Fantastic is a (pun intended!) reference to the title of Facets of Fantasy and the nature of this work’s space opera and mythological settings. I’ve picked three characters to highlight from the book today, one from each of the novellas in the collection. They’re not heroes or heroines—or villains. But they are all exciting pieces of the story.
Mr. Parchem is a middle-aged diplomat who befriends brooding, weird cousins Karl and Cassie in Halogen Crossing. He comes from a land called Raocas and speaks with a strongly colloquial, regional style. But make no mistake! Mr. Parchem, as he said himself, “did not rise to be President of my great land by cutting in front of people in line.” A savvy politician, he immediately singles Karl out and pays him a lot of attention. He’s a good friend too, in his way, and points out things Karl should be noticing—like the Queen of Metallgia, who knew Karl’s father.
Charis d’Jinla is a female student at the Jurant military academy under the control of Don Tachimant’s grandfather in the story Jurant. She’s roughly high-school age and very pretty, with a jaunty, aggressive manner and thick tails of curly blonde hair. Charis easily comes across as a bad girl and she pretty much is one. She doesn’t play nice, she’s rough around the edges, mixes that with being flirtatious, and wouldn’t hesitate to get in a fight with you. Or shoot you, except getting in a fight with surprisingly violent Don Tachimant probably won’t end up that way. But without Charis, there wouldn’t even BE a story in Jurant.
Prince Juranai comes from a strange long-lived people who dominate the plot of The Amulet of Renari. He is partly wolf and might seem simple and aggressive, but Juranai, like the rest of his people, is very intelligent and should command a lot of respect. When Juranai decides to befriend Violet, the daughter of someone his family has a long-standing grudge against, it changes a world that has been locked in a feud for thousands of years. Although Violet can be hard to work with, he’s a good protector to her and his friendship is crucial.
And there will be more updates.
Ryan and Essie, The Birthday Present (incl. Millhaven Castle), and Bellevere House have review copies available on BookSprout. I chose this site because it is the only one that offers a free way to provide ARCS to you while also controlling piracy and lazy non-reviewers. While I understand the need to sample my work instead of jumping into it, I should get something back in exchange for a non-sale. So I have provided 20 review copies to interested readers and if that's you, feel free to jump over and claim one! All the information you need is in the ARC link and download process for the book. The site will also remind you when you've had the book a while and when it is time to review. Current deadlines for the books are as follows:
Oct. 8 (Ryan and Essie)
Oct. 1 (The Birthday Present/MC)
Sept. 24 (Bellevere House)
This gives you about 2 months to complete the review. I think that's a very generous window of time, but later-coming reviewers might need it.
Here's the link to Ryan and Essie Review Copy
Here’s the link to The Birthday Present/MC Review Copy
Here's the link to Bellevere House Review Copy
Be aware that you will be required to review on Amazon and to complete this review you’ll need to have purchased $50 worth from them in the last year. Purchases bought using mostly gift cards do not apply. So check to see if you’re eligible before requesting the book.
And there will be more updates.
Pleasant Fiction in an Age of Noise
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When I set about defining my books, I wanted them to be positive places where a gentleness emanated from the pages. A hopeful safety lies in gentleness and there's also an honesty to it. A whirlwind of pushy book blurbs and hot characters (or whatever type character the author wants you to admire) can conceal a reality underneath. A quiet--possibly even lurking--reality that's more visible if you dial down the volume. That lurking reality isn't necessarily bad, but like anything quiet, it gets drowned out by conflict and angst. Peaceful fiction can help explore the truth that noisy books ignore.
Bellevere House has been featured on Ezvid Wiki video "10 Wonderfully Inventive Retellings That Interpret Classic Stories in a New Way." Click to see the video.