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Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the prestigious R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017

Friday, 11 April 2014

Hop here for the great MFRW Spring event



Welcome to the MFRW Spring Fever Bloghop! The Next button at the top of your browser is a gateway to some fantastic authors, or you can choose any name from the scrolling list on our banner.

If our navigation bar disappears anywhere, clicking the bloghop banner in the post you're reading or using your browser's back button will bring it back.

Happy hopping!


Welcome to my post for the 
MFRW Spring Fever Blog Hop


Spring is finally sprung! Time flies, we're over a quarter of the way through the year already!

It's been a long winter in the UK. The weather hasn't been too extreme in the area where I live, but it's been wet and miserable - until last week when spring suddenly arrived.   The sun came out and it was really pleasant outdoors.

This picture is of the track down to the bridleway. The farmer has prepared the soil ready for sowing and the cheery daffodils sway their heads in the breeze.












The  crocuses in my garden decided it was safe to show their flowery faces without being soaked with rain or blown to pieces, while the daffodils were actually in bloom for St David's Day this year (March 1st and the birds are building their nests.

I love this time of year, the spring flowers are so fresh and colourful and the hedgerows are beginning to turn green  again and nature is bursting with  new life.


Last week I was able to take the horse's blankets off  and let them feel the sun on their backs for the first time this year. 

It's quite hard to stay indoors when it's so nice outside. Soon it will be warm enough for me to take my laptop into the garden so then I'll have no excuse for not working on my next futuristic romance, which I have a feeling might turn into Steampunk.

Easter is just around the corner, so to finish I thought I'd mention the origins of how we celebrate this Festival. The name Easter actually comes from Eostre, an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess, originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was held in her honor. According to my research:
 
"In primitive agricultural societies natural phenomena, such as rainfall, the fecundity of the earth, and the regeneration of nature were frequently personified.

One of the most important pagan myths was the search of the earth goddess for her lost (or dead) child or lover (e.g., Isis and Osiris, Ishtar and Tammuz, Demeter and Persephone). This myth, symbolizing the birth, death, and reappearance of vegetation, when acted out in a sacred drama, was the fertility rite par excellence."(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

"The name of a feast,
according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, A Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. The name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the resurrected Eostre. It was she who, according to the legend, opened the portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the white god because of his purity and also the sun god because his brow supplied light to mankind. It was Baldur who, after he had been murdered by Loki, the enemy of goodness and truth, spent half the year in Valhalla and the other half with the pale goddess of the lower regions. As the festival of Eostre was a celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus. There is no doubt that the church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them."


So, like Christmas the early Christians adapted the pagan Festival of Eostre and it became our Easter.  So, technically we should refer to Easter Sunday, as 'Resurrection Sunday' as this would be a truer name for what we are celebrating.

 I'll leave you with a question.  What is your favourite season?  Do you like the cold beauty of a snowy winter and Christmas, the gold and red of autumn glory, Halloween and Thanksgiving, the richness and warmth of summer, Holidays and trips,  or like me the freshness and newness of spring and Easter?

Leave a comment and 'follow' my Blog if you would, and I'll put you in the draw to win a $10.00 Gift Cert) Or the equivalent in pounds if you live in the UK)

 I hope you have a lovely Easter or Resurrection Sunday, and I wish you a beautiful spring.


You can also read a FREE fantasy short story 'A Bargain With Death' on my page at The Wild Rose Press (You'll have to go through the 'checkout' precedure, but don't worry, you won't get charged.)






                        



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Renegades - Review, Giveaway and Guest Post


 Renegades
Sara Mason


Author Bio:

Sara Atherton Mason was raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, with an amazing immediate and extended family. She attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating with highest honors in Chemistry. She then graduated from the Florida State University College of Law with high honors. She lives in the Florida with her toy poodle, Melvin, and clerks for a United States District Court Judge. She enjoys coffee, wine, sports, and science fiction television shows. 


Author Links -


Book Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: October 31, 2013

Buy Link(s):




Book Description:


Elora Pertin spent her life trying to please her father, an esteemed General for the Empire. 

When he convinced her to leave her quiet life as a scientist to advance a secret project for the Emperor, she had no idea what she was getting into. The seemingly innocent projects she engineered were actually being used to develop a genocidal weapon. After uncovering the Emperor’s plot, Elora had no choice but to act. 



Elora finds herself fighting for her life against the Empire she once served, abandoning everything with only a handful of friends and an unlikely ally—the Emperor’s deadliest assassin. Will he prove himself true as her protector, a loyal servant of the Empire, or a romantic distraction? With the law and assassins searching the star system for them, Elora and her team are determined to accomplish their mission . . . or die trying.

My REVIEW

If you enjoy a good adventure SF 'space opera' style story, with good, strong characters and a page turning plot 'Renegades' is for you.  I found S A Mason's debut novel a quick, easy read and the characters were well drawn, varied and likeable. Oh apart from the Emperor Unyasa, of course.  It's difficult to find anything very likeable about him, but then, he is the villain in this story, even if he does believe he is acting to protect the planet. 

Mordecai, on the other hand is something else! At first he seems nothing more than a cold blooded assassin, although the first description of him: "He was tall with shaggy dark hair, slightly curly on the ends. He had a strong jaw, and as she moved up his face, she saw he was looking at her in the mirror. His eyes were dark—almost as black as his clothes." had me intrigued from the start. There is more to Mordecai than is initially apparant and he has reason to be the way he is.

Elora is devoted to her father, and agrees to leave the well paid job she enjoys, on the planet she has grown to love, to participate in a secret project for the Emperor, but she soon realises that if she proceeds with the work it will mean the annihilation of a whole planet. She might be anxious to please her father, but she is far too strong willed to meekly obey without regard to the consequences.

The supporting characters are likeable too.  Nigel her bumbling and slightly gauche colleague is a brilliant computer geek and finds it hard to hide his love for Elora and hopes his affection will eventually be returned. Bylis and Zovani, who own a starship and unintentionally become involved in the plot to thwart the emperor's plans, are brothers who are very different, but also interesting in their own right.

There were a few editing errors here and there,  'crumbled clothes' :) and the odd shift into present tense, but not enough to mar my enjoyment of the story. The story is fast-paced, moving swiftly toward a nail biting climax, and there are a few surprises before the last page is reached; I now anxiously await the author's second book Redemption.

Excerpt :

Back in her room, Elora tried to come up with another plan. If her father couldn’t—or wouldn’t—help, she had to find someone else. Just finishing and going home was not an option. She tried to focus on the weapon, but was preoccupied with thoughts of her father. What was he involved with? How could he involve her in the development of an illegal weapon? He had been her rock and best friend since her mom died when she was so young. If she couldn’t trust her dad, whom could she trust?


She had just closed her eyes to practice the meditative techniques she learned on Naruta when she was suddenly pulled out of bed to her feet. She felt the strong arms of a man on either side of her head. Instinctively, she tried to jerk his arms away because she was sure he was about to break her neck. Her head was pulled so far to one side she could feel the muscles in her neck tearing apart. Then he stopped.


Elora could barely see the mirror in her peripheral. The man’s black monochromatic attire made him hard to see in the dark room, but she could make him out against her body. He was tall with shaggy dark hair, slightly curly on the ends. He had a strong jaw, and as she moved up his face, she saw he was looking at her in the mirror. His eyes were dark—almost as black as his clothes. Just as suddenly as he pulled her out of bed, he released her.