Saturday, August 31, 2013

STONEWISER FANTASY TRILOGY FREE ON KINDLE


Dear Romantic Fantasy Fans,

For the first time ever and for a limited time, Dora Machado's entire Stonewiser award-winning fantasy trilogy, published by Mermaid Press, is available FREE on Kindle.

WHEN?  From Saturday August 31 to Monday September 2

To get your free download NOW from the Kindle store, click on each title below. It’s as simple as that!




Winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for best Debut Novel

Finalist for 2009 Foreword Book of the Year Award for SFF

Between truth and deception, between justice and abuse, a stonewiser stands alone with the stones. Or so begins the stonewiser's oath. But what happens when a rebellious stonewiser discovers that lies have tainted the stone tales?

In a world devastated by the rot's widespread destruction, only the tales preserved in the stones can uphold the truth and defend the Goodlands. In this world, stone truth is valued above anyone's word, and stonewisers are the only ones capable of retrieving the tales from the stones, the only link between past and present, order and chaos.

Sariah is the most gifted stonewiser of her generation, but her talent does not atone for her shortcomings. A survivor of the Guild's brutal training, she is curious, willful and disobedient. Yet not even Sariah is prepared for what she finds when she steals into the Guild's Sacred Vaults: A mayhem of lies and intrigues that shatters her world.

Hunted, persecuted, and betrayed, Sariah must make an unlikely alliance with Kael, a cynical rebel leader pledged to a mysterious quest of his own. The fate of their dying world depends on their courage to overcome centuries of hatred and distrust. But not even the grueling journey has prepared them for what they are about to discover. Because nothing is really as it seems, and the truth is more intricate and devastating than they ever suspected.... 

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Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Gold Medal for SF/F

Finalist for the 2010 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for SF/F

Sariah's reward for revealing the stone truth: a death sentence.

The executioners have arrived and Sariah, the most powerful and controversial stonewiser of her generation, has been judged and condemned to death. For the last few months, Sariah has been hiding in the Rotten Domain, trying to find the elusive tale capable of uniting a divided people teetering on the brink of a catastrophic war. As she is dragged to the nets, where an eel rave has been stirred to maximize her execution's gruesome spectacle, Sariah knows she cannot escape her sentence. She is guilty of the crimes for which she's been condemned and no one, not even Kael, the Domain's foremost rebel leader, can save her from the executioners' righteous justice.

But Kael is more than just a formidable warrior; he is also a cunning strategist and Sariah's steadfast lover. Risking all he has, he bargains with the greedy executioners, bribing them into delaying Sariah's execution, buying her precious time and a last chance to realize the mysterious legacy that the stones have imposed on her. The agreement is hardly a reprieve. It encourages a mob to hunt Sariah for ransom, banishing her from the Rotten Domain and imposing heavy fines on anyone who tries to help her. Worse, it requires her to wear an irremovable, mysterious bracelet. If she doesn't return to the executioners with the tale in hand when the allotted time expires, Kael and his kin will be ruined and the bracelet will kill her.

Hunted by the executioners, the Guild and the Shield, Sariah and Kael embark on a desperate search. Their journey will take them to the depths of the Rotten Domain, where Sariah must wise a guiding beam out of the wild tale stored in a stone-carved game. The beam will lead them through the warring Goodlands—where the rot is on the move—to the land beyond the Bastions, where a zealous people guard an ancient stone that could hold the key to their search. Along the way, Sariah and Kael must overcome deadly traps, torture, heartbreak, agonizing defeat and devastating losses in a desperate attempt to avoid war and answer the mysterious call of the stone. 

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Winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Silver Medal for SF/F

Finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for SF/F

"Do you know why the stones grieve?" the woman said to Kael. "Not for a soul, I'll tell you that much. The stones don't grieve for the passing of a lowly woman or the madness of a smitten man. They don't mourn death, or lost love, or broken dreams, or loneliness or despair. Yet you will make them wail. For you, the stones will weep."

In their most perilous adventure yet, Sariah, the rogue stonewiser who stunned the world by discovering lies in the stones and defying the all-powerful Guild, and Kael, the rebel leader who against all odds loves her, must find a stolen child, the only one capable of setting rule upon chaos, preserving the future of stonewising, and defeating the rot ravaging the land. The stakes couldn't be higher. The coveted child they seek is said to be an abomination. He is also their son.

It's a daunting challenge. Their child is in the hands of a deceitful enemy who has fled to a mysterious ruler, a rival deity with unfathomable powers pledged to destroy the goddess and eradicate stonewising from the world. Worse yet, the land is engulfed in strife, the rot is spreading faster than ever, and Kael is haunted by a malevolent curse compelling him to kill the woman he loves.

In a dangerous journey fraught with shocking twists, Sariah and Kael must do more than defeat their foes, unravel the mystifying forces vying to control their lives, and discover the mysteries of ages past. They must challenge the stones, defy the goddess and confront their cursed fates. Because only by embracing their destinies do they stand a chance to save their child and their world.

 

For those of you audio book lovers, the first book in the series, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone is now available from Audible. Be sure to check it out!

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About Dora Machado

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, from Twilight Times Books, available July 2013. She is one of the few Latinas exploring her heritage and her world through the epic fantasy genre today. She holds a master's degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan and grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a love for history, and a taste for Merengue.

After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazing readers who share in her mind's adventures. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats. Visit her at www.DoraMachado.com.

Friday, August 30, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Happy Birthday, Jack!
 
 
 
Celebrate with our son David and granddaughter Sierra.
 
 
Your brothers and sister are at the party too, along with your mom and dad.
 
 
Have fun.
 
Love ya!

Monday, August 26, 2013

THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN Review

Quote for the week:  The greatest pleasure of life is love.  Euripides. 

Happy Monday. Today I'd like to share my review of THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN, MG/Tween eBook by Award Winning Author Suzanne de Montigny.



Isn't this a gorgeous cover?

THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN (Review)

By Suzanne de Montigny

 
Long, long ago lived the unicorns and dinosaurs. Then came the fireball hurtling toward earth, and their world would never be the same. Strange creatures that walked on two legs appeared, bringing with them danger and death. Soon the unicorns were in a struggle to survive. Award Winning Author Suzanne de Montigny tells their story in her MG/Tween Fantasy, THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN.
Azaria, unicorn colt, and his father, Polaris, receive a message from Saul the Great Chief asking them to go where the dinosaurs dwell. That’s a scary request because the dinosaurs are huge animals and dangerous, but they go anyway and meet Darius, a small dinosaur that tells strange tales, tales the unicorns cannot ignore, for they soon come true, and the creatures that walk on two feet (humans) arrive in the valley, bringing greed, torture, and death with them, threatening to wipe out the entire unicorn herd. I don’t want to give anything away, just let me say that Suzanne de Montigny has written a story that will have you laughing, crying, and falling in love with not only the unicorns, especially Azaria, but with the little dinosaur Darius, also, whom they’d best heed his warnings. I found myself wishing I wasn’t a human at times, for the cruelty the human Ishmael shows to the unicorns, who only want to live in peace.

THE SHADOW OF THE UNICORN would make a great addition to school libraries and classrooms to show how greed and choices a person makes, whether right or wrong, affect those who make the decisions as well as others. This is the first book in a series, so be on the lookout for book number two. I’m watching for it.

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Available from MuseItUp Publishing
And other places where eBooks are sold.
Happy Reading
 
 
 
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

FEED YOUR E-READER

It's the season for big sales. If you're looking for new books to read, you've come to the right place. Two of my publishers have great bargains for you. Take a look:

From Twilight Times Book:

An ebook sale for book lovers

 Starting August 23rd

Don't Let the Wind Catch You, mystery by Aaron Paul Lazar.
Dragon Fire, fantasy by Dina von Lowenkraft. (debut novel)
Lucid, fantasy by Natalie Roers. (debut novel)
The Curse Giver, fantasy by Dora Machado
will be discounted to 99 cents for 48 hours via our ebook distributors.

100+ ebooks with five star reviews are on sale from Twilight Times Books. Priced from $1.99 to $3.99 now via our ebook distributors: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, OmniLit.com, Sony, etc. Historical, literary, mystery, SF, YA and more.  


Wait! There's more. From MuseItUp Publishing:

Welcome to the MuseItUp Bookstore...
Offering quality short stories and novels at affordable prices to entertain readers of all ages.
We offer you a variety of genres to purchase & no need to worry which format to order- you'll receive all four formats: PDF, EPub, Prc, & HTML from our bookstore. All of our products are DRM-free.
NOTE: This site is still being updated. We appreciate your patience.

Celebration!

To celebrate the release of our new site, for the entire month of August, use the following code: AUGUSTPARTY and get
25% OFF your purchase! What a perfect time to stock up on your summer e-reading!
Happy Reading.

Have a great weekend.

 
 
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.  Charles Darwin

To start the new week, I have a review of Cynthia Voigt's forthcoming MG/Tween book. Enjoy.


MISTER MAX: THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS (Review)

By Cynthia Voigt
In the monologue of his play As You Like It, Shakespeare says: “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Maximilian Starling, AKA Mister Max and Mister Max Solutioneer, could say the same thing about his life. And he’s only twelve years old.


MISTER MAX: THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, Award Winning Author Cynthia Voigt’s latest novel for MG/Tween readers, is a story that will have you laughing, crying, and waiting to see what young Max does next to solve his problems. His life is not running too smoothly at the moment. His troubles all start when his parents, William and Mary Starling, owners of Starling Theatrical Company, receive an invitation to India from the Maharajah of Kashmir, along with two ship tickets and a brooch. Things go wrong from the beginning and Max soon finds himself alone, with only his grammie for help, as he tries to piece together the situation. A delightful cast of characters adds mystery and confusion for Max in his quest to discover what has happened to his parents. He also needs a job if he plans to eat. Having a variety of costumes, thanks to his actor parents, Max disguises himself and goes about job hunting. Along the way he discovers he’s good at finding lost objects and that people are not always what they seem.

Cynthia Voigt’s tale about Max, who is quite the clever young man, should appeal to young readers that enjoy adventure, a hero who’s not perfect but does the best he can, and doesn’t back down when he believes he’s right, no matter what the adults around him may say. Beautiful imagery brings each scene to life. The author leaves Max with an even bigger problem to solve, making the reader (at least me) wonder when the second book in the series will be out. Recommended for school libraries and classrooms and for all readers from ten to a hundred.

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An ARC of the book was provided to me by Random House Children's Books and Net Galley.

Also, if you have wee ones in your family or know children of the picture book age, FRANKIE'S PERFECT HOME, paperback, is on sale for $4.24 at Amazon. Frankie would love for you to read his story. Thanks.

Have a wonderful week.
Happy Reading

Monday, August 5, 2013

THE BLACK SHARD BY VICTORIA SIMCOX

And the winners of an eBook copy of THE BLACK SHARD are:
 
Donna McDine
Krweinert
Creativewritingintheblackberrypatch
I've forwarded your email addresses to Victoria.
Enjoy the read.

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing THE BLACK SHARD, a MG/Tween fantasy novel by Victoria Simcox. From the story to the characters to the artwork this book is a joy to read.

 
Now don't you want to know what these characters are up to? I do. (And I know.)
 
 
Synopsis:
 
Kristina's stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it's all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester's cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it's actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can't refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends ... and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the "Black Shard," Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it's in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.
 
 
My Review:
 
THE BLACK SHARD
By Victoria Simcox
 
Have you ever dreamed of living in a magical land of fairies, serpents, gnomes, and other fascinating characters? Even better, what if this land also has talking horses, a Seeing Crystal that shows the Wizards where whatever they want to see is, and a handsome prince that seems to think you’re pretty awesome? If you’d like to journey to such a place then come along with me to Author Victoria Simcox’s latest MG/Tween novel, THE BLACK SHARD.


My favorite characters, Kristina Kingsley and Prince Werrien, from THE MAGIC WARBLE, the first book in the series, are back with more adventures, intrigue, and surprises. While attending a riding camp for girls, an accident lands Kristina in Bernoven, where she met Prince Werrien two and a half years earlier. Davina and Hester, the bullies that do their best to make Kristina’s life miserable, are also there. Kristina has no idea what happened, but she’s happy seeing old friends, along with new ones. Everyone is not friendly though. Some want to harm Kristina, and her courage is soon tested, along with her trust in Werrien.


Like Kristina, I enjoyed renewing acquaintances from the first book. Davina and Hester are just as mean to Kristina as ever. Prince Werrien is two years older, as is Kristina, and their romance is hesitant, and tender, and just right. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy, prince or commoner, that made you feel like a princess? The little girl, Jabela, stole my heart. Besides characters that come to life, Victoria Simcox, has a way of bringing the reader into the setting, making you feel as though you’re with the characters, feeling the waves toss the ship up and down, hearing the wind whistle around you. Or visualizing the image in the mirror and shuddering. Black-and-white sketches throughout the novel provide just the right touch.


As much as I liked the first book, I think THE BLACK SHARD is even better. I wasn’t ready for the story to end and hope the next book in the series will soon be out. I recommend Ms. Simcox’s novel for fantasy lovers, adventure lovers, and everyone that enjoys a good read with a touch of danger and a gentle romance. And you don’t have to be a tween to read it; adults will enjoy Kristina and Werrien’s story, as well.

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Where to learn more about Victoria and her books and either join or like her sites:

blog www.victoriasimcox.blogspot.com,

The Black Shard on FB http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Black-Shard/264063053622412


Victoria Simcox on Twitter. http://twitter.com/VictoriaSimcox
 
Victoria is also giving away 3 eBook copies of the Black Shard US/International. All you have to do is leave a comment with your email so she can contact the winners.
 
Now, meet the author, Victoria Simcox:
 
 





Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children's Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.

Sounds like a busy lady.

Happy Reading. Don't forget to leave your message and email.
 

Friday, August 2, 2013

THE RESULTS OF HEAT AND DROUGHT

Our yard has mesquite trees, mulberry, elm trees and pine trees. With little rain for the past three years and temperatures in the 100s most of the summers, the trees are trying to survive. We're in stage three water conservation, which means we can water our yard only twice a month, during certain hours. We don't water anyway, since we haul our water from the city. (Side note: The city is laying a line down our road as I write. Soon, we'll have city water, if any is left.)

Anyhow, we have/had seven tall pine trees. Four of them finally gave up and are nothing but bare limbs. A few days ago the one in the front yard fell to the ground. It landed on the fence and luckily did no damage. This fall I'll call someone out to cut down the one in the backyard that is close to the house. I hate to see them go. No more pine cones. No more branches for birds to build their nests. The mesquites and elms have suffered a little, but they're tough and can withstand the drought. For how much longer I don't know. The mulberries are sickly. So I pray for rain every day. A good heavy rain to add water to the lakes and ponds. Farewell lovely pines.


 
Our son has cut this one up so it's not hanging over the driveway. One consolation: We'll have a lot of firewood for this winter.
 
Now, this has nothing to do with writing. Or does it? How about a story of a tree and the critters that live in its branches and holes in the trunk. Yeah, I guess it's been done. You never know.
 
Happy Reading.