Colleen’s 2019 #Book #Reviews – “The Prince’s Man” by Author, Deborah Jay, @DeborahJay2


What if the magic that could save your loved ones condemns you to death?

Rakish royal spy, Rustam Chalice, loves his life the way it is, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. To his dismay the spymaster prince teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin. And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god—and each other. When Rustam discovers he has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity, and his loyalty to his prince. For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

The Prince’s Man is the first book in The Five Kingdoms epic fantasy series. If you like action, intrigue, and magic, spiced with a touch of romance, then you’ll love Deborah Jay’s vividly realised characters. 
Scroll up to buy The Prince’s Man now and lose yourself in this captivating fantasy adventure.

Title: The Prince’s Man (The Five Kingdoms, Book 1)

Amazon Author Page: Deborah Jay

Publication Date: February 5, 2014

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Ebooks, Sword & Sorcery Fantasy, Epic Fantasy



“The Prince’s Man,” begins with an introduction to the young Risada, as she listens in on a conversation between her parents. There’s trouble between the different houses in the kingdom, and Risada’s mother believes there is a spy in their midst. An assassin hiding in the shadows of the room steps forth and murders both her mother and father. From that day forward, Risada vows revenge on whoever killed her parents.

Twenty years later, the game is revealed when Rustam Chalice, an undercover spy in service to Prince Halnashead delivers to him the elixir of eternity, which of course gives eternal life to anyone who drinks it.

The political stability of the Kingdom of Tyr-en is at stake, and the veracity of the elixir’s power is questioned. The potion requires elven magic to be effective, and after the wars which ravished the kingdom, all magic has been banned. Additionally, the prince fears that whoever is selling the concoction is using the proceeds to fund some type of military action against him.

To save the kingdom, Chalice partners with Risada and together they save Elwaes, the captured elf, abused by Lord Melcard Rees-Charlay and Doctor Hensar, the resident physician for their domain. The poor creature requires immediate medical attention which must be given by his Elven community. Chalice and Risada set off after Prince Halnashead agrees on the journey believing the Elves will align with his kingdom.

The journey is long and treacherous. Along the way, the threesome is tormented by trolls, sprites, disgusting worm-like creatures, and many other trials and tribulations. Their journey heats up with the character addition of a water elemental who takes a liking to Chalice, pleasuring him in ways no human woman possibly could. The seducer becomes the seduced, and I would say Chalice has finally met his match.

There’s also high sexual tension between Chalice and Risalda, who manages to stay out of reach. But that wasn’t really the story. For me, it was Chalice’s connection to Elwaes and how he discovers his own magical abilities which transform his entire belief system. Along the way, this Casanova learns humility and acceptance, qualities that are sure to come into play in subsequent novels.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. In epic-fantasy, there are always new names, locations, and cultural nuances to be learned because of the world building. I took my time and immersed myself in this unusual and fascinating land. Be ready for the ending, because now I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, “The Prince’s Son: The Five Kingdoms: Book Two.”


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 
Reader Engagement: 
Reader Enrichment: 
Reader Enjoyment: 
Overall Rate: 
5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System
Author, Deborah Jay

About the Author

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.
Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. 

Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.
THE PRINCE’S MAN, winner of a UK Arts Council award, and an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release, is her debut novel. The second volume, THE PRINCE’S SON is also available, with the third. THE PRINCE’S PROTEGEE, due out March 2019.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the first in a projected 5 book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and a stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is now available.

Deborah has also published a multi-author SFF anthology THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which includes her SF story, PERFECT FIT.  
She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.

How to Connect with the Author


Twitter: @deborahjay2

Facebook: Debby Lush


 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

Are you looking for more great reads? Join author, D.G. Kaye, Sally Cronin, and myself in our Facebook group, The Literary Diva’s Library to find book reviews, book promotions, & special deals on books from authors you love.

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Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Dim Continent: Series Finale (The Legend of the Gamesmen Book 3),” by Author, Jo Sparkes


The Legend of the Gamesmen

More than mere sport, the gamesmen stand for an idea. That humble men can win the day, that the lowly are not so low. That the least of men may yet succeed. This is the tale that launched the legend. 

The Women of Agben use potions to heal and enhance. Now Marra knows of a third use, one that brews goo capable of detecting a prince or a potion to hide a creature’s appearance. It’s forbidden – and being wielded against Tryst’s throne.

Its key ingredient grows only on the Dim Continent.

Journeying with her mentor to this fabled place, she stumbles on another secret. Agben allows Terrin females into the order, the same hairy creatures that kidnapped a king. Now the trust that bound the two species together is rapidly corroding.

Marra doesn’t know Prince Tryst has also pursued the traitors to this wild, dangerous land. Or that Drail travels with him, to provide gamesmen cover.

In a land of strange beings and dangerous animals, the three friends must again pool their skills, this time not just to save themselves – but to save all their people. The fate of Skullan and Trumen alike depend on defeating a powerful enemy who has plotted their destruction for centuries.

The final battle looms in the evil heart of power – the Dim Continent.

Title: The Dim Continent: Series Finale – The Legend of the Gamesmen Book Three

Amazon Author Page: Jo Sparkes

Publication Date: August 30, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science fiction & Fantasy, Children’s E-books, Fantasy & Magic, Sword & Sorcery



I’ve read and reviewed the first book in the series, “The Birr Elixir,” HERE. Book two is “The Agben School,” and you can read my review, HERE. Please note: The Author as changed the book covers from my previous reviews. ❤

At the Agben school, Marra has learned the art of concocting potions that help to heal and enhance. She has a keen sense of smell and this ability helps her surpass all expectations.

But when she stumbles upon the concealed body of King Bactor, she also discovers there exists a forbidden potion that can change and deceive appearances, found only on the Dim Continent.

The Skullan empire is under siege and the healers of the Agben school are forced to act. One of their own, Rain, has grabbed more authority for herself by betraying the trust of their order and escaping to the Dim Continent. Could this evil have spread to more of the healers? The time has come for Kirth and Marra to venture to the Dim Continent to seek out the truth of Rain’s deceit. 

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone-shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball has distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth.

As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The Skullan and the Trumen are the usual gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom. But this time the game is different. On the Dim Continent, they encounter the Terrin. Huge hairy, long-fanged beasts that play to win. Even the Skullan are out of their realm, now.

Meanwhile, the elder Kirth, Marra, and a female Agben Terrin, named Tinge set out to make things right. Their only hope is to get to Rain before any more damage can be done!

This has been a delightful epic journey and if you love epic fantasy you will love this series. Jo Sparks has created fantastic lands, filled with creatures you will never forget. I found this story from start to finish to be quite unusual in the realm of fantasy. It was a pleasant surprise.

The author devises characters that are rich and multifaceted, often motivated by human needs. I found the inclusion of the game of Comet to greatly enhance the story. The game paved the way for the different peoples to relate to each other. And, in much the same way, the book will appeal to everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the series. 

I received this book as a gift from the author and because I enjoyed the novel, I chose to review it. 


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

About the Author:

Author, Jo Sparks

From television shows to football articles, Jo Sparkes can’t put the pen down. She’s interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism”.

An award winning writer, she lives happily in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their dog, Oscar.

How to Connect with the Author:


Facebook: Jo Sparkes


LOVE FANTASY? I got your back! This is one series you will enjoy! 

 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

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Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Charles Yallowitz

Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition (1)

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to bring you a fantasy author I’ve known for a few years now. I asked him to pick three or five questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from Charles and his characters when writing fantasy.

Please meet my guest, Charles:

Author Photo

Author, Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State.

When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day.

Truthfully, his tales of adventure are much more interesting than his real life, so skip the bio and dive into the action.

Thanks, Colleen, for letting me be a guest on your blog.  So many fun questions to choose from, but these five questions just called to me. Before I forget, this is my newest release:

Hi, Charles, I’m glad to see you again. You have a huge series of books. Did you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I typically write a series, so I definitely want there to be connections between each volume.  This is why I focus a lot on continuity and keep notes to make sure I don’t change core pieces of the story and world.  This required that I come up with various tools to make sure things were carried over.  For example, when I was writing Legends of Windemere, which reached 15 volumes, I began keeping a file of notes that covered descriptions of people, places, items, and monsters that were used repeatedly.  This way, I didn’t make a mistake and cause any confusion for the readers.

This isn’t to say that I don’t want there to be storylines that stand on their own.  Each volume has its own contained plot that helps to push the overarching story and character development into the next adventure.  I found that this helped give each hero a chance to be in the spotlight instead of cramming all of them into one storyline.

For example, Delvin Cunningham was the focus of The Mercenary Prince (Volume 9) while Timoran Wrath took the stage in Tribe of the Snow Tiger (Volume 10). The main story continued, but now these two heroes had more individual growth.

This tactic also enhanced the world building of Windemere, which I plan on using for many of my series.  In fact, I would say that Legends of Windemere acts as the foundation of my entire fantasy career because all future stories in that genre will be within that world and help to give it more depth.

Your world building is what makes these stories so fabulous. So, what was your hardest scene to write?

This is a really tough question because I’ve tried to challenge myself a few times by touching on sensitive topics.  These always came with some trepidation because I worried about audience reaction.  So, I second-guessed myself a lot with these topics and may have shied away from going too deep.  Even with all of that, I don’t know if I would call any of them the hardest scene I ever wrote.


Thinking about it, I think the most emotionally difficult scene for me was the final one in Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age.  It brought out a lot of tears and I had to walk away a few times to calm down. I had been working with these characters for 19 years and it was me trying to say good-bye.  Those who survived may have cameos in future series, but they will never be in the spotlight again.

I had to get used to the idea that the next book I write will be me getting to know a new cast and storyline.  Even editing this scene was difficult because it was one more step to the last good-bye.

Charles, I’ve been teaching myself to plot out my scenes in my novels. Do you begin with a plot written out in detail or do you prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I call myself a plotter most times, but I’ll admit that I end up doing a lot of flying by the seat of my pants during the actual writing.  Years ago, I wasn’t able to get more than a few minutes or maybe an hour to write.  That didn’t give me much time and I got frustrated, so I started doing more outlines and character biographies.  This allowed me to set up multiple series and note various connections when I couldn’t work on my main project.  It gave me a sense of progress during a busy period of my life.  Once I gained more writing time, these habits developed into a more regimented process where I did the following:

  • Write character bios, list locations, and do a book plot overview. Repeat for each volume.
  • Leave for a few months and then do chapter-by-chapter outlines for the entire series.
  • Leave alone for a while and edit the outline before doing the actual writing.

This is very organized, but then the actual writing throws a lot of my plans into the dumpster.  Characters will take on habits and personalities that aren’t’ exactly as I’d imagined at first so some plot points won’t work.  The noble hero becoming more of an anti-hero means that his actions have to change.  For a series, this also meant that I would have to rework future outlines to accommodate changes in the previous volumes.

In your professional opinion, is writing a book series more challenging?

Since I’ve primarily done series, I find them much easier to work on than stand-alone books.  I always have this temptation to make things bigger.  Every character needs a moment to shine and I love following subplots down rabbit holes.

This isn’t to say I will put anything into a book, but I tend to see ways that I can flush out a hero or villain that adds either another chapter or another volume entirely.  For example, 3 of the 15 volumes of Legends of Windemere weren’t part of the original plan.

I came up with Merchant of Nevra Coil, The Mercenary Prince, and Path of the Traitors because there were 3 characters who were falling by the wayside.  They had more story to tell and I needed to add volumes to do that.  Such a mentality makes stand-alone books much more difficult for me.

That isn’t to say writing a book series is easy either.  Maintaining freshness and continuity is a real nightmare at times.  Unlike a stand-alone, you run a high risk of the story getting stale and convoluted.

As I said before, I had to keep notes on the details and follow the doubt in my gut whenever I felt it.  If I wasn’t 100% certain that I had the right description then I went looking for the previous examples.

Another thing that helps is writing an ensemble cast instead of a single heroic lead.  This allows me to cycle characters in and out of the spotlight to create new adventures within the big one.

A story that focuses on Nyx the powerful caster will feel different than the one that highlights Dariana the immortal telepath.  So, there is a big balancing act involved in writing a series that brings in its own challenges.

 Thanks for all the great tips. I have to know… How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?


I’d love to say that I partied or relaxed for a week, but there’s an odd comedy that ensued within a few days of me publishing Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero.  The day that I hit publish, I went out to enjoy some pizza and watch some television.  This was more to relax and prepare for the marketing stage, which I didn’t have any knowledge of or experience with at this time.

That night, I worked with what I had and got a lot of my friends to pick up their copy and share the release on their social media sites. Of course, I wanted to sit back and plan a real celebration for myself.  This is where the comedy comes in a few days later.


My wife and I were watching TV with some popcorn.  I put a handful in my mouth, took a bite, and suddenly felt something weird happen.  There was a crunch, which I figured was a kernel and then I swallowed something solid.

My brain had no idea what had happened, but my tongue went right for one of my wisdom teeth.  An entire chunk and cracked right off to leave a rough edge that made it uncomfortable to chew.  This was a Friday, so I spent the whole weekend in pain because I couldn’t find a dentist that took our insurance until Monday rolled around.  That resulted in me spending the week getting it taken care of instead of enjoying my big accomplishment.

I needed to have both wisdom teeth on that side taken out, which meant I couldn’t eat much.  By the time I had recovered, I needed to prepare for a trip to my old college to run a merchant table at a convention, so there was never an official celebration outside of the pizza.


That’s probably why I celebrate nearly every release with pizza, so I can’t say it’s a tradition that I’m entirely against.

Oh, wow! I remember that incident when you broke your tooth. Look how many books you’ve written since then! Thanks again, for sharing your writing expertise with us, Charles.

Legends of Windemere Collage

Amazon Author Page HERE


How to connect with Author, Charles Yallowitz


Website HERE

Twitter HERE

Facebook HERE


k luv u bye Thanks for stopping by to meet Charles Yallowitz. If you love fantasy with lots of action you will love his books. Check them out! ❤

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Catling’s Bane,” by Author, D. Wallace Peach

Title: Catling’s Bane, The Rose Shield, Book 1 of 4

Amazon Author Page: D. Wallace Peach

Publication Date: March 12, 2017

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Colonization, Science Fiction, First Contact, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy




“In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

To the Influencer’s Guild, she’s an aberration, a threat. They order her death, and thus the betrayals begin. One woman protects and trains her, plotting to use her shield to further imperial goals. No longer a helpless child, Catling has other plans. As chaos shakes the foundations of order and rule, will she become the realm’s savior? Or it’s executioner?

The Rose Shield Tetralogy – a blend of science fiction and fantasy.

Welcome to a world of three moons, a sentient landscape, rivers of light, and tier cities that rise from the swamps like otherworld flowers. A planet of water dragons, where humans are the aliens living among three-fingered natives with spotted skin. Where a half-blood converses with the fog and the goddess plans her final reckoning.

Follow Catling’s journey as she grows from childhood into the deadly force that shapes the future. She is the realm’s shield, an influencer, assassin, healer, mother, and avenger. And all she wants is to go home.

The books of The Rose Shield Tetralogy
Catling’s Bane
Oathbreakers’ Guild
Farlanders’ Law
Kari’s Reckoning”


It is the darkest night, and the city of Mur-Vallis is shrouded in fog. Raker, the slant-eyed, three-fingered half-fen, half-human loiters near the dock as if possibly summoned there by the mysterious luminescence that flows through the rivers and streams of the planet. Before this night is done, Raker will save the young child, Catling, whose future will be intertwined with his own in ways neither he nor she ever imagined.

The mystical Farlanders, the original inhabitants of the planet before the Ellegeans, came across to me as the natives, in tune with the natural rhythms of the planet. For me, these beings were reminiscent of the creatures in the movie, Avatar. They lived off the land and followed their nature-based customs believing in the kari, the natural spirits of the planet. However, the Farlanders and their magic posed a threat to the Ellegeans, and when they took power, these folk were tortured and slaughtered as spectacles of entertainment for the people.

The Ellegeans establish an order where the lowliest are born in the bottoms, and where those with the most power abide in the highest levels of the cities. The Influencers’ Guild, a secretive, closed society within Ellegean, holds control over the tiers by flexing their power to manipulate emotions. The Guild’s influence is so subtle that the people have no idea they are controlled from the lowliest to the top, including the King.

Except for Catling, who possesses a rose-colored birthmark encircling her eye which allows her to block the “influence” from affecting the people. This magical ability allows her to see the threads of influence that binds the people. Catling’s ability is a bane to power as well as a boon. The Guild wants her dead, and Catling becomes a pawn in the hands of those wielding power because Catling will never be free of who she is.

Catling’s Bane qualifies as epic fantasy meeting the three qualifications: It is a trilogy or longer, it encompasses many years, and it includes a universe filled with backstory where the saga takes place. This book was my first introduction to D. Wallace Peach’s writing, and I must say I feel like a gushing fan. The writing is superb with descriptions that fly from the page plunking the reader into the midst of this mysterious world. Seldom have I found writing this engaging.

Fantasy and science fiction lovers will applaud the detail in the world of Ellegean. I took my time reading, relishing the characters and the magic that breathed from the author’s written words. I encountered two issues – I couldn’t put the book down, and I dreamed of this far away world every night. I loved the story so much; I’ve already bought the second novel in the series.

If you love epic fantasy/science fiction, this book will engage, enlighten, and entertain you. The book, listed at the introductory price of only $.99, will steal your heart. I’m hooked! Stay tuned, because I’ll be reviewing each book in the series.

I had to come back to reality to write this review. ❤ I know you’ll love the series as much as I do.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

About the Author: D. Wallace Peach

Tolkien … literally changed my life. I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Magic happened.

I love writing and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, playing with tense, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem unfocused in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

Ready for an adventure? Click HERE to visit D. Wallace Peach’s Amazon Author Page to find all of her books.

The Sorcerer’s Garden
The Bone Wall
The Melding of Aeris

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:
Catling’s Bane, Book I
Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II
Farlanders’ Law, Book III
Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:
Myths of the Mirror, Book I
Eye of Fire, Book II
Eye of Blind, Book III
Eye of Fire, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

How to Connect with the Author

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit:

For her blog on all things writing, please visit

TWITTER: @Dwallacepeach

FACEBOOK: Myths of the Mirror: @DWPeachbooks


Thanks for stopping by to meet D. Wallace Peach! ❤

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Silver’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Agben School,” BY Author, Jo Sparkes

  • Title:  The Agben School, Book 2 of the Legend of the Gamesmen
  • Author: Jo Sparkes
  • File Size: 2569 KB
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Oscar Press
  • Publication Date: July 19, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 978-0-9853318-5-6
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Sword & Sorcery, Sports, Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

“Agben had stood for a thousand years. A mysterious school housing more than students, it was the seat of the powerful Women of Agben and the center for harnessing the potency of herbs. Few knew all that transpired within the walls. 

And now Marra stood at its gate.

With friends and support stripped from her, the fragile life she’d built for herself now lays in tatters. And the source of this evil hunted her like a deer culled from the herd. The gateway before her was her only hope.

For as the city itself crumbled, all depended not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the valiant men who’d brought them this far. Everything depended on finding a magic powder in the vaults of Agben itself. 

Everything depended on her.”

The second book in the series, this one takes place in Missea. The third book, “The Dim Continent,” is in the works, and will be the last in the series. However, I’ll probably write more stories in this world because I won’t be able to resist.

From the Inside Flap: Hiding from an evil that stripped away friends and support, a young woman discovers the future of her race depends not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the heroic men who’d brought them this far. Everything depends on her.

The Agben School is the exciting sequel to The Birr Elixir which I read and reviewed here. The story resumes with Marra and the Truemen team finally arriving in the land of Missea, where Tryst is a Skullan prince, although nobody knows his real identity. The Skullan and the Trumen are the gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom.

New to the city, Marra looks for a shop where she can buy herbs for her elixir for the team. The boy running the shop presents her with a mysterious box. She keeps it hidden, not knowing its actual use, or who it was meant for. As a Truemen, Marra is required to be subservient to the Skullan, so she keeps her secret.

Marra’s herbalist skills out surpass many other Bristas. It is revealed that she possesses an acute sense of smell, a gift so rare, it earns her a coveted place as a student at the school. Once there, she learns the Women of Agben are the most powerful in Missea. There is a mystical magic found in the potions and elixirs created and taught at the institution. However, there is a dark magic that hangs over the palace. Soon it becomes clear that only Marra can rid Missea of the evil malignancy growing within the castle walls and possibly within the Agben school.

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone-shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball has distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth. As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The author, Jo Sparkes, skillfully weaves a story within a fantasy kingdom that leaves you wanting more. The detail in the Agben School and the study of herbs was excellent. There is a mystery here, and I am sure all will be revealed in the last book of the series, The Dim Continent. I must add that this book could stand alone because the main details from The Birr Elixir are intertwined within the pages of the story. Even so, I loved The Birr Elixir and would encourage everyone to read it first. The rich descriptions put you right into the action, and you feel like you are peeking over Marra’s shoulder waiting to learn her fate.

If you love epic fantasy with the added excitement of tournament games, you will love this book and the series.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Author, Jo Sparks

About Jo Sparks:

From television shows to articles for Arizona Sports Fans Network, Jo’s been writing for years. She’s taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism.”

Her fantasy ‘The Birr Elixir’ was awarded a Silver Ippy; her script ‘Frank Retrieval’ won the Kay Snow Award.

She’s probably most recognized as the lady walking her dog in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

You can connect with Jo Sparkes through her Twitter at
and her blog,

FANTASY is the best! Thanks for stopping by to meet Jo! ❤


  • Title:  Pearseus – Schism Rise of the Prince
  • Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
  • File Size: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: January 23, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction-Fantasy

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*


Humanity starts over. Again.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the year of 2099, but the distinguished guests aboard the Pearseus won’t get to countdown seconds; soon they’ll be counting bodies and survivors after the spaceship’s crash landing on another planet.

The good news? The planet is seemingly hospitable both in resources and in terms of the natives’ attitude towards earthlings.

The bad news? They might have come on this planet bare of possessions, but what they haven’t been able to shed are the shortcomings of their human nature. Will that be the sole threat to a unified future, or is the new land and its first inhabitants not as innocent as they look?

Schism is the prequel to the Amazon best-selling series, Pearseus.


I don’t know how I did it, but it appears that after reading the Pearseus series, I neglected to read the very first book, a prequel novel, you could say. Without further ado, I contacted the author, Nicholas Rossis, and he kindly provided me with a copy. And… let me tell you! I was glad I did!

To read my reviews of Pearseus, Books 1 – 3: Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil, click here.

Just to be sure that I understood what I was reading, I looked up the word “Schism.” explains that a schism means “a division or disunion, especially into mutually opposed parties.” I don’t think the author could have chosen a better word for the title of his book.

Schism begins when the “Pearseus,” a spaceship, crashes on an unknown planet due to the negligence of one of its top officers. Chaos ensues and the survivors have nothing left to do but to create a new civilization in order to survive. Much in the same way man has conquered the continents on earth, the survivors drive the natural inhabitants of the planet to a remote area far away leaving the survivors to rule the area they have settled.

However, factions within the surviving party have a different agenda. True to human nature, corruption within the rank and file causes some of the survivors to scheme on their own. A darkness creeps into the group of a kind that mankind has never seen before. The civilization known as Pearseus begins to fall apart. The schism is now complete and the stage is set for the Pearseus series.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to read this first book. Although Nicholas Rossis does a superb job at keeping you abreast of the happenings in each book, this first book gives you a glimpse into the personalities of the crew and the catalyst that set the whole series into motion. You won’t want to leave this book out!

My Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Author, Nicholas Rossis

About Nicholas Rossis:

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, earned a finalist slot in the 2015 International Book Awards.

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Most avid readers still have books from their childhood which they read over and over again. ‘Runaway Smile’ has joined the list.”

“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on:

eNovel Authors:
Google+ :

Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to seeing you all again!


Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find exciting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my sign up page and enter your email. ❤

Map Making 101 – Autumn Writing

If you write fantasy, you should follow Autumn Writing. I have learned tons from her great tips and classes. ❤

Creating a good map can add more to your novel than location, it can create your story.

Source: Map Making 101 – Autumn Writing


  • Title:  Pearseus, Books 1 – 3: Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil
  • Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
  • File Size: 1882 KB
  • Print Length: 911 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Nicholas Rossis
  • Publication Date: July 17, 2014
  • Sold by  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Science Fiction Fantasy

    *The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

Book Blurb from the author:

“Pearseus does for ancient Greece what Game of Thrones did for Medieval England.”
The first three books of the Amazon genre best-selling series.

Three hundred years after humans crash land on Pearseus, Styx, the Capital’s cruel ruler, learns of a dark prophecy: Cyrus, a young boy, will one day slay her. She imprisons him, but days before his execution he escapes with the help of the First, the planet’s native inhabitants. On their way to safety, nightmarish monsters attack. Cyrus flees, scared and alone until a pair of First warriors rescue him and spirit him away to the mysterious Old Woman. 

All Cyrus wants is to reunite with his family. But the Old Woman insists Cyrus is the foretold instrument in the First’s ancient war against a shadowy enemy who will stop at nothing to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny. Heart and mind war within Cyrus as he learns he must choose between his family and preventing humanity’s extinction. 

The bundle contains the three first books in the series. 

Note: The original version of this bundle contained the prequel, Pearseus: Schism. The new version contains Rise of the Prince, Mad Water, and Vigil.


I read this collection without reading the first book, Schism so I had to do some catching up before I began. Luckily, included in the beginning of the collection is a character synopsis and map of Pearseus so you can bring yourself up to date with the events that preceded. I really liked this feature because it gave me a sneak peek into the characters from the onset of the book.

Pearseus is an epic fantasy novel of which I had never read the likes of before. It has all the elements of a fantasy novel but it is enriched with the elements of a science fiction novel too. What an imaginative and fascinating read! From the very beginning of the novel, I was hooked!

The plot is one of the most interesting I have encountered. A spaceship is forced to land on a planet that is already inhabited by other life forms that terraformed the planet into what they wanted it to resemble. The refugees from the spaceship are forced to survive in a land fraught with danger. They clash with the “First,” inhabitants which cause the two groups to split. The First go off to the north and the human refugees remain in the territory they took from the First, thereby segregating themselves from each other.

Now, years into the future, most technological advancements have vanished from the original space crew refugee descendants. There are still a few reminders around such as tablets and some weapons of mass destruction. The really interesting part was that the people of the future have regressed into a feudal society with different factions and clans fighting for control using ancient weapons like swords, and knives. At times, I found the societies resembled ancient Greece intertwined with eastern philosophies to make up their complex political and philosophical beliefs.

What I really loved was how detailed the author was in creating all the different factions and clans. The detail is so thorough and believable. To explain, Pearseus was settled by three different life forms. The original inhabitants of the planet were overtaken by the First, who were then overtaken by the refugees of the spaceship. All of these life forms coexist together at the same time on Pearseus resulting in plenty of conflicts. I told you I was blown away at the detail!

Through it all, magic and technology unite in an explosive war between “The Whispers,” “The Fallen,” and “The Orbs.” The humans are brought into the battle to help win the war and to fulfill the ancient prophecies.

I must note that the author kept the intrigue going by switching each chapter in all three books with another character’s point of view. This gave me the perspective from all sides, good and evil. It was a unique and effective storytelling method that really propelled the novel along.

I personally enjoyed the deep characterizations added to the different life forms. In addition, there was plenty of philosophy, hatred, and intrigue much like a modern society today, which added a sense of realism to Pearseus. I understood the struggles of all the life forms and likened it to the differences in cultures today found on our own planet.

At the heart of the books are four central characters that stand out as having the perfect combination of strengths and flaws that together make an unbeatable team. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Author, Nicholas Rossis

About Nicholas Rossis:

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His first children’s book, Runaway Smile, has won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, among other distinctions.

Many of his short stories have appeared in various collections and anthologies. He has published two collections; The Power of Six and Infinite Waters, which was voted as one of the best 50 Indie books of 2015.

From the author: A little-known fact about writing your first book: unless you inform others of your intention well in advance, you might find yourself in an awkward position.  Like, when you present your manuscript to your parents so they can read it.  A couple of months later, when you ask if they have read it, your dad will go, slightly annoyed, “no, I’m re-reading Martin’s books right now, so it’ll have to wait.” 

Then, a further couple of months later, he’ll call you late at night to say, “great book, son, with some fantastic ideas!  I was totally hooked.  A page-turner; kept me up at night.  You know what this guy did?  He took historical elements from ancient Greece and created a space opera with them.”

And you’ll say, after a brief pause, “what guy?”

And your dad will say, in a confused voice, “why, whoever wrote this.  There was no name on the manuscript.”

Now, what I should have said, of course, is something along the lines of “it’s not really a space opera, dad, but a dark epic fantasy with a sci-fi twist, where the heroes face tough moral dilemmas, discovering themselves in the process.”

But no-one talks to their dad this way, right?

So all I said, once I managed to stop laughing, was, “I wrote it, dad.  But I’m super glad you liked it even before you knew that.”

For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on his blog at,, and Google+ at Nicholas C. Rossis

Make certain to connect with Nicholas through his Twitter @Nicholas_Rossis, and Facebook at NicholasCRossis

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you all again!

The Merchant of Nevra Coil is LIVE!

Cover art by Jason Pedersen
Cover art by Jason Pedersen

When the mischievous and random Goddess of Chaos gets angry, all of Windemere becomes her plaything.

It all starts with a collection of toys that have taken the populace by storm. People of all races flood the marketplaces to gather figurines of the champions whose adventures are starting to spread across the land. Stemming from the flying city of Nevra Coil, these toys bring with them a terrible curse: Fame. Every town becomes a mob of fans that hound their new idols and the delay is bringing the world closer to the hands of Baron Kernaghan. Perhaps worst of all, the creator of these toys forgot to include a certain exiled deity who is now out to earn herself a figurine.

Who would have thought a bunch of toys could cause so much trouble and lead to the breaking of a champion’s confidence?

Sound exciting?
There’s more!

Welcome to Nevra Coil Excerpt

A screeching alarm goes off inside the vessel, signaling for everyone to pay attention to the pilot. Jo flicks a few switches above her head, amplifying her voice so everyone can clearly hear her. “We’re coming to Nevra Coil. Get ready for docking at Inspiration Tower instead of one of the Ring Houses. If you want to see the city then come to the front, but you better not complain while I’m giving the tour. I’ll be going too fast to repeat myself. We’re starting with the bottom, so don’t be scared. There hasn’t been a crash in a month. Two months since a fatality.”

The champions gather around Jo’s chair and watch as the clouds part to reveal the underside of the flying city. The steel gray earth has several narrow tubes of yellow crystal spread along its gleaming surface, the enchanted objects creating a spiral that leads to a red, metal rod. An occasional spark falls from the central pole and dissipates into the clouds, giving the illusion of lightning. Jo has the vessel steadily rise to give everyone a clear view and she taps her ear to silently get her passengers to listen. Beneath the sounds of the ship’s rotors, the champions hear a dull hum whenever they pass close to a crystal. Those with keen eyes can see a sapphire orb that flickers like a flame inside the yellow tube’s core, but the strange object is definitely solid like a rock.

“The flight crystals are designed to push off and ride the waves of the ocean. The outer tube is the reflector and the ice gem is the controller,” Jo explains as they flip around the far side of Nevra Coil. She scowls at the whimpering gypsy and begrudgingly slows the vessel down. “The central rod is what keeps us in a small area as we spin like a very slow top. Without that, we’d be floating all over Windemere’s oceans. You’ll feel the rotation at first, but the awkwardness will pass within a few hours. Before you ask, the system does nothing to the ocean below. We keep ourselves at a great height to prevent that and we turn off the crystals if we have to drop. That’s only in case of severe damage, so they would probably be malfunctioning in such an event anyway. Our backup system is a small army of pedaling stone golems that we activate in the core of Nevra Coil. Let’s get to the real event. Hey! Watch where you’re going, you son of an oil slick!”

The vessel swerves out of the way of a small, windowless craft that is powered by a pedaling gnome. Once their heads stop spinning, the champions get their first look at the city of Nevra Coil. Glistening towers are everywhere with a vast collection of flying devices and beasts moving among them. Several structures are missing pieces, revealing metal beams and hardworking gnomes who are trying to finish the construction. The city is a beautiful creation of metal, stone, and glass with nothing on the earthy ground besides several colonies of orange slimes. The burbling creatures feast on the garbage that falls out of hatches, which are built into the lower floors of every tower. Compared to the enormous buildings, Jo’s vessel feels like a rowboat as it weaves among the chaos. Several times they come close to hitting another ship, their skilled pilot meeting each encounter with a slew of insults and curses. They hover when a claxon goes off and the circular tower ahead opens one of its floors to reveal another ring-shaped ship.

“This is where we would normally dock, but you’re wanted on the one-hundred and eighty-sixth and a half floor of Inspiration Tower,” Jo says while waving to the other ship. She waits for them to leave before rising to the higher sky lanes where there is more space. “If you look to the right, you’ll see the Lizard. It’s used by those of us who don’t have a flying device due to no interest, accidents, revoked license, or whatever else can go wrong. I’ll swing by to give you a better look, but don’t stare directly into the golem’s eye. You never know if it’s going to be friendly or . . . churlish.”

Dipping toward a metallic rail, the ship comes alongside a green-scaled reptile with seats grown into its wide back. A throbbing bubble covers the sitting area, the oily membrane protecting riders from the elements until the transport comes to a stop. Gnomes are comfortably sitting in the chairs, most of them reading notes or sleeping. The creature’s tail is merged with the track to prevent it from falling off while it pulls itself along using powerful front legs. A driver on its head opens a hatch in the top of its long nose to drop in a shovelful of screeching beetles. The Lizard slows down while everyone hears the insects getting crunched in the construct’s mouth. When the strange transport hisses at the ship, Jo pulls away and heads for where a trio of metallic birds are sitting on a windowless tower.


Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics
Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Click here for the $4.99 Bundle to start your journey into Windemere!

Charles E YallowitzAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Ichabod Brooks and The City of Beasts

Coming on June 1st for 99 cents!

Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts (Cover by Nio Mendoza)
Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts (Cover by Nio Mendoza)

In a time of heroes, a man will take any job to provide for his family.

Ichabod Brooks has earned a reputation for taking the jobs most men and women fear to challenge. This reputation has brought him to the charred remains of a small village nestled within the hills and forest of Ralian. The ruins are a source of strange monsters that terrorize the countryside and repeatedly elude the local guards and hunters. The few brave souls who have entered the creatures’ lair have yet to come out alive or dead.

The chances of survival are slim, but that generous payment is too much for Ichabod to resist. After all, a man and his family have to eat.

Author PhotoAuthor Biography

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.



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