Sunday, 22 July 2018

Interview with D.N. Pillay

Earlier this week I featured The Anmorian Legends by D.N. Pillay. Today the author has dropped in to answer a few questions.

Dhesan Neil Pillay is 28 years old and a medical doctor working in paediatrics in South Africa. Both his parents were teachers and he grew up surrounded by books.

Hi Dhesan, welcome to Just Books.
Would you like to start by telling us when you started writing for publication and what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?
I started the first drafts of The Anmorian Legends: Wrath of the Exiled in the ninth grade and rewrote it several times before settling on what would become the first iteration of the final version in the tenth grade. For two years after that I considered my work to just be a hobby and did not think too seriously about publishing. In my twelfth grade, I wrote a creative short story for an English assignment and my teacher’s comments gave me the encouragement to believe that perhaps my writing would be interesting to others as well.

What gets your creative juices flowing?
A good cup of coffee! The sound of the sea also has an inspiring effect, but less so than the smell of coffee.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
When you’re unsure what to write, just keep writing. Don’t think of the ideas, try to let them flow. You can always go back later and beat the rough draft into shape but only if you get out of your own way first.

The best thing about being an author is….
Being able to create a world or universe to inhabit and then being able to share the experience of exploring that world with others.

Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
Before I start writing out the story, I plan the entire sequence of events from start through to end. This gives me a rough road map as to where things will go but I am still flexible to adapting as I go along. When it comes to writing out the chapters, because of my working times, I use two segments in the day. The first is early in the morning with a cup of tea and just reviewing my story map notes. Then in the evening I’ll make a cup of coffee and select a playlist that mirrors the mood and environment I want to create.

Tell us about the covers for Wrath of the Exiled and Legacy of the Sentinels and how they came about.
I designed the cover for Wrath of the Exiled. My plan was through the story to look at the villain as this paragon of evil whose name evoked fear, however, the truth of his existence was far more terrifying than most understood. Since the first title was to introduce the world Rezaaran inhabits and that he must protect, plus the villain he must vanquish to fulfil his purpose, it felt fitting to include him on the cover. Furthermore, I opted for a simple style with contrasting colours so that it would stand out on a shelf. I drew inspiration from Avatar for the look and it illustrates Thaedis before he casts a spell.

Legacy of the Sentinels focussed on the Sentinels in their conquest against Thaedis and his forces as a unified force. This amazing cover was designed by the very talented Larry Wilson and we decided on a cover that could display our unique characters as well as visually show the fantasy/sci-fi elements of the story.

Would you give us an insight into your main character, please? What makes him special?
I think what makes Rezaaran Valhara special beside his incredible magical ability, is that he does not think of himself as being special, more so in the second book. He learns humility through some harsh lessons and the fact that he is a growing hero who matures through each experience instead of being a sparkling knight in armour makes him more relatable.

What do you like to do when you're not writing or working?
I enjoy spending time with my fiancé at the beach, watching movies, online gaming and playing soccer.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Professionally, nothing is harder than telling a parent their child has died despite your best efforts. Each time this happens feels like it is the hardest thing to do until the next time that it happens. Personally, learning to paint has to be the hardest thing I have ever tried to do.

Your book is being made into a movie, which star would you cast as Rezaaran?
Raymond Ablack, Raza Jaffery or Riz Ahmed.

What is your favourite book and why?
This is a bit of a tough one but I think I’ll give it to Sphere by Michael Crichton. The way the story is narrated is such a gripping thriller that you are hooked and can’t stop reading, but the concept that it is our imagination is our greatest strength, by allowing us to imagine beyond our present circumstance that allowed us to evolve as the supreme species of the planet, as well as the source of our greatest fears. I found the read incredibly fascinating!

Quick fire round:

  • Are you right- or left-handed?

  • What do you have in your pockets?
A pen.

  • What words and/or phrases do you use very frequently?
I tend to use the word ‘just’ exceedingly often in conversation and am sometimes aware that I may be using it too often.

  • Are you generally introverted or extroverted?

  • Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at:
  • 30 seconds, the trivia game.

  • Remembering peoples’ names

  • Identifying songs after hearing a few seconds of the track

  • Thank you for joining us today, Dhesan. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you go?
    Thank you for this interview opportunity. If any readers would like to get in touch with me and learn more about my writing they can check out these links:

    Saturday, 21 July 2018

    Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski

    Title: Everything Under the Sun
    Author: Jessica Redmerski
    Genre: YA/NA Crossover, Dystopian
    Publication Date: August 28, 2017

    Atticus, struggling to conform to the cruel nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. 
    Thais, fighting to stay out of the hands of men like him. 
    Forced together, they fall in love. 
    But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

    Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

    Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

    Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?



             “Why are you so angry, Atticus?” My voice was soft and concerned now.
             He blinked, but offered no response.
             “I’ve seen men fight before,” I went on, “but I’ve never seen a man as angry at the world as you are. The way you beat that man in your room”—I shook my head with despondency—“the one just now; Atticus, you’re just so full of rage and hate. Why?”
             He snorted, as if he’d found my question ridiculous.
             “Why?” he mocked incredulously, holding out his hands, palms up. “I’ll tell you why, Thais: at every turn someone wants to rob or maim or kill us; we can’t sleep, night or day, without the thought in our heads as we close our fucking eyes that we might not wake up.” He gestured his arms wildly, his features constricted with indignation. “We’re covering our shit up like animals, sleeping in ditches, watching over our shoulder every second of every day for the chaos to grab us by the ankles and pull us down with it—and you ask why?”
             I sat against my quilt, unable to stand to hear this truth. And as if his movements depended on mine, Atticus fell into a crouch in front of me, bouncing on the toes of his boots. I never looked away from the pull of his gaze, trapped by the intensity of it.
             “I haven’t slept since you arrived in Lexington City,” he went on. “When I saw you that day, clutching your sister as she was ripped away from you; when you lay on the sidewalk, begging me to help you—it did two things to me, Thais”—he held up two fingers, and then dropped them between his legs—“it fucking killed me; the things I had to do, the part I had to play in not only your fate, but the fate of every girl in those ropes—it fucking killed me! It killed what little was left of my humanity!” His voice had risen with his heated words, his memories, but then he paused to calm himself, lowering his head but for a moment.
             I remained motionless, speechless, but my heart began to ache and fill up at the same time. I listened raptly to every word, my heart breaking as he spoke them.
             “It killed me,” he repeated. “But then something reached into Hell, grabbed me by the throat and pulled me back. I died that day in the street, Thais Fenwick; I died and then there I was, looking down at you with the eyes of the man I used to be, and I wanted to help you. I still fought with myself after that, but I wasn’t going to let you die or be raped or forced to marry a man you didn’t love—I didn’t know what to do, but I was going to do something, goddammit.”
             I sighed. I wanted to hold him, but all I could do was sigh.

    Praise For Everything Under The Sun:

    This book will take you on a long, dangerous, exciting journey. These characters will stay with you and you will fall so in love with them! I want to read it again, and again, and again!
    - ImJaclyn reviews

    That was an epic read. Pure epic! ... Jessica Redmerski... is an absolutely incredible writer. I fall in love with every book she writes, every character, everything.

    - Louise Seraphim Reviews

    Author Bio:

    Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

    Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.

    She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

    Fun Facts:

    1) I’m terrified of heights, particularly airplanes or anything man-made (rides at the fair, elevators, tall buildings, etc.). But just thinking about being on a plane gives me anxiety!
    2) I smoked for eleven years, until 2007 when my left lung collapsed and I spent five days in the hospital with a tube hanging out of my chest. It’s safe to say that I’ve never touched a cigarette since.
    3) I used to love AMC’s The Walking Dead, watched it religiously, until they killed off Carl, and I haven’t watched an episode since! Yes, I’m THAT serious about my favorite characters.
    4) I have such a strong sense of smell that I can smell the toxins and sickness coming off a person’s body who is running a fever.
    5) I have a mild case of OCD and hypochondria.
    6) I used to have a crush on Nomak from Blade II – yes, the character and not the actor who played him, though there’s certainly nothing wrong with him, either.
    7) There will always be a huge place in my heart for 80’s music and movies.
    8) I have seen the film, The Lost Boys, sixty-five times and at one point I could recite the movie from beginning to end, word-for-word.
    9) I am the author of DIRTY EDEN. (Trust me, this fits perfectly on any list of weird things).
    10) Years ago, I used to have dreams about fires and if I ever had them three nights in a row, something close to me would catch fire on the fourth day!

    Tour Dates: July 9 - 21, 2018

    Friday, 20 July 2018

    The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo

    Title: The Gathering
    Series: The Uprising, #1
    Author: Bernadette Giacomazzo
    Genre: Adult, Dystopian
    Publication date: March 31st 2018

    The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.

    In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.


    Chapter Thirteen


          I saw Emperor – looking like a hot air balloon, sounding as ridiculous as ever – blathering on about his personal Reichstag fire, and laying the blame of the explosion squarely at the feet of myself and my brothers-in-arms.

          “…and it’s these traitors of the state – the threat to the security of my Empire of the United States of America – the defectors of the Cabal who go by Jamie Ryanand Basile Perrinault and, my greatest betrayal, Supreme Allied Commander Kanoa Shinomura…” he hollered into the microphone, which seemed to reverberate throughout the city.

          At the sound of Kanoa’s name, the Cabal members below the balcony slammed the butts of their guns on the floor in rhythm. I knew that rhythm all too well – it was meant to be a war cry for those of us in the rank-and-file of the Cabal – but, to the untrained ear, it sounded like a machine gun going off…which was exactly the point.

          But I couldn’t help but sneer at the accusation that the blast that nearly killed Evanora and Tommy was somehow our fault. He’d spent decades trying to catch us and failing miserably, yet in the same breath, believed we were inept enough to set off a blast that took no lives and could be cleaned up during a balmy New York evening. And he managed to sell this ridiculous belief to the crowd, no less.

          “Let’s make something clear, asshole,” I muttered, “if it had been me and the boys that lit your shit up, you wouldn’t be standing here today.”

          Despite the absurdity of the accusation – and despite the obvious absurdity of the accusation – the victims of psi just grunted along, agreeing with everything and anything that came out of Emperor’s mouth, in part because they didn’t know any better (they were psi victims, after all), and in part because any disagreement with what Emperor had to say was met with a fierce, painful punishment.

          “His Word, Before All and Above All,” I muttered. “With liberty and justice for no one, so kiss my peasant Old New York ass and take a breath mint afterward, unless you like that funky aftertaste…”

          My voice trailed off as my eyes focused on a strange woman on the balcony.

          At first, I couldn’t discern who she was – she looked like someone I’d seen before, yet someone I’d never seen before.

          Her hair was a garish white-blonde, stringy and lifeless, and pinned tightly behind her head with a set of black ceramic chopsticks. Her makeup was almost cartoonish – cat-like black eyeliner and matte black lipstick sat atop a ghostly white foundation. Even her outfit was a hideously hilarious cultural appropriation – a black silk kimono paired with a set of black stiletto heels. I’d seen Old New York 42nd Street prostitutes, with terrible heroin problems, sell the “Asian coquette” look better than what I’d seen before me now.

          “Who the actual…” I began, hesitantly, unable to process who I was seeing before me.

          And then it hit me, all at once, who she was.

          For the first time in a long time, I was literally speechless.

          When I could finally find my voice again, it barely came out in a whisper. “Rosie,” I squeaked.

    Author Bio:

    With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.

    Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

    Thursday, 19 July 2018

    A Pilgrimage to Death by Alexa Padgett

    Title: A Pilgrimage to Death
    Author: Alexa Padgett
    Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
    Publication date: August 14th 2018

    They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. 
    But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…

    When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

    Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.

    Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.

    Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller!



          Cici sank into the leather-and-wood chair across from the large, ornate statement desk Evan reigned over. Her chair was lower, in case she needed a further reminder of who was in charge here.
          “What did you mean?” she asked. “Your words Saturday, they bothered me. About Anna Carmen and Donald.”
          Evan steepled his index fingers in front of his mouth. He leaned forward, his eyes narrowed. “They spent time together in those last few days before her murder.”
          “Why?” Cici asked.
          Evan shrugged, but his eyes cooled further, turned flinty. He knew something but wasn’t willing to share. Fine. She knew that he knew more, and now he knew that she knew—as would the SFPD.
          “Why didn’t you take that position in Scottsdale? Weren’t you set to go in two weeks?”
          Evan stood, rebuttoning his coat. “My first morning appointment is here.” He dipped his head toward the voices in the hallway. “If you want to catch up further, why don’t you make an appointment with my secretary.”
          Cici stood, her heart hammering. “Fine. Anna Carmen told me about the engagement, you know.”
          Evan stopped, his shoulders stiffened.
          “Your sister and I were nothing by the time she died. She made sure of that.”
          He stared down at her, this the face of the man who’d called her sister vile names.
          “What happened to you, Evan?” Cici asked, her voice choked with emotion.
          She assumed he wouldn’t answer, so she began to walk toward the door.
          As she passed him, he reached out and slammed his palm on the door jamb opposite her, caging her with his body.
          “I got schooled in what betrayal means, Cee. You’d be smart to remember who taught me the lesson.”

    Author Bio:

    With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.

    Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

    She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Wednesday, 18 July 2018

    Memories of Us by Fabiola Francisco

    Title: Memories of Us
    Series: A Rebel Desire Spin Off (standalone)
    Author: Fabiola Francisco
    Genre: Contemporary Romance

    The life I’m living was supposed to be ours, not just mine, 
    and without her it means nothing

    I couldn’t climb on stage and sing to a crowd, knowing the one person my songs were meant for was miles away from me. Writing songs about her is the best I can do until she comes back because I know we’re not over. We’re just on pause, like your favorite song when you need a moment to take it in. But as soon as I find her, I’m pressing play on our love story.



          I kiss her full lips, my tongue teasing the seam of her lips, begging for permission to deepen it. As soon as she grants me what I want, my tongue thrusts into her mouth. Our lips move together, speaking words we can’t hear with our own ears but can feel in the depth of our souls.
          Mackenzie shifts to straddle me and moans. “I can feel you against my underwear.”
          My hands reach under her dress and grips her ass. Her skin is cool against my hands, but the sensation burns me. I rock her into me and she moans again.
          “Fuck, Hunter.” Her voice is gruff.
          “I love hearin’ you like this. I fuckin’ missed it,” I drawl. Her tiny thong does nothing to stop her from feeling my dick in my jeans. “Bet you’re wet.” She whimpers when I move one hand around and run a finger against her soaked underwear.
          “Fuck, babe. Don’t think we’ll have time for much foreplay. I want to feel you wrapped around me, squeezing around me.”
          Mackenzie moans again, words gone from her mouth. I move my hand into her panties and feel her against my skin. She’s wet and ready, but I’m gonna make her feel real good first.
          I rub my thumb against her clit, and she tenses. “Relax,” I say into her ear.
          I continue to please her as she moves above me, her lips on mine in a desperate call for more. When she tenses around my fingers and her breath is labored, I stop and look at her.
          “I love you so damn much. I hope you believe me when I say there ain’t no one else for me.”
          “For me, either.” She reaches for my jeans, unbuckling my belt and pants, I kick my boots off, followed by my jeans. Mackenzie slips out of her underwear, keeping her own boots on.
          “I want you under me,” I lean her back on the blankets, cover her body with mine. I slip into her, slow and steady, and under a blanket of stars I make love to the only woman who has ever had a place in my heart and life.

    *Copyright 2018, Fabiola Francisco

    Meet The Author:  

    Fabiola Francisco is a contemporary romance author from South Florida. Writing as been a part of her life since she was a teenager. Even at that age, she dreamed of happy endings with emotional twists. Her novels include Perfectly Imperfect, The Restoring Series, Sweet on You Duet, and Red Lights, Black Hearts.

    Her passion for books and writing has inspired her to write her own stories. She writes novels readers could relate to and grow with. She’s currently working on writing more stories that connect with readers on a deeper.

    Fabiola also loves expressing herself through art and spending time in nature. In her spare time, she loves to cuddle with a good book and a glass of wine.


    Bare Naked Words

    Tuesday, 17 July 2018

    Being Alpha by Aileen Erin

    Title: Being Alpha
    Series: Alpha Girl #7
    Author: Aileen Erin
    Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
    Published by: Ink Monster LLC
    Publication date: February 13th 2018

    For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.

    Tessa and Dastien’s trip to the Caribbean is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of—sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. She couldn’t be happier. So, when a local man turns up inexplicably dead on the beach, Tessa brushes it off. Not every bad thing that happens in the world is a supernatural mystery to be solved. And when Sebastian—one of the Council of Seven Alphas who rule all the werewolves—appears on the island, she thinks it must be a coincidence. Everyone needs a break now and then. Even council members. Right? Besides, Tessa is beyond determined to not let anything get in the way of her romantic vacation.

    But when Dastien goes missing, the honeymoon is most definitely over. Tessa can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. And whoever messed with Tessa’s mate is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.



          Dastien laughed and the sound warmed my soul. For the first time since I’d woken up, I took a full breath. “Why did you let me take so much of your power?”
          “It’s what you needed,” he said without hesitation.
          He was right. If he hadn’t given so much, I probably wouldn’t have survived, but I still didn’t like it. I’d drained him so much and that made me wonder how the rest of the pack was fairing.
          “I’m fine. The pack is fine. We know the drill. We’ll eat everything in sight and by morning, we’ll all be okay. But trust me, it’s better for them to get drained one time than for them to try fighting this demon by themselves. They won’t even think twice about it. By helping you now, the pack ensures that you’re around to protect them. That’s why we have packs. That’s why there are leaders. Like it or not, you’re an alpha. The Alpha.”
          “I’m not The Alpha. I’m an alpha at best. I don’t have a pack to rule over.” And I was pretty sure I never wanted one.
          “I know, but you’re too strong and—”
          That was bull. “You’re stronger than me.”
          “No. I’m really not.” For a second I thought he was being nice, but his tone wasn’t nice. It was dead serious. “I’m not being polite, chérie. I’m a better fighter than you, but I’ve had my whole life to train and you’ve only just turned. In a few years, you’ll be able to best me.” He squeezed my hand. “And one day you’ll have a pack. You won’t be able to help it. Alphas draw betas to them. It’s just in their nature.”
          I could believe that was the case for other Alphas, but I wasn’t sure that applied to me. I knew I was a strong werewolf, but that didn’t mean that I had to be a pack Alpha. That was a lot of responsibility. Would I ever want to tie myself down like that?

    Author Bio:

    Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

    **Giveaway set up and managed by author

    Monday, 16 July 2018

    The Anmorian Legends by D.N. Pillay

    Wrath of the Exiled

    His world long since shattered following the invasion of his home planet, Rezaaran Valhara is abandoned by fate to slavery. However, his fortunes take an unexpected turn when he is offered a chance to join the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems in the ongoing war against the Obsidian Dominion.

    Initially consumed by anger and doubts, plagued by the memories of his parents' murder and a desire for vengeance, Rezaaran suppresses these demons in the pursuit of a purer purpose to restore peace as he becomes the last War-Mage of the fabled Vokarii.

    On a quest spanning the galaxy Rezaaran begins to unravel the secrets of the four realms of Anmor and his destiny in an ancient battle.Yet his greatest challenge will be within. Will he find the strength to walk the path of a hero?


          Rezaaran placed his hands on the steel railing and tried to calm his mind. He knew that he had overstepped the line with his harsh words to Orin, but a small part of him was glad to have vented some frustration. He looked over the courtyard to the tree standing in the green grass and surrounded by white benches. He was glad that he was free of Mar-Karatheer. It had been his dream to explore the galaxy, to live a life beyond the slavery. Yet, now that the chance was here, why did he feel so hesitant?
          Xephyrus quietly came to stand beside Rezaaran as he watched several Zenorians taking a morning walk through the courtyard.
          “Are you here to get me back to the conference room, Xephyrus?”
          “Not at all. I am personally opposed to coercion tactics. I am just here to see if you are alright.”
          “I’m not entirely sure myself,” sighed Rezaaran. “I should probably apologise to Orin.”
          “That may be a good idea.”
          “He seemed to be quite hurt by what I said.”
          “Orin and your father were friends for a long time. You were just a child when they invaded Zenor and probably do not remember much of Orin. During their youth, each chose a different path. Orin enlisted, and your father decided to travel the galaxy. Despite the differences in their lives, their friendship endured. When the invasion occurred, Orin faced a terrible dilemma. He chose to protect the future of our race at the cost of his oldest friend. I do not envy him for the decision he was forced to make.”
          Rezaaran could feel a writhing of guilt in his gut. He watched the children running through the courtyard. Two Zenorian children were chasing a tall, green alien up a tree. Their laughter seemed so foreign to him yet reached a crevice in his soul he had forgotten. The sounds of their play opened the niche into which his childhood memories had retreated.
          “I know what Orin expects of me, Xephyrus.”
          “He expects you to live to your full potential.”
          “All of my life, I have been a slave. I have lived in fear, endured pain and pushed myself to survive to the next day. Throughout these years, the memory of my parents helped me to survive. That was my comfort. If I accept this new path, I will be leaving those memories behind me. I suppose I am still afraid. I am afraid of what I will find if I walk down this road. How can someone like that be what Orin is looking for?”
          Xephyrus thought about this for a moment as he watched the children playing. One of the Zenorian children climbed down the tree to his mother, who embraced him before carrying him to get breakfast.
          “I see the way you look at those children, Rezaaran. You are not bitter that they enjoy childhood innocence, while you did not. You feel saddened that the Dominion’s rule shattered your childhood memories. However, you also have a burning desire to protect those that are facing the same tragedies that befell you. That is what Orin sees in you. That is why he wishes you to join IRIS.”
          “Can you read my mind as well?”
          “No,” replied Xephyrus with a small smile. “I just understand people. I know there is more to you than the anger and pain that covers you now. The memories of your parents, the invasion of Zenor and your time on Mar-Karatheer are the sources of your greatest anguish. Nobody blames you or thinks you weak for the hold these memories have on you. But the time is coming for you to let these memories go.”
          “I just wish my life had been simpler.”
          “A simple life will invariably yield simple men. All great men have faced challenges and uncertainty. They were afraid, shaking even, yet they still found enough courage to take that step into the fire and emerged greater than before. Not every chapter in our life story may have the happiest of endings, yet these chapters teach us the most about what it means to live. You have yet to reach your final chapter, my young friend.”
          “How can I just leave all these memories behind me?”
          “They have each taught you some valuable lessons. Your training will help you to isolate these from the pain. The decision to walk this new path is yours alone. Nobody else will be able to make that choice. However, if you should choose to walk it, you will have to release your grasp on the past. A beginning is impossible without an end.”
          Xephyrus gave Rezaaran a reassuring pat on the shoulder before leaving him to think about their talk. Rezaaran watched the children leaving with their parents. He knew that the choice was his, but in his heart, there was no choice. There was only one path for him to take.

    Legacy of the Sentinels

    Following the battle between Thaedis and Rezaaran, The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels sees the young War Mage embark on a journey of redemption. However, in the wake of Thaedis's victory on Zynoo, the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems (IRIS) has lost a considerable margin against the tyrant's Obsidian Dominion. The hope of freedom seems ever more distant.

    Despite the odds, Rezaaran remains steadfastly determined and endeavours to unite a group of fabled warriors. But will this be enough to save Anmor from the coming darkness and defeat the nefarious villain who has bested him once before?


          A drumroll of thunder sounded from the depths of the dark clouds, morosely skulking after the lightning that flashed across the blackened sky.
          A single bolt sharply broke the dense shroud of the storm and struck a lone tree, setting its boughs alight. Fires crackled in the silence of this gloomy realm, briefly lighting the ghastly bastion of black steel that was the source of the ubiquitous evil in this once-sacred world. What had stood proudly as the Antarika Citadel, the outpost of the Light, was now in the clutches of a foul-hearted monster.
          The lament of the clouds, a sorrow-filled melody of slow thunder and bitter sobs of rain against the somber crackling of fire, was the only sound amid the grave stillness of this lonely world. The ethereal chorus of the free souls who had found peace in the Nuhremorn no longer sang aloud, adopting instead a more taciturn manner and retreating to the far corners of this realm. Whatever natural beauty had once existed here had withered into lost memories.
          Ash from the burning tree rose slowly on a choked gust of wind, rising ever higher as it climbed the walls of the corrupted Sanctum. Rain fell with greater intensity as the ash drifted upward past the fallen hero in an upper turret who had led the realm to this dire state. The heavens’ cold tears ran along his soaked brown hair, passing along his face and his exposed torso.
          He slowly turned his head aside as the water dripped off the tip of his nose. The rumbling thunder sounded again, this time with greater gusto as the storm attempted to rouse the fallen hero. He alone could correct the disorder that plagued this mystic realm.
          Rezaaran Valhara opened his eyes to a familiar walkway. The wind felt cold against his bare chest. This and the gentle caress of water running down his arms and face began to rouse his mind. There was a reason he was here, but he could not quite grasp it. He attempted to draw his hands over his face but felt a strong resistance as he tried to move them. Looking upward, he saw glowing red energy bands binding his wrists to the walls. The young War Mage closed his eyes and clenched his fists.
          His last memories were of meeting Lord Salvidawn, who had granted him another opportunity to return to save Kashari. The Guardian King had been emphatic that Rezaaran rescue her. Unfortunately, his return to the Maelinthian had been brief—he had passed into unconsciousness upon the outskirts of Prashorida and mysteriously awoke in the Antarika Citadel.
          He drew a deep breath and tried again to pull free of his bonds. Once more, he could not muster the strength. Rezaaran let out a weary sigh, and his shoulders slumped in defeat.
          How had it come to this?
          The power lust he had sworn never to succumb to had been his undoing. It had been the cause of his drifenira’s demise. At his core, he felt too fractured, too shattered, to summon any real resolve to contest the dark magic that was holding him prisoner.
          The cool water on his skin cleared his mind. His thoughts soon transcended the regrets of the past and entered a more lucid state. Despite the shadows around him, he sensed two echoes from across the bastion. The stronger was the unmistakable presence of Yudhara, the false mentor who had led him astray. The other was the waning echo of the Elder Mage, whose goodwill, trust, and friendship he had betrayed in a quest for power. Whatever his intentions may have been, the truth remained that they had been at the expense of Kashari. For all her sacrifices, she deserved a better-quality student than what he had become.
          He was the cause of her suffering, and he alone could be her salvation.
          He had betrayed her once.
          It would not happen again.
          Rezaaran concentrated his strength and started pulling his shackles from the wall. The muscles across his arms and torso tensed, pushing the veins to the surface. With nothing but his indomitable will, he forced himself to power through the burning in every sinew. He would not submit to the pain—not when his friend needed him most.
          That last thought was what he needed to rip the energy shackles completely from the wall. He fell to ground in a crouch and gathered his breath. The War Mage rose, feeling rejuvenated and ready to do what was necessary. Feeling the rain upon his face, he looked up, taking in the stormy skies.
          Antarika was no longer the beautiful citadel in which he had met Kashari at the time of his ascension. The very walls of the fortress had warped into a malevolent monument of steel and ire. The symphony of the free souls in song was now but a memory. There was only despair across this land. Beyond the walls of the fortress, against the backdrop of a dead forest, a solitary burning tree poignantly symbolized the affliction wrought upon the realm by Yudhara’s pernicious presence.
          Beyond this place of wickedness, wrath, and horror, Rezaaran sensed a flicker of hope that the Light would return. It resided in the presence of Kashari. She was the custodian of this realm, the mentor and dear friend who had saved him numerous times through her surreptitious interventions, never once asking for gratitude or recognition but selflessly fulfilling her role. It was now his turn to reciprocate the kindness the Elder Mage had shown him.
          Rezaaran set off at a run down the ramparts, his bare feet noisily splashing through puddles as he sprinted to the courtyard—where he sensed Yudhara.

    Author Bio:

    Dhesan Neil Pillay is a South African medical doctor who started his writing from a young age. Always a lover of stories, he began working on what would become The Anmorian Legends series from the ninth grade. Over the next few years, he slotted writing the manuscript between homework and classes, taking a momentary hiatus in his matriculation year. While studying medicine at the University of Cape Town, he continued finding time between studies to expand on the journey of his characters. Driven by a passion to share the surreal experience of his story he released his debut novel The Anmorian Legends: Wrath of the Exiled in 2014. This was followed by the release of The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels in 2018. Currently Dhesan is looking to diversify his writing portfolio with several new projects that are in the planning stages. To keep updated with the latest news, visit his website.

    Sunday, 15 July 2018

    Interview with Jimmy Misfit

    Last Sunday I featured The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg: America's Worst City, today I'm joined by the author, Jimmy Misfit.

    Jimmy was born in North Carolina, grew up in New York, and now lives in Texas. He went to college in DC. He's been writing since about fifth grade, and has been published under a bunch of pseudonyms as well as his real name.

    Hi Jimmy, welcome to Just Books.
    Would you like to start by telling us when and why did you decide to become a writer…?
    Hi, Rainne! I read a book called Dreams of Victory by Ellen Conford around fourth grade. The character had embarrassing experiences where she’d have to dance or ice skate, and she’d lose herself in daydreams where things went much better. What I learned was how vital imagination and creativity can be.

    …and what motivates you to write?
    I have ideas that won’t leave me alone and need to get down on paper. Also, I love making other people happy. So if I make people laugh or just put them in a better mood, then hooray.

    What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
    An author named Alexis Glynn Latner recommended a book called The 10% Solution to a friend from my writing group. I try to live by it. In short, cut anything you’ve written by ten percent. It will be better.

    What do you enjoy most about writing?
    I’m of the Dorothy Parker school. I don’t enjoy writing, but I enjoy having written.

    What inspired The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg?
    I was seriously ill in 2005, and my respiratory meds triggered a massive bipolar high. I already had the idea of a tour guide blithely describing a dreadful city, but the project came in a flood then. The other inspiration was the game, SimCity 3000. What I know about terrible towns comes from being a rotten mayor on purpose.

    Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?
    Yes, but not much in this book. My experience with vampires, super villains, and Serbian mob bosses is limited.

    Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

    I wanted a cartoon skyline, so I searched for images. I also wanted the word “Bustleburg” curved as if it were Metropolis or some city known for power and heroism. The cover artist, Willsin Rowe, understood the titling I wanted and lit the skyline on fire for me. He did an outstanding job.

    Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
    Yes. I’ve worked at book and record stores, so I’ve seen the evidence. Cover art captures the imagination.

    Do you have any works in progress? Can you tell us a little about it/them?
    I have ideas for two more Bustleburg collections. I’ve started working on one tentatively titled Benchmark Bustleburg: America’s Worst City Gets an F Minus. I think a new nemesis comes to town and decides the whole city should be a for-profit prison. She says “gated community,” but she means “build a wall. Or four.”

    What advice would you give to your younger self?
    Worry less about grades and where to go to college and more about knowledge. I had trouble with school, but I might have gained more from a C in physics than an A in band. Subjects like sociology, psychology, philosophy and religion can help inform almost any story about humanity. As for physics? I like space opera. If I wanted to write laser battles, my writing would sound more authoritative.

    It’s time to relax! What do you do?
    Watch cartoons! Or play video games. I’m a very peaceable person, but somehow I enjoy battling opponents in the Player versus Player zone of the Elder Scrolls Online. I’m terrible at it, but I still have fun.

    What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
    Maybe surviving high school. High school is tough for everyone, isn’t it?

    Are you an early riser or a night owl?
    Night Owl. If banks, barber shops, and grocery stores were open at 3am, I’d be all set.

    What foreign country would you most like to visit?
    I’ve been so lucky with travel. I’ve been to amazing places: India. Italy. Spain. Of the places I’ve never been, I think I’d like to see Egypt or perhaps somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. People I know who’ve been to Egypt say they were left in awe.

    What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
    Let’s see. My roommate lets me sleep late, and then he says, “Wake up, I made you a grilled cheese.” Then we eat and watch cartoons. After that, I’d get on the computer and see I’ve received some fan mail, a few awards, and an invitation to be a guest on a TV show that evening. (It has to be that evening so I don’t have time to be nervous.) Then, somehow, I have a really good suit in my closet which fits me. I get a nice haircut. Either the TV show films in Houston or my roommate and I are taken to a private jet followed by a limo to the studio. Naturally, the TV appearance is a smash success. The host says, “You’re brilliant! Come back soon. I insist.” Then we go to a hotel with an amazing skyline view and the comfiest beds.
    That sounds ego-maniacal, so if that ever happens I’d have to dedicate the next year to charity work. Frankly, it’d be a great day with some good progress on a writing project. And a grilled cheese.

    Which fictional character, book or film, would you like to meet and why?
    Right now, I’d like to meet Arthur Less from Less by Andrew Sean Greer. I could say Holden Caulfield or Gandalf or Luke Skywalker, but I don’t know why they’d have interest in meeting. As another bumbling writer, I feel Arthur Less would enjoy a conversation with me.

    Quick fire round:

    Favourite colour?
    Blue. No! Green!
    Favourite food?
    Vanilla cream-filled donuts
    Favourite song?
    It changes. For years it was “How Soon is Now” by The Smiths. Now it feels mopey. Based on my Google plays, it’s either “Lazy Eye” by Silversun Pickups or “Everybody Got Their Something” by Nikka Costa.
    Favourite item of clothing?
    A t-shirt that reads “Zoo In A Can”
    Favourite quote?
    A Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

    Thank you for joining us, Jimmy, and for making me chuckle. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you leave?
    May I tell you about a free read? My story “That Feathered Menace” is a nice introduction to the book. I hope it makes you smile.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity, Rainne, and thank you to all your readers!

    Thank you. 😄

    Catch up with Jimmy Misfit...
    Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads

    ...and get your copy of The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg: America's Worst City.
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    Saturday, 14 July 2018

    Shades of Fae

    Title: Shades of Fae
    Genre: Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance
    Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

    Not every fairytale has a happily ever after.

    We only know three things about the Fae: They don't lie, they cheat. What they aren't given, they take. And if they can't rule...they conquer. Now the fate of humanity lies in a battle between good and evil where lines are not easily drawn.

    Time travel to 19th century France, brave the gritty streets of New York City, or enter the realm of the Fae itself in this darkly enchanting collection from today's hottest USA Today, award-winning, and international bestselling paranormal and fantasy authors.

    Shades of Fae is your ticket to a mystical realm where Sinister Sidhe and Dark Elves manipulate mortals, vengeful fae warriors battle nefarious vampire lords, and an apocalypse rife with werewolves, dragons, nymphs, banshees, shifters, and supernatural hunters brings unparalleled danger.

    In 2018... The Fae are Coming...

    Find out who survives and who dies when you order Shades of Fae TODAY!


    Participating Authors:

    • USA Today bestselling author CK Dawn
    • USA Today bestselling author Shawnee Small
    • USA Today bestselling authors Cheri Schmidt & Tristan Hunt
    • Elle Boon
    • USA Today bestselling author Pauline Creeden
    • Award-winning author Tameri Etherton
    • Award-winning author Cyndi Faria
    • USA Today bestselling author Isadora Brown
    • USA Today bestselling author Amy L. Gale
    • USA Today bestselling author Charlene A. Wilson
    • USA Today bestselling author Katalina Leon
    • USA Today bestselling author J.A. Armitage
    • USA Today bestselling authors Megan J. Parker & Nathan Squiers
    • Lynda Kaye Frazier
    • Kim Carmichael
    • Colleen Halverson
    • Danielle Rose
    • Lynda Haviland
    • Dyan Chick
    • Award-winning author Cate Rowan
    • Award-winning author JB Michaels
    • R.S. Broadhead
    • Jen L. Grey writing with Heather Renee

    Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR