Realm of Darkness Anthology is now live!

It’s Launch day! And now the Realm of Darkness anthology has downloaded to your eReader of choice! You have 35 full length fantasy books to choose from! Which one will you read first?

You could take this quiz and see which book is recommended for you.

If you haven’t purchased the boxset yet, there is still time. You can still take advantage of the special preorder price of 99c, though that price will go up after launch week. So grab it now. It’s less than a cup of kafinee as Birlerion would say. (Check out my Sentinal series to meet Birlerion!)

As a thank you for buying the boxset, you can download a free reading planner, so you track the books you’ve read in the boxset and your star rating!!

If you have spotify, you can listen to the Realm of Darkness Playlist, and enjoy the music that inspired the authors to write their books.

My contribution to the boxset is SoulBreather, book one of the SoulMist series. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to hearing your thoughts, so please do leave a review.

The Sentinal series

SoulBreather

If you fall in love with the shadows, does that mean you are fallen too?

A dying angel. A fractured realm. The SoulBreather who might be able to save them both. 

Solanji has a secret. One that is becoming increasingly difficult to keep. She can touch souls and see into a person’s inner thoughts. Soulbreathing is exhilarating and addictive, until the day Solanji caresses the wrong person’s soulmist. 

Dragged into a long forgotten angelic mystery, she is forced to venture into Eidolon, the godforsaken last resort for those without souls. In order to save her brother, she must rescue a broken and tortured man. Can she save him from the shadows? Does he even want to be saved? And can she find a way to return to the light before the darkness engulfs them both?

SoulBreather is the first book in the Romantic Fantasy SoulMist series.

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Book Review Alert: Accidental Fae by Jessica Wayne

Reviewed: May 29th, 2022
Released: April 5th, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Romance

A life on the verge of death isn’t living.

When the doctors mention hospice, I know it’s time to take my life—or death—into my own hands. Stumbling through a portal into the fae realm wasn’t part of the plan.

But then I see him–the man who claimed my dreams with glimpses of his piercing golden gaze and sculpted body slick with sweat as he fought bloody battles. Seeing him once gave me strength; now, he gives me hope.

The creatures here claim he’s a rebel. A murderer. A traitor to their crown–a crown they say I’m tied to in irrevocable ways. I say he might be my only path to salvation.

I refuse to waste another life waiting for answers to secrets no one dares speak. It’s time for me to break free of my prison and claim the life that was always meant to be mine. My warrior has been broken by circumstance, though, and if I can’t give him a reason to fight, it could mean the end for both of us. Read my thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Thicker Than Water by Laura Quinn

Reviewed: May 27th, 2022
Released: May 27th, 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction

Cape May, New Jersey, 1916: Siblings Danny and Shannon Culligan are trapped under the thumb of their alcoholic father. Danny’s been in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jennie Martin- a wealthy cottager from Philadelphia- for as long as he can remember while her cousin, Hugh, is smitten with his sister.

As the foursome struggles to surmount the class differences between them, the nation is plunged into World War One, changing all of their lives forever. Danny is drafted into the Army and Hugh enlists in the Navy- defending the home front as a lieutenant at Cape May Section Base Number 9. While Jennie works tirelessly on the Liberty Loans campaign in Philadelphia, Shannon finds herself ensnared in a rum ring operation as the temperance movement ebbs closer to its goal of Prohibition.

A sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides, Thicker Than Water, challenges readers in its exploration of the age-old question about where one’s loyalties lie. Read my thoughts…

Book Review Alert: To Wield A Plague by Derrick Smythe

Reviewed: May 10th, 2022
Released: May 9th, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy

There will be no victory here for anyone but those who thirst for blood.Forced to choose between his mother’s life and his own exile, Dwapek embarks upon a journey wrought with trials no ordinary Renzik could hope to survive. Relics of legend, plagues of old, and monsters of unthinkable dread all collide in this epic fantasy adventure as a weapon capable of destroying an entire people is set to be unleashed.

Companion novel to Passage of Dawn series. Read my thoughts …

Book Review Alert: Shields in Shadow by Andy Peloquin

Reviewed: May 6th, 2022
Released: September 16th, 2019
Genre: Military Fantasy

Burdened with legend. Hardened by battle scars. Hellbent on bloody revenge.

As the son of a famous general, Aravon is proud to captain his own company against his people’s enemy. But the experienced veteran’s march toward glory dissolves into pain as ruthless barbarians massacre every last one of his soldiers. Burning for vengeance, he leaps at the chance to spearhead a specially-trained company and pay back his tragic defeat with blood.

Desperate to not repeat his tragic past, Aravon trains his new warriors relentlessly. But the captain fears that all the tactical drills in the world may not matter when they’re forced to defend a helpless village against overwhelming odds. As his quick raids sow chaos amongst the enemy, the bloodthirsty savages threaten to make Aravon’s nightmarish history repeat itself…

Can the captain take command of his fighting spirit before the kingdom falls to barbarous invaders?

Shields in Shadow is the first book in the action-packed Silent Champions military fantasy series. If you like square-jawed heroes, well-oiled military action, and epic world-building, then you’ll love Andy Peloquin’s gripping novel. Read my thoughts …

AudioBook Review Alert: A Bond of Thread by Allegra Pescatore and J.P. Burnison

Reviewed: April 27th, 2022
Released: June 21st, 2021
Genre: High Fantasy

Enter the Nine Lands of the Mountain Fell. 

Skye has only ever known pain and solitude since waking up with neither memories or magic. Hunted for being a Ruler in a time when they are scarce, she has survived in the wilds near the Rim, always on the run from the rest of her kind. Only starvation could draw her close to a village, but when a chance encounter and a bit of bad luck launch her into the arms of a man whose soul is bonded to hers, hiding who she is may no longer be possible.

Ilyas is a hunted man. Wanted for killing the last High Queen of Vine, he is plagued by his past of wholesale slaughter. He never wanted another Queen, and certainly not a half-feral, distrustful girl who gave up on the Fae a long time ago. Unfortunately, Soulbonds are not so easily walked away from, no matter how hard they both may want to, especially when trapped together in a cave with a pack of Feral Fae right outside.

With long-held enmities breaking out between the besieged villagers and all their lives on the line, Ilyas and Skye must learn to work together and trust each other if they want to survive.  Read My Thoughts…

Guest post: Enchanted Forests and the bid to support rainforest conservation by Astrid V.J.

Enchanted Forests is a collection of ten short fantasy stories about magical forests and the creatures living in them. All proceeds of this book are being donated to Rainforest Foundation to support their work in rainforest conservation.

Why does the book exist?

Ten fantasy authors who are concerned about the state of the planet saw an opportunity to do good with their writing. Each on our own, we don’t have the following or the financial wherewithal to make a significant contribution towards this important cause. But when we joined forces, we found we actually have a chance to make a difference.

Enchanted Forests is the second charity anthology these authors have worked on together, and it has been a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and turn the writing process, which is usually very lonely work, into a group activity. The authors read and critique each other’s stories and Elena Shelest has contributed with illustrations for each story in addition to providing her short story for the anthology. The previous book in the Enchanted Anthologies series of fantasy story collections for charitable causes is Enchanted Waters.

Why Rainforest conservation?

Since this anthology is about magical forests, the authors wanted to make a contribution towards forest conservation. Rainforests, specifically, are the type of forest in greatest danger from human activities. Deforestation overshadows conservation attempts to the extent that eight million hectares of rainforest are lost every year! Add to that: virtually all rainforest deforestation is driven by human activity! At the same time, rainforests are the source of foods and other products (many used in medicines) that we humans need.

Rainforest Foundation supports indigenous and traditional peoples of the world’s rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights by assisting them in securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long-term well-being and managing these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future. Additionally, Rainforest Foundation works to develop the means to protect their individual and collective rights, and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.

About the authors

Jennifer Kropf is a Canadian author obsessed with Christmas legends and folklore. 

Xander Cross creates original stories with folkloric elements from all over the world.

Ben is a myth obsessive who writes stories with exotic settings and cool monsters.

Alice is a young adult fantasy and fairytale author who spends most of her time adventuring in mythical lands and the rest exploring non-mythical ones.

Lyndsey writes young adult fantasy filled with myths, magic and swoon-worthy romance.

N.D.T. Casale is an Italian-American fantasy author creating magical realms for others to escape into and enjoy.

Astrid V.J. is a South African fantasy author who writes transformation fiction: exploring our human capacity to transform our lives and achieve success in the face of adversity.

Sky Sommers is a fan of retold fairytales, valkyries and frozen cinnamon buns.

Donna White writes epic and paranormal fantasy stories with mysterious adventures, gracious characters, and a touch of humor.

Elena Shelest is a Ukranian-American artist and author of romantic fantasy inspired by Cossack culture.

About the stories:

Gems of Fae and Foolery by Alice Ivinya

These two female dwarves aren’t to be crossed, especially not by an arrogant fae lord.

One Fair Eve by Lyndsey Hall

One dream. One wish. One bargain Pip will come to regret.

To Snare a Prince by Sky Sommers

What do you do when a six-headed dragon complains of indigestion after it’s just gobbled up a dark elf? Easy, you tell it to wait in line like everyone else.

Willow Daughter by Astrid V.J.

When a woodcutter follows a song into the forbidden depths of the forest, he finds himself tangled in a deadly conflict between the Willow Daughter and the Forest Father.

Pingguo and the Dead Forest by Xander Cross

In a desolate post-apocalyptic world riven by famine, three children make a journey through the Dead Forest in search for seeds defended by a dragon.

The Fern Flower by Elena Shelest

On the night when the legendary fern flower appears in the forest, can Miray and Savko find their true path?

Blood of the Unicorn by N.D.T. Casale

A wicked queen’s desire for blood from the hearts of unicorns, sends a princess through a divided forest into the shadows of death.

Dimension of the Sasquatch by Donna White

A lot has happened to the curator of a supernatural treasure trove since she discovered that she can walk through different dimensions, now she’s traveling with Bigfoot.

Feather Green by Jennifer Kropf

When Estheryn overhears the royal family’s secrets, it’s her father who pays the price, resulting in a careless murder that propels her to do the unthinkable: disobey the direct order of the Prince of Persianna and enter the forest.

The Lucky Tortoise by Ben Lang

A prince’s duty is to bring his people luck and the slightest misstep means bringing ruin to the kingdom…or worse…


Join us in making the world a better place! We are currently looking for readers to join our review team to help out with a review on Amazon, Goodreads and/or Bookbub during the book’s release week. You’ll get a free e-book copy of Enchanted Forests as well as your name included in the book’s acknowledgements if you sign up before May 15, 2022. Sign up here.

Enchanted Forests is available to pre-order here.


Sources:

https://rainforests.mongabay.com/facts/rainforest-facts.html#6

About

Check out these amazing covers from the Realm of Darkness anthology

Realm of Darkness Boxset

I am so excited about my novel SoulBreather, my first venture into paranormal fantasy and my contribution to this anthology.

If you love Feisty heroines, fallen angels and mystical dragons and intrigue then this should be the book for you. Add another 40 plus books and this is a bargain you do not want to miss!

When darkness falls, beware of the creatures that come out to play…
Fall under their spell over and over again in this ultimate paranormal and fantasy romance boxset! Over 40 full-length novels with heart melting heroes and devastating anti-heroes, full of romance, magic, mystery, and adventure can be yours for an insanely low price.

Ready to be swept away? Your book boyfriends are waiting… Enemies-to-lovers, alphas, fae, werewolves, dragons, shapeshifters, vampires, gods, angels, demons, and more: with novels ranging from sweet to spicy, there’s a flavor to sate your every craving.

You won’t find these exclusive novels anywhere else, so don’t miss your chance. Over ten thousand pages by New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors and at less than three cents per book, this collection is a steal, but only for a limited time. Grab it today before it’s gone forever…

SoulBreather

My new paranormal fantasy releasing as part of the Realm of Darkness boxset.

If you fall in love with the shadows, does that mean you are fallen too?
A dying angel. A fractured realm. The Soulbreather who might be able to save them both.

Solanji has a secret. One that is becoming increasingly difficult to keep. She can touch souls and see into a person’s inner thoughts.

Soulbreathing is exhilarating and addictive, until the day Solanji caresses the wrong person’s soulmist. Dragged into a long forgotten angelic mystery, she is forced to venture into Eidolon, the godforsaken last resort for those without souls. She rescues a broken and tortured man named Mav, but can she save him from the shadows? Does he even want to be saved? And can she find a way to return to the light before the darkness engulfs them both?

Only available as part of the Realm of Darkness Boxset available for preorder now on Amazon and other retailers for only 99c/99p!

Author Interview – Katharine Ann Melton

Author of Behind The Mirage

Fantasy author Katharine Ann Melton released her debut urban fantasy novel Behind The Mirage on October 12th, 2020, (the day after I released my first novel. Almost book twins! )Welcome Katharine, thank you for joining me to talk about your debut novel. Tell us about Behind The Mirage.

Katherine: My book is Urban Fantasy.  It is about an assassin that is given the most important job of her life: enter modern day Greece and assassinate Zeus to stop him from destroying mankind.  If that isn’t hard enough, she has to juggle an unwanted proposal from Oberon her king, the threat of war and the realization that Zeus was responsible for the death of her parents.  When she crosses into the human realm, she realizes that she isn’t the only one hunting Zeus.  She is quickly confronted with uneasy alliances, vengeful gods, unsolved murders and the occasional malevolent portal to another world. 

Helen: How did you come up with the name of your book?

Katharine: The title of my book ‘Behind the Mirage’ started out as a different name.  I started writing the book over 20 years ago and it went through so many changes.  Character names, traits, locations.  The original title is closely related to the final title, but I just didn’t like the original.  To me, it felt like I didn’t put to much thought into it.

Helen: I love the cover, how did you come up with the design?

Katharine: Since the book’s location is Greece, I wanted to make sure it was presented in the cover so the reader will be automatically transported there.  I wanted my main character on the cover, but I didn’t want her face to be shown because I want readers to create her features in their mind.  The cover turned out better then I had ever imagined.  I believe it really showcases what the book is about.

Helen: It truly is a lovely cover. What made you choose to write this novel?

Katharine: Writing has been a part of my life since I was very young.  I am not really sure what made me start, I just had so many stories to tell in my head that I needed to get them on paper.  I would start out by writing scenes, maybe write a sentence or two about just different things.  My mom has kept everything I have ever written since I could write.  It all started as a hobby, never thinking I would actually write a book.  I used to write screenplays, and then I wanted to turn one of them into a novel and that’s how the book started out.

Helen: Congratulations on finishing and publishing the book. Which character did you enjoy writing the most?

Katharine: I of course enjoyed writing my main character because I wanted a strong female lead that knew how to handle herself in different situations.  A personality that the readers could relate to.  I also enjoyed writing Hades; God of the Underworld.  He is very sarcastic, he only helps when it benefits him, self-assured, blunt.  I enjoyed writing his personality. 

Photo by David Ramírez on Unsplash

Helen: The Greek gods and myths are a great source of ideas and characters, how else do you find ideas to write about?

Katharine: This varies.  I have gotten ideas by just looking at an object and developing a story around it.  I have ideas from reading other books too, and even tv shows. 

Helen: Tell us a little about your working process, do you enjoy listening to music whilst you write?

Katharine: I do.  It is a mix from pop, to old school hip hop, to classic rock.  Sometimes I will listen to a song while I am writing a scene because it helps me to visualize the scene better.  There are most times that I write with the tv on too.

Helen: Thank you for chatting with me today, it’s been great learning about your novel. If you didn’t write urban fantasy what genre would like to try and write?

Katharine: If I didn’t write Urban Fantasy, I would like to try writing horror or sci-fi.  I have started working on other projects because I never run out of ideas for stories.  One story is horror/sci-fi that I write when I have writers block in my current project.  I also would like to write a thriller novel.  I believe you can write whatever genre you want; don’t limit yourself to one.

About the Author:

I grew up in Northern California and moved to the Washington DC metro area about 13 years ago. When I am not searching for new locations for my books, I am spending time with my friends and family. My book Behind the Mirage is the first book in a new series.

You can find more about Katharine via:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook 

Website

Goodreads

You can purchase Katharine’s novel from Amazon:

Behind The Mirage

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

Author Interview – C.A Bleu

Author of The Trinity Ring

Joining me today is YA fantasy author C.A Bleu who released her debut fantasy novel The Trinity Ring on June 1st! Welcome Cindy, congratulations on publishing your first book. Such an achievement; I am so excited for you. Please tell us a little about your novel.

Cindy: Zara Trinity was ready to find her place in the world, but she never thought she would have the power to change it. 

Her eighteenth birthday brings betrayal and family secrets to the surface that threaten to overwhelm her as she learns to wield her new powers.  

Losing her mother at a young age Zara was raised by her guardian Aaron. As the leader of the Protectors of the Trinity, Aaron had sworn an oath to protect her. He regretted his role in the secrets he kept, but knew it was necessary for the prophecy. 

Being hunted by Dimitri, an assassin she never expected to have feelings for leads Zara down an unexpected path. Holding the fate of Humanity in her hands will she be strong enough to withstand the tests ahead?

Helen: The Trinity Ring is your debut novel. What made you put pen to paper and write a book?

Cindy: I have worked in hospice over 15 years and about 6 or 7 years ago I decided to start journaling as an outlet. I kept feeling that I just needed to write, but I never thought I would actually write a book…I began writing about life, but gradually it changed to this story… over the years and after many edits it has evolved to The Trinity Ring. 

Helen: Congratulations on completing your book. Writing can certainly be an escape from the daily pressures. You have a unique cover. How did you come up with the deisgn?

Cindy: For my cover I reached out to a local University of Tennessee art student. She read my book and then did an original painting of Zara Trinity.  Bri Mckamey photographed her painting and created my book cover. She is still in art school at UT and this is her first book cover she has done. 

Helen: How wonderful. Original art makes your book even more special. It is a lovely picture. Which character did you enjoy writing the most?

Cindy: Great question! I actually think I may have enjoyed writing about Dimitri the most. I think there is so much that he goes through that really connects all humanity. Grief, faith, self doubt these things know no boundaries. Both Dimitri and Zara go through a lot of change and self growth throughout this story and I think many people may be able to relate to some of it. 

Helen: I saw from your bio that you work full time, and you are working on a second novel which is great news! How do you fit writing into your life?

Cindy: This is tough sometimes. I often write early in the mornings before the rest of the house begins to wake.  Usually it is on the weekends and I love to sit on the back porch when writing. 

I am a hospice social worker, I began with journaling…I never set out to write a book…let alone publish one… but it was my niece and daughter who one day looked at me asking why I wasn’t going to publish. As I looked at them I realized I had written about a strong female character battling self doubt and trying to be brave. How could I not show the women in my family the same courage. So for them, and myself, I decided to take the leap and publish. I wanted to show my daughter and niece that through our fears we can show our greatest strength. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Helen: How do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Cindy: This is the first book I have written and in this process the words just flowed. If felt like this story just came to life and needed to come out.  The final printed book has many changes from my first draft, but getting that first draft out seemed to have a mind of its own as if poured out of me. Many parts of this book came from my own personal feelings and experiences having lost my mother at a young age as well. 

Helen: I think what we experience in life must come though in our writing, you of course inherently write what you know, but it also colours other aspects as well. A long time ago I did a degree in Politics and International Relations, and I have a feeling that may influnce my world building! We just spice it up with a LOT more action and adventure! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. As a debut author just completing a book, what advice would you give to aspiring writers.

Cindy: I would tell new writers to just keep writing. Someone out there needs to read what you have written. Self-doubt creeps in, but just remember that your story will likely touch someone else out there in a time and place that they need to hear it. We are writing for a reason…whether it is to positively impact someone else’s life or to allow someone a way to escape the day-to-day routine.

About the Author:

Currently living in East Tennessee, I love being surrounded by the mountains and being in nature in general. After growing up in Ohio, I moved to Tennessee to play soccer in college. With my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work I have been working in hospice these past fifteen years. As an outlet for self care, many years ago I decided to start writing. Journaling a few minutes each day gradually turned in to so much more. I never planned on publishing a book and likely may not have taken that step if not for the encouragement from my family and friends! Keep shining your light everyone!

You can find more about Cindy via:

Instagram

Goodreads

You can order’s Cindy’s novel from Amazon and find it on Kindle Unlimited:

The Trinity Ring

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.