off to visit her mother and Rick went with her. Bob agreed an immanent nervous breakdown was much more serious than a pain in the leg, no matter how inconvenient. That’s why he was alone in the house when the pain suddenly flared up and left him screaming in agony on the floor. Fortunately the neighbour’s son in law was finishing up the hedge and heard him. Soon the house was again surrounded by flashing lights while the paramedics carried Bob out and took him to the hospital.

After emergency surgery to remove the gargantuan blood clot in his leg, he talked to Marsha and Rick on the phone and reassured them that he was indeed still alive. Bob was lectured by an endless stream of doctors and nurses about how lucky he was. The social worker was more help. She suggested that he try a convalescent home or similar place rather than burdening Marsha with his care when she needed to do her own work. Bob was looking distastefully at brochures when his boss came in the door.

“You don’t want to go to one of those places,” he pronounced, “They are full of old, sick people. You need to get out in the sun. You want to relax and meet some new people.”

“What do you have in mind?”  Bob asked, his boss always had a plan or several up his sleeve.

“My church runs a camp every summer. They have adults who come as chaplains for the kids. We are short people this summer. You could go sit around in the sun. You get your own cabin, meals and everything. There is even a nurse on site.”

“What would I need to do?” A summer camp certainly sounded more inviting than an old folk’s home.

“Nothing!”  his boss shouted, “That’s the beauty of it. You just sit around and let the kids talk to you if they want.”

“Sounds good. Where do I sign up?” 

So that’s how Bob found himself at Camp Menesetatchi sitting under a tree watching the children play. His leg woke him the first day early in the morning; but the sight of the sun rising over the lake and the numinous cry of a distant loon distracted him from its ache. He got in the habit of sitting on the deck and watching the sunrise. The camp was so good for him that he called and invited Marsha and Rick to come. She was glad to escape the loving but smothering care of her mother. Rick had met the girl next door and decided that Grandma needed him.

So Bob and Marsha sat in the campfire circle and learned to sing the Kumbya Blues. They toasted each other with flaming marshmallows, listened to the songs, laughed at the skits, and began to heal.

This is a story I wrote a few years ago for a contest I didn’t win.


👋

New Book by Lauren H Salisbury: Conviction

I like to highlight other authors now and again. Conviction is Lauren’s second book, a follow up on Courage, a sci-fi reimagining of the story of the birth of Moses. Lauren suggests reading the books in order if possible. They are both available through Amazon, and Kindle Unlimited.

Blurb:

Can two people with opposing principles overcome their differences to be together?

Than has spent his life ostensibly having fun while secretly fighting for his people’s freedom. A member of the underground resistance, he is only ever serious around his comrades and his family. When an injury forces him to step down from active duty and his reluctant nurse sparks his interest, Than finds himself in uncharted territory. The fascinating woman will have nothing to do with him.

Menali’s past has taught her to keep her head down and trust that God has a reason for allowing the human race to suffer on U’du. When Than explodes into her life, he refuses to take no for an answer and challenges all of her preconceptions. He soon has her re-evaluating her priorities and wondering what life with someone like him would be like.

Enter a rafflecopter giveaway.

Author Bio:

Lauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England. She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.

Author Interview

Tell us more about your book.

Conviction is the story of two people who have opposite views on everything but find themselves drawn to the other. They each face challenges in their personal lives and lean on their growing friendship to help them deal with those issues. It’s about learning to look beyond the surface to really get to know someone, and to let go of expectations and opinions when they prove false. It also has a resistance movement bent on freeing the human slaves from their ruthless alien overlords, with a little help from an unexpected source.

Tell us more about yourself. What else have you published?

Conviction is the second book in my debut series, The Legacy Chronicles. Courage was released in February of this year, and the third book, Strength, should be ready by March next year. I started writing seriously after sixteen years as an English teacher, but I’ve always loved to create stories. Publishing this series has been a dream.

What inspired you to write your book?

Conviction is the second book in my Legacy Chronicles series. The series is based on the women in Moses’s life with each book telling one of their stories in a science fiction setting. I’ve always admired these Biblical characters for their faith and courage, and I’ve loved writing about them.

Conviction wasn’t supposed to exist. My mum alpha read the first book, Courage, and kept asking about Than and Menali. As a thank you for all her hard work, I wrote their story for her. It was supposed to be a novella, but it kept growing as I dug deeper into the two characters and found there was a lot more story to tell. Than does have a way of pushing into the centre of things, but Menali surprised me. You’ll have to read it to find out any more.

What are your favourite kinds of stories to read and write?

I like to read all types of stories, from science fiction and fantasy to historical fiction to murder mysteries. There are only a few genres I refuse to read. My absolute favourites are stories where there’s a unique set up or a novel twist on what’s been done before. I also love complex characters that have many layers I can peel back as I get to know them.

I like to write stories that will surprise people, whether that’s in how I’ve reimagined events in a different environment or the links between characters that are slowly revealed through the series. I also want to write stories that will resonate with readers, where they stop and think, “I get how that feels” or “That’s happened to me.”

What is your writing space like?

My office space is extremely organized. I can’t work there when it’s messy. That said, I tend to do most of my writing either outside or sitting on the sofa in the living room, and I usually have at least two notebooks to hand along with a drink, my phone, a snack, and some tissues. It’s not exactly cluttered, but it’s nowhere near as pristine as my actual desk.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m about to start editing the third book in The Legacy Chronicles, Strength. I’m also halfway through writing the fourth and have another series circling my brain. Outside of writing, I’m renovating my house again.

What question would you ask yourself? Answer that question.

Most of the questions I’d ask myself are along the lines of when I’m going to get on with some of the jobs I have to do around the house or on the next manuscript. The one that stands out as different is, “What’s the next film you want to watch at the cinema?”

The answer: Normally, I’d be saying the latest Marvel or sci-fi film, but right now I’m looking forward to the new remake of Little Women. I have such great memories of reading that book, so I’m interested in seeing how they update it.

Links:

Conviction selling page: http://a.co/doeQtkg

Courage selling page: http://amzn.to/2ItzMl4

Email list sign-up form: http://eepurl.com/djCo0z

Website: http://www.laurenhsalisbury.com

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

Aerisia’s Refrain by Sarah Ashwood

Aerisian Refrain

Sarah Ashwood

On Earth, Annie’s voice brought her fame and fortune. In Aerisia, her voice brings her magic, but the cost of that power might mean the destruction of Aerisia itself.

Following the prophesied Artan’s victory over the Dark Powers, the land of Aerisia is finally at rest, until ancient beings, long imprisoned, begin to stir…

Eight years after Annie Richards’ stellar voice and musical talents skyrocketed her from rural Oklahoma to international fame, haunting visions have begun threatening her sanity. While she’s returning to her childhood home to convalesce, creatures straight from her nightmares bring down her plane. Annie wakens in a parallel world, Aerisia. Here, she discovers her musical gifts translate into magical powers—the legacy of a banished race who have been invading her dreams.

Mistrusted by Aerisia’s most powerful factions because of her heritage, Annie finds allies are hard to come by. Supporting her are one Simathe warrior, Cole, who refuses to label her as evil, and one woman willing to stand against anything and anyone to help a friend: the Artan herself. Seizing control of her destiny will mean defying both her ancestors and the Aerisian leaders. Mastering her magic may mean making the greatest sacrifice of all…or risk becoming the reason Aerisia itself is torn apart.

Find Aerisian Refrain on Amazon and Goodreads.

Tell us more about your book.

Aerisian Refrain, my newest book, is the story of a young Native American woman, Annie Richards, whose voice and musical talents have skyrocketed her from a cattle ranch in rural Oklahoma into worldwide fame. However, haunting visions have begun accosting her, making her question her sanity. She’s returning to her childhood home to convalesce when creatures straight from her nightmares bring down her plane. She awakens in a parallel world, Aerisia, where she must not only stay alive, but figure out why she is there and how her musical abilities play into the mystery. Along the way she’ll encounter giants, fairies, immortal warriors, people of the moon, pirates, dragonkind, and more. In the end, she must choose her own destiny, or risk becoming the reason Aerisia itself is torn apart.

Tell us more about yourself. What else have you published?

Well, I’m a homeschooling mom of three boys. I’m a runner—planning to do the Tulsa Run 15k this fall. I’ve done 15ks before, but not this particular one. I’m married to an asphalt plant operator and I literally never know from one day to the next when he’ll be home, because there are no set hours in a job like his. Especially this time of year, in the summer. I’m a writer, of course. So far my published works include a fantasy novella, Amana, my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, several short stories in various anthologies, and now my brand new Beyond the Sunset Lands series.

 What inspired you to write your book?

A few things. I enjoyed the male MC, Cole, so much in my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy where he was a side character that I wanted to tell his story. Also, in this new series, which is sort of a follow up series to my first Aerisia trilogy, I wanted to take a closer look at some of Aerisia’s unique races and their worlds. Aerisian Refrain delves heavily into the world of Aerisia’s fairies, their mysteries and their magic. Lastly, I wanted to explore a connection between music and magic, so I wove all of these elements into this book.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read and write?

I love fairytales, historical fiction, anything based on Greek and Roman mythology, anything set in medieval Europe or ancient Rome, and—of course—fantasy in nearly all its genres. What I love about fantasy is that I can take elements from each of these and weave them into my stories.

What is your writing space like? 

Up until a few weeks ago I usually wrote sitting cross-legged on my bed with my laptop. However, recently a cousin gave me a beautiful antique wooden desk that was so small it fit perfectly into an unused corner in my bedroom. It’s just big enough to hold the essentials and I love it.

 What projects are you currently working on? 

Besides releasing Aerisian Refrain, my next project will be a fun Young Adult Fantasy/Fairytale called Knight’s Rebirth, coming in time for Christmas 2018! It’s the story of a famous knight, Sir Buckhunter Dornley, who is content to live alone until he meets the charming and outrageous Princess Mercy. When he discovers Mercy lives under a deadly curse, how far will he go to break it? 

What question would you ask yourself? Answer that question.

 So do you, as an author, ever talk to your characters and do they respond?

Me: I don’t know that I so much as talk to my characters as sit back and observe everything they say and think and do, and then try to guide them in the direction I want them to go. They’re, uh, often pretty resistant, though.

Author Bio

Don’t believe all the hype. Sarah Ashwood isn’t really a gladiator, a Highlander, a fencer, a skilled horsewoman, an archer, a magic wielder, or a martial arts expert. That’s only in her mind. In real life, she’s a genuine Okie from Muskogee who grew up in the wooded hills outside the oldest town in Oklahoma and holds a B.A. in English from American Military University. She now lives (mostly) quietly at home with her husband and three sons, where she tries to sneak in a daily run or workout to save her sanity and keep her mind fresh for her next story.

Sarah’s works include the Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy and the fantasy novella Amana.

To keep up to date with Sarah’s work and new releases, sign up for her newsletter. You can visit her website, or find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.