Saturday, 24 February 2018

Nominate A Sensitive Situation by Lee Isserow for #KindleScout

Check it out, and if you like it, nominate it for publishing. If it gets picked, you get it free!

A noir thriller with a scifi/supernatural twist... 

John Ballard is a detective with a condition, he absorbs the memories of whatever or whoever he touches - but he's not the only one with this ability... When others use their gift to steal classified information, he's recruited to track them down. The deeper he digs, the more lines he'll have to cross - because it's not just his life on the line, but the life of the woman he loves too.

Nominate it Today!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Atlantis: A #Fantasy Novel by Carol Roberts | Renee's Author Spotlight

Originally posted on Renee's Author Spotlight:

Carol Roberts is a freelance writer with particular interest in cultural myth. Originally from Vienna, she has spent all of her adult life in the Far North of New Zealand. Her work took her to several different countries, where she indulged her fascination with stories, particularly those dealing with the creation of man. 'Atlantis' is her first full-length novel; speculating on concepts of the human condition, the meaning of individual and collective destiny, and the choices within that.

Connect with the Author

Read an Excerpt from Her Next Book!

About the Book

When Alanthea, high-priestess of Atlantis, connects to a woman in her dreams, she becomes haunted by a mystery. Compelled to trace the other woman's life she finds coded poems that hold clues to the predicament of her people. Now she has to venture ever farther into forbidden territory to link past and present and understand the real danger threatening Atlantis.

Arakon always thought of himself as an orphan, a loner without any real belonging. But after a strange encounter his life changes, and he is drawn into events beyond his control.

They move parallel in their search for answers until their destinies converge, and the weave unravels. Yet what they finally uncover lies deep at the heart of collective evolution, and what has been set in motion cannot be undone.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Time shifted as he carefully turned and dug his heels into the horse’s side. A good horse, a strong horse, just like the old man’s had been. The shade of the trees embraced him, and the sound of the water came closer. Would he still find the track? Was there a track? Time shifted further, and he felt an eerie sensation between his shoulder blades. The forest was too quiet, the water overly loud. Gideon started to slip, and he reined the stallion in even further.

The filtered light threw strange patterns onto the ground, and when the moment came he let go of the reins and let Gideon run. Leaves slapped him in the face, and as the noise became deafening he could see the glistening spray which lay like a shimmering web ahead of him. Gideon shied but could not stop. They raced on until the tree-line opened up, and he could see the gorge falling away in front of him like a black, open mouth.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Special Feature: #YA #SFF Tiva Boon: Royal Guardian by Jenn Nixon | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

YA Bestseller in 2012. Will Be 99c through March 31st!

Final Fantasy meets Star Trek! One girl's destiny will change her planet forever. All Tiva Boon ever wanted was to become an elite protector to the throne, and she dedicates her youth and risks her life to prove her worthiness. But when she reaches her goal, a mysterious off-world threat emerges and shatters everything Tiva holds dear.

Get it today on Amazon!

Special Feature: Tallas - A #Fantasy Novel by Cathrina Constantine | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

In a decimated world, setting foot outside of Tallas is certain death ~ or so they say. Mutations caused by those in the wilderness have plagued citizens ~ or so they say.

For Doogan and Keelya their belief in a Free Tallas has lost its glimmer. When their son, Fabal is given a dangerous assignment, they risk everything to protect him. Fleeing Tallas, they head for the wilderness. But they're ambushed by cruel Mediators, Doogan is recaptured, and while Keelya and Fabal escape, she is severely injured.

Can the two of them survive in the wilderness? Will Doogan get away from the clutches of the Mediators? And are the legends about terrible monsters beyond Tallas true?

Get it today on Amazon!

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

#YouTubTuesday - 2018 #Marketing Predictions, Our #Author Resolutions, and When to Advertise | Renee Scattergood

I'm always trying to keep up with the latest marketing trends in the book industry. It's also a good idea to see what peoples' predictions are so you can experiment with different things to get new readers for your books. This video has some great info on book marketing in general and some predictions for the coming year.

The Unbelievable #Fantasy #BookGiveaway

Get up to 60 Fantasy books free!

Monday, 19 February 2018

#Medieval Monday: Sleep (part 2) | Allison D. Reid

Originally Posted by Allison D. Reid:

Medieval Monday: Sleep (part 1) talked about how sleep cycles in the Middle Ages differed from those of the present day. This post goes into other information related to sleep.
What you wore, where you slept, and what you slept on were all related to your social status. The average person in the Middle Ages didn’t have a separate sleeping area. In a one room cottage, everyone slept crammed in together on thin woven mats, or mattresses stuffed with wool, hay or moss. Fleas, lice, and other pests were frequent, unwelcome guests that plagued commoners and kings alike. They were sometimes combated with ticking (tightly woven mattress covers), herbs that were known to be insect-repellents, or by storing bedding in cedar chests. While the wealthy had the advantage of feather beds and pillows, and fur coverlets, pest were attracted to them. Bed filling was usually only changed once each year.
A fireplace was the only source of heat and would have to be tended in the middle of the night to keep it going. In a peasant home, the fireplace was little more than an open hearth in the center of the room (sometimes with a hole in the ceiling above it for ventilation). Once the shutters and doors were all closed for the night, the room would be quite smoky. Heavy rains might drip through the thatch roof overhead, or drive insects and mice indoors, and wind whistled noisily through the walls and windows. A somewhat larger peasant home might have two rooms—one for the people, another for the animals—or a sleeping loft above.
If you had a bit more wealth, your sleeping arrangements would be more comfortable, but surprisingly not any more private. A real bed, with a mattress and drawn curtains was quite expensive and might be passed down through the family. Though the likelihood of having a separate sleeping room was greater, the whole family would sleep together in one bed, with servants sleeping nearby on straw mats. Guests of the household might also be invited to share the bed.
Other types of beds could be quite small, designed for only one person. They might have a sloped back and knee support, more like sleeping in a reclining chair than a bed. It was always advantageous to have space between the floor and the bed so that cold didn’t seep up from the floor. Women tended to braid or tie up their hair at bedtime, and it was common for everyone to sleep with a head covering for added warmth. If it was particularly cold, hot stones or a bed warmer (filled with hot coals from the fire) might be placed beneath the blankets until the bed was warm, or the blankets might simply be turned all the way down to allow in heat from the hearth.
It is generally thought that most medieval people slept without clothes, but period artwork shows a variety of nightly attire. Some slept nude while others wore simple gowns and shirts, or even just their daily underclothes. Monks were known to sleep in their robes for warmth since they always slept alone. By the late Middle Ages nightshirts and nightgowns were common. What was worn depended on one’s means, personal preferences, time of year, and sleeping conditions, and who else was sharing the bed.
One thing both wealthy and poor had in common–neither much enjoyed going outside to the bathroom in the middle of the night, so chamber pots were used. Urine collected in these pots had a variety of uses, from cleaning, to sterilizing wounds and tools, to processes like fulling wool. Over the chamber pot there might be a chair with a hole in the seat and a cover to help contain the smell.
Want to learn more about what daily life was like in the Middle Ages? You can find all of my previous posts in the Medieval Monday Index.

#SFF Book Bonanza 99 Cent #SciFi & #Fantasy Books

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Drunken Poet | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

If you find a poet’s poem
Written but undefined
Without the final line
It is likely the poet’s home
Tasteful but unrefined
Is fortified with wine!

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

Inspiration Sunday | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:


I had to take a long drive by myself yesterday, and to pass the time I listened to my favorite set of CDs–the dramatized Focus on the Family version of the Narnia Chronicles, with introductions by Lewis’ son. I got through The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian before the trip was done, and was amazed (as I often am) by the many nuggets of spiritual wisdom Lewis throws into these “simple” children’s stories. If you haven’t read the Chronicles of Narnia, or haven’t read them recently enough to remember them, pick them up sometime. You won’t be disappointed! (And no, the recent Disney movie versions are NOT an adequate substitute. Don’t get me started on those…)
In one particular scene from Prince Caspian, Lucy woke from sleep feeling that the voice she liked best in the world had been calling her name. She gets up to search for the voice, finally coming upon Aslan, who is shining white in the moonlight. He is huge, and beautiful, and she rushes to him without a thought, as though her heart would burst if she lost a moment.
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
I’m quite sure that when I read these books as kid, I didn’t really comprehend what that meant. My understanding of God and faith was pretty simple. I knew a bit from my Christian grandparents, but I was being raised in an atheist household–there was no going to church, no Sunday School, no praying, or reading the Bible, and any talk about God was likely to be negative.
I’m not even sure how long it took me to realize that Aslan was supposed to represent Jesus. At first, it didn’t matter. What I understood, and responded to, was the wonder in scenes like these–the way in which the trees came to life and danced in Aslan’s presence (they couldn’t help themselves), and most importantly, the protective, restorative love Aslan poured out on Lucy without pause or condition.
It was a unique kind of love that I didn’t find between the other characters, or in other books. Even when Aslan was instructing, or scolding, it was with a firm gentleness that prompted a willing respect and obedience. Somehow I recognized that Aslan’s love was different than any other. I longed for it, and I was seeking it, just as Lucy had been. When I felt God’s love for the first time, in the real world, I knew I’d felt it before…through Lucy.
Aslan doesn’t just shower Lucy with his love in this short scene then send her away, however. Lucy and Aslan have a real relationship. He growls at her when she begins to blame the others for getting them lost, and he allows her to see that she is just as much at fault. When fear causes her to express her anger and frustration, Aslan doesn’t rebuke her, but gives her strength to deal with it instead. There is something important he needs her to do–something that will be hard–because she’s the youngest, and because her faith allows her to see what the others can’t yet. Ultimately, it is Aslan’s love for her, and the strength of their relationship, that gives Lucy the courage to tell the others, “I’ll have to go with him (Aslan) whether anyone else does or not.”
Reading these passages now, with adult eyes, adult knowledge, and a fair share of life’s scars to boot, I have a much deeper understanding of what Lewis was really saying. (And believe me, this is only one spiritual nugget of MANY from this part of the book). I do indeed find “Aslan” bigger, and more amazing, every year I grow as a Christian. Our relationship is a constant work-in-progress. Sometimes I have Lucy’s child-like faith. Sometimes I’m Edmund who cannot see, but moves forward anyway out of trust. At other times I’m Susan, who doesn’t see because she is trapped listening to her own fears instead of Aslan’s voice.
Maybe part of why Prince Caspian spoke to me so clearly yesterday is because in the section of book 3 that I’m working on now, my characters are facing some of the same issues. They are also “lost” in the spiritual woods so to speak, and I am working through their struggles alongside of my own.
For Morganne and Elowyn things are changing again, too quickly for them to stop and catch their breaths. They’re desperately seeking Aviad’s guidance, but are unsure if that golden shadow moving between the trees ahead is really Him, wanting them to follow, or just a trick of the moonlight. The answers don’t come easy. Aviad is asking them to do something important–something hard–because they can see what others can’t yet.
Will they wrap themselves in Aviad’s strength and accept His will as Lucy did? Or will they close their eyes and resist like Susan, only finally seeing Him in hindsight? I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for book 3 to find out.

This post was taken from my most recent author newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to join my mailing list.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Fifth Brother | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

Expanded Story of the Moravian tale of ‘Four Brothers’
It was once told some time ago that there were four brothers that were the son of a huntsman that had saved a princess from a dragon. The four brothers had each mastered gainful trades with skills beyond any other with their craft. The eldest brother was a cobbler, who could fix anything by saying, “mend it”. The second brother was a thief, who could have anything by saying, “take it”. The third brother was an astrologer, who could see anything by saying, “find it”. And the youngest brother was a hunter like his father, who could slaughter any creature by saying, “kill it”.

As the story is told, and re-told, and told again, the brothers were granted kingdoms and riches by saving the princess from the perilous dragon. What is not told is the story of the mysterious fifth brother, the son of the father and the harlot, who the other brothers had never known.

After the dragon was slain, the brothers had lived happily in their kingdoms, showered with gifts and riches and beautiful wives. Their father traveled to each of his four son’s homes at each season to live a happy life, rejoicing in the success of his sons.

After a short time, the father thought to himself, ‘I have had four sons who have all brought blessings upon my house and upon my name. I am nearing old age and I am deserving of more blessings yet. I should have another son to increase my joy.’

The father no longer had a wife, who had died a number of years ago, and set out to find the mother of his youngest son. After propositioning several women with his intended plan and being turned down more times than appendages he had, the father become discouraged. That is, until a woman at an alehouse told him that she desperately wanted a child. She offered to carry his child for a bit of coin as long as they remained unwed and he remained absent from the child’s life until adulthood. The father agreed, feeling as though he had no other choice. The father had no issue in paying the woman for her deed, as each of his other sons were rich and gave him money freely.

The deed was done and the father did not come to the alehouse anymore, dying before his youngest son reached adulthood. On his deathbed, he told the eldest son, the cobbler, of what he had done.

The eldest son vowed to find his littlest brother and quickly met with his three younger brothers that were still monarchs in their kingdoms. Upon hearing the news, the astrologer said, “find it”, and shared that the fifth brother was still be at the alehouse, full of grief from the life that he had endured. The brothers set off on a three day journey to meet their youngest sibling with hopes of showering the boy, who was clearly a pauper, with the riches of their family.

Along the path, the brothers were met by a hoodlum of bandits. The bandits threatened to kill them and their horses if they did not turn over their riches. The huntsman, thinking of his little brother’s woe, did not want to be delayed by the bandits. He condemned justice and said, “kill it”, and they all fell dead.

On the second day, when stopping for midday meal, the horses became spooked and fled away from the camp. The brothers rushed to grab the reins but were unsuccessful as horses can gallop quite quickly. The cobbler, huntsman, and astrologer became panicked as the horses increased their distance from the camp. The thief simply smiled at his brothers and said, “take it”, and the horses were back at the brothers’ side. Together, they continued their journey.

On the third day, at the alehouse, the pauper agreed to meet with the four brothers and listen to the story of their father. The pauper responded saying, “My mother died in birthing me and I have always wondered at whom my father was that abandoned me. I wonder at whether your story brings me joy or pain, but my heart breaks in sadness.”

The cobbler said, “mend it”, and the fifth brother’s heart was whole. The pauper soon found himself overwhelmed with happiness and joy that had never been known before. He welcomed the riches of his brothers, and embraced them as kin.

“What is your trade?” the cobbler finally asked their youngest.

“I am minstrel but not like any other minstrel. Whenever I say ‘sing it’, my song is heard by the whole world.”

And, the minstrel did just that, telling the story of his four brothers that had lifted him from his despair into gladness. From that time forward, the five brothers brought all the more blessings to their house and to their name.

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Horatius | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

Why ever do you try to know
The future, which nothing is known?
As though prophecy, or the divine, can say
What will come of your fate and mine.

Stop this; don’t waste your time,
For still the frost will come
While the thunderstorms roll by
And we are drunk on summer wine.

Come, before the winter air blows
For your life hangs like a simple rose
Drooping down for the plucking
Take it before it goes.

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

Fantasy Art Friday | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:

Get inspired with this week’s Fantasy Art Friday, where fun fantasy artwork is combined with a writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.

Light streams gently down, illuminating this quiet city carved from spacious caverns. Still, deep, and cold, underground lakes and rivers have become the most convenient thoroughfares to get from place to place. The tumultuous world above seems distant, as though nothing more than a memory, or a myth. How large is this hidden world? Is it one small city, or an entire, vast network of them, all connected by waterways? Who lives here, and how did they come to live here in the first place? Let your imagination find the answers.
Artist and Title Unknown

Want to see more Fantasy Art posts? Find them here.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Making Rent | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

I deposit the payment within my bra
Contemplating this strange relationship
I am not a friend and nothing more
Just a stranger who's told to bite your lip

Your body crushes me against the wall
I savor the taste of your flesh carefully
Ignoring the blade against my throat
I pretend to moan and purr in ecstasy

You have your way and I get mine
Before you walk out my scrappy door
In the back, I hear my baby cry
I swear to you, I am not a whore.

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

Special Feature: Type X - A #YA #Dystopian Novel by M. A. Phipps | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

Two years have passed since her willing return to the DSD, and Wynter Reeves is no longer the timid girl who only wanted to blend in. Strong, confident, and in control of her once debilitating powers, the world trembles at her feet while news of what she’s capable of spreads like fire among the State’s enemies. As the death toll rises and Dr. Richter further warps her into a weapon of war, Wynter is forced to embrace the daunting reality of what she’s become. With the remnants of her humanity hanging on by a shoestring, she must choose between the one sacrifice that could lead to her salvation or the dark path of destruction from which there can be no return.
Torn between two sides of a war she never asked for, will Wynter find her freedom, or will she be doomed to remain a monster forever?

Get it Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Dead of Night (Aftershock novel #1): A #YA #Dystopian #Novel by Carlyle Labuschagne

In a dark and desolated After Earth, love still does exist, but the cost of bearing such a flaw is death. World War III has left Earth in utter turmoil. People’s beliefs are said to be the cause of the worldwide destruction. After The Clearing new laws are set about - to show certitude in anything besides the law is weak and chargeable as mutiny.

To be illogical and have faith in religion is illegal, to be limitless is dangerous. And Illness is seen as a defect – all flaws that are inexcusable. But to love is the greatest betrayal of all man kind. It is a fault the world has long forgotten and punishable by death, a fatal risk Aecker and Opel are fully prepared to take - because in love there is freedom. But how far can they push back before it claims their lives and those they care about.

Get it today on Amazon!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Life's Expedition | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

Walking, fragmented
A desolate street
Tattered and hollow
Laced with deceit
Secret destinations
Whispered in passing
Twisted thoughts echo
Forever everlasting
Empty questions
With vain replies
The living walk onward
While another corpse cries.

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

#ISWG - Why I Love #Fantasy | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

For those who don't know, the Insecure Writers Support Group is open to all writers to share their fears, doubts, and concerns, as well as your triumphs. So if you have something to share, visit the link at the end of this post!

A Confession...

Other than the short story I wrote for 12 Short Stories, I haven't written anything this month. Well, that and blog posts. But am I worried? Okay, yeah, I kinda am...I've tried everything to motivate myself, so this week I'm trying good old fashioned just-get-out-of-your-head-and-do-it tactics. I have another short story to work on this week, then I'm going to finish up Book 1 of A God's Deception and start on Book 2. There's only a couple of chapters left to write in the first book. :-D

The good news is, if I just get to writing, I can have the first drafts of Books 2 & 3 done by the end of this month. Of course, my first drafts are absolutely horrendous and need lots of work. I think the fleshing out part of writing takes longer than writing the first draft, but somehow it's more fun for me too.

This months question...

What do you love about the genre you write in most often?
I've loved fantasy for as long as I can remember. Its been so long, I can't even remember what got me hooked.

I love that it transports you to new worlds that only exist in your (or someone else's) imagination. It takes me away from the everyday craziness of this world. Sometimes it even makes my problems seem a lot smaller. I mean, I'd rather deal with my issues than being on the run for my life.

I love the magic and how anything is possible. You can make it as real or as fantastical as you want, and it doesn't matter because it's your world.

Mostly I love that it helps me maintain my sanity. I have a very overactive imagination, and fantasy worlds are the best outlet for that. If I spend too much time not writing (like lately), I can't sleep, my brain won't shut off, and I get really depressed. The only way to fix it is to write. So that's what I do.

What's your favorite genre to write and/or read and why?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

A database resource site and support group for writers and authors. Featuring weekly guests and tips, a monthly blogfest gathering, a Facebook group, a book club, and thousands of links – all to benefit writers! #IWSG
Website / Facebook Group / Twitter / Book Club
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Co-hosts this month are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia,Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte! Please visit their blogs and show your support!

Him (The Migrator Series Book 1): A #SciFi #Novel by Caitlin Mazur

Amelia Adkins used to think time travel wasn’t real. That was before she met a time traveler named Ben, and discovered that time could physically touch you. And kill you.

When Ben’s journey to the past goes sideways, it forces a crash landing dangerously close to Amelia’s sister, Faye. Her sister is inflicted with a deadly disease, and only Ben's distant team of time travelers have the cure.

In a race against time, Ben, Amelia, and Faye travel across the country in an attempt to save Faye’s life. For Ben, her death could mean an end to his career. For Amelia, it means losing the only family she's ever known. For both, life as they know it will never be the same.

Defying the rules of time will cost them all.

Get it today on Amazon!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Scythes Anonymous | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

Czern clumsily held the sharpie marker and etched his name on the My Name Is nametag before pressing the adhesive to his dilapidated gray robe. The letters were crooked but he was satisfied with his handwriting. It had taken him nearly a month to learn to print the five letters. Still, despite his progress in learning to write, Czern was frustrated with having to wear the nametag. It completely stole away the significance of attending the group called Scythes Anonymous.

The group leader began speaking while Czern made his way to his seat, "Please, everyone, come and find your seat in the circle of trust. After six long weeks, we are finally at the end of our little meetings. Who would like to start?"

A brawny fellow stood from metal folding chair, gripping his scythe in one hand and the white sheet that barely clung to his waist with his other, "My name is Cronus or Saturn, depending on what text you read. I didn't sleep with my scythe for the first time last night."

The male next to him with bright golden hair and a set of fluffed, white wings clapped enthusiastically.

"Cronus, I am glad to hear your progress, but," the group leader said, "I have told you for over a month to wear real clothes to these meetings. You cannot strut about in a sheet. It is not allowed in the twenty-first century."

"Please tell me we aren't going to play Twister again?" an elderly man in a pitch black robe shivered uncomfortably next to Czern. "I still don't know why you made us do that!"

"No, Father. Of course not, and it was a test of resilience."

"I am still having nightmares..."

Cronus shrugged, adjusting his sheet, "I thought it was rather enjoyable."

Father glared at the god, once a Titan, "You didn't have someone's testicles resting on the back of your neck when the spinner jammed."

Cronus returned the pinned look, "Hey! Need I remind you that I castrated Uranus and threw his testicles into the sea with this scythe?"

"Might as well," Czern mumbled, "You tell us every week."

The blonde clapped again with the same excitement as before.

"That did not need an applause, Samael." The group leader shook his head gravely.

"The hell it doesn't," Cronus bawled, "That act alone gave birth to Aphrodite, who has blessed this planet for centuries with her beauty."

"I am well aware," the leader muttered.

"Now might be a good time to mention that I actually did not sleep at all last night, so when I said that I did not...uh...sleep with my scythe -

Read the Full Story...

#YouTubeTuesday - 42 Genius Hacks That Will Take Your Life to a Whole New Level | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

I love watching these life hacks videos. They have some great ideas, and I've used tons of them and saved time and money as a result. So here's 42 of them to take advantage of.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Dishonored Prometheus | Joshua Robertson

Originally posted by Joshua Robertson:

Ascend to Mount Caucasus and witness Prometheus,
Aloneness fulfills his heart; Ethon pricks his poor pate,
An unruly doom held for the most striking sire of the fire,
Alas, the choir denotes a fate for his audacity judged amiss.

Hubris! Zeus’ detestation for mankind’s undying prying,
Implying that the finite might materialize beyond the wise,
Cries echo from Hera of the duplicity, vigilant of a heifer, Lo,
Oh, hidden by tricky Bosporus, the lustful ox was underlying.

Relying on Prometheus to direct the desired maiden, forbidden,
Again, an eminent one plants a fruitful seed, an honorable deed,
His creed reprimanded by his prosperities; nay, heed Heracles,
Such glories sung louder than Prometheus’ kindness and Zeus’ sin.

When legends of compassion are tethered with assent to men’s essence,
The evanescence of each intention will disperse with mankind’s insolence.

Joshua Robertson is an award-winning author in epic, dark fantasy. You may recognize him as the dude whose dragons were said to destroy George R.R. Martin's and Christopher Paolini's dragons in a very biased Twitter poll. His first novel, Melkorka, was released in 2015, and he has been writing fantasy fiction like clockwork ever since. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He currently lives in North Carolina with his better half and his horde of goblins. Learn more at or connect with him on Twitter or Instagram @RobertsonWrites.

#Medieval Monday: Sleep (part 1) | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:

There is no doubt that the seasons ruled medieval life, dictating what work needed to be done and what food was available to eat, but did you know they affected sleep habits as well? With our ability to brighten up stores, homes, and streets with electric lights, our modern-day sleep patterns don’t change a whole lot with the seasons. Most of us aim for a solid 8 hours and adjust our bed times and alarm clocks accordingly.
But imagine during the long winter nights, going to bed shortly after dark, and not getting up until sunrise? That’s roughly 14 hours a night—a bit too much sleep!

According to historian Roger Ekirch, medieval adults broke up their sleep into two parts, with a time of wakefulness in between. They might use this time for intimacy, prayer, study, light household chores, or even visiting neighbors. After an hour or two, they would go back to bed until the sun rose. This was common practice for everyone, including monks, who were required to get up in the middle of the night as part of their prayer rituals. This was thought to protect the monastic community and its surroundings from demonic attacks. Children were the exception to the “first and second sleep” norm, and it was recommended that they sleep straight through the night.
During the winter months the shortness of the days, and lighter workloads, allowed abundant opportunity for sleeping, but summer was quite different. Field labors in the heat of the sun were more intensive, and exhausting. Under the feudal system, people were required to first labor for their lord or king before they took care of their own fields and gardens. This made for very long, back-breaking days that didn’t always leave enough time to sleep, especially in the northernmost areas of Europe. The remedy? Afternoon naps.
Naps were also common year-round for those who were expected to work at night while everyone else slept, or for those whose jobs entailed a lot of waiting. These would primarily be guards and servants. If they couldn’t go home to nap in bed, they would settle in someplace where they could sleep sitting up.
More information about sleep will be in my next post, where I’ll talk about beds, sleeping arrangements, and sleeping attire.

Learn more about the daily life in Middle Ages by browsing previous posts in the Medieval Monday Index.

The Rose Thief: A #Fantasy Novel by Claire Buss

Claire Buss is a science fiction, fantasy & contemporary writer based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 setting her writing career in motion.

The Gaia Effect, a hopeful dystopian novel and winner of the 2017 Raven Award for favourite Scifi/Fantasy novel, was published in 2016.

Tales from Suburbia, a collection of humorous plays, blogs and short stories was published in July 2017.

The Rose Thief, a humorous fantasy inspired by Claire's love of Pratchett was published in November 2017.

Claire has had two short stories published in 2017. 'Underground Scratchings' can be found in the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Tales from the Underground, published by Inklings Press. 'Patient Data' can be found in the sci-fi anthology The Quantum Soul, published by SciFi Roundtable.

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About the Book

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor's roses. But that's not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It's up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn't exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I've always wanted to be a writer but never had the confidence to actually commit to writing a book. Then I saw a local writing competition and for some reason I thought, let's have a go at that and submitted an opening chapter without realising that those shortlisted would have to submit the rest of the novel. After getting shortlisted I had three months to write the rest of the book - definitely a baptism of fire! The book, The Gaia Effect, went on to place second in the competition and was published in December 2016. That gave me the confidence to keep writing and I went on to self-publish two additional books in 2017 - Tales from Suburbia and The Rose Thief - as well as two short stories in sci-fi & fantasy anthologies Tales from the Underground and The Quantum Soul.

Do you have a "day job"?

My 'day job' is a stay at home mum to my little boy, four and a half, and my brand new daughter. At the moment finding the time to write is proving to be somewhat of a challenge but I hope to find some kind of work balance soon.

What genres do you write?

I write fantasy, sci-fi and humour. I expect I may well try some other genres in the future as well.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?

I had to research how to blow a building up using remotely triggered C4 and then what the building looked like as it collapsed. I was so nervous doing the internet searches but it was worth it because I think that scene in The Gaia Effect is really strong.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

I continually re-read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I have now added to my re-readable bookshelf the Peter Grant novels by Ben Aaronovitch. I do enjoy re-reading books. I have also re-read the Eragon & Harry Potter books.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?

My Goodreads TBR list is over 4000 strong. It's not my fault. There are too many exciting looking books out there! The last ten books I added were:

  • The Waking Land by Callie Bates
  • If I Wake by Nikki Moyes
  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
  • At The Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon
  • Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys
  • Twelve Days by Steven Barnes
  • The Moon and The Other by John Kessel
  • Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
  • Into The Fire by Kim Vandel
  • Book Launch Blueprint by Tim Grahl

About how many books do you read in a year?

Last year I read 100 and I was pretty chuffed with that. This year I have set my target at 52 because of the new human.

Do you prefer ebooks, print or both?

I prefer print books although ebooks take up less space and are excellent for when you're travelling. I sometimes find it trickier to get into an ebook because I can't easily see how long the chapters are etc but there is something very satisfying about pressing the next page button.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

I am a complete pantser. Outlining or planning, to me, would be the ultimate procrastination exercise. I am much better off just diving straight into the writing process. I usually aim for 1000 words at one sitting and I never read back what I wrote the day before, I just carry on and deal with all the plot holes after the first draft has been completed.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the sequel to my debut novel The Gaia Effect. I managed to knock out 50k words during NaNoWriMo but now I am itching to get back to it and continue working on the story. It is a very, very rough draft and I will need to go back and re-read The Gaia Effect to ensure I have remembered my characters personality and quirks. It's quite scary writing a sequel because you want to be able to do the first book justice and make the sequel just as exciting. There have been lots of questions from readers as well so it would be great to be able to answer some of those. It may develop into a trilogy, I just don't know yet because I haven't finished the current storyline.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

I'd like to say thank you so much for taking a chance on my books. It's amazing that people I don't know have been drawn to read my novels and when someone leaves a review I am always so excited to see what they thought and what they took away from the book. I love that different people get different things out of the same story. I'd also like to say - keep leaving reviews! It really is the best thing you can do for any author.