Blog Archives

Magic, snark and a great quest–what more can you ask for? J.B. Dane


The toughest thing (and the most fun one, too) that a writer can do when spinning a series is looking for ways to top what happened in the titles that went before. But when I found a way to weave in something I’ve found thrilling and have for years, that really was the cherry on top. The “cherry” in RAVEN’S EDGE, the 3rd Raven Tale novel, was putting a sword in urban fantasy PI Bram Farrell’s hand and dropping him into a position where he wielded a rapier twice! Once while seeking information about a missing man and then to simply survive. Well, and take a stab (yes, pun city!) at reacquiring a talisman stolen from the Tuatha Dè Danann horde in Tara. It gave me a good reason (or so I thought) to rewatch all my favorite swashbuckling movies to take notes on moves and thrill to the ringing sound of blade kissing blade. Backed that up with a centuries old guide on the correct way to do battle with a rapier in hand so the terms would be correct. You can take the historian (me) out of their element and drop them in an urban fantasy one, but you can’t pry them away from historically correct terms.

To work some sword play into RAVEN’S EDGE not only meant I had to find (and then steal) a legendary magical sword, I had to have a reason why Bram was expert enough to use it when the time came. It just so happens, though, I had a prequel novella where he and D’Artagnan (of Three Musketeers fame) were drinking at a tavern and mention was made that the musketeer had taught my hero to wield a rapier well enough to be a regular sparring partner. And how can a fictional character do this? Well, it just so happens that Bram was 100% fictional at the time, too. They both lived in fictionland and neither knew they were nothing more than words on a page.

That’s the set up of The Raven Tales. A magic wielding, snark spewing PI with a 20-volume strong resume of kicking Otherworlder’s to the curb, but more likely killing them when need be, is yanked into the “real” world. This happens in the REAL first book of the series and Bram has been dreaming of becoming fully human himself since then. It’s just that people keep trying to kill him outside of the seam stitched binding as they did inside it.

Raven’s Edge Excerpt:

Mack perked up when he noted a light on in a second-floor window. “That’s Seth’s place. He must be home.”

“Nasty flu bug goin’ around. Maybe he’s just got a bad case,” Burt offered. Oddly enough, he no longer seemed inclined to climb out of the cab and be part of the party now.

“Could be,” Mack agreed as he angled out of the back. “He teaches in an elementary school, so colds fell him regularly.”

Sounded logical but something niggled at me that such was not going to be what we found. Only a few weeks ago I’d been searching for another missing person, this one the great-grandson of a particularly slinky vampiress. Hoped we’d find Mack’s friend doing nothing more than downing meds and watching television when we reached his door.

I trailed a bit behind as Mack headed for his friend’s place. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The sort of hackles that raise when it feels like I’m being watched didn’t stir, so I took the steps up to the upper level two at a time as Mack had done.

He relaxed a bit when he heard a familiar sound leaking into the hall. “Marathoning Game of Thrones again,” he said, jerking his head toward the closed door. “He’s got a thing for Daenerys.”

“What’s not to like about a girl who owns dragons?” I asked.

“And always looks hot,” Mack added then knocked on the door. “Yo, Seth. You alright? It just wasn’t St. Pat’s without yo—”

The door creaked open of its own accord.

The set was on, and Jon Snow wasn’t having an easy time of it on the screen. But it didn’t look like Seth had fared much better. A recliner lay on its side, sofa cushions were cockeyed, a bookshelf had its contents splayed across the floor and a side table and lamp had bit the dust. The only things in good order were the floor lamp glowing near the window and the flat screen where the fate of Westeros still hung in the balance.

“Seth!” Mack shouted, heading for what was probably the bedroom.

I stayed where I was, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. Yup, the Spidey senses had been on the job alright. The room smelled of spilled beer, nachos, weed, and three other essences.

Vampire, ghoul, and blood.



J.B. Dane is the author of the urban fantasy PI mystery comedy series, The Raven Tales, which includes novels published by Burns and Lea Books, and a series of Indie published novellas that are prequels and also “between the books” adventures of her main character, Bram Farrell. The latest novel in the series is RAVEN’S EDGE. Quite a few 5* reviews have followed for the novels in particular. She also writes shorter fantasy fiction, many tales of which have appeared in anthologies, particularly her Nick Claus, North Pole Security stories.

Social Media Links


Twitter: @JBDaneWriter

Facebook: J.B. Dane Mystery and Fantasy

Welcome author Vicky Burkholder!

Vicky Burkholder

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Thank you for having me. I’m in the Mid-Atlantic part of the US. Family? Yep. I have four adult kids (2 biological, 2 adopted), five grandchildren, and bunches of others—including my 95-year-old mom. As for my pet family, we always had cats (along with other species) but, unfortunately, our last one crossed the rainbow bridge a few years ago and we didn’t have the heart to replace her. She was with us for nineteen years. At this stage in our lives, we decided to enjoy others rather than our own.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

Not coffee – never learned to like it. Love the aroma, hate the taste. But you will always find me with either a mug or glass of tea (hot or iced) at my side. And all sorts of flavors. Depends on my mood. But most common are English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Mint, or Chai.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

I’d say my curiosity is more relevant than my education, though with a master’s degree in library science, I guess it does have a lot to do with books!

Tell us about your most recent publication?

My most recent is “Lost Among the Stars”, a futuristic romance. Though it’s the second in the series “Galactic Danger”, the first is only loosely connected to this one (and the next two). In this one, Amanda Ki runs a huge conglomerate. One of her major sources of income is being threatened by a saboteur who wants to take over her company. She commandeers a ship to take her to the world being threatened. The captain of the ship, Declan Chalmers, is definitely not happy about the job. His crew has been decimated by illness and the ship is not in good shape thanks to cheap work by the owners. Declan and Amanda butt heads, but when they discover the saboteur is on board, they have to work together to not only save themselves, but the rest of the crew and passengers. The ship goes out of control and all they can do is find a planet to land on until help can find them.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of discovering a whole new world that humans could live on and what we’d do with it. While writing, I did a lot of research on what makes a world livable—how far from the sun, what kind of sun, plants, animals, axis tilt… all of the stuff that goes into making it possible for you to not just live, but thrive on a new world.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

Playing with world building. Creating a whole new world—actually, a whole new solar system! And new plants and animals. And so much more. I had fun with the creating.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always wanted to write—to make up stories. I love building new worlds and characters to populate those worlds. That’s the fun part. The hard part is actually sitting down and doing the writing! LOL

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I used to belong to several. Not so many anymore, unfortunately. Just two small ones. The one I am most active with has just four of us—we call ourselves the Bootsquad—for those times when you need a kick in the butt to get your work done (or a shoulder to cry on when needed). We go on long weekend retreats three times a year for intense writing times. My favorite go to sites for writing are: Fiction University, Savvy Authors, Writers Write, and Fantasy Name Generator. I also use a lot of others, but these are my main ones.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I listen only to instrumental music – usually New Age or Environmental. I can’t listen to anything with words as I usually start singing along then and don’t concentrate on my work!

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

The Bootsquad are my crit partners. We each write in different genres (Cozy Mystery, Action Adventure, Futuristic, Dystopian) but are very familiar with the genres so we can honestly crit each other. We’ve been together for years so know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

“Lost Among the Stars” is my 25th book. The path has not always been smooth. Five publishers I published under have gone away, which is always disheartening. It also led me to self-publishing before I signed with my current publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Before I was published, I wrote policy and procedures manuals for organizations and the government (yes, it is as boring as it sounds!), and was a journalist for a local newspaper (small town). My first published book was actually the first full-length book I wrote. Up until then, I mostly wrote short stories and articles.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I am currently writing the third book in this series, “Found Among the Stars” while I wait for edits on the second “Searching Among the Stars”. Because of Covid, I am not yet making personal appearances, but hope to soon. In the meantime, you can find me on Gabby Allan’s “Pull Up a Branch” Podcast:  Vicky Burkholder Pulls Up a Branch to talk World Building! – YouTube

Tagline: How do you escape death when you are lost in space and a killer is aboard your ship?

Synopsis: Amanda Ki’s humanitarian trip to Xy-Three is fraught with assassins and saboteurs who are popping up faster than she can deal with them. Caught up in a web of intrigue, kidnapping, and terror, Mandy joins forces with the captain of the Phoenix, Declan Chalmers. Declan is tall, dark, handsome, and probably the most arrogant, dictatorial man she has ever met. He’s also one of the few people she can trust. Declan doesn’t know what to expect from the VIP who heads up a million-dollar enterprise, when she boards his ship. The tiny, exotic, and packed full of grit woman is not only drop dead gorgeous and smart, she’s also deadly when it comes to martial arts. A skill he wants on his side when the space craft is sabotaged. Thrown together, the two form a tight bond, but if they aren’t careful, they could end up dead.

Excerpt :

Declan took in the woman sitting in front of him, from the long, coal-black hair held back with a tie, to the expensive, but practical jumpsuit. She was everything Declan disliked—a bureaucrat of the worst type—stubborn, fiery, and determined. Revising his earlier thoughts, she was neither old, nor wrinkled, but Dec wasn’t sure about the coddling yet. “There’s no need to thank me. You handled the situation exceedingly well. However,” his voice changed from silky smooth to one of warning, “in the future, please don’t give my crew any orders without checking with me first.”

Miss Ki stared at him. He could see the muscles in her jaw working. Fine, so she was angry. Dec wasn’t exactly happy with the way this trip was starting out either.

“I wasn’t aware I needed your permission to do my job. These people are my responsibility.”

“And this ship and her crew are mine. While you’re on my ship, you will follow my orders. Is that clear, Ms. Ki?”

Mandy stood, bracing her hands on the desk. “Like hell I will. You may be in charge of this ship, but I am in charge of this mission. Is that clear, Captain?” Without waiting for an answer, she stalked from the room.

Book Links:

The Wild Rose Press:


Barnes & Noble: Lost Among the Stars by Vicky Burkholder | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (


Google Books:

Author Information:

As her alter-ego, Vicky has multiple homes all over the universe. She looks human – for the most part – but when she starts writing about characters being able to move things or flicking fire from their fingertips, or changing the course of rivers, people tend to get a little freaked out. She found the one guy out there in the universe who loves her for who she is and they’ve been together forever and raised four wonderful (now) adults. Her career includes work as a technical writer/editor, a stringer for the local newspaper, and an editor and copy editor for various publishers. At various times in her life, she has been a teacher, a secretary, a short-order cook, a computer specialist, a DJ, and a librarian. When not editing or writing, she can be found in the kitchen creating gluten free goodies for her family.

Author Links


Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads Page:




For Other Works by Vicky Burkholder

(Please be sure to stop by her Website to see all of her works)

Vicky Burkholder

tales that transcend the ordinary

A new feel-good romance from Margot!


Let it Melt – a sweet contemporary romance and sequel to Let it Snowball

by Margot Johnson                                                                                                      

What’s a Sweetheart Tour without someone to love?

How on earth did Jill, a single divorcee, land on a romantic Valentine’s Sweetheart Tour for couples? Worse, she’s paired with Jack, her daughter’s brash father-in-law, and everyone thinks he’s her valentine. Stranded in a Canadian prairie blizzard, how soon can she kiss this awkward evening goodbye?

Long divorced, Jack would love to charm Jill with his toned body and dynamic personality, but his wisecracks and obsession with fitness get in the way—especially when he nabs a post at the same school where she teaches.

Even the most romantic month of the year can’t melt their differences and sweeten Jill’s feelings….or can it?


Jack burned his gaze into her eyes. “I like you, Jill. You’re honest and nice. A darn good teacher. And did I mention pretty?” He removed a mitt and ran a gentle finger under her cold chin.

Mesmerized by the starlight in his ocean eyes, she formed her mouth into a surprised O and relaxed it just in time to feel his lips brush hers in a delicious swirl of warm breath and cool breeze. Excitement and wonder squashed the air from her lungs and made her slightly dizzy. He liked her and valued her good qualities. Jack, of all people, thought she was pretty.

Author Bio ):

Margot Johnson writes feel-good stories of dreams, family, and romance.

She is the author of two sweet romance novels, LOVE TAKES FLIGHT and LOVE LEADS THE WAY, and two novellas, LET IT SNOWBALL and LET IT MELT. Her characters can’t possibly find their happy endings…or can they?

Before turning her focus to the fun writing life, Margot held leadership roles in human resources and communications. When not writing, she loves to connect with family and friends, volunteer with SK Writers Guild, and walk at least 10,000 steps a day (except when it’s minus 40!) Margot lives in the Canadian prairies with her amazing husband and adorable golden retriever.

Social Media Tags:

Social Media:


Facebook: MargotJohnsonAuthor

Twitter: @AuthorMargot

Find her books here:


Barnes and Noble




Meet thriller author Jennifer Anderson!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

– My name is Jennifer Anderson. I grew up in Southern Illinois in the little town of Eldorado. I currently live in the much bigger small town of Gallatin, TN, just north of Nashville, with my husband of 27 years and an ornery cat. We have two sons, their delightful wives, and three grandchildren.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

– I drink way too much coffee. I used a Keurig for a while, but I really like to have a pot of coffee going so I can warm up my ever-present cup.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

– My degree is in advertising, and my jobs were always about writing. I worked as a copywriter, eventually landing at Nashville’s famed WSM Radio, where I transitioned into writing and producing a nationally syndicated radio show for a decade and a half. But I always dreamed of writing books. I was finally able to do that with my first novel – BUKU – which is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian thriller.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

– I am in the middle of writing my first series. BUKU is the first book, and I released the second book in the trilogy this fall. Both books are set in a world overrun by massive beasts which were developed in a lab so that their blubber could be used as clean-burning fuel. However, as often happens when man starts tinkering with nature, things go horribly wrong. A world devastated by these creatures is really just the setting of the stories though. Both BUKU and the sequel BUKU: Sun and Shadows follow a medic named Iris who is trying to save the people she loves while fighting not only buku, but the people who take advantage of the weak for their own purposes.  

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

– I had a dream – just a short, vague dream – that launched me into thinking about my main character Iris and her love interest Oso. I’ve always loved action-adventure movies and grew up reading Stephen King, so my story naturally developed into a fast-paced thriller with lots of suspense. I think what surprised me was, despite the fact that my books are about a world overrun by monsters,  many readers comment that it’s realistic. It feels like it could happen. That was a big lesson. As long as you keep the characters and their reactions and relationships and motivations real, readers will follow you practically anywhere.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

– Perhaps because it’s the newest, I really love BUKU: Sun and Shadows, the second in the trilogy. My favorite thing about is that my protagonist Iris is brought to her breaking point. The fear she experiences is all-consuming, and she has to push past it by relying on the people she feels she should be protecting, including children. It’s one thing to be strong. It’s another to be weakened, and to do what needs to be done anyway.   

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

– I love writing a scene that works so well it has me grinning or crying or pumping my fist. Everything is worth those moments. Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to figure out exactly where a story is going. So I procrastinate a lot. I mean, a lot! I am amazed by, and jealous of, writers who can write fast. However, I remember being in junior high, maybe even grade school, dreaming of writing a novel. This is a lifelong dream, so I am keeping at it!

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

– Several years ago, my pastor started a group for creative people – artists and writers and musicians. We met over lunch once a week. Sometimes we read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Sometimes we shared what we were working on. Mostly we just talked, and it was wonderful therapy for me. A lot of creative people can become blocked – scared of truly exploring what they can do – and that was definitely the case with me. I began writing my first book because of that group and will always be grateful for it. Most of the groups, FB pages, websites I use now are more about marketing and self-publishing.  

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

– Lately, I’ve been going on youtube and playing movie scores while I’m writing. It’s hard not to write dramatic scenes with the music from Game of Thrones swirling around you!

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

– I give my book to a few friends I trust to act as beta readers before my final edit, but otherwise, I rely on myself for critique. For years I wrote a radio script that was read by a broadcast duo with big personalities. I think hearing my words read by someone else taught me how to step back and truly examine what I’ve written. The flipside of that is that I am now at a point where I want to write what I want to write, how I want to write it! So no, I haven’t tried a critique group, perhaps to my detriment.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

– The most encouraging thing about the world of writing these days is that you can self-publish. You can go directly to the readers through digital platforms and never have to convince agents or publishers to take a risk on you. Of course, that also means that you are wholly responsible for all aspects of your book, including getting people to buy it. I self-publish through Amazon. So far, that’s two books and a novella. To make sure those books sell, I invested in a course on self-publishing, bought a few tools of the trade, and I spent quite a bit of money on my covers. So far, it has worked pretty well for me, though those who self-publish will tell you that the way to make money is to write a lot of books. One of these days, hopefully I’ll accomplish that.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

– I am currently working on the final book of the BUKU trilogy. I don’t have a name for it yet! After that, I am looking forward to trying my hand at a different genre, probably fantasy romance. I don’t really have any personal appearances scheduled, but you can always hit me up on Facebook or Instagram @jenniferandersonwriter.

Anything else you would like to add?

— Just that I appreciate the time and the discussion! Oh, and if you’re interested in free stories, including the prequel novella, subscribe to my newsletter at jenniferandersonwriter.comBUKU: Micah’s Story sets the stage for the trilogy, and I’d love to send it to you. You’ll also get my four best personal stories, including getting married at the Grand Ole Opry and giving a ride to William Shatner, which is a really funny story! Include social media links, bio, etc. J

Jennifer Anderson hails from Illinois — the opposite end of the state from Chicago. There, among the corn fields and coal mines, she grew up exploring new worlds through books, while dreaming of creating her own worlds. With a degree in advertising from the University of Illinois, Jennifer became a copywriter, working mostly in broadcasting. She eventually landed at famed WSM Radio in Nashville, Tennessee. From there, she moved on to write and produce the syndicated radio program “The Crook and Chase Countdown” before deciding to pursue her childhood dream of writing fiction. Jennifer lives in the Nashville area with her husband Mike, where she snuggles cats, neglects housework, and tries to find space for her vintage finds.  

Crossing America to save the country from supremacists #MFRWHooks

The Color of Fear series is topical and satisfying– the country is suffering from the aftermath of a deadly virus, and a group of young BIPOC is under attack from a a cult leader and white supremacist. But they have the herbs and seeds, brought by Tzu Lin Kwan all the way from Hong Kong. that may turn the tide and save the rest of those threatened by the now-mutating virus.

Xi San saved the life of a mysterious girl one night in his ravaged San Francisco neighborhood. He can’t get her out of his mind, but believes that she’s lost to him.

Lin Kwan came to America to bring her scientist father Chinese medicinal herbs, hoping to stop the virus that killed most of the world’s Caucasians before it mutates to infect the rest of the world. On her way to finding him, she meets again the man who once saved her, a man she can’t forget.

With a diverse group of fellow travelers, they head for St. Louis, where civilization is being rebuilt. Between them and safety, danger lurks—Gabriel, a self-styled religious leader and white supremacist, who has organized his army from Upper Midwest survivalist and militia followers, determined to take revenge for the white man.

But Gabriel isn’t their only enemy. Before they reach their destination, they will battle nature, prejudice and even those hidden among them who wish their destruction.


“Oh, my God!” Valery squealed, staring at another brochure. “Look at this. We have so got to stay here.”

“Stay…here?” Kwan’s features tightened into a frown. “We have far to go—”

“Just for tonight, chica. Look, while I love looking at the stars, camping out with you, my aching bum also loves sleeping in a real bed.” She handed over the advertisement.

Kwan examined the photos of the cream-colored Victorian house with the blue trim, surrounded by flower gardens. It looked magical, like a castle built to attract the seven daughters of the Jade Emperor.

Valery jabbed her finger at the picture. “They’ve got a veranda. A real veranda.”

The word unfamiliar to her, Kwan deduced a veranda must be some sort of railed porch. “It also says high tea from eleven until two. It takes three hours to make tea? Quite a long ritual.”

Val laughed. “It doesn’t take three hours. High tea was a Brit tradition, you know. The rich used to eat meals a couple times a day, like, breakfast and dinner. About halfway through the day, the ladies would get faint from hunger and being squished by those damned corsets and so they started a tradition, more like what we’d call lunch.” She took the brochure back. “You know, they have, like, finger sandwiches—”

“Finger…sandwiches?” Kwan gasped. The thought brought flashbacks of the ocean voyage with Zhong. Then, people ate many things to survive.

“They don’t put real fingers in them, silly.” She pointed out the menu. “Kind of prissy ladies’ lunch with tea, fruit, scones…that stuff.” She sighed. “Although something tells me there won’t be table service today.”

Kwan considered the pictures of the three guest rooms, two with four-poster beds and cozy teddy bear themes, and the other a watercolor brush of white and pale blue with a sea motif. She hadn’t slept on such a soft mattress since before her parents had left Hong Kong. At her aunt’s, she had slept on a futon, and at the Hsus’, on a thick mat. The thought of a real bed appealed to her, too. Very much.


Hop on to the other blogs and read more great excerpts!

Intrigue in the Elf world #MFRWHooks

elfchild400x600THE ELF CHILD
Clan Elves of the Bitterroot (Book II)

The moment elf warrior Astan Hawk agrees to protect the young elf queen trouble dogs his heels. Jelani’s human upbringing clashes with clan tradition, spurring dangerous intrigues within the Circle of Elders. Soon even the motives of his father Daven come into question. With nowhere else to turn, Astan asks Jelani’s human friends for help. Hiding in shadows, an outcast elf plots revenge by seeking the help of powerful elf mages who live deep within the forest. Can Astan fulfill his promise to keep both Jelani and his child safe when the whole world seems to have turned against them?

Paperback at Amazon • Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Paperback at Lulu • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Lulu • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBook at Smashwords


This was Grigor’s plan, no one else’s. He’d thought of it all on his own, after the clan had mfrw-book-hooks400discarded him, left him alone here in the pitiless rocks and cold winds and harsh rain. He deserved the right to carry it out.

“If the elders are involved in their politicking and complaining, then now is the time to strike,” Grigor said, looking Vez straight in the eye. “We should move in and take the child now.”

“All the same, if guards are posted, while they may let us in, they will not let you pass,” Vez insisted.

“We need a distraction. Something to send anyone who’s not already involved in this discussion about the false queen out of our way,” Grigor said.

Terzon’s face lit up, an idea practically bursting from his lips. “A groundquake. That would frighten them, show them we are a force to be reckoned with!” He grinned, and Grigor knew that capability existed within his childhood friend. But so did the rest of the clan.

“They would know you had caused it, Terzon. Inherent in this plan is the ability for you and the others to continue to blend into the clan, to appear innocent, until the queen is deposed once and all. The same goes for the rest of you. Your elven powers are obvious to those who know you well.”

Silence settled around them like a heavy smoke. Grigor hadn’t thought through the details, not while trying to coordinate so many of them, and now facing the open hostility in the eyes of Vez, he struggled to be clever.

“Then we should use human powers,” Vez said.

“Humans have no powers!” Hidal cried.

“Exactly. What can we do that will call to the heart of every elf in the forest, that we can blame on humans?”

“Fire,” Fontine whispered.

“Yes,” Grigor said. “Yes, Fontine, that’s just what we need.”

Grigor knew Fontine could start a fire anywhere, just by wishing it into existence. But careless humans had destroyed hundreds of acres of elven territory over the years. The possibility was one the clan feared more than almost anything.

Yadin nodded. “Beckley said a camp of human males had been on the eastern face of the mountain for the last week, hunting for animals.”

“This was known to the clan?” Grigor asked.

“Yes,” Vez said. “I heard them talking. Here’s your chance to be a hero, my friend. And we can hold the humans accountable for all of it. Of course, this would be more believable if you showed the clan you’d put up a fight to protect them.” He eyed Grigor. “I think a blacked eye and a bloody nose ought to do it.”

A little Clan Elves love from Madison Michael! Start reading this series today!


Scenic drive along Idaho-12

Come by, read an excerpt and check out the new covers for the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series!!

Is reputation everything? SFFS Oct. 26

Hello, sci-fi fans and friends! I’m finally getting things back on track after a whirlwind summer from hell that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. (Well, maybe on my WORST enemy. Just sayin’.)

cvr200x300horizonstrifeI’ve been nose-deep in the second novel in the Horizon Crossover series, and just now am coming up for air, about to submit it for editing. Those of you who are writers may sympathize with the issue, in series writing, of trying to get back into the flow of a cast of characters and a setting after you’ve worked on other things in between. *raises hand* Learned my lesson here. So I’ll go right into book three, HORIZON DYNASTY as a NaNoWriMo project so I can kick out the first draft while I’m still immersed in these people’s lives.

Today’s snippet is set in a repair and parts shop in the city of Roandock, on planet Marriel. Under-the-table dealer Jowalt Edwards has been approached by Temms Rogers and his mercenary captain friend C.T. Dutton for information about some mysterious alien artifacts associated with the Ancients. Rogers has previously learned that the Ancients seeded the universes with their progeny and are actively trying to re-engage with those left behind.  Jowalt, however, is less than excited about that:

Jowalt rolled his dark eyes. “Yeah, you want to harvest the artifacts and build yourself a superweapon.”

            Temms couldn’t have been more surprised if Jowalt had punched him in the face. “I—what?”

Jowalt’s gaze darted from one of them to the other like a vole hyped up on speed. “That’s what the scuttlebutt says–you hunted down a gob of those artifacts already, and you used them to destroy an empire where you came from. You’re looking for these so you can challenge the Agency and you’re going to destroy the worlds.”

            A shocked silence settled over the room at his pronouncement, then C.T. started laughing.

            “All this time I’ve been associating with a destroyer of worlds, and I didn’t even know it? Hey, Temms, why haven’t you just singlehandedly blown up Agency headquarters by now?”


It sure would have saved a lot of time, I suppose, but that’s obviously not what happened. 🙂

Hope to be here more regularly, with new material. You’re all still plugging away–I’m proud of you!

Never a dull moment…

Happy Saturday scifi and fantasy fans! Hope you have something lovely planned–here in beautiful Crawford County, it’s the last night of the huge fair…demolition derby and fireworks! Highlight of the backwoods week. 🙂

cvr200x300horizonstrifeBut out in space, book two of the Horizon Crossover series is slowly coming together. HORIZON STRIFE picks up a year after Temms Rogers and his crew burst through a wormhole into a new universe. They face new issues and new enemies:

After his sudden, shocking arrival in the Mariel star system, his ship broken and crew decimated, Captain Temms Rogers has fought his way back to self-sufficiency, even prosperity, in a new universe with his new crew. Over the months, he’s established a reputation as a fair and competent mercenary ship—if someone’s got a job, he can handle it. His fledgling alliance with the powerful Consortium has opened many doors for him, and he repays that support with his loyalty.

As time goes on, what appeared to be a rosy future begins to pale. First, the Consortium’s system rival, The Agency, takes notice of Rogers’ efforts to rally the other independent ship owners against them, and trouble isn’t far behind. Worse, those officers who crossed over through the wormhole with Rogers have begun to fall ill, victim to a local virus or germ to which they’ve never been exposed or developed immunity.

 Just when he needs his ship at full battle readiness, Rogers finds his crew incapacitated, one by one, leaving the new recruits from this side of the barrier to try to rescue them from impending death.

Even as he deals with these possibilities, Rogers finds he has to face a horrifying fate worse than that of his crew: a lovesick doctor determined to marry him—or else!

So here’s today’s snippet, from the opening chapter:

The door slammed open, and the two men, blindfolded and bound, were shoved inside, bouncing off the hallway’s narrow walls. “Keep moving!” barked the man who’d brought them. He planted a hand firmly in the back of the second in command of the ship Ramman and pushed him ahead into the darkness.

“Captain, what do they want?” the second gasped between clenched teeth.

“Shut up,” his captain replied. Jak Moster had been around this cosmos for nearly sixty-five annuals, forty of those dealing with the financial monster called the Agency. The organization controlled the way free captains did business in nearly the whole interplanetary sector, on an unofficial basis. The local governments couldn’t—or wouldn’t—take action against them.

He had a pretty good idea what was wanted here–most important now was the ability to stay alive through this encounter. It might happen, too.


Poor Jak. Not a good time to be wrong.

If you haven’t read HORIZON SHIFT yet, it’s still available. Check it out here:

| Amazon.UK
| Barnes & Noble

or also on Kindle.

SFFSat logoFor more wonderful snippets for FREE, check out the rest of today’s list at Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday!



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