Tag Archives: Fantasy

Immortal Reborn Series I – III


Immortal Reborn Series I – III by Natalie D. Wilson
Reviewed by Crystal

Immortal Reborn – Arianna’s Choice (I)


When Alexandria Grace Groaban was a child, she learned she was very different from other children and adults she encountered. She saw and heard things that no child should ever bear witness to. She knew details of things and people long since passed, and she could hear voices and repeat them in whatever language she heard during the scenes which played out before her young and impressionable eyes.

Through an encounter with someone she thought to be her guardian angel, Alexandria was given a reprieve so that she might know some normalcy in her childhood. But at the age of twenty-one, Alexandria returned home to her family’s small estate outside Oxford, England for Christmas, and learned the hard way that her grace period was about to come to an abrupt and vicious end.

Now, whether for better or worse, she will find herself on the edge of a great precipice. One that will call her into action and into a world that she could never have fathomed existed. For Alexandria to know who and what she truly is, she will have to rise to the challenge of a battle that has been waged for millennia by beings first spoken of in Genesis, and embrace that which has lay dormant within her since she was a child.

Immortal Reborn: Alexandria’s Choice (II)


Alexandria Grace Groaban finally has an answer to the question that plagued her throughout her childhood and young adult life: Why is she different than anyone else she knows? After coming home to Oxford for Christmas, and suffering a near fatal attack at the hands of Bertrand, she has come to learn that she contains within her, the soul of the oldest and most powerful of the Lord’s Nephilim. And her journey to Aeoferth Hall and Elysium has only just scratched the surface for what is to come. Alex must now push herself past the bounds of what they all think her mortal body can withstand, to find the answer that the Nephilim have wanted as well: How did Arianna perish? In order to protect her loved ones, both mortal and immortal, she will need every detail she can gather to save them all in time. And she must face the warning Ganymede gave her after the last attack on Aeoferth: that her time as a mortal is rapidly running short. Together, with Gaius, Jack, and the other Nephilim, Alexandria will embark on an exciting quest for answers concerning Kronis. And together, they will journey far away from England to help her learn if an immortal life is the correct choice for her, in this thrilling second volume in the Children of Angels series: Immortal Reborn:

Immortal Reborn: Choices of the Heart (III)


Sometimes, the right choices are the most difficult to navigate. For Alexandria, coming to terms with the immortal life she has agreed to embrace, while still holding on to herself, will call on all the internal and physical strength she has. Though her angelic father, Ganymede, intends for her to ease into the new body and life that has been created for her, his Fallen brother, Rangor, has other plans. And Alex has plans for Kronis as well. Plans that call for him to have one last chance to turn away from the life of sin and hate that his father cultivated in him for millennia. In a bid for peace, and in the hope to keep Alexandria alive, the Nephilim of the Light will have to charge ahead on a quest to find Kronis, before he and his father come for Alex again. And through the great struggles and battles to come, Alex must also decide to whom she will give her heart: Gaius or Jackson. Both so dear and precious to her, yet only one can truly lay claim to her heart as her husband. She will search her very soul to discover the one whom it cries out for, amidst the great danger swirling around all those.

Crystal’s Review:

Let me start out by saying that I think the storyline and idea for the series has promise. When I received these books to review, I expected them to be more paranormal than what they turned out to be. I did find at times that the storyline seemed to slow and become stagnant while certain events were taking place.

The first book in the series, Arianna’s Choice, details the young life of Arianna and the disturbing things she saw in visions and experienced. I found it a little odd that her parents weren’t more alarmed at the things she was seeing. That aside, Arianna was allowed to escape life for a while and was then thrown abruptly back into the world she could only dream existed by learning that she was immortal. Her choice lies in “do nothing” or “be a part of this bigger world”.

The next book, Alexandria’s Choice, details what happens after Alexandria comes home for Christmas when she’s 21 and is attacked. She finds out that there is a very old Nephilim soul in her and she’s faced with having to answer age old questions about worlds she never fathomed could exist. I’ll be honest, I got a little bogged down in the details of this book too. Alex joins the ranks of other people from this new realm to try to discover if her immortal life is really worth it.

As the final book, Choices of the Heart, begins, I almost feel like I’m involved in something very reminiscent of “Lord of the Rings”. Again, while there are definite paranormal elements, I just get the impression as I read that the story placed in more of a very old world when things were different and couldn’t be explained easily. As the others try to plan for Alex to ease into her life as an immortal, she’s faced with the inner turmoil of which man to choose for a husband.

Let me reiterate that this series is not bad – it just wasn’t for me. It was not badly written at all. The details were very good. They were just too plentiful for my taste. If you enjoy a thought-out storyline that contains a little bit of everything, mystery, fantasy, romance, loose paranormal vibes….then this series is for you. Unfortunately when reviewing, books come along that just don’t quite fit into your mold of what you really enjoy reading about. That being said, I give major applause to the author for her drive and determination in bringing her dream to fruition in the form of these three books.




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The Beautiful Evil

The Beautiful Evil

The Beautiful Evil by Robbi Bryant
Reviewed by Crystal

This story follows Constance Jacobson throughout her troubled life.  She seems to be in a constant state of mourning over her deceased father.  She becomes estranged from her mother who does not approve of her marriage.  A marriage itself that is riddled with issues.  It isn’t until Constance is on a business trip with her husband that she buys a Grecian vase that changes her life.  Three wasplike creatures emerge from the vase and blur the lines between dreams and reality for Constance.  They cause her to do things that she wouldn’t normally do.  She encounters family secrets and has to deal with her problematic marriage.  And seemingly, all of this came about due to this ancient curse from the vase she couldn’t live without.  This isn’t my typical fare for a book, but I did enjoy it.  Sometimes it’s good to go outside your comfort zone a little.  I felt like the story was vivid enough to paint a picture of what was going on and that really helped me enjoy it.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thriller.


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Tarinel’s Song

Tarinels Song

Tarinel’s Song by Ron Glick
Reviewed by Crystal

This is not usually the kind of story I enjoy. That being said, the author is a true storyteller. I have to admire the world he created and the way he meshed several stories and plot lines together. It’s the story of a magical world with elves and gods and ancient prophecies. In my humble opinion, this book is better suited for a man than a woman, unless the woman just happens to love this type of fantasy world. Although it wasn’t quite my “cup of tea”, I do commend the author for a well written, developed story. I’m sure that given the right audience, the book would be truly captivating.


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FREE Short Story By Thomas A Meyers.

Today we bring you a FREEBIE short story from the author of the Eric Elmoor Sage. Yes i wrote that right, totally FREE! The Initiative is an all new FREE short story that takes place before ERIC ELMOOR AND THE GAUNTLET OF GODRIC. But enough gibbering from me, you want the story so here goes…….

THE INITIATIVE – an all new FREE short story set in the Eric Elmoor universe.

The wheels of the tram hitting the tracks below sounded like an unyielding thunderstorm. The cacophony was relentless on the way toward Egremont. Somebody oughta fix that, Robb thought.

He always hated these assignments at the end of the month. The tram was packed with agents from the United Novogard Initiative who were assigned to the same duty he was: collections. It was an unenviable job, but it was a job. During his two year tenure with the Initiative these tasks never got any easier. In fact, with each passing month, and the more suffering he saw, the more an undeniable guilt boiled inside of him.

Luckily, the view outside the tram was beautiful enough to provide him with the right amount of serenity to momentarily forget what he had to do. The glass separating him from the outside provided a soothing chill to his forehead as he stared at the rolling hills and mountains speeding past him at an ungodly rate of speed.

“What’s your problem?” asked one of the agents. Robb removed his head from the glass to see that his boss, Falmir, was looking at him with a most quizzical face.

“Nothing,” said Robb resolute. In truth, everything was wrong. What they were about to do was thievery and no one seemed to feel any remorse about it except for him. Falmir wouldn’t understand. He’s been with the Initiative for years and it’s rumored he’ll soon be promoted to a cushy job permanently settled in Gondlair. Falmir was loyal almost to a fault, seemingly becoming so embedded in the Initiative’s ideology that he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, see what was wrong about this whole situation.

“Doesn’t seem like nothing to me,” Falmir snarled. “Can I count on you to get the job done?”

“Haven’t you always?” Robb cringed at that, thinking it may have been a bit too sharp to be saying to his superior, but it was out now. He would now have to deal with whatever Falmir threw at him.

“Be careful. I don’t want any mistakes,” growled Falmir as he moved further back into the tram to harass other agents.

Robb placed his head back onto the glass, feeling the piercing cold rush through his skull. Villages came into view now. They must be getting closer to Egremont.

The tram began to slow. The squeaking of the brakes rubbing the single two-way track that stretched between each of the three major cities stabbed at his ears.

Picking up his empty duffel bag, Robb scanned the tram to see that almost all of the agents were doing the same thing. A few didn’t move a muscle. They must be the team headed to Thornburg and the surrounding villages. Robb noticed that Falmir didn’t move a muscle. He must be going with the other team. Thank goodness.

A massive circular wall surrounded Egremont just as it did Gondlair. All three major cities had the same wall. It was meant for protection from a number of vague threats outside the Novogard Assembly territories, but to Robb it made the cities feel more like prisons than anything else.

As the tram crawled to a halt at the designated platform, he could already see the multitude of Initiative troops standing by to partner up with their assigned agents to provide guard duty for the task ahead. It was more a formality than anything else. The villagers never really were much of a threat other than their occasional verbal spat but the Assembly and the higher-ups in the Initiative wanted to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible…all while showing the commoners who were really in control.

The tram doors slid open as each agent was immediately joined by their escort of three troopers all dressed in sleek black armor complete with a darkly tinted helmet which allowed for no hint at who was underneath. Each trooper carried a standard issued plasma rifle that could put down almost anything that stood in its way.

As Robb exited the tram his escort was on him in an instant. They introduced themselves in flat tones as they seemed to brag about their ranking and service records. All Robb cared to hear about were their names: Gabe, Talon, and Bethian. After the formalities were over, the stoic troopers led Robb through the wall and out to a procession of horse drawn carriages waiting outside the city. The multitude of agents and troopers loaded into the carriages one by one, Robb and his three escorts being one of the last.

Robb had always found it amazing that the technological advances that the Novogard Assembly prided itself on weren’t shared with the surrounding villages and townships. It seemed as if those outside the cities were still stuck in some distant past that they could not escape from. Some reasoned that the technology had to be strictly controlled so it would not fall into the wrong hands. Robb found the reasoning to be a load of codswallop.

Once inside the carriage, Gabe informed him that they would be going to a village called Rivermill. Robb recognized the name, he had been their before several months ago. The Warden of the village was a most animated portly fellow called Skarn. Robb’s previous experience with him was less than savory but uneventful nonetheless. Robb just wanted this all to be over with as soon as possible.

The driver slapped the reins on the two horses as the carriage lurched into motion and they were on their way. Rivermill wasn’t far from here, but judging by how fast the carriage was moving it would be a long ride. Robb decided to try to sleep, a task he was unable to do before this morning. The bumps on the dirt road would provide a most annoying obstacle in an attempt to rest, but he had to try. Everything about these collections was mentally draining. Resting his head against the pathetically padded seat, he closed his eyes.

Some time later, Robb was both thankful and angered for the annoying tug on his clothes that awoke him. Gabe stood over him. “Sir, we have arrived.”

As Robb lifted his head, a searing pain passed through the back of his skull – no doubt caused by the lack of cushion the carriage provided.

The doors swung open as Robb gazed upon a village draped in squalor. The villagers were dressed in rags. Guards roamed nearby who were adorned in tattered armor and chain mail that were long outdated.

Stepping off the carriage steps, the three Initiative troops moved into a triangle formation around him as they motioned their pulse rifles towards anyone who was looking their way. The only problem was that everyone was looking their way. Everybody here knew what Robb’s arrival meant and they didn’t need these dimwitted soldiers to antagonize them anymore.

“Can you three please lower your rifles? These people have enough to be angry about as it is,” Robb said.

“Sir, we’re here to protect you,” Talon replied.

“Trust me, these people are far too tired from real labor to do anything. Besides, it’s not like the Assembly arms them so fiercely as they do you.”

Robb brushed through the three troopers and made a beeline for a building straight ahead that contained the Warden’s office.

“Sir, please exercise caution,” pleaded Bethian.

“I have exercised caution quite enough in my life, thank you,” Robb retorted.

As the three troopers struggled to keep up with him, Robb gazed around at the tattered buildings on either side of the dirt street. Everyone in the village seemed to have stopped what they were doing to catch a glimpse of the “Collectors” – those that brought them such economical woes. A father stood outside his shop door as a small boy with a dirt flecked face looked out the window.

No face was without despair. They only served to hasten Robb’s gait.

Arriving at the Warden’s office, Robb found himself face-to-face with another guard adorned in rusted armor and wielding a pathetic spear.

“State your business,” barked the guard.

Robb laughed. “You must be new.”

The guard shifted nervously on his feet. “State your business.”

“You know who I am, son. You know why I’m here. Now get out of my way and let me do my job,” Robb demanded.

The guard stepped to one side, albeit noticeably uneasily, to let Robb pass.

“Thank you,” Robb said as he turned to face his three escorts. “You three stay here.”

“Orders dictate that we be present during the collection process, sir,” Gabe stated.

“I don’t need you raising anymore tensions. Watch those horses over there. They look most threatening,” Robb said as he walked through the door to the Warden’s office.

As he rounded the corner, Robb found Skarn already waiting for him. But something was noticeably different. Skarn knew instantly what Robb was thinking. “See what happens when you go a month with barely any food?”

The portly fellow that Robb remembered was no more. Now there was a thin, nearly emaciated, man standing before him.

“What happened?” Robb asked, stunned.

“The Assembly happened. The Initiative happened. You happened. What in the bloody hell do you think happened?” Skarn retorted.

“How long has Rivermill been without provisional assistance?”

Skarn guffawed. “What provisional assistance? You mean those trifles they send every two weeks that some bureaucrat thinks will suffice to help people out here in the real world? Provisional assistance my back side.”

“I…I’m sorry,” Robb replied, his tone genuine.

“And here you are again with your hand out,” Skarn said.

“I’m not the one with my hand out.”

“Oh, no. Of course not, my boy! You’re just the blasted idiot they sent to do their dirty work for them! Oh yes, indeed! You are completely innocent. Here, let me fetch you your money.” Skarn reached under his desk.

Robb watched as the Warden threw a small bag of coins onto his desk. “What’s this?”

Skarn raised a single eyebrow. “What’s this? What’s this, you ask? It’s our earnings…excuse me, our taxes young man. The Assembly demands one third of all wages. Well, there you go.”

“This is it?” Robb asked, grief striking his heart as the question left his lips.

“There is nothing else to give but the flesh off our bodies. And if you want that you’re gonna have to take it from me because my people have been doing the best they can with what they got and it ain’t much. I’ll be certain to mention that in the next Grand Council,” Skarn said, his face hardened.

“It isn’t right,” Robb whispered.

“Come again?” Skarn asked.

“It isn’t right,” Robb repeated louder.

“Well I’m glad you see the obvious in our predicament. But what can we do about it?”

Robb took a moment to contemplate the question posed to him by the Warden. The strife caused by the Initiative and the Assembly upon the citizens living outside the three cities have left an undeniable mark on him that he was unable to shake. He wished he knew what could be done to end the suffering. Everything he thought of led down a path that would have regrettable consequences. Every choice led to risk.

But perhaps the risk was necessary to take. Maybe to gain something in the end, something else had to be sacrificed. He couldn’t believe what he was going to do, but it had to be done. Even if Rivermill wouldn’t be saved by the actions they took here, maybe it would spark something in others to take action as well and make a stand. He had to make a decision. They had to make a decision. Here and now. If it wasn’t done then the agony would only continue on and may even worsen.

“I can’t accept your payment,” Robb said.

“I’m sorry?” Skarn asked.

“I will not be taking your money,” Robb stated, absolute.

“Are you mad? Do you have any idea what the Assembly will do to you? To us?! The danger is far too great.”

“The risks are extraordinary, but someone, somewhere, at some point must stand up to the bureaucrats and say ‘no more.’ We can be those people.”

“This is an act of insurrection,” Skarn pressed.

“Let it be called such. If we should succeed, however, we will be hailed as heroes,” Robb said.

“Ah, so you seek glory?”

“No, only to live life without the burden of oppression.”

Skarn sat silent for a moment. No doubt weighing the risks of this course through his mind. Clasping his hands together and bringing them to his chin, he stared off somewhere in the distance away from Robb.

“Very well,” the Warden finally said.

Robb was taken off guard by his response. Sure enough, that was the response he was hoping for, but it was unexpected as well. Skarn stood straight and reached out his right hand. Robb took it firmly in his grip. Everything was about to change.

Hopefully for the better…


The scream came from outside. The handshake that made Robb and Skarn traitors to the Assembly was broken as they rushed toward the window.

Outside, they spotted three imposing figures dressed all in black unleashing arcane spells upon the scant buildings of Rivermill – driving people out in droves.

As the citizens flooded the streets, each were brought down by one or more of the figures in blasts of terrible red light. Men, women, and children…no one seemed off limits.

The screams were deafening.

Robb spotted the three Initiative troopers sent to escort him to Rivermill engage the figures. Their pulse rifles seemed of little use against their foes as they were brought down in an instant.

Rivermill guards didn’t even bother to engage after watching the slaughtering of the Initiative troopers. But as they turned to run, they too were brought down in flames wrought of the arcane arts.

As the destruction continued, it dawned on Robb that the figures were coming closer. The realization hadn’t escaped Skarn either as he quickly moved away from the window and toward the door.

“Where are you going?” Robb asked.

“The hell out of here! You would be wise to do the same,” Skarn shouted back.

The moment Skarn opened the door and entered the hallway, a red light flashed outside the room, and where the Warden had once stood there was only a pile of ash on the floor.

Robb couldn’t help himself but remain absolutely still. He didn’t know if it was out of cowardice or courage in the face of imminent death.

His eyes were fixed on the doorway as he heard the distinct thud of boots hitting the hardwood floor and coming his way.

Soon enough, a hooded figure peered through the door, saw Robb still standing by the window, and turned to whisper something to his two companions.

As the tall, imposing figure entered the room the other two remained outside.

“What is your name, agent?” the figure asked.

“Robb Reinhart,” he managed to finally say after a moments hesitation.

“You bore witness to our power, I assume?”

All Robb could offer in reply was a single nod.

“Very good. I want you to do something for me.”

“And what is that?” Robb asked nervously.

“I want you to return to your beloved city and tell your High Council about what you saw here today. I want you to tell them that The Order has come to collect a debt and as long as the Assembly continues sending emissaries into lands that are not their own and trying to force an alliance, we will continue collecting. No township or village is safe as of this point forward.”

“You’re not going to kill me?” Robb inquired.

“No. Enough blood has been spilled this day.”

The figure began walking back to the door as a burning question raced through Robb’s mind. “Why are you doing this?”

The figure stopped and turned. “I do this so that my people may live a life without the burden of oppression.”

“By killing innocent people?”

The figure moved away from the door. He approached Robb until they were face-to-face. Robb could barely make out the man’s features under the cloak but could tell that he was deadly serious.

“Anyone who willingly allows their leaders to behave in such a manner as the Assembly have are just as guilty as they are. No one can claim innocence when they fail to act against such tyranny.”

The figure left the room at a brisk pace as his two companions followed him out of the Warden’s office.

Robb looked out the window as the three cloaked figures left Rivermill behind them still aflame.

What the figure had said to him stuck in Robb’s head and kept repeating itself…

“No one can claim innocence when they fail to act…”

Robb knew he was on the verge of acting.

But this changed things.

The power The Order had at their disposal was nothing to scoff at. All of a sudden, an inner debate raged within him.

Should he warn his superiors or let The Order continue their endeavor?

It seemed as if they were fighting for the same thing Robb desires. But the deliberate extinguishing of innocent life was inexcusable.

The debate was settled. This was not the way he wanted change to come about. Perhaps in the future, he or someone else would bring about a shift.

But it wasn’t today.

Today he had to find a way to warn the Novogard Assembly of what was coming…

The story continues in

Will we see Robb again?  Who were the three “figures” destroying Rivermill?  You will have to keep reading the books to find out!

Did you enjoy that?! Stupid question right! Well, now you’re hooked go buy book 1 of the Eric Elmoor sage.

UK ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eric-Elmoor-Gauntlet-Godric-ebook/dp/B00AK21Z48/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1372419314&sr=8-1&keywords=eric+elmoor+and+the+gauntlet+of+godric

US ~ http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Elmoor-Gauntlet-Godric-ebook/dp/B00AK21Z48/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1372419350&sr=8-1&keywords=eric+elmoor+and+the+gauntlet+of+godric

And to feed your obsession that will grow with this sage you can get all the updates and maybe teasers, because he likes to do that to us! In the following places ~

Facebook page ~ https://www.facebook.com/#!/EricElmoor?fref=ts

Goodreads ~ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6696172.Thomas_A_Meyers

Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/tommythescribe

And a little birdie tells me that Book 2 of the Eric Elmoor Sage, ERIC ELMOOR AND THE CHALICE OF CAMERON, is coming soon! BIG girlie Ekkkkkkk!!


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Final sale day for an Epic Fantasy Book…

…….. Today is the final day to grab yourself a Fantasy bargain!

Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric will be back at full price as of tomorrow so raid the piggy bank and look down the back of the sofa because this is one you don’t want to miss!!

Simone reviewed this a few months ago and after reading her review I bought it myself and let me tell you, WOW! I loved it, in fact if your still on the fence about it why not read my review (might as well plug my own review 😉 )

~~~~~~~~~~~ 5* review~~~~~~~~~~~
What can I say other than WOW!
My description of this book…….. Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings.

Eric always knew he was different, I mean who has purple eyes? But whenever he brought the subject up with his Mother she either got upset or didn’t want to talk about it, but Eric wants answers! So when family friend, Ben, turns up and offers Eric the answers he so desperately wants, Eric doesn’t hesitate when Ben asks him to join him on a journey that will not only answer all his unanswered question but show him who he truly is.

This is a very well written book and the description of people, objects and locations is fantastic, not once did I struggle to imagine what I was reading.
The author kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time i was reading and there were a few twists that I NEVER saw coming, as well as a few OMG’s and *gasps*.

This is only book 1 to Eric’s journey and It has left me needing to know the rest of the story, a good book does that to you! In fact you know you have me hooked when I buy both digital and paper copies (which I have just done)
All I ask is PLEASE don’t leave us hanging too long Tommy.

So get yourself over to Amazon now!
UK ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eric-Elmoor-Gauntlet-Godric-ebook/dp/B00AK21Z48/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371570734&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=eric+elmoor+and+the+gauntlet+of+godric

USA ~ http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Elmoor-Gauntlet-Godric-ebook/dp/B00AK21Z48/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371570797&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=eric+elmoor+and+the+gauntlet+of+godric

Ohh and don’t tell Mr Meyers that I told you but he has a NEW short story coming out soon, but you didn’t hear that from me 😉


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Tales of Finndragon


Good morning all.

Today see’s the last blog tour post for Richie Earl’s books, “The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse” & “Return to Finndragon’s Den”. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Richie for allowing us to beta read the books and letting us be part of the blog tour for the past few weeks.

As promised, we have a special interview today. If you’ve already read the books you will know this charactor very well. 😉


Today on Orchard Book Club, we have a most unusual visitor. So please put your paws, er hands together for Bones, the faithful pet dog of Emma, Megan and Scott, who’s arrived fresh from his exploits in the cursed Kingdom of Morgannwg.

Question: Hello Bones, if you had a choice, would you prefer to live in the 6th or 21st century?
That’s an easy one. The 6th century is a great place for a dog, apart from the demon attacks that is. Emma, Megan and Scott never stop complaining about the food there. Well now they know how I feel. All I get in the 21st century is a bowl of rather bland, tasteless pellets of dried food twice a day, seven days a week. It doesn’t matter how much water I drink after eating it, my tongue is always as dry as a corgi’s coat. Ha ha ha haaaaaa. What? You don’t think that’s funny. I guess the joke’s lost in translation.

Since the first day we arrived in Castell y Mynydd, my diet has become far more varied. I’ve got to know one of the cooks at the palace, and he usually saves me a tasty morsel or two. Then there was the Feast of August celebration. Bow WOW WOW! I got more exercise that day, trying to intercept the food flying all around, than I get in a week back home. By the end, I was fuller than a Russian Doll. Ha Ha Haaaaaa.

Question: Finding your way to Castell a Mynydd nearly cost you your life. Tell us; what’s a near death experience like from a dog’s point of view?
It was absolutely terrifying. All my dinners flashed before my eyes and I thought I’d never eat anything again.

Question: No long tunnel of light?
No, just flashing dinners.

Question: Once you reached the Kingdom of Morgannwg, was there anything that scared you more than the demons?
I did worry quite a bit about whether we had enough food.

Question: What was the most terrifying moment for you, un-food-related that is?
There was one awful moment when I thought I might lose my little winky.

Question: er, uh, um, er …..moving on. You made lots of new friends during your adventures. Is there someone special amongst them?
King Dafydd’s cook was pretty special.

Question: Anyone else?
Well I did get on quite well with Gwayne, apart from the winky episode.

Question: Enough of the talk about your private parts. Now is there anyone else that you really liked?
Well I liked almost everyone, but I did have a little soft spot for Quack. She was the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met and funny too!

Question: Now that you’re famous, what’s next for Bones the Dog?
I’m not supposed to tell you this, because it’s top secret. I’ve been approached by BBC Wales, to replace Matt Smith when he hangs up his sonic screwdriver as Doctor Who for the last time.

If you haven’t already bought these two books (and i sincerely hope you have ;-)), you can buy them at the following links



To find out more about Richie, check out and like his Faacebook page


Thank you again to Richie for giving us all two fantastic books to read and spreading a little bit of magic 😉

~Laura, Nicola & Simone~

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The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse Book 1 – Guest Post


Good day to all our follows 🙂

Today we have a guest post from Richie Earl, author of “The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse” & “The Return to Finndragons Den”. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be hosting several guest posts from Richie. As well as being the first to start the blog tour we will also be posting more information from the author, reviews of book 1 and book 2 and a giveaway.

Us girlies at Orchard are very priviliged to be part of this tour and feel that we had a helping hand with book 2 as four of our girlies beta read the book along with several other people and boy are you all in for a treat! 😉


My name is Earl, Richie Earl that is, and I’m a young adult fantasy author. Today is the first day of my Tales of Finndragon – 1500 Years in the Making Blog Tour and I’m delighted to start at Orchard Book Club. The tour is scheduled to run until the end of June and will include interviews, guest posts and reviews.

There will be ebook giveaways and an original and exciting competition spread across the tour. First prize is 10% of my 2013 Amazon royalties, with five pairs of signed copies of The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse and Return to Finndragon’s Den for the runners-up. There will be ten questions spread across the blogs I visit, with the answers to be found in either the blogs or in the books. To enter, visit My Name’s Not Earl blogspot.

Here’s Question 1: What is Richie Earl’s real name?

Gwayne is a central character in the Tales of Finndragon series. Here he introduces himself and explains how Finndragon cursed the Kingdom of Morgannwg.

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse

Gwayne’s Story

When I was a young boy; well I’m still a young boy, but what I mean is that a long time ago, Finndragon’s Curse really did happen. Finndragon had got banished from the Kingdom of Morgannwg and Myrddin took his place as court wizard to King Dafydd.

I had dreamed of being a wizard for some time and I got my wish when I was taken on as an apprentice to Myrddin. He was still quite young himself, but I soon came to realise that he was a very powerful maker of magic. It was with great excitement that I began my apprenticeship; I expected to be performing all manner of wonderful enchantments, but alas, all that I was allowed to do for almost two years was collect ingredients for Myrddin’s spells. It was absolutely awful, I can tell you!

Okay, there must have been some good times, but all that I can remember is the dirty, smelly jobs that I had to do. If you’ve never stood behind a cow in calf, who’s about to give birth, then you probably don’t know what I mean. And if you’ve never had to scrape bat dung from the floor of a cave, you would find it hard to place yourself in my shoes.

But I loyally followed all of Myrddin’s orders, with the promise that he would soon start my tuition in magic and wizardry. It was about that time that Finndragon got banished from Morgannwg and Myrddin got the job of Court Wizard. I couldn’t believe my luck; here was I, Gwayne, apprentice to the King’s wizard. I only had to bide my time, obey my master and one day…. yes one day it would all be mine.

I have to admit that I hardly paid any attention to that old curse; you know the one where Finndragon warned that unless his exile was lifted, he would sink the Kingdom of Morgannwg into the earth and it would be set upon by monsters and demons until the end of time and never be seen again. I was just so excited that I would be living in the palace with Myrddin and our beloved King Dafydd.

But that no good Myrddin had no intention of taking me into the palace with him. He made me look after his dwelling and all of his lotions and potions whilst he lived it up with the nobles and the gentry. He may have occasionally given me a little instruction in the art of wizardry, but I was not progressing as well as I had hoped.

More than once I told him that I’d had enough and no longer wanted to be his apprentice, but he wouldn’t let me go, threatening to turn me into all manner of unmentionable and unimaginable creatures.

You may wonder as to what exactly makes a wizard. Truly great wizards, such as Finndragon, are born with magic coursing through their veins, whilst others have to learn the art over a very long period from their master. It would take even great wizards many years to attain the incredible power of one such as Finndragon, who is probably the greatest there has ever been. It is said that although he was an old man, he had been able to cast a spell on himself in his later years which virtually stopped the march of time for him. So he had now lived at least five lifetimes. Unfortunately I fall into the latter category and I now had no master, (oh, I haven’t told you about that yet. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to it soon enough).

I’ll never forget that day when the curse of Finndragon befell Castell y Mynydd and all of the Kingdom of Morgannwg, even if I live another fifteen hundred years. I had been serving Myrddin for just over a year and he was still filling my time with the most unpleasant tasks, while neglecting my tuition in the arts of magic.

That entire sunny day had been spent scrabbling around at the bottom of the large, filthy duck pond, trying to gather the roots of the countless reeds that adorned the pond. Apart from being dirty, the water was very cold particularly at the bottom which, in the middle, was about twice as deep as I am tall. The task was especially difficult as I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. And of all the days to have such a duty, it had to be right in the middle of the Feast of August when everyone else in the kingdom were having so much fun at King Dafydd’s castle.

Of course I had tried to get out of it in the first place, “I can’t swim!” I objected, but Myrddin was having none of my excuses.

“You won’t need to swim boy, just crawl along the bottom and pull out the roots, but be careful not to damage them as I need them intact for my spells!” he had shouted violently at me.

I don’t know why, but I don’t think Myrddin liked me very much. Nevertheless I continued to plead my case, “The water is very deep, so I won’t be able to get to the bottom!”

“Don’t you think I’ve thought of that, you idiot. You can tie this sack around your waist; I’ve weighed it down with heavy stones. There’s plenty of room in there for the roots too!”

“But I will surely drown if I am weighed down, then what use will I be to you, Master?”

By the look on his face, I could see that Myrddin had just about lost his patience with me and the next words he hurled my way were streaked with malice. “I am Myrddin, the mighty wizard to King Dafydd, the ruler of the most powerful kingdom in Wales!” He spat out each syllable, covering me in tiny beads of his saliva.

“Don’t you think that I would have a spell suitable for such a task?”

With that, he swirled an arm around his head and swung it in my direction. I felt nothing at first, but gradually a strange sensation came over me. My chest seemed to tighten and try as I might, I could not get any breath into my aching lungs. I could feel my eyes starting to bulge and put my hands to my throat, vainly hoping that would somehow help. Myrddin stood there laughing and passers-by stopped to see what the fuss was about. In any other circumstance I would probably have felt embarrassed, but at this moment, the only emotion I had was one of sheer panic.

Myrddin continued to laugh as he tied the heavy sack around my waist and I sensed a blackness creeping up on me, as my eyes became heavy. The crowd slowly disappeared from the edges of my vision and all I could see was Myrddin as he started to push me towards the pond. I could barely stand and I staggered and stumbled, before falling to my knees at the water’s edge. I knew with a dreadful certainty that I was about to die. I felt like I drowning on dry land.

Just as it seemed I could last no longer, Myrddin kicked me in the small of my back and sent me sprawling into the muddy water. “You must fill the bag with roots and only then will the spell wear off!” he half laughed, half shouted.

I splashed head first into the pond. Gasping for air, my lungs quickly filled with the stagnant, slimy water. The revolting taste in my mouth was surpassed by the vile stench that assaulted my nasal passages. But then the most amazing thing happened; gradually I realised that the suffocating feeling was slipping away and I could actually breathe. After a couple of minutes of being half submerged, my head cleared and the pain left my chest. I pushed my head up and out of the water and struggled to my feet. My head had barely been out of the water for a few seconds when the awful feeling of suffocation returned.

“You are a complete fool, Gwayne,” Myrddin roared with laughter. “Get back into the pond and you will be able to breathe water. Fill the sack and you must get out quickly, because you will once again need air.”

So I had little choice other than to do as my master had ordered. I didn’t know how long I’d been down there, but I must have spent many hours clawing at the muddy bottom. I pulled out the reeds by their roots, always careful not to damage them. When the bag was nearly full, I tried to find my way to the shallower water near the edge of the pond. I popped my head out quickly and was surprised to find that it was night-time; the brilliant sunshine having been replaced by a brightly glowing full moon. I resumed my task and ripped up the last few reeds I needed to fill the sack. Myrddin was right, for as soon as it was full I was overcome by a new feeling of drowning, a true feeling as I was actually drowning.

I stood tall and scrambled frantically out of the water. Coughing violently for several minutes, I tried to clear the filth from my respiratory tract before my breathing returned to normal. I was lying on my back besides the pond thinking that as long as I live, nothing as awful or frightening could ever befall me again, but then a terrible storm came up from nowhere. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail everything was in pitch darkness. Except for Castell y Mynydd, that is, which was illuminated by a single shaft of moonlight. Every fire and light within the castle was extinguished by the howling wind and the lashing rain. The waters in the pond began to bubble and boil and the ground began to shake.

I saw Myrddin rushing by, turning into a hawk as he ran and he flew away (see, I told you that I’d get around to it) before the kingdom sank into the earth. Everything began to spin around violently in the same way as water gets sucked into a whirlpool. A mountain rose up above the spot where the kingdom had been just a minute before. Orange flames sprang up suddenly, dimly illuminating the entire land.

The whole world changed that day and has been the same ever since. Fifteen hundred years spent in the largest cave imaginable, waiting and hoping for someone to break Finndragon’s Curse. And I still have a large sack full of the roots of all those filthy reeds!

So here was I, left high and dry, in a land plunged into the bowels of the earth. King Dafydd soon sought me out, hopeful that I may have learnt enough from Myrddin to be of some service to him. He quickly realised that I would be of no use and I was left to my own devices. For centuries I tried to teach myself the craft of magic, but without even the slightest encouragement of a wholly successful spell, until one day I was visited by a peculiar group of children. Ah, but that’s another story, a true story, not a legend.

So that’s The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse for you; believe it to be a myth if you will. But beware, because Finndragon still lives and his demons persecute us all and we are only just beneath your very feet!

Also up for grabs is a ebook copy of The Legend Of Finndragon’s Curse, enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back with us next week for our REVIEW’S, yes more than one, of the first instalment of Finndragon.

~Laura, Nicola & Simone~


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Earth Angel


Earth Angel by Ruth Ellen Parlour
Reviewed by Laura

As a new reader to Ruth’s work, I was a little nervous about reading a fantasy book but I needn’t have worried :). Once I got into the story I found the book thrilling and exciting and very descriptive which helped me to understand each character and their role.  Very well written and I look forward to reading more of Ruth’s work.


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Author Spotlight – Tommy Meyers -Interview and Review

When someone says the name J.R.R. Tolkien to me the first thing that pops into my head is Middle Earth, Orc’s, Dwarf’s and Elves
Like wise when I hear J.K. Rowling I think of Magic, Mythical Creatures and the Impossible.
If these two “worlds” collided it would create Novogard, A land that has been shattered from racial division. Where a powerful government has begun its encroachment onto unwilling societies. Where the magical and the technological collide.

What am I talking about I hear you ask?! I’m talking about the all NEW and exciting book, Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric by Tommy Meyers of course!
The book is based around 15 year old Eric Elmoor who has always felt like an outcast; ceaselessly teased about his unusual purple eyes, never fitting into any particular group at school, raised only by his mother since his father died inexplicably when he was only a small child. But when three warlocks simultaneously attack the three biggest cities in all of Novogard, Eric is taken on a journey to the elf homeland where the secrets of his mysterious origins will be revealed and the power within him unleashed…and a forbidden relationship with the chieftain’s goddaughter begins.
With the warlocks and their hellish horde now threatening the borders of the elvish lands, Eric must find the courage to make a stand and face the one who murdered his father in the vain hope of saving all of Novogard from utter ruin.

Has that wet your apatite for more? Of course it has. Well first lets delve into the life of the author who wrote it, Tommy Meyers. Tommy lives in Tyler, Texas, with his wife, Danessa, and his two beautiful children. When Tommy’s not working or writing he likes nothing better than a BBQ (we have seen many a picture) and to conquer those monkey bars that got the better of him last week! (Sorry but I HAD to get that in)


We stuck to book related questions, we don’t want to frighten him off…….yet 😉

1. What’s a typical day like?
– Well, the day starts off at 5:20 am when I wake up, get my coffee and go into work as a nurse until 2:00. When I come home I may be able to get out a few rounds of Battlefield 3 (video games are another favorite pass time of mine that’s horribly distracting) to de-stress from the day job. After that it’s play with the kids and the make supper (love grilling) and then send them off to bed. Once they’re both asleep I get maybe 2-3 hours to write uninterrupted. But throughout the whole day I’m constantly thinking about the next step in the story or some new or cool plot twist that comes to me and I steal a moment to jot it down before it leaves my head. Chaotic, I know, but it’s what has to be done to get the story out there.

2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
– I can’t think about what actually triggered it but I always loved stories and wanted to tell my own. My mother recently found a story I wrote when I was six that featured me and my best friend breaking into Hell to go get some rare artifact. I guess I was a somewhat demented kid.

3. Are there any authors or books that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
– Tolkien was a big influence for obvious reasons. But, honestly, I wasn’t much of a regular reader until mid-way through high school and then when I got out I read even more. There’s something about me that when people tell me to do something I tend to rebel. Now, in my more “mature” days, I’m consuming everything I can when I get the time. I loved books 1-3 of the Harry Potter series, the latter ones were too cumbersome for my tastes. I love George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (when I have time to read those epic tomes). Also, there’s Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series that is just too cool for words. Nineteenth century battles but with dragons?! Sign me up!

4. What do you do to prepare yourself before writing? Do you listen to music? Do you look at visual aids?
– I don’t prepare. I just do. Music helps during the writing process to get me into that world as long as it doesn’t have lyrics. Sometimes the words can find their way onto the page. In terms of visuals, I love fantasy and sci-fi, so whether it be a video game, television show, or a movie, it inspires me on some level.

5. What motivated you to write Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric?
– I had been writing screenplays for a while before diving into prose and I had always begged my wife to try to read them. If you’ve never read a screenplay before it can be a very jarring experience. There’s so much white on the page and there’s technical terminology to learn to fully grasp what you’re supposed to be “seeing in your head.” So, after a few tries my wife gave up and simply said, “I’ll read your book when you decide to do one.” Prose was daunting at first simply because it was a writing style you have to pay more attention to than screenwriting. You can have grammar issues galore and not explain your environment as much in a screenplay. Also, there’s the inward dialogue as well as the outward dialogue to worry about. So I thought it was too difficult a task for me. After a few years of trying to break into the movie world I got numerous rejections simply because I write too big and the budget would be too high to intrust it to an unknown screenwriter. Then in 2010, we took a trip to Universal Studios in Florida and went to Islands of Adventure the very day the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened (that was a riot, let me tell you). So, as we’re sitting in the 8 hour long line (I kid you not), an epiphany hit me. If I wrote a book, I could have an unlimited budget and be only restrained by the depths of my imagination. Not only that, with the advent of eBooks and the boom of self-publishing, if I couldn’t get an agent to accept my manuscript, I can just put it out there myself. Screenwriting came with this frustration that not very many people read them, let alone pay for them, and I was tired of not having an audience that could see what I had to offer. Also, there was a point in that 8 hour line where I said, “Rowling has her own world, Tolkien had his. Heck, even George Lucas and James Cameron have there’s. I want MY own world!” I promptly left the line, bought a leather-bound Hogwarts journal for entirely too much money and the Eric Elmoor saga slowly, but surely, came to life.

6. Give us the 140 character TWEET description of Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric.
– Welcome to Novogard. Eric Elmoor’s journey begins innocently enough, but he is soon immersed into a world of magic, adventure…and murder.

7. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting, or editing?
– Rewriting simply because there’s a Butterfly Effect that comes into play sometimes. If you change one thing, there’s probably something else that needs to be changed in order to fit with the rest of the plot. There’s the possibility of a domino effect that rewriting has that I’m just not a fan of. I wish I could nail the book in the first draft and just publish it from there.

8. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
– I loved the first few chapters simply because it’s where Eric and I both embarked on this journey together in a cool new world.

9. Tell us something we don’t know about you?
– I had a son at a young age which forced me to mature quicker than most of my friends at the time. I don’t regret it, but, like Eric, I faced a hard reality earlier than most.

10. Will you write other books after the Eric series is finished?
– Yes, the world of Abeodor is ripe for the picking. There’s 5 continents in total and the Eric Elmoor Saga only takes place in one – Novogard. So there will be more, definitely. Plus, I would love to explore the further advancement of technology on this world as it continues to progress. In the Eric Elmoor Saga it’s just really starting to take hold.

11. Is Eric’s character based on a real person?
– I would say Spider-Man (fictional, I know) but my mother says Eric reminded her a lot of me simply because Eric is a smartass…just like me. 🙂

12. Do you enjoy the mythical/fantasy genre?
– Yes. It is a great place to be in because anything is possible.

13. How did you think up the names of the different places in the story?
– Some are taken from real life places, others are inspired by fictional places. I conceived of this world by thinking, “What if Middle-earth evolved technologically?” So you can see where a lot of it comes from.

14. There is an obvious link to racism in the story- is this a subject close to your heart?
– Yes. There was a time where another writer friend of mine (DeCarlton Wooten) were talking about our various projects and we’re both avid Star Wars fans. He’s an African-American who likes to write about the South in the early twentieth century and the racial implications of that period. I had suggested to him that maybe he should write a big sci-fi story that revolves around racial tensions and in that way he can say anything about race that he wants to. He never did get to do that story so I suppose it was left up to me. I decided to show racism for what I think it truly is – a distraction. It’s a distraction used by various groups to keep us at each other’s throats instead of seeing the “bigger picture.” Granted, there are a lot of people out there that will hate another race no matter what simply through ignorance, but in the grand scheme of things, I see it as a “divide and conquer” tactic that’s used to score political points when “they” see fit.

15. Did it take you long to write?
– Well, I fleshed out all 5 books over the period of two years while still continuing to work on screenplays off and on. But the actually nitty-gritty took me about 9 months from start to finish on the manuscript. That’s first draft, editing, etc.

16. When can we expect the next installment of Eric Elmoor?
– I’m hoping by winter 2013/2014. I, like many readers, don’t like to wait years and years for the next installment of a series to come out.

17. What are your hopes for the Eric Elmoor series? Could you see it being more than just a book?
– If it were to become the next fantasy film franchise that would be AWESOME! But it would have to be true to the books and the themes could not be dampened. The themes in the books are so close to my heart that I feel that if any studio wanted to water them down, I don’t think I could commit to it. Yes, changes will be made and that’s inherit to the process of adaptation but the themes should remain fully intact. And, as I’ve explained, I’m an avid video game player so I have something in mind for an MMO like World of Warcraft somewhere out there in the distant future if everything pans out.


I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to anyone and everyone – I am anxiously awaiting the next instalment…thank goodness there are another four to come!
The story transports you into a mythical, fantasy world filled with magic, mythical creatures and evil beings, all trying to be ruled by the rising of the technological world.
The characters are well described and are all very believable. I found myself feeling what Eric was feeling, and felt passionate for him to overcome the obstacles put in his way and for him to strive to be the best he could be…I was also very desperate for him to “get the girl”! 🙂
The plot is very well thought out, and the story is pieced together by giving the three characters viewpoints at simultaneous times – Eric, Derex and Ben. The reader is able to see the struggles, the pains and the anxieties each character is going through, and can then bring these different views into the experiences of the others, giving a fuller, wider understanding of what was happening and why…brilliant! Particularly brilliant I felt, when it came to understanding Derex. Yes, Derex is the “villain”, but by having his views explored first hand, you are able to understand that he isn’t simply being evil for evils sake – he has his own personal justification for needing to do the things he does. However devastating they may be.
The concept of racism is a huge part of the story, and is developed very well. Eric is viewed as “different” by most people he encounters throughout his life, whether that be the people within the city he has lived all of his life, or the elves he is very newly acquainted with. Eric is labelled “a half-blood” and this story illustrates his inner struggles and torments at dealing with the set backs such a label can bring. It also helps to show that regardless of how different the people all over Novogard think they are from each other, they are all actually fairly similar. Whether they be an Elf living in the highest treetops of Fairwood, or a rich human living in luxury within the city of Gondlair, they are all united in their alienation of people viewed as “different”. Personally for me, this really brought home how this concept is mirrored in much of society today, and I really liked how the story explored this point.

Once again – I absolutely loved this book and it comes highly recommended!!
I would give “Eric Elmoor and The Gauntlet of Godric” ten golden apples if I could – but a mighty high five it will have to be! 🙂


One final word……….. Tolkien and Rowling’s will be family favourites for years to come and if book one of Tommy’s book, Eric Elmoor and the Gauntlet of Godric, is anything to go by he will be joining these great authors!

We would like to thank Tommy for letting us review his book and for his interview 🙂 we look forward to the other parts of this series.

You can get Tommy’s book at the following places;


Connect with Tommy on
Twitter – https://mobile.twitter.com/tommythescribe
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6696172.Thomas_A_Meyers
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EricElmoor?ref=ts&fref=ts

~Nicola & Simone~

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17076495Dream By Robbi Bryant

Reviewed by Rachel


Veronica Armatti, a hairdresser and infatuation addict, has managed to strike the perfect balance between her daily existence and her overpowering desires. Veronica’s husband, Joe, tolerates her addiction as long as he doesn’t know the details. Veronica decides to get her latest fix with Andrew, an artist she meets at a grocery store. Andrew inducts Veronica into a mysterious and hypnotic dream world, where the powerful Devan entices her into his tribe of shape shifters, and where dreams and reality mingle in a deadly, intricate dance of survival.

“Handcuffs, huh.”
The guy ahead of me in the checkout lane turns and appraises me. The handcuffs, locked around his back belt loop, clink against my grocery cart.
“Hey,” he says, offering a nod.
“You a cop?” I ask. I’m bored.
“Nope. Not a cop.” He smiles.
“Why the handcuffs?” I have no trouble striking up conversations.
“Hmmm…,” he says, unlocking them. “Wanna see a magic trick?”
“Sure.” I add a bit of flirt.
He removes the handcuffs from the loop and in a second, locks the handcuff around my wrist, clicking the other half around his grocery cart handle……..

SEE now you want to read it !

This book turned out to be completely different to how I thought it would be especially after the first chapter! Robbi has a wild and vivid imagination and the book took a turn into a whole new and unusual dream world.

I did like the way each chapter was given to each of characters point of view and was a easy book to follow and the plot did feel like you were in the dream with them.

A easy and quick read, found myself reading this book long into the night – the intrigues, places and characters pull you into a world that is fantastical.

A good book , I wont say it is one of my favorites but a good book.




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